The Value of Time


“Every person should be aware of the importance and value of time. So that he wastes none and benefits from every moment [of his life] to draw nearer and closer to Allah. Start with the best of words (qawl) and actions (‘amat) then the lesser in virtue and so forth. The intention (niyya) to indulge in good deeds that he is capable of should be maintained and active all the time. Because an intention to do a good deed might be better than actually doing a good deed as reported in the hadlth, “The intention of the believer is better than his deed.” Many people from the righteous predecessors (salaf) were known to take advantage of their time and cautious about how to spend it. [The following are some examples illustrating the high level of appreciation that the righteous predecessors gave to time]:

It has been reported that a man once said to ‘Amir Ibn ‘Abdu’l- Qais: ‘Converse with me.’ ‘Amir replied: ‘[Only if you could] hold the sun’ [i.e. stop the time so that 1 talk with you].

The son of Thabit al-Banant narrated: ‘When my father was on his death bed I sat next to him to ensure his last words to be ‘There is no god worthy of worship except Allah.’ However, as I was about to do so, he interrupted me by saying, ‘O son, leave me alone for I am now busy doing my sixth portion of prayers (dhikr).’

When some people entered upon a dying person from the righteous predecessors they found him praying, so they blamed him [i.e. they admonished him from exhausting himself while he is on his death bed]. But he responded, ‘my book in which my deeds are recorded will be closed shortly’ [i.e. I would like to take advantage of my last moments to do more good deeds before I can no longer perform any more].

Book: Captured Thoughts | By al-Hāfiz Abū’l-Faraj ibn al-Jawzī | Translated and Published by Dār as-Sunnah Publishers | P. 93-94

SHOW BENEVOLENCE TO THE CREATION


BISMILLAH-IR-RAHMAN-IR-RAHIM

“From the ways to achieve happiness is to show benevolence to the creation and to benefit them as much as possible with wealth, position, physical assistance and all forms of kindness. Indeed, the generous, kind person is the happiest of the people, the most cheerful of them and those with the happiest hearts.

Conversely, the stingy person, who lacks kindness, is the most miserable of the people, the one with the most depressing life and the one with the greatest sorrow and anxiety.”

Book: The Keys To Happiness By Imām Ibn Al-Qayyim
Translated by Hassan Somali Hikmah Publications P. 27

I invite you to choose a way to show benevolence to the creation. Because the Prophet ﷺ,tells us: ‘The most beloved people to Allah are those who are most beneficial to people. The most beloved deed to Allah is to make a Muslim happy, or to remove one of his troubles, or to forgive his debt, or to feed his hunger. That I walk with a brother regarding a need is more beloved to me than that I seclude myself in this mosque in Medina for a month. Whoever swallows his anger, then Allah will conceal his faults. Whoever suppresses his rage, even though he could fulfil his anger if he wished, then Allah will secure his heart on the Day of Resurrection. Whoever walks with his brother regarding a need until he secures it for him, then Allah Almighty will make his footing firm across the bridge on the day when the footings are shaken.’ [Al-Albani]

How can you be more beneficial to the creations of Allah ﷻ? How can you make a difference to the people around you?

In the quest to be beneficial to the creation, it is important that it is done based on priority:

Your spouse before your children.

Your parent before your siblings.

Your nuclear family before your extended.

Your family before an outsider.

Your neighbours before someone far away

and don’t forget the most important element underpinning being beneficial: SINCERITY OF INTENTION.

No matter the amount of good that you do… if it is not done sincere for the sake of Allah then it is a waste of time. I ask Almighty Allah ﷻ to protect me and you from riya (show-off). May He grant us the Tawfeeq to do things solely for Him!


*** As you’ve read one way of showing benevolence is to remove trouble from people. I know of a family who are struggling to pay hospital bills for their daughter. The daughter suffered from fire accident and she has been treated by the hospital. unfortunately, the parents do not have funds to pay the hospital bills and the daughter has not been discharged. It is going to a year now and they are still in the hospital. When I heard of this girl’s story I felt pitiful of her situation and wanted to help. I did not want to do a typical fundraising rather I wanted to use my skill to raise funds. To this effect I will be organising a skincare class (I am an Organic Skincare Formulator) for females Only. And I want to use 50% of whatever I get from the proceeds to support the girl.

I hope that you will contribute to this cause by contacting me via this link: bit.ly/AuthenskincityFundraising

Please if you’re reading I have a request that you share this post far and wide. Together we will be relieving a creature of Allah from distress.

May Almighty Allah bring people to support you in your time of need!


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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The Importance of Having Good Companionship


“Search for a believing friend, For indeed he will assist you upon Allāh’s obedience and he will motivate you towards goodness and he will warn you against evil and you will not acquire anything from him except goodness”

Shaykh Rabee’ Bin Haadi Al-Madkhali. (حفظه الله)
Al-Majmoo Al-Raaiq – Page 28


Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram too here: Thoughts and Reflections (@thoughtsandreflections_) • Instagram photos and videos

If you found this post beneficial don’t forget to re share.

Comment below some things you will do towards having good companionship: for me it’s being watchful of my environment. both offline and online!

Keeping up with The Ramadan Vibes


BISMILLAH-IR-RAHMAN-IR-RAHIM

It’s a long time since we got in touch, hence I feel the need to send Salam. As Salam Alaikum Waramatullah Wabarakatu.

How have you been and hope you had a blessed Ramadan?

Here’s a short post to remind us on how to keep up with “The Ramadan Vibes”. Many of us had resolutions during the month of Ramadan and envisioned to keep up with the momentum of the blessed Month. Obviously, other days will not be like Ramadan, but there are things we can do to keep up with Ramadan Vibes. Let’s get started.

The main things we attach to Ramadan is Fasting. Fasting. Fasting. And there are so many days we can fast whilst earning immeasurable reward. One is to follow up Ramadan fast with 6 days during the month of Shawwal. This is based on the Hadith: Abu Ayyub رضي الله عنه reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Whoever fasts the month of Ramadan and then follows it with six days of fasting in the month of Shawwal, it will be as if he fasted for the entire year.” Source: Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 1164

To anyone that missed fasting for a valid reason during the Month of Ramadan, it is incumbent upon you to fulfill what you have missed before starting the Shawwal fast. And if you are in a very tricky situation whereby making up your missed Ramadan fast is longer than expected leading to a situation where there is no how you can complete your 6 days of Shawwal within it. Still with that intention, you get reward.  Here is a link explaining how that works: Worship After Ramadhan by Alhuda Bolton I hope you find it clarifying and beneficial. The links also contains explanation to different fasting and their rewards such as:

  • Fasting on Arafah day. (Expiates sins of 2 years: the preceding and the coming year)
  • Fasting on Ashura (Expiates sins of the past year)
  • Fasting 3 white days – 13, 14 & 15 (Equivalent to a full month fasting)
  • Fasting Mondays and Thursdays (days our deeds are presented to Allah and the Prophet tells us he likes that his deeds are presented to Allah ﷻ while he is fasting)

Also, during the month of Ramadan many people readily pray on time. We should continue to ensure that we stick to praying on time. Allah says: “Guard strictly) five obligatory) As-Salawat (The prayers) especially the Middle Salah. And stand before Allah with obedience” [Quran 2: 238] With this we see that Allah commands that the prayer should be performed properly and on time. Praying on time is also the dearest deeds to Allah: Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud رضي الله عنه said, “I asked the Prophet, ‘Which deed is the dearest (to Allah)? He replied: To offer the prayers at their fixed times. I asked what is the next (in goodness) He replied: To participate in Jihad (religious fighting) in Allah’s cause”. I again asked ‘What is the next (in goodness)?’ He replied, ‘To be good and dutiful to your parents.’ Abdullah then added, “I asked only that much and had I asked more, the Prophet would have told me more.”

TIP: One thing you can try to do is to plan your day around your salah. Not the other way round. There should be a time for your Salah in your day. Implementing this action will ensures that other things do not affect your salah time.

Another thing we do during Ramadan is the Tarawee prayer – Night prayer. Outside of Ramadan we can perform the Night prayer Qiyyamul-layl and or Tahajjud. This is a prayer that is blessed. For the Prophet ﷺ informs us: the best Salat after the prescribed Salat is Salat at night.” [Muslim]. (Paraphrased) so, performing Salah at night is highly meritorious. Plus, it is also a blessed time to make dua (Supplicate). An Hadith from the Messenger of Allah, ﷺ goes thus: “Our Lord Almighty descends to the lowest heaven in the last third of every night, saying: Who is calling upon Me that I may answer him? Who is asking from Me that I may give him? Who is seeking My forgiveness that I may forgive him?” [Bukhari and Muslim] With this we see there are numerous benefits with keeping up with it. And I employ you to try to find a routine. Here’s a post detailing how you can do that with Hadith detailing the Prophet way of performing Tahajjud. Set Tahajjud into routine

Another is the dua; Generally dua can be made anytime. Yet, there are better times when Almighty Allah grants our supplication. One is when fasting because the fasting person is in worship at all times while fasting: Al-Hafidh ibn Rajab (rahiumullah) said: “The fasting person is in worship during the day and night. The daytime when he’s fasting is a time in which his supplication are answered. And the time he breaks the fast is a time in which supplications are answered” So whenever we are fasting is a period to make dua. Make dua while you are fasting. When you are fatigued ask Almighty Allah for strength and in that you gain energy. Another meritorious time to supplicate is when performing Tahajjud during the last third of the night: – Abu Huraira reported رضي الله عنه The Messenger of Allah, ﷺ said, “Our Lord Almighty descends to the lowest heaven in the last third of every night, saying: Who is calling upon Me that I may answer him? Who is asking from Me that I may give him? Who is seeking My forgiveness that I may forgive him?” [Bukhari and Muslim]

Check our article on ETIQUETTE OF MAKING DUA for more information.

Continue to develop your relationship with the Qur’an. Reciting the Qur’an. Many people during the blessed month of Ramadan try to recite and complete the Holy Qur’an during the month of Ramadan. This is a noble deed, but it important we endeavor to implement recitation with the transliteration and tafsir. An action I intend to do is keeping my relationship with the Qur’an is to read the Tafsir. This for me is comprehensive. By reading the Tafsir you have access to Qur’an, Hadith, Seerah, Stories of the Prophet and so many more wealth of information. At this stage reading the Tafsir of Ibn Kathir is sufficient. You can simply download from the play store. Yes, having access is that simple!  

Also being kind, being charitable. Hoping and longing for the Reward of any good that you do.

Another thing that is important to do is to is to look at yourself and the sins you are committing. We all have flaws. Weaknesses and Shortcomings. Identify one that you want to work on. Don’t forget to Supplicate that He makes you able to forsake the sin. Almighty Allah ﷻ sees your struggle. He ﷻ knows your flaws. He is testing you, so it is important that we rely upon Him.

This is a very short post to remind you on how you can keep up with your Ramadan vibe. What other tips do you have, or have you learnt to implement towards keeping up with the Ramadan vibes? Let us know in the comment section below feel free to share to benefit others.


Before you leave, we need your help. We started a category on this blog section titled #TrueLifeStories.

Alhamdulillah and it has been welcomed as it resonated with many people. Together we have published 4 TRUE LIFE STORIES and we want to be more consistent in generating more content. To achieve this aim we need your help in telling your stories (all will be anonymized) and to share this post. This helps in creating a safe environment as it is all anonymized. It helps people feel they are not alone in their struggles. To make people know and feel they are not alone. Know that whoever reads your story and changes for the better, you get rewarded. Read about the purpose here: Purpose behind #TrueLifeStories We want to encourage you to please send in your stories and share this post to as many people as possible. We want to ensure that we are getting and producing Real. Original.  Inspiring. And Transformational stories. Stories that we hope will assist in keeping you steadfast. Stories that will help in making a difference in other people’s life. We encourage you to participate and get people to participate. Here are the details on how to participate, contact us via Email: thoughtsandreflectionsr@gmail.com And Instagram: @thoughtsandreflections_

Anything you share is treated with utmost confidentiality.

And that’s it for today. Thill next time FI Ammanillah!

*#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.

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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

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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

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

Till next time Fi Ammanillah!

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