JAHANNAM Q3.88, Q44.43-6, Q45.9

There is this joke I want to share with you; and with good reason.

Angels: Almighty Father, we are tired of these Nigerians in Heaven!
God: What have they done this time?
Angel: Everything! They do not listen to instructions! They don’t obey traffic rules and don’t wait their turn. They are reckless! In fact, they have turned heaven upside down since we started admitting them in.
God: Please, bear with them. They are very special to Me. Let Me call Satan in Hell to see how he is doing…Hello, Lucifer. How are things over there?
Satan: Baba God, please call me later. There is an issue I am trying to resolve!
10mins later
God: Hello, Lucifer…
Satan: I’ll call You back; the issue has turned to a crisis!
1 hour later
Satan: Sorry, God!
God: Are you having problems over there?
Satan: It is these Nigerians I have with me in Hell. They…they have quenched the fire in Hell and installed air conditioners!

One may chuckle or be tempted to. It is quite funny and pokes fun at how troublesome but resourceful we Nigerians can be. However, such issues shouldn’t be trivialised. I love jokes like any other person but we should be cautious when we fool around so we do not fall into error.

In contrast to the joke, the verses on Jahannam are truly terrifying. Do look them up.

image credit: jackidelecki.com

image credit: jackidelecki.com


To make matters worse, thirst is quenched with hot scalding oil, boiling water and dirty wound discharges in a place of inexorable heat, where the suffering is unrelenting and persistent.

And to read the tone of Allah’s Voice in these verses; so angry, so scary!

May Allah protect us from His Wrath. May we never get to spend a single second in such a vile fiery place!

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ABOVE ALL NEEDS Q4.131, Q6.133, Q29.6

I remember this story a friend at the University shared. We were discussing our most embarrassing moments and he disclosed his.

He was a teenager and had begun to flex his muscles of independence. He had left the house and returned pretty late. When his worried mum confronted him, he responded in annoyance and stormed off to his room. He was a grown man, for God’s sake! He ought to be treated like one. She served his dinner but he ignored it. He would show her!

Midnight came and he tossed and turned in bed. The angry growling of his empty stomach would not let him be. He finally decided to sneak back to consume his meal. He stealthily moved around the house until he reached his destination and began to gorge on his late dinner. Gosh, he was so hungry! He sensed, rather than heard her behind him and he wished the ground would swallow him. His ego was in shreds.

Allah is above any analogy. Sometimes, we ignore Allah or rail at Him for messing up our plans. We neglect our only duty to Him which is worship and assume we can take care of ourselves on our own. Then sometimes, we are amazed, embarrassed by His kind gesture to us despite of our failings. We skipped Fajr because we had to rush out of the house but He still sends someone to give us a lift to school or work. We were rude to our mum and ignored her call as we stormed out of the house forgetting our purse but He sends help our way and someone offers to pay our bus ticket or taxi fare. We lost our temper when a contract we were working furiously on slipped through our fingers and have refused to pray since then, but He sent us a client who single-handedly gave us as much as we would have gotten from the contract.
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We should see these events as Allah personally sending us an sms or an e-mail to remind us of our duties to Him.

He is above all wants or needs and we only stand to benefit from following His order to worship Him. He doesn’t need a thing from us, we need everything from Him. Starving ourselves of worship will only hurt us in the long run. It costs Him nothing to keep sending us help but we should feel ashamed that He is there, ready to listen to our prayers but we don’t have time to pray; ready to help us through a harrowing experience but we can’t be bothered to remember Him afterwards. We call on Him to intervene every time we have a problem but cannot do the one thing He commanded us to do: worship Him.

If Allah willed, He could replace us in an instant, with people better than we are; people who are not averse to remembering His Glory. Instead, He continues to have mercy on us and gives us numerous chances to return to Him while still benefitting from His largesse. He is Almighty!

May Allah strengthen our feet on this Path we have chosen.

REFLECTION Q10.24,31; Q13.3

image credit: www.bobqat.com

image credit: http://www.bobqat.com


When we were younger, we would yearn to play outside. It was fun to be outdoors even when the sun was intense or it was raining. It was great to enjoy the splendour of nature and beauty all around us (or maybe it was the unlimited space for play!). We enjoyed seeing a plane fly, then watching the clouds and imagining what they represented, gazing at the stars and letting our imagination run wild.

My dad used to call me to see birds nestled in our trees. We always woke up to the sounds of birds tweeting in the morning and we could mimic and identify their songs.

One of my favourite places is the beach; its magnificence, expanse, beauty and danger. I also love looking up at rocks, boulders (yet to see a mountain). It’s amazing how solid, massive and ancient they are; what secrets they hold.

It is awesome using Allah’s gifts of our senses to appreciate the world around us.

Unfortunately, the skyscrapers and tall buildings started coming up, obstructing our view of the sky and restricting the flow of air. More industries were established with the powerful polluting effluents which darkened the landscape, dimmed the colours of the rainbow and muddied up the clear spring waters; bright neon lights covered the skyline at night and blurred out the visibility of the stars. Gadgets, videogames and other appliances emerged and turned our gazes firmly toward them. We no longer look up at the sky to see the beautiful cloud formations, instead we jampack our minds full of a plethora of needs, wants and data. No time to reflect on the wonder of Allah’s creation.

Are you presently in the office or at home? Step to the window and open it if you can. Take in a lungful of air (polluted or not) and hold it for a while then release it slowly. Praise Allah that you can do that without the aid of a machine. Let the scales fall off your eyes and experience the vastness of the heavens, the beauty of nature around you, no matter how small. Step out of where you are and take a little walk if you can and thank Allah you are able to appreciate via your senses. Drop the gadgets for a minute and be grateful for life. Life is for the living.

Alhamdulillah for life!

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NO REGRETS Q6.31

You know that saying that if at the end of your life, you have no regrets, then something must be wrong? I don’t believe it! At least, I have lived beyond a quarter of a generation; I am not old or wise, by any standards but I have no regrets and I won’t, in sha Allah.

Why should I have? Why should I harbour sorrow about previous events like they were mistakes when nothing happens by chance? If Allah is privy to the knowledge of a fallen leaf, will He not be aware of every step in my life, of my every endeavour, achievement or failing? And if He is aware, why then should I fret? Has He not sent obstacles my way to make me a better person? Has He not paved my path and made things easy? His Plans are the best of plans and nothing happens without a reason. It may not be clear to me at that moment, indeed, it may never be clear to me, but my duty is to believe in my destiny, do my best then leave the rest to Him.
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It would have been nice if I had committed the Quran to memory as a kid but I did not and have the opportunity to do so but now, I can guide my children toward it. It may have been nice if I had gone on more medical outreaches as a medical student prior to my starting a family, but I can still do it now. Perhaps, I would have liked it better if I had married earlier but I feel I was better informed and prepared for marriage when I did. What matters is that I make the most of my life now, instead of debating on ‘what ifs’ unless to improve on my present or future circumstances. I think you shouldn’t waste your time either, rueing your past.

Desist from playing the victim and regretting what could have been. It did not happen, too bad! Now, move on with your life and make the best of what you have left. So long as you’ve got your life, you’ve got hope so go out there and make the most of it!

A strong believer is better and more lovable to Allah than a weak believer, and there is good in everyone. Cherish that which gives you benefit (in the Hereafter) and seek help from Allah and do not lose heart. And if anything (in form of trouble) comes to you, do not say ‘If only I had not done that, it would not have happened’, rather say, ‘Allah did that which He had ordained to happen’. Your ‘if’ opens the gate for Satan. – Sahih Muslim 2664

The Prophet (SAW) also tells us about the regrets of the people of Paradise. He says: the people of Paradise will not regret except one thing alone – the hour that passed them by in which they made no remembrance of Allah.

If we must worry, we should concern ourselves with this instead.

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LOST BUT FOUND Q6.75-80, Q29.69, Q93.7

Has it been a while, years maybe, since you truly believed in God? Have you been so caught up in work, making money and providing for your family that there is simply no time for spirituality? Or have you always wondered what the True Path to God is? Have you always felt a loneliness and hunger for something missing? I once read (cannot remember the exact words) that loneliness is man’s hunger for God.

There is a Nigerian adage that ‘It is the child who lifts his arms that will be carried.’ Remember that Hadith about walking towards Allah and Him running to you?

Narrated Abu Hurairah (RA): the Prophet (SAW) said, ‘Allah, azzawajal, says, I am just as my slave thinks I am and I am with him if he remembers Me. If he remembers Me in himself, I too remember him in Myself; and if he remembers me in a group of people, I remember him in a group better than that; and if he comes one span nearer to Me, I go one cubit nearer to him; and if he comes one cubit nearer to Me, I go a distance of two outstretched arms nearer to him; and if he comes to Me walking, I go to him running.’ Sahih Bukhari Volume 9 Hadith 502

All you need to do is take that first step, raise your hands or stretch them out seeking Allah and He will come to you. He is there, has always been, will always be. He is closer to you than you know but He wants you to turn to Him, look for Him, acknowledge him, make the effort. Seek God truly and sincerely with all your heart and He will reveal Himself to you. Do your research. Read books, go for seminars, ask around, enjoy the company of those who love God.
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You have spent so much time on other things, planning them carefully hoping for the best of outcomes but all those plans are for this life only. We are spirits in a human body. When we die, we return to our spiritual existence. What have we prepared for that life? Does it make sense to leave it to fate? Chance? Luck?

There is a life after death. I don’t know for sure because I haven’t been there but I believe because Allah says so. If you don’t quite believe, what do you have to lose by believing anyway? If you believe and work towards it, you win; and if there’s nothing on the other side, you don’t lose. You would have lived a life beneficial to the people you met on your sojourn. Following the rules of Allah, remembering Him and feeling His Presence is a beautiful thing and puts your heart at peace, like it has finally found home.

Don’t just strive for this world, strive for the Hereafter too and believe with all your heart that He will be there waiting for you; if only you will open your heart and re-affirm your belief in Him.

REPENTANCE Q4.17-18, Q4.106, Q71.10-2

Anas bin Malik narrated that the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: Allah (SWT) has said, ‘O son of Adam! Verily, as long as you called upon Me and hoped in Me, I forgave you despite whatever may have occurred from you, and I do not mind. O son of Adam! Were your sins to reach the clouds of the sky, then you sought forgiveness from Me, I would forgive you, and I would not mind. O son of Adam! If you came to me with sins nearly as great as the Earth and then you met Me, not associating anything with Me, I would come to you with forgiveness nearly as great as it is’. (Jami’at Tirmidhi 3540. Book 48 Hadith 171)

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Abu Hurairah also narrated that the Prophet (SAW) said: No one among you should say, ‘O Allah, forgive me, if You will’. Let him be definite in his asking, and no one can compel Allah.

Allah Akbar! Allah is indeed, Al-Ghaffur, Ar-Raheem. No matter what evil we may have done, so long as we do not commit shirk, Allah will forgive us as long as we seek repentance. We should seek sincere repentance with the intention to refrain from such acts completely. The beauty of the forgiveness of Allah is that it doesn’t come alone; it comes with blessings too. Now, who does that! This is to let us know how glad Allah is to have us back.
So, don’t be shy. Just take that step toward Him and you will find Him closer to you.

A LITTLE KNOWLEDGE Q20.110,114; Q31.27

Do you remember being in an examination hall, and the panic that hits you when the invigilator says, ‘30 minutes more!’? The panic is not from what little time you have to write out all you know but from how much time others have to write even more! All around you, pens are scribbling furiously, lower lips being bitten in anxiety but you have finished the exam. You even have blank pages and cannot think of a single thing to add.

Your fears escalate when your classmate raises her hand and demands urgently, ‘Extra answer booklet, please!’ Your eyes widen. She really cannot be serious! Is she serious? You realise she is serious as she begins to draw diagrams as soon as she gets the new booklet. Perhaps, you shouldn’t be in this exam hall writing the same exam with people so knowledgeable. How on Earth did you get into this class?

Allah says in Surah Luqman: If all the trees on earth were pens and the oceans were ink…
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Can you imagine what all that knowledge encompasses? Allah is Al-Alim. He knows everything. E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G! Our knowledge can never compass anything of His Knowledge except what He wills. So, what do we think we know that makes us so arrogant? What technology has helped us accomplish is probably the stuff a couple of millions of trees and an ocean of ink or two will exhaust, bearing in mind that we are beginning to retain less information and becoming heavily reliant on gadgets.

But Allah’s Knowledge! His Words! Allah Akbar!

A child learns something new and hastens to share it, to show off. Even as adults, we are quick to brandish what we have learnt and visit all the initials behind or in front of our names to let people know how learned we are. We toss information with impunity and forget to ask Allah to expand our horizons with more knowledge.

It is only the naive that will believe they know everything. If you read, truly read, you will discover that the more you read, the more there is to learn.

Do have a great day!