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Everything passes.  There are times when we think we won’t get through a difficulty, but it passes.

There are times in our lives where we feel so desolate and empty, and it seems as if we have “hit rock bottom”, even those moments and periods pass. Such is the nature of this world. Everything passes.

With time, Allah gives you patience and you begin to accept your fate.

He gives you strength and you believe that everything is good, no matter how hard or painful it is because you know…..

Everything passes.

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“In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years”- Abraham Lincoln.

Another year older, and another year better, inshaAllah! 🙂 Others may disagree with me, but I think birthdays should be celebrated by expressing gratitude to the Almighty for giving us this life in the first place, and for allowing us to be part of the best community: the ummah of the Rasul ﷺ

Our birthdays give us the opportunity to reflect on all the blessings we have been bestowed with, rather than focussing on all the things that we wanted to have achieved by now, but have not. As each year passes, we should be aspiring to be closer to Allah and his Habib ﷺ, and we can use our birthdays as a way of reflecting back on how far we have journeyed towards our Lord. At the end of the day, what we have to remember is that Allah created us and allowed us to experience this world for some great purpose just as Imam al-Ghazali beautifully wrote:

“Know O’Beloved that man was not created in jest, but marvellously made and for some great end”

So, let’s use our birthdays to be grateful for the blessing of life; grateful for having loving parents who brought us into this world; grateful for health and Iman (faith); grateful for wonderful friends and companions; grateful for peace; grateful for hardships and blessings; grateful for………the list is endless!

And to end this note, here is a quote by Billy Mills which I love:

“My life is a gift from the Creator. What I do with it is my gift to the Creator”

Alhumdulilah for everything! 🙂

Sunset in Venice during my recent trip.  Photo taken on the iPhone.

Sunset in Venice during my recent trip.
Photo taken on the iPhone.

Once, all the people in a certain village decided to pray for rain. On the day of the prayer, all the people gathered but only one boy came with an umbrella – that’s faith.

 I love the above anecdote as it illustrates an immense level of confidence, certainty and trust in Allah. The fact the boy walked out to the prayer gathering with an umbrella clearly shows that he had the utmost certainty and trust that after making du’a, Allah will send rain to the village! He went prepared for the rain with an umbrella!

Just like the boy had his umbrella ready to receive what was being prayed for, we should also be prepared to receive the gifts and blessings we are asking for from Allah after making du’a. Be confident and have that complete certainty that Allah will answer our du’a. Allah most High Himself states, “I am in the opinion of My servant.” [Bukhari]; therefore if we believe Allah will answer our du’a, He will!

The great Gnostic, Ibn Ata’Allah al-Iskandari wrote in his Hikam:

“When Allah inspires your tongue to ask, know that He wants to give” 

Allah is the One who places a need in our hearts and wants us to seek that need out by asking Him. He loves it when we ask Him; our asking is His giving. Petition with Allah; place your need in front of Him and have complete certainty and trust that He will answer.

Sayyidina Umar ibn Al-Khattab -radiaAllahu anh- said, “I do not worry about an answer to my supplication, rather I worry about making supplication! I know that if I am inspired [by Allah] to supplicate, then the answer will come with it.”

Keep the faith and keep making du’a fervently!






• When the souls of believers come together to a gathering like this (i.e Rihla), it is the feast of the spirits. Your spirit is fed, your spirit is nourished, just by being with everyone here. There is no smaller or greater; all believers are the same and all believer are saints, all believers are awliya, and all awliyas’ have degrees. One of the greatest things about being together is that you open yourself to that transformation, that is the reason why adab is so important.

• Adab is not a formality. Be yourself. Be and say what you feel, but the secret of adab is that in your heart you have a high opinion of God, and a high opinion of your brothers and sisters- Husn ad-Dhann. Having a good opinion of God is the highest forms of worship. Having adab is very important; having a good opinion of everyone around you. By elevating the status in your eyes of everyone around you, only then you will feel benefit.

• We are in much more need of adab then knowledge.

• The Hikam is packed with knowledge and wisdom.

• Ibn Ata’Allah wrote the book as a guide to Seekers in the path.

• The ego is more powerful than 70 satans!

• Allah makes everything perfect, where it’s meant to be.

• The greatest sin is to get the knowledge and not have that take you to the garden (paradise)!

• The awliya live in the present moment.

• Get your beginning right; you cannot walk this path alone- you have to have friends and a guide.

• If you do not know who the people of good company are, you have not been paying attention! Allah placed them in your life- keep good companionship/friendship.

• Have a state that uplifts people.

• Your words reflect your spiritual state.

• Make people happy, elevate them.

• The person who knows God, God becomes their reality.

• When you sit to gain knowledge, you intend to teach knowledge to others; you will transmit what you learn- that should always be part of your intention when seeking knowledge.

• You see yourself as a servant and you serve your duties to Allah.

• Never forget your mistakes, because they keep you humble. Always remind yourself of them, but hide them away with diamonds.

• Our own nafs is constantly saying to us what Pharoah said: “I am your lord most high.” Don’t allow your nafs to be your lord!

• Witness your actions as a gift from Allah, and don’t attach yourself to them. We don’t acquire actions; Allah gives them to us.

• A tree is in perpetual sajda to Allah because of the network of it’s roots resembles a nervous system- a head which is in the ground. That is it’s sajda, and it never breaks; and if it breaks that sajdah it dies.

• In marriage you must look with eyes of mercy and integrity as all your spouse’s defects/weaknesses will be revealed to you.

• ‘God’ is one of the most beautiful words in the English language as it means “He who is called upon in prayer”.

• The disbeliever is bewildered by creation but the believer is bewildered by the Creator.

• Be full of hope and Rijah!

• When you are in a spiritual sate, you have lazaa- deliciousness!

• You must know Allah in all your states and conditions.

• Lack of adab may cause you to lose something.

• You need to be broken so you are not proud and not full of yourself.

• In the end you must praise him for the year of plenty and the year of little. He is Rabb! We praise Him with a praise that is worthy of His Majesty.

• When He takes away, He shows His Majesty!

• Disobedience that leaves with you obedience is better than the pride that leaves you with arrogance.

• Whenever you lose hope, it shows you are spiritually immature.

• Every child is a saint.

• The big gifts Allah gives you are when you are down, and you feel undeserving of it, but it makes you realise that its not from you, it’s from Allah.

• God will save you by His power; you put your trust in Him, not in your deeds!

• Don’t ever think little of yourself; your relationship with Allah is special. He created us perfect, and gave us special attributes.

• The hypocrite never speaks from the heart!

• Allah is the King; He rules all things. Everything is in His control. We are veiled from Him. Allah is not in space or time.

• A moment of thought is worth more than 70 years of worship.

• Watch what you listen to and watch what you see.

~ Dr Umar Abd-Allah, Rihla 2011- Hikam of Ibn Ata’Allah al-Iskandari class (Paraphrased). Photo courtesy: Ghalia Elsolh- please do not re-use without permission first.

I hope the Gems I have been sharing for the last few months, from the 2011 Rihla, were beneficial and you enjoyed reading them. All good things come to an end, alas. But at the same time, “Endings are also beginnings” (I read this in a book and think it’s true!). When one journey ends, another begins. Ultimately, we are all on a journey back to our Lord, and are using whatever means we can, and are provided with, to reach our final destination- which is Allah!  Insha’Allah, may we all continue to be blessed to attend such programmes/events which aid us in our big journey back to our Lord. Please keep me in your lofty prayers.

Yours in faith,










* If you seek something false, Allah will make you fall so you restore yourself- this is out of His mercy for you.

* Allah gives to whom He pleases, and  constricts whom He pleases. He is aware of His servants and knows them well. Allah blesses them with constriction even though its hard, people of Allah will see the constriction as a blessing. There are people that can do without, and people that can’t do without. Allah knows exactly what to give you to help you return to Him. The events in your life are purposeful, appropriate & non random.

* The world is a thing by which you know your Lord. The entire cosmos is designed for life in the universe. 

* Good and evil are both in the providential nature of Allah and in His will. The evil is disliked; don’t judge a thing because you are judging based on your own judgement. If you do Istikhara, whatever happens is good for you. Even if the marriage didn’t work out, the experience was good for you. There is always good in His trials/tribulations.

~ Shaykh Hamza Yusuf – Jewels and Pearls of the Qur’an lesson, Rihla 2011, Bursa, Turkey (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. )

“And We have not sent you except as a mercy to all the worlds.” (Quran: 21:107)


‘Verily, Allah and His Angels send blessings on the Prophet: O you who believe! Send blessings on him, and salute him with a worthy salutation.’ Qur’an 33:56

O Allah! Bless our Master Muhammad and his family just as You blessed our master Abraham and sanctify our master Muhammad and his wives and descendants just as You sanctified our master Abraham, for You are the Praiseworthy, the Mighty!

O Allah! Unite us with him for we have believed in him without seeing him, do not separate us from him until the day you cause us to enter into his entrance hall, water us at his pool, and put us in his company along with those favored ones, and what a beautiful company that is!

And praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds!

~ Dala’il al-Khayrat


“If you do not know the blessings you have when you have them, then Allah will teach you about them by taking them away from you”

~ Ibn Ata’Allah al- Iskandari

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