Are we slaves to the gadgets?

Assalamu alikum.

Alhamdhulillah, one of my articles has been republished in Aboutislam

image

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http://aboutislam.net/reading-islam/living-islam/are-we-slaves-to-our-gadgets-instead-of-allah/

Do check to see, the changes. 🙂

Why We Need A Hobby

Crochet needle hobby

Assalammu Alikum,

Do you miss your childhood? Apart from pure state of innocence and overwhelming love from elders, what makes childhood special? It’s the desire to explore. I love seeing a child’s face gleaming with joy on learning simple things. When was the last time you felt like that? Can we still experience such uncontainable excitement on accomplishing simple stuff? Yes! We could.

Within each of us is a child, eager to learn and explore. I never knew a needle could bring out a child in me. I am not speaking about my visit to a Doctor. This needle works on a thread, but it is not sharp! Instead it has a hook at its end. Have you guessed, what is it? CROCHET. This had a huge positive impact on me. Let me share with you how it helped me.

Why Crochet?

When I am free, I feel an urge to hold a gadget and explore. I had written all about it in my last post. I didn’t want to turn into a game/media addict. I had to do something.

As I was wondering how to refine my life, I learnt that my grandma wanted to gift me her crochet needles. Ah! Long back I had enjoyed making a crochet cap. (Well I had attempted to make a flat circle with chain and split knots. It accidentally turned into cap. shhh! Let it be our secret. 😉 ) I decided to give it a try. I took out my crochet needle and explored a couple of basic tutorials on the net.  The yarn and the needle kept me away from fiddling with the keyboard. Initially, I couldn’t hold the yarn right. Instead of online puzzles, a bundle of yarn was now challenging me! Do you think I would give up easily? No way, I had to tame my fingers to bend the yarn. This indeed was an answer for my addiction.

Learning to empathize

I found it difficult to use a needle. But to the tutor (in the video), this needle was like an extension of her fingers. This reminded me of teaching my son how to hold a pencil. I used to wonder why was it so difficult for the little ones. Now it was clear. ☺ Often, we forget the struggles we underwent as a beginner. Learning a new art reminds us our limits and the need for experience. Now, I could empathize better with my sons.

Hadith crochet disgrace adorn
Be compassionate

Finally, I was able to make a chain (knots). As I progressed I learnt ABC of crochet – single, half double, double, triple and double triple crochet. Unlike puzzles or games, the result of my practice was in my hands. Honestly, it looked no better than a scribbling. It looked more polished on the tutor’s hands. Well, I wasn’t working on the right bead (the knots). With attention to margins my work turned neater. Now I had a renewed appreciation for handiwork. I recollected how often I had argued with poor vendors while buying an art work. I could appreciate handiwork better.

Hadith crochet coasters beginner yarn empathy
Be lenient

Valuing Time

I tried making some coasters. It is pure magic to see plain long yarn turn into beautiful clusters and floral patterns. A crochet comes to life with repeated action of yarning over and pulling. To crochet, it’s equivalent to inhaling and exhaling in order to breathe. Yep, this is all that we need to learn. Yet, there was so much we can do with different combinations and colors!

Let’s consider our life as a yarn. All of us are gifted with the same 24 hours. Our life is filled with several simple repetitive actions like – climbing stairs, eating food, sleeping, waking up, etc. Generally, we don’t give much thought about them. With these actions, we could be yarning for here after. How?

Our prophet has taught us dua (invocation) for every occasion in our life. Do you remember to say bismillah (In the name of Allah) in the beginning and Alhamdhulillah (All praise belong to Allah) in the end of an action?  If so, we have ensured to knot it in for here after. Do you say Allahuakbar (Allah is great) while climbing and SubahanAllah (Glory be to Allah) while descending. If so we have added one more bead to the knot. Would you like to add more? Add in other duas. Recite dua while entering or leaving masjid, before sleeping and after waking up and so on. With these simple invocations intricated into our life, we can turn our 24 hours into moments worth living.

Hadith sweater simple design crochet "Keep your tongue wet with the remembrance of Allah."
Remember Allah

Strengthening Bonds

Do you remember how it felt to do a craft work at school? I was reliving the excitement. Before I could think of what to do next, I got a request for a sweater from my hubby. I decided to make sweaters for my sons first. I saw a few tutorial on you tube and settled for one I was comfortable with. The little one (3 years) was very pleased with the attention he was getting. The sweater involved an easy stitch- Half double crochet. As I practiced the stitch I would think about my granny. As  a child, I had seen her work on the border of a shawl.   Later, she had gifted this priceless shawl to me along with numerous lace works she had done. Honestly, could there be better way to express love than with a useful handmade gift? The shawl would keep me warm and always remind me of my generous loving grandma.  May Allah reward her in abundance for every bead she has worked on. May I be blessed with a heart like hers, which finds joy in giving things. And, may I be blessed with love of my grandparents for many more years to come. Aameen.

Hadith crochet shawl priceless grandma
Gifts increase love

Within three days, I completed the sweater! Alhamdhulillah, I had managed to design a multicolor sleeve less sweater for my little one. I didn’t know how to add buttons to it. So, I used lace to close the front opening (zig zag pattern). The rugged look really matched his personality. No sweater in the market could replace this. I hoped this sweater would last for several generations and keep several kids warm. Maybe someone in the future will appreciate my simple work too. ☺

Rewind

Now my elder son was upset. He wanted a sweater too. I was not going to follow the same design or pattern. Something more challenging would be fun. I decided to try basket weave. For this I had to learn front and back post crochet – to make the work stand out or hide. This was tougher than I had expected. It required more yarn and time. I made several mistakes. So, did I waste good amount of yarn on this? No. Well, with crochet we can rewind with ease! We just need to pull the yarn to unwind. Alhamdhulillah, I was able to rectify my mistakes. How I wish I could do the same with my life – go back to some point and start afresh.

Are there any regrets in your life? I have a long list. We cannot go back into the past but still we can have a clean record! Does it sound too good to be true? Well, Allah is The Most Merciful and He loves to pardon. With sincere repentance, we could shed our sins away. After all, pleasing Him should be our prime concern. Still, how often do we repent?

Crochet basket stitch Hadith: Allah forgives repeatedly as long as we seek forgiveness
Seek forgiveness repetedly

It took me more than two weeks to complete the sweater. I was surprised at the outcome. May our book of deeds look better with our sins forgiven. All praise be to Allah who is always eager to forgive. ☺

Appreciation

Finally, it was my hubby’s turn to get a sweater. It was really nice to see my relatively silent hubby involved in something I was doing. I picked a real hard design with cable patterns which cross over (should be piece of cake for professional). I planned to combine designs from two different tutorials. Every day, having returned from work, my hubby would rush to see how much I had completed. I would place the incomplete work on him and see how much more work needs to be done. 😉 I loved seeing his face gleam as I did this. In spite, of knowing absolutely nothing about crochet he would be generous with his suggestion and I would oblige. I had always had an overwhelming desire to wrap my entire family in my love. Well, with crochet, I have indeed managed to do it. ☺ One can’t make out, how pleased am I to see my entire family wear what I made. Alhamdhulillah.

Crochet crochet cable stitch complicated sweater Quran dua for loving family crochet
Comfort of our eyes

A useful hobby, could strengthen bonds of love.

Bonus

Handmade crochet work is of great value. Alhamdhulillah, this could help anyone make a decent living from the comfort of one’s home.  With time, simple projects could be worked even with our eyes closed. This made me easier to catch up few missed lectures. In fact, it helped me concentrate better.

On the down side, when unfinished work is left unprotected, children could easily unwind the work. My little one used every opportunity to unwind as much yarn as possible. I could do nothing. Initially, I was angry. Then I realized, there is no point blaming a kid while as a grownup, I had failed to preserve it. I was turning more patient and vigilant.

My grandma was very impressed with my work. How can one become an expert? Here is her advice –

“YOU CAN DO ANYTHING AS LONG AS YOU ARE PERSEVERANT AND WILLINGLY TO UNWIND AND RECTIFY YOUR ERROR.”

This should be mantra for successful life! This hobby, was not just keeping me away from gaming but was also teaching me perseverance, patience and importance of Tawba (Repentence).  Indeed crochet helped me improve.

Dua crochet flower cap
Bless our deeds/action

If you think you are wasting your time, or, if you are bored with the usual routine, would you consider learning something new? What would you like to do? Do let us know, how your hobby helps you.

Preprinted in Muslimahbloggers.

My Hijab

Islamic dress

My Hijab

– is the way I dress, in obedience to my Lord,

with a quest to please only HIM.

It doesn’t make me suppressed or depressed;

It doesn’t show my progress or regress;

I am not here to contest or impress!

I plead thee, to leave me free –

In my pursuit for eternal success.

==========

Written for MuslimahBloggers to raise awareness about Hijab on World hijab Day!

A pearl in the Oyster

Lulu was applying her dark brown mascara which matched her golden brown dyed hair.  She then checks if her beige shirt is neatly tucked into her brown skirt. As she wraps her Italian printed brown scarf around her neck she wonders if she could get cash award.

Lulu was working as a science teacher in a primary school for girls. The teacher, whose students got maximum A grades was to be awarded 1000 Dhs/- at the end of the year. Lulu had always wanted to be a teacher. She had won several awards for her speeches and presentation during her high school and college days. Though inexperienced, getting this job was a piece of cake.

As she walks to school with a branded handbag she thinks, “May be I could be the winner.  Students just love me. I get showered by roses from students every day. I am sure they should have done well in exams. Thanks to computerization of exams, we can have unbiased report. “

She meets Mubeena, the other science teacher on her way.  Covered from head to toe in dark colored Abhaya , Mubeena greets, “Assalam alikum”.  Lulu returns greeting, “walikum salam dear.”  Mubeena was also selected along with Lulu to work as science teacher. Lulu had never seen Mubeena with any makeup except some moisturizer during winter; neither was she interested in shoe or handbag sale. She had had same handbag for last one year!

Lulu, “ Excited about award?”

Mubeena, “ Not really.  I just wish they didn’t have to hand awards on a holiday .I had to postpone my trip to visit my grandparents due to this. “

After few minutes of socializing with other teachers at school, principle ascended the stage and announced. “ Bismillah hirrahman Nirraheem. Allahu akbar, It had been great year.  Thanks to Allah, and then to your efforts our school is one of the most sought of school in this area.  As an encouragement and to inspire teachers we will be awarding 1000 Dhs/- to teacher who helped maximum number of grade 5 students excel with A grade.  This year we were surprised to see a new inexperienced teacher help 90% of her students get A grade. Mubeena please come up to collect your award.”

Everybody seemed shocked.  Mubeena appeared most shocked.  Having handed award to Mubeena on stage; Principal takes out paper and announces, “We had asked grade 5 students to comment on every teacher who had taught them. These are remarks about Mubeena.

‘Madam made scary water cycle friendly with a drawing. ‘

‘New text book appears like old story book…. Thanks to madam. ‘

‘I never knew growing plants could be so much fun. Now I have my own herb garden at home!’

‘Stable, neutral and unstable state is an absolute must for an artist. Now I know why my clay models toppled. Center of gravity is to be blamed..’…..

These are just some of the comments.”

Principal addresses Mubeena, “Several parents were surprised to see their kids excel in science and wanted me to thank you on their behalf. What prompted you to become a teacher?”

Mubeena, “Well… I loved science and I loved to teach.  I didn’t want kids to just memorize few definitions to score well in exam. I wanted them to remember what I taught and apply it in their life. In this way, I could reap reward in hear after as well. Alhamdulillah, Allah has rewarded me here as well.  May Allah safe guard my intentions and keep them pure.”

Principal proclaimed, “You are an asset to our school. We request you to train our other new faculty members.  Dear teachers, please collect your remark sheet before leaving.”

Lulu was very upset.  Only 40% of her class got A grade.  At the earliest opportunity, she slips away from teachers; collects her remark sheet and rushes home. The question paper was very easy. Now she was most likely to be trained by Mubeena as well. She wondered what could have gone wrong. Her students were so enthusiastic to meet her! She decides to read the remark sheet.

  • Miss lulu is the prettiest teacher around. I like seeing her glossy lips smile. – sarah
  • I like to see her wear rose in her broach. We gifted her roses to see whose rose she selected for the broach. Roses from my garden often adored her.  J – jasmeen
  • She is the only teacher with good fashion sense. Her handbag, belt and scarf always match. I want to dress just like her. – Jameela

“ Ya Allah ! What is this none of the comments refer to what I had taught!!! I had wanted them to be inspired by science not my beauty. After all being beautiful is not a sin.”, Lulu thought.  Half heartedly she continued reading.

  • Artist! Perfect makeup artist. Looks always fresh. – Shaistha
  • Oh she is adorable. She could put models to shame. My father says, she should try her luck in modelling.  – Suzane

Lulu throws the remark sheet away in anger. “What?!! How can my student’s father comment about me? I am here to teach and not to model. “.. Lulu recollected how often she had walked past parents; and how some of the men used to grin at her.  “What a fool I had been? Mubeena is almost as old as me and could be as pretty as me.  Still, all the people appreciate her for her teaching skill overlooking her beauty. We had taught the same subject. We had even given speech to one another and helped one another with the lessons. Then, what happened?”

Lulu recollected Mubeena’s speech on stage, “She had intended to get reward from Allah by teaching. What was the hadith about intention which our Islamic teacher used to say “ She opens the book islamic teacher had gifted her and reads…

Narrated ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab: I heard Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) saying, “The reward of deeds depends upon the intentions and every person will get the reward according to what he has intended. So whoever emigrated for worldly benefits or for a woman to marry, his emigration was for what he emigrated for.” Sahih al-Bukhari

sprout-leaves-intention

“My intention had been to teach well too. But what am I being appreciated for? Make up, bags and skin. I want to be portrayed by my work not outer cover. How could that be done? Like Mubeena… should I practice hijab?”, she thought. She realized she despised wearing hijab. She loved being fashionable… Alas this required showing off her collection of designer clothes, shoes, jewelry and handbags.  Her well groomed hair and flawless complexion can’t be seen through thick hijab. “Yah Allah! What had been my true intention while taking this job? It wasn’t to glorify my blessed youth.  This had distracted even girls as young as 10 from listening to what I had to teach. ”

Still bit skeptic about hijab..  she turns pages to read about hijab. She read…

And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and be modest, and to display of their adornment only that which is apparent, and to draw their veils over their bosoms, and not to reveal their adornment save to their own husbands or fathers or husbands’ fathers, or their sons or their husbands’ sons, or their brothers or their brothers’ sons or sisters’ sons, or their women, or their slaves, or male attendants who lack vigour, or children who know naught of women’s nakedness. And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment. And turn unto Allah together, O believers, in order that ye may succeed. [Quran an-Noor 24:31]

Lulu shivered a bit as she read again, ‘And turn unto Allah together, O believers, in order that ye may succeed.’ It had become clear to her that she had opted vain desires over commandment of Allah. Allah the all Wise knows what’s best for us. The verse was calling her to turn back towards obedience of Allah so that she may succeed. Real Success is attaining safety from Hell in comfort of heaven. With right intention every day activities can turn into pathway to heaven.

She sobs as she prays, “Forgive me for my ignorance.  Yah Muhaymin (Guardian of faith) save me from getting eluded from purpose of life – to please you. My remark sheet at school has opened my eyes. It has made me fear the day when we’ll be handed book of deeds.  I beg of You  to save me from being amidst those who are handed their book of deeds on their left hand.  Guide me Yah Hadi  (Guider) to be amidst those who show their book deeds proudly to others on the day of reckoning.  Help me adhere to Your commands. Ameen.”

She hears her phone beep. Mubeena had sent her message. “ Join me for Lunch at home. Your presence would increase my happiness double fold.”  Lulu searches for her mother’s jilbab (long covering coat) to wear on her way to Mubeena’s home.

Of all the precious stones pearls are most likely to get tarnished when left exposed. We women are like pearls. our veils would serve us as oysters serve the pearl. Remain precious.

Prepublished in 1newleaf.

The thieves in my life

Time loss

Dear friends, do you wake up with a zeal to achieve? Does a new day come as a promise for a fresh start to gear up your ambitious plans? Do you have a list of things you wish to accomplish in a day? I guess, you do. Do you always stick to your plan? By the end of the day, are you happy with what you have achieved? Sadly, I have to admit, by the end of the day I’m disappointed.

Well, our days start with fajr Salah (morning prayers) followed by usual routine of sending children to school, house hold chores and so on. In between, we get precious free time to pursue things which add a spark to life. These moments are valuable. That’s when I generally plan to do things I most love. I would love to write about what had been occupying my thoughts. Or, I try to listen to a lecture or explore about something which would interest me or my family. Most of the activities I wish to do involves my faithful laptop – a slave who obeys my command and takes me to sites with a press of a button key.

And then there is something else which interests me too. Before you start thinking of something awful, let me make it clear, I am speaking about NUMERICAL PUZZLES. Yep, complicated numerical puzzles which would result in wonderful loops and patterns once they are solved. As soon as I switch on the laptop, I feel the familiar urge to check the list of free Japanese puzzles. I spot an expert level puzzle and tell myself, “I could do it”. It almost smiles back as though challenging me! I have to solve it. I try it out. After several minutes/ hours of failed attempts, I succeed. Shouldn’t I be pleased that I won? Nah! I try to solve it faster! These puzzles might be improving my mathematical/logical skills. So, where am I using them? Can’t think of anything. Is such a knowledge necessary?

Working on a smart phone should be a better option. Alas, I have loaded several socializing apps like WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram in it. I just can’t keep away from them. I decide to stay alone for a while. Then, I hear a familiar ring. I have to attend it. It could be important message (from a princess in distress ; -P)! I pick it up and plunge again into the world of internet. I see what are others concerned with. I wonder, why am I doing this? Yet, I am there scrolling through the pages. To escape this, I jump back to laptop and face the old temptation. This cycle is no better than a whirlpool sucking productive hours of my life.

Dear reader, how long can you stay away from gadgets? Do you see smart phones as an extension of yourself? Like me are you tempted to hold and fiddle with it? Is your hobby browsing? Do you too start somewhere and end in some other world of internet?  What kind of knowledge are we acquiring from countless hours of mindless browsing? Likewise, is there any benefit in merely hearing two different opinions on the same news subject, over and over again. I wonder, how people can allot several minutes/ hours every day for their favorite soap operas. Even if one watches a single episode weeks later, the plot can be guessed. These things which seem basically harmless, are robbing moments from our life. HAVE YOU TOO WILLINGLY BEFRIENDED SUCH A THIEF?

Pink flowers, Dua- seeking refuge from, useless knowledge, Heart fearless of Allah, unjustifiable soul and unanswered prayer.
Dua (invocation) for beneficial knowledge

There are better days, when I dedicate myself completely to work. I am interrupted by a familiar cry. It’s from my child demanding attention. To complete my task, the child should be distracted. Guess, what do I hand him? Yes, my laptop. I play some age appropriate video in it. Few minutes later, I see him watching something else. He is not supposed to watch that! What should I do? Ah! Educational Interactive games, that should keep him absorbed.

My job is done. But, now the little one prefers computer over me! I patiently wait for him to complete his game. But when I ask back for the laptop, He refuses. He wants to play more! Next day should be better? No, he demands for the computer every now and then. On refusing, my sweet child throws a tantrum. Does this happen in every home? Are our children’s holidays spent on play station? Are we able to restrict their screen time? With such astounding games, will the children pay attention to books? Will they find pleasure from a normal stroll? Are we in a way turning our children into game addicts? How do you think will such a child spend his/her free time in the future? Are we training them to have a purposeful life?

Dear readers, what is the ultimate purpose of life? Why have we been created?

QURAN 51:56 Surat Adh-Dhariyat [verse 56]
The purpose of Life
The world has always played a role from deluding us from the real purpose. The current era has a lot in store to keep us distracted. Now, we are literally wasting our life on games and entertainment.

Dice, Quran (6:32) Suah Al Anam verse 32 ;QURAN 29:64 Surat Al-'Ankabut [verse 64]
Life as a amusement
I am not against technology. We should be against technology enslaving us. Do we stick to our schedule and use technology for our necessity? Or, are we spending our nights past bedtime entertaining ourselves? Do we end up waking up halfhearted to offer fajr salah? Do we rush our prayers without concentration so that we can go back to gaming? Aren’t we intoxicated by games? Just like an addict we can’t recollect what we uttered in salah. Auzbillah. Will such a prayer be accepted? What will happen of us in the hereafter?

Dry flowers; QURAN (4:43), Suart An Nisa, verse 43
Pray with concentration

It’s time to acknowledge our weakness and get over it. WE NEED TO STOP TECHNOLOGY FROM STEALING TIME. We can do so much more when we are in control of our life. How can we take control?

1. RECOGNIZE YOUR WEAKNESS:

What kind of games/ programmes are you interested in? Why do you like it? I love puzzles. They gives me a sense of achievement.

2. FAITH:

Put your trust in Allah. Request sincerely to Allah to help you overcome the addiction.

3. REPLACE:

Other than computer/TV programmes, what else interests you? If you love news, read it from a newspaper. I love working on something challenging. Some intricate crafts work should help.

4. LEARN SOMETHING NEW:

We humans are born with an appetite to explore and learn. We feel more fulfilled on learning new things. We could learn a new language or craft. I decided to learn Crochet. (Do read my next post -It’s all about crochet.)

Apple, books, knowledge
Dua (invocation) for knowledge.

5. BELIEVE YOURSELF:

Maybe we were tempted back into browsing/gaming. Still, weren’t we able to keep ourselves away for a considerable amount of time? We can try again. Make a stronger resolution.

6. MOTIVATE:

Involve your family and friends. Ask them to participate with you in this TECHNO CLEANSING program. 

7. PLAN:

What do you plan to do between two salah (Prayers)? Stick to it.

Do something rewarding. I told my children, that I would crochet a jumper for them. Every time I was on computer, they would ask me to continue with their sweater! Seeing them wear what I made is rewarding.

You may also add a punishment. Well, if you go back to gaming, once the charge runs out, don’t charge the gadgets for next 10 hours!

8. REMEMBER: WE ARE ACCOUNTABLE FOR THE TIME WE SPEND HERE.

There would be more attractive games and sites. The era we live in is as ordained by Allah. We cannot afford to blame time and lead a heedless life.

Clock, Time
Do not abuse TIME

Insha Allah, with this we can prevent gadgets from stealing our time.

Dear readers, share with us your tips to prevent internet overtaking your life. Are there any other such thieves you have befriended? Let us know. Perhaps, we can discuss about them too.

Pre-published in Muslimahbloggers.

Click here for the list of other articles.

13 DAYS OF BETTER PARENTING CHALLENGE

Better parenting

It’s every mother’s dream to bring the best out of her child in the best possible manner. Unfortunately, we are not always at our best. Busy life and constant demand from those around us, has an effect on our parenting. A kind advice and support from an experienced parent/teacher could help us learn where we can improve.

I came across 13 DAY’S ONLINE MUSLIM PARENTING WORKSHOP in a Facebook group. As a mom of two active boys aged 3 and 7, I was not sure, whether I would be able to give the workshop, required attention. I learnt that, it was organized by sister Jamela Ho. I had found her book, “How to guide a child’s behavior”, very practical and useful. I decided to give it a try.

13-day-qualities-of-a-muslim-parent-challenge

A set of 5 parents with children of same age group were selected. Each day we were sent an email instructing a simple parenting task.  Then we were to discuss the task in a private Facebook group. The workshop focused on building 5 essential qualities in a Muslim parent. The task didn’t take much time. When required, sister Jamela, advised us through hadith in a friendly manner. She was easy to approach and showed us where we can improve without being accusative. She participated in the workshop along with us and encouraged us to open up.  This is exactly how I felt at the end of two weeks:

I was sad that this journey had come to an end. I had been extra conscious of what I had been doing/ saying to my children. The challenge elevated the level of love and warmth in my home. I was encouraged to hug and kiss my children more often, in return I was able to see them being more at ease. My children were expressing more love and were learning to withhold anger during fights.

It’s a more than a month, since I participated in this workshop. One of the activities involved setting rules in home. My elder son still remembers the rules in the order they were written! He makes sure the rules aren’t broken.

As Muslims aren’t we always meant to nurture our children in best possible manner? If only, we could always learn to be conscious of how we treat our little ones. They are innocent and vulnerable. They are always craving for our love and attention. As parents, we need to remember our children are trusted upon us by Allah; we are obliged to care for them and guide them. This course had been a reminder that my final report is with Allah; We need to be mindful of Allah, in all our actions.

I am glad that I got to be part of this workshop at this early stage of parenting when it is very easy to connect with children and to mend my behavior. As they grow, I’ll have more challenges to face. I hope I could be part of such a workshop then!! To learn more please visit Ilmaeducates – 13 day better muslim parenting challenge.

PRIME PROPERTY

Have you ever longed to visit some place? Do you crave to spend time relaxing in a peaceful resort? Where and how would you like your home to be? Let me share with you, what I desire. My college was in the outskirts of the city and I used to start early to avoid traffic. While most of the passengers used this trip to catch up on sleep, I used to struggle to remain awake to catch a glimpse of a 5-star hotel on the way! This hotel sat majestically along the highway. The cream color building had glossy blue-green windows which reflected the sun’s rays. In contrast to its walls, it was crowned with a red roof, studded with green flowing creepers. I hoped that someday, I would enter this building as a professional to present a seminar. I never did.

Instead, after my nikkah (marriage), I shifted to a city where every building had similar glowing windows. I myself ended up living in one such building! Most of the tall buildings here were entirely covered in flawless glass. The tall buildings besides corniche reflected a shimmering sea. The raised coastal bank had beautiful lawns and well-maintained colorful flowers surrounding date trees, laden with fruit. The walls of adjacent buildings were entirely made of glass. I wondered how nice it would be to see the garden from these fine buildings with see-through walls. I expressed my desire to shift there in the future and left my hubby worried. J With time, I saw more beautiful buildings and gardens…

Now, I aim for something much higher. The buildings I have seen are no match for what I desire. I have to work hard and save for it. Insha’Allah, I aim to attain it. Trust me, the deal is in my best interest and there couldn’t be a better place to reside. I am working towards that which is best for me. Are you interested in living in a place far better than anything you have seen or heard or dreamt of? Would you care to invest in it? Have you guessed where it is? I am speaking about a house in Jannah (paradise).

We are travelers sent here to earn for a place in heaven. This trip of life sure seems long and there is plenty to keep us distracted. Yet, the trip will surely come to an end. I just hope we are not of those who ended up wasting their lives in worldly pleasures with nothing left to save us from the Fire, a wretched place with people there requesting for one more chance to do good! Indeed I need to be greedy for my own sake. Let’s accumulate good before it’s too late. And let’s aim high for the One who provides us with everything, the One who is the Most Generous and the Most Merciful. Insha’Allah, we will be pampered in heaven in a way far better than the services of worldly hotels. Indeed, there are gardens flowing with rivers of milk and honey! Most of us struggle to build a home in this world. It’s more befitting that we do something to ensure that Allah (SWT) blesses us with a home in heaven too. Here are some lucrative offers to build a home which is far better than our heart’s desire!!

Contribute towards Building a Masjid

Umar bin Khattab said: “I heard the Messenger of Allah () say: “Whoever builds a mosque in which the Name of Allah is mentioned, Allah will build a house for him in Paradise.” (Sunan Ibn Majah)

Money spent on this does not qualify as zakat as per the majority opinion of scholars (however, it must be noted that there is an opinion allowing this). Yet, it is an easy way to ensure a home in Jannah for us! Not everyone has enough to finance an entire masjid! Even limited contribution would prove to be a wise investment. The following hadith also shows that nothing is belittled by Allah (SWT). Alhamdulillah.

The Messenger of Allah said: “Whoever builds a mosque for the sake of Allah, like a sparrow’s nest for Allah or even smaller, Allah will build for him a house in Paradise.” (Sunan Ibn Majah)

Praying Nawaafil (Additional) Salah

Umm Habibah narrated that the Prophet () said: “If anyone prays in a day and a night twelve rak’ahs voluntarily (supererogatory prayer), a house will be built from him in Paradise on account of these (rak’ahs).” (Sunan Abi Dawud)

We work hard to earn extra in dunya. We are ready to sacrifice our free hours to save enough to purchase a better home here. Even our cars and clothes are custom designed. But, when it comes to salah we are satisfied with the bare minimum. Just 12 extra rakahs a day can serve as our savings for house in Jannah! A few extra nawaafil prayers at times of obligatory prayers could get us a custom designed home in Jannah. Allahu’akbar.

It was narrated that ‘Aishah (RA) said that the Messenger of Allah () said: “Whoever persists in performing twelve Rak’ah from the Sunnah, a house will be built for him in Paradise: four before the Zuhr, two Rak’ah after Zuhr, two Rak’ah after Maghrib, two Rak’ah after the ‘Isha’ and two Rak’ah before Fajr.” (Sunan Ibn Majah)

 

Reciting Surat ul Ikhlaas

This is probably the easiest way to grab an abode in paradise. Reciting a surah which is equivalent to one-third of Quran has additional benefits.

The Prophet () said: “Whoever recites Qul huwa Allaahu ahad ten times, Allah will build for him a house in Paradise.” (Saheeh al-Jaami’ al-Sagheer).

Insha’Allah incorporating this into our lives should be easy.  How about reciting this surah in addition to other surahs in every rakat?

 

Adopt Good Manners

 

Where would you like to reside? While booking a flat in a gated community, we would prefer higher floors of a building located in the center of the community (close to the park/pool). With a little self-control and better manners, we can acquire a home in the best regions of Jannah too!

 

Abu Umamah Al-Bahili (RA) reported that the Messenger of Allah () said: “I guarantee a house in Jannah for one who gives up arguing, even if he is in the right; and I guarantee a home in the middle of Jannah for one who abandons lying even for the sake of fun; and I guarantee a house in the highest part of Jannah for one who has good manners.” (Abu Dawud)

This requires fighting our ego and pride, even when we think we are right. But even then, it’s a small prize when compared to the reward we get in return!

 

Additional Tip: Dhikr!

Would you like to fill your Jannah with plants and treasures? Who wouldn’t? Well, Dhikr serves this purpose:

Ibn Mas’ud (RA) reported that the Messenger of Allah () said: “I met Ibrahim (ES) on the Night of Ascension (Al-Isra), and he said to me: ‘O Muhammad, convey my greetings to your Ummah, and tell them that Jannah has a vast plain of pure soil and sweet water. It is a plain levelled land. The plants grow there by uttering: Subhan-Allah, Al-hamdu lillah, La ilaha illallah and Allahu Akbar (Allah is free from imperfection; praise be to Allah; there is no true god except Allah; and Allah is Greatest).’” (At- Tirmidhi)

Jabir (RA) reported that The Prophet () said: “For him who says: ‘Subhan-Allahi wa bi hamdihi (Allah is free from imperfection, and I begin with praising Him, and to Him),’ a palm-tree will be planted in Jannah.” (At- Tirmidhi)

Abu Musa (RA) reported that the Messenger of Allah () said to me: “Shall I not guide you to a treasure from the treasures of Jannah?” I said: “Yes, O Messenger of Allah!” Thereupon he () said, “(Recite) ‘La hawla wa la quwwata illa billah’ (There is no change of a condition nor power except by Allah).” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Through dhikr after salah, we can be assured that our Jannah is being covered with lush gardens and marvelous treasures! If we can train our tongue to praise Allah more often, we can have exotic gardens laden with treasures waiting for us to explore! Ahhhh! I can’t think of a better holiday! And, this will last for eternity!

 

Indeed, my sins are many and my Rabb’s favors on me are countless and they surpass what little I do to please Him. There is no way I could earn Jannah because of what I do,  He is the Most Merciful and I plead to Him to save me from torment of Hellfire and enter me into Jannat-ul-Firdous. Do not lose hope of Allah’s mercy. Allah is generous even towards one who would enter heaven last!

Abdullah bin Mas’ud (RA) reported that the Messenger of Allah () said, “I know of the last of the inhabitants of the Hell to be taken out from there and the last one to enter Jannah. He is a man who will come out of the Fire, crawling on all fours. Allah, the Rabb of glory and honour will say to him: ‘Go and enter Jannah.’ He will go to it and think that it is filled up. He will then come back and say: ‘O my Rabb, it is filled up.’ Allah will say to him: ‘Go and enter Jannah.’ He will again go to it and think that it is filled up. So he will turn back. Allah will again say: ‘Go and enter Jannah. For you have what is equal to ten times the world.’ He will say: ‘Are You making fun of me while You are the King?” At this I (i.e., the narrator) saw the Messenger of Allah () laugh till his premolars were visible and he said, “Such man will be the last dweller of Jannah in its lowest rank.”  (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Subahan’Allah, Allah (SWT) will most certainly bless us with bounty beyond our wildest imagination in Jannah. So why should I long for trivial things on earth. Indeed, we should aim and work for that which is everlasting and most profitable. I hope you too are greedy to acquire a notable property in Jannah. Let us be patient here; let us open our heart to Allah – There is no speck of doubt that Allah is happy to hear our plea, and He is the only One who can satisfy our desires! But, don’t forget to get the right entry pass to Jannah. With wrong aqeedah, our dream of Jannah is nothing more than an illusion.  So stick to Tawheed!

Mu`âdh bin Jabal (RA) relates that the Prophet () said to him: “O Mu`âdh! Do you know what is Allah’s right over His servants and what their right is over Him?” I said: “Allah and His Messenger know best.” He said: “Allah’s right over His servants is that they worship Him without associating any partner with Him in worship, and their right over Him is that He does not punish anyone who worships Him without associating any partner with Him in worship.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Insha’Allah soon (if we remain righteous) in Heaven, we will enjoy the company of the righteous and praise Allah who took us into His mercy. الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ

And those who kept their duty to their Lord will be led to Paradise in groups, till, when they reach it, and its gates will be opened (before their arrival for their reception) and its keepers will say: Salâmun ‘Alaikum (peace be upon you)! You have done well, so enter here to abide therein.” And they will say: “All the praises and thanks are to Allâh Who has fulfilled His Promise to us and has made us inherit (this) land. We can dwell in Paradise where we will; how excellent a reward for the (pious good) workers!”  

(Al Qur’an; Chapter 39: Verse 73-74)

I hope you are convinced that no sacrifice is too great when it comes to fetching an everlasting home in Jannah, where even a twig is better than the entire world! Still, the things I mentioned are nothing in comparision to the best blessing of Jannah. Yes, there is more! Insha Allah, we will get to see Allah (SWT) without any barrier. Subahan Allah. Let us work and pray for the best:

رَبِّ ابْنِ لِي عِنْدَكَ بَيْتًا فِي الْجَنَّةِ

“My Lord, build for me near You a house in Paradise.”

(Al Quran; Chapter 66: Verse 11)

Aameen.

Pre published in  Hidayahmagazine

Liebster awards

I have been nominated for Liebster awards by lovely sister Larissa of shukrallahblog. Sister Larissa is a voracious reader. As a result of which she includes thought provoking quotes from different writers in her article. Her articles have a smooth flow. Plus, they are honest in sweetest possible way. I absolutely love her blog. Actually, this is second time I’ve been nominated for this award. (If interested, you may check my earlier post on award ) If I had been nominated by anyone else, I might not have been interested in doing another post on Liebster award. I strongly recommend that you visit her blog. Now, let’s stick to standard Liebster award post procedure.

The Liebster awards are open to all bloggers who have less than 200 followers and is a great way to find new blogs that spark your interest and get your name out there.

So here goes!

  1. I respond to the questions that Larissa put forward in her post.
  2. I then come up with 11 newquestions for other bloggers to respond to
  3. These ‘other bloggers’ are 5-11 new bloggers who I tag in this post, who will then go on to answer the questions and write their own posts with new questions, directed to bloggers who they
  4. And the chain continues…!

Here are the questions I’ve been asked:

AND HERE ARE THE ANSWERS TO MY QUESTIONS:

Who or what can put the biggest smile on your face?

My elder son- when he was born. Well, it was more like a smile accompanied with blurred vision! Yep, you guessed it right, my eyes were filled with tears of Joy.

Little extra attention from my hubby also triggers smile attacks.

How do you successfully handle work/home life along with your blog?

That’s easy. My family comes first.

I am not exactly keen at promoting my blog. I want to be read! (Not necessarily through my blog) I want to serve islam in more than one way. I’ve other plans too. May Allah accept what little I do. Ameen.

Describe your perfect day? Day at home? A day out?

This is tough. I love change. Sometimes, I crave to go out. Sometimes, I just want to go back home. I enjoy walking alone in early hours of the day. Once or twice a week, I leave my sleeping kids with my hubby and walk about 6 Km. I’ll share some of the snaps I’ve taken along the way.

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What is your favourite act of Iba’dah? Prayer, Du’a, smiling, giving charity…?

Life of a believer is a ibadah. Can’t really channel on one thing. Earlier, I most loved reading translation of quran. Then, I enjoyed salah. Then, I rejoiced memorizing new surah of quran. I loved visiting Kabatullah for Haj/Umrah. I long to visit it again.

Currently, I love:

Memorizing Quran along with my son.

Reciting a complete surah I’ve just memorized in salah.

Where in the world are you and what is your next prayer in sha Allah?

I am in Sharjah. My sext salah should be Dhuhar!!! Is this what you wanted to know?

How did you come to accept Islam (if you are a revert) or was there a moment where you came back to the Deen (if you were born Muslim)?

This is bit personal. During my teens, my parent’s separation came as a big shock to me.  Earlier, I hardly knew anyone who had better life than me. Then, the whole life I had known seemed a lie. I wanted answers for questions I couldn’t put in words. Everything around me was changing swiftly and I had no one to turn to. I didn’t know whom to speak to. I started writing letters to Allah! Then, I was blessed to read translation of Quran. I found peace. In Him alone I trust; He is the Truth.

Though I am not a revert. I almost feel like a revert. I changed gradually. Even simple hadiths mean a lot to me. I started blogging mainly to express how I felt then (about two decades back). May Allah, help me express the sweetness I felt in the best possible way. Ameen.

What is your favourite Name of Allah (Choose one of the 99)?

First name I feel in love with was- Al wadood (The Loving). Currently, I use Arrahman and Al-Wahab a lot in my duas.

Share a link to your favourite blog post (It can be your own or someone else’s)

The article in writing phase is generally my favorite post. My most read article is I thought I knew her. The article I really wanted to do well is Why I love Him? Yep, it seems a bit incomplete because I wanted to make a series of articles on the same topic. Insha Allah, should get it done.

The article from another blog which I most enjoyed reading is- He put between you love and compassion.

HERE ARE MY NOMINIEES:

https://iqrawrites.com/ – It’s absolute fun to read her articles.

http://ayeina.com/ – This site is a feast to eyes, thoughts and soul.

http://mofgreen.blogspot.ae/ – A site on emphasizing on Green Living

http://thatgirlglamourouslyglitter.blogspot.ae/ – Add some sparkle to your life with tips from this blog.

http://www.muslimahhealthy.com/ – This blog is dedicated to help sisters to live more naturally for the sake of Allah

http://www.momsmethods.com/ – This blog shares natural methods of healing and rejuvenation

https://rainbowofislam.wordpress.com/ – This blog contains free downloadable Pdf books on Quran, Sawm and Salah

https://paperbatterbanter.wordpress.com/ – This blog belongs to a multi talented, self motivated, fun loving mom. Visiting Sister Haifa’s blog was a treat to me.

AND HERE ARE MY QUESTIONS

  • Why did you start a blog?
  • What do you like in my blog?
  • What’s the most important thing in your life?
  • How do you cheer yourself when you are sad?
  • What do you generally gift others?
  • Whose company do you enjoy? Why?
  • Who is your favorite Quran reciter?
  • Which surah/surahs you love to listen? why?
  • Where do you long to go on a visit? Why?
  • What are your hobbies?
  • If you start another blog, what will it be about?

You may skip answering the question you are not comfortable answering.

I am looking forward to see the nominees answer the questions.

A Scheme for Success

Significance of Ashura

Nothing is more pleasing to a farmer than his field at the time of the harvest. Now, he can enjoy fruits of his labor. But, he has to pay his debt first. He had incurred it for petty things. Now it sums up to a huge amount! Unwillingly, he has to pay the price for those little things with his hard earned rich harvest. No matter how hard he tries, he falls into the tarps of debt due to his weaknesses, haste and ignorance. Sometimes his harvest is poor. Yet, no mercy is shown to him when the debt is collected. Well, the creditors have their right too. Repayment is the right thing to do. Poor farmer could do nothing to save his harvest.

He learns of a scheme to save himself from a year’s debt. All he had to do is abstain himself from things which get him into debt for a couple of specified days! By doing this his debt will be forgiven. He has nothing to lose. It is not compulsory for him to participate in this scheme. If you are the farmer, would you participate in such a scheme? Who wouldn’t? This scheme is just too good to ignore. Only a fool would ignore it.

Interestingly, Success is called ‘Falah’ in Arabic. Falah also means Farmer! Aren’t we farmers cultivating Righteous deeds for Hereafter? In spite of our best efforts unknowingly and unintentionally we commit sins. These are our debts and we have to pay back with our good deeds. We have no idea how much debt we have incurred. Nor do we know, how much good we have accumulated. We could only get this answer on day judgement. Then it’s too late to save our deeds. What can we do?

Alhumdhlillah. Our Most Merciful creator also gives us chance to save our self from such debts! Well here is one appealing scheme-

Fasting on Arafat day
Fast on Ashura

Alhamdhulillah, we can save ourselves from minor sins by fasting this Ashoora (10th of Muharam). Yes, it is not compulsory to fast. I trust you are wise enough to make most of this opportunity. Our Merciful Creator is most Beneficent. Let’s not just stop there. Let’s follow sunnah (way of the prophet) and fast a day more! What could be a better way ensure our reward than to follow Sunnah?

Be different from Jews and Christians
Fasting on 9th of Muharram

Just two days of fasting is all it would take to save ourselves from minor sins of past year! Alhamdhulillah. Some of us might not be able to fast on these days. Do not be dishearten. Muharram is also the best month to accumulate good deeds by fasting. The entire month of Muharaam is most preferred month to fast voluntary fasts.

Signinficance of Muharram
Muharram- Best Month for voluntary fasts

Let us ensure that we fast our missed fard (compulsory fasts) in this month. Then, maybe we can fast some more. Let us make most of Allah’s generosity in this month. Let’s expiate our sins and increase our yield! May we be successful. Aameen.

Published in Muslimahbloggers

Please click here for the list of other articles.

HELP ME

Hurray, summer holidays are here. Yes it is very hot, but with the schools closed its time for fun for kids. It’s time for seasonal evening fun fares and summer activities. Roller coasters, giant wheels and merry go rounds are sure inviting. And of course, it’s time for our yummy fruits and ice-creams. At one such temporary summer fair, children were running around with sugar candies. Some were spell bound watching a parade. And then there was this naughty eight year old throwing a tantrum. He was shouting at the top of his voice, “I want Falooda.” Sweet kind lady tries her best to calm him down. “Dear Akhil, my sweety, you are still on antibiotics. I am afraid you’ll start coughing again.” Akhil frowns back and shouts at the top of his voice, “I have been drinking hot water for weeks. I don’t have fever now. I have taken all bitter medicines, now it is time for a treat. I can’t take …” Before he could complete his statement he starts coughing. His mom pours some hot water from the flask and hands it to Akhil to sooth his cough. Akhil pushes it aside and points towards the Falooda stall. Angry mom draws Akhil close to her. Once he stops coughing she takes a deep breath and announces in a stern voice, “Do not interrupt and listen to me carefully. We came here to buy bangles for your aunty. Now, if you promise me not to drink falooda until you get your doctor’s approval, I’ll buy it for you. Otherwise, I won’t wait for your dad to pick us up from here. One more squeak from you and we are leaving in a taxi.” Akhil questions, “when will you call the doctor uncle?” Mom sighs in relief. “First we’ll purchase bangles. Then just before leaving the exhibition I’ll purchase your drink. Then I’ll call the doctor on reaching home. Is it clear?” Akhil agrees. He keeps staring back at falooda stall with a long face as his mom drags him towards bangle stalls.

Akhil hated everything about shopping. As his mom checks the bangles he kept lamenting. “Mama it’s boring. Let’s go to the play area.” His mom replies, “Just few more minutes.” He tries to entertain himself by tossing a few bangles but the shopkeeper won’t allow it. Bored and upset Akhil hugs his mom and pleads, “Can I at least stand outside this crowded shop and look at the things going around? Please.”  His mom denies his request, “You could get lost.” He shrugs his shoulders, rolls his eyes and replies persuading, “I am not a baby. I’ll stay by the shop” His mom smiles and adjusts his hair.  He moves back in denial stating, “mooooommmm..” Then she looks at him with deep thought and says just what he wished to hear, “You may stay outside.” Akhil jumps high shouting ‘ahhhh!’ Just when he is to run out his mom calls him. She looks at him as though she could never see him again and warns, “Please be careful. Don’t stroll away.” Akhil hastely replies, “Okay!”  He runs out.

Now, all he could see was Ice-cream vendors and kids purchasing pop sticks. His thoughts wander back to Falooda. He looks down in disappointment. He sees a beautiful white Persian cat with fluffy tail and blue eyes. He tries to touch it but it runs to a kind man standing few feet away from him. He smiles at Akhil. Akhil smiles back. The handsome hip looking man picks up the cat and walks a few steps towards Akhil. He leans on the wall next to him and asks politely, “Do you love cats? She loves being stroked would you like to pat her?” Akhil quickly moves close to the man and gently strokes the cat. The cat appears to enjoy Akil’s company. The man compliments, “Hey! You are a professional. Cats just seem to love you. You must be Mahir – the talented.” Akhil blushes and replies amidst giggles, “Nah, I’m Akhil. We have lots of cats at my grandma’s place. She too thinks cats love me. Uncle, I’ve never seen such a beautiful cat with a nice fluffy tail.” Akhil’s new found pal raises his eyebrows in astonishment. “Dude, you almost guessed her name too?” Akhil exclaims, “Fluffy?”  His uncle just nods in affirmation. Akhil giggles more. Uncle looks straight into Akhil eyes and says in soft voice. “Fluffy has four little kittens. And, I’m looking for someone to take care of them. Do you know someone who would love to have a kitten?” Akhil opens his eyes wide and questions, “Are they as cute as her?” Cool uncle winks at Akhil and states, “They are cuter!” Akhil questions doubtfully, “Uncle, can I have one kitten?” Uncle stops smiling. He thinks hard for few seconds. Then he questions, “Will you take good care of the kitten?” Akhil nods. Uncle proclaims, “I can’t find a better caretaker for the kitten. Come along and choose a kitten.” Akhil jumps with joy. He peeps into the shop searching for his mom. She was busy checking the bangles. Uncle suggests, “Just surprise your mom with a lovely kitten. She’ll adore it. Let’s be quick. Your kitten is waiting. Hop along.” Uncle wraps fluffy in a dark cloth and starts walking briskly. Akhil joins him.

The kittens were not all that close. Now Akhil was back to the falooda shop. Akhil was worried his mom would be angry. He questions, “Uncle, how far are the kittens? My mom will be worried. I need to go back.” Uncle says politely, “we are very close.” Then he shifts Akhil’s focus to falooda. He buys one drink and hands it to Akhil, “It’s the least I can do for offering to take care of a kitten.” Akhil was too tempted to say no. He sips ultra-cold falooda as he walks with the uncle. Then, they stand by a corner as a noisy parade walks through. People were looking at the mascots in the parade. As soon as Akhil completes his drink, his uncle takes him inside a thin path between two closed shops. Akhil raises his voice amidst noise to be heard, “Uncle are kittens here?” Within a blink of an eye someone covers him with a blanket and carries him into a closed shop!

What had just happened? Has Akhil been kidnapped? He struggles hard but can’t break loose. Within seconds he is dropped down. He throws the blanket away and tries to crawl away. But, there is no open door or window. The room was poorly lit. Akhil could hardly see anything. He pulls himself up and runs to the closest wall and bangs on it. He knocks on the walls and shouts as loud as he can only to end up coughing. Cold drink had made his sore throat worst! He just couldn’t be heard. The huge scary looking man who had grabbed him slaps him hard and signals him to be quiet. Akhil moves back in fear. He stumbles and falls down. He turns to see that he has stumbled against an unconscious kid. He lay next to the poor kid, not knowing what to do. He is too scared to shout. He starts feeling strange and was seeing doubles. The huge scary looking man looks at his handsome uncle and comments, “Jay, this boy is cute.” Uncle Jay chuckles, “Sandy, he is also foolish. He didn’t even bother to ask my name. It was very easy fetching him here. I have drugged his drink, he’ll sleep soon.” Akhil realizes why the falooda tasted strange. The drug was overpowering. He snuggles next to the sleeping kid and mourns. Jay picks his cat up and announces Sandy, “It is time for the next catch. Stay by the door.” Sandy nods.

Akhil regrets to have forgotten all about his mom’s warning. His mom had always been right. How mean he had been to her. Still, she was always nice to him. He wonders, what will happen to him. Will he ever meet his mom again? Who could save him now? He recollects a dua his mom used to say, “Hasbi Allaah laa illaha illa huwa ‘alayhi tawwakaltu wa huwa rabb al-‘arsh il-‘azeem 

image
“Hasbi Allaah laa illaha illa huwa ‘alayhi tawwakaltu wa huwa rabb al-‘arsh il-‘azeem ”

Only Allah could turn any situation right. He mutters this dua. Once he completes reciting he feels his stomach turn. Now he knew, his medicines and the fallooda were not meant to be eaten together. He vomits. Sandy mistakes it to be cough. Having vomited Akhil feels a bit better. He prays for an opportunity to escape.

He struggles to remain awake in spite of seeing doubles. He didn’t have to wait long. As soon as Sandy opens the door to grab a new kid Akhil quickly breaks free. Sandy and Jay couldn’t risk leaving the new kid free to catch him. Akhil drags himself as far as he can. He tries to attract attention but just can’t call out for help. People were too engrossed in the parade activities to pay attention to a boy in distress.  Being weak he can’t move any further. He could see Jay cutting through the crowd in search of him. Akhil quickly hides behind an advertising banner. He peeps through the hole in the banner to check on Jay.

image
Help me

He closes his eyes and prays, “Yah Allah, I am sorry I have been a bad boy. I promise to be good to my parents. Please, please, please take me back to my mom. Only You can help me.” He opens his eyes to see his mom a few stalls away. She was crying and shouting out his name. Not many seemed to notice her amidst the entertainment. She enquired to people as to whether they had seen a small boy. They hadn’t.  Oh! How he wished he could run to her. Alas, he didn’t even have energy to drag himself. The drug was having an effect on him. He tries to shout but all he could hear was a croak. Tears stream down his eyes. He could do nothing. Will it be the last time he’ll ever see her?

Just then he feels a hand on his shoulder. He feels chills run down his spine. He turns around to meet his worst fear. Yes! It was angry Jay. He mumbled, “You naughty brat! Did you really think you had a chance? Had you not vomited you would have slept by now. Now, I’ll make you regret for all that you did.” Akhil feels his head spin. He prays, “Allah save me and make him regret. Let them not do this another child.” Jay, throws a blanket on him to carry him. Akhil is too sleepy to fight. Just as he is about to doze away he hears his father confront Jay, “Hey you, where are you carrying my son?” Akhil is not sure whether it is a dream or truth.

He wakes up a day later to find himself in a hospital. Next to him is his sobbing mom. With a big sigh he utters in relief – Alhamdhulillah. Mom is happy to see Akhil regain conscious and kisses him. Akhil cries and pleads, “I’m sorry mom, I’ll never disobey you.” Mom hugs him and asks him to take rest. Few minutes later his father joins him. Akhil hugs him and thanks him for saving him. Dad shows him a newspaper cutting stating, “ ’A bold boy outwits kidnapers.’ ‘Thanks to a child- City is safe’ ‘Smart kid saves the day’ ‘Notorios Jay and Sandy behind bars” Akhil questions, “what happened to other kids?” Dad assures, “Don’t worry; they are safe with their parents. Oh Akhil! You astonish me. Please, avoid trouble in future. Don’t trust strangers. It’s only by Allah’s mercy that you are here with us.”

He sure had no intention of facing such a situation again.  Be alert!

Published in Muslimahbloggers