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?
 
 

Saturday, February 4, 2017

STRUGGLING WITH PROBLEMS? LEAVE IT TO ALLAH




Sometimes, nothing in the world seems bigger than our problems and it seems as though it can really never be fixed. Ever thought this way? I'd be lying if I say I didn't. These thoughts however come when we forget that Allah is above all our problems. To Him belongs the east and the west, the heavens and the earth and what's even beyond that. So for Him to bring us out of any problem... it's beyond easy for Him.

Think about it. Look around you. Look at yourself. Look at the person sitting next to you in the bus. Look at your teacher. Look at your Mum. Your sister. Your friend. The trees. The mountains. The bee. The tiny ant. The sand. The ocean. The sky. The leaf that just fell to the ground. Look at the world around you. And open your eyes.
 
Who created the air around you and allowed yourself to take in some 8 liters of air every minute? Who is allowing your heart to pump some 90 mls of blood out of the heart in every single heartbeat? Who is allowing some 200 muscles to function just when walking? Who is giving your brain the ability to interpret every image you see in just 13 miliseconds? Who is behind the 20 million billion bits of information that move around your brain every second? Who created enough DNA in each person that can stretch from the sun to Pluto and back — 17 times? And that's just in our body.
Look beyond that.
Who is allowing the earth to rotate at an unimaginable speed of 460 meters per second? Who brings about the birth of four babies in just one second? Who created 50,000,000,000 galaxies in our universe? Who created 20 million tons of gold in the ocean? 
 
Still doubt the power of Allah? If He can do all these and much more, if He can manage everything in my body and in your's, then really, do you think your problem is too big for Allah to handle?
 
Know who Allah is. Know His power and ability. So when you ask Duaa from Allah the next time, don't allow any doubt to creep in. Know the power of the One you are asking from. And if you've asked Him and your Duaa hasn't been granted, understand that if the Controller of the heavens and earth knows it's best for that Duaa to be answered in a different way, then trust that as well. After all, what more security do we need after knowing that our matters are in total control with Allah. He has our whole life planned out. 
"To Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth. He creates what He wills (and plans)." Quran 42:49

اللَّهُمَّ رَحْمَتَكَ أَرْجُو فَلا تَكِلْنِي إِلَى نَفْسِي طَرْفَةَ عَيْن، ٍ وَأَصْلِحْ لِي شَأْنِي كُلَّهُ لا إِلَهََ إِلاَّ أَنْتَ.

 ‘O Allah, it is Your mercy that I hope for, so do not leave me in charge of my affairs even for a blink of an eye and rectify for me all of my affairs. None has the right to be worshipped except You.’
 

Thursday, January 26, 2017

QURANIC REFLECTIONS: '... AND THESE ARE THE DAYS WHICH WE GIVE TO MAN IN TURNS'




I find this verse so, so comforting. I always find myself saying "These are the days which we give to man in turns" and SubhanAllah, it's a comfort to know that if I'm going through something difficult right now, then it was destined for me.

It's all part of Allah's plan but this verse also shows that change is something constant; it keep happening. Today you are sad, tomorrow you will be happy. Today you are defeated, tomorrow you will be successful. Nothing lasts forever. Happiness doesn't last forever and neither does sadness.

So today, you see someone really happy and deep down, you may even feel jealous but know that your turn will come. What you prayed for will come and today, you are closer to attaining it than you were yesterday. So just keep assuring your heart that Allah gives to people in turns. It may not be your turn right now, but it will be. It will come around.

I keep reciting this as a mantra. I see my mother fall ill, and I'll be like وَتِلْكَ الْأَيَّامُ نُدَاوِلُهَا بَيْنَ النَّاسِ and if she's ill today, she'll be ok tomorrow. I find myself in sadness or in hurt and I'll recite وَتِلْكَ الْأَيَّامُ نُدَاوِلُهَا بَيْنَ النَّاسِ. And seriously, saying it in Arabic sort of impacts my heart a lot more than in English. It's the power of the language of the Quran I guess. It's almost as though my heart instantly finds relief. Don't believe me? Try it for yourself 😊

And as much as this verse is a great comfort, it's also a great awakener. Just because you're happy and blessed now doesn't mean it's going to last. It's a reminder that we shouldn't be deluded by our happiness but that we accept and enjoy it when we have it, knowing deep down that it's not going to last. Because that's this Dunya. Nothing lasts forever. Change keeps happening and until we accept that, we can never move on.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

"NO WAY WILL I MARRY A NIQABI!"




Niqabis live a life of pressure, let me tell you that, particularly if you happen to live in a non-Muslim country. On one side, you've got people calling you a 'Terrorist! Take Cover!" and the classic "Go back to your own country" (Well thank you, I'm already in my own country). And on the other side it's the pressure from the family "Oh come on, you're too young to wear the Niqab. Enjoy your life more" and of course, the pressure of the world in general... 
 
Niqabis - relatable much?

So anyway, I'm going a bit personal today. And I'll get right into it. Why is it so difficult for a Niqabi to be married? Or I had better rephrase it- Why do Muslim men not want to marry Niqabis? 

I've had the answer to this question in the most bizzare ways. Let me highlight it here.

It's taboo

Actually, a matchmaker told this to my mother. And my mother was just lost for words. I mean, back in the day when the Sahaba women covered their faces, would anyone have told it straight at their faces that it's taboo? Seriously, when did obeying Allah and doing something for Him become taboo? 

It's too extreme
 
So yes, in today's world where the more skin you show, the more free you are, I guess they've got a point in saying Niqabis are extreme. I mean, look at it this way: They choose to be extremely modest so yeah, if you don't want to marry a Niqabi, then it's a valid point you've given. Too extreme indeed.

She's disgusting when she eats out

This again is what a matchmaker told my mother. So apparently, this particular groom was utterly disgusted with the phenomenon of a Niqabi lifting her Niqab to eat her food at the restaurant. Say we Niqabis actually eat disgusting, then how would you know your future wife is going to be a decent eater. I mean, not all people eat decently, right? So what's the big deal? 

 



And umm, since when did our eating become you problem?

She won't talk to guests when they come over after marriage

So apparently, this is how they think we Niqabis are going to react when guests come over

 

... When in fact, we're going to be pretty much like this
 

I mean seriously, do you think that just by wearing the Niqab, we transform into cold-blooded human being that can't tolerate to stay with others? Like, seriously? 

 
So the matchmakers have now started telling my mother that she should ask my sister to remove her Niqab if she has to get married. SubhanAllah, see what the Muslim Ummah is coming to! Of course, it was a flat no because even if it means not getting married, why should we compromise on our values of wearing the Niqab just because someone else doesn't like it? 
 
But you know what- this is a test. Niqabis in my country especially have a real hard time getting married because most men nowadays apparently don't like their wives being covered. Less Hijab she has, the greater her chances of marriage are.

 
But Allah is the one who has already chosen who is to get married to whom. And because we are wearing the Niqab in obedience to Allah, do you think Allah is just going to abandon you like that? He will test you and see if you will take off the Niqab (which unfortunately I've seen many Niqabis do) and if you persist in doing what you are doing, then In sha Allah, when the time is right, Allah will give the best partner. Don't despair dear Niqabis :)

And as a final note, here goes:

 

Saturday, January 7, 2017

THE JOURNEY OF A YOUNG NIQAABI


 
GUEST POST
 

 
'Sinners judge sinners for sinning differently'  - a phrase that I'm sure almost all of us have seen before.
 
Well if you don't know what it means, I'd love to enlighten you.
 
You see, it's the twenty first century and almost everyone can't help but judge the next person; we look at everyone's clothes, their social standing, their relationship status, who they associate themselves with, the acts they do in public and sometimes even try and pry into what they do in private. We judge people for the sins they might have committed and we love to share our newfound information with others, yet if someone were to share our sins with people, we might never feel like leaving our homes.
 
When people suddenly take a step in deen, we classify them as acting 'too holy'  or being a 'show off' yet if we take a step in deen, we might want to tell it to the world or keep it to ourselves. But buttercup, the thing is people's sins and people's good deeds are between them and Allah and our sins and our good deeds are between us and Allah.
 
Let me tell you about my journey and allow you to understand my rant above.
 
Well you see, growing up, my mum wouldn't ever allow me to wear sleeveless clothing or even knee high shorts. I never wore a dress without a leggings or pants underneath and if we were to go out at night I wasn't allowed to leave without a scarf.
 
I always thought it was embarrassing because other people my age or even few years older would wear mini skirts and have their hair loose all night. They were allowed to wear anything anytime. When we attended family occasions I felt odd, all my cousins would be in revealing clothes and I knew they also spoke about what I was wearing. From the age of 10 my mum would try and get me into a scarf as much as possible, and every time I got the opportunity I'd rip it off so fast. When we went on vacation or even to the pool, unlike everyone my age, I wore  'appropriate' clothing and I started to hate it even more and more.
 
Months before my 13th birthday, my family was fortunate enough to be able to go for umrah. During the journey I was only allowed to wear a jilbab out of the hotel. My mum made sure I didn't show a strand of hair.
 
Eventually when I reached the age of puberty, it was a year later than most of the girls in my class, my mum declared it that I can't leave the house without hijab, so I swindled my way about and would roll up my long sleeved clothing and let a little hair show. I would try and get a skinnier jeans or a shorter t-shirt. This went on for what seemed like horrible and long time.
 
In the beginning of 2016, my mum took me shopping to buy new clothes and swim wear for the vacation were going to take. And so I bought clothes, I bought really loose pants, long shirts, loose long sleeve tops and less skinnier jeans. The Friday before we left for our vacation, my mum pulled out a huge packet of black scarfs and told me to take some new ones. While picking the scarfs I came across a niqaab that my mum wore while we went for umrah. Messing around I tried it on and even laughed at how it looked on me. During that vacation, I wore figure fitting swimwear everyday to the beach and I wore tights a few times.
 
It was two weeks after I returned from the vacation, a Monday night, I entered the shower to take a ghusal and while in the shower I thought back to the day I tried on the niqaab.
And during my moment in the shower I remembered something that I learnt from an extra islamiaat class that my mum and I attended. Our teacher spoke about how when Allah chooses to guide somebody, that person should grip onto that thought of increasing their imaan so quickly that it won't even have a chance to move away.
 
So in that shower I gripped onto mine and decided that no matter what. I was going to go into niqaab.
 
When I came out of the bathroom I performed my maghrab salaah and proceeded to message the only niqaabi friend I had at that moment and told her the great news. I don't even think she knows how much our whatsapp conversation helped me with my journey into niqaab.
 
That night I randomly mentioned it to my mum and to the rest of my family. I don't think they were totally ready to hear what I had to say but I didn't let anything bad enter my ears.
 
And so the next morning February 2nd 2016 I started my journey of niqaab.
 
When people seen me at the initial stages they would say ''I wouldn't fully commit to it if I were you. Just try it out for a week or two. You are only 15 years old after all.'' I would just smile and nod at them but deep down in my heart I was saying to myself ''no matter what anybody tells me, I'm not wearing my niqaab for a week or two, I'm going to wear niqaab my whole life''.
 
And so I did it. Almost 11 months down the line and الحمد لله I have never had the thought of ever leaving my journey of niqaab.
 
When people bring up the question "Why did you go into niqaab?" I feel as though I can not really give them the answer they want to hear. But the real reason I went into niqaab is only because my Allah is the most majestic. If it were not for Allah the most high, I certainly  would have never been in niqaab.
 
I feel so safe and so modest with my niqaab on. Yes, I still have weak points of my imaan. And yes, I think my journey of niqaab has strengthened some parts of my imaan. But now when I now see someone with proper hijab, niqaab or even the burqa, I admire them for the strength they have, and when I see people who have not yet reached the level where others have, I admire them for still making an effort,.I am not the one to judge anyone. We all have our own struggles and our struggles do not need to be spoken about in a gossip column or anywhere else for that matter.
We should all just thank Allah for what he has given us and continue making dua for ourselves and one another.
 
And well here I am. I young niqaabi who is still in school, and has not let the media, family, friends, community and the world have a bad influence my decision of niqaab.
 
Also I am grateful to my wonderful mum for keeping up with such a difficult child like me and making sure that I went into hijaab. And I'm extremely grateful to Allah for everything including my wonderful mum.
 
- Zainab from South Africa
 
 
If you would like to share your Hijab or Niqab stories or experiences, send us an email on niqablovers@gmail.com and share your story to inspire Muslimahs all over!
 
* Click here to read other inspirations stories from other sisters, just like you: Guest Posts
 

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

"I'M GOING TO HAVE 50 BROTHERS IN JANNAH!"



The other day, my sisters are I (4 in total Alhamdulillah) were talking about how awesome it would be to have a brother. People actually call us a 'ladies hostel' because that's how many ladies we have at home lol so we were moaning about not having a brother. And then my sister was like, "I'm going to have 50 brothers in Jannah!" :)

And you know what? It's true. This Dunya, we don't get everything we want here and life isn't perfect. But, so what? If we live by the Quran and Sunnah, in obedience to Allah, then we can have everything we want in Jannah, In sha Allah, where the blessings are such that no eye has ever seen or no mind has ever perceived.


So it's ok if you didn't get that dress you couldn't afford- you can have something far more amazing in Jannah. It's alright if your skin isn't that perfect here- it'll be flawless in Jannah. It's ok if your life is not perfect here- it'll be complete in Jannah. And it's ok if I don't have a brother here. I can have not 50 but even 500 if I want in Jannah (probably too much to handle I guess?)


Oh and by the way, I recently created an Instagram account. I was playing around with my sisters' accounts and finally decided that I was going to have one of the own so here I am. Please give me a follow. My username is niqabi_nuances. Link here: www.instagram.com/niqabi_nuances