Are we slaves to the gadgets?

Assalamu alikum.

Alhamdhulillah, one of my articles has been republished in Aboutislam

image

.

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

Do check to see, the changes. 🙂

Advertisements

Why We Need A Hobby

Crochet needle hobby

Assalammu Alikum,

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

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

Why Crochet?

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

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

Learning to empathize

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

Hadith crochet disgrace adorn
Be compassionate

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

Hadith crochet coasters beginner yarn empathy
Be lenient

Valuing Time

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

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

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

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

Strengthening Bonds

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

Hadith crochet shawl priceless grandma
Gifts increase love

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

Rewind

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

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

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

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

Appreciation

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

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

A useful hobby, could strengthen bonds of love.

Bonus

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

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

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

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

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

Dua crochet flower cap
Bless our deeds/action

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

Preprinted in Muslimahbloggers.

The thieves in my life

Time loss

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. RECOGNIZE YOUR WEAKNESS:

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

2. FAITH:

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

3. REPLACE:

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

4. LEARN SOMETHING NEW:

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

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

5. BELIEVE YOURSELF:

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

6. MOTIVATE:

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

7. PLAN:

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

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

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

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

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

Clock, Time
Do not abuse TIME

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

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

Pre-published in Muslimahbloggers.

Click here for the list of other articles.

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 LIFE WITH LIGHT

Do you wish to be amidst angels?

Dear readers, I hope you are back to see how I had fared in the Surah an-noor memorization contest. I had tried hard and had managed to memorize surah an noor within a month’s time. Still I hoped that the contest was postponed by a week. Even a day’s delay could have improved my recitation drastically. Contestant was held as scheduled .

I waited in a room along with other contestants to be called for recitation. Fortunately, we didn’t have to recite on stage in font of one another. Our flaws wouldn’t be exposed to one another.Phew. Still, I was much tensed. I was able to hear my heart aloud. Whenever I am tensed, I try to see things through other’s perspective. This helps me a lot. I closed my quran and started looking at other participants in the room. They seemed equally tensed too. They were all reciting surah annoor. Amidst buzz, I was able to hear each one of them clearly. I have to admit, I was mesmerized by the way they were reciting. It was Honey to ears. They had all spent a month like me to memorize quran.  I wondered, amidst how many challenges, these ladies should have memorized. Some should have struggled more than me; memorizing 10 pages in a week shouldn’t have been a big deal for few others. Though we all had come there for the same purpose our Ajar (good deeds) would vary.

Do you wish to be amidst angels?
Read Quran for Double Reward

Soon I was called for recitation. There were two section of verses to be recited (picked from a lot) – I did one well and other not so well. I knew I wouldn’t be shortlisted and asked my kind judges where I should improve. I had to recite slower and work more on letter “ain” and “Ha”. Yes! this is where the contest end for me. My hubby was very disappointed. He was sure, I will be called back. For him my recitation was perfect. Do I have to write how flattered I felt then? J Two days later I received SMS confirming my rejection.

 

Dear reader, what do you think about this struggle. Do you think, my efforts were in vain? If winning was my intension, IT SHOULD BE A BIG LOSS. This contest boosted my confidence.

 

  • For once, I was convinced Quran memorization is a possible task for me! I had managed to memorize more than I could have ever imagined memorizing in a month’s time.
  • It showed me it was possible to have a strong relation with quran outside the month of Ramadan. (As I had discussed in introduction). For the first time in my life I had Quran in my hands like a baby in a mother’s arm, or like a subject book before exams. And the last few days were spent like last few nights of Ramadan. Devil which needs to be locked away by us is ‘ Nafs’- it’s within us.
  • It made me reflect on the time/life I had wasted. We could all do so much more within a day! If we could just overlook our excuses, we can work for better eternity. Our excuses cannot save us from ultimate Loss. I pondered upon self- improvement.
  • Yes, we are weak beings and have a great chance of drifting away. This doesn’t mean we should give up. It’s time to start afresh. Remember, I hadn’t memorized for a week; Much to my surprise, by Allah’s grace –I had managed to catchup!
  • And the biggest reward is indeed, having by hearted surah Annoor.

Alhamdhulillah, I am glad I participated in this contest. Insha Allah, if I again get a chance to participate in such a contest, I wouldn’t let it pass by. Insha Allah, there will come a day when I won’t be eligible for the contest – as the surah allotted for the contest would be  one I’ve already memorized.

 

Still, it cannot to be ignored; In spite of my best efforts (so far- in my life), I had not even been short listed for finals! It was a big reminder that – ALLAH IS NOT SHORT OF HIS WORSHIPPERS. He doesn’t need my prayers and sacrifices. IT’S ME WHO DESPERATELY NEEDS HIM. Whatever I do to please Him will only benefit me in Hereafter.  We have absolutely no idea – how well we will fair in hereafter. How can we feel assured with what little we do, that we’ll live an eternity in bliss?

Has Allah promised safety from Hell?
Illusion of being safe from hell

Even an extra day of practice could have helped me lot in improving my recitation. But this was all the time I had. LIFE- ALSO HAS  A BEGINNING AND  AN END. Sad part is, we don’t know when we will leave the world. Still we live as though there is no end. We are happy with entertainment life has to offer and avoid spending enough time with Quran. I hope we are not amidst those who cry in vain with a request to be sent back to do some righteous work.  LET’S BE PREPARED.

No respite from death
Pleading to be returned.

I recollect how tensed we participants were prior to the recital. Majority of us were concerned about our own recitation (of course, this should be the focus). This made me reflect on Day of resurrection – when we would be waiting to be judged. That would be the real tensed day, when all will fear the anger of Allah. It is this thought which made me be little the tension in the room. On that day of gathering, we would run away from those we are close too. Only thing that would matter to us is – HAVING OUR RIGHTEOUS DEEDS. How nice Insha Allah would it be, to be in peace amidst 7 who are promised shade when there is no other shade except of his throne. Shouldn’t we care to be amidst them?

Just ruler, heart in masjid, cries remembering Allah
7 under Shade

Life is a gift filled with opportunities. The opportunity bestowed upon us will not be keep waiting for us. If we don’t grab it someone else would utilize the chance to get close to Allah. Even a smallest act could have great impact. I don’t remember who had sent the message about contest in the WhatsApp group. Though that lady had not participated in the contest, she has been part of my journey! May Allah reward her for bothering to forwarding the message. How many of us would have done it? Be generous in forwarding such messages even if you can’t avail the opportunity. You never know in which small deed there could be limitless blessing.

Small acts can save from fire
Half a date

And think about the amount of blessings the organizers of the contest should have earned by attracting people like me towards memorization! Allah-o-akbar.

grow deeds like grain
Good deeds multiply

We, within our limits can also encourage others towards righteousness. Why not hold a small quiz contest amidst kids on oft repeated words/invocation in islam? During get together kids/grownups can be asked to prepared a speech on certain topics (About a  sahaba(companion) or on ‘How to respect parents’). Providing such opportunities could build interest towards islam. It could leave a deep impact on a kid.

Every deed counts
Unlimited reward

Other thing which struck my cord was, how shocked my husband was with my rejection.  This reminded me of a hadith:

Hell for those preach and dont adhere
Result of not practicing what one preaches

That’s scary! I seek refuge in Allah from being amidst such. Here, even during contest my flaws in recitation were hidden from other contestants. It was such a relief. I hope Allah, the Gafoor (oft forgiving) overlooks and forgives my short coming.

 

And I’m to reveal a heavy secret. Few days after contest, I found it tough to recollect few verses. It’s important to keep revising and reciting the memorized verses.  MEMORIZING QURAN IS EASY. RETAINING IT IS TOUGH. (Unless a fixed time is allotted for revision) The contest is over. But it’s upto me to retain Light from this contest.  May Allah help us to memorize, revise and retain Quran in our heart. Ameen.

Dua of light
Quran- Spring of heart; Light of cheat; Banisher of Sadness; Reliver of Distress;

Increase me in light, increase me in light, increase me in light .

Hold on to Quran; Organize your life around Salah; Rush towards righteousness; Save for your hereafter. Insha Allah, with this we could have real paradise vacation as permanent destination in store for us. Let’s make LIFE A SOURCE OF LIGHT.

Prepublished in Muslimahbloggers.

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.

Prepublished in Muslimahbloggers

For the list of other posts please click here

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’.

Pre printed in Muslim Bloggers

For the list of other posts please click here

Sweet Home

In honor of summer.

Oh sweet spring, where are you? When did you leave me?

Pleasant breeze and colorful flowers had promised sweet fruits in summer?

Oh summer, where are the juicy mangoes, peaches and berries I wanted to reap?

Oh hell has broken lose and my life seems no longer mine.

I found love in life’s spring – I hopped my spouse would sparkle my life.

Now my sweet heart is no longer sweet, all I face is nag-nag;

I feel the weight of responsibility with my kids demands;

Exhausted, thirsty and drenched in sweat I find no shade to rest.

My old flocks ask me to be patient, I pretended to be deaf;

Grinded in this life’s grid I had no place to run.

Eventually, I became victim of heat and fell down ill.

I was touched by the kindness and selflessness of my spouse and realized –

I was the field she was hopping to reap; I could be her plum or a mere weed.

By being nice and kind to one another –We could all enjoy sweetness of life;

Being still blessed with strength and with little added patience –

I can reap enough fruits- to last through autumn and chill winter,

I hope to nourish my kid’s spring with better morals –

Perhaps they could reap better in their summer.

Prepublished in wolfpublishing

For the list of other posts please click here.

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