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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Flee to Allah


 

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When speaking about our pursuit of Salaah, Allah uses the
term, فَاسْعَوْا / “Proceed” (Al-Qur’an, Surah 62, Ayah 9)

When speaking about our pursuit of Paradise, He uses the
term, سَابِقُوا / “Race!” (Al-Qur’an. Surah 57, Ayah 21)

But, when speaking about our pursuit of Him, Allah uses the term, فَفِرُّوا / “Flee!” (Al-Qur’an, Surah 51, Ayah 50)

Not every ambition in life deserves the same amount of effort.

With the above said, consider your own life, your own aspirations and what you invest most time in.

Is the above an accurate reflection of us?

Or have we flipped this Qur’anic standard upside down, where we ‘walk’ towards Allah, but ‘flee’ towards everything other than Him?

Let your slogan in life be the words of Prophet Musa (‘alayhissalam) who said,

وَعَجِلْتُ إِلَيْكَ رَبِّ لِتَرْضَى

” .. and I rush to You, my Lord, so that You be pleased.”
(Al-Qur’an, Surah 20, Ayah 84)

 

– Ali Hammuda

When Allah calls you back…


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‘When we are doing wrong, Allah afflicts us with guilt, thereby calling us back to Him. Yet some of us fight this internal reminder by using our tongues to defend our wrong, hoping to quiet the guilt and convince ourselves that we are right.

Then Allah uses the tongues of others, thereby calling us back to Him. Yet some of us fight this external reminder by using the same arguments we used to quiet our guilt—or by pointing out the faults of the one who is speaking. “They’re being judgmental!” we say. “They have no wisdom or compassion!” We then arrogantly return to wrong, justifying our sin because of the faults we see in those who heeded the advice of their Lord, “And remind, for verily the reminder benefits the believers” (51:55).
Yet Allah continues to call us back to Him, as our hearts are continuously afflicted with guilt, and the tongues of others continuously remind us of our wrongs. Yet so many of us relentlessly fight the internal and external reminders…until our hearts become deaf to both.

Then Allah afflicts us with the harshest lesson—that of life itself—sending into our lives the storms of suffering in response to our sins. And only then, for so many of us, do our hearts hear for the first time Allah’s call. But even in this, there is mercy.

For surely, those who ignore the mercy of Allah—manifested in the internal and external reminders of guilt, others’ words, and the storms of life—have only Allah Himself as their teacher, when He calls them back to Him one final time.’


—from the journal of Umm Zakiyyah

Death – A Reminder


 

death

“She is no more…” I kept visualizing the words again and again, felt my heartbeat thundering in my ears while my mind refused to accept the fact – the fact that it was true. She was no more and had passed away to the next world!

She was my close friend, a dear school mate, a loving friendly soul – may Allah forgive her and bless her with the highest levels of Paradise. The news of her death that I had received as a text message two years ago still lies fresh in my mind and my eyes well up every time I remember that night. I think about all her qualifications, her accomplishments in life, her dreams and aims and I wonder about her last thoughts. What had it been, just before she breathed her last. I wonder like always, did she know it would be this sudden?

Death is always a bitter realization, a huge reminder and a recurring scary thought: ‘how long before I am the one lying lifeless being washed, shrouded and buried by others?’  Allah says in His Glorious Book: “Every soul will taste death, and you will only be given your [full] compensation on the Day of Resurrection. So he who is drawn away from the Fire and admitted to Paradise, he indeed is successful. And what is the life of this world except the enjoyment of delusion. (Al Qur’an 3:185)

The skins shiver and the eyes become moist when the beautiful words of Allah sink in. Actually, this is what life is all about. We have been created for a purpose and our time on this earth is limited. Striving and competing to do all that Allah has commanded,  avoiding all that He has forbidden and hastening to Him with our record full of good deeds has to be our major goal in life. All of us, regardless of the religion we follow, know and accept that this life is temporary. It will someday come to an end for us and an end for humanity altogether. But in Islam we are taught to believe in the life after death, the life of the Hereafter, which is eternal. Wise is the one who prepares for the eternal life rather than losing himself in materialistic, worldly desires.

Most of us know but tend to ignore the fact that age, status, nationalities, ambitions, plans and promises all lose color when death stands there glaring at our faces. There certainly are no second chances, no turning back and no last good byes! But how many of us take heed of these frequent heart wrenching, soul shattering reminders that our loved ones leave behind? How many of us prepare for that last moment leaving petty worldly desires aside? How many of us thank the Creator for all the breaths we take, how many of us turn to Him sincerely by submitting to His commands, by taking care of His rights, His servants’ rights, how many fear the sudden end.., the final meeting with Him?

Allah has made it clear in the Qur’an that the experience of the worldly life is almost nothing compared to the Hereafter. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “What is the example of this worldly life in comparison to the Hereafter other than one of you dipping his finger in the sea? Let him contemplate what his finger will come back with.” (Sahih Muslim)

When we dip our finger into the sea, the little bit of water we pull out of it, i.e., the wetness which dries up in a while, is almost nothing compared to the entire sea. In the same way, the temporary life of this world is practically nothing compared to that of the Hereafter. The reality is that the Hereafter is the true life and this world is only a means to prepare us for the eternal life after death. The path we choose to follow in this world and the actions we do determine our fate in the life after death. Allah has told us in the Qur’an about the people who will realize on the Day of Resurrection that the Hereafter is the true life, and they will be filled with remorse because they did not perform many good deeds for their eternal life. Allah says: “He (Man) will say, “Oh, I wish I had sent ahead [some good] for my life.” (Al Qur’an 89:24)

Let’s take a moment and reflect on this verse; do the worldly tests and worries really matter when we know the result of this major test is drawing close? Would we still delay repenting for the sins we think are trivial? Would we still hesitate to turn to the Qur’an, read, recite, learn and practice it as it should be practiced? Would we still hold on to those riyals, dollars and pounds rather than giving them away to those in need or for the spread of our religion? Would we still let our egos stop us from being the first ones to forgive our loved ones’ mistakes and be kind to them for the sake of the Most Merciful?

Ibn Umar said: Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) took me by my shoulder and said: “Be in this life as if you were a stranger or a traveler on a path and If you reach the evening then do not expect to reach the morning, and if you reach the morning then do not expect to reach the evening. Take from your health before your sickness, and from your life before your death.” (Sahih Bukhari)

The death of my beloved friend and of all those dear to me has made me realize that while their time on this earth is over, I still continue to live and breathe; I still have all those opportunities to do good deeds with Ikhlas (sincerity), stay away from sins and draw closer to Allah – the opportunities that they would never get again. While they rest in their graves I continue to live on with my loved ones, continue to have chances of loving them, being kinder and more loyal to them.

This life is too short to carry on worrying about what is and what could have been. No doubt, we will face tests and trials of all sorts until we reach our graves, but let’s make sure that they don’t deter us from our aim to be of the best of believers – the kind of believers who let the tests and reminders make them grow stronger in faith, increase in empathy towards fellow believers and persevere in patience, humble gratitude and submissiveness to the Most High for all that He has blessed them with.

Allah says: “Whatever you have will end, but what Allah has is lasting. And We will surely give those who were patient their reward according to the best of what they used to do. Whoever does righteousness, whether male or female, while he is a believer – We will surely cause him to live a good life, and We will surely give them their reward [in the Hereafter] according to the best of what they used to do.” (Al Qur’an 16:96-97)

 -Written by Mariam Anwer

Originally Published in Arab News in January 2016

Article AN 5

 

Do good for Allah…


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Amazing advice by one of our righteous predecessors:

“A friend will not (literally) share your struggles, and a loved one cannot physically take away your pain, and a close one will not stay up the night on your behalf…so look after yourself, protect it, nurture it…and don’t give life’s events more than what they are really worth…Be certain that when you break no one will heal you except you, and when you are defeated no one will give you victory except your determination…your ability to stand up again and carry on is your responsibility…Do not look for your self worth in the eyes of people; look for your worth from within your conscience…if your conscience is at peace then you will ascend high…and if you truly know yourself then what is said about you won’t harm you.

Do not carry the worries of this life… because this is for Allah…and do not carry the worries of sustenance because it is from Allah…and do not carry the anxiety for the future because it is in the Hands of Allah…

Carry one thing: How to Please Allah. Because if you please Him, He Pleases you, fulfils you and enriches you. Do not weep from a life that made your heart weep…just say “oh Allah…compensate me with good in this life and the hereafter”.

Sadness departs with a sajdah…happiness comes with a sincere du’a…Allah Does Not forget the good you do…nor Does He Forget the good you did to others and the pain you relieved them from…Nor Will He Forget the eye which was about to cry but you made it laugh…

Live your life with this principle: Be good even if you don’t receive good…not because of other’s sake but because Allah Loves the good doers”.
Subhanallah!

-Translated by Alaa el Sayed

It is the barrier, the prison.


prison

The worldly body is a prison for the believer, not because this life is miserable for the believing soul, but because that soul yearns to be somewhere greater. It yearns to be Home. No matter how wonderful this life is for a believer, it is a prison compared to the Perfect life that awaits them. This soul’s attachment is to God and the true paradise with Him. It wants to be there. But this worldly life is what keeps that soul from returning—for a while. It is the barrier, the prison.

-Yasmin Mogahed