The Best Investment


family

I was on a visit to one of my friends’ house. While we were busy talking, one of her daughters, who was about three years old, came in and pulled on her dress saying: “Mom, we did not build a house in Jannah today.”

I thought I misheard her. Then her siblings joined her and they all repeated the same thing. My friend saw the curiosity on my face and smiled and said to me: “Do you want to see how we build a mansion in Jannah?”

I stood and watched as she made her children sit around her and together they started reciting Surat Al-Ikhlas ten times:

قل هو الله احد الله الصمد لم يلد ولم يولد ولم يكن له كفوا احد
When they finished they all said excitedly with one voice: “Alhamdhulillah we built a house in Paradise.” 

Then the mother asked: “What do you want to add to this palace?” The children replied that they wanted to add treasures. Then they began chanting:

لا حول ولا قوة الا بالله
There is no mighty nor power except in Allah

Then she asked them: “Which of you wants to drink from the hands of the Prophet of Allah peace be upon him and never feel thirsty again?” They all began to say:

اللهم صل على محمد وعلى آل محمد .. كما صليت على إبراهيم وعلى آل إبراهيم إنك حميد مجيد

 وبارك على محمد وعلى آل محمد  كما باركت على إبراهيم وعـلى آل إبراهــيم إنك حميد مجيد

(O Allaah, send prayers upon Muhammad and upon the family of Muhammad, as You sent prayers upon Ibraaheem and upon the family of Ibraaheem; You are indeed Worthy of Praise, Full of Glory. O Allaah, send blessings upon Muhammad and upon the family of Muhammad as You sent blessings upon Ibraaheem and upon the family of Ibraaheem; You are indeed Worthy of Praise, Full of Glory).”

They followed it with praising Allah. Then each of them went back to what they were doing from studying and playing.

Amazed I asked her about the whole scenario. She replied: “My children love sitting with me and rejoice when I gather them and sit among them, and I wanted to exploit it and teach them how to praise and thank Allah in a way that their tiny minds can understand. They see palaces in children’s programs and wish to live in them, and watch cartoon heroes who are struggling to get treasures.”

SubhanAllah! Shaykh Ahmad an-Najmee rightly said:

”The mother is the first school. If she is righteous, the progeny becomes righteous”

[Fath-ur-Rabb al-Wadud (2/256)]

My friend is accumulating rewards upon rewards masha Allah, because whenever one of her children will read or recite the adhkar above, it will be an ongoing charity for her. Without doubt, it is the best investment in this world and the Hereafter.

The Messenger of Allah, ﷺ said, 
“When the human being dies, his deeds come to an end except for three: ongoing charity, beneficial knowledge, or a righteous child who prays for him.
(Saheeh Muslim 1631)

– Received as a forward message. (Slightly edited by me)

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What are we teaching our daughters?


mom

We teach our daughters to be kind, and to be compassionate. We teach them to be obedient to their fathers, brothers and husbands. We teach them etiquettes of eating, speaking, and sitting. We teach them how to respect their elders, to cook excellently, and to raise kids perfectly.

Yet, we forget to teach them to be brave, and courageous. We forget to tell them to dismiss Falsehood and to stand up for the Truth. We forget to teach them the value of their opinion. We forget to teach them to be steadfast in their Deen when difficulties come their way. We forget to teach them to follow what is Right no matter what happens.

Because we are afraid they will become bold. We are afraid they will rebel. We are afraid that they will be difficult to control. But is that really so? This is a major concern.

How will your daughter love Allah, when people oppose her for doing so? How will she deal with unfortunate circumstances, when you have taught her that her ultimate savior is her husband? And what will she do, when someone challenges her faith? How will she abstain from compromising when others around her tell her to abandon her Islamic ways?

Perhaps it’s time we start teaching our daughters to be determined like Hazrat Sumayyah, the first female martyr of Islam. It’s time we tell our daughters episodes of her bravery, perseverance and strength. Despite being subjected to brutal torture, she did not change her stance; in Allah and his Messenger did she believe.

And today, we still tell our daughters to compromise their love for following Islam so that her husband is pleased with her, so that people accept her. Isn’t there a dire need of reconsidering the values we are teaching them?

“And whoever holds firmly to Allah, he has (indeed) been guided to a Straight Path.” (Surah Al- Emran, Verse:101)

-Written by Hira Zubair

Treat her with the Best Company


proposal of Fatima

I recently attended a wedding, and as the rukhsati began (symbolically, when the wife leaves her parents house, to join her husband in her new home) I found the whole process emotional. This young woman was leaving the safety of her parents to join her husband. She prays he will treat her well, respect her, inspire her, and facilitate her. Her parents pray he will give her the care, concern, and love they did, and provide her with the opportunities they did not, and could not. She is leaving to join another family, with hopes they will treat her well, like their own. I’ve heard many stories, and it begins with managing expectations. Our expectations of each other should be respect, good treatment, and kindness. They can’t revolve around expecting another woman to fit within a mold that has been created for her.

I prayed for her, and I hoped she would be happy in her new home inshaAllah.

I turned around to my husband, and we discussed when I left my parents, and how some men and families don’t fully appreciate *everything* women leave behind. The security, the love, and ability to make mistakes, without feeling judged, or someone looking over their shoulder, especially if they live with their in-laws. For many, the only time they will experience empathy is when their own daughter leaves them, to begin her new life. He will miss the times she made tea for him countless times in a day, or how she would lovingly cook for him. He will miss the laughter, and reminisce the memories they shared together, as father and daughter.

A woman leaves so much behind, and this is one of the reasons the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) emphasised the importance of fulfilling the rights of your wife. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “Treat people the way you would love to be treated, and do not treat them the way you would hate to be treated.” Al-Mu’jam al-Kabīr, 15833 (Sahih). When you bring someone in your home, she has to be given the utmost respect, as we would want our own daughters to be treated.

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) further emphasised how interference can cause harm, and this applies when other individuals interfere in marriages, whether they are family or friends, he said: “From the perfection of a person’s Islam is his leaving alone what does not concern him.” Sunan al-Tirmidhî and Sunan Ibn Mâjah.

Finally, the union of marriage is a beautiful bond, and the Messenger of Allah as a father advised ‘Ali, his future son-in-law how important his role was when he asked for Fatima (may Allah be pleased with them), he (peace be upon him) said, “She is yours if you treat her with the best company.” Al-Mu’jam al-Kabīr, 3490 (Sahih).

-Written by Alima Ashfaq

Marriage Isn’t For You


By Seth Adam Smith  

http://sethadamsmith.com

wed couple
 
Having been married only a year and a half, I’ve recently come to the conclusion that marriage isn’t for me.
 
Now before you start making assumptions, keep reading.
 
I met my wife in high school when we were 15 years old. We were friends for ten years until…until we decided no longer wanted to be just friends. :) I strongly recommend that best friends fall in love. Good times will be had by all.
 
Nevertheless, falling in love with my best friend did not prevent me from having certain fears and anxieties about getting married. The nearer Kim and I approached the decision to marry, the more I was filled with a paralyzing fear. Was I ready? Was I making the right choice? Was Kim the right person to marry? Would she make me happy?
 
Then, one fateful night, I shared these thoughts and concerns with my dad.
 
Perhaps each of us have moments in our lives when it feels like time slows down or the air becomes still and everything around us seems to draw in, marking that moment as one we will never forget.
 
My dad giving his response to my concerns was such a moment for me. With a knowing smile he said, “Seth, you’re being totally selfish. So I’m going to make this really simple: marriage isn’t for you. You don’t marry to make yourself happy, you marry to make someone else happy. More than that, your marriage isn’t for yourself, you’re marrying for a family. Not just for the in-laws and all of that nonsense, but for your future children. Who do you want to help you raise them? Who do you want to influence them? Marriage isn’t for you. It’s not about you. Marriage is about the person you married.”
 
It was in that very moment that I knew that Kim was the right person to marry. I realized that I wanted to make her happy; to see her smile every day, to make her laugh every day. I wanted to be a part of her family, and my family wanted her to be a part of ours. And thinking back on all the times I had seen her play with my nieces, I knew that she was the one with whom I wanted to build our own family.
 
My father’s advice was both shocking and revelatory. It went against the grain of today’s “Walmart philosophy”, which is if it doesn’t make you happy, you can take it back and get a new one.
 
No, a true marriage (and true love) is never about you. It’s about the person you love—their wants, their needs, their hopes, and their dreams. Selfishness demands, “What’s in it for me?”, while Love asks, “What can I give?”
 
Some time ago, my wife showed me what it means to love selflessly. For many months, my heart had been hardening with a mixture of fear and resentment. Then, after the pressure had built up to where neither of us could stand it, emotions erupted. I was callous. I was selfish.
 
But instead of matching my selfishness, Kim did something beyond wonderful—she showed an outpouring of love. Laying aside all of the pain and aguish I had caused her, she lovingly took me in her arms and soothed my soul.
 
 
Marriage is about family.
 
 
I realized that I had forgotten my dad’s advice. While Kim’s side of the marriage had been to love me, my side of the marriage had become all about me. This awful realization brought me to tears, and I promised my wife that I would try to be better.
 
To all who are reading this article—married, almost married, single, or even the sworn bachelor or bachelorette—I want you to know that marriage isn’t for you. No true relationship of love is for you. Love is about the person you love.
 
And, paradoxically, the more you truly love that person, the more love you receive. And not just from your significant other, but from their friends and their family and thousands of others you never would have met had your love remained self-centered.
 
Truly, love and marriage isn’t for you. It’s for others.
 
This post originally appeared on ForwardWalking.com, a website dedicated to helping people move forward in life.

If The Veil Were To Be Removed


By Atiya Maryam Ahsan

tawakkal4

“Fa izaa azamta fatawakkal alAllah InnAllaha yu-hibbul-mutawakkileen”

“Then when you have taken a decision, put your trust in Allah, certainly, Allah loves those who put their trust (in Him).” (Al-Imran 159)

What does it really mean to have “Tawakkul” on Allah?

The root (Masdar/Makhraj) of the word “Tawakkul” is “Wakala”. From this root word, we get different derived words like “Wakeel”, “Mo’akkil” and “Mutawakkil.” A “Wakeel” is someone to whom the “Mo’akkil” entrust his affairs. “Mutawakkil” is one who puts his complete and total faith in the abilities of his “Wakeel” and trusts that the “Wakeel” will suffice him for all his affairs.

For most of us, having “Tawakkul” on Allah is having the idea that whatever Allah has decreed is for the best. I did not believe in this saying. According to my logic and deeply flawed understanding, if something good happens to us, then that’s for the best, and if something bad befalls upon us, then, that’s for the worst. Simply put, I took things literally, and did not think that it is remotely possible that there could be some deeper meaning or “Hikmat” behind every good and bad that befalls us.

I was to learn the hard way that things aren’t always what they seem.

I started to develop chronic foot pain in 2010. Despite seeking expert medical help from many doctors, I wasn’t diagnosed correctly till a year later. Upon the advice of a renowned orthopaedic surgeon in one of Karachi’s leading private hospitals, I decided to undergo a corrective surgery. The night before the surgery, I prayed to God tomake everything all right. As I was being taken into theoperation theatre, I had complete and utter faith or “Tawakkul” in God that as soon as the surgery was done, I would emerge as a new and physically fit person.

Unfortunately, the surgery was not the solution, in factit worsened my condition. The surgeon had diagnosed me incorrectly with a condition I did not have and prescribed for me physical therapy which I did not need; the result of which was, that instead of emerging as a new, physically fit person, I embarked on a two year long journey of pain, depression and being misunderstood as doctors and loved ones alike were dumbfounded by my unique and peculiar illness.

I went from using a cane, to a walker, and finally a wheelchair, (which at the age of 27, seemed to me like I had skipped a few life stages in the middle and jumped directly to the end). I could not go to the bathroom or anywhere else without dragging myself in a wheelchair. My brain was in a constant haze (known as “fibro fog”). I couldn’t focus on anything. I went to sleep tired from battling with pain all day and woke up just as exhausted. It hurt to put my feet on the ground. For an entire year, I wore only socks as it hurt too much to use any kind of footwear.

I could not fathom what logic or purpose Allah might have behind worsening my condition day by day. I knew this much that Allah has forbidden it upon himself to oppress anyone and so, I assumed that if this was happening to me, then it must be because of my sins, and that I must deserve whatever Allah was putting me through. At the time, I was seeing Allah as “Al-Qahhar” and “Al-Muntaqim”; there was no possible scenario in my mind where I could believe that when Allah was doing all of this, He was actually being “Al-Hakeem” and “Ar-Raheem”

I was engaged to a distant cousin early 2012, however our wedding kept getting postponed because of my disability. I gave my fiancé the option that I wouldn’t hold it against him if he chose to end things, and marry elsewhere, but he never backed out of the engagement.

Alhamdulillah, by December 2012, Allah guided us to the correct diagnosis (Fibromyalgia), and through proper treatment and medications, my condition improved considerably. I no longer needed a wheel chair or a walker or even a cane to get around. By March 2013, I was driving and continuing my Masters education again. The pain was now controlled to a great extent and I had become relatively functional.

The logical next step was to set a date and get married. We were to marry after Eid. But we discovered that my fiancé was involved in an affair with another woman since our engagement and didn’t have the courage to come clean to either his family or mine.

Long story short, an investigation was launched, the affair was confirmed and the wedding was called off. Thus, Allah saved me from being married to an insincere person who would have possibly lied to me my entire life and I would never have been the wiser.

I now know why Allah had me diagnosed incorrectly and treated for the wrong disease and worsened my condition.The only thing standing between me and the marriage, at the time was my illness.

Now, I truly believe that Allah does everything for the best.

I read a saying of Ali (ra) the other day. He said,

“If the veil were to be removed, you would only choose what has already been decreed.”

This means that “Tawakkul” is not only about having complete and utter faith that if my ship is in the middle of a storm, then Allah will always deliver me safely to the harbour, rather “Tawakkul” is actually trusting, knowing, and believing beyond a shadow of doubt that even if Allah decides to drown me by sinking my ship, then that’s the best thing that could have happened to me, because if the veil were to be lifted (and “Ghaib / the unknown” was revealed), even then I could not have planned anything better for myself than what Allah already decreed for me. Subhan’Allah!

– See more at: http://hibamagazine.com/if-the-veil-were-to-be-removed/#sthash.HELlKQIa.dpuf

Love, Loyalty & Appreciation


Umar (radi Allahu ‘anhu) said to a man who was thinking of divorcing his wife:

“Why do you want to divorce her?” He said, “I do not love her.” ‘Umar said,

“Must every house be built on love? What about loyalty and appreciation?”

(Al-Bayan wa at-Tabayeen, 2/101]