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~ Muslim by Choice ~
"Allah! None has the right to be worshipped, but He." Surat Al-Baqarah: 255

I don't know why?

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Bismillah ir-Rahmaan ir-Raheem:

I don't know why - I have the need to communicate my thoughts. However, I don't know if I really have anything to say that is any better than the scholars and others that are scattered about on the internet.

It makes a big difference to me . . . having a chance to put my thoughts down in writing . . . to actually think like an adult and have an adult conversation (yes, with myself) since most of my time is spent with two preschoolers running around!

I was hoping that this blog would help someone in search of inspiration . . . or help someone think about a topic in a way they never have before . . . but I don't know if I am achieving my purpose. I don't know much about Islam (what I mean is . . . I am not a scholar . . . I am not a student of knowledge . . .) but sometimes I feel a great need to share my thoughts and hopes with others that I hope are struggling too . . .

So, is it all worth it . . . or is it one of the many attempts (in this day and age) to communicate that go unnoticed and unwanted?





Our Relationship with the Holy Qur'an

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Our Relationship with the Holy Qur'an

Almighty Allah Subahanahoo Wata'ala tells us in verse 82 of Surah An-Nisaa:
"Do they ponder on The Qur'an? Had it been from other than Allah, they would surely have found therein much discrepancy."

The unity of the Holy Qur'an is admittedly greater than that of any other sacred revealed book. And yet, how can we account for it except through the unity of Allah¹s purpose and design?

From a mere human point of view, we should have expected much discrepancy because
(1) our Beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alaihi Wasallam who promulgated it was not a learned man or philosopher,
(2) it was promulgated at various times in various circumstances, and
(3) it is addressed to all grades of mankind.

Yet, when properly understood, its various pieces fit together well even when arranged without any regard to chronilogical order. There was just the One Inspirer and the One Inspired.................Almighty Allah Azza Wajjal.

Of all the intimate blessings and favours that has been bestowed upon humanity, nothing can match the Most Holy and Glorious Qur'an.If every hair on our body becomes a tongue praising and thanking Him, if every drop of blood in our body turns into a joyful tear, even then our praises and gratitude will not match His enormous generosity that is the Most Glorious Qur'an.

The Most Holy Qur'an is no ordinary Book for this is confirmed by Almighty Allah Jallah Wa'ala in verses 1 and 2 of Surah Al-Baqara:

"A.L.M. This is the Book; In it is guidance sure, without doubt, To those who fear Allah."
Our main purpose for reading and studying the Most Holy Qur'an is to seek the spiritual guidance that will transform our whole being and to be guided on the Straight Path - The Path of Seerathal Mustaqeem.

The Path of Seerathal Mustaqeem is the cry of our heart to which the Qur'an is the response.
We may all, in our very own ways admire the Most Holy Qur'an, we may even be informed by it, but we cannot be transformed by it unless and until our words soak in to awaken us , to grip us, to heal us and to change us.

This cannot happen unless and until we take them for what they truly are - the words of none other than Almighty Allah Subahanahoo Wata'ala Who confirms in verse 17 of Surah Ash-Shura that He is the Author of the Most Holy Qur'an:

"It is Allah Who has sent down the Qur'an in truth, and the balance and what will make thee realise that perhaps the Hour is close at hand?"

The revelation of the Most Holy Qur'an is like a balance, an instrument placed by Almighty Allah in our hands, by which we can weigh all moral issues, all questions of right and wrong in conduct and we must do so constantly. Without this faith we cannot come to acquire all the inner resources we will need to reach the heart of the Glorious Qur¹an and to absorb its message.

Once it comes to reside in our hearts, we cannot but be filled with the qualities and attitudes such as sincerity of purpose, awe, reverence, Muhabbat and gratitude, trust and dependence, conviction of its truth,surrender to its message, obedience to its commands and vigilance against dangers which stalk to deprive us of its vast treasures.

Let us for a brief moment think of Almighty Allah¹s Greatness, His Majesty, His Glory and His Great Power, and we all will feel awe, reverence and devotion for His words. Reflect on His sustenance, mercy and compassion, and we will be filled with gratitude, love and longing for His message.

Know His Great Wisdom, knowledge and kindness, and we will become willing,eager and ready to obey all His Commandments. That is why the Most Holy Qur'an reminds us of this important truth again and again: in the very beginning, in the opening verses of many Surahs, and frequently in between.

Almighty Allah confirms His Muhabbat for humanity in verse 29 of Surah Al-Baqara where He reminds us of His Love:
"It is He Who had created for you All things that are on earth; Then He turned to the heaven and made them into seven firmaments And of all things He hath perfect knowledge."

We must for always remain conscious that every word that we are reading,reciting, or trying to understand, is directly from Almighty Allah Subahanahoo Wata¹ala. Do we truly possess this faith? We do not have to look far for an answer.All we really have to do is to examine our hearts and our behaviour. If we all have it, then where may I ask is the desire and longing for companionship with the Most Holy Qur'an, where is the labour and hard work in trying to understand it, where is the surrender and obedience to its message?

How do we obtain this faith, and how we keep it alive? The most effective way is reciting the Qur'an itself. As we read the Qur¹an, we will surely recognize it as being the word of Almighty Allah.Our faith will surely increase in intensity and depth because this has been
promised by Almighty Allah Azza Wajjal in verse 2 of Surah Al-Anfal:

"For Believers are those Who, when Allah is mentioned, feel a tremor in their hearts, and when they hear His Revelations rehearsed, find their faith strengthened, and put (all) their trust In their Lord."

We should read the Qur'an with the purpose of receiving guidance from our Maker, to draw closer to Him, and to seek His good pleasure.What we get from the Most Glorious Qur¹an depends entirely on what we seek from it because our Niyyah is crucial. Most certainly, the Quran has come to guide us, but we may also go astray by reading it should we approach it for impure purposes and wrong motives for Almighty Allah warns us of such behaviour in verse 27 of Surah Al-Baqara:

"Those who break Allah¹s Covenant After it is ratified, and who sunder what Allah has ordered to be joined, And do mischief on earth: These cause loss (only) to themselves."

The Most Holy Qur'an is the word of Almighty Allah; it therefore requires as much exclusiveness of intention and purity of purpose as does worshipping and serving Almighty Allah Jallah Wa'ala. We should not read the Holy Qur¹an merely for intellectual pursuit and pleasure; even though we must apply our intellect to the fullest to the task of understanding it.

There are many people today who will spend a lifetime in studying the language, style, history, geography, law and ethics of the Glorious Qur'an and yet their lives remain untouched by its message. The Holy Qur¹an frequently refers to people who have been blessed with knowledge but do not derive benefit from it.

Then again we find people who approach the Holy Qur¹an with the fixed intention of finding support for their own views, notions and doctrines. For those who do so all that they will hear is an echo of their own voices and not that of Almighty Allah Subahanahoo Wata¹ala. It is this approach to the understanding and interpretation of the Glorious Qur'an that our Beloved Nabee Muhammad Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam has said: (and I quote from Tirmidhi)

"Whoever interprets the Qur'an by his personal opinion shall take his place in the jaws of Jahannum."

Nothing could be more unfortunate than to use the Holy Qur¹an to secure wordly gains such as name, fame, status or money. One can achieve all these worldly things, but we will be bartering away a priceless treasure and incurring loss and ruin. Reading every single word of the Holy Qur'an carries with it great rewards. We should remain conscious of all the rewards, and make them an objective of our Niyyah, for they will provide us with those strong incentives required to spend our life with the Most Glorious Qur'an.

We should not forget that on understanding, absorbing and following the Holy Qur¹an we have been promised much greater rewards in this world as well as in the Hereafter. This is what we should all aim for,Nothing brings us closer to our Glorious Creator than the moments we spend with His words. For it is only in the Qur¹an that we enjoy the unique blessings of hearing His voice addressing us.

Our Niyyah should be directed to seeking only Almighty Allah¹s pleasure by devoting our hearts, our minds and our time to the guidance that He has blessed us with. That is what we barter when we surrender ourselves to Almighty Allah Azza Wajjal who speaks very highly of such a person in verse 207 of Surah Al-Baqara:

"And there is the type of man who gives his life to earn the pleasure of Allah; And Allah is full of kindness to (His) devotees."

As the favoured Ummah of Allah's Beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam- we should always ask ourselves: Why am I reading the Qur¹an? We should remind ourselves constantly why we should because this may be the best way to ensure the purity and exclusiveness of purpose and intention. We should alert ourselves with intense praise and gratitude to Almighty Allah Jallah Wa'ala for having blessed us with one of His Greatest gift - the Holy Qur¹an - and for having guided us to its reading and study.

Insha'Allah, once we realize what a priceless treasure we all hold in our hands, it is but natural for our hearts to beat with joy and murmur, and for our tongues to join in by thanking and Praising our Glorious Creator in the words of the Holy Qur'an: (Verse 43 Surah Al-A¹raf)

"Praise be to Allah, Who had guided us To this (felicity): never could we have found guidance, had it not been For the guidance of Allah: Indeed it was the truth that the Messengers of our Lord brought unto us."

Why do we thank Almighty Rabbul Ala'meen for having blessed us with the Qur'an? Principally because He has, thus, guided us to the meaning and purpose in life and brought us on the Straight Path which leads to the Path of Seerathal Mustaqeem. The way to honour and dignity in this world has been opened for us for we can converse with our Glorious Creator and Maker.

Only by following the Qur'an in this world can we attain forgiveness, Jannah and Almighty Allah's good pleasure in the life to come.

O Almighty Allah! Let not our hearts swerve from the truth after Thou has guided us. Bestow upon us, upon our offspring and upon the Ummah of Your Beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam Thy Mercy, Bounty, Forgiveness and Blessings for indeed Thou art Gafooroor Raheem.

By Moulana Abdul Hamid Lachporia(Canada)





Filling the Spiritual Void

Filling the Spiritual Void
By Sister Shariffa Carlo

I want us all to look deep inside today. I want us to think about the activities and preoccupations that fill our lives. I want us all to think about the major preoccupation. Is it our family? Our school? Our social-life? What is taking up the largest chunk of our lives?

I firmly believe that all of us have some vacuum inside us that, like all other vacuums, calls for air. But this vacuum is not like a natural vacuum, it is a spiritual one. It needs to breathe the air of commitment. Look to your life and that of those around you. You will find that we have all adopted some "religion" which we believe in and work for in order to accomplish some final aim - a form of paradise.

In this pursuit, we are easy-going, relaxed or even fanatical. But all of us have one aspect of our lives that we are "fanatical" about. There is one major area that takes our time, our energy and our emotions.

Look to the hard-core sports fan. He spends his life supporting specific teams, financially, physically and emotionally. He attends every game, either in person or vicariously over the TV. He buys the memorabilia. He is devastated when they lose, and he reaches Paradise when they win... Sounds strange. We need to just change the way we look at it. This person is completely preoccupied with sports because his life lacks something else. This is how he has chosen to fill that spiritual vacuum.

We can do this with our families, our friends even our studies.

How many of us believe that if we spend years studying every night, get accepted to the best college, work hard to please our professors, get the best grades and graduate, we will be practically guaranteed an easy life. Money, status and respect will all be ours for the price of a few well invested years? We can make this into a religion in itself with study rituals and sincere belief in the Paradise that follows which fuels us on those long nights awake, studying.

Now, I am not saying that we can't enjoy sports or our families or our studies... That would be ludicrous. I am saying that when we go to fill that spiritual void inside, we need to be careful about how we fill it. That void is the natural fitrah - that desire to find our Creator and worship Him. It is the desire to know why we are here, and what we are supposed to do with our lives.

The only way to fill that void is by finding and worshipping Allah. The other day, I heard a brother say, "No matter what; we must always remember: Islam does not need us. We need Islam." How true. Islam does not need us. Allah does not need us. Allah is the self-sufficient:

Allah says,
Kind speech and forgiveness is better than charity followed by injury; and Allah is Self-sufficient, Forbearing. 2:263

And

O you who believe! Spend (benevolently) of the good things that you earn and or what We have brought forth for you out of the earth, and do not aim at what is bad that you may spend (in alms) of it, while you would not take it yourselves unless you have its price lowered, and know that Allah is Self-sufficient, Praiseworthy. 2:267

And

Allah is He besides Whom there is no god, the Ever-living, the Self-subsisting by Whom all subsist; slumber does not overtake Him nor sleep; whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth is His; who is he that can intercede with Him but by His permission? He knows what is before them and what is behind them, and they cannot comprehend anything out of His knowledge except what He pleases, His knowledge extends over the heavens and the earth, and the preservation of them both tires Him not, and He is the Most High, the Great. 2:255

Notice how in these Ayats, Allah is telling us that what we do will have no effect on Him. These are acts for our benefit, He does not need them. This is accomplished by the fact that He calls Himself by this great name, Self-sufficient , after telling us of doing good deeds. In the last verse, ayat al Kursi, Allah lets us Know without doubt, that He has no needs.

Allah does not need us. We need Him. Keeping this in mind will help us in filling that great void.

We have been told in a hadith Qudsi:
...O My servants, even if the first amongst you, the last amongst you, even if the whole of the human race, and that of the Jinns, become (equally) God-conscious like the heart of a single person amongst you, nothing will add to My Power. O My servants, even if the first amongst you, the last amongst you, the whole human race, and that of the Jinns too become in unison the most wicked (all beating) like the heart of a single person, it will cause no loss of My Power. O

My servants, even if the first amongst you, the last amongst you, the whole human race, and that of Jinns also, all stand in one place and you ask Me and I confer upon every person what he asks for, it will not in any way cause any loss to Me (even less) than that which is caused to the ocean by dipping a needle in it.... Sahih Muslim: Book 31, Number 6246.

We can neither add to Allah nor take from Him, no matter how much we call upon Him nor how much he confers upon us. We must simply use what we know of Him and rely upon Him to gain our objective. He will provide us with what we need to reach Jannah, but we can never lose sight of the fact that it is us who need Him. We are the ones with a spiritual vacuum that can only be filled by worshipping the great Master, Allah.

This objective is our aim from before our birth. We are born with an innate knowledge of Allah; we are simply unable to process that without the missing factors. By this I am referring to the time when Allah gathered us all, and we promised that we would worship Him. When we are born, we feel this, but we can not identify its source. We naturally incline towards the good things and become other than worshippers of Allah by our environmental surroundings acting upon us.

"Every child is born with a true faith (i.e. to worship none but Allah Alone - fitrah) but his parents convert him to Judaism or to Christianity or to Magainism, as an animal delivers a perfect baby animal. Do you find it mutilated?" Then Abu Huraira recited the holy verses: 'The pure Allah's Islamic nature (true faith i.e. to worship none but Allah Alone), with which He has created human beings.' " (30.30) (Sahih Bukhari: Volume 2, Book 23, Number 440. )

We have this need to fill our lives. Allah gave it to us. This need keeps us searching until we find the true source of satisfaction, Islam. We have to make our worship of Allah the filler. We have to take our time to worship Allah with our eye on the true prize, Jannah. Allah tells us why we are here.

Allah says,
And I have not created the jinn and the men except that they should worship Me. 51:56
We need to fill this spiritual void by worshipping Allah. We need to have not as much, but more faith in the outcome of our work on this earth as we do in the outcomes of our work for this life.

We devote years to learning and studying to accomplish the objective of a degree. We spend a lifetime preparing our children to succeed in this life. We spend time and energy cultivating our personal relationships. We need to take from this precious commodity Allah has given us, time, and prepare for the ultimate graduation day, the graduation from this life to the next. We have to spend a lifetime preparing our children to meet Allah. We have to take our time and energy and devote it towards cultivating our relationship with Allah. In this way, and this way only, we will achieve the true success.

Allah says:
Lo! Allah hath bought from the believers their lives and their wealth because the Garden will be theirs: they shall fight in the way of Allah and shall slay and be slain. It is a promise which is binding on Him in the Torah and the Gospel and the Qur'an. Who fulfilleth His covenant better than Allah? Rejoice then in your bargain that ye have made, for that is the supreme triumph. 9:111

Please look around you. What is filling your life? Is your major devotion, devotion to Allah? Is your major occupation, worship of Allah? Is your consuming passion, Love for Allah? Is your primary goal, return to Allah? If not, then think seriously about redirecting your energies. We do not have to get rid of those things that we enjoy or which will give us a measure of success in this life, we simply have to accomplish them without sacrificing the true final goal, Jannah. Our life should be filled more with that which will gain us Jannah, and the rest should be padding, not the opposite.

Allah says,
O you who believe! let not your wealth, or your children, divert you from the remembrance of Allah; and whoever does that, these are the losers. 63:9

The majority of our time needs to be spent in that which pleases Allah and gets us closer to the final goal. We need to take advantage of what Allah has given us in time, energy, and health:
Narrated Mujahid: 'Abdullah bin 'Umar said, "Allah's Apostle took hold of my shoulder and said, 'Be in this world as if you were a stranger or a traveler." The sub-narrator added: Ibn 'Umar used to say, "If you survive till the evening, do not expect to be alive in the morning, and if you survive till the morning, do not expect to be alive in the evening, and take from your health for your sickness, and (take) from your life for your death." Sahih Bukhari: Volume 8, Book 76, Number 425.

Brothers and sisters: Lets keep our eye on the true goal. Lets devote ourselves to filling the vacuum with what Allah meant for us to fill it with, love and devotion for Him. When the final trumpet blows, when the end arrives, let us be among those who receive the good new.

Narrated AbuSa'id al-Khudri ; AbuHurayrah: Allah's Apostle (peace be upon him) said: There would be an announcer (in Paradise) who would make this announcement: Verily! There is in store for you (everlasting) health and that you should never fall ill and that you live (forever) and do not die at all. And that you would remain young and never grow old. And that you would always live in affluent circumstances and never become destitute, as words of Allah, the Exalted and Glorious, are: "And it would be announced to them: This is the Paradise. You have been made to inherit it for what you used to do." Sahih Muslim: Book 39, Number 6803

Ya Allah! Place us on the straight path leading directly towards Your Great Pleasure. Ya Allah, prevent us from wasting our time, our energy and/or our deeds on this earth. Ya Allah. Make of us those who earn Paradise through Your Great Mercy. Ya Allah, make worship of You our filler for our spiritual vacuum. Ameen.

Source: islamzine
Courtesy: www.everymuslim.com





Let us play a trick on the man....

Bismillah ir-Rahmaan ir-Raheem

Here is another thoughtful story - again, I do not know the author - it was from an old email.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Let us play a trick on the man....

A young man, a student in one of the universities, was one day taking a walk with a Professor, who was commonly called the student's friend, from his kindness to those who waited on his instructions.

As they went along,they saw lying in the path a pair of old shoes, which they supposed to belong to a poor man who was employed in a field close by,and who had nearly finished his day's work.

The student turned to the professor, saying: "Let us play the man a trick: we will hide his shoes, and conceal ourselves behind those bushes, and wait to see his perplexity when he cannot find them."

“My young friend," answered the professor, "we should never amuse ourselves at the expense of the poor. But you are rich, and may give yourself a much greater pleasure by means of this poor man. Put a coin in each shoe, and then we will hide ourselves and watch how this affects him."

The student did so and they both placed themselves behind the bushes close by. The poor man soon finished his work, and came across the field to the path where he had left his coat and shoes.

While putting on his coat he slipped his foot into one of his shoes, but feeling something hard, he stooped down to feel what it was, and found the coin. Astonishment and wonder were seen upon his countenance. He gazed upon the coin, turned it around, and looked at it again and again.

He then looked around him on all sides, but no person was to be seen. He now put the money into his pocket, and proceeded to put on the other shoe; but his surprise was doubled on finding the other coin.

His feelings overcame him; he fell upon his knees, looked up to heaven and uttered aloud a fervent thanksgiving in which he spoke of his wife who was sick and helpless, and his children without bread, whom this timely bounty, from some unknown hand,would save from perishing.

The student stood there deeply affected, and his eyes filled with tears. "Now," said the professor, are you not much better pleased than if you had played your intended trick?"

The youth replied, "You have taught me a lesson which I will never forget.
I feel now the truth of these words, which I never understood before:
"It's more blessed to give than to receive."

*******************************
Hazrat Abdullah bin Abbas(R.A.) reported that the Prophet(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) said that encouraging good, prohibiting evil, lifting the burden of the weak person and removing an offensive thing from a path are all acceptable prayers to Allah. (IBN MAJAH)





Sand and Stone

Bismillah ir-Rahmaan ir-Raheem

I found this in one of my old emails - not sure of the author, but thought it was something to reflect on, insha'Allah.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Sand and Stone

Two friends Ismail and Ibrahim were walking through the desert, as the sun was beating down on their heads, and they were thirsty for water they began to argue. The argument got more and more heated and eventually Ismail struck Ibrahim across the face. Ibrahim felt hurt inside, but without anything to say, he wrote in the sand: "Today, my best friend slapped me in the face."

They kept on walking, until eventually they came across an oasis, where they decided to stop and bathe. Ibrahim jumped in and began to wash, while Ismail sat back and relaxed. Suddenly Ibrahim began to scream and shout, he had developed a cramp and was having difficulty keeping his head above water, he was drowning.

Ismail dived in after him, and brought him gently to shore. When Ibrahim recovered from the shock, he scratched a message on a nearby stone:

"Today, my best friend saved my life"

Ismail who had saved and slapped his best friend Ibrahim, asked him, "Why, after I hurt you, you wrote in the sand, and now you write on a stone?"

Ibrahim, smiled and replied:

"When a friend hurts us, we should write his deeds in the sand, where the winds of forgiveness can blow it away, and when a friend does something good, we should engrave it in stone, where it shall remain for eternity."

"Show forgiveness, enjoin what is good, and turn away from the ignorant (i.e. don't punish them). If a suggestion from Satan assails your mind, seek refuge with Allah; for He heareth and knoweth (all things)" [Surah al-A'raf 7:199-200]





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