Monday, August 14, 2017

IT IS NOT THE STORM YOU SHOULD FEAR




We get so scared sometimes. Afraid of all that can go wrong. All that can be lost. 

But in our debilitating fear, we lose focus.

We see the sickness, but not the cure. The storm, but not the shelter. Yes, there are armies and Red Seas. Yes, there are flames. But remember, the sickness, the storm, the fire, the armies and the Seas, are all creations in the Hands of the Sovereign.

He saved Ayyub (AS) from the sickness, Nuh (AS) from the storm, Ibrahim (AS) from the flames, and Musa (AS) from the armies and the Sea. It wasn't that they didn't face hardships. They did. They were surrounded by them. But Allah kept them safe, even while in the belly of the calamity.

Our focus is wrong. We fear the storm, because we don't see the Shelter. We fear the Red Sea, because we don't see the One who can split it into two.

It is not the storm we should fear...
but the distance from the shelter 



Note: I didn't write this. I found it online so all credit to the one who wrote it.


Monday, July 17, 2017

GUEST POST: MY NIQAB STORY - THE UNEXPECTED TURN




What is modesty?

Everyone has their own definition of it and is seen in different lights across the globe. The dictionary meaning is seen as "behaviour, manner, or appearance intended to avoid impropriety or indecency."

This meaning inclines towards what Islam defines as modesty. Modesty for me has always been an integral part of my life. Growing up, I had been brought up to bring modesty into my life, not only by the way I dress but with my character and social interactions. My journey towards niqaab was not something I had planned to happen. Although I had always admired it and had an inclination towards, it never occurred to me that it would happen at the age of 19. So this is how it all unfolded.


My father being an Islamic scholar and my mother a revert. My parents always put Islam first. Often my friends or classmates would be shocked if I told them my mother was a revert. Because of her love and passion for Islam people would always assume she was born and raised Muslim. When I reached the age of puberty, I took it upon myself to wear the hijab, I knew what it meant but I never had that depth as I was young and had not reached that level of intellect.

As years went by I started realizing that I was doing things because I knew I HAD to do them and I started noting my connection with my creator was becoming weaker and weaker. At that time the thing that I was most connected to was music and I had lost my desire and sweetness of doing acts of worship. Although I kept my hijab on, I knew something was missing. I finished highschool and that's where it all began. A few months after a series of events had started occurring one after the other and it was almost like a domino effect.

I was quiet sickly for that year and kind of lost my passion for being social. Looking back my sickness was the best thing that ever happened to me. As I was in and out of the doctors office, I started withdrawing from music and I spent a lot of time alone. In that time I rediscovered Allah. I started opening the Quran more often and praying with khushu and it was amazing. Although it was a very difficult time, I was the happiest I could ever be. So during that time, I started covering up more and started become more conscious of my purpose.

So I started thinking about wearing niqab in my second year after highschool. I was very adamant about it because I was worried about what my family would say so I kept on shrugging it off. I say wallahi every time I kept shrugging it off, the feeling would come back stronger and so I kept shrugging it off. I had a brief conversation with one of my closest friends, more like a sister really and she was also thinking about wearing it . Time went by and Alhamdullilah Allah blessed her with the opportunity and she started wearing it.

At the end of 2016 Allah blessed with the opportunity with persuading my Islamic studies so I started at the beginning of this year. I wore it part time and still I felt something was missing. Whenever I wore it, I felt tranquility. When I did not wear it, I felt uneasy and that's when I knew I had to do it. It was not easy deciding but Alhamdullilah I took the opportunity with both hands and I don't ever want to look back. Being the only one who wears it in my family is actually liberating.

Will there be challenges? Of course. I will tell you one thing for sure - it's worth it. When I put it on I think about how on the day qiyaama when the sun will be scorching hot and maybe because I strove and I worked hard , Allah will grant me jannah. That maybe just maybe a family member will admire it and look into Islam. That at the end of it all I have hope. Hope that Allah will have mercy on me and I will be in jannah narrating this very incidents to my friends as a far fetched memory. That on that day Allah will engulf me with his mercy despite me having sins, that HIS mercy will enter me into paradise through this struggle.

It is worth it my beloved sisters and don't ever give up because it always gets better. This is my journey and I pray that I continue to strive right till the end. This world is only temporary but JANNAH IS FOREVER.


Yours truly Salmaah xxx


If you're inspired by Sister Salmaah's story (and I know you are In sha Allah!), do head over to her blog Travellerofthedunya. Trust me, it's a great blog. Very honest, straightforward and more than all, inspiring.


Sunday, July 2, 2017

NO MATTER HOW TOUGHT IT IS, HOLD ON TO SABR




Patience will wreck you, break you, kill you from the inside. It will hurt so much that you feel suffocated, drowning in despair, gasping for hope. You will feel like problems are crashing over you like incessant waves and you can't find your way in the darkness. But with your heart in such a state of unrest, turmoil and turbulence, you silence it with hope and patience, knowing that Allah is watching every hurt that aches your heart, every worry that weighs on your mind and every difficulty you are tackling. And so, even though your eyes are stinging with tears, you hold it back with a smile on your face, knowing that just as the night ends and the morning begins and just how Allah brings the dead out of the living, Allah can bring you out of your problems.

So know that for holding onto patience in the toughest of times and hoping for better things even when things look its darkest, Allah is preparing something spectacular for you. Something you truly deserve for your patience, trust and hope in Allah. And when He grants that ease to you, you will realize that all those tears and pleas of your heart in Sujood were not ignored by Allah. He heard you and He always hears you. He only put you through that hardship to test your patience and when you do hold on to patience, then be prepared to be blown away by what Allah has in store for the patient ones. And know that after patience, beautiful things await 🌹💖 
#Sabr#HoldOntoSabr #goodthingsarecoming

Thursday, March 30, 2017

THE UNANSWERED DUAA - PERHAPS A BLESSING IN DISGUISE

 

The problem with us - or me- is that I take rejection too harshly. If I want something and I don't get it, I just can't take my mind off it and there are numerous times when I have worried over like this only to see some time in the future that what I wanted was actually not right for me.

The thing is as humans, we are shallow-minded and short-sighted. If we want something, we believe we should have it even if it's not the right thing because we assume it's what we want at that moment. But then again, if we want something then logic doesn't make sense there. We want it. We get it. Simple.

But if we were left to choose for ourselves, our lives would turn out to be a complicated mess, right? Imagine we want something and we actually end up getting it but through that, a thousand unforeseen problems crop up and we'll probably be like, "Why on earth did I even wish for that?"

We don't know what the future hold but Allah does and you know what? To know that Allah has already planned my future for me is such a relief. I know I'm in safe hands and I won't have it any other way.

When Allah doesn't answer your Duaas, then take comfort in the fact that what you wanted wasn't suitable for you. He was actually saving you by not answering your Duaa so trust Allah because He knows what's best for you. Because an unanswered Duaa isn't a rejection; it's a redirection to something much better. Something that's a million times better than what we wanted. And why is that? Because Allah has chosen it for us. Just trust Him.


 

Thursday, March 2, 2017

READ THIS AND YOU WILL NEVER LOOK AT THE NIGHT SKY IN THE SAME WAY AGAIN




Did you know that some stars which we see in the night sky is actually millions of light years away? That means when we see a star studded night, it's actually possible that we are practically looking into the past SubhanAllah! How mind blowing is that?

Take the sun for example. We all know that the sun is one huge star that is at a distance of some 149.6 million km away from earth. That equals about 93 million miles so a bit more than 8 light-minutes in distance. This means that when we look at the sun, we are looking at it after eight minutes. Mind-blowing isn't it?

The Quran talks most eloquently about the sun, moon and the sky. In Surah Yaasin, we learn:

And the sun runs its own course; unchanging .That is the decree of the Almighty, the all-Knowing. And the moon we have measured for its mansions (To traverse) till it returns like the old dried curved date stalk. It is not for the sun to overtake the moon, or the night out-strips the day. They all float in their orbits.

Do you see, the sun in all its splendor and size and every other matter in the universe is totally subservient to Allah's command. It doesn't delay in rising or setting and it runs its course as designed by Allah. And look at us. Allah, the creator of the entire universe calls us, an insignificant slave to worship Him and He pays attention to us. And yet, we ignore our Salah, procrastinate it for an hour and finally give it up altogether. The pride of humans, SubhanAllah... May Allah forgive us!

How can we expect Allah to answer our Duaas when we don't respond to Him? But if we submit to Allah like the sun and the moon and the stars do, then Allah will look after us and fulfill our needs too.


So the next time you see the night sky, ponder over the magnificence of Allah's creation. All those stars we see are only a teeni tiny part of the observable galaxy. And there are gazillion galaxies out there and even that is only part of the lowest heaven.

So if Allah manages all that with perfection, know that your life isn't too much for Allah to handle. Remember, the same God that holds the stars in place hold your life in place as well. Trust Him.

For those who are interested in knowing more about space (I'm obsessed with space documentaries!) I suggest you watch this amazing space documentary called 'Journey to the edge of the universe'.


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Ways to Develop a Daily Relationship with Quran

 
 
Image result for quran images flicker


The Holy Quran is that one book which conveys the privileged insights of the entire universe, it conveys the messages that Allah Almighty give us. The Muslim community is honored to have an awesome chance of perusing the Holy Quran. Allah is its defenders, and we Muslims are the devotees. To bring the best from this book, you need to peruse, comprehend and apply it in our day to day life. It makes a deep connection with Allah.

Allah says it: “Undoubtedly, We sent towards you a Book in which there is glory for you. Have you then no wisdom?” (Surah Ambiya: 10)

Since The Holy Quran is the best sores of knowledge for not just Muslims but everybody, so here I have made a rundown of few ways that will create a daily relation of yours with the Quran, please observe:


Make your heart clean

In order to have a stronger bond with Allah and His Holy Book, you must clean your heart as this is the first step that you should take. If your heart is clean, you don’t have any bad things in your mind, and then whatever Allah says in the Quran will have a great effect on you. This is
one of the few things that you must keep in mind before recitation of the Holy Quran.

This is how you should take your first step towards getting close to Allah and making Quran your routine. Quran itself will help you in this, as it minimizes all the bad stuff and cleans not just the heart but the soul of the one who is reciting it.


Perform Ablution

Ablution is generally considered great for physical health and mental arrangement. It alerts your mind that you are not perusing simply one more book; you are going to interface with Allah Almighty, so being perfect ought to be a need when speaking with Allah.


Not just recite it, read the translation too

You must learn Quran in the Arabic language, but you should understand the Quran as well. It is a proper code of life. The beauty of understanding the Quran is that Allah the Almighty is talking to you and He is the best of the best, the King of the Universe so whatever He says is, without any doubt, is the perfect thing. We must recite the Quran along with its translation so that it gets easier to remember what Allah has said and that we can live our lives on the right path.


Always remember that Quran is the most interesting book

You must remember the fact that the Holy Quran is the more interesting than any other worldly activity. It is that one thing which provides sheer solace and will relax your heart and mind both.

Surely, Allah’s company is better than all the other things in the world so you must make Quran a regular part of your routine and it will make your daily relationship with the Allah stronger.



About the Author:
Maham Rizwan is a writer and copywriter who has worked with New York Times bestselling authors and personal development organizations such as Productive Muslim and Mindvalley. She regularly blogs at
http://quranacademy.io/




 

Thursday, February 9, 2017

DIARY OF A NIQABI: FIRST DAY AT COLLEGE




So, I enrolled into a course and as anyone else, I was pretty nervous about my first day at College. And for Niqabis especially, the nervous-o-meter must be really, really high because somewhere in the corner of our mind, we're already bracing ourselves to having to explain our Niqab.
 
The first day is always the hardest. My sister and I (Alhamdulillah I had someone with me for morale support :)) walked into the class and two students were already seated. I smiled at them which they probably wouldn't have noticed with the Niqab and they smiled at me. I took my place right behind them and those two girls turned behind and they were like 'So, this is your first class?' And we got into a conversation and immediately I felt at ease.
Alhamdulillah, there was another Niqabi and a few other Hijabis in the class as well so I settled in pretty well. The lecturer walked in then and he noticed two new students. So he asked me for my name which I said. I thought I was pretty loud but he asked me to repeat again. I did and he said 'I hope I don't mind having to repeat yourself' (because he couldn't hear me with the Niqab) and I said 'It's ok, I'm used to it'. And he smiled.
 
It's true. The girl at the front desk told she couldn't understand me properly as well and honestly, the fault is all mine. I am a very fast talker so I guess with the Niqab, it does make it hard for some people. So Niqabis, take note. Make sure to speak slowly and very clearly :)
And then the lecturer went on with the lesson and somewhere in between, he asked me why I wear the Niqab. He pointed to a girl who wore the Abaya and another Hijabi and he was like, they are dressed differently so why do you cover your face? At this point, I'll be frank, I was having a thousand things running in my mind. I mean, I've been writing about the Niqab for years now and everything just came rushing into my head but I thinking, 'Ok take it calm'. I probably overreacted a bit lol. But I told him quiet simply 'It's just a matter of choice'. And he nodded 'Yes of course'. 
 
This lecturer, I understood, was just genuinely curious and when we do get the chance to tell anyone why we wear the Niqab, then make sure you tell them simply. Of course, there's no need to launch into big talks - just one sentence would do :) 
On the second day, I had to pray at class or I would have to miss my Zhuhr salah. So in the short break between two lessons, I ran up to another lecturer (a woman this time) and asked if I could use the back of the class to pray. She was like 'Yes of course. Can you pray there? Do you want another class?' 
 
I prayed at the back of the class and just after I was done the other students were like 'Sorry, did we disturb you?' I told them they didn't and I took my seat. The girl at the front turned behind and she asked 'So you guys pray five times a day, right?' And I told her yes and that I needed to pray now or by the time the lesson ended, the time for that particular prayer would have ended too. She seemed really interested in it.
 
SubhanAllah, I love it when people are so nice and non-judgemental about Muslims and Niqabis in particular. These kind of people, they really make the world a better place to live in. I know I probably sound outrageously cheesy but it's really nice :)
 
We were then having this group activity thingy and one of the girls asked me why I wore the Niqab and if my parents asked me to. The other girls were looking at me for an answer and I told 'No. They didn't ask me to but my mother and older sisters were already wearing the Niqab and I felt I wanted to do as well'. I also told them that I went to Saudi Arabia for the pilgrimage and that's when I really decided and this girl nodded and she was like 'Ah yeah. Makka, right?'
 
The truth is, most non Muslims don't understand why Muslim women wear the Hijab or Niqab and most of them are honestly curious to know why we do it. They may not have had to chance to ask anyone else and when they do ask you, make sure you talk to them nicely and tell them. If we don't, or if we behave even slightly hostile, they wouldn't even want to talk. And if we don't tell them, what choice would they have other than to believe that the media is true and that Islam is really oppressive towards women?

The point I'm trying to get at is that we tend to think that non-Muslims are very hostile to the Niqab but the reality is that not all of them are like that. In fact, majority of the people I've come across and very understanding and friendly and treat Niqabis just as they treat anyone else. And that feels really good. 

It has only been my second day at college but already, I feel so at ease. The students and lecturers, even the front desk and everyone else were so friendly, understanding and just wonderful people. Alhamdulillah.

Since it's just the early days now, I might have some interesting college experiences to share in the future, In sha Allah. And if I do, I'll be sure to share it here.
So any other Hijabis/Niqabis - do you have your own experiences to share?