Just Another Ramadan

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بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

Ramadan is back here. Has a year flown away so soon? We haven’t really retrieved from the excitement of last Eid and Ramadan has knocked our doors again. We have ensured we have done our best to welcome this month. Our Homes are shining; Our freezers are full of frozen snacks to fry; We have even purchased our Eid clothes. Insha Allah, our time will be well spent in Ibada. Our Dua(invocation) books are out and we are determined to spend most of our time with Quran; we will try our best to read Quran at least once. After all, this has been our standard procedure all our life. Great! We are at bliss. Are we? Now let us see our Ramadan routine in a new light.

ARE OUR HOMES WELCOMING?

Are our homes welcoming enough for the angels? Of course, the house has been dusted and arranged. Check again, is there anything in the house which would keep angels away? Why wouldn’t angels of mercy enter our home, when we have ensured that our home even smells great?!! WELL, ARE OUR WALLS FREE OF FAMILY PHOTOS?

angels do not enter a home with pictures

Is a photo in your living room meant to honor a predecessor? Or, do you proudly display the photo of your child receiving a trophy? Indeed, the elders need to be honored and the youngster’s achievement is worth being applauded. But, we don’t need a framed photo to prove our love for them. Our love for Allah is much stronger and with all the devils locked it should be much easier to obey Him. Let us remove the photos and ensure that our home is welcoming enough for the angels.

SERVE IT RIGHT

It’s the first day of Ramadan, and kids are already speaking of goodies they would get to eat in iftar. Most of us have loaded our freezer with partly cooked snacks. Moms are wondering whether to defrost kabab, samosas or spring rolls. We have taken all this pain to ensure that our family gets to eat tasty food while we don’t waste our valuable time in a kitchen. Well, have we also ensured that our deeds are being presented before Allah?! Are we in good terms with our extended family and friends? If you are in doubt, without delay connect to your loved ones. Please click here to read more about this.

Gates of paradise opened on Monday and Thursday
Hadith Wait until they reconcile

LET US MAKE THIS RAMADAN THE BEST RAMADAN!

We all love the month of Ramadan. We love the fasting, reciting Quran and standing in tarawih salah. How we wish that we can feel this closeness to Allah all our life. Yet, after Ramadan, we slowly slip back being our usual self. Months of Ramadan come and go, with hardly any impact on our life. Why aren’t we able to hold on to something from our experience in Ramadan? How did you feel, when you first fasted for an entire month? Alhamdulillah. How did you feel on completing the recitation of the Quran for the first time? Are there any more memories which would make a Ramadan stand out? 

fasting for a year

LIVING THROUGH THE MONTH OF RAMADAN IS A HUGE BLESSING. Every Ramadan in our life counts. Perhaps, it’s time we push ourselves to do a little more. Look at Ramadan as an opportunity to change our life for better. It’s time to elevate our Rank in heaven.

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KILL THE ZOMBIE

backbiting is contagious

The aroma of biryani Abida had cooked overpowered the smell of room freshener. She inspects her flat one last time before she dresses up in one of her fine clothes. It was a special day. Her college friend was going to meet her for the first time since Abida had got married. Well, she hardly had any visitors she knew.  She wanted to impress her friend. “I hope Sadaf is not taken a back by the building’s location”, she thought.

As she waited she heard the phone ring. “Sadaf should be close by. May be she forgot the flat number.” Much to her disappointment, it wasn’t Sadaf. She hears nagging Rashma crying aloud, “Hallo Abida. You won’t believe what happened?” Abida knew now Rashma would treat her like a dump yard of emotions and there is nothing much she could do to console her. She replies politely, “Hi Rashma. Oh dear, no matter what it is don’t take it to your heart. I am sure things would turn around for better.” Amidst sob’s Rashma utters, “As usual my husband forgot all about me. He had…” Just then she heard a bell. Delighted to find a reason to escape Abida quickly interrupts, “I was expecting my friend. I have to attend her. I feel sad to leave you in your distress. I am sure your hubby will cheer you up. Bye” She cuts the call and rushes to the door.

The friends were glad to meet one another. Abida felt as though she was meeting her long lost sister! Abida did her best to make her friend feel like a queen! Sadaf and Abida spoke for hours about their days together on college. It was time for lunch. Sadaf was impressed by Abida’s culinary skills. “Abida, you could be a chef at a five star hotel. I just can’t have enough of the biriyani you cooked. You should share this recipe with me.” Abida gladly agrees. Sadaf wonders, “Abida I knew you couldn’t make tea and was happy to dress in casualwear. Now you have changed a lot. You look prettier in our silk robes and jewels. And the food you cook is divine. Your husband is a lucky man. Tell me the secret behind this transformation. Is it love?” Abida blushes and then replies honestly, “OH dear! Love is just a small part. Almost every weekend I have guests visiting us. We can’t afford to dine them out every week end. Inevitably I learnt to be a better host. So far I was only catering my hubby’s friends and family. You are the first person whom I had been acquainted with to come to my home. So, I was really eager to make this day special.”

The conversation seemed to change gloomy. Sadaf was too concerned about Abia’s tiring life. “It should have been tough catering to so many guests. A young couple needs to go out and have fun more often. You were pampered like no other girl at your parents’ home. I am sure your hubby should be helping you with the chores.” Abida opens her heart out, “The only help he does is to invite.” Sadaf gasps, “Oh my God! You should hate being treated as a servant.” Abida argues, “It’s not all that bad. You know I enjoy having company. I love having guests around. Well, until…” Abida wishes she hadn’t uttered more. It was too late. She recollected a heart breaking incident which occurred about a month ago. Sadaf urged her to continue, “Until what? Tell me. You would feel better.” Abida could not hold herself back, “well, one of hubby’s cousins had stayed over during holidays. We planned to go on a picnic next day. I had worked hard and took best care of the guest. Then I also cooked and packed for the picnic. I was last to sleep and first to wake up. I was very tired and fell asleep in the car. I could partly hear everything they spoke. My hubby called me lazy. He said I sleep all day. I hoped his cousin would defend me. Instead, he was feeling pity for my hubby. Would he do the same if his BIL said this about his sis. I came back and confronted my hubby? He was unapologetic.” With this Abida broke into tears. Sadaf handed her a tissue. She said, “That should have hurt a bit.” Abida snaps, “A bit? It felt as though he was tearing my clothes and was exposing me. Aren’t husband and wife meant to be like clothes to one another? Shouldn’t they protect, complement and save one another from evil. Now, I wonder what else had he been telling about me to his relatives. I strain so much to please him and what to do I get in return?”

They are your garments and Ye are their garments
Quran 2:187 Surah Al baqra 187

Sadaf starts a new chapter, “You had earlier told your hubby is very loving. Someone should have pushed him to turn like this. Is she your MIL?” “Oh no, she is such a darling. There are few differences in way we see things. That’s normal. Let’s speak about something else.” Sadaf agreed. She focused on Abida’s home. “Your house is well kept but it is not in prime location. What kind of neighbours do you have? The smell of fish on the way to your flat was hard to bear.”  Abida’s turns defensive again, “Well my hubby is saving to buy a better car. Once, he saves enough we will shift to a better location. Hey! That same neighbor also taught me to make biriyani. It’s not her fault that our kitchens face corridor.” Sadaf pities her, “It’s sad to see you adjust so much. How selfish of your hubby to leave you here so that he may enjoy luxuries. You should have been stern. If he doesn’t care for his newly wed wife, do you think he’ll care for you few years from now? Your parent always kept your preferences above theirs. It should be tough for you to live like this.” One thing led to other Abida was spilling beans out. When Sadaf left, she felt depressed and somehow oppressed. Lively home seemed devastated. Nothing seems right. She wonders why she ever married. The couple fought by evening and her young hubby went alone to meet his friends! She thought, “Now he’ll go and blabber everything to his friends.”

Things looked better again. Her hubby and she missed each other’s pleasant company. In no time, the conflict was pushed aside. She wonders why she ever fought with such a loving husband. A week later she receives call from her mom. Her mom was very upset. On questioning she reveals, “Does Ahmed take good care of you dear?” “He is very good to me.” “I know everything dear. You stay in a crappy place to save money. You work hard to please his guests and end up being called lazy. Your MIL and you have differences. And …” Abida is stunned to hear all this. She had only spoken to her friend about these things and they were not exactly said like this. She quickly comforts her mom, Continue reading KILL THE ZOMBIE

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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Balloons!

image
Balloons. Ready to burst.

Balloons!
Bundle of air, just enough to make one smile.
Good enough to keep mom free for a while.
Be prepared for tears to come..
For all it takes is a single prick.

We like balloons, have inflated ourselves with dreams, pride, ego and all things vain.
We are no better than those who have perished.
Let’s take heed before the final prick.
Let’s be prepared to face what we have done.

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.

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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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Ibadah style changes – Introduction

Quran-Ibada style changes

Bismillah

Alhamdhulillah!  Ramadan had been such a blessed month. Though days were long, Allah (s.w.t) made it easy for us to fast. Quran and Salah were our highest priorities in Ramadan. We stole moments from our usual routine to go back to Quran, to recite it and to reflect more on it.  Our efforts doubled in the last ten blessed nights of Ramadan. We hoped to make most of Lailatul Qadr.  We begged Allah to answer our list of invocation. And every night we had a new list to beg for and we hoped that was the night of decree. Finally, when moon was sighted though we were happy to havesuccessfully fasted through the month of Ramadan, still we felt a sharp pain at farewell of the blessed month.  Most of us had self-imposed a ban on TV, Facebook, online games, unnecessaryphone calls and much more, so as to perfect one’s fast.

How blessed were those days of Ramadan when His pleasure meant everything to us? Please read that question again. Isn’t that a wrong question? Aren’t all our days meant to please Him? Why have we limited piety, compassion and charity only to Ramadan? Why can’t we feel that tranquility in other months too?  Doesn’t everyday have the same 24 hours?

I do agree, shayateen had been chained in the month of Ramadan. But, with the training in Ramadan our nafs (self –soul) should now be strong enough to battle shaitan’s whispers. Instead, we have taken a ‘U’ turn on the day of Eid. Our TV’s are crying the old sagas; music has sneaked back into our cars; free time is killed with online games and gossip!!! Honestly, what have we brought forth from our experience in Ramadan? Why is this happening?

Do you remember the last time you took up a crash diet scheme to shed few pounds. Well, wewanted to fit into a sleek dress and look our best for a certain event. We gave up carbs, sugar and dairy. It did work well. Then, after much awaited events we award ourselves with delicacies. Yummy!  Before we could realize, we gain back the lost pounds and sometimes even more! What went wrong? Well I can almost hear some of you scream out, for permanent impact we need toincorporate lifestyle changes. Small changes like replacing unhealthy carbs with healthier ones; avoiding processed meals; incorporating organic food. Such life style is not just limited to food. It includes exercise and other activities too! The results are slow but substantial than our crash scheme. Ironically, these changes are much more difficult to adopt by most of us. Key player is the motive. Instead of limiting it to a sleek dress, let it be for healthy life.

Our external look makes no difference in our rank before Allah. It’s our heart he is interested in.Nothing is hidden from Him. Our beauty is Taqwa (God consciousness).  Our motive in Ramadan was to shed our sins away. We also beg Allah to assist us with matters which bother us and trusted Him alone. We surpass our expectations by praying all night and reciting complete Quran once or more within this month. Once we have bid farewell to Ramadan, our priorities change…. We are busy trying to catch up things we had forsaken in Ramadan. This is because we have been treating Ramadan like a crash diet course. The most Merciful Generous Allah might have forgiven our sins. But we are greedily filling them back. Is this how we would like to return to Him?

Ramadan is just a glimpse of what we could achieve by spiritual standards. Let us learn from Ramadan. It’s not just time to shed sins but also to recharge taqwa. Once charged it’s up to us to keep the spark alive. It’s time to make Ibadah style changes to continue polishing our soul.  Worship is not limited to Ramadan. Life of a believer is worship.  We have to prove to Allah we are Abd-Allah and Abd- Ramadan. (We are His slaves and not slaves of Ramadan).

Well, what could we do?  Let’s work upon three ‘N’ (?)– in our life. (Any guesses?) It’s time to change from Abdur Ramdan to Abd Allah. Join me in this metamorphism. Let’s beautify our self for Allah.  Read my next post to learn about the three ‘N’s, Iman Nourishing ‘N’.

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Last Breath

Sunset at sea

I had always seen life as an ocean. There was so much to do and explore. As a kid I enjoyed seeing my reflection on still water. I would disturb it trying to make out what will I be like in future. The ripples in water gave me visions to be achieved. That was my sweet innocent childhood. Then as a teenager I dived into pleasures of this life. Who knew those still waters could be so deep. I collected unique treasures from its depth. Those were my experiences for me to cherish. Adulthood was tough.  I wanted more and tried my luck by swimming against tides. I was even attacked by sharks – credit crunches, regression and market crash. Somehow I survived. But, it’s the emotional cyclones and whirlpools caused by those close to heart that hit me hard. Many accompanied me in my journey but I felt alone. Something was missing. My health deteriorated as I got old.  My appetite for adventure faded away. Now as I float through my memories of the past I realize – this ocean was never my life. It was just a distraction which stole moments of my life.

Life is moments between dawn and dusk.  Yes, my birth and death. Now as I see my life drain, I wonder, what have I done with the light I was blessed? The light – my time was spent to collect things which would be of no avail after my life sets.  I would be forgotten.  And, those for whom I struggled will also be allured by the ocean of distractions which the world has to offer. If only I had learnt to appreciate what I had and walked on the path of our Lord, the life would have been more purposeful. Now I know what I was thirsty for.  It was the light of faith from Almighty which would never set. Anything else is as good as sea water, which cannot be drunk. I might have not done much but I am tiered and eager to return to Him. His mercy is vaster than ocean and that’s where I would like to drown.  I repent to You my lord. Forgive me.

You may be a big fish in a small pond or a blue whale in ocean, but ultimately your time would run out  too. It’s better to prepare early for the sun set.

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