Book Review One

Reclaim Your Heart, by Yasmin Mogahed; Personal insights on breaking free from life’s shackles.

Placing the dunya (this life) and the akhirah (the next world) at the right levels in our lives has always been a major problem. Sometimes we get confused on how to strike the right balance between the two, to live in the dunya and enjoy it, and yet work harder for & have a deeper attachment to the ‘akhirah’. Atimes its about the hardships we go through, how to look past it and understand they are just tests, which we are meant to pass or fail. And yet again, sometimes we forget our main purpose of being created; to worship Allah, but what exactly does that mean?

‘Reclaim your heart’, written by Yasmin Mogahed, a psychologist, is a life manual everyone should have. It teaches the reader how to live in this life without allowing life to own you.

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It talks s about differentiating the life which is real and permanent from that which is temporary. It truly awakens the heart and provides a new perspective on love, loss, happiness and pain. It is indeed a must have on every muslim’s bookshelf.

Be so close to the Qur’an….

Be so close to the Qur’an that with every
turn of its page, your heart also turns.
You undergo a change of character; and
come out better. You come closer to Allah
and you understand your religion more.

Be so close to the Qur’an that not only do you
consider it to be your companion in life, but it
also considers *you* to be its companion both
here and on Yawm al-Qiyamah (Day of
Resurrection).

Be so close to the Qur’an that whenever
you open to read it, it draws you in
deeply and takes you on amazing
journeys through power concepts and
thought-provoking dialogue, through
history and the undisputed facts of the
future and Hereafter; learning life
lessons and learning about yourself. The
journey doesn’t end until you end it (by
closing the Book).

Be so close to the Qur’an that you make it your
first point of judgement and guidance when
you quarrel or fall out with a relative, spouse,
friend or stranger. You place it before you
with the sincerity to resolve matters and
follow the causes for peace.
“… If they both desire reconciliation, Allah will
cause harmony between them. Indeed, Allah is
ever Knowing and All-Aware.” [al-Nisa: 35]

Be so close to the Qur’an that if you
happen to miss your daily portion of it, it
preoccupies your mind and you are not
at peace until you take your regular
nourishment from it.

Be so close to the Qur’an that just hearing the
words, “O you who believe…” strikes
something within your heart. You are all ears
and attentive; ready to respond.

Be so close to the Qur’an that you truly
feel its blessings in your life.
Be so close to the Qur’an that while many love
listening to music and lyrical tunes, for you
nothing can beat the melodious recital of your
favourite Surah (chapter).

Be so close to the Qur’an that you
actually walk F E A R L E S S. In every
place, at all times, and every stage of
your life. Your fear is only from One
Being, and He is above His Throne,
`azza wa jall.

Be so close to the Qur’an that the mere
contemplation of a verse brings tears to your
eyes.

Be so close to the Qur’an that after a
long and tiring day, all you want to do is
make wudhu’ (ablution) and sit down
with a cuppa tea in a cosy spot for some
heartwarming reading and reflection.

Be so close to the Qur’an that it becomes the
first companion you turn to when you need to
hear comforting words, or a shoulder to lean
on in difficult times, or guidance in times of
confusion. It becomes your first point of
contact alongside salah (prayer) and du’a
(supplication).

Be so close to the Qur’an that its
melodious verses drown away the
meaningless chatter of this world and
you prefer listening to it instead of
listening to much of Mankind…

Be so close to the Qur’an that you become
recognised for it; in your character and the
way you carry yourself through life.
Be so close to the Qur’an that being in its
company makes you feel like you are in
the best company; the most serene,
thought-provoking, heart-warming, and
tranquil of gatherings. People think you
are alone… but you are anything but
alone.

Be so close to the Qur’an that you can’t
fathom the idea of dying without having
memorised it. You can’t see yourself standing
in front of Allah in complete ignorance of His
Book, His Verses, His Words.

Be so close to the Qur’an that everytime
you hear a verse, you stop and check
yourself against it. Is it a command/
prohibition which you adhered by?
Divine advice which you’ve taken on
board? Wisdom which you’ve learnt
from? Check yourself against every verse
and be the first to benefit from it,
because you are that close.

Be so close to the Qur’an that before
embarking on the path of knowledge, you first
immerse yourself in it. You do not place any
branch of ‘ilm before knowledge of the Book,
and thus you spend your early learning days
learning all about it.

Be so close to the Qur’an that its verses
replay melodiously in your mind…
Be so close to the Qur’an that you can find for
yourself a verse reflecting every moment of
your life. You will always know what to do.

Be so close to the Qur’an that the worldy
chaos around you only increases your
yearning towards secluding yourself,
reciting its verses and being in its
beautiful company.

Be so close to the Qur’an that nothing, nothing
can come in between it and you.

http://www.fajr.wordpress.com

✧ Best 10 days of the year

In the name of Allah, The Most Beneficial, The Most Merciful.

THE BEST TEN DAYS OF THE YEAR
The month of dhul hijjah is fast approaching and with it comes a great blessing. Allah (swt) blessed us with 10 days in dhul hijjah that are superior to all other days of the year, even the days of ramadan.

Ibn `Abbas (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: The Messenger of Allah (صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ ) said, “There are no days during which the righteous action is so pleasing to Allah than these days (i.e., the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah).” He was asked: “O Messenger of Allah, not even Jihad in the Cause of Allah?” He (صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ ) replied, “Not even Jihad in the Cause of Allah, except in case one goes forth with his life and his property and does not return with either of it.”[Al-Bukhari].

According to the Timing chapter of the Society for the propagation of islam, Nigeria, the 10 days will be from 25th sept- 4th october.

Like we do for everything that is special, let’s begin to prepare for these great days that are around the corner so as to invest as much as we can (in good deeds), and make them the best 10 days of our lives, so far.

Wealth & children are adornments of the worldly life, but the righteous good deeds that last (deeds of Allahs obedience, nice good talk, remembering Allah) are better with Your Lord in for rewards and better in respect of hope. (18:46)

May Allah (swt) grant us the ability to do as much righteous good deeds in those days as possible. Ameen.

*Where piety resides.

Reported by Wabisah bin Ma’bad (RA): I went to the Messenger of Allah (sas) and he asked me “Have you come to inquire about piety?” I replied in the affirmative. Then he said, “Ask your heart regarding it. Piety is that which contents the soul and comforts the heart, and sin is that which causes doubts and disturbs the heart, even if people pronounce it lawful and give you verdicts on such matters again & again.
[Ahmad & Ad-darmi]

A lot of times, we will realise that our minds and hearts are not in harmony regarding certain decisions we take or actions we do. Our minds (brain) create many reasons why such an action/decision is the right thing to do and persuades the heart to agree, but we find out that the heart only partially agrees, and we are left with a shadow of doubt in our hearts, even though we might try to fight it.

We should learn to listen to our hearts all the time, for indeed, that’s where piety resides.

Displaced boko haram victims- sorrows & pleas.

Displaced, terrified, starved, separated from loves ones, orphaned – these are words that describe the many residents of Bama, the 2nd largest town in Borno state, Nigeria.

It was a usual Monday morning in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state and as part of our daily routine, we headed out to our school, which was in close proximity with the ‘Bama town’ motor park. But instead of the usual population we used to witness, we saw hundreds of people of all age groups mostly small children, young and middle aged men and women all spread out on the road side, aimlessly wandering and seeking for shelter. It was then that we received the dreaded story.

Boko haram- the terrorist sect of the north east, that have killed thousands and counting have invaded the town, after sending air strikes attacking their barrack (soldiers headquaters), Killied and captured all the males (children alike) they could lay their hands on, and finally rendering the town under their ownership. Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un.

These terrified residents ran for safety into Maiduguri, some in commercial cars but many many on foot in different small groups; a girl who carried her younger brother all the way by foot, a woman whose husband was killed, and other young displaced men. All thanks to Allah, Al-Hafeez, Who spared their lives to see the sun rise again, despite they been displaced.

What next is going to happen to them? What will be their next meal? Will they ever see their lost/captured family members? Will they ever regain their lost houses, cars and money? Will boko haram be prevented from entering their safe haven, Maiduguri, which is their main target? They don’t know, and we don’t know. We only pray and hope in the decision of the Most Wise and Merciful, day and night, relentlessly.

This is the condition of the muslim- populated Borno state. Our plea is for you all to make daily duas for the displaced and for the return of safety and security to Borno state, and the whole muslim ummah at large, and secondly to donate generously, with either money and clothes so that at least they can be provided with the basics: food, clothing and shelter.

May Allah (swt), the dishonourer and The Abaser, do what He deems right to these zalimoon, and protect us all from their harm, ameen ya Rabbi.

Donation details
1. Money:
Account name: Salamatu Tata
Account number: 0127009141
Guarantee trust bank, Nigeria, Uk.

2. Clothes: Indimi mosque, along damboa road, Maiduguri, Borno state.

The prophet (saw)’s words were: “The Muslim Ummah is like one body. If the eye is in pain then the whole body is in pain and if the head is in pain then the whole body is in pain”

* the victims are now lodged in Maiduguri NYSC camp and a government school hostel.

THE SUNNA IN THE CONTEXT OF WESTERN SOCIETY

Muslims in Western societies live in a culture which is `alien’ in its spirit. To live in this type of culture is your own choice and your own decision. In many instances, you have no other option for the West is your home. Unfortunately, the same can be said for people living in Muslim countries since Western culture is slowly weaving its way and replacing genuine Islamic culture in these countries also.

To survive and prosper in western society requires great courage to stand up for your beliefs and ideals. You need to have a clear appreciation of the true nature of Islamic culture. The true spirit of Islamic culture lies in an understanding that the ‘real’ realities of life are all beyond the perception of physical senses. The beginning of Sura al-Baqara states that its guidance is for: Those who believe in al-ghayb [what lies beyond the perception of physical senses). [al-Baqara 2:4]

So all that is ‘real’-Allah, His Angels, Prophethood, the Day of Judgment, Heaven and Hell – are all beyond any measure of physical testing. They all lie beyond human capability to see them, to smell them, to measure them, or to find their real situation.
Western culture as it exists and as it has spread now throughout the world, in this ‘global village’, has perpetuated the view that, only that which can be materially measured or found out is ‘real’. Whatever cannot be measured has no value. Therefore, both Islamic and western cultures are diametrically opposed.

Once you have chosen to live in a ‘Western type’ society, the only source of light for you is the Messenger of Allah. He was also faced with an almost similar situation. As he came down from the cave of Hira, after his experience of receiving the light of Divine guidance, be re-entered a culture and society which were quite ‘alien’ to his Message. His Message began by linking the whole of life to the name of Allah. That was the starting point. All knowledge, all culture, all civilisation and all human action must be centred on one pivot and that is the name of Allah. This was a totally strange Message for the society in which he had to operate. So, we need to look at the Prophet’s Sunna in the context of operating in an `alien’ society and see how we can practise a genuine Islamic culture.

[Quoted from In the early hours, khurram Murrad]

The more evils will open up before them

“The more people increase in comfort and luxury and the more they open up before the people [with the Dunya], the more evils will open up before them. It is comfort and luxury that destroys a person. Because if a person was to concern himself with comfort and luxury and providing enjoyment to his body, he will become negligent of providing enjoyment to his heart, and his greatest worry will become providing enjoyment to this body that is doomed to become worms and rotten.

This is the ordeal, and this is what has harmed people today. You can hardly find anyone except that they say: “What is our palace? What is our car? What is our furniture? What is our food?” Even those who study [Islamic] knowledge, some of them only study in order to gain rank or status to reach the blessings of the Dunya. As if man was not created for a significant purpose. The Dunya and its blessings are only a means, nothing more. We ask Allah to make us and you use it as a means.

Ibn Taimiyyah, may Allah have mercy upon him, said: “A person should use money as he uses a donkey to ride, and as he uses the toilet to relieve himself.”

These are the ones who know money and its value. So do not make money your greatest worry, rather ride on money, for if you do not ride on it, it will ride on you, and your worry will become the Dunya. For this, we say, that the more the Dunya opens up before the people, and they end up concerning themselves with it, they will lose as much of the Akhira as they have gained from the Dunya.

The ProphetSalla Allahou Alayhi wa salamsaid: “By Allah, I am not afraid of your poverty,” meaning I am not afraid of poverty for you, for the Dunya will open up before you, “but I am afraid that you will lead a life of luxury as past nations did, whereupon you will compete with each other for it, as they competed for it, and it will destroy you as it destroyed them.” [Bukhari & Muslim].

The Messenger Salla Allahou Alayhi wa salam spoke the truth. This is what has destroyed the people today. What has destroyed the people today, is their competing with one another for the Dunya, and them being as if they were only created for it, and not it created for them. So they have preoccupied themselves with what was created for them over what they were created for. This is backwardness. We ask Allah for protection.”Source: Explanation of Riyadh-us-Saliheen [Chapter 10: Hastening to do Good Deeds, Hadeeth #92]

About Fame, A Personal Life, and Responsibility by Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan

A very sensible approach to tackling such issues by brother nouman. MashaAllah

Al Muqarraboon

Bismillah walahmdulillah

A well-written, honest piece about what it’s like to have spotlight, and how to keep a clear perspective through all of it. I really appreciated this article. I think anyone who has had a taste of fame and has seen the effects it had on them will be able to relate. It’s also for those of us who don’t know how to find a balance in the way we look at people (all good or all bad). I’ve personally experienced both of these things. I won’t say more; the article will speak to everyone differently. Check it out:

http://muslimmatters.org/2014/07/31/about-fame-a-personal-life-and-responsibility/

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On salaah

Once you are praying to Him, you are in front of Him, you are near to Him, you are talking to Him, you are responding to Him in gratitude and you are asking for His forgiveness. Prayer is not just a ritual in which you go through certain postures. The soul has to surrender itself exclusively to Allah and love Him. This love is like a seed which, as it grows, envelops the entire personality-khurrad Murad

About salaah

Once you are praying to Him, you are in front of Him, you are near to Him, you are talking to Him, you are responding to Him in gratitude and you are asking for His forgiveness. Prayer is not just a ritual in which you go through certain postures. The soul has to surrender itself exclusively to Allah and love Him. This love is like a seed which, as it grows, envelops the entire personality- khurrad Murad

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