My Little Quran Buddy

 

my little quran buddy
My little Quran buddy

 

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).

Zakkariya As invocations

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.

Zakkariya As reason for invocation

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.

zakkarriya as being grateful for the blessings

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.

 

Allah remembers/ mentions you as you remember Him
Allah draws close to one who moves towards Him

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.

Ascend with Quran

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!

crown

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.

Per published in muslimahbloggers

For list of other articles please click here

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Alhamdhulillah for series

Assalam o alikum.

Couple of months back I was given a lovely gift. It was given to me unconditionally, by blogger sisters Ayesha and Samina of Ayeina.com. It was an ebook (PDF) file which contained less than 50 pages. I was in no mood to read even a single page. I opened it with an intention of just scanning through the chapter heading. But, I ended up reading the entire book! Well, each page contained only one sentence! And, these sentences were expressed with minimal words (sometimes as few as 5 words were used)!! Yet, this is a precious gift full of love and positivity. I would cherish it.

Why wold I cherish it?

  • This book is dedicated to praising Allah.
  • It focuses on simple things which we take for granted.
  • Each page contains a colorful picture painted in a way to attract even young readers!
  • Though there is just a line in a page, the picture there brings back a beautiful memory.
  • This book is enough to turn a frown into smile. 🙂
  • In short, it is small dose of gratitude bound in pages with minimal words and overflowing with sentiments!
  • Alhamdhulillah! Yes, this is all that we would utter while scanning through this book.

Ayeina sisters had classified it into four categories-

  • Alhamdhulillah for Basic necessities
  • Alhamdhulillah for ties that bind us
  • Alhamdhulillah for Islam, and
  • Alhamdhulillah for everything

Of course, the  favors of Allah are far beyond what we praise Him for. Yes, there is much more we can fill in this book with. Wisely, a page has been left blank at end of each category encouraging us to fill with things we are grateful for. Even my son (6+ years old) was able to add things to few categories! My younger son loved the pictures.

This book would make an ideal gift to anyone irrespective of their age, nationality, ideology, health condition and religion!! You may purchase its hard or soft copy at Ayeina.com

Alhamdhulillah, for this lovely book.

I am a star

Prism and light fascinate kids

Alhamdhulillah. I am glad to share with you a story written for kids. :-D.

I am a Star

Sabir got ready for school in record time today. In a brightly sunlit room, decorated with Lego mechanical cars and a space shuttle, we hear timid Sabir trying out his speech.  It is an important day from him. The 9 year old science wiz wants to present his school in a science exhibition. But first he has to do a presentation on ‘Light’ in order to be selected for the big day. His speech is flawless in front of his only audience – his dearest soccer ball proudly wearing his swimming goggles. But, due to his shy nature giving a speech in front of a panel of judges was a nightmare for Sabir. While he is worrying about this, his elder sister Salma comes into the room.

Sabir is glad to see her. Traditionally elder sisters are called Aap-pa in their culture, but Salma has always been able to make Sabir happy with her presence, so he started calling her Appy. Noticing the band in her hand he says, “So you were finally able to loom the band, it’s very colourful?” Salma’s eyes twinkle with the complement, “Yes Sabir. I got the hang of it in my 4th attempt. I am glad I tried. I hope your presentation is equally colorful.” Then she says, “Abba (Father) and Amme (Mother) have sent me to listen to your speech once before we leave for school. I am all ears, please start.” But just as Sabir stood up to present his speech Saba, Sabir’s 5 year old sister, enters the room. Cute and active Saba is a mini storm packed inside a sweet girl with ever gleaming eyes. She is always eager to learn and looking at her now Sabir is worried she was going to make him lose track of his speech with her interruptions.

Assalam o alikum Appy and Bhai (That’s Sabir)”, shouts Saba as she runs in. Sabir waits for her to sit down. Instead, she turns to Salma and exclaims, “You have just two ears, yet you say you are all ears!” Salma smiles and replies, “Walikumassalam Saba, It meant I am eager to listen.” Saba raises her hand to Sabir’s ear and adds, “I am also all ears.” Sabir catches her hand in mid air, leads her to a chair and gets her more or less seated.

Sabir deliberately starts with, “Lend me your ears.” Saba covers her ears in shock. Sabir and Salma have a hearty laugh. Sabir removes Saba’s hand from her ears and says, “It means – Listen to me attentively” and he continues with his speech, “Light is a form of energy. It travels in form of waves. Speed of light is 2.9*108 meters per second. A Light Year is 9.4 *1015 meters. That’s 6 million miles.” Using a transparent, translucent and opaque glass pieces he explains different phenomena of light. Finally, with a prism in hand Sabir explains about Dispersion – Separation of light. Saba looks at dispersed light from prism and exclaims, “Rainbow!” Sabir happily explains, “Yes Saba, rainbow is splitting of light by water droplets.” Saba hugs him cajolingly and requests, “Can I have this rainbow maker. Pleeeeease” Sabir replies, “You may have it after the presentation. Just lend it to me when I need it later.”

Salma applauds Sabir, “Allah o Akbar.” Being still nervous, Sabir confesses, “I am scarred of presenting anything in front of judges. So, I’ve teamed up with Abid. He has agreed to help me when I’m tongue tied. I just hope he doesn’t forget the points.” Salma consoles, “In sha Allah, you both will do fine. Keep trying, someday you’ll overcome your fear.” They hear Ammee call, “Hurry up children. You don’t want to be late to school.”

Salma and Saba had returned from school before Sabir. The home is filled with smells of freshly baked chocolate cake. Ammee has baked it especially as a reward for Sabir. Salma tries to decorate the cake as they wait for Sabir in their cozy living room decorated in shades of pastels. Shortly Sabir arrives with a long face. As Ammee helps Salma with the frosting, she greets Sabir with a warm smile, “Assalamalikum.” Saba descends from the table, where she had been admiring the cake, and pounces on Sabir questioning eagerly, “Bhai, did you speak about all ears in your school? Did you bring back that triangle rainbow maker?” Sabir said in a broken voice, “Walikum Salam.” Sensing the pain in his voice Ammee comes closer to Sabir and asks gently, “Dear, was the presentation not good enough?” Sabir broke into tears as he replied, “It was great but…” Ammee hugs sobbing Sabir and signals Salma to fetch a glass of water. Everybody waits patiently for Sabir to calm down. A couple of minutes later, Ammee gets Sabir seated down and hands him a glass of water. Sabir sips from the glass and finally the whole story pours out of him, “Presentation was in the last period. I didn’t say a word. Abid did the whole presentation himself with my notes and samples. He was applauded and praised.” Everybody was stunned. Even Saba was silent.

Saba kneels down next to Sabir. She raises her head and stares at Sabir with big eyes ready to cry. Then she slowly utters in a heavy voice, “Does this mean I won’t get the rainbow maker ?” Sabir just could not prevent himself from laughing. Salma hands Saba her knitted bracelet saying, “This rainbow bracelet doesn’t need light for colours. It is better than that rainbow maker.” Saba is delighted. Ammee kisses Sabir and says, “Oh dear! Abid is a good boy too, I don’t know what happened.” Sabir sighs; “Now the opportunity to represent my school in the exhibition is lost.” Ammee tries to cheer him up, “You took effort to learn about light. Knowledge is valuable.” Sabir smiles halfheartedly.

That day, after magrib prayer, Amme took them to terrace. It was quite and very dark outside, except for the sky. It grabbed everybody’s attention. Though there was no moon, thousands of stars were gleaming down at them. Few minutes later, Ammee asked them, “What do you guys see?”

Saba draws patterns in sky connecting stars and says, “I see a donut and an ice cream!”. Everyone smiles. Salma teases her, “Wasn’t that messy cake good enough for your sweet tooth?” Saba grins.

Salma then looks at sky and proclaims: “Allah is The Perfectionist. The Splendid”

Sabir recollects: “I have just learnt that these stars are massive fire balls. Most are bigger than our Sun too and are far far away. Yet, now they appear to be here just for me.”

Ammee complimented, “Well said kids. Yes Sabir, stars are there for a reason. Like Saba, people have made patterns out of group of stars and remembered their position. They saw a little more than a donut though.” They all giggle.

Ammee continues, “For centuries these constellates – group of stars, served as a guide for travelers by night. Kids, can you name a star?”

Saba points finger at one of them and proclaims: “I name this one Saba.”

As Sabir laughs he names another star: “Sun”.

Saba: “Sun is also a star!”

Salma: “It’s our closest star.”

Ammee looks at surprised Saba and says “Most of the stars are not even named. They are too many to be named.”

Then she turns towards Sabir and asks, “Sabir, How long does it take for sunlight to reach earth?”

Sabir says in a jiffy- “8.4 minutes”

Well pleased Ammee continues “Very good. Some of the stars here are hundreds of light years away. This means, what we see now is what they had been hundreds of years ago. Some are already dead. Yet we see them shine from here!”

Sabir: “Still their light serves a purpose. Allah-o-Akbar!”

Ammee comes close to Sabir and says softly, “Likewise, even if you are not selected for a contest you served your purpose.”

Surprised, Sabir quickly asks: “How?”

Ammee “Allah knows, you taught Abid about light. In sha Allah every time Abid speaks about light you will be rewarded too. For this reason, winning shouldn’t be your first priority. ‘Spreading knowledge’ which Allah has blessed you with should be your goal. You may not be recognized now, but your work would speak for itself later.”

Sabir felt the weight of failure lift from his heart slowly. He felt like a star shinning high in the sky. Now he was glad that Abid managed to do well and sincerely hoped that he would do even better in his next presentation.

Salma: “Subahan Allah. This vast sky and shining stars show greatness of its Creator – Allah.”

They hear the phone ring and rush down stairs. Sabir picks the phone; it was Abid, “Assalam Alaikum.” “Walikumsalam”. “Sabir, it was great presenting before judges. I just couldn’t stop myself. I was stunned by the applause. Then I remembered you. I told everyone you did the entire research. We searched for you. But, you had already left. I think I offended you. I’m sorry. I should have let you present too.” Unable to control his excitement Abid continues, not giving Sabir a chance to speak, “Here is the great news for you. We are both selected for the exhibition” Sabir utters Alhamdhullillah under his breath, he is smiling now. Abid tells him excitedly “Our next topic is – Stars. I insist you start the speech next time. Start with the dua, ‘Rabb-ishrah-li-sadri, wayassir-li ‘amri, Wah-lul ‘uqdatam-min-li-saani, Yaf-qahuuqawlii’. This will make it easy for you. You will do great in sha Allah” Sabir replies with a big smile, “Sure Abid, we will shine like stars.”

Prism and light fascinate kids
A child preparing for a presentation
Facing rejection in a tender age
Shine like a star.

It was printed in Muslimaat magazine, Issue 5. This edition had much to ponder upon. The glossy pages had enough to occupy our thoughts and prevent us from slipping into sins. I would have to admit each and every page of the magazine was written with passion and touched the the heart. I am humbled to see my article amidst such outstanding articles. I hope the magazine continues to spread the light of Islam. Aameen.

 

A Perfect husband

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

Gentlemen, have you wondered, “what a woman desires?!” Ladies, let’s discuss, “How should a perfect husband be?” What kind of person would you love to marry? For those of us who are married, what were/are your expectations from your life partner? Is he a romantic hero who would sweep you off the floor with his charm? Or, are you expecting him to shower love on you with roses and chocolates! I am sure every woman has her definition of Prince Charming/ Superman. Does anyone really fit in?

Having seen marriage of a near and dear ones break, I had lost trust in marriage. When it was my turn to get married, I was scared. I wondered, “How should a perfect husband be?” The romantic hero seen in movies appeared to be an immodest flirt. I was sure such would continue to woo other women too. I was looking for a real human not a superman. A husband should cater to physical, emotional and financial needs of a wife. Unfortunately, many have failed in one or all these aspects. Men mostly seem incapable of expressing love. Do you know your partner’s likes and dislikes? Can you recognize your spouse’s developing anger? How many activities do you do together? Thankfully, I learnt about a person who reassured my faith in marriage.

My search led me to take interest in life of a modest man. His wife didn’t have to search for a reason/activity to get his attention. At home he readily made himself available for her. He would help her with the household chores! Love needs to grow in a marriage. Occasional showering of gifts/flowers cannot replace the interaction required to nurture plant of love. Unlike most men he listened attentively to his wife. What else could be better to prove a man’s love than caring for every word his wife utters. He could make out his wife’s slightest expression of anger! When she is upset, he consoled her. He saw to it that, no one hurt his wife, including her family even if it was in his favor! He didn’t ignore his wife’s whims and fancies. In short, he used every chance to shower her with affection. He was not amidst those who would forget their wife at the time of honor. He saw to it she had same privileges as him. No person is devoid of human flaws. He didn’t make big deal of his wife’s flaw and rectified it with love!!!  A wife hopes her spouse cares for her parents and extended family the way she does. Our hero respected and cared for his wife’s relatives even after her death! Do you think a busy successful person cannot be like that? Does this make him appear as someone unsuccessful in life? Contrary to that, he is the most successful person ever. This humble king even sought his wife’s advice in important matters. He was none other our beloved Prophet (ﷺ).  This unlettered Prophet (ﷺ)  was wise enough to state.

Prophet was best towards his wives

With an open mind let us see how exactly he treated his wives. Gentlemen here are some tips to increase sweetness in a married life. 😉 Our Prophet (ﷺ) was indeed a perfect HUSBAND!!

humble

Help your wife with chores.

Most of us struggle to find quality time with our husband. Either spouses are too busy or emotionally void. Helping one another in everyday activities could keep love fresh and strong.

ultimate listener

Once, Aisha (RA) narrated a story of 11 women. It is a lengthy hadith where in each women relates about her husband. Prophet (ﷺ)   listened to her without showing any signs of fatigue or boredom. He didn’t interrupt her and finally related “I am to you as Abu Zar was to his wife.” [Shahi Al Bukhari]

I have not included the entire hadith here due to its length. Indeed one who reads this hadith could make out how attentive was the Prophet (ﷺ)   to his wife! J

During Hudaibiya treaty, Shabas were disappointed that they can’t perform umrah that year. None proceeded to sacrifice. Umm salamah (r.a)  said, “O the Prophet (ﷺ) of Allah! Do you want your order to be carried out? Go out and don’t say a word to anybody till you have slaughtered your sacrifice and call your barber to shave your head.” The Prophet (ﷺ) followed her advice. When the sahabas saw what their Rasool (ﷺ) had done, they copied him with zeal. [Shahih al Bukhari]

Our Prophet (ﷺ) didn’t feel inhibited to follow a wise advice of a woman.

Scintillating rectifier

jealous wife

There is no mention of him being angry at Ayesha RA. He realized her love for him had made her jealous. How wisely he handled the situation?!

benevolent

be good to wife's relatives

Subhan Allah, his () love and respect for his wife Khadija (May Allah be pleased with her) extended even after her death. He continued to maintain ties with her family and friends.

Anger recognizer

console your angry wife

Mother of believers Ayesha (RA) hardly did anything to express her anger. Just one different word was enough for our dear Prophet (ﷺ) to recognize her anger. He didn’t ignore it, but mentioned this to his beloved wife. Subhan Allah

never abused

be kind to your wife.

Our brave prophet (ﷺ), who commanded armies, was always kind to his wives and those who served him!

Desirable

Darling wife.

With such open verbal expression of love, a wife would feel happy, secure and contended.


Handsome is what Handsome does. Now, could there be any one more handsome than our prophet? Are you amazed at prophet’s treatment towards his wives? I have just mentioned few of my favorite hadiths. He was much more pleasing. He entertained and played with them too. So, what kind of partner would you like? How about following our Prophet’s (ﷺ)  advice?

Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) from the Prophet (ﷺ)  who said: “A woman may be married for four things: her wealth, her lineage, her beauty and her religious commitment. Seek the one who is religiously-committed, may your hands be rubbed with dust (i.e., may you prosper).” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

With this hadith in mind, I had prayed for a religious man. Our choice for a spouse has a great impact on our future and our children’s future!  Only a man with Taqwa (God consciousness) can try his best to cater physical, emotional and financial needs of his wife and children. My hubby may not be the best man ever, but, Alhamdulillah he is the best man I know. One of the things I love about him is, the way he cares for our children. He doesn’t fuss when it comes to helping me with kids. This gives me extra time to learn, memorize and blog.

Ladies, pay heed. No one is perfect. There are times when I am angry /disappointed with my hubby. That’s when I remember:

Ungrateful wife

Yes, that’s scary. Indeed my husband’s merits outweigh his shortcomings. Life is too precious to be wasted on arguments for trivial things. When upset I recollect some of the lovely things he did for me. This melts my anger away. (MostlyJ) Then, I think of my flaws. Honestly, he rarely complains about them. This really turns my anger into appreciation for him.

Remember ladies, no one can be a better husband than our Prophet Muhammed (ﷺ). Blessed is a lady, whose husband aspires to be like Prophet (ﷺ) was to his wife.  Support him when he practices any sunnah (prophetic mode of life). With time, he would make Prophet (ﷺ) his role model. This would be a huge blessing for a wife.

For those of us who are married we can still strengthen bonds of love by ignoring the past. Let us help one another grow spiritual. May our bonding with Allah help us establish a place in heaven together.

Quran [at-Toor 52:21] [ar-Ra ‘d 13:23] [az-Zukhruf 43:70].

This is where our concern should be. Are you the one who wakes your spouse for fajr? Do you request your spouse to accompany you to a movie or an Islamic class? Do you relax with music or qirat?

Aim for the true eternal love.

Prepublished in Muslimahbloggers

For the list of other articles please click here

Fatima, the maid

Written by Honeybee

fatima the maidWhenever I remember the story of Fatimah, my eyes become moist and heart softens. This is because she reminds me about Allah. About Allah being the best of providers. After knowing her story, I kept wondering how Allah planned for her. Whatever was her decreed portion of rizq, nobody could take it even if all efforts were made. What was meant for her remained hers.

It so happened that in one of the hot summer months, Annua was desperately looking for a part time maid as her old maid had left. Alone with a small baby in the house, it was difficult to manage all the work. She caught hold of all the maid adverts. They were around fifteen maid contacts. She called each one of them. Some refused as they had other work. Some wanted extra money because her house was a little off the main road and they would have to walk down more in the scorching summer heat. She gave them the option of cooler working hours but nothing helped. Some agreed to come but finally did not turn up. She was sort of frustrated. Only one girl out of so many agreed to come without any hassle or negotiation. The best part was that she did come. She was Fatimah, a hijabi girl!

Allah provides all.
Quran 11:6

I am not trying to say that a maid and a spouse have anything in common but does not the same thing happen when looking for a spouse? Even a hundred number of proposals will not work for silly reasons but when the decreed spouse arrives, things move surprisingly fast and smooth as a knife will move through butter. Oh again an analogy! But please do not mistake the knife for the wife.

Annua was happy that finally she had a maid. The maid became busy with the house work and Annua with hers. Sometime later she could hear the vacuum cleaner and with it Fatimah’s angry voice. Fatimah was angry with the fact that she will have to clean the dust bag before proceeding because it was full and Annua had not made sure that the old maid emptied it timely. Annua was annoyed by this attitude but let her finish the work. When she was leaving, Annua gave her the money and asked her not to come again. Fatimah asked her the reason. She told her that it was her rude behavior. Fatimah mumbled something, sort of agreeing with the objection and slowly walked away.

Annua’s search started again but no success. Then one fine day, Fatimah called her and asked if she could send her friend for work. Annua recalled the ayah where Allah tells us that we may dislike a thing which is good for us. Her heart melted and she asked her to come.

Disliking a beneficial thing;
Quran 2:216

Fatimah worked for a few months but her rough behavior now and then continued. But one thing Annua admitted that Fatimah was the only maid she had who used to offer her salah without fail in her house. A couple of months later she needed Fatimah to work for more hours but she could not. Hence Annua had to change the maid.

During this time whatever happened with Fatimah brought tears to my eyes. One day she came and knocked the door. Annua was surprised to see her. She had come to give her the new mobile number. Why? Because she had been kidnapped by a man in his car on the pretext of giving work in his house. He robbed her old mobile along with her cash savings and a gold chain (in short all her savings). He left her luckily untouched, in some remote area from where she somehow managed to reach her house.

Even before Annua could stop thinking about Fatimah’s over deal, the other maid left. It was searching time again! Who says there are no jobs? By that time she had received several other mail adverts. She called a number on one of the slips and guess what? She could hear Fatimah’s voice on the other side. She was saying, “Madam it is me.” Annua said, “I called somebody looking for work, did u put a slip in my house.” She said, “My friend might have put it when doing it for herself.” And I am sure you know what happened next. Fatimah was back in her house doing the chores and left her thinking about how Allah has written down our source of rizq. All other girls were blocked to make way for Fatimah because Allah had written her rizq in Annua’s house. She was such a sweet maid thereafter and worked for her till she left to her hometown.

I can never forget about her because she reminds me about how Allah cares for us and plans for each one of us. We only have to keep our duty to Him.

He provides from where we donot expect
Surah Attalaq verse 2 and 3

Sometimes I wonder what Allah is asking for is too little from us as compared to the blessings He is showering on us day in and day out. Still we are disobedient and on top of that we complain!

May Allah give us the wisdom and strength to live our lives only for His pleasure.

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Why I love him?

His high morals, make him most loved person.

-Facing hostility-

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

His high morals, make him most loved person.
Why I love Him?

What is love? Dictionary states: It’s a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection. We would all agree to that. Whom do we love? I am not speaking about our parents or spouse. Given a choice, what kind of person do/will you love? Perhaps, it’s someone smart, intelligent, caring, stylish, strong, compassionate, jovial and much more. J Here we may all have different perspective. Still, we develop affection for someone outside our classification! Love doesn’t always blossom where we want it to be! It grows with someone who cares for us! We cannot stop admiring one who accepts us with our flaws and brings best out of us. Sometimes a hard blow is necessary to see this. A shoulder to lean and cry is all we need. We don’t care how tall or how handsome that person is.

Can you recollect a day when you were misunderstood? Probably, you felt out of place even amidst people you had known for ages. What was the worst day of your life like? For me, it was a day in hostel. I had tried to speak in support of my sister against a popular friend. In return, I was shown how cruel, inconsiderate, unpractical and dreadful was I. It was not just her; almost everybody had something to say. I wondered why they can’t remember a single good thing I did to them. I was ashamed to have considered them so great. What followed was loneliness!  Alhamdhulillah, I’ve grown out of it and am in better relationship with the people involved.  Yet, my heart holds very special place for those who had even bothered to smile at me in those lonely days.

Amidst my loneliness, I learn about a man who cared too much for others. He wanted best for the people. He ventured into unfamiliar cities with a hope that they would listen to him. He intended no personal gain and his caption was in people’s best interest. Wouldn’t we have loved to listen to the caption? He didn’t get the desired response! He was insulted, humiliated and stoned away from a city. We can’t even stand being interrupted in our speech. And this soft-spoken gentle man who deserved to be given a VIP treatment was abused mentally and physically! What was the problem? Well, his perfect agenda conflicted with people’s personal opinions and false hopes. They preferred to be lost in their illusions than face beneficial truth. Is it hard to relate? Sounds annoying, doesn’t it?

His mission was pure and indeed he was to succeed. He had an opportunity to take revenge against these ungrateful people. What would you have done? Recollect a situation where you were wronged. Poor you facing office politics; or, as an innocent bride being cornered in in-law’s place; what did you wish? Honestly, as a teenager on my worst day, I wished with all my heart that each one of them face similar situation in their life.  Our hero could have destroyed the city. After all, they deserved it. He opts to FORGIVE them. Yes, you read it right. HE FORGAVE THE PEOPLE WHO INSULTED AND STONED HIM!!!

Why? He hoped that the descendants of those people would be wise enough to see the truth! He admits it was the worst day of his life. He had come there with great hope. Not a single soul stood by him. He was bruised and hurt. He was left bleeding in outskirts of the city with no food and water. Yet, for greater good he overlooked his pain and suffering. He was not there to show them – “Now see my wrath”. Instead he showered mercy upon them. This really astonished me. Here was me, who having argued for a personal reason was struggling to face the consequences which could hardly be called abusive. Yet, I harbored grudge. And this blessed person, with tears in his eyes, bruised, hungry and aching body prayed for the forgiveness of the ones responsible for his state. I couldn’t help but cry out of love for him. How could someone be so selfless? He considered his mission to be far greater than any pain he would ever face.  Even in worst of the situations he was patient and only uttered words in praise of the Lord! No wonder he was honored to convey the ultimate truth. For me, this was enough to prove that there couldn’t be a man better than him. He inspired me to overlook my pain. This slowly melted my malice away. I realized, I would gain no pleasure by seeing those who confronted me facing similar situation.

There is nothing great about being nice and courteous to one who is good to us. To judge our character, we should check our response in an undesirable situation. How did you react? I’m afraid, I’ve failed many times. How wise and sensible was this kind man. Even agony and humiliation had failed to degrade him in anyway.  His refined character shined in all situations. In his life I see solution to my aching heart. With depth of my heart I wish best for him. May he always be at peace. Have you guessed who is he?

He is none other than our beloved prophet Muhammed (ﷺ). And his mission was to call people towards one true Allah. The incident I mentioned is that of Taif.

Hardest day in the life of the prohet
Incident at Taif

As he had hoped Taif became land of strong muslims. Alhamdhulilllah. How does Muhammed (ﷺ) inspire you? Feel free to comment.

Indeed high moral caliber of prophet Muhammed (ﷺ) melts and consoles many hearts. He inspires me to be a better person. Now, I was left with other regrets. Why didn’t I bother to voice out for others the way I supported my sister? I decided that I will never gang up to make someone feel low.

This was just a reflection from an incident in prophet’s (ﷺ) blessed life. It’s just a tip of the iceberg. There is so much more to learn from his (ﷺ) life. There are many more reasons to love him (ﷺ). Insha Allah, will be back with more reflections soon.

Quran 33:56
Blessings and salutaions on the Prophet SAW

 

IT IS WORTH MENTIONING:
When the people of Taif had stopped chasing prophet Muhammed SAW, he was, tired and bleeding. Having been tortured and humiliated by the people of Taif, he sat alone under a tree. THIS IS WHAT HE SUPPLICATED THERE!

“ O Allah! I COMPLAIN TO YOU of my WEAKNESS, my SCARCITY OF RESOURCES and the HUMILIATION – I have been subjected to by the people.
O Most Merciful of those who are merciful. O Lord of the weak and my Lord too.
To whom have you entrusted me? To a distant person who receives me with hostility?
Or to an enemy to whom you have granted authority over my affair?
SO LONG AS YOU ARE NOT ANGRY WITH ME, I DO NOT CARE.
YOUR FAVOR IS OF A MORE EXPANSIVE RELIEF TO ME.
I seek refuge in the light of Your Face by which all darkness is dispelled and every affair of this world and the next is set right,
LEST YOUR ANGER OR YOUR DISPLEASURE DESCENDS UPON ME.
I DESIRE YOUR PLEASURE AND SATISFACTION UNTIL YOU ARE PLEASED.
There is no power and no might except by You.”

Subahan Allah. Here we sob and complain on facing any trial. Even if we are stuck in traffic, we wonder why is our life like this!
Our beloved prophet, in spite of facing such cold treatment, fears Displeasure of Allah! He further acknowledges Allah’s favours on Him. He didnt care for anything but Allah.

This raises Shukr Allah to whole new level. Allah o akbar.

Alhamdhulillahi Ala kulli haal.

* Supplication taken from seerah of Rasool.

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A HUNGRY SOUL

Cleaning soul

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

In spite of our best efforts there are times we feel lost. We may be amidst our loving family, in a cozy home with yummy food to relish; we could be young, healthy and rich with plenty of free time to do as we wish; yet we feel sad as though we need something. Why is that so? This is not greed or ungratefulness. This is a call of a hungry soul. We care to improve our physic and increase our bank balance. Our soul needs to be enriched too. What could we do?

What would we do if we are unhappy with our small/untidy dwelling? To keep our home adorable we would- arrange (clear up) and dust it(Clean up). Oh! don’t forget to keep the window open. It connects us to fresh air and light. That’s healthy! Now that, the home is sparkling can we forget all about it. Are you kidding? It needs to be nurtured and cleaned over and over again. Ah! It’s a chain reaction. L Strangely, the pleasure of seeing a clean home is so rewarding that we start enjoying the maintenance as well! Next we focus on enhancing our home’s look with wall hangings and flowerpots.

Coming back to our hungry soul, what could we do? Let’s start with, what is it hungry for? Unlike our home, it is not for show. Or is it? Who knows all about it? He is our Creator- Allah. So, its hunger can only be satisfied by pleasing the Almighty. We have dumped a lot of junk into it our life. A soul that dwells within us needs more attention than our home. With this revelation, let us focus on operation: Satisfying a hungry soul with following steps:

(Note : Obligatory acts of worships are absolute must. Apart from that, here are few simple tips to feel the depth of peace and happiness.)

1. CLEAR UP:

Throw the junk away. Switch off the TV. Stop listening to the music. Say no to PlayStation, Wii or any other online game. To face our soul limit/prevent exposure to facebook, twitter, WhatsApp and net.  Disconnect from anything that would distract and drain the time away.

By time,
Surah Asr

2. CLEAN UP

Now it’s time to repent. Repent for what? It’s so unfortunate that we are so engrossed in this life that we even fail to see our sins! At least can we accept as humans we are bound to be less than perfect? When our furniture needs to be dusted time to time doesn’t our imperfect soul need to shed its sins too?

Cleaning soul
Seeking Forgiveness

Do ablution. Wear something comfortable and modest. Insha Allah, now we have room to nourish our soul.

3. CONNECT:

  • Connect with The Creator.

Listen to what He has to say. How could we? It’s time for a healthy dose of Quran. Listen to it. Read Quran(preferable the portion heard) with meaning. Settle for detailed explanation. This would give plenty to ponder upon.

Add Life to Home
Remember Allah

Walking is a simple way to feel refreshed.  Where will you walk to? How about visiting a closest masjid and spending some time there? Every step towards masjid could lighten the soul.

It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah ( رضي الله عنه) said: The Messenger of Allaah (ﷺ) said: “Whoever purifies himself in his house then walks to one of the houses of Allaah in order to perform one of the duties enjoined by Allaah, for every two steps he takes, one will erase a sin and the other will raise him one degree in status.” [Muslim]

O Allah forgive him, O Allah have mercy on him
Beloved place on earth
  • Connect with creation.

Give charity away from the eyes of others, without expecting anything in return.  Look for someone lost in work (a poor laborer or cleaner).  A genuine invaluable smile on their face due to these few dollars/ pounds/ Rupees could revive deep appreciation in our heart for what we have. Indeed Allah is very merciful to us.

The Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Charity extinguishes sins as water extinguishes fire.” [saheeh]

Help those around home. Help spouse and kids with their chores/work. Smile and say salaam to subordinates.

Quran 28:77
Do good

Scatter few grains by window/garden. Provide for a hungry cat. Every deed counts.

The Prophet Muhammad [ ﷺ ] said: “There is reward for kindness to every living thing.” [Bukhari and Muslim]

All this would give a new reason to wake up.

  • Connect with nature.

Sleep early! Wake up early. End and Start your day by praising Him. Early hours are to be spent on things we are passionate about. Learn new stuff. How about spending that time in memorizing a new surah? The joy one could get by reciting newly memorized surah in prayer is matchless.

Quran 17:78
Recite Quran in early dawn

Eat fresh and seasonal food. Don’t overload. Sometimes we are too obsessed with food. Try fasting.

Delights of fasting
Pleasures of fasting

This could help us improve our tolerance level too.

4. CHAIN REACTION

Insha Allah, this will make us happy, contended and peaceful. We can see reflection of such acts in those around. Do not take a U-turn and let the soul starve. It’s time to take heed and continue providing our soul with more good for here after. Incorporate morning and evening supplications. Take up an islamic course. Improve and quench the thirst of your soul and the souls around you.

Quran: 94
Surah Ash-Sharh

These are mere suggestions like a drop in a ocean. Our soul has a great appetite to learn. Let’s nourish it with clean and beneficial knowledge. May Allah help us improve and shine throughout our life. Aameen.

Prepublished in Muslimah Bloggers

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Iman Nourishing ‘N’

Bismillah

Assalam Alikum, Glad to see you back. May Allah reward you for your zeal to attain His Pleasure. Ameen.  Our entire life is at His service. Our worship and obedience is not limited to Ramadan. Are you ready for Ibada style changes (In case you have missed please read the previous post by clicking on the link)? Let’s work upon three ‘N’ in our life to nourish our Iman (Belief).  These are NIYYATH, NAIMATH and NADAMATH.

Niyyath – Intention

Iman Nourishing N

Intention is the basic requirement for acceptance of deeds by Allah SWT. Don’t mix acts of piety with other things. Do only for the sake of Allah. Check yourself, avoid show off. Your class mates or colleagues don’t need to know you had been praying all night or give a large amount  in zakat – unless, you say so to inspire your friends too. We can reap the reward for inspiring. Only Allah knows your true intention.

With right intent even daily chores can be banked as good deeds! Don’t just go to the market to buy groceries, go seeking Allah’s fadal(bounty) and assistance to nourish your family. Remember to thank Allah too.

With improper niyyath even acts of worship would be lost; and with proper niyyath simple chores can turn into ibadah.

Naimath – Blessing

 

Appreciate the things you are blessed with and utilize them in way of Allah.

five before five hand clock

Narrated Ibn `Abbas: The Prophet (salallahu alayhi wasalam) said, “There are two blessings which many people lose: (They are) Health and free time for doing good. ” (Sahih al-Bukhari)

Don’t waste your precious time and provisions; utilize them in the way of Allah. Allocate time to memorize Quran. Fill your smartphones with Islamic apps. Install love of Islam into your young one’s heart. Share with your spouse what you learnt from tafseer. Visit your relatives and gift them Islamic books. Prepare meal for your sick neighbor. Write an article against injustice for your local paper. Grab every opportunities to win Allah’s love.

Multi task: when you are doing manual work don’t let your mind wander. Listen to Siera of prophet or memorized portion of Quran as you cook or stitch. Utilize the time spent driving in car. While waiting in queue avoid frustration by doing zikr.

New Leaf 2

Learn small duas and make it part of life. Add small acts of sunnah into your life. For instance, while wearing clothes start with right; Use Mishwak.

NADAMATH – Remorse

We are humans and are imperfect. There could be things we have done we shouldn’t be doing. We have to work over them.  Recognize deeds which could be reason for Regret on Day of resurrection.

minorsins bonfire

 

Abdullah ibn Mas’ud reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Beware of minor sins. Verily, they gather upon a man until he is destroyed.”  (Musnad Ahmad)

  • When there is an urge to sin, substitute it with a better alternative. Curb cravings for music by listening to Nasheed. Try sauna to avoid smoking.
  • Are you unable to overcome your addiction. Repent ask for Allah’s help and fix a punishment. If addicted to porn fast. Couldn’t save tongue from gossip – give a fixed amount in charity.
  • If still addicted, increase your punishment. Increase the amount fixed for charity. Give away gadgets causing you to sin.

New leaf 4

Insha Allah, with such minor changes we can see more blessings in our life. What are we waiting for? Allah SWT is there to guide us along. Most difficult part is – Taking the very first step. It’s time to begin working on what really benefits us – Our iman. Let’s take step together.

New Leaf 5

Dear readers, feel free to share your suggestions for improvement. In Ramadan we had set targets like reading entire quran, praying Taraweeh, Itikaaf. How about setting targets in other months too?!!  Insha Allah, my next post “A month with light” is all about a target which inspired me to write this post. Please join me in this journey.

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Precious Five

precious 5

Silence in the hospital was broken by cries of pain; deep unbearable pain. Rehma was brought to the  hospital in labor. The pain was unbearable. Her husband wiped sweat off her forehead as she waited to be admitted.  Doctor examined her and was quick to take her to the  labor ward.  The baby would be here any minute. Any minute? It seemed like ages.

Unlike her first pregnancy this pregnancy had been tough. It was not the pregnancy symptoms which made her life tough. It was cough. Yes!  Cough.  Being pregnant she wasn’t prescribed strong medicines and it made things worst.

She had promised herself that she would take great care of her unborn child. She had planned a list of things to do once she was pregnant.

  • Go on a morning walk.
  • Pray more voluntary prayers
  • Recite Quran daily after fajr
  • Eat healthy balanced food. (no junk)
  • Spend more time with elder son, helping him memorize

Alas, now she could do none of it with her deep coughs. While walking -Where could she vomit? Forget the nafil (voluntary) prayers,  she found it difficult to utter surat ul fatiha (opening chapter of quran) in fard (obligatory prayer).  Getting something on the plate for her family to eat was her biggest challenge of the day. And her poor son, she could do nothing more than to smile with difficulty.  This adversity could purify her – this was her only consolation.

desert flower

Cough would start somewhere deep within and wouldn’t stop until she had very hot water!  This cough wouldn’t let her sleep or eat well. It made sure that she vomited what little she ate. And at its peak won’t let Rehma utter a word. Due to this she didn’t even go out. It always occupied her thoughts and made her sad.

Continue reading Precious Five

Lucky me!

 “If the Son of Adam had a valley of gold, then he would still like to have a second . And nothing fills his mouth but dust, Allah turns to whoever repents.” 

Naima had just returned from school. Her long face and a lifeless salam spoke 1000 words to her mother. “what’s wrong Naima?” asked her mom. “Nothing Ammi”, responded Naima. Few minutes later Ammi got her favorite snacks and chocolate milk. Normally easily pleaseable Naima hardly noticed her plate.

Ammi asks softly, “Did you forget to take your assignment to school?” Naima now in all tears,“I don’t want to go school.” Ammi questions, “why?” “Ammi all girls have fancy gadgets and latest cell phones. They speak about it all day. No matter how much I ask, you won’t get me any of those?” Ammi replies, “There is no need for these. We have a phone they can use it to call you. With that stuff you will be lost in games and useless jokes. Your time is better spent without that fancy stuff.” Naima bursts out, “I feel primitive belonging to Stone Age. I feel ashamed to be amidst my friends. Their parents pamper them as though they are princesses. I think they are special. How lucky are they? And here I am…” She stops abruptly.

Ammi was upset too. She silently left to kitchen. Few minutes later Ammi calls out. “Naima, would you like to have avocado kheer?” Naima can’t prevent herself from smiling. She had a big sweet tooth. Ammi announces, “you would have to help me cook it today.” Naima gladly agrees.

Continue reading Lucky me!