Light Up Your Life With Islam

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Quest for the Best


If you have two kids in front of you and you give them each the exact same candy, chances are they would immediately look at each other’s, if not snatch it, to check if their’s is better or not. This thirst of having the better item grows with the kids and translates into horrifying attitudes in later life.

Competition today has taken the form of a contagious disease in our society. And this is what Prophet Muhammad ﷺ predicted or feared about us years ago.

Sahih Bukhari, 3596:

Narrated `Uqba bin `Amr:
The Prophet (ﷺ) once came out and offered the funeral prayer for the martyrs of Uhud, and proceeded to the pulpit and said, “I shall be your predecessor and a witness on you, and I am really looking at my sacred Fount now, and no doubt, I have been given the keys of the treasures of the world. By Allah, I am not afraid that you will worship others along with Allah, but I am afraid that you will envy and fight one another for worldly fortunes.”

Competition itself isn’t a bad thing when done in healthy ways and things. But the one we witness today reeks of spite, malice and narcissism. It is doing nothing but destroying human relations and family structures. Everyone’s racing towards the ‘bigger and better’ and sometimes they don’t even know that their whole life just got wasted in this chase. We have to somehow undo this attitude to have our hands free for the real goals of this life.


It does not matter if you live in an elite area and I live in one having no fancy facilities. It does not matter if your child studies in a private posh school and mine studies in a cheap public one. It does not matter if you wear designer clothes and I wear clothes off the street vendor. It does not matter if your husband gives you expensive jewellery as gifts and mine only brings me onions and potatoes to be cooked for dinner. It does not matter if your post on social media gets more likes than mine. Seriously, it does not! 

Somewhere between our competition of which school is more flashy for my kids, morals got lost. Respect for elders and teachers got lost. Education for the sake of making responsible citizens got lost. Somewhere between the desire of having clothes of the best brand, modesty and simplicity got lost. Somewhere between the competition of whose house is better, love between blood relations got lost. Empathy and sharing of joys and griefs got lost. What a sad state we are in!

So what then is healthy competition? Which competition is encouraged that would make this world a better place to live in?

Allah says in Al-Mutaffifin 26,

“…So for this let the competitors compete.”

Compete for higher ranks in Paradise because that will make you do more good deeds and make you a better person. Compete for that what is eternal, not what is temporary.


Look at the example set for us by the people of the best times:

Whenever Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) prayed Fajr, he would then go out into the desert to collect something before returning to Madinah. Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) would be surprised as to why he would leave, so he decided one day to follow him secretly. After Fajr that day, he saw Abu Bakr leaving Madinah and arriving at an old tent in the desert. Umar hid behind a huge rock to see what was about to happen. Abu Bakr spent very little time in the tent and then left. Umar then emerged from behind the rock and entered the tent to find a weak and blind woman with small children.

Umar asked her, “Who is this person who comes to you?” She said, “I don’t know him. He is just an ordinary Muslim man. He has been coming to us every morning since such-and-such a time.” Umar said, “So what does he do for you?” She replied, “He cleans the house, prepares the dough, milks our animals, and then leaves.” Umar then left, saying to himself, “You have left the Caliphs who will succeed you exhausted, O Abu Bakr! You have left the Caliphs who will succeed you exhausted!”
[Taken from Enjoy Your Life, 2nd edition, Pg. 443]


Secrets Of Salah – 41


Page 45..
Closing page. 

An example of the first is that of a slave who enters the King’s palace but there is a veil or screen between him and the King. Therefore, he is unable to taste the bliss of actually beholding the King. He is caged or confined within his suffocating desires and the fever of his vain hopes and worldly preoccupations. His heart is distracted and he finds salat a burden and a nuisance. He finds neither rest nor repose until he thankfully emerges from it and returns to his beloved dunya.

The second category is the example of a man who enters the King’s palace and the veils between him and the King are lifted. He tastes the exquisite ecstasy of actually beholding the King and standing before Him in His service and obedience. The King brings him near to himself and showers him with kindness and tenderness. He can hardly bear to part from the King, and to part with the ecstasy of being  honored by the King, and His attention and His speech. He is in this awesome position enfolded by Allah’s Love and tenderness in all directions, and his heart bows before his Lord in adoration. Thus, his soul finds repose as his body and soul bow before Allah in reverence. He is in the seventh heaven of delight worshipping Allah as though he could see Him, and Allah has manifested Himself to His slave in His words.

So what could be more unbearable than tearing himself away from such intimacy with Allah?

And all this is but a tiny drop in the vast, boundless ocean of bliss to be found in salaat, and merely a glimpse into the mysteries of salaat, and a glimmering of its effulgence.

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Secrets Of Salah – 40


Page 44..

There is a mighty difference between one for whom salaat is like a cage, imprisoning his body and his heart in suffocation, and the one for whose heart salaat is sheer ecstasy and delight for his body, and a fragrant garden of beauty for his soul. As for the first, salaat is a prison for his soul, and it’s preventing his body from its destructive desires, or it may be a precious chance to gain forgiveness for sins or Divine Mercy depending upon the share of devotion. Or he can be punished for deficiencies in its performance.

As for the one in the second category, for him, salat is like a garden in which he finds his heart’s peace and soul’s delight, repose for his tired body, a garden for his soul. So he is in utter ecstasy, experiencing a special nearness to Allah, and in an exalted station bestowed upon him by Allah, and he will be granted such elevation as a unique bounty coupled with the reward for salaat.

For kings grant their special nearness as a special reward. For example the magicians said to Pharoah,

“Will we have a reward if we succeed?” (26:41)

“Yes and you will be of those brought near” (7:114)

So Allah has promised them reward and nearness to Himself and that is the greatest felicity.

To be continued…


Secrets Of Salah – 39


Page 43..

In other words, establish salat to gain repose from the exhausting distractions of dunya, just as the exhausted traveler finds rest once he reaches his destination and returns to his home and personal haven.


And notice the words are ‘the comfort of salaat’ (Prophet salallahu alayhi wa salam felt fatigued by the worldly labor, he would simply say: “O Bilal bring us the comfort of Salat”…), and he did not say comfort us from it, for such would be the words of one who finds salat a burden, and he is in a state of torture as long as he is praying, and once he leaves it, he finds relief. And this is because his heart is so full of other than Allah. And salat cuts him off from his pursuits and his beloved worldly desires. So he is in agony as long as he is praying. And this is obvious because his heart is full of other than Allah, and he does not find peace in it. And since he knows that he has to pray, (like a necessary burden) and performs the bare minimum uttering with his tongue what is not in his heart, and he thinks to himself, “let us pray and be relieved of the burden of salat…” So this is a person who falls in a totally different category.

To be continued…


Secrets Of Salah – 38


Page 42..

He was tested by his tempting self that incites him to commit evil, and corrupting desires, and by shaytan. All of whom urge him to waste his share. So Allah, in His Infinite Mercy decreed one salaat after another to grant the slave the opportunity of renewing his Imaan and toning for lost opportunities. Also, He placed between the prayers an interval for rest out of wisdom and mercy. He granted each of His slave’s limbs a chance to express his devotion and He made the fruit, or essence of salat, devotion towards Allah. He made the reward of salat the nearness towards Allah which he experiences, and also gaining His honor in the world and the Hereafter. And He made the slave stand before Him as a reminder of his standing before Allah on The Last Day.

Just as one of the main fruits of fasting is the purification of the soul, one main fruit of Zakat is the purification of wealth, for Hajj is the gaining of Divine Forgiveness, for Jihad is surrendering the soul which Allah bought from His slaves for Paradise, for the main fruit of salat is devotion to Allah, and this one quality combines all the above mentioned advantages of all deeds of worship.

This is why the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa salam) never said that the coolness of his eyes was in fasting, Hajj or Umrah.

Instead he said, “…the coolness of my eyes is in prayer”. This implies that his heart only found ecstasy once he entered the prayer, just as the lover finds joy in the company of his beloved, and the terrified one finds peace in a sanctuary. When the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa salam) felt fatigued by the worldly labor, he would simply say: “O Bilal bring us the comfort of Salat”…

To be continued…


Secrets Of Salah – 37


Page 41..

Now two matters remain regarding the slave.

Allah’s commands regarding his state, outwardly and inwardly and the enjoining of devotion. Firstly, by submission to what Allah has destined for him (the reference is to al hukm ut takweeni), and secondly, deeds that the slave performs as worship for his Lord (the reference is to al hukm ut tashreeiee).

And both matters demand surrender of the spirit to Allah, and the word Islam has been derived from the word taslim (surrender).

When he submits to his Lord’s decree, both takweeni and tashreeiee, by upholding the rights of devotion, and restraining his desires or lusts, he is called a Muslim.

When his heart finds peace in the remembrance of Allah, the speech of Allah, and in His Love, he then attains serenity in (worshipping) Allah, and draws near to Allah and he achieves his heart’s delight and he gains utmost felicity by Allah’s Grace.  He is in Allah’s Protection because of his faith, and it is essential that he fulfill both matters, for without them he has neither spiritual life, success, nor felicity.

To be continued…



Secrets Of Salah – 36


Page 40..

When he raises his head from sajdah, he sits back on his knees and his focus must be on Allah’s Generosity, Boundless Bounty and the intensity of his need for Allah’s Grace and Tenderness. Thus, he casts himself upon Allah’s Mercy, begging Allah to forgive him, have mercy upon him, and grant him well-being, guidance and provision.


Then when he sits back for tashahud, he resembles a pilgrim during his farewell tawaaf, and his heart experiences the anguish of parting from his Lord and returning to the worldly distractions and pursuits that prevent him from standing before his Lord. His heart had already tasted the agony of this separation before he started his prayer. Then in salat his heart savored the exquisite ecstasy of nearness to Allah, and tasted the bliss of salat, and the feeling of well being.


So now his heart experiences desolation at the thought of termination of that joy, and he wishes that his salat could be continued till the Day of Judgment. For he knows he is parting from The One who has always granted him felicity, and he is returning to the company of those who have invariably troubled him, hurt him and pained him. The pangs of agony at the termination of salat are only experienced by one whose heart is spiritually alive with Allah’s remembrance, Love, and who is fully aware of the dangers of people, and how the heart suffers stifling suffocation and spiritual darkness, and loses the opportunity for good deeds and ears sins in their company.

 To be continued…



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