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WEEKDAY CHALLENGE: Deed of the Day Q41.46

A’isha (R.A.) reported:
The Messenger of Allah (SAW) …used to say: Do as many deeds as you are capable of doing, for Allah will not become weary (of giving you reward), but you would be tired (of doing good deeds) ; and he also said: The deed liked most by Allah is one to which the doer adheres constantly even if it is small.- Sahih Muslim 782

Do you notice how surprised some people seem when you perform an unexpected act of kindness to them? Ever detected the question in people’s eyes when you behave considerately like they are wondering what you’ll benefit from your gesture? Have you observed the amazed look on their visage when they notice you are a Muslim being kind to a non-Muslim like it’s a rarity? This is because kindness is rapidly becoming extinct.

Here are some ways we can revive the flagging spirit of humanity:

• Removing a stone or stick out of the way which may harm someone
• Allowing another driver right of way as we drive
• Smiling and saying salaam first; responding to the greeting
• Visit someone at home, in boarding school, at NYSC camp, the hospital, prison, orphanage, anywhere your visit will be appreciated. Don’t you dare go empty-handed!
• Send an inspirational text to the Muslims on your phone
• Call your family members
• Send someone a recharge card
• Share your lunch or buy someone one
• Call your subordinates by name and ask about their families
• Give a hand to someone carrying or lifting a load
• Help pick fallen books, keys or other items. And no! Not only because you have a crush on him/her!
• Tip the messenger who just served you
• Pay the bus fare/ticket for a stranger
• Hold the door for someone behind you
• Help a child, the blind or a senior citizen cross the road
• Give someone a lift to the gate, bus-stop, masjid…
• Hold the elevator for someone rushing to get it
• Allow someone join the queue in front of you
• Return misplaced items or declare them found
spread love kindness

This list is by no means, exhaustible.

These acts may be small but are significant both to the person we are kind to and especially on our scale of deeds. We may, by these little efforts, plant beautiful thoughts in people’s minds toward Islam and leave behind wonderful memories of their encounter with a Muslim. That single positive act (amongst others) may be what will tilt that individual to seek out the truth in Islam.

Like the hadith above mentioned, we should strive toperform these acts consistently, no matter how small they seem.

May Allah guide us all and may we not be led astray after being guided. May He not let us tire easily of doing good.

THE ILLUSION OF FREEDOM Q82.6-19

free
Centuries upon centuries, revolutions have occurred and wars have been fought; all in a bid to attain freedom from perceived oppressors.

Toddlers scream, teenagers rebel; all for the sake of freedom. They demand their independence!

But can we be truly free? Independent?

Man has been given free will compared to the angels who can only obey Allah. We can choose to do what ever we want to do, be who we want to be, go where we want go. This free will however, comes with a price. Every action has a repercussion or in the words of Newton’s law, ‘For each action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.’

Failure to observe salaah has its’ consequences, just as fasting during Ramadan does. Obtaining an education, snorting cocaine, cheating in exams, disobeying our parents, frequent abortions all have their repercussions.

Some people appear to get away with misdemeanours or grave acts of injustice but we should remember that all is not lost. If the effect is not felt on Earth, it will be felt in the Afterlife. What goes around comes around. Karma, right?

We are all servants of Allah; here on Earth to serve Him, not ourselves. This is not to say we shouldn’t take out time to relax and have some decent fun but we really should not delude ourselves about our independence because we are completely and wholly dependent on Allah; whether or not we accept it. It’s like a foetus demanding to be detached from its umbilical cord in utero.

One may decide to act as he pleases, or dress as she chooses, or we may even worship as we desire, but these all come with their price tags.

We shouldn’t fool ourselves that we are free. We all have to account to The Big Guy Upstairs.

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10 DAYS Q 6.162; Q9.36; Q89.1-3


The final month in the Islamic Calendar will be here soon, in sha Allah and it is one of the sacred months.

There are a number of recommended acts during these days because they have been selected by Allah as the best days in the Islamic year.

Narrated Ibn Abbas, the Prophet (SAW) said: No good deeds done on other days are superior to those done on these (first ten days of Dhul Hijjah).
Then some companions of the Prophet (SAW) asked, ‘Not even jihad?’ He replied: Not even jihad, except that of a man who does it by putting himself and his property in danger (for Allah’s sake) and does not return with any of those things. – Sahih Bukhari 969

Here is a list to help:
Pilgrimage: Fulfilling the 5th pillar of Islam for those who can afford and are capable of undertaking the journey would be the best act of ibaadah during these first 10 days of Dhul Hijjah
Fasting (for non-pilgrims): This is another recommended act during the first 9 days of the month. It is not an obligatory fast so ladies, remember to inform your husband of your intention to fast. The fast can also be limited to the 9th only – the Day of Arafah
Reciting tasbeeh, tahmeed, tahleel and takbeer : that is Subhanallah, Alhamdulillah, laailahailallah, Allahu akbar.
Sincere repentance.
Adhkaar
: Everyone can join in. No pregnancy, breastfeeding or illness as an excuse :)
Read Al Qur’an
• Giving Charity
• Nawafil and Tahajjud
• Pray Eid in congregation
: on the Day of Eid.
Udhiya: After salatul Eid on Day 10, if you can afford it. The meat should be consumed by the family, neighbours and distributed to the poor. For those intending to perform the sacrifice, avoid cutting your hair, or beard and clipping your nails until after the sacrifice.

Umm Salma reported the Messenger of Allah (SAW) as saying:If anyone of you intends to offer sacrifice, then he should not get his hair cut or nails trimmed.- Sahih Muslim 1977

May we make the most of the coming days, in sha Allah.

UPDATE: Saudi Authorities have declared tomorrow (25th Sept. 2014) as the 1st of Dhul Hijjah 1435H so Eid-ul-Adha will be on 4th Oct. 2014 in sha Allah.

SUICIDE Q4.29, Q53.43-4

suicide knot
Life can be overwhelming (or underwhelming) sometimes; downright depressing at other times. When we hit rock-bottom, this is not our cue to chicken out of the planet. It is a cue to rise up to the challenge, reconnoitre, re-strategise and re-evaluate oneself. The winds of change will eventually blow. Nothing lasts forever, not even rotten luck.

Anas reported that the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: None of you should long for death because of a calamity that had befallen him and if he cannot but long for death, then he should say, ‘O Allah, let me live for as long as life is better for me and take my life if death is better for me.’ – Sahih Bukhari Book 80, Hadith 48

While

Abu Hurairah quoted the Prophet (SAW) as saying, ‘…and none of you should wish for death for if he is a good doer, he may increase his good deeds and if he is an evil doer, he may repent to Allah. – Sahih Bukhari Book 75, Hadith 34

Misfortune can come simultaneously and in rapid succession but we must thank Allah for the opportunity to get closer to Him. We should make the most of such situations and scoot closer to Allah and ask Him to help us through. It can seem like no one cares, or even like Allah can’t be bothered by our existence or absence but nothing is farther from the truth.

We did not come to the Earth of our own volition and we should not leave without permission from the Master of our lives. Only He has the authority over our lives.

Allah has reiterated in the Qur’an that every soul shall be tested with trials and travails. These help to polish our exterior till it shines with a bright gleam.

In the words of the famous Persian poet, Rumi, ‘I did not come here of my own accord and I cannot leave it that way. Whoever brought me here will have to take me home.’

PS. If you are having persistent suicidal thoughts, you should ensure you see a psychiatrist. ASAP!

FRIENDSHIP Q2.254

This post is dedicated to my oldest friend. We’ve known each other for 2 decades now.

When we met, we had an altercation. I was new in the class and sat in her seat because she had not resumed. I was expected to make my desk and bring from home but I only realised that after I had commenced classes in my new secondary school. I thought it was like primary school where you came as you were and were assigned to a seat. So, while the carpenter made me a seat and desk, I took an empty seat (hers) and received my classes. Until the day we met.
empty classroom
I had heard she had returned but she received her lessons in her friends’ class so I was not bothered; besides, my seat wasn’t ready yet. She came into the class with some of her friends and ordered me to get up. I did not. I continued to copy my notes.

I cannot remember all the details clearly now but it quickly degenerated into she and her friends insulting me but I ignored them. We did not fight physically (not that I even knew how to) because we would be suspended from school. Eventually, they left (if my memory serves me correctly).

When I went to the bus park, I saw her and looked right through her. As far as I was concerned, she was just a spoilt rich kid who had friends simply because of her status. We rode on the same bus more times than I could count but studiously avoided each other. I would have rather gotten on another bus than to seat beside her!

Eventually, we became friends. I do not remember how it happened but I know she made the first step toward reconciliation and we became good friends since then. Decades later, we still joke about how it incensed her that I ignored her while she insulted me. What did we know then?

So, my dear sweetheart, I am glad to have you as a friend. I wish you the very best in life, way more than you can even conceive. May Allah continue to bless and strengthen you and your beautiful family. May we continue to be friends even beyond the day when there will be no friendships or intercession.

Love you, dear! :)

Do you have any old friends? How did you meet?

NO COMPULSION Q2.253, 256; Q109. 1-6

la-ilaha-illallah-calligraphyIf there is anything I have learnt about Islam, it is that you cannot force it on any one.

My mum is a revert. When growing up, I knew she converted after she married my dad and thought it was done automatically but when I got older and asked her, I realised she did not switch to Islam immediately. In fact, my dad used to drop her off at church prior to her reversion.

Family friends were instrumental in her conversion and my dad never had to coerce her. She impresses me how far she has come, virtually on her own with Allah’s help. She observes her salaah, fasts in Ramadan including the six days of Shawwal and on Mondays and Thursdays; she has been to Hajj twice and is an active member of an Islamic group. If I weren’t a Muslim, it would have been difficult to convince me to begin to fast and pray and cover up and all. Alhamdulillah, I already am!

And this is a shout out to all reverts out there who are self-motivated, learning more about Islam and striving to be better Muslims than we born Muslims who are supposed to have had a head-start. We really should stop giving them a hard time about how they do not behave 100% like Muslims and focus on providing them with much-needed support instead! Slow and steady, in sha Allah.

If there is a non-Muslim you wish to convert to Islam, remember that ONLY Allah (SWT) has the ability to change hearts. Just as we do not see the wisdom in the Trinity, so can they not see the nobility of the Prophet (SAW). If Allah desired, we would all follow one religion but He did not make it so.

Please, live and let live. Invite to a way you know is better with kind words and good counsel. Then sit back and leave the rest to Allah. He is Able to do all things.