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Posts from the ‘Gratitude’ Category


Ramadan 2012 Prep Tip #3: Get excited…

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

Yep, Ramadan is 3-4 days away.

How do you feel?

Are you EXCITED?

Or are you stressed? Anxious? Nervous? Worried about getting ready? Dreading that Ramadan is so close?


Step back.


Stop thinking so much. [Okay, I’m the last person who should be saying that…]

This is the best of months.

The most awesome time of the year.

The month where it’s easy to worship Allah.

The month where the doors of Paradise are opened.

The month where those annoying devils are chained up.

I could go on and on but I won’t.

All I have to say is:

I repeat:

Your condition should NOT be:

Rather it should be:

Too often, I’ve noticed that we don’t take enough pleasure in practicing Islam.

[This is something that I noticed in the survey answers and will discuss this in the Step by Step series when I resume it after Hajj season, insha-Allah. I did talk about this issue in this post and in this one though.]

Let’s change that this year.

Let’s feel excited that we’re going to be fasting.

Let’s feel excited that we’ll be doing taraweeh.

Let’s feel excited that we’ll get another chance at Laylatul Qadr.

In short: Instead of dreading the fact that Ramadan is so close, let’s get excited and feel happy that the Greatest Month is practically at our doorsteps!

Remember, we are:


One small dip, one major change in perspective…

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

[Okay, okay, I admit I was trying to rephrase that whole “one small step” thingy.]

Photo courtesy of Bemidji Design Center

[No, I was not referring to this type of dip (although they do change one’s perspective…). I was referring to the hadeeth below.]

So, here we are, always moaning and groaning about life. [Just admit it, won’t you?]

Yet, we forget that if we make it into Paradise, we won’t remember these little problems.

يؤتى بأنعم أهل الدنيا ، من أهل النار ، يوم القيامة . فيصبغ في النار صبغة . ثم يقال : يا ابن آدم ! هل رأيت خيرا قط ؟ هل مر بك نعيم قط ؟ فيقول : لا . والله ! يا رب ! ويؤتى بأشد الناس بؤسا في الدنيا ، من أهل الجنة . فيصبغ صبغة في الجنة . فيقال له : يا ابن آدم ! هل رأيت بؤسا قط ؟ هل مر بك شدة قط ؟ فيقول : لا . والله ! يا رب ! ما مر بي بؤس قط . ولا رأيت شدة قط

Anas ibn Malik (radiallahu anhu) reported that Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said that one amongst the denizens of Hell who had led a life of ease and plenty amongst the people of the world would be made to dip in the Fire only once on the Day of Resurrection and then it would be said to him: O, son of Adam, did you find any comfort, did you happen to get any material blessing? He would say: No, by Allah, O my Lord.

And then that person from amongst the persons of the world be brought who had led the most miserable life (in the world) from amongst the inmates of Paradise and he would be made to dip once in Paradise and it would be said to him. O, son of Adam, did you face any hardship? Or had any distress fallen to your lot? And he would say: No, By Allah, O my Lord, never did I face any hardship or experience any distress. [Sahih Muslim, Hadeeth No. 6738]

One small dip is all it will take for a person’s perspective to change.

The ones who believed in Allah and the Last day and did righteous deeds will get admitted into Paradise and forget any hardships that they went through. And they’ll also enjoy themselves for…well, eternity.

As for those who disbelieved in Allah and the Last Day, they won’t remember any of the the comforts of this world. And they will never leave the Hell fire, because only those who die upon Islam and tawheed (worshipping Allah alone) will exit the Hellfire. At the end, they will wish that they had believed. [And here’s the proof for that.]

So, for those of you who are battling depression or something similar to that, my advice would be to focus on Paradise and work towards achieving that goal, because when you get there, insha-Allah, none of the problems that you have today will matter.


A Summary of….Life?

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

[Note: Please read this post with an open mind, otherwise you’ll hate it. The style is different from all my previous posts. Then again, perhaps it isn’t. However, as with all my posts, if you find that I have written something wrong, then please do point it out.]

So, one hits puberty and life begins:

[Disclaimer: All images are courtesy of Google Images and do not belong to me.]

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Ramadan: The Month of… – Part 1

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

I thought that it would be a good idea to remind ourselves of the virtues of Ramadan from the Quran and the Sunnah.

[Yes, many of us might know these but we all need reminders now and then.]

The Month of Fasting

“O you who believe! Observing As-Saum (fasting) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaqoon (the pious).” [Surah Al-Baqarah (2) : 183]

“[Observing Saum (fasts)] for a fixed number of days, but if any of you is ill or on a journey, the same number (should be made up) from other days. And as for those who can fast with difficulty, (e.g. an old man, etc.), they have (a choice either to fast or) to feed a Miskeen (poor person) (for every day). But whoever does good of his own accord, it is better for him. And that you fast, it is better for you if only you know.” [Surah Al-Baqarah (2) : 184]

The Month of the Quran, Guidance, Gratitude and Generosity

“The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Quran, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong). So whoever of you sights (the crescent on the first night of) the month (of Ramadan i.e. is present at his home), he must observe Saum (fasts) that month, and whoever is ill or on a journey, the same number [of days which one did not observe Saum (fasts) must be made up] from other days. Allah intends for you ease, and He does not want to make things difficult for you. (He wants that you) must complete the same number (of days), and that you must magnify Allah [i.e. to say Takbir (Allahu-Akbar; Allah is the Most Great) on seeing the crescent of the months of Ramadan and Shawwal] for having guided you so that you may be grateful to Him.” [Surah Al-Baqarah (2) : 185]

كان رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أجود الناس ، وكان أجود ما يكون في رمضان حين يلقاه جبريل ، وكان يلقاه في كل ليلة من رمضان فيدارسه القرآن ، فلرسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أجود بالخير من الريح المرسلة

Narrated Ibn Abbas (radiallahu anhu): Allah’s Messenger (salallahu alaihi wasallam) was the most generous of all the people, and he used to reach the peak in generosity in the month of Ramadan when Jibreel* met him. Jibreel used to meet him every night of Ramadan to teach him the Quran. Allah’s Messenger (salallahu alaihi wasallam) was the most generous person, even more generous than the strong uncontrollable wind (in readiness and haste to do charitable deeds). [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume No. 1, Hadeeth No. 5]

[*For those new to Islam, Jibreel = Gabriel (the angel).]

The Month of Tawheed (worshipping Allah alone) and Dua (supplication)

“And when My slaves ask you (O Muhammad) concerning Me, then I am indeed near (to them by My Knowledge). I respond to the invocations of the supplicant when he calls on Me (without any mediator or intercessor). So let them obey Me and believe in Me, so that they may be led aright.” [Surah Al-Baqarah (2) : 186]

To be continued…


Gratitude vs. Ingratitude

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

I think that the following story summarises this entire issue:

إن ثلاثة في بني إسرائيل . أبرص وأقرع وأعمى . فأراد الله أن يبتليهم . فبعث إليهم ملكا . فأتى الأبرص فقال : أي شيء أحب إليك ؟ قال : لون حسن وجلد حسن ويذهب عني الذي قد قذرني الناس . قال فمسحه فذهب عنه قذره . وأعطي لونا حسنا وجلدا حسنا . قال : فأي المال أحب إليك ؟ قال : الإبل ( أو قال البقر . شك إسحاق ) – إلا أن الأبرص أو الأقرع قال أحدهما : الإبل . وقال الآخر البقر – قال فأعطى ناقة عشراء . فقال : بارك الله لك فيها . قال فأتى الأقرع فقال : أي شيء أحب إليك ؟ قال : شعر حسن ويذهب عني هذا الذي قذرني الناس . قال فمسحه فذهب عنه . وأعطي شعرا حسنا . قال : فأي المال أحب إليك ؟ قال : البقر . فأعطي بقرة حاملا . فقال : بارك الله لك فيها . قال فأتى الأعمى فقال : أي شيء أحب إليك ؟ قال : أن يرد الله إلي بصري فأبصر به الناس . قال فمسحه فرد الله إليه بصره . قال : فأي المال أحب إليك ؟ قال : الغنم . فأعطي شاة والدا . فأنتج هذان وولد هذا . قال : فكان لهذا واد من الإبل . ولهذا واد من البقر . ولهذا واد من الغنم . قال ثم إنه أتى الأبرص في صورته وهيئته فقال : رجل مسكين . قد انقطعت بي الحبال في سفري . فلا بلاغ لي اليوم إلا بالله ثم بك . أسألك ، بالذي أعطاك اللون الحسن والجلد الحسن والمال ، بعيرا أتبلغ عليه في سفري . فقال : الحقوق كثيرة . فقال له : كأني أعرفك . ألم تكن أبرص يقذرك الناس ؟ فقيرا فأعطاك الله ؟ فقال : إنما ورثت هذا المال كابرا عن كابر . فقال : إن كنت كاذبا ، فصيرك الله إلى ما كنت . قال وأتى الأقرع في صورته فقال له مثل ما قال لهذا . ورد عليه مثل ما رد على هذا . فقال : إن كنت كاذبا فصيرك الله إلى ما كنت . قال وأتى الأعمى في صورته وهيئته فقال : رجل مسكين وابن سبيل . انقطعت بي الحبال في سفري . فلا بلاغ لي اليوم إلا بالله ثم بك . أسألك ، بالذي رد عليك بصرك ، شاة أتبلغ بها في سفري . فقال : قد كنت أعمى فرد الله إلي بصري . فخذ ما شئت . ودع ما شئت . فوالله ! لا أجهدك اليوم شيئا أخذته لله . فقال : أمسك مالك . فإنما ابتليتم . فقد رضي عنك وسخط على صاحبيك

Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anahu) narrated that he heard Allah’s Messenger (salallahu alaihi wasallam) as saying: “There were three people in Bani Israil, one suffering from leprosy, the other bald-headed and the third one blind. Allah decided to test them.

So He sent an angel who came to one who was suffering from leprosy and said: Which thing do you like most? He said: Beautiful colour and fine skin and removal of that which makes me detestable in the eye of people. He wiped him and his illness was no more and he was conferred upon beautiful colour and beautiful skin. He (the angel) again said: Which property do you like most? He said: Camels, or he said: The cow. The narrator is, however, doubtful about it, but (out of the persons) suffering from leprosy or baldness one of them definitely said: The camel]. And the other one said: Cow. And he (one who demanded came]) was bestowed upon a she-camel, in an advanced stage of pregnancy, and while giving he said: May Allah bless you in this.

Then he came to the bald-headed person and said: Which thing do you like most? He said: Beautiful hair and that (this baldness) may be removed from me because of which people hate me. He wiped his body and his illness was removed and he was bestowed upon beautiful hair, and the angel said: Which wealth do you like most? He said: The cow. And he was given a pregnant cow and while handing it over to him he (the angel) said: May Allah bless you in this.

Then he came to the blind man and he said: Which thing do you like most? He said: Allah should restore my eyesight so that I should be able to see people with the help of that. He wiped his body and Allah restored to him his eyesight, and he (the angel) also said: Which wealth do you like most? He said. The flock of sheep. And he was given a pregnant goat and that gave birth to young ones and it so happened that one valley abounded in camels and the other one in goats and the third one in sheep.

He then came to one suffering from leprosy in his (old) form and shape and he said: I am a poor person and my provision has run short in my journey and there is none to take me to my destination except with the help of Allah and your favour. I beg of you in His name Who gave you fine colour and fine skin, and the camel in the shape of wealth (to confer upon me) a camel which should carry me in my journey. He said: I have many responsibilities to discharge. Thereupon he said: I perceive as if I recognise you. Were you not suffering from leprosy whom people hated and you were a destitute and Allah conferred upon you (wealth) He said: I have inherited this property from my forefathers. Thereupon he said: If you are a liar may Allah change you to that very position in which you had been.

He then came to the one who was bald-headed in his (old) form and said to him the same what he had said to him (one suffering from leprosy) and he gave him the same reply as he had given him and he said: If you are a liar, may Allah turn you to your previous position in which you had been.

And then he came to the blind man in his (old) form and shape and he said: I am a destitute person and a wayfarer. My provision have ran short and today there is no way to reach the destination but with the help of Allah and then with your help and I beg of you in the (name) of One Who restored your eyesight and gave you the flock of sheep to give me a sheep by which I should be able to make my provisions for the journey. He said: I was blind and Allah restored to me my eyesight; you take whatever you like and leave whatever you like. By Allah. I shall not stand in your way today for what you take in the name of Allah. Thereupon, he said: You keep with you what you have (in your possession). The fact is that you three were put to test and Allah is well pleased with you and He is angry with your companions.”

[Sahih Muslim, Hadeeth No. 7071]

وَإِذْ تَأَذَّنَ رَبُّكُمْ لَئِن شَكَرْتُمْ لَأَزِيدَنَّكُمْ ۖ وَلَئِن كَفَرْتُمْ إِنَّ عَذَابِي لَشَدِيدٌ

“And (remember) when your Lord proclaimed: “If you give thanks (by accepting Faith and worshipping none but Allah), I will give you more (of My Blessings), but if you are thankless (i.e. disbelievers), verily! My Punishment is indeed severe.”” [Surah Ibrahim (14) : 7]

So, we need to choose to:

a) Be ungrateful like the bald man and the leper or

b) Be grateful like the blind man.


Article: The complaint of the ignorant

Assalamu Alaikum.

My friend sent me this mind-blowing article via email.

Really thought-provoking stuff….

My friend also pointed out how the world would be a much happier place to live in if we applied these rules. So true…


A Precious Gem: The Complaint of the Ignorant, Ibn Al-Qayyim

Source : Al Fawaid (taken from the English translation of the book) p. 134

The ignorant people complain to people about Allaah, and this is the highest degree of ignorance, for if he had known his Lord, he would not have complained about Him, and if he had known the people he would not have complained to them.

One of the predecessors saw a man complaining to another man about his poverty and dire necessity. He said to him, ‘O you! By Allaah, you have done nothing but complain about He who has mercy for you, to the one who has no mercy for you’.

The following verses have been mentioned about the meaning of the previous statement of the predecessor.

When you complain to a son of Adam

verily you complain about the Most Merciful

to the one who does not pity.

On the contrary, the person who is profoundly knowledgeable about Allaah complains to Allaah alone. And the most knowledgeable person about Allaah is the one who complains about himself to Allaah, and never to people. He complains about the causes that make people do wrong to him, for he knows about the following Qur’anic verses,

‘And whatever of misfortune befalls you it is because of what your hands have earned. And He pardons much’ (Ash-Shura, 42: 30)

‘Whatever of good reaches you, is from Allaah but whatever of evil befalls you, is from yourself.’ (An-Nisa, 4: 79)

‘(What is the matter with you?). When a single disaster smites you, although you smote (your enemies) with one twice as great, you say: ‘From where does this come to us?’ Say (to them), ‘It is from yourselves (because of your evil deeds). ‘And Allaah has power over all things. (Aal-Imran, 3: 165)

Therefore, there are three levels:

the lowest one is to complain about Allaah to his creatures,

the highest one is to complain about yourself to Him

and the middle one is to complain about His creatures to Him.

May Allaah make us from those who complain to Him alone about ourselves, He the Majestic and Most High, Ameen.



Project “Recover Ramadan” – Step 13: Remember to savour it…

Assalamu Alaikum.

[Qs. Are the Recover Ramadan posts helping you to recover Ramadan? Yes or no? If not, then why not? Answers would be appreciated so that I can improve the content, insha-Allah.]

Savour what, you ask?

Savour our beautiful, wonderful, awesome, fantastic religion, of course.

[Sound familiar? Perhaps because I spoke about this issue in Ramadan. What’s the difference between this article and that one? Well, about 4 months and the content.]

How do we savour it? Let me tell you a story and you’ll understand, insha-Allah.

I met a Muslim sister last year. At that time, she was a brand new, 2 week old Muslimah.

What struck me about her was her reaction to the Islamic  information that I shared with her.

She would get that “Wow, awesome!” sort of expression on her face. You know, it was that “Aw shucks, I can’t believe that I found something so totally supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,  so completely amazing. This is too good to be true but it’s true!!!!” sort of expression.

It’s the kind of expression that tennis players get when they win a grand slam for the first time or lottery winners when they found out that they hit the jackpot. Yes, it was that sort of expression.

I was stunned when I first saw that expression and my amazement grew when I noticed that she reacted that way to all the ahadeeth that I mentioned, no matter what their topic was. Masha-Allah, she LOVED Islam and it showed.

I always thought that I loved Islam a lot, but after I met her, I realised that I was far behind her in that department.

I met her again last week. It had been over a year since our last meeting.

I wondered whether she would be the same. I assumed that the attitude might have lessened as it does for many people when they get over “the initial high”, so to speak.

Nope. She was still the same.

There was a bottle of Zam-Zam on a table nearby so I started to tell her the whole story behind it (with plenty of wonderful diversions, of course). Usually, when you tell Muslims about an Islamic story that they don’t already know, many of them are so busy feeling embarrassed about not knowing the story that they fail to enjoy listening to it.

Not her. She savoured it.

Did that expression come back?

Of course it did.  She looked like she was having a ball throughout the whole story.

When I told her three more stories (the Boy and the King, the Magicians of the Pharoah and the People of the Ditch), it was there again.

I was both relieved and saddened to see her reaction; relieved because it was so satisfying to see someone approach Islam in this positive fashion and saddened because there was still someone out there who loved Islam more than I did. My eyes were happy though as that wonderful expression is a sight to behold.

And may Allah keep her steadfast in her love of this religion.

So what do we need to do? Savour this religion, of course.

When we seek Islamic knowledge, read the Quran, ahadeeth or Islamic history or find out any new Islamic information, we need to approach it the way this sister did: like it’s the most awesome thing that we’re going to find on this planet.

And you know what? Islam IS the most awesome* thing that we’re going to find on this planet.

[*Yes, I know I overuse that word and no, I am not a teenager.]


Seriously Short Reminder No. 7: Open the doors of success by…

Assalamu Alaikum.

“How, how?”, everyone squeals.

Firstly, we need to understand why the doors of success are closed to begin with.

Shaqeeq Ibn Ibaraheem said:

“The doors of success have been closed upon the creation because of six things:

Their busying themselves with the blessings of Allah instead of thanking Allah for them, their desire for knowledge while they abandon actions, the hastiness to sin and delaying repentance, the deception of having righteous companions and not taking them as examples, the turning away of the dunya from them while they chase it, and the approach of the afterlife towards them while they turn away from it.”

[Al Fawaai’d by Ibn Al Qayim: P. 161, Refer to:]

So, how do they open? Well, according to the above statement, we need to:

1) Be grateful to Allah and use His Blessings to obey Him, not to disobey Him.

2) Apply the knowledge that we gain and understand that knowledge is not the end, but rather the means (to worship Allah in a better manner).

3) Stop sinning.  If we sin, we need to repent to Allah ASAP.

4) Get righteous companions and try to follow them in their righteous actions. We need to have these sort of friends in order to improve ourselves, not to show others that we are “pious”.

5) Stop worrying about this dunya (wordly life) and start worrying about the afterlife.

6) Remember that death will overtake us and prepare for it.

Tres facile, non?


Project “Recover Ramadan”- Step 9: Realise that the grass is greener on YOUR side

Assalamu Alaikum.

There’s this awful saying in English which goes “The grass is always greener on the other side.”


That’s what whiners say. However, if we want to be successful in this world and in the hereafter, then we need to think like winners and say:

The grass is greener on MY side. And on YOUR side.

One of the main problems that we have today as an ummah (nation) is our propensity to exaggerate our problems. We all walk around like the moon has dropped on our heads. Unfortunately, this leads to:

1) Complaining about life instead of appreciating the bounties of Allah.

2) Being destructive instead of constructive (point 1 is just one example of many).

3) Harbouring bad thoughts about Allah. How? Well, if we think that we have a sad, bad life, who do you think Shaytaan (the devil) will convince us to blame?

So what do we need to do? Be positive at all times, of course.

a) In the good times, we need to be grateful to Allah (by obeying Him).

“And (remember) when your Lord proclaimed: “If you give thanks (by accepting Faith and worshipping none but Allah), I will give you more (of My Blessings), but if you are thankless (i.e. disbelievers), verily! My Punishment is indeed severe.”” [Surah Ibrahim (14) : 7]

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