Light Up Your Life With Islam

The Flip Side

Bismillah.

We grew up hearing, “all that glitters is not gold”. However, we didn’t pay much heed to it. We still think that all that glitters is gold. We persisted in being superficial. It’s just too deep to actually think the real story behind the scenes could be different. Who would put in that much effort?
And thus, the preference for superficiality took root in us and we started judging everything just based on appearance.

“A beautiful girl must be my daughter-in-law, who cares about the character”. 

“She always puts these romantic statuses on Facebook, she must be so happy and I’m oh-so-jealous”. 

“My friend from school has such a beautiful house and car, I wish I had a life exactly like his”. 

Yet, often the reality is very different from what we know. A poor person could be way more peaceful at heart than the one who is financially secure. Not only does this include not judging based on appearance but also not judging based on hearsay.

Friend A: “I saw him in the market with a girl in his car and I think she was his girlfriend”. 
Friend B: “Really? And I always thought he was a pious man. How fake!”

What just happened in this situation here? Person B believed person A in a trice without even thinking that his friend could be wrong. The girl in the car could very well be the guy’s sister, niece, aunt etc. We believe whatever anyone tells us and love to spread it around, as long as it highlights something negative. If only we had adopted the opposite course and conveyed what good we know of others, how much love would there be in this world today.

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Mother-in-law: “My daughter-in-law does so and so…”
Neighbour: “Oh my! Does she really? Poor you”. 

Who knew what was the other side of the story? We make a judgement after listening to only one side of the story. You can never know the whole unless you know both sides. To be sure, even then you sometimes don’t know the exact reality.

Persist as we do in our unwise attitudes, Allah tells us through various stories, signs and miracles that don’t be quick to judge and don’t say things hastily.

Here’s an interesting story.

Sahih Bukhari, 3436:

Narrated Abu Huraira:

The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “None spoke in cradle but three: …….. (The third was the hero of the following story) A lady from Bani Israel was nursing her child at her breast when a handsome rider passed by her. She said, ‘O Allah ! Make my child like him.’ On that the child left her breast, and facing the rider said, ‘O Allah! Do not make me like him.’ The child then started to suck her breast again. (Abu Huraira further said, “As if I were now looking at the Prophet (ﷺ) sucking his finger (in way of demonstration.”) After a while the people passed by, with a lady slave and she (i.e. the child’s mother) said, ‘O Allah! Do not make my child like this (slave girl)!, On that the child left her breast and said, ‘O Allah! Make me like her.’ When she asked why, the child replied, ‘The rider is one of the tyrants while this slave girl is falsely accused of theft and illegal sexual intercourse.”

This doesn’t mean that no matter what one does, you start wondering what would be the real story behind this. No! Rather don’t be hasty in wishing things that might not be as they seem and avoid being judgemental. Deal with people on the apparent but don’t judge based on their appearance and hearsay.

Make your own life and the life of others easy! :)

P.S. To read about the other child who spoke in his cradle, click here.

Woman of Substance

Bismillah.

Half the human race, if not more or less, consists of women. Their rights and duties, their status in society, their issues, these are some debates that never grow old. Islam has honoured women very highly. It appreciates them for the good they do in whatever situation they are. It does not expect the same results from each one of them in order for them to reach that certain standard of accomplishment. It does not put them through the stress of being ‘equal’ to men and doing a 9-5 job, or else be a failure. Islam is much more vast and accommodating than that.

This point is proven by the various examples of great women given in the authentic Islamic text. It does not want them to be painted with the same paint in order to be successful. It brings to light different women as role models who had different life situations and faced different problems.

Sahih Bukhari, 3411:

Narrated Abu Musa:
Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “Many amongst men reached (the level of) perfection but none amongst the women reached this level except Asia, Pharaoh’s wife, and Mary, the daughter of `Imran. And no doubt, the superiority of `Aisha to other women is like the superiority of Tharid (i.e. a meat and bread dish) to other meals.”

In another hadith, we find:

The Messenger of Allaah ﷺ drew four lines on the ground, then he said, “Do you know what this is?” We said, “Allaah and His Messenger know best.” The Messenger of Allaah ﷺ said: “The best of the women of Paradise are Khadeejah bint Khuwaylid, Faatimah bint Muhammad, Aasiyah bint Mazaahim the wife of Pharaoh, and Maryam bint ‘Imraan.
[Reported in the Musnad of Imaam Ahmad 2663 and it’s Saheeh]

All these women had completely diversified roles and things to cope with.

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Asia RA: She had the most tyrannical husband ever, who tortured her like anything. Yet she kept her faith.

Maryam AS: She was slandered even though she was innocent. She had a child to raise without a husband.

Aisha RA: She was widowed in a very young age yet it didn’t stop her from spreading knowledge and educating thousands of people.

Khadija RA: She spent all her wealth and energies in supporting and protecting the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and his message of truth when no one else was there for him.

Fatima RA: She served her family, her husband and kids and took care of the house so expertly without any sort of help.

All these women had very different lives and their situations pretty much sum up what women today complain about; a bad husband, no support system, being worked to death etc. Yet they all had one thing in common: a very strong and unwavering faith. It kept them going even when they were tested so hard. And eventually it led to their ultimate success.

May Allah make us beneficial in the circumstances that we’re in and make our faith unwavering and lasting as well. Ameen.

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Ask For More

Bismillah.

Some of the famous philosophies and thoughts that are prevalent in the world today are very illogical and baseless. One is amazed at the fact that these ideas have been generated by “intellectuals”. How come then they don’t make any sense?

Unfortunately, these senseless ideas are followed by many only to be in league with the fad. Even more amazing is how the advocates of such ideas profess themselves with so much vehemence and become defensive if someone tries to argue or suggest otherwise. It’s as if these people feel that their knowledge is absolute.
And that is where the problem lies!

Arrogance over what little knowledge one has leads to stagnancy. You feel you know best and you don’t need any more. It makes one narrow minded and shallow. Allah, the All-Knowing does not like this attitude. Not even in his most beloved people, the prophets.

Sahih Bukhari, 3401:

Narrated Sa`id bin Jubair:
…(Ibn ‘Abbas said)…: Ubai bin Ka`b told us that the Prophet (ﷺ) said, ‘Once Moses stood up and addressed Bani Israel. He was asked who was the most learned man amongst the people. He said, ‘I.’ Allah admonished him as he did not attribute absolute knowledge to Him (Allah). So, Allah said to him, ‘Yes, at the junction of the two seas there is a Slave of Mine who is more learned than you.’ Moses said, ‘O my Lord! How can I meet him?’ Allah said, ‘Take a fish and put it in a large basket and you will find him at the place where you will lose the fish.’

Initially, Musa AS said something that Allah did not like, even though the level of Musa AS’s knowledge must have been the highest in his nation. He was the prophet, after all. But he did not have ultimate knowledge about everything. And, in fact, no one has it.

“…but over every possessor of knowledge is one [more] knowing.” [12:76]

That ultimate is with Allah alone!

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Musa AS once he learned there’s another more knowledgeable, at once wanted to go learn from him. He didn’t turn his back in a huff that, “why does another know more than me?” It shows his thirst for knowledge and his sincerity.

If you know and acknowledge that your knowledge is no way complete and there are others who know more than you, you’d always keep growing. Then you’d make this supplication: “My Lord, increase me in knowledge.” [20:114]

And the perfect knowledge belongs to Allah!

As for those intellectuals, they can get out of their shell if only they realize this and if they strive sincerely and be patient then they will find the most beautiful and and best knowledge ever, which is the Words of our Creator and nothing can be better than that. <3

P.S. Did Musa AS go to find that man who knew more than him? Was he able to find him with the strange sign of the fish? What did he learn? To know the whole story, click here.

A Defining Moment

Bismillah.

Islam is definitely the perfect and most reasonable way of life. It encourages everyone to lead a life that is pure, natural and well-balanced; be it in our food, our houses, our attire, our dealings with others, basically, everything that an individual is concerned with in his life. The man who was sent to teach this beautiful religion to all mankind was as much balanced and admirable himself. He taught by example to those around him how to lead a simple, happy and productive life.

Sahih Bukhari, 3394:

Narrated Abu Huraira:
Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “On the night of my Ascension to Heaven, I saw (the prophet) Moses who was a thin person with lank hair, looking like one of the men of the tribe of Shanua; and I saw Jesus who was of average height with red face as if he had just come out of a bathroom. And I resemble prophet Abraham more than any of his offspring does. Then I was given two cups, one containing milk and the other wine. Gabriel said, ‘Drink whichever you like.’ I took the milk and drank it. Gabriel said, ‘You have accepted what is natural, (True Religion i.e. Islam) and if you had taken the wine, your followers would have gone astray.‘ “

It was a defining moment for the whole Muslim community. A moment when the whole course of our existence, of our lives was being decided. Doubtlessly, he was the prophet and he wouldn’t have taken the wrong cup but think about this, it was a test for him. And his wisdom saved us all. If wine had become permissible, imagine what would have been the consequences? Such is a leader! He thinks far ahead and plans for generations to come.

lifechanging

In case you’re wondering does it really matter, you should know that “nutritional psychiatry” is an emerging popular concept today. Your food affects your physical, mental and emotional health. You can browse some of the studies on the subject and be amazed what science has to say about it today. Take fast food, for example. The youth today lives on fast food. It usually comes from artificially produced plants or animals.

Bring a fat juicy burger to your mind, the one you see commonly in ads and consider the habits that it would generate in its devourer. It’s quick food, today you can see the restlessness in the people around you. We want quick results. A relationship almost broke, well just throw it away and get a new one. We have a deluge of information in this age, everything is stored on the internet yet we can’t stay on it long enough to learn and implement anything, we’d rather watch videos of a few seconds, keep sharing images with short texts and only go through the headings of an article. Also, the meat used in fast food comes from animals and birds that do not move around and do not eat fresh food, rather they are born, made fat and stay pretty much in the same spot till they’re slaughtered. Eating this food has made us lazy and obese. We’d rather talk, argue and debate than do something. As for the diseases that come with obesity, you all know about them.

nutrition

The list of habits that we’ve adopted by eating fast food is never ending. Plus the other kinds of food that we eat today and their consequences are uncountable as well. The long and short of it is that what kind of generations would we raise when we prefer soft drinks to milk and pure water? The future looks bleak from this end. We need to change this by a mass campaign to change the direction of the whole society. Our media is full of trashy food made to look appetizing, we need to come up with better marketing for the real pure and healthy food. We need to rewire the perspectives and cognition. Not just because science tells us this today, but because this is what Allah conveyed to us many centuries ago in His Book, because He is our Creator, He knows! All we need to do is to trust Him and accept what He tells us and we can live happily.

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ كُلُوا مِمَّا فِي الْأَرْضِ حَلَالًا طَيِّبًا وَلَا تَتَّبِعُوا خُطُوَاتِ الشَّيْطَانِ ۚ إِنَّهُ لَكُمْ عَدُوٌّ مُّبِينٌ

O mankind, eat from whatever is on earth [that is] lawful and good and do not follow the footsteps of Satan. Indeed, he is to you a clear enemy. [2:168]

Don’t just eat halal (lawful) but also what is tayyab (good, pure and healthy). And don’t follow in the footsteps of Satan because step by step he will take you away from the good food and eventually towards destruction.

P.S. Together we can make a difference bit by bit inshaAllah, the first step being eating lawful and good ourselves and being a role model. :)

 

Bismillah.

There once lived a man who was very handsome. He had a loving wife and many wonderful children. He was blessed with a blooming business and so wealth in his household was plenty. They all lived a healthy and happy life together. Alas! The merry times did not last. One day calamity struck his household. His business was destroyed and all his family died except his wife. He contracted a terrible disease and his health started deteriorating. The people of his town considered his disease contagious and a bad omen so they turned him out of the village. He started living in the outskirts where he could neither work nor move.4654613 Day by day, his health and money reduced. His wife had to go and serve people to earn an honest bite. But the people did not like his wife to be near them either in case she was infected. In this sorrowful situation, eighteen years passed. And people started to talk. They said the way all his blessings were taken away shows that he did some wrong in his life that is not being forgiven. He is reaping the fruit of his actions.

This story is not very strange or out of place. Happy people’s lives are often turned upside down. And usually it is thought that it is the result of their own wrongdoings. But are we too quick to judge? Yes, we are! The above story is the story of Prophet Ayyub AS (Job). He was a prophet and so the best of people. Prophets don’t commit sins like normal people. His sufferings were a test in reality. And tests happen to, well, test a person. Prophets happen to pass those tests with flying colours because they are awesome. Prophet Ayyub AS never complained or become hopeless or stopped trusting Allah. He always remembered Allah and prayed to Him.

Similarly, we don’t know why a person has been put into difficulties. How do you know if it was a result of his actions or he is being elevated in his rank by this test in his life? You don’t really know. So give them a break. Make dua for the people who suffer, empathize and help them. Help them not only physically but also emotionally and spiritually. And if a person is actually not very good, then who knows how good your kind and sincere words can prove to be to an already broken heart? Stop interfering into the lives of others just to spread gossip and discuss their sufferings. We are no one to judge, seriously.

On the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) who said:
The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “Part of the perfection of one’s Islam is his leaving that which does not concern him.” A hasan (good) hadeeth which was related by at-Tirmidhi and others in this fashion.

Here’s the end of the story:
Imagine how hurt you would be if you were ill and then people talked bad about you. Prophet Ayyub AS made dua to Allah about his suffering. Allah accepted his dua and cured him. His wealth and family was returned to him with a great increase. His health was restored. He once again became the handsome man he once was.

Sahih Bukhari, 3391:
 
Narrated Abu Huraira:
The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “While Job was naked, taking a bath, a swarm of gold locusts fell on him and he started collecting them in his garment. His Lord called him, ‘O Job! Have I not made you rich enough to need what you see? He said, ‘Yes, O Lord! But I cannot dispense with your Blessing.”‘

It is said that he had two fields, one of wheat and one of barley. The wheat field was rained with gold and the barley field was rained with silver. Think of that!

This shows the attitude of a true believer. He is not greedy or materialistic. Yet he uses Allah’s blessings and enjoys them to the full. He thanks Allah for them and remembers Him always. His blessings do not make him heedless of the One who bestowed him with these pleasures. What a balanced life we can lead if we follow this simple principle. :)

Discovering Mines

Bismillah.

In this era of media and communication, a lot of importance is given to trainers, life coaches and mentors. Workshops on leadership skills, communication skills, basically people skills are getting very famous. Today there are hundreds of books out there on “How to Keep Ties”, “How to Deal with Your Boss”, or your colleagues, your employees, your family etc. There are some popular names who get paid millions of dollars just for telling people how to deal with others. And rightly so! What else would our life be about if not for the interaction with our own kind? That is how we survive!

And yet sadly, some really only survive. They don’t know why their same treatment of people works so well on some and not so well on others. The manager feels perplexed why the same motivational talk made one employee so excited and the other even more dull. The mother feels confused why the same method that worked every time on her eldest, doesn’t work on the youngest. The girl doesn’t know why the same beautiful apology doesn’t impress her friend when it was accepted wonderfully by the other friend a few weeks ago.

Why do these things happen? They happen because we fail to realize that everyone is different. It sounds very simple and basic, but trust me many fail at it when the situation arises. You might be very knowledgeable and smart otherwise but chances are you might be rubbing someone up the wrong way. Yes, every single person is different, has different potential, different IQ & EQ etc. How can we expect the same results from them by the same treatment?

understanding-is-much-deeper-than-knowledge-there-are-many-people-who-know-us-but-very-few-who-understand-us-anonymous

The Companions asked their life coach various questions as well. And he in return would guide them and give them answers to make their lives and relationships better. After all, he was the best life coach to have ever walked on the face of this earth. ﷺ

Sahih Bukhari, 3383:

Narrated Abu Huraira:
Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) was asked, “Who is the most honourable amongst the people?” He replied, “The one who fears Allah and keeps his duty to Him”. The people said, “We do not want to ask you about this.” He said, “The most honourable person is Joseph (Yusuf), Allah’s Prophet, the son of Allah’s Prophet, the son of Allah’s Prophet, the son of Allah’s Khalil (intimate friend)” The people said, ‘We do not want to ask you about this.” He said,”Then you want to ask me about the metal (origins) of the Arabs? People are like metals (of various natures and origins). The best in the pre-lslamic period are the best in Islam, provided they comprehend (the religious knowledge).”

He ﷺ said people are like metals or minerals. What a deep word. Metals and minerals are of so many different kinds. Some are very valuable, some are worthless. Some are cherished yet have no real benefit. Some are cheap and not prized yet are very useful. Some are not even recognized unless they are cleaned and cut, then they reveal their many facets. Some need high temperature to melt, some have to be always handled carefully.

Similarly, some humans are diamonds, some are gold, some silver and others are like copper, platinum etc. If you notice, none of the metals or minerals are completely useless. Humans if only dealt in the correct manner and according to their type, yield amazing results. We just need to remember that. You can’t make beautiful gold jewellery out of copper but then you can’t make electric copper wires out of gold either.

Parents and teachers sometimes unknowingly make horrible mistakes when they make unjust comparisons between children. This actually makes or breaks the child forever. I’m sure each one of you would know some such person whose life was ruined because of how wrongly he was dealt with in his childhood. People get hopeless, they give up on their dreams, they stop exploring the opportunities. And this is not just about children. Adults have to be treated according to their characteristics as well.

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So where then do we learn the art of treating everyone according to their own unique self? We can learn that wisdom from none other than our beloved Prophet ﷺ who was the most wisest of us all. All his words and actions are based on wisdom and luckily we have all of it saved in authentic books which we can read and benefit from and thus learn to rub people up the right way. What a beautiful society it would create. It would also make us a lot more patient and tolerant with others.

Notice that in the hadith it is said the best of people are those who comprehend the religious knowledge. So at the end of the day, no level of smartness or intelligence or worldly success makes you the best person. It is only the comprehension i.e. knowledge, understanding and implementation of the religious knowledge that would make you a cut above the rest. :)

The Shield 

Bismillah. 

One of the purest love that exists in this world is that of parents for their children. They love their kids selflessly and would go to any length to protect and benefit them. They’d even sacrifice their life for them. What could be greater than that?

If a child becomes ill, the father and mother would do whatever is humanly possible for them to do. Everyone gives their own opinion and advice regarding the child’s illness and they listen to each one hungrily, because who knows what will work? And same goes for all the matters of life. They want the best for their offspring. 

Well, here’s the good news! 

  

I’m about to share a formula which is 100% tried and tested by the prophets themselves. Imagine that! 


Sahih Bukhari, 3371:


Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas:

The Prophet (ﷺ) used to seek Refuge with Allah for Al-Hasan and Al-Husain and say: “Your forefather (i.e. Abraham) used to seek Refuge with Allah for Ishmael and Isaac by reciting the following: ‘O Allah! I seek Refuge with Your Perfect Words from every devil and from poisonous pests and from every evil, harmful, envious eye.’ “

The dua in Arabic: 

أَعُوذُ بِكَلِمَاتِ اللَّهِ التَّامَّةِ مِنْ كُلِّ شَيْطَانٍ وَهَامَّةٍ، وَمِنْ كُلِّ عَيْنٍ لاَمَّةٍ ‏”‏‏.‏

Let’s add this dua in our routinely supplications for protection of our beloved ones. You can make this dua for them whether they’re with you or live far away. It will benefit inshaAllah. :)

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