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- Path to Allah is through struggle. That struggle brings its own reward and bliss.
- Seeing Allah in al-Janaah is better then anything else in this world.
- A person who arrogates themselves won’t go much higher but the one who humbles himself before Allah, Allah elevates him.
- Allah has power over all things; He does whatever He does. Don’t limit the Qudra (power) of Allah. If Allah wants to give you that gift, He will give you that gift. We should have good etiquette with Allah.
- Increase the love for the Messenger salla’Allahu ‘alayhi wasalm through knowledge, Seerah and the Shamail. Learn about his struggles and tribulations, and the knowledge he brought to us. Salla’Allahu ‘alayhi wasalam.
- A Muslim’s compassion is a form of dhikr.
- Human have aspects of beasts and angels within themselves. The more we pray, the closer we get to angels.
- Salah bequeath light to us.
- Expose yourself with the gentle breezes of Allah; Allah blesses the night with His gentle breezes and in the early hours in the morning. What Allah gives through Gentleness, He doesn’t give through harshness.
- Allah is good and pure and only accepts that which is good and pure.
- Fasting has an internal and external reality. It’s a powerful form of Ibadah, and it’s reward is unlimited. Fasting is a manifestation of patience, and the reward for patient people is unlimited.
- Greatest act of taqwa is fasting. We give up things which are lawful and pure, therefore we cannot manifest insincerity in fasting.
- The prophet salla’Allahu ‘alayhi wasalam was asked why he fasted on Monday, he salla’Allahu alayhi wasalam replied because it’s the day I was born. So fasting is a mawlid!
- Always ask Allah for sincerity. Once you have done the act, move on, don’t let shaitan whisper to you.
- Struggle in the way of your Lord. Hardship brings ease. The one who does not struggle, does not get ease.
~ Imam Zaid Shakir– ‘Forty Foundations of the Religion’ Class, Rihla 2011, Bursa, Turkey (Quotes above are paraphrased)
More gems to follow inshaAllah ta’Ala……
(Photos courtesy- Ibrahim Varachia. Please keep him in your prayers. Please do not re-use or save the photo without permission. )
Are You A Carrot, An Egg, Or A Coffee Bean?
A certain daughter complained to her father about her life and how things have been so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and she wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed that just as one problem was solved another arose.
Her father, a chef, took her to the kitchen, filled three pots with water and placed the fire on high. Soon the three pots came to a boil. In one he placed carrots, in the other he placed eggs, and the last he placed ground coffee beans. He let them sit and boil, without saying a word.
The daughter sucked her teeth and impatiently wondered what he was trying to do. She had problems, and he was making this strange concoction. In half an hour he walked over to the stove and turned down the fire. He pulled the carrots out and placed them in the bowl. He pulled the eggs out and placed them in the bowl. Then he ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.
Turning to her he asked. “Darling what do you see?
“Smartly, she replied. “Carrots, eggs, and coffee.
He brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. He then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, he asked her to sip the coffee. Her face frowned from the strength of the coffee.
Humbly, she asked. “What does it mean Father?”
He explained. “Each of them faced the same adversity, 212 degrees of boiling water. However each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. But after going through boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg was fragile. A thin outer shell protected a liquid center. But after sitting through the boiling water, it’s inside became hardened. The coffee beans are unique however. After they were in the boiling water, it became stronger and richer.
Which are you, he asked his daughter? When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?
Are you the carrot that seems hard, but with the smallest amount of pain, adversity, or heat you wilt and become soft with no strength.
Are you the egg, which starts off with a malleable heart? A fluid spirit. But after a death, a divorce, an accident you became hardened and stiff. Your shell looks the same, but you are so bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and heart, internally.
Or are you like the coffee bean? The bean does not get its peak flavor and robust until it reaches 212 degrees Fahrenheit. When the water gets the hottest, it just tastes better.
When things are there worst, you get better. When people talk the most, your praises increase. When the hour is the darkest, trials are there greatest, your worship elevates to another level. How do you handle adversity?
Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?
Taken from Qisas
”It is God’s Kindness to terrify you in order to lead you to safety.” – Mawlana Rumi
“Ease [yusr] & hardship ['usr] are the feathers that give strength to the wings of your faith [iman], so that your heart and your innermost being [sirr] can use them to fly to the door of your Lord (Almighty and Glorious is He)”
~Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani
“No calamity befalls a Muslim but that Allah expiates some of his sins because of it, even though it were the prick he receives from a thorn.” (Narrated by Sayyida Aisha radhiAllahu anha, Sahi Bukhari, Vol: (7) Hadith No: (544))
Life can be tough at times, but the above hadith reminds us that nothing goes un-noticed to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, not even a tiny thing such as a prick from a thorn; so what about everything else that the heart endures when afflicted with calamities, hardships, trials/tribulations?
With this in mind, let’s rejoice and seek comfort in knowing that Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is aware of what is going on in our hearts. Each difficult moment, day, month, year(s) we experience, lets be assured that He subhanahu wa ta’ala is aware of our state and situation. Life is short, and thus time is important; each breath is a blessing and gives us an opportunity to get closer to Him subhanahu wa ta’ala, which is really want all these situations are about- for us to run to Him subhanahu wa ta’ala. As Mawlana Rumi very eloquently sums it all up for us:
“He has afflicted you from every direction in order to pull you back to the Directionless.”
May our hearts always be attached to Him subhanahu wa ta’ala, and may each difficulty we all face be a means of purification for us. Amin ya Rabb! Allahumma salli ‘ala sayyidina Muhammad!
I received a text message from a special friend a couple of weeks ago. Within the text message, my friend mentioned to me that if you have love for the Prophet sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam in your heart, then calamities are purification for you and not punishment. This poignant reminder really moved me so I asked my friend to elaborate on this. She wrote the following out for me, and with her permission, I am posting it here for everyone to benefit from insha’Allah ta’ala:
Whenever time caused me any distress and I took refuge in him.
I received shelter from him, which was not misused.
I did not ask for the wealth of the two worlds from his hand.
But I received a great gift from the best hand that was ever kissed.
There are certain verses from the burdah that keep coming back to me and this is one of them. It seems to come forth in times of calamities and brings peace and tranquillity to the heart. For he sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam is the key to our happiness. He is there for us and he feels our pain. When we remember him it removes our sadness and replaces it with peace. He is the key to Allah and he is the centre of our lives.
Recently I sat in a dars about the 20 benefits of salawat. It was a most blessed gathering and there was not one single eye that didn’t stream with tears.
One of the most poignant things that was said that day for me was that Allah will never punish a heart that contains the love of the Prophet sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam within it. If you suffer calamities or difficulties then know it is purification for you and not punishment. For Allah will never punish you if you have love for his Beloved sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam.
Loving him is better than going for jihad or setting a slave free, and making salawat has more effect than when water is put on a fire.
The other main point taken was that one of the benefits of making salawat is that your name will be mentioned to the Prophet sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam. A special angel on the grave of the shareef will give the names of all of creation. There is no one person who gives salaam without this angel telling the Prophet sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam. He will know you and your father (I think this is something great to think about especially for reverts) as the angel will mention so and so, son or daughter of so and so gives salaams.
It is enough to know that Allah and His beloved know your name. If he mentions your name or remembers you then surely you will go steps towards Allah.
So we undergo distress, sadness, loss and calamities but our shelter is him. To know him, remember him and love him. For some of us reading this, may at one time in our life not even known his name but it is true to say ‘we received a great gift from the best hand that was ever kissed’ when we entered into Islam.
Whilst on the topic of loving the Beloved Prophet sallaAllahu alayhi wasalam, I would also like to share something which Dr. Asim Yusuf (aka Talib al-Habib) narrated to us at the al-Ghazali retreat in Spain last week. Dr. Asim mentioned how when the time came to leave his Shaykh (may Allah elevate his rank) in South Africa, he was feeling really anxious. He said to his Shaykh that he doesn’t know what he will do without him now that he will be going back to the UK, and how they will be so far apart. His Shaykh advised to carry the Beloved sallaAllahu a’alayhi wasalam in your heart wherever you go, and you’ll never be alone. Subhan’Allah! This was a very strong and moving reminder for all of us sat in that gathering. It reminded us of how at times when we feel alone or are going through trials/tribulations, we should only have to look inside our hearts and find RasulAllah sallaAllahu alayhi wasalam to guide and comfort us; for he sallaAllahu alayhi wasalam is our key to the Lord, and it’s only the Lord who can move us from one state to another.
May the Beloved sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam never leave our hearts. May we seek comfort with him in this life and the akhirah; may he be our companion in hardship and ease and may we sincerely humble ourselves in thanks to Allah. Allahumma Amin ya Rabb!
Please may I request you recite al-Fatiha and make du’a for my friend who took time out to share and write the above, and also for Dr. Asim.