بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
Dear friends, I would like to share with you something which made me very happy!! For me, it is an achievement too good to be true! This happened a year ago. Yet, I can’t cease being pleased about it. My son, who was then just a six-year-old had memorized 30th para (last part) of Quran! Allahu Akbar. But there is more to be happy about. With him, his thirty plus years old mommy (me) memorized Juzz Amma too!!!! Alhamdhulillah. And we did it ourselves by the grace of Allah. If you see my journey, you would understand the reason behind my uncontainable happiness.
I had been childless for the first few years after marriage. This is when I took up a course to study tafsir (explanation) of Quran. Like any other infertile Muslimah, I recited invocations of Zakkariya (PBUH).
Quran clearly showed the state at which Zakkariya (PBUH) asked Allah for a child. It was more than a mere desire. Zakkariya (PBUH) was an old man with a barren wife. This is when he prayed for a child! His humble plea showed the prophet’s Tawakul (Trust) in Allah. He wasn’t unhappy with Allah’s decree. There a strong reason for his request. HE WANTED SOMEONE WORTHY TO INHERIT HIS PROPHETHOOD! Subahan Allah.
I had no idea what had Allah decreed for me. As I read the above verses, I wondered why did I want to be a mom? I realized being a parent is a huge responsibility. We parents work hard to provide the best nourishment for our child. We spend a fortune on our little one’s education. Are we ensuring that they are brought up on the way of Islam? Do we instill the love of Quran in our child’s heart? How can we show our gratitude to Allah for being blessed with a child? We could learn from the attitude of Zakkariya (PBUH) on being blessed with a child.
We are to raise our children as believers adhering to Allah’s command. Inspired by the narration in Quran, I prayed for a child with whom I could worship Allah with ease; a child who would be a means of sadaqa jariya (who becomes a reason for increase in my good deeds after the parent’s death). I resolved that If Allah blesses me with a child I would encourage him/her to memorize Quran. For the majority of my life, I had only uttered surat ul Fatiha and surat ul Ikhlas in my Salah! And, with no hafiz-a-Quran as far as I know in my lineage, this indeed is a very heavy resolution.
Alhamdulillah. The Most Merciful Allah soon blessed me with a son. When Zakir was less than three years old I attempted memorizing surat un Naba from a popular website. A group of ladies repeated the teacher as she recited the verses. I tried reciting the memorized verses at the end of the session. Whenever I stumbled my little innocent baby would help me!! I was stunned. The truth is every toddler would readily learn things which are repeated to them. Don’t we teach our children poems?
When my son was ready for a nursery, I wanted the best of the teachers to teach Quran to my son. Either he was dismissed as too young or the institute was too far away. The teachers who were willing to teach him at home would only spend a little time with him and I wasn’t satisfied with the outcome. With a birth of another son, life turned busier. I wasn’t sure when to start or whom to approach to help Zakir memorize the Quran.
As a kindergartener, Zakir used to return home early. To prevent him from troubling the baby, I used to play nasheed (Islamic poems/songs) on the computer. He would hum the nasheed while playing. This is
when it struck me – MY SON COULD LEARN TO RECITE FROM THE BEST QARI IN THE WORLD! Qari (Quran reciters) like Misry AlAfasy, Khalifa Al Tunaiji, Husairi and more could indeed help my son memorize the Quran! Several websites with memorizing option are freely available for us to explore! I tried such a website. Alhamdulillah. 4-year-old Zakir was happily reciting the verses I had just played on repeat mode! And here began our Quran memorization journey.
Prior to the birth of my son, I had attempted several times to memorize few small chapters from the Quran. We all know the story of the Hare and the tortoise. Let’s just say, my approach was more like that of the Hare! I could have never completed the mammoth task like this. I did pray and plead to Allah to make Quran my companion in the grave. But, I was not doing enough to give life to my supplications. The All-wise Allah, who had installed this desire in my heart also showed me a way to give life to my desire. I wanted my son to see Quran as a part of his life. This required me to take time out and dedicate myself completely for memorization. During this fixed time, nothing else was to be given preference! Could there be a better way to have quality time with one’s child?
Does one’s smartness or memorizing speed make a difference? It wouldn’t help if we are not consistent. I tried my best to make memorization an everyday task. It didn’t bother me if we just memorized a line or a word as long as we continued spending time with the Quran. We read and listened to the verse over and over again. Having a little buddy made this task much easier. My son’s company served as the much-needed push to keep me on the track.
All my life, I avoided studying anything I didn’t understand. Even as a teen I preferred reading the translation of the Quran to the original Arabic text! Back then, I just couldn’t read Arabic. Even after, I had taken up tafsir (explanation) course, I hesitated reading Arabic text while explaining translation to others. When I finally had to, I was down to tears due to my inability to read Arabic fluently. And in my tajweed (art of reciting Quran) class, I was probably the weakest student. Till date, my pronunciation in any language is far from perfect. Honestly, even in my early twenties, I would have never foreseen myself trying to memorize the Quran. But most merciful Allah has helped me start this journey of memorizing Quran. Alhamdulillah. When I could do it, anybody could do it with Allah’s help. The first step is the most difficult step.
Additional benefits of Memorizing Quran
Like any other normal seven-year-old, my son loves to play and read books. He too demands the toys that are in trend. He dislikes cleaning up. He too plays pranks around his little brother and tests my patience with his mischief. I can’t keep him from being influenced by factors outside the home. But, I hope in future he’ll influence those around him in a positive way. When he first joined the school, he returned home singing a song in a language I didn’t understand. After he started memorizing, he returned home stating that he taught few of his friends the chapters he had learned. His love to memorize things surprise me. Even if it is not necessary, he readily memorizes any poem he loves during the school hours.
This journey was originally taken to help my son memorize Quran. The truth is – it is my little buddy who has helped me more. Like any other little chap, he is much faster than me in memorizing and refuses to continue unless I too memorize the verses. This has resulted in me spending more time with Quran when he is at school. I know I am not good enough to teach him or anyone else. His pronunciation is far better than mine (We still have a teacher helping him recite Quran). The necessity to improve my tajweed has dragged me to the masjid. I opted to visit a masjid which is a bit far from home. Well for every step towards masjid don’t our sins shed. Plus, a brisk walk is good for our health. Sometimes, I feel lazy. Then I think of a walk in the paradise which I could be rewarded for this. (Insha Allah <3) This gives me the much-needed boost.
Insha Allah, I would like my son to join the halaqa (memorizing circle in masjid). There he could study much better. I don’t know how long will I be able to keep pace with him. Maybe soon he would not need me to help him out. Ah, it would be nice to see him take a role of the teacher and teach his brother (and me too). Yes, I would love to become a hafiza. I would love more to see my sons turn into Hafiz and live trying their best to please Allah. After all, parents are rewarded in heaven for this!
Quran time is a blessing in other ways too. My naughty explorers are silent during and after Quran session. It keeps us away from TV and the computer. We have things to speak and laugh about, which only we understand. Zakir has even invented some Quran recitation games and pop quizzes!
I can’t thank Allah enough for blessing me with a son, who in turn helped me take this major step. Now I work like the tortoise (recollect the good old story about hare and the tortoise ). We take a step at a time. The finish line is far away. I am not sure whether I’ll be able to reach it. Insha Allah, I’ll never give up. May Allah make it easy on us. Aameen.
Would you like to take up such a journey? Who would be your memorizing buddy? Maybe my upcoming post on tips to memorize from home will motivate you further.
For list of other articles please click here
Alhamdhulillah, one of my articles has been republished in Aboutislam
Do check to see, the changes. 🙂
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
A useful hobby, could strengthen bonds of love.
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.
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.
– 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!
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.
“ 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.
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
“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.
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?
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?
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.
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?
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.
Put your trust in Allah. Request sincerely to Allah to help you overcome the addiction.
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.)
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.
Involve your family and friends. Ask them to participate with you in this TECHNO CLEANSING program.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 (ﷺ) 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 (ﷺ) 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 (ﷺ) 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 (ﷺ) 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 (ﷺ) 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 (ﷺ) 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 (ﷺ) 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 (ﷺ) 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 (ﷺ) 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 (ﷺ) 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 (ﷺ) 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 (ﷺ) 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)
Pre published in Hidayahmagazine
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!
Here are the questions I’ve been asked:
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.
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.
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.
You may skip answering the question you are not comfortable answering.
I am looking forward to see the nominees answer the questions.
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