Light Up Your Life With Islam

Bismillah.

It’s amazing how comprehensive the supplications are that are in the Quran or are of the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wassalam). Look at this one:

رَبَّنَا آتِنَا فِي الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً وَفِي الْآخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً وَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ

“Our Lord, give us in this world [that which is] good and in the Hereafter [that which is] good and protect us from the punishment of the Fire.” (Al-Baqarah 201)

I was just pondering over this and wondering, what does it not cover? Nothing! Think about it, whatever you could want possibly, it’s been asked for in this dua.  The three portions of this dua tell us how our lives are basically divided into three things or the three things that we worry about. 

First is this world. We want good in this world. A good life consisting of a good home, a good income, a good family, a good career, a good education, good friends, good food, good clothes, good character… and the list goes on. Even though this world is temporary but we still want the goodness in it and ask for it, which is not only natural but also recommended. Why live in misery?

Second is the hereafter. That is our eternal home. We’ll live there forever so obviously we want it to be good. We want that we not be called for questioning, we want that our bad deeds be overlooked and that our good scales become heavy. We get to drink from the fountain of Kauthar, we be in the company of the prophets and their companions. Also, that we get a place under the shade of the Throne…. and finally that we get into Paradise and that too the best one.

Third is the Fire. Now technically when we ask for good in the hereafter, it also includes that we be saved from the Fire as the Fire is bad, of course. But this kind of emphasizes that hereafter is the bigger concern as one part of this dua is dedicated to this world and the other two to the hereafter. Also, if I think about it, it makes me feel good to ask for being saved from the Fire. It sort of satisfies you, makes you feel you’ve asked for the whole thing because the Fire is so scary that it’ll be on your mind even if you ask for the good of the hereafter. And that is human nature. When we’re scared of something badly, we don’t just talk about the situation that is free of those fears but also about the fear itself. It’s like a catharsis.

So this third portion of the dua consoles me that I’m asking for being saved from the Fire, be it in the grave where it’ll be all dark and I’ll be alone or be it on and after the Day of Judgement i.e. the Fire in hell.

Now that you’ve asked Allah for these three things, don’t you get a feeling of completion? :)

good dunya and hereafter

Wassalam,
Hajrah.

O Followers of Islam!

Bismillah.

I picked up my pen and put it down yet again. The thought had passed by in its raw form, not lingering long enough to be captured and put into words…
This happened to me many times in the past few months and I felt sad. Had my writing power been taken away? The satisfaction that I used to feel after putting my thoughts into words was no longer there. Was I uninspired forever? Sometimes I craved for inspiration to write, as writing my reflections helps me connect with my own self, but that connection seemed faded in the background, buried somewhere under the plethora of routine tasks.

As I was busy in my selfish musings related to my personal satisfaction, I came across an article or two that made me come out of my own shell. The authors of those articles were obviously lost in the sea of ignorance yet believed themselves to be steering and leading others in the right direction.
I said to myself, “Won’t I be held accountable for not conveying the limited knowledge that I have through whatever means I could? Isn’t the message of my Creator, of telling people why they need to obey Him and how they can obey Him good enough to write about? Isn’t it time that we defeated our own hesitations and procrastinations and stop waiting for the perfect opportunity to convey what we know?”

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Let’s wake up, really! Those people out there are moving towards a terrible ending and it is up to us to stop them. We keep waiting for the right time, for our skills to be polished, for a little more free time before we call others to the Truth. But if someone was going to run into the fire, would you really wait for the right words and the perfect environment to tell them there’s fire ahead? No! You’d scream and try to grab them and tell them in every possible way you could that “don’t go there, there’s a fire, you’d burn yourself”. You would really want to save that person. And that sincerity would emanate from your eyes and expression more than your words which would be jumbled up due to the urgency anyway. And that person would definitely stop and give your message a thought. And that is pretty much what you were actually supposed to do: make him reflect. Mission successful!

That is all we need to do. All sorts of -isms and -schisms are seeping into our societies today, concepts are getting distorted, beliefs are getting weirder by the day. The so-called ‘intellectualism’ is eating the hearts and minds of our people like termite and yet we’re waiting for dunno what?!
This is the time to do dawah. Call people to the Truth in whatever shape or form you can. Call your family, your friends, people you meet randomly. Tell them about Allah. Make them see how beautiful is this deen and how corrupted are other ways of life. They’re disillusioned. They think it’s okay to have the easy way out but they don’t know there isn’t one, only difficulty in the right direction will have its reward. Don’t let them go towards the terrible end.

Look at how the prophets and their companions desperately wanted to save people from the Fire. They propagated whatever they knew. They pitied those who didn’t know the reality.

Yes, do hone your skills, polish your talents but let passion take the lead! Let sincerity be your light!

comfort zone

Wassalam,
Hajrah.

Bismillah.

One of the causes that removes restlessness caused by strained nerves and gets rid of occupation of the heart in unfavourable things is: being occupied in action or knowledge that is beneficial. So this occupation will turn the heart away from the things that keep it busy with troubles.

Sometimes, due to this cause (i.e. of being busy), he will forget the causes that incur sorrow and grief upon him. So he would become happy and his activities would increase, and this means is common between the believer and the other person (who doesn’t believe). That is to say, whether the believer or the other person without belief, whoever of them tries to dispel his sorrow by being busy in doing something or gaining some kind of beneficial knowledge, both would succeed in their goal and thus their worries would be removed from them.

BUT the believer is distinguished on the basis of

  • his faith
  • his sincerity
  • his hope for reward

idleness

He gets reward as his being occupied in knowledge that he either learns or teaches, and the good action that he does; if they are from worshipping Allah then it is considered worship (like remembering Him, for instance) and if it is some worldly occupation or habit then he makes his intention righteous and intends to support his obedience of Allah through it (like doing exercise to stay fit so he can worship Allah better with a strong body or eating delicious and healthy food so that he doesn’t get ill and remains focused in worshipping Allah and being good to His creation).

For this reason, (that is due to the distinguishing characteristics of the believer) his impact to dispel grief, melancholy and sorrows is effective.

Many people are afflicted by worries and lasting disturbances due to which different kind of diseases come over them. So the effective cure for this thing is: forgetting the cause that brings worry and sorrow by being busy in more important tasks.

wasting time

How many people do you know who are always involved in worrisome discussions because they have nothing better to do? Remember, do not ever be not busy!

Also, the person should try to be involved in something that he feels comfortable with and longs for, because that will take him to his beneficial purpose more rightfully, and Allah knows best.

Wassalam,
Hajrah. :)

Upcoming post: focusing on the here and now

Previous post: Ways to a Happy Life – Good Kind of Good

Bismillah.

We have already discussed that one of the ways to achieve a happy life is through true faith and righteous deeds. Now let’s move on the second one.

Of the causes of happiness that would do away with worry, sorrow and anxiousness is:

good conduct (ihsaan) over the creation through words, action and known ways of doing good. Because all these are types of good conduct.  

Note that the word used here is ‘creation’ and not ‘people’. It means do good not just with humans but with whatever you interact with on this earth. The animals, plants and even the inanimate objects. And then doing good through words, action and whatever are the known ways of doing good which means whatever you know is good, because our conscience is programmed in such a way that we can distinguish good and bad innately. Also, our culture and society gives us the basic moral values. When we talk about doing good with words, it includes your tone, expressions and body language as well.

ihsaan

With these things, Allah removes grief and sorrow from both the righteous and the wicked, according to their good conduct. BUT the true believer gets the full portion from this reward. Why? He is distinguished due to his good conduct stemming from

  • his sincerity
  • his hope for reward

so Allah makes doing good easy for him. Because generally being good to others is difficult for most of us, so when doing good is made easy for you, isn’t that a great reward? It’s like your work on which you get benefits and salary is made easy for you so you keep getting more benefits and promotions etc.

Do you know what is one of the reasons that good becomes easy when you do it for Allah’s sake? It’s because every person in this world is a creation of Allah, no one is exempted, so you have to do good to all of them if you are doing it for His sake. Whereas if you are doing good only of your own accord then there might be some people who you’re prejudiced against and you might not be able to do good to them. Doing good for people is difficult, doing good for Allah is easy.

The true believer hopes from Allah for good (khayr) and so his troubles are removed from him due to his sincerity and his hope for reward.

Allah says in the Quran,

لَّا خَيْرَ فِي كَثِيرٍ مِّن نَّجْوَاهُمْ إِلَّا مَنْ أَمَرَ بِصَدَقَةٍ أَوْ مَعْرُوفٍ أَوْ إِصْلَاحٍ بَيْنَ النَّاسِ ۚ وَمَن يَفْعَلْ ذَٰلِكَ ابْتِغَاءَ مَرْضَاتِ اللَّـهِ فَسَوْفَ نُؤْتِيهِ أَجْرًا عَظِيمًا

Translation: No good is there in much of their private conversation, except for those who enjoin charity or that which is right or conciliation between people. And whoever does that seeking means to the approval of Allah – then We are going to give him a great reward. [An-Nisa 114]

Generally, it’s not considered good to whisper but in this case, when you’re encouraging others to do good, you can whisper. And not only can you whisper but you also get rewarded for it. Another interesting thing is that you’re not doing a good thing yourself, you’re just telling others to do it, even then you get rewarded.

So Allah told us that all these things, whoever does them, have good (khayr) in them. Good brings good and drives away evil. Isn’t that great? Doing good has two benefits. It could have only brought good, but no, it also removes evil. Double reward!

Indeed the true believer who hopes for reward, Allah gives him great recompense. From the package of great recompense, only one portion is that worry, grief, unsettling and similar things depart. Imagine what rest of the package holds!

So be good to people, make life easy for them, spread smiles and love. And get the same and much more in return. <3

Wassalam,
Hajrah. :)

Upcoming post: Being occupied in beneficial knowledge and actions 

Previous post: Ways to a Happy Life – Fear, The Killer 

Bismillah.

Fear is one of the things that most people fear the most!
Let’s see how a true believer and the other person react when gripped by fear.

Fear over the True Believer

When the causes of fear and things that make a person anxious take place, you will see that the person with true faith won’t panic, rather he would be tranquil. He is proficient in planning and steering the situation that is worrying him, by his thought, words and action of whatever is in his capacity. He utilizes all possible resources.

What is the reason of his being so deft and active in handling the situation? Because he had already prepared himself for such troubles and sorrows and these conditions give comfort to that person and keep his heart steadfast. He knew that problems will come because life is not a bed of roses. There are bound to be troubles and so he prepares himself beforehand due to which he doesn’t lose his head in stress.

Fear over the Person Who Lacks Faith

But you will find the person who lacks faith, quite the opposite when fearful things take place. His soul becomes restless, his nerves become strained, his thoughts become scattered and fear and horror creep inside him. External fear and internal anxiousness both come together over him such that it is not possible to express the reality of what might be his situation. It’s unimaginable! His condition is hopeless.

When this kind of people do not have the natural resources (to fight the fearful situation), their strength collapses. They just don’t know what to do. They weren’t ready, they weren’t prepared so their senses take leave. Their nerves tauten and all this is due to lack of faith. Faith, which persuades them to be patient, specially in critical spots and distressing and worrisome conditions.

Helper

The Distinguishing Feature

The righteous and the wicked, and the believer and the disbeliever, they both participate in acquiring skills and natural instincts to be brave which would quell the fears and tone them down.

BUT the believer is distinguished due to the strength of:

  • his faith
  • his patience
  • his trust on Allah
  • his reliance on Him
  • his hope to gain reward

These above mentioned things increase his bravery, reduce the pressure of fear and tone down the difficulties on him.

Just like Allah says in the Quran,

إِن تَكُونُوا تَأْلَمُونَ فَإِنَّهُمْ يَأْلَمُونَ كَمَا تَأْلَمُونَ ۖ وَتَرْجُونَ مِنَ اللَّـهِ مَا لَا يَرْجُونَ

Translation: If you should be suffering – so are they suffering as you are suffering, but you expect from Allah that which they expect not. [An-Nisa 104]

They obtain Allah’s aid, His special support and His help that disperses the fears. And Allah says in the Quran,

وَاصْبِرُوا ۚ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ مَعَ الصَّابِرِينَ

Translation: and be patient. Indeed, Allah is with the patient. [Al-Anfal 46]

Wassalam,
Hajrah. :)

Bismillah.

To establish further the difference of attitude between the true believer and the other person on receiving good and bad, here is an example:

When the true believer is afflicted with a disease or poverty or any kind of problems that every person is plagued by, he – due to his faith and his contentment (on however much he has) and his acceptance of the distribution by Allah – finds in that problem coolness of his eye. It means he doesn’t get perturbed like other people. His heart does not wish for the thing that is not destined for him. He looks at those who are below him. He sees their problems and knows that he is in a better position or that others are suffering too, he is not the only one. He does not look at those above him; those who are in a better situation than him because then he will only feel deprived.

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The result of his attitude is that sometimes his pleasure, happiness and comfort supersedes the one’s who has his world’s desires with him. Because the one who already does have what he wants, does not have contentment on what he has and wants more. Whereas this true believer is content on whatever he has. When his problem ends, because problems do not remain forever and they do expire after a time, his happiness is coupled with contentment and he accepts his favours with pleasure.

But the other person, who does not do deeds as required by his faith, when he is afflicted with poverty or loses something from his worldly wants, you will find him in the depths of wretchedness and misery. He has no good hopes from Allah and does not expect anything positive, in fact, he goes even farther away from his deen.

Wassalam,
Hajrah. :)

Upcoming post: Attitude of both persons when gripped by fear 

Previous post: Ways to a Happy Life – Misery Upon Misery 

Bismillah.

The last post talked about the attitude of a person, who has true faith + righteous deeds, on receiving good and bad. In this one, we will discuss the attitude of the person who does not have true faith + righteous deeds and how he reacts on receiving favourable and unfavourable things in his life. You can then compare the two personalities and check where do you lie?

When He Receives Good 

The other kind of person (who does not have true faith + righteous deeds), he welcomes favourable things with arrogance, insolence and transgression. He deviates from good moral conduct and he receives those favours like wild beasts do with greed and impatience. And along with that his heart is not at ease, rather his efforts and work is haphazard and dispersed in various directions due to:

  • fear of departure of his beloved things
  • obstacles arising because of this fear
  • his heart being unable to stop at a limit, he wants more and more

So this man is unable to enjoy what he already has because his enjoyment is overpowered by his fear of losing that pleasurable thing and then he can’t concentrate on other matters because his heart is in constant fear, for example, if he’s at work, he’d keep thinking, oh what if it gets stolen or what if this happy moment ends, so he loses focus and it becomes a hindrance in his other daily tasks and then he isn’t content on what favours he has, rather he keeps wishing for more and other favours.

The favours that he wants more and more, he might get them or he might not. But even if he does get them supposedly, he’d still not be content and remain anxious. Why? Because again he’d be plagued by those three things; fear of losing, obstacles due to that fear and wanting more. What an unfortunate man, indeed!

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When He Receives Bad

When that person (who does not have true faith + righteous deeds) receives something unpleasant, he welcomes it with anxiety, despondency, fear and agitation. So do not ask how miserable his life becomes and the illnesses of the mind and nerves that overcome him and the fear that grips him and the horrible vexations that engulf him. Because he has no hope of reward and he does not know how to be patient which would console him and make the worries insignificant.

The poor person was not even happy during favourable times, how can you expect him to endure worries in a mature way? Unlike the true believer, he has no principles that he can apply in good and bad times. Besides, he does not have anything to look forward to, he has no incentive because he does not hope for any reward during troublesome times. He would have hoped for reward if he had been patient. But in the absence of those principles of faith, he does not even know how to be patient.

Look Around You

All of the above, has been seen and is based on experience. When you see people around you and you reflect on their situation and try to fit them in a category, you will find great difference between the true believer who does righteous deeds as required by his faith and between the one does not have the qualities of true belief and righteous deeds.

And know that our religion urges as much as possible to be content on whatever sustenance and things you receive from Allah and on the various favours and kindnesses that He bestows on His slaves.

Wassalam,
Hajrah. :)

Next post: Ways to a Happy Life – Afflicted

Previous post: Ways to a Happy Life – Faith & Righteousness  

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