Light Up Your Life With Islam

Posts tagged ‘prophet’

One Wrong Word…

Bismillah.

Many huge fights, arguments and heart-breaks in relationships are due to little things. Surprisingly, the weapon used to strike is very small and soft and yet it pierces like a dagger. Yes, it is the tongue that is used to utter something cutting and then comes the response and then it continues. Often these big fights having little foundations are the ones that ruin the peace of a household and sometimes even take it toward ultimate destruction.

One of the arguments that is common in many houses is about food. The food is not good, it has too much salt, it has no salt at all, the food is cold, it is late, you don’t even know how to cook etc. The opposing party having little patience as well launches a full fledged attack in defence. And fighting ensues.

Food, however, is just a basic example. We feel it’s an obligation upon us to comment if we see anything negative in our surroundings. Today, it is kind of an accepted fact that if you keep doing everything right, no one will appreciate you but one single mistake will open many mouths. This is negative reinforcement which leads to more negative behaviour. Unfortunately, this is not what Islam teaches us. Islam likes us to maintain a peaceful, positive and encouraging atmosphere in our homes. So that our homes become our safe haven instead of a battlefield.

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The question is if you see something negative (but not sinful), say, something not to your liking, what should you do?

Sahih Bukhari, 3563:

Narrated Abu Huraira:
The Prophet (ﷺ) never criticized any food (presented him), but he would eat it if he liked it; otherwise, he would leave it (without expressing his dislike).

Just don’t comment at that time. Control the desire to lash out. :)

Prophet Muhammad ﷺ did not pinpoint people publicly over their mistakes anyway. It makes one feel humiliated more than it reforms them.

There are other wiser and more polite ways of correcting mistakes than criticizing. Use your skills and discover those instead. Remember that positive reinforcement will take you a long way.

Q. Your spouse cooks your favourite dish for you but makes it too salty by accident. What do you do?

Options:
a) Criticize it harshly and push the plate away.
b) Tell them that the taste is ruined but eat it anyway.
c) Don’t say anything about the food but don’t eat either.
d) Tell them tactfully that you appreciate what they did for you however you were planning on ordering/cooking food for them tonight from their favourite place and go and bring food for them/cook for them.
e) Other…

 

The Beloved Man

Bismillah.

The best of people that ever lived on this planet were prophets. They were chosen people by Allah who were sincere, truthful and had exemplary characters. We are supposed to follow the way of the prophets and spread the message of peace and submission to one God that they brought.

The last and final prophet who was sent on this earth for the guidance of mankind was Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. He was given the religion and way of life that is perfect, complete and unchangeable till the end of times and so there’s no need of another prophet now. However, we the followers of that Prophet ﷺ are supposed to take his mission forward and spread that message of truth and guidance to all mankind.

Today there are more than 1.6 billion Muslims in the world who all revere and love the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ to bits even though they never met or saw him. But everyone has this yearning of knowing what he looked like and of meeting him eventually (inshaAllah).

Fortunately, we find many narrations where the Companions of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ describe his appearance. Following are some excerpts from a few of them just to give you a flavour:

Prophet s.a.w

Sahih Bukhari, 3549:

…Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) was the handsomest of all the people, and had the best appearance. He was neither very tall nor short.

Sahih Bukhari, 3548:

… (He ﷺ was) neither absolutely white nor deep brown. His hair was neither curly nor lank…

Sahih Bukhari, 3546:

…(When he was old) “He had a few white hairs between the lower lip and the chin.”

Sahih Bukhari, 3551:

…The Prophet ﷺ was of moderate height having broad shoulders (long) hair reaching his ear-lobes…

Sahih Bukhari, 3552:

Al-Bara’ was asked, “Was the face of the Prophet (as bright) as a sword?” He said, “No, but (as bright) as a moon.”

Sahih Bukhari, 3553:

Narrated Abu Juhaifa: … (After the prayer), the people got up and held the hands of the Prophet and passed them on their faces. I also took his hand and kept it on my face and noticed that it was colder than ice, and its smell was nicer than musk.

This was a glimpse of our beloved Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. Notice how people observed everything about him. We do not compare in any way to the Prophet of Allah ﷺ but if we are the carriers of the same message and are taking his mission forward and are Muslims, then people notice us too. They notice us very deeply and then they talk about it. Some people in their ignorance might consider our bad habits to be part of this religion. We Muslims represent Islam. We ought to be careful in how we look, dress and deal with others. We can’t have the “I don’t care” attitude. Because we should care. We want others to know how Islam shapes its followers beautifully in well-balanced individuals. We want them to come closer to this perfect way of life.

Let’s look good, talk good and smell good. :)

Deflect; No Side Effect

Bismillah.

A healthy living includes not only physical health but also mental, emotional and spiritual health. All these aspects of a balanced life are interconnected and influence each other. Today, health experts say that holding grudges or unexpressed anger may cause cancer or cardiovascular diseases. At any rate, it makes one’s life uncomfortable and causes anxiety and depression.

People, in general, are not always bad. Often they do want to forgive but they don’t know how to do it. They want to be guided to baby steps and different examples from everyday life situations so they know how to deal with it. Knowing this human weakness of ours, Allah gave us a huge gift and role model in the shape of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. He was a human being dealing with the routine struggles of life and more, and yet the way he reacted and dealt with them is exceptional.

If you wish to be a happy and optimistic person who knows how to extract positives from every negative, then read the following:

Sahih Bukhari, 3533:

Narrated Abu Huraira:
Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “Doesn’t it astonish you how Allah protects me from the Quraish’s abusing and cursing? They abuse Mudhammam and curse Mudhammam while I am Muhammad (and not Mudhammam).

Meanings of Arabic words: [Mudhammam: disgraced, Muhammad: praised]

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The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ was opposed, mocked at and tortured by his enemies when he was spreading the message of truth. He was innocent, he was trying to guide them to what was beneficial yet they twisted the truth and made it sound to whoever they could that actually he ﷺ was trying to spread discord and hate amongst people. They accused him of evil intentions. Imagine, how tough it would be for him when he wanted nothing but good even for his enemies.

In their hate, these people didn’t even like to take his name, Muhammad. It means “the one praised” and indeed his whole character is praiseworthy. But they called him Mudhammam, “the one who is disgraced”. Instead of becoming angry, shouting at them, or calling names at them, He ﷺ simply said, they are mocking and opposing Mudhammam, not me because I am Muhammad. It’s someone else they’re talking about.

So simple and brilliant! If people accuse you of something you did not do or call you bad names and you have a clear conscience, then say to yourself, it’s not me they are talking about but someone else because I’m innocent.

And then move on with a smile! Because it was not about you in the first place. :)

 

 

 

 

 

The Man Who Lost Everything

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. :)

Exposed!

Bismillah.

Have you ever wondered why Pepsi plays its ad on TV so many times a day? Who doesn’t know Pepsi exists? Today even if you go to far flung villages in Pakistan, you find the logo of Pepsi painted on the half broken mud and brick wall on the dirt-roadside. People who live in the most deplorable conditions imaginable and who can’t even spell their own name, know about Pepsi. It’s not just Pepsi, take anything. Take Lays or Ufone, for example. The rich, poor, educated, uneducated, elderly, kids, everyone knows about these products. What is the need then to tell us every 15 minutes in a cricket tournament on TV that this product is so cool?

Let me tell you why! Because if they stop advertising, in a few years no one would even recognize the name Pepsi or Lays or whatever. Such is the human brain. Constant exposure to things makes us familiar with them and we end up believing in those things. If you know for sure that something is a blatant lie and people keep telling you it is the truth, constantly and actively, you’d eventually start believing it is the truth. Just like, if you’re feeling well and healthy in the morning but everyone who you meet throughout the day tells you that you look pale, your eyes are yellow and you must be suffering from jaundice, by the end of the day you’d be taking a doctor’s appointment.

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This is considered a psychological phenomenon, the mere-exposure effect, a concept developed by Robert Zajonc and others. It states that people tend to develop a preference for things merely because they are familiar with them. This phenomenon is most actively used in advertising. Which is why if you keep watching the ad of a specific shampoo, on going to the market, you’d end up buying that same shampoo for no particular reason.

This is also the reason why if today someone says “the religion of terrorism”, sadly and unfortunately, Islam comes to our minds. We have associated these concepts in our minds subconsciously due to over exposure to the media. And this is why, the concept of hereafter today seems so alien to most of the Muslims even. The materialism that has seeped in our very blood today is because of the crazy run-after-money-till-you-die ideology injected in us through our surroundings.

Allah is our Creator and He understands us best, which is why He tells us again and again to watch our company, to stay with good people, to be connected with the Quran constantly. Because reminders have a great influence on us humans. Our companions make us or break us. The things that we read or watch, shape our mind and personality.

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Prophet Muhammad ﷺ was the best teacher, mentor and life coach to have ever walked on the planet. He dealt with the people around him according to their psyche. He cashed small moments to teach big concepts to his students. His expert training of his companions is the reason why they turned out to be so remarkable. Here’s a great example of this:

We find in Sahih Bukhari, 3249:

Narrated Al-Bara bin Azib:
Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) was given a silken garment, and its beauty and delicacy astonished the people. On that, Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “No doubt, the handkerchiefs of Sa`d bin Mu`adh in Paradise are better than this.” 

Just when there was a danger of those people about to lose themselves in the materialistic gains, he brought them back with a bang! No lecture, no long speeches, no harsh words. Just a simple and clear statement having a multifaceted effect. It’s beautiful! Look at the wisdom!

He did not say, “hey, stay away from this, this might make you forget that this world is temporary, you’re getting too much attracted, you know” or “hell awaits those who get too involved in this world”. He did not say, “do good deeds and you might get better”.

He reminded them of the hereafter so they don’t lose their focus, he mentioned Paradise so they feel good about the blessings there, he mentioned their companion so they can relate to him, so they get ideas what do we have to do now. Humans have a competitive nature, they like to beat others. He gave them that spark indirectly, Sa’d has this, do more than him and you might get more.

This is what we need to learn. Exposing people to the right kind of knowledge, setting their focal point. Reiterating! Teaching and reminding but gently, wisely and simply. How beloved and great is my Prophet Muhammad ﷺ.

P.S. If you feel curious as to who Sa’d RA was and what was so special that he did, search for his story, extract the gems, and learn by example. :)

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These Troubled Times

Bismillah.

Today was a hard day for the people of Pakistan. From one affliction after the other, we suffered. In general too, these are troubled times for the entire Muslim nation. One wound after the other, I saw people losing hope. I heard comments and read posts about how all is lost. Everyone is in despair. No one feels they can take it any more. And rightly so, the pain is great. The wounds are physical, emotional, spiritual and mental.

We keep repeating on our social media what we are going through and how bad the situation is, ending with a hashtag of #NoHate, though in reality our posts are doing nothing else but generate hate. But then what else can we do? We feel helpless!

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My dear brothers and sisters in Islam, sad as you are, let me remind you of another hard day that someone very beloved to us went through. Someone who all of us claim to love, one way or the other. What was his reaction?

Narrated `Aisha:
That she asked the Prophet (ﷺ) , ‘Have you encountered a day harder than the day of the battle) of Uhud?” The Prophet (ﷺ) replied, “Your tribes have troubled me a lot, and the worse trouble was the trouble on the day of ‘Aqaba when I presented myself to Ibn `Abd-Yalail bin `Abd-Kulal and he did not respond to my demand. So I departed, overwhelmed with excessive sorrow, and proceeded on, and could not relax till I found myself at Qarnath-Tha-alib where I lifted my head towards the sky to see a cloud shading me unexpectedly. I looked up and saw Gabriel in it. He called me saying, ‘Allah has heard your people’s saying to you, and what they have replied back to you, Allah has sent the Angel of the Mountains to you so that you may order him to do whatever you wish to these people.’ The Angel of the Mountains called and greeted me, and then said, “O Muhammad! Order what you wish. If you like, I will let Al-Akh-Shabain (i.e. two mountains) fall on them.” The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “No but I hope that Allah will let them beget children who will worship Allah Alone, and will worship None besides Him.” [Sahih Bukhari, 3231]

This was a time when Prophet Muhammad ﷺ disappointed from the hatred of the people of Makkah and their constant refusal to accept the truth travelled to Taif, hopeful that they’d welcome the beautiful message of Islam. However, instead of accepting it, they started mocking the person who today we hold in so much respect. They made their people line up in two rows on the side of the road and when Prophet Muhammad ﷺ passed from there, they pelted him with rocks and threw stones at him. So much so that his body bled and the blood filled up his shoes. Just stop for a moment and picture this. Shoes filled with blood?! How much wounded do you have to be to be in this state. Imagine a lone person hurling a single rock at you, how would you feel? A whole group of people throwing stones at my Prophet ﷺ? The mere thought fills us with rage and tears. We want to go and beat up those people all over again.

In this state, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ staggered out of that town, how weak he must have felt. And at that time, Jibreel came with the Angel of the Mountains awaiting just a command. I see you already wishing it was you so you could tell the Angel to crush those people between two mountains. But look at the reply of my beloved Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. He said, “no, but I hope that Allah will let them beget children who will worship Allah Alone, and will worship None besides Him.”

Hope! At a time like this! This is the character of the one who I’m supposed to follow, step by step. This is what is expected of me being a caller towards Allah, being a Muslim, being a member of the best of nations. I can’t afford to lose hope.

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I’m a leader, I have to pull up the people around me, I have to be the shoulder they can lean on, I have to give them light so they can see the way. And what is the way except the way that leads to Allah?

If that day, my Prophet Muhammad ﷺ had lost hope and had those people crushed between mountains, how would the legendary hero, Muhammad bin Qasim have been born from the progeny of the people of Taif? Muhammad bin Qasim, the first Muslim leader to have stepped on the land of Sindh and thus bringing Islam to this region. Who knows that I owe my Islam to him today?

Instead of ranting about the problems and the pain, I need to talk about the solution. I need to instil in those hearts softened by the affliction that it’s time we turn back to Allah, it’s time we fixed ourselves. Allah says, “And whatever strikes you of disaster – it is for what your hands have earned; but He pardons much.” (42:30)

I will fix myself. I will perform ablution a little extra carefully today, I will spend a few minutes more at the prayer mat, I will seek forgiveness for my sins more than usual, I will tell people to worship Allah, to do good deeds, to stay away from immoral acts with more fervour today. Because I know this is the solution! I know this will bring change!

I believe! Allah says, “Indeed, no one despairs of relief from Allah except the disbelieving people.” (12:87)

I believe that my hope will bring forth many Muhammad bin Qasims inshaAllah. :)

 

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iGive

Bismillah.

What is life without its share of excitement? We humans get thrilled when it comes to various mysteries of this world. Explorers, researchers and think tanks spend their entire lives trying to solve the intriguing phenomenons around us. History is full of people who gave the Bermuda triangle mystery their blood, sweat and tears.

Interestingly enough, little abstract things around us hold as much intrigue and depth as the big ones. However, we tend to ignore them due to our poor observation skills. It’s wonderful how the night brings sleep with it even though the lights inside our homes are as bright as the day. Similarly, it’s beautiful how the cat tends to its kittens and teaches them how to climb trees out of pure affection. Harder to explain still is the warm feeling one gets on seeing red crisp leaves of autumn, bathed in sunlight and fallen on the straw coloured winter grass. Strange and lovely are these intangible and abstract concepts.

Another such thing that continues to baffle the human race is how come the guy who spends so much never seems to be going in deficit yet the rich bloke who lives in the huge mansion always seems to be crying over his losses! Those who get stuck here are the ones who always think twice while giving charity.

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Those great billionaires at the other end of the world give huge charities in order to help make their country stable. We go, “wow, they are the ones who’re actually doing something”. Well, let me tell you a secret: the whole culture of Islam is built around “giving” and sharing and putting others’ needs before my own. It’s my job to give, give, give and to help make my country stable. Not only will this make the economy strong but generate love amongst the people living together. Imagine if everyone is putting the other person first, who would be last?

Various economic systems were presented in front of the world in different centuries, they were implemented and they wreaked havoc. History of capitalism, communism, socialism is right in front of you. Islam brings the only flawless system where not only can economies be stabilized but “human rights” are most taken care of as well.

You give. You give zakat money as an obligation so the love of wealth doesn’t infiltrate in you and so the flow of money doesn’t break its cycle. You give charity in the form of money, food, clothes, land and even education, smiles and a kind word. If you have nothing else, you give your good wishes (dua) to the other person. This is what Islam teaches us, what could be more “humanitarian”?

To cap it all, we have the most beautiful role model in our beloved Prophet Muhammad ﷺ who spent on every person he came across and never spoke a harsh word to those who asked.

It says in Sahih Bukhari, 3220:

Narrated Ibn `Abbas:
Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) was the most generous of all the people, and he used to be more generous in the month of Ramadan when Gabriel used to meet him. Gabriel used to meet him every night in Ramadan to study the Holy Qur’an carefully together. Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) used to become more generous than the fast wind when he met Gabriel.

What a beautiful example for us and what a beautiful friend he had. Because friends influence you, clichéd as it may sound. They do good, you start doing good and you don’t even know it.

Besides, they were studying the Quran together and there’s nothing that compels you more to spend on others and give charity than the Words of the Quran itself. It not only tells you of the great reward that you’ll earn by spending in both the worlds but also about the temporariness of this world and its goods. So you know that its better to spend here right now and have it saved for the hereafter with a lot of profit on it than to try to hoard it here where it will perish eventually anyway.

Let’s revive this wonderful culture back again. Let’s give and make others around us give too. Let’s set that example. If you have nothing tangible to give, give greetings and peace. Give your kind words. Let no one be deprived.

Allah promises that if you give, your wealth will not decrease rather it will increase manifold. This is one of the mysteries of life and it’s called “barakah”. :)

CHi2AlzUAAEGMeo

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