*#7 Action Plan: Plan your day.


BISMILLAH-IR-RAHMAN-IR-RAHIM

22 Shaban 1442

Planning is crucial. For about 3 years I have been planning how my Ramadan goes. Essentially write out acts of Ibadah and fit them into your time frame. This makes you conscious of time. Have time for Qur’an, seerah, tafsir, hadiths, lectures, cooking etc. Plan and it will serve you. Proper preparation prevents poor performance. Make the best of the days leading to Ramadan and plan yourself.

Depending on your circumstances the plan may not go accordingly, especially if you are not living alone. And you have to fulfil others right upon you such as parents, children etc. Nonetheless, it is highly recommended you write out and schedule a plan. Be flexible! Know that sometimes your plan will get disrupted by unforeseen circumstances. When you plan by writing you’re on a mental shift and you know what you should do at a certain time. This prevents you from thinking of what to do with time or wasting the precious time you have. You don’t find yourself thinking “what should I do now?” you simply check your book. And as you follow the routine, it sticks with you.

*They are in no particular order of importance.

Till next Thursday Fi Ammanillah!


Related post: RAMADAN PREP

Related post: A PROMISE FROM ALLAH 

Related Post: BARAKAH ACTIONS

Related post: THE MOST BELOVED TO ALLAH…


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*#1 Action Plan: Take Account of YOUR Current State.


1 Shaban 1442

Why should you take account of your current state?

We should aim to be better after every Ramadan in our lives, as it comes to purify us. Cleanse us. And make us conscious of our relationship with Allah ﷻ. We should use it as an opportunity to review our lives and measure whether we have improved in an aspect of the deen as we grow.

Think realistically on how Ramadan is benefitting you, rather than how you are only acting in that month!

Be sincere and truthful to Almighty Allah ﷻand yourself as you write. You do not have to share your exercise with anyone, know that Allah sees it and that is enough!

So, lets dive in

– Take a moment to write down habits you have developed from previous Ramadan. Write “Habits I have developed from last year’s Ramadan”

Write down areas that you have improved on since last year Ramadan.

Prompts

  • Started praying on time
  • Recite Qur’an often
  • Engage in Tahajjud
  • Practiced seeking istigfar (forgiveness)
  • Increased in Dhikr
  • Sought out Islamic Knowledge etc

– Thereafter, write things you have neglected from last year’s Ramadan. “Habits I neglected from last year’s Ramadan” By this I mean things you planned to do consistently but you know you faltered and have not kept up with it post-Ramadan of last year.

Prompts

  • Unable to fast nawafil fast
  • Inconsistency with Tahajjud

Fill in the blank for yourself, by taking account of yourself. (it is very personal and make sure it reflects YOU)

The purpose of this exercise is for you to see how well you have improved and changed from last year Ramadan to this year. This brings the gratitude spirit in us because you are able to see how Almighty Allah has changed your life. We cannot count Allah’s favour on us.

On the other hand, we see where we need to improve and consciously take action to work on them.

*They are in no particular order of importance.

Till next Thursday Fi Ammanillah!

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Ramadan Prep 1442: A series on Action Plan.


BISMILLAH-IR-RAHMAN-IR-RAHIM

5 months ago I wrote about RAMADAN PREP because the Sahabas used to prepare for this auspicious month 6 month in advance. Shaban is upon us (In Islam the day starts after Magrib) which gives us roughly 29/30 days to Ramadan. How well have we prepared? Many people are learning about the merits of this blessed month but are we taking action to implement what we have learnt? Are we taking steps to make this year’s Ramadan the best we’ve ever had? That is my goal. To make this year’s Ramadan better than my previous ones. Thought and Reflection is delighted to announce that A series on Ramadan Action Plan will be coming up. Here we will cover 8 actions for you to incorporate and bi’idniallah YOU will enter Ramadan Strong. Sign up to receive every Monday and Thursday, leading up to Ramadan.

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We will talk through actions and cultivate habits. Some of the actions shared are what members have incorporated in their lives and it has worked. The only thing you need to get is a journal, a pen, and a comfortable atmosphere for you to write, think and get yourself in the mood.

Are you wondering why journaling? It is an effective way for you to take account of yourself. Since last year’s Ramadan I created my Ramadan Life Book. Here is where I write all I want to do for Ramadan, things I am doing, my goals and habits I want to develop etc. you can follow this approach and it will hold you accountable.

Umar bin Al-Khattab رضي الله عنه, reminds us to be accountable “Take stock [account] of yourselves before you are brought to account; weigh yourselves before you are weighted, for that will make the reckoning easier for you tomorrow, if you take stock [account] of yourselves today and prepare yourselves for the great presentation on the Day when you will be brought to Judgment, and not a secret of yours will be hidden”. Narrated by Ibn Abi’d-Dunya in Muhaasabat an-Nafs (p.22).

Let us use the days leading up to Ramadan to take account of ourselves.

Here’s what I wrote sometimes ago on how we can prepare for Ramadan. The action plan will be elaborated in subsequent weeks In Sha Allah. With prompts to get you writing.

  • Make dua (supplicate) that Almighty Allah ﷻ accepts your last year’s Ramadan. Act of worship requires acceptance from Allah. Hence, the need to complete your act of worship with dua. Engage in istigfar for your sins. The ones committed intentionally and unintentionally.
  •  Make dua that Almighty Allah ﷻ keeps you alive to witness the next Ramadan. So many people have died between last year Ramadan and now – allowing us to witness limitation in the human ability. Supplicate that Almighty Allah ﷻ increase your lifespan with the intention to do good.
  • Pay off your Last year Ramadan if you are still owing.
  • Make an action plan. Review your last year Ramadan and things you planned to do after Ramadan.

Related post: SELF-REFLECTION

Related post: RAMADAN PREP


Proper preparation prevents poor performance. We need to prepare for Ramadan so we can maximise the benefits the month brings.  

The Non-negotiables such as Salah, Qur’an recitation etc. are not going to be covered in this action plan series.

Be sure to share with as many people as possible.

Till tomorrow Fi Ammanillah!

What is Your Fear and Insecurity doing to YOU?


BISMILLAH-IR-RAHMAN-IR-RAHIM

Yes, you. What is your fear and insecurity doing to you?

We have/had things we feel insecure about. A major one is the fear of failure.

One thing with fears is that it keeps us grounded (in a certain way.) How? You may wonder. We are taught to have fear of Allah. This fear must however be balanced with hope!

Related post: Disappointment Taught Me DETACHMENT

“They abandon their beds, invoking their Lord with hope and fear, and donate from what We have provided for them.”(Qur’an 32:16)

“…Indeed, they used to race in doing good, and call upon Us with hope and fear, totally humbling themselves before Us.” (Qur’an 21:90)

A supplication of the Prophet ﷺ – ‘O Allah, I submit my face to you and entrust my affair to you. I commit myself to you out of hope and fear of you. [Sahih Muslim 2710]

A similarity with the three phrases is that hope comes before fear. You may want to reread before going further. (that’s not a subject of discussion tho)

The description above presents what fear leads to – action and calling upon Allah ﷻ. We need a certain level of fear to prevent us from being complacent. Sadly, most of the time our fear results due to thinking of a future event. What will happen if I do x and y? A future beyond our control. Yet we dwell on it and this hampers us from taking necessary steps. We lose focusing on taking action in the present.

Sometimes these fears are just imagination.

Related post: What Defines YOU?

We have the fear of hell fire and this pushes us to take action by worshipping Allah ﷻ – praying, giving charity in short, a drive that makes I and you perform good deeds. Similarly, your worldly fears should push you to take action, call upon Allah ﷻ due to your fear and express complete reliance in Allah ﷻ.  Do what is within your power accepting that you are not in control of the result. You do not determine the outcome of your effort. Allah ﷻ does! ‘If you ask, ask from Allah. If you seek help, seek help from Allah. Know that if the nations gathered together to benefit you, they could not benefit you unless Allah has decreed it for you. And if the nations gathered together to harm you, they could not harm you unless Allah has decreed it for you. The pens have been lifted and the pages have dried.’ [Sunan al-Tirmidhī 2516]

Commit to seeking and asking Allah ﷻ for help. Sometimes the fears you have kept you holding tight to your Rabb ﷻ. They make you Call out to Him. They make you Seek His Guidance. His Counsel. His Help. Because you are nothing without Him. Accept and come to terms that whatever He decrees happens and it is good for you.

Over to the example of failure above. If you fear failing in your studies, ensure you study more, do what is within your power to understand what you are being taught and have trust in Allah ﷻ. Demonstrate complete reliance in Allah ﷻ. When you do this, bi ibnillah you will gradually overcome your fears.

Besides, knowing you are doing things for Allah’s sake also helps to combat our fears. They make us turn to Him, in weakness, in helplessness seeking His aid. When we have sincere intention and to do things purely for His ﷻ sake, we are detached from result and strive to put our best effort because we want Him ﷻ to accept it – doing it with Ihsan (Excellence).

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When next you find yourself…

Scared to leap.

Scared to start.

Scared to believe.

Scared to let go.

Scared to break-free.

Scared to start all over again.

Scared to… (insert what is applicable to your situation)

Call upon the one who is Able. The one who is ever near and responsive (AL-MUJIB). The one who is All Knowing (AL-ALEEM). Ever seeing (AL-BASIR) Ready to listen to your whispers, silent tears. (AS-SAMI) The one who Creates all things (AL-KHALIQ) including what is making you scared, worried, or anxious. He ﷻ knows why He instilled that fear in you. So, acknowledge there is a reason to which you may not comprehend.

A simple practical exercise on self-talk and writing therapy.  Write down your fears. (please don’t think it in your head, get it penned down) then ask yourself some questions, why do I have this fear? What have I done because of this fear? What is this fear preventing me from doing? Interrogate yourself, if I don’t get what I am expecting, what will happen. Take yourself to make dua. Supplicate to Almighty Allah ﷻ to help you overcome the fear. Journal your answer and take steps from there. Take action. Maybe you need to speak to someone. Maybe you need to overcome some limiting beliefs. May be you need to … (you can let me know in the comment section below)

Is there anything you’ve done to overcome your fears? Or something you’ve learnt to overcome your fears? I’d love to hear in the comment section below.

Let me know your thoughts and any questions in the comment. Alternatively ask anonymously  here  https://curiouscat.qa/TandR

Always remember: Indeed, He is with me wherever I am. Allah will not overburden me than I can bear. (Qur’an 2:286)


To any sister reading this between the age of 16-24 (If you are not, I will appreciate you sharing it) I will like to invite you to join a community of sister’s like you. To have a place where we commit to live fi dunya wa aakhira. To have access, kindly complete this short survey here: https://forms.gle/bGvczY2EZqsFRETA7 I hope to see you on the other side. j h


PS: Ramadan is less than 40 days. Prepare for it – RAMADAN PREP

If you’ve enjoyed reading, share with someone you know will benefit and don’t forget to subscribe too.

Sharing is caring

Till next time Fi Ammanillah!

BE YOU|JOURNEY TO DRESSING MODEST |A PROMISE FROM ALLAH  |  BARAKAH ACTIONS | RAMADAN PREP  |FULFILLING LIFE’S PURPOSE  |PERSPECTIVE: POSITIVE MINDSET  | THE MOST BELOVED TO ALLAH…| SELF-REFLECTION| WHAT IS YOUR EXCUSE?  |THE ROLE MODELS: THE YOUTHS IN THE CAVE|ETIQUETTE OF MAKING DUA  | DUA OF AN OPPRESSED | THE MOST INTELLIGENT OF PEOPLE | DISAPPOINTMENT TAUGHT ME DETACHMENT |What Defines YOU?

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What Defines YOU?


BISMILLAH-IR-RAHMAN-IR-RAHIM

This post is a continuation of #TrueLifeStories on DISAPPOINTMENT TAUGHT ME DETACHMENT. You may want to consider reading the previous post before you continue.

A bit on what gave birth to this post you are reading. I decided to write this because I was on a search to identify what defined me. I have defined myself with different labels, but I noticed that they left me at one point in my life – the labels were temporary: they left me. We define ourselves with labels and titles. That was how the search began. To identify how and what I should allow define me and this story follows….


As Muslims we are blessed to have a way we should live our life, because we have a life manual. We have a guide to follow to be successful, to be achievers… name it. We have answers to many life questions. All we need to do is to search the right sources and we will find the answer glaring in front of our faces. We have a guide to follow on how we should live our life. To anyone reading, for any question you have  always go back to the Qur’an and Sunnah as your source or ask learned people you trust. We should treasure this gift of Iman (faith) and take measures to preserve it. As Muslims we should always pray to live and die as a Muslim. Pray that you do not lose your connection with Allah ﷻ, because this life will be meaningless without it. Without knowing your purpose you will be on the search for an unending self-discovery.

What defines you? I have come to realize that it is up we as individuals to choose what defines us. As human beings, we have perceptions of ourselves. How we want to be seen and viewed by the outside world.  Many of us have or still define ourselves based on our accomplishment, status, appearance what we do. etc. but now, I choose not to. And I want you to do the same. What happens when we get stripped of the so-called labels we attach to our names? How will you see yourself?

Over to you, I’m asking you what defines you?

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Before you answer, let’s have a glance over a Hadith about Mother of the Believers – Khadijah raḍyAllāhu ‘anha.  

Abu Huraira رضي الله عنه reported: The Angel Jubriel came to the Prophet ﷺ, and he said, “O Messenger of Allah, here is Khadijah coming to you with a dish of stew, food and drink. When she arrives before you, greet her with peace on behalf of her Lord and myself. Give her glad tidings of a palace in Paradise made of reeds, wherein there will be no turbulence, nor fatigue.” [Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 3610, Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 2432]

Anytime I come across this Hadith I adore her more. As it makes me reflect on how I can elevate my status in the sight of my Rabb – Allah. Why did she have this lofty status you may ask? Why did she receive Salam from Allah ﷻ and Angel Jubriel? Why was she given glad tidings of Jannah on earth? She sought and gained her status with Allah and we should emulate her in this regard.  Before the coming of Islam she was a woman of nobility, from a noble lineage and had a high status in the society. Her status in the society changed when the message of Islam began to be propagated. She raḍyAllāhu ‘anha stood with the Prophet. Used all she had for Islam. She raḍyAllāhu ‘anha lost her worldly status but secured her place in Jannah.

This leads me to an ayah of the Qur’an in Suratul Hujurat:

“Surely the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous among you. Allah is truly All-Knowing, All-Aware.” (Qur’an 49:13)

What earned Mother Khadijah raḍyAllāhu ‘anha status with Allah ﷻ was her righteousness. Her piety. All of this elevated her rank in Jannah. So, we should earn our honour with Allah on account of Taqwa. We should seek our status with Him.

What should we take from this? When you define and assess your self based on your Taqwa, you will commit to working on it. You will seek to develop this personal relationship and seek your status with Allah by engaging in righteous deeds.

Any worldly title you have is a means for you to attain Taqwa. E.g My role as a daughter, a student, etc is to attain Taqwa. I am using the so-called labels as resources to earn my status with Allah. By doing this you will naturally conform and behave in accordance with attaining Taqwa in all you do.

Abu Hurairah رضي الله عنه narrated that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ was asked about that for which people are admitted into Paradise the most, so he said: “Taqwa of Allah, and good character.” And he was asked about that for which people are admitted into the Fire the most, and he said: “The mouth and the private parts.” (Tirmidhi

I hope that now since you know what you should allow to define you, you can work on it.

POINT OF REFLECTION: Ask yourself what do you need to do, to strengthen your relationship with Allah? Does your acts of Ibadah make you have Taqwa? Are you conscious of Allah in your dealings?

Abu Hurayrah said: “Some people asked the Prophet ﷺ, ‘Who is the most honourable among people?’ He replied, “The most honourable among them with Allah is the one who has the most Taqwa…” [Sahih Bukhari]

PS: Ramadan is less than 50 days. Prepare for it – RAMADAN PREP

If you’ve enjoyed reading, share with someone you know will benefit and don’t forget to subscribe too.

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Till next time Fi Ammanillah!#

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Disappointment taught me Detachment


BISMILLAH-IR-RAHMAN-IR-RAHIM

Another #TrueLifeStory to remind you never to trust your abilities. Many of us have gone through the academic phase of life. It is important that we are cautious in our strive to excel. To not lose focus of the real thing.


I’m Sid and here’s a bit of my life and how I learnt about detachment.

Scoring high marks in university was my thing. I was someone who always worked hard, read and helped others to understand what we were taught in uni. But something happened that changed my perspective with my academics. I had some setbacks, or we’ll call it realizing moments. This was a uni module assignment that was challenging in the beginning for me. I have heard how difficult it was to pass the module, and maybe it affected my approach subconsciously. We were given a formative and I scored high marks unexpectedly. I kept wondering how this happened. Fast forward to the final assignment. I ensured I did my best, crossed my I and T’s.

Unfortunately, when I saw my result I was shattered. I was like no, no, no, this can’t be my result. I was not ready to accept what I saw. I cried so hard. I did not fail. But I was expecting something so high. And this is a problem that happens when you place so many expectations on yourself. This is what happens when you trust your abilities without Allah. When you tie your camel, but do not put your Trust in Allahﷻ.

To be honest it was a challenging module, and I know I did well compared to so many people, but this is the danger of having high expectations. I was so hurt, sent an email to ask if it could be remarked with a response of NO.

I cried my eyes out. Words of solace were not comforting. I just wanted to be alone. To speak and be by myself. I believed so much in my ability, in my intelligence and when it did not help me, I got disheartened. It was sometimes later that I calmed down. There was a lot I learnt from this life experience and looking back I would say, I was happy to learn this lesson at this point of my life. Sometimes you need to break to heal and that was what I was going through. I needed this experience to remold me. To be submissive. And humble to Allahﷻ. To recognise the gifts He bestowed upon me and use it in the right way – to please Him.

Most especially I had to acknowledge that Almighty Allahﷻ rewards us for our effort, not always through results. Though, this is something I have always looked at in the deen aspect. I never really applied it to my other spheres of life. As you know, you might be doing something without seeing the reward, but knowing that Almighty Allah is going to reward you for your effort and not the result is reassuring. It also made me try to not depend on myself when I am doing uni work. I now don’t try to expect so much. I now take it easy on myself. I don’t feel overwhelmed.

It was a very hard lesson and it made me realize that failures and setbacks are for us to learn lessons. We have to learn lessons from ourselves. Really hard ones! And this is something that can happen to anyone reading. Take it easy and manage how you deal with expectations. Then I wasn’t learning so much about the deen and it just shows you how my mindset was so closed that there were people who would score less but they would be grateful. I lacked the gratitude mindset and it really made me hurt, pained and was extremely disheartening. To anyone reading I implore you, not to let your grades to define you – I was trying to define myself by my grades and that made it affect me so much. I needed to learn how to detach myself from my grades. I am this… not what my grades say. (I say to myself now)

I am still going to strive to get the highest marks possible, but I have to know that it is up to Almighty Allahﷻ. While I put the effort and hope that He rewards me.

Anytime, I think about this incidence, I laugh at myself and express gratitude that I was able to extract lessons from it because it has nurtured me, helped me to grow, in the way I define myself. And I hope anyone reading this, maybe you are going through a similar situation. Take it easy on yourself and put them in the hands of Allahﷻ. I am not saying you won’t be hurt or disappointed, but your reaction will be managed. Also, take lessons from yourself. Your life situation. Learn lessons from whatever situations you are in.


After reading Sid’s story I will like to expand on 3 points

Importance of tie your Camel and put your Trust in Allah.

This is a popular hadith and we know it from our lips. But how many of us have actually implemented it in our lives? It is important that we trust Allah more than our abilities. He is Al-Khaliq (The Creator) who created all that is in existence. He Created the Camel that you are tying, and He is the only one who can preserve it. This reminds me of a saying of Al-Hasan al-Basri (may Allah the Most High have mercy on Him) that I came across. he said: “from the weakness of your yaqin (certainty) is that what is in your hand is more reliable than what is in the Hand of Allah”. This is a powerful statement. Applying this means that we should depend and rely on Allah than what we have. Ask yourself: how well have you tied your camel? How is your trust in Allah?

Detachment.

The whole story sums up detachment. I’ve also done a bit explanation on detachment here. We get attached to things and people because they give us a sense of security. Love. A sense of belonging. Meaning. And certainty. Many of us have been getting it all wrong “Detachment is not that you should own nothing, but that nothing should own you.” (Ali ibn Abi Talib رضي الله عنه) Don’t allow what you have to own you. As Human beings we long to have things and there is nothing wrong with that. The problem starts when you begin to tie yourself what you have. The only object of our attachment should be our Rabb – Allah. For He creates all that we see. All that we want. All that we possess. When you attach yourself to Allah, you will feel at peace within yourself, see life as temporary. Strive to please Him with what you do. The way to begin to attach yourself to Allah is to seek to know Him. (Learn His Names and Attributes). You can’t get attached to who you don’t know.

What defines you? (Coming soon in another post In Sha Allah)

This story is a new addition to the blog. #TrueLifeStories.. Read about its purpose here. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you would like to share your story to inspire others. Contact us via Instagram or email thoughtsandreflectionsr@gmail.com

If you’ve enjoyed reading, share with someone you know will benefit and don’t forget to subscribe too.

Share with the intention to be rewarded by Allahﷻ. Sharing is caring:)

Till next time Fi Ammanillah!

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The Most Intelligent of People


BISMILLAH-IR-RAHMAN-IR-RAHIM

The world we are in treats people based on their intellect. The education system grades is centered on intelligence. Certain professions are attributed to be for only the ‘intelligent’. 

Being called ‘smart’ ‘sensible’ ‘intelligent’ is something we all crave for, and aspire to have these titles added to our names. But this is a temporary title, and it will fade away with time whether we like it or not 😦

The Prophet ﷺ informs us of the most intelligent person. We can aspire and strive to be like this person regardless of our worldly status, our social status, irrespective of people’s opinion of us. I am sure you are wondering what is the attribute of this person and what does the person do that makes him/her intelligent?

This question was put forward by a man to the Prophet ﷺ: ‘Who is the most intelligent of people?’ He replied: ‘The one who remembers death most often and the one who is well prepared to meet it; these are the wise; honorable in this life and dignified in the Hereafter’. Another narration reads slightly ‘Those who remember death the most frequently and those who prepare for death in the best manner, before they pass away. These are from the intelligent ones.’” (Ibn Majah, Tabarni).

“Wherever you may be, death will overtake you, even if you should be within towers of lofty constructionQur’an 4:78

Death is a topic we don’t like to talk about. It’s a discussion that is usually brushed aside. We don’t like to think about it because we are busy pursuing the fleeting life, amassing wealth and status. Look around you and see if there is someone that has been living in eternity? Sadly, some even pray against it. This is one thing that is guaranteed to happen. Allah ﷻ says: “Every soul will taste death, and you will only be given your [full] compensation on the Day of Resurrection… And what is the life of this world except the enjoyment of delusion.Qur’an 3:185  Therefore, Death is an inevitable reality. No one can escape from it because this life is temporary. We will all die ONEDAY.

“Remembering death is not an invitation for depression and grief, nor is it gloomy, bleak advice favoring pessimism and passiveness. It is just a reminder of an absolute fact, a fact that we all tend to forget while immersed in this transient, falsely embellished world and cheated by its charming coquetries. We are all one breath away from death. We usually do not remember that and we do not like to be reminded, either. Nevertheless, it is an inescapable fact”

Amira Ayad, Healing Body and Soul.

Another aspect I would like to touch upon is that death is not an end in itself. It is the beginning of another journey. We all want to go to Jannah, but without dying we can’t get to Jannah. No one can change the time of their death. The best thing to do in a situation you cannot change is to accept and prepare yourself by making the best of the situation. In another Hadith the Prophet ﷺ informs us to pray as if it’s your last prayer: “When you stand for your prayer, pray as if you are saying farewell. (Ibn Majah) By praying as if it is your last prayer you will gradually learn not to be scared of death knowing that you can die anytime.

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You may be wondering why do I have to remember death to be an intelligent person?
  • Remembering death forces us to reflect on the purpose of our creation and this involves preparing for it by abstaining from prohibitions and increasing good deeds. Accepting that life is temporary and thread it cautiously.
  • Remembering death also make a person reflect on what they have prepared for tomorrow (hereafter). If death comes are we ready to die?  The thought of leaving this world makes one fearful but truth be told we are in this world for a short period and by remembering death we are conscious of our actions. So, an intelligent and wise person will have it at the back of their mind they can leave this world anytime. Strive to please His Rabb to be among the successful ones.
  • Remembering death is a journey towards detachment. The Prophet ﷺ said: “Remember (death) often the destroyer of pleasures” (Tirmidh̄i 2307) This results in the urge to prepare for the eternal life (hereafter) by performing good deeds. By doing this we gradually learn to be unattached to the false worldly desires

I am sure you are wondering how to implement this Hadith?

  1. Attend funerals. This is an environment that opens your eye to be reminded that life is short and temporary. Besides, there are rewards for attending the (janazah) funerals of a Muslim. Abu Huraira s رضي الله عنه reported: The Messenger of Allah, ﷺ said “Whoever follows the funeral of Muslim, in faith and seeking reward, and he remains with it until the prayer is offered and the burial ceremony is finished, then he will return with two great rewards. Each reward is like the size of mount Uhud. Whoever offers the funeral prayer and returns before the burial, then he will return with one great reward.” [Bukhari and Muslim]
  2. Visit graveyards. Similar to the above but different in the sense that, you do not need to visit the graveyard during a funeral. My first visit to the graveyard was unusual. I have always heard or saw it in movies/documentary. But actually going there was deep. Seeing how people were buried in 6 meters, so small. Everyone had the same grave space signifying equality. Taking no worldly possession with them. Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un ‘Verily we belong to Allah, and verily to Him do we return.

(These are just 2 I can think of, feel free to add to it in the comment section)

POINT OF REFLECTION.

Don’t wait for a certain time to act upon this Hadith.

“Remembering death is not about denying the joy of living, on the contrary, it is about enjoying the freedom of flowing with life, knowing that it is a temporary residence”

Amira Ayad, Healing Body and Soul

We are constantly reminded when we hear of people dying. Death is inevitable. It can come to anyone, at any time. Irrespective of whether you are young or old, sick or healthy, rich or poor. No one can escape it. It is a reality that will catch up with us sooner or later. And the best thing we can do is to PREPARE. ‘But never will Allah delay a soul when its time has come. And Allah is Acquainted with what you do.’ Qur’an 63:11 – when the time of death comes, no one will be granted respite. (use as a quote) May Almighty Allah make it easy to implement this Hadith, make us die upon the faith and allow us to be reunited in Jannah where death is inexistence.

If you’ve enjoyed reading, share with someone you know will benefit and don’t forget to subscribe too.

Share with the intention to be rewarded by Allahﷻ. Sharing is caring:)

Till next time Fi Ammanillah! 🙂

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BE YOU|JOURNEY TO DRESSING MODEST |A PROMISE FROM ALLAH  |  BARAKAH ACTIONS | RAMADAN PREP  |FULFILLING LIFE’S PURPOSE  |PERSPECTIVE: POSITIVE MINDSET  | THE MOST BELOVED TO ALLAH…| SELF-REFLECTION| WHAT IS YOUR EXCUSE?  |THE ROLE MODELS: THE YOUTHS IN THE CAVE|ETIQUETTE OF MAKING DUA  | DUA OF AN OPPRESSED |

BE YOU


BISMILLAH-IR-RAHMAN-IR-RAHIM

A heart-felt letter to remind you of what matters most. Get in the right mood by being in a comfortable space before reading.

“And one of His signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the diversity of your languages and colours. Surely in this are signs for those of ˹sound˺ knowledge.” ( Qur’an 30:22)

‘You are a unique entity among creation: nothing is exactly similar to you, nor are you exactly similar to anything, because the creator had brought diversity to the creation’ (Anonymous)

It’s a new Gregorian calendar year and everyone is on the move to make the year as eventful as possible. Dreams and goals from last year have been pushed forward and everyone wants to achieve so much. New businesses here and there (if you are like me without a business you may feel you are lagging behind, but you’re not!) Marketers are capitalizing on the change people want to see in themselves and so many emails and posters are flying around on how to make this the year one of immeasurable breakthrough.  People are money driven, result oriented and in all honesty, I can tell that people are trying to work on themselves (personal development) Who doesn’t? But the way to go through it matters and that is what this letter seeks to address. I hope you are in a right and comfortable mood to keep reading.

 I am here to tell you and me to Calm Down. Take a deep breathe. And relax. Take it easy on yourself… one step at a time.

Calm Down. Take a deep breathe. And relax. Take it easy on yourself… one step at a time.

Investing in yourself in a prudent manner is a wise advice I can give to anyone reading. Investing in yourself does not cover finances alone – it includes anything you do to be a better person fi dunya wa aakhira: read books, listen to podcasts, use free tools out there before paying, widen your horizon by trying out new things and talking to people, keep learning… (The list is endless you can add to it by commenting. You never know who it may help.) Be careful and cautious of what you engage in and do not look for quick fixes. I want you to know and accept that the effect of change takes time but begins gradually. If you are a goal setter, set holistic goals to achieve them. And as you do all that do not lose hold of your priority.

As Muslims we must build our relationship with Allah in the journey of our personal development. Because without Him, we can’t grow. We can’t develop. We can’t achieve all our dreams, goals and aspirations. WE ARE IN NEED OF HIM TO GROW AND BE OUR TRUE SELF.

Remember this life is a means to an end. The end we all want to attain is JANNAH. So, use this life, set your goals, aspirations and make all you have as resources to get to the end.

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Here’s a short excerpt from a dear sister’s book.

“On the journey of being you, you must know that Allah comes first. You will never reach your full potential without the assistance of Allah. You will falter in your efforts of being your best-self when your heart is void of Allah. So to be your best self, you have to give importance to the Best.”

Kulsoom Kazim in Be You.

I love the wordings so much that I can’t do any analysis. It sums up perfectly and passes a compelling message to us.

You may choose to follow me on twitter 🙂

In being you, know that you must work on yourself. Don’t say “this is the way I am” when you know you have a negative trait. Continuously work on yourself and your mindset. Mindsets are very important and can serve as a barrier to limit us, thinking that we are incapable. Read about perspective of a Muslim here: PERSPECTIVE OF A MUSLIM

I’m keeping this really brief and I hope it makes you reflect and take things easy as you aspire to be a better person.

Here are some of the things you can do to build your relationship with Allah in your journey of personal development:

  • Find and Clarify your Whys. This is an important step to be done in anything you want to embark on. Ensure that whatever you are doing transcends beyond worldly reasons and that it is serving a greater purpose. Make your goals meaningful to you and that you want it to lead you to your End Goal – Jannah!. Be clear. Precise. And Intentional in what you do and why you do them. A practical way to get started is to preferably get a journal, write things you do and ask yourself why you do them. To aid anyone who wants to practice this I’ll be vulnerable to share one of my Whys. Why do you write? I write to teach, to inspire. To improve myself as a Muslim and carry others along in the journey. To earn Allah’s love. Make people see the beauty of Islam and aspire and really practice it. The value of my intention means that if it is right and sincere, Allah will accept it as an act of Ibadah! And I will be rewarded. Also, attaining Allah’s love is what I seek. (I typed it up strait from my journal, and I hope you will engage in some exercise too. If anyone needs some help with clarifying their whys you can send a private message here or here and I may be able to help)
  • Learn and practice detachment. As we pursue the dunya it may enter our heart, and this is not what we want as Muslims. Learn how to inculcate detachment as you grow. Simply put, “Detachment is not that you should own nothing, but that nothing should own you.” (Ali ibn Abi Talib رضي الله عنه) Hold materialistic things in your hand, not in your heart. They are temporary things and I implore you not to fill you heart with what is transience as it does not last. Whatever you have (be it intellect, materialism, appearance etc) is a gift from Allah. Know that it can be taken. In Sha Allah I hope to cover this topic in detail sometime.
  • Have a secret good deed between you and Allah ﷻ.
  • As you practice detachment, detach from result. When I learnt this, I must say it was challenging to implement, but Alhamdulillah, I am able to practice it more. What this means is that you don’t worry about the result of an action, rather you put in your best. It is a beautiful aspect of our deen to know that Allah rewards us for effort not result. Putting in your best effort is important to achieve anything. The result depends on Allah ﷻ. Don’t misinterpret this to not doing your best as you must put the work to be rewarded by Allah. Remember the Hadith on Tawakkul: tie your camel and put your trust in Allah. (Paraphrased: (Tirmidhi 2517) The two elements are intertwined, and you must have both. Do your best, use all you have and don’t forget that you must rely on your Rabb. Your Creator – Allah ﷻ.
  • Improve your personal relationship with Allah. Ask yourself, what can I do to improve in my religious obligations. Maybe you want to pray all your prayer at the right time, pray more nawafil, recite more Qur’an, pray Taajjud, fast more, give charity, reflect more etc. Write an action plan and begin to implement them

PS: Ramadan is less than 99 days. Prepare for it – RAMADAN PREP

If you’ve enjoyed reading, share with someone you know will benefit and don’t forget to subscribe too.

Share with the intention to be rewarded by Allahﷻ. Sharing is caring:)

Till next time Fi Ammanillah!

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You may be interested in reading other related post – JOURNEY TO DRESSING MODEST A PROMISE FROM ALLAH  |  BARAKAH ACTIONS | RAMADAN PREP  |FULFILLING LIFE’S PURPOSE  |PERSPECTIVE: POSITIVE MINDSET  | SELF-REFLECTION

WHAT IS YOUR EXCUSE?  |THE ROLE MODELS: THE YOUTHS IN THE CAVE

ETIQUETTE OF MAKING DUA  | DUA OF AN OPPRESSED | THE MOST BELOVED TO ALLAH…

MY JOURNEY TO DRESSING MODEST


BISMILLAH-IR-RAHMAN-IR-RAHIM

*Dedicated to any sister out there struggling to abide by the Islamic guideline for dress code, read the story of a sister who was once in your shoes. She narrates how she overcame her ‘old’ lifestyle and shares how she adapted to the Islamic dress code. Enjoy reading 😊 …


Hey there, I’m Eesha. I’d love you to read my story on how I got to start dressing modestly.

This is a continuous journey and I pray to continuously improve with my character as well.

Dressing in line with Islam was not something I was brought up with. Reminiscing on my childhood and teen years I could remember how many skirts I had – barely one☹. I never cared that much because I never knew that much. I would still wear the Hijab amidst this. My tops could be short-handed and I was fine with it. What was important for me then was covering my hair. I never acknowledged that the hijab was more than a head covering and did what I was doing telling myself after all I am better than so and so… I cover my hair. Anyone who sees me would know I am a Muslim, and that it is my identity! As, I grew older I got exposed to life, saw people dressing modestly and was wondering how they managed to do it.

There was a time I was determined to change. I purchased skirt of different types, but never felt comfortable wearing them. Then I went back…😭 never clear as to my why and not having a good support system (there is always someone to blame, so sad)

Environments are very important in life and this changed me greatly. I changed my environment which made me appreciate the modest dressing obligated upon us. Though, not a fully Islamic environment but it was one I needed to kick start my dressing journey. I saw people adorning the abayas, the skirt flowing and felt I could be like this. I would go to the Masjid wearing my trousers and before entering I would put on my abaya (this was not ideal) I would be in Uni and once it’s prayer time I would be looking for something to tie around my waist down… This was not good. I began to realise and acknowledge I needed to do something about it.

I started getting convinced on the need to dress modestly as I would feel like a hypocrite when I dressed modestly and removed it. I started making dua 🤲🏼… my environment was affecting me positively. My new friend started donning the Hijab in couple of days and I used this to motivate myself.

I remember when I started, I kept it secret. I never told anyone except my new friend. I went back to Uni so I was alone, away from families, no pressure that I wanted.

I purchased different long skirts and began to wear them gradually. Sometimes, I felt uncomfortable, feeling unable to rock the way I wanted. But because I knew the reason why I was dressing modestly, I was able to maintain wearing it.😌 I felt different to the people around me most most of the time. Had some issues with self-esteem (Alhamdulillah, I’ve worked on that). It was difficult sometimes and tbh I cried many times. Dua, dua dua was all I had, and listening to reminders which emphasised the importance of modest dressing… and that was how it all started, one step at a time. I began to feel comfortable in dressing modestly, added some abayas to my wardrobe… began to wear socks, and cover my awrah… There were sometimes I would feel hot, but I reminded myself of the purpose of covering up and it keeps me going Alhamdulillah.

Forward to now, I feel comfortable, liberated, able to define which party of my body is visible. 🙂


PURPOSE OF SHARING THIS STORY

Women love fashion and there is nothing wrong in adorning yourself with beautification as long as it is done in the right space.🌸 “Allah is beautiful and He loves beauty”. Dressing modestly is important when you are in front of your non-mahram (and some mahrams too). In the public domain we should be conscious of the kind of attention we are bringing upon us, it may be intended or unintended.

The journey to dressing modestly is a veryyyyyy personal one. Almost every sister can relate because they have gone through this phase in one form or the other. Islam has prescribed certain guidelines on how a female should dress. Undeniably, the society we live in has continuously made it challenging. The media has flooded images of how a female should look like and this is contrary to the conditions of Hijab. It is not easy when they make us judge our values and we have to change the narrative. It is up to we Muslims to stand up to our religion, reclaim this right, support, and encourage one another.  To any female in this phase, it is worth speaking to someone who will assist you in this journey, with sincerity, conviction, dua and supportive friends. In Sha Allah you will go through the phase successfully. Though, not everyone struggles but it is not an understatement to say majority of the sisters struggle with getting to terms on dressing the correct way. It is easy to avoid many pressures by simply saying and living as a Muslim. If you choose to live as a Muslim, you will be free from consumerism and commodification. Feel comfortable in dressing to please Allah and not having to worry too much about looks!

Adapted from Islamqa – Conditions of Muslim woman’s hijaab

Here are 3 lessons I extracted from Eesha’s story

KEEP ALLAH ﷻ AS YOUR #NUMBER1.

It is important that we know why we are wearing the Hijab. It is more than a piece of cloth to be draped over the head. The main reason why females wear the Hijab is because it is a command from Allah ﷻ. A command from Allah ﷻ is an obligation and should not be taken lightly. I am not downplaying the difficulties females face wearing the Hijab, but we need to know that Allah knows what is best for us than our own selves. If you are living in a place where it is difficult to abide by the Hijab, wear it to the best of your ability and know that Almighty Allah ﷻ will reward you for it.  “Be mindful of Allah and he will protect you. Be mindful of Allah and you will find him before you. If you ask, ask from Allah. If you seek help, seek help from Allah…” (Tirmidhi 2516) To anyone struggling, be mindful of Allah ﷻ, supplicate to Him, seek His help, Ask Him to strengthen you to begin to don the Hijab and by His will you will find it easy. The way we appear is a fraction of Islam, whether we accept it or not. We all represent Islam; we are all vicegerent of Allah ﷻ on earth. People see us and see Islam in us, so we should be good ambassadors of Islam by following the tenets of our religion.  

KEEP LEARNING.

Knowledge gets rid of ignorance. Islam has placed so much emphasis on seeking knowledge as it is the foundation of good actions.  The Prophet ﷺ tells us: “Seeking knowledge is an obligation upon every Muslim.”(Ibn Mājah) and “Whoever travels a path in search of knowledge, Allah will make easy for him a path to Paradise.” (Muslim). Knowledge must be combined with action upon learning. Know that it is not all about intentions as actions justify intentions. Do not wait until you feel you have reached a certain level of taqwa (piety). There is no perfect moment to begin to fulfill the obligation, my dear sisters! Start donning your Hijab and it will assist you to reach a higher level of piety, adding to your conviction. We all know that there are certain conditions to be met before praying Salah – females cannot pray Salah without a proper head and body covering. The awrah must be properly covered to pray, whether you are in the Masjid or in your home. Is it not then somewhat contradictory to dress to pray in a certain way and to go out in a different way? We are all on a journey to dressing and improving ourselves and we should keep trying.

HAVE GOOD COMPANY.

Surround yourself with good, practicing Muslims of your sex and gender. Human like companionship and we want to feel supported when we are making changes. Control your circle of friends, who you surround yourself with, as we see a reflection of ourselves in them. The Prophet tells us: “A man is upon the religion of his best friend, so let one of you look at whom he befriends.” (Tirmidhi 2378) Having good friends who you can count on will make you feel more comfortable and take continuous steps to improve yourself. No one is saying you should change your friends 360ο but start gradually, if you feel you need to. You are the only one who knows whether you need to change some of your company. Get closer to people who you feel are doing well in the deen, make dua that Almighty Allah ﷻ brings and surround you with righteous friends. (Good company include online friends). I once heard from a podcast where the speaker mentioned that he wanted to be close with a person and he made dua to have that friend in his life – this is something you can do to! Know that by changing your company you change your environment too – giving you a conducive environment where you feel supported.

Let me know what you’ve learnt in the comment section below

POINT OF REFLECTION: Surprisingly, I can’t pinpoint out something for reflection. Let me know what stuck out to you from reading this story👇🏽

If you know anyone who will benefit from this post kindly share to benefit them and don’t forget to subscribe by entering your email below.

*This story is a new addition to the blog. #TrueLifeStories.. Read about its purpose here and a previous story published – DUA OF AN OPPRESSED. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you would like to share your story to inspire others. Contact us via Instagram or email thoughtsandreflectionsr@gmail.com

I’ll leave you here with a poem I wrote on the Hijab –  Click here to read – MY HIJAB

 Here are some YouTube videos talking about Hijab and modesty!

If you have any questions you can ask here  PS: You can make it completely anonymous: https://curiouscat.qa/TandR

Till next time Fi Ammanillah! 👋🏽

A BEE OR A FLY?


BISMILLAH-IR-RAHMAN-IR-RAHIM

Be like a Bee that only lands on sweet things and skips the filthy. Don’t be like the fly that lands on only the wounds.

Re-read that quote again and continue. You will notice that the bee sees the filthy but skips it. So, do we as humans. We notice the good and bad in people, but the question is are you like the bee? What do you focus on? There is a saying that, what you focus on grows!

Be like the bee that only lands on sweet things by seeing the good in people. Know that everyone has something good in them no matter how bad you think they are. Be gentle like the bee when it lands on flowers, it does not destroy it. Be gentle like the bee in your interaction with others.

“Verily, gentleness is not in anything but that it beautifies it, and it is not removed from anything but that it disgraces it.” Musnad Ahmad 24417