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10
May

Seriously Short Reminder No. 31: Remember that the Fire of Hell is hotter…

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

It was 45 degrees Celsius today here in Dubai.

And we haven’t even started summer yet.

Subhan Allah, we can barely stand this heat. Shouldn’t that make us feel even more fearful of the Hell fire?

Allah says:

فَرِ‌حَ الْمُخَلَّفُونَ بِمَقْعَدِهِمْ خِلَافَ رَ‌سُولِ اللَّـهِ وَكَرِ‌هُوا أَن يُجَاهِدُوا بِأَمْوَالِهِمْ وَأَنفُسِهِمْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّـهِ وَقَالُوا لَا تَنفِرُ‌وا فِي الْحَرِّ‌ ۗ قُلْ نَارُ‌ جَهَنَّمَ أَشَدُّ حَرًّ‌ا ۚ لَّوْ كَانُوا يَفْقَهُونَ

فَلْيَضْحَكُوا قَلِيلًا وَلْيَبْكُوا كَثِيرً‌ا جَزَاءً بِمَا كَانُوا يَكْسِبُونَ

“Those who stayed away (from Tabuk expedition) rejoiced in their staying behind the Messenger of Allah; they hated to strive and fight with their properties and their lives in the Cause of Allah, and they said: “March not forth in the heat.” Say: “The Fire of Hell is more intense in heat”, if only they could understand!” So let them laugh a little and (they will) cry much as a recompense of what they used to earn (by committing sins).” [Surah At-Tawbah (9) : 81-82]

The group of people mentioned in the above ayah (verse) did not take part in jihad (fighting for the sake of Allah) because it was “too hot” for them.

Sadly, we see many people doing similar things today:

– Men who don’t want to go to the masjid because it’s too hot outside.

– Women who don’t want to wear hijab because they feel too hot in it.

– People who don’t fast in Ramadan because the heat makes them tired.

Of course, it’s not the heat that’s actually the problem. It’s that we don’t want to harm ourselves in anyway. We want the easy way out.

Unfortunately, sometimes this leads many people to putting this world above the next. So for them, if they see an act of worship as being a burden, they just drop it because it’s too much trouble.

They don’t realise that the punishment in the Hereafter is much worse than anything that could happen to them in this world.

So the next time we undergo a trial or a punishment of any sort, let us remember the following:

– Hell is even worse so we need to be steadfast in our religion.

– Paradise needs to be earned. It’s not going to drop in our laps.

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9
May

Good Old-Fashioned Decency is alive and well….

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

So, there I was walking towards my building (I live in an apartment), having just returned from a class.

We have two parking lots that we use – a small one right in front of the building and a large one that is beyond that. Both of the parking lots are separated by a small road.

I had parked in the large one as the small one was full. I reached the side of the small road (it has 2 lanes) and waited for it to clear (it’s usually busy) so that I could cross over to the small parking lot (which I need to then cross in order to get to my building).

Right around this time, something very horrible happened.

I use a large folder (with multiple packets) for all my class notes. It’s one of those that can be carried around like a briefcase.

In the past, I’ve had two instances where the contents poured out of it (because it’s stuffed). Alhamdulillah, that had happened in a safe place, and at a time when there was no wind, so I had no problem picking up my papers.

Today, it decided to do it again – by the side of the road.

I watched in horror as the folder opened and the contents poured out on the road – and flew to the other side of the road!

I was in complete shock. My heart sunk, my blood pressure dropped and I completely froze.

[Yeah, I know I should have done dua (supplication) but my mind went blank.]

I didn’t know what to do. Both my hands were full and I saw a car coming towards me (he was driving on my side of the road).

I quickly grabbed some of the papers that were close to me. That was about all I could do because I already had so many things in my hands.

Meanwhile, the guy in the car (actually, it turned out to be a DHL van) stopped and put on his indicator. This meant that nobody could drive over my papers from that side of the road.

He walked over and picked up all my papers for me.

Meanwhile, there was another guy, who had been riding a bicycle on the other side of the road, who started to pick up all the papers on his side (i.e. the side close to my building). I saw him checking underneath the cars (in the small parking lot) because some of the papers had flown that far.

[Alhamdulillah, from what I recall, no cars passed from his side of the road either. So my papers did not get run over.]

I was stunned and very relieved.

I took the papers from the first guy and thanked him. Then I crossed the road and took the papers from the other guy and thanked him as well.

That’s all I could do. And dua for them, of course.

I think I recovered 95%-100% of my papers, alhamdulillah.

Lessons that I learned today:

1) Truly, Allah is Most Merciful and the One who can do all things.

Subhan Allah, when I saw my papers flying away, I thought that was it.

It never occurred to me that I might recover them and that someone (let alone two people) would actually help me.

2) Good Old Fashioned Decency is still alive and well, alhamdulillah.

Between those horrid newspapers and the Grandmas that keep telling us about the “good old days” where everyone was noble and honest, we’ve become negative and jaded. We suspect that every person is some sort of closet criminal.

However, as I saw today and in the past as well, there is still lots of good in people.

[Note: As I’ve always pointed out, goodness is based on tawheed (worshipping Allah alone). Only the one who is upon tawheed (i.e. a Muslim) gets the reward for their deeds, due to the fact that they have a relationship with Allah.

This is the main reason we need to invite people to Islam and to tawheed, so that their good deeds lead to them getting the Mercy of Allah and Paradise.

If someone dies upon a religion other than Islam, there is no forgiveness for them and their good deeds are not accepted. Allah has mentioned this over and over again in the Quran. This post explains more about this issue.]

3) The “little” stuff is important too.

You know, we’re in Ramadan preparation mode now so we think of prayers, fasts, reciting the Quran, giving charity, etc. And all of these are very, very important.

However, I feel that despite all the knowledge that we have about Islam, we sometimes tend to forget about the little stuff.

We forget that prayers and all the other acts of worship should lead us to being more aware of Allah and to taking ourselves into account.

We also forget that this should lead us to doing “little” things like keeping public bathrooms (or whatever you call them) clean, helping old ladies cross the road, helping someone who is carrying a lot of bags, returning people’s pens to them (which we borrow because we forget our own pens!), thanking the cashier when we take our purchased items, not littering, etc.

We always think that the major stuff will get us into Paradise. Well, a prostitute entered Paradise because she helped a dog (here’s the full story). [Obviously she was on tawheed,]

What got her Allah’s Forgiveness? She helped a dog.

Today, if someone did this, people would say “So what?? It’s just a dog!”

Well, the Lord of the Worlds, the Owner of the Day of Judgement, was pleased with her act and that is all that matters.

So, my advice to myself and you: Let’s not forget the little things. They might seem little to us but perhaps these are the deeds that will be accepted from us.

These two men did a great favour for me today. Perhaps it was a little deed from their perspective but it certainly wasn’t from my perspective, given the fact that I have exams for that class coming up.

4) Don’t stuff files.

Oh, yeah.

So, what about you? Did you have any of these “good old-fashioned decency” stories to share? If so, please do!

8
May

The Rights of the Quran and some tips on how to fulfill them – Part 5

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

[Here are Parts 1, 2, 3 and 4.]

5) To call to it

It’s not enough to just apply the Quran ourselves, rather we also need to invite others to apply the Quran as well.

After all, what was the main role of the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam)? He was sent to call the people to worship Allah alone. So his primary role was dawah (calling to Islam).

Sadly, in these times, we have become very lax in fulfilling this right.

How does one do dawah?

Well, I hope to discuss that in greater detail in a future post, insha-Allah. For now, the following points should suffice:

a) Start with tawheed (worshipping Allah alone).

And no, not everyone knows about tawheed. If they did, I wouldn’t have come across as many dropped jaws as I did.

Tawheed is the most important thing and everything else is based upon it. Only the people of tawheed will exit Hell and only the people of tawheed will enter Paradise.

b) Talk about what you know

This one sounds obvious but given the amount of people who talk about matters in which they have zero knowledge, I guess it’s not that obvious….

c) Talk with proof

[Yes, I know that this particular post does not have any proof. Forgive me, it’s midnight at the moment.]

“I said”, ” I think”, “My shaikh said”, “My parents said” and “I heard someone say” are not counted as proofs, I’m afraid.

Proof = Allah said, Allah’s Messenger (sallalahu alaihi wasallam) said and the Companions of Allah’s Messenger said. This is what Islam is based on.

d) Be nice.

I repeat: Be nice.

I repeat yet again: BE NICE.

The above might sound like simple steps but they do make a lot of difference.

6) To do the above all the time

This is the last right and it entails fulfilling all the rights of the entire Quran consistently.

Failure to fulfill these rights would mean that we have abandoned the Quran. So we need to make sure that we try our best to do as much as we can.

May Allah make us of those who fulfill the rights of the Quran.

7
May

23 Hostages – and only 9 days to do….

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

[Note: Anyone is allowed to share my posts, obviously. However, nobody is allowed to edit or delete anything from the posts.

So, if someone were to get the posts via email and then delete something (anything, even if it’s the tags or the “PS”) before forwarding it to others, that would be a no-no. Sorry, but that’s a form of cheating, and that should be obvious.]

My acquaintance alerted me to the following story today. Some of her friends know this family and the story is in the newspapers. Here’s the summary:

– In November 2010, some Somali pirates hijacked a ship, which was going from here (Dubai, UAE) to Kenya, and took 23 people hostage.

[Note: Somalis are wonderful people in general, and one should not think badly about them because of what these pirates did.]

– After lots of negotiation between the pirates and the Pakistani government (the captain is from there), they finally arrived at a deadline: 15th May 2012

[Note: This is the extended deadline and the pirates have refused to give any more time beyond this date.]

– The amount that is still needed is 1.4 US Dollars (above 5 million Dirhams).

– If the pirates don’t get the money by this date, the hostages will be killed.

This story sounds dreadful and sadly, it’s true.

Please read the following article by the daughter of the Captain:

http://dawn.com/2012/05/02/as-a-daughter-waits/

Warning: The story is very, very shocking. This poor girl is asking everyone to help her father and most of the people are just turning away.

For those of you who wish to know more, please visit their official pages:

http://savemvalbedo.com/

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Save-MV-Albedo-Save-my-fathers-life-Capt-Jawaid/218541681535443

Here’s an official document from a Pakistani government official.

What you can (and should) do:

1) Loads of dua (supplication) that the 23 people are freed and reunited with their families.

2) Chip in with any amount that you can.

Here are the donation details:

http://savemvalbedo.com/donate/

3) Alert as many people as you can about this case.

I know some people might be thinking “Huh? 1.4 million? That too in 9 days??”

Look, Allah is Ar-Razzaq (the Provider) and the One who has control over all things. We just need to do our part and put our trust in Him.

If each person gives a little bit and alerted everyone they know, then believe me, the required amount will be collected, insha-Allah.

Some might think that paying the ransom is playing into the hands of the pirates.

Firstly, that’s easy to say when it’s not our own family and friends. [Sorry but that’s the truth.]

Secondly, this money is actually “the costs incurred” for the pirates. The ransom was apparently $8-10 million and the Pakistani government negotiated with the pirates and brought the amount down.

So, please brothers and sisters, follow the steps above to the best of your ability and don’t delay. The hostages have only 9 days left.