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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.

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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!

Quick Question

Dear fellow bloggers,
I was on this blog and came across this:

Do you ever experience writer jealousy? Ever read something and instead of appreciating it you thought “man I could have written that!” What are you more envious of a person that writes in your same genre better than you or someone that is able to create something you cannot?

Who do you have writer’s envy for?

FLAME OF FURY Q3.134, Q25.63

If a woman is a bundle of hormones, mankind is a bundle of emotions. Anger, pain, joy, surprise, disgust, fear, pity, nervousness, envy, grief, contempt, sadness, guilt, pride, shame, panic, even disinterest; we are often displaying one of these at every point it time.

Once our feelings are revealed, they cannot just be undone by clicking Ctrl Z; we have to live with the effect of our emotions. Anger has been said to be the most primitive of the human emotions such that even if a patient with dementia is losing it all (memory, orientation, cognition), anger seems to cling on tenaciously. It could range from fleeting irritation to fiery rage to a festering fury.
anger-background
Different things trigger this outburst: fear, insecurity, poverty, frustration, ignorance, impatience, pride, misunderstanding, poor treatment by others, etc. Sometimes, anger gets us the attention we want, it makes us a ‘force to reckon with’, accords respect …or so we think. By far, majority of us regret actions done in anger.

Narrated by Abu Hurairah, the Prophet said: The strong is not he who overcomes people with his strength, but the strong is he who controls himself while in anger. – Sahih Bukhari Vol 8 Hadith 135

Being angry is normal but we should take charge of it and not let it boss us around. How we deal with our anger can make or mar our relationships. Flaring up instantaneously can trigger a stroke or heart attack in persons prone to it while repressing it can cause indigestion, insomnia, migraines, elevated blood pressure, or one could resort to khamr (intoxicants) to relieve the tension. However, constructively expressing the anger can be useful. Here are some tips:
Count to 10 (or 100). Even better is to select dhikr like Subhanallah, Alhamdulillah, Allah akbar, Laailahailallah or something similar and count it to 10 (or 100). You may still need to tackle the offence immediately afterwards like if someone rear-ended your car, or your toddler just defecated in his shorts but by then, you should be calmer.
De-stress. Remove yourself from that environment if you are really incensed. Take a deep calming breath and release it slowly. Pray. Listen to or recite the Qur’an. Sleep. Exercise. Write in your diary. Take out the trash. Swim. Play some nasheed, if you will.
Identify your triggers. Some of us become testy when we are hungry, running late, driving home in rush hour traffic, preparing for a seminar, etc. Tackling, anticipating or avoiding such situations can be helpful like taking a taxi instead of driving, having snacks handy, rehearsing our presentation in front of a mirror.
Voice out. This has to be done assertively not aggressively. Insist on your right but do not abuse other people’s rights either. Address the issue at hand, not old grievances.
Don’t sweat the small stuff. Pick your battles. You don’t have to bark at every car like a dog. Overlook petty things. Try some humour or dry wit. Act like those Allah mentioned in the Qur’an 25.63.
Accept. People are different; some can be more challenging than others. Accepting that your pregnant wife has mood swings due to her fluctuating hormones may help you stay calm when she fights with you then starts crying. Accepting that your child is merely acting her age will help your blood pressure. Accept that people will not always take your advice but will return when things get hairy from refusing the advice. Forgive them.
Seek help. We need Allah’s Help to keep calm in spite of the circumstances. We may need anger management classes or marriage counselling or a maid. Don’t be afraid to seek help when necessary. Do not seek solace in intoxicants. They won’t help in the long run.

The flame of fury burns deep and scars our relationships. What is burnt cannot be returned to its former state. Don’t relinquish control of your anger to Shaytan. What if you did? Apologise to whoever you offended and return to Allah. He is Most Forgiving.