Archive for the ‘Faith’ Category

Alhamdulillah

O Allah,
I ask You to strengthen my iman and those around me.
I ask You to soften my heart
And to soften the hearts of the believers.
O Allah,
Forgive me for my shortcomings, for only You are perfect.
O Allah,
Please forgive me if I ever got too wrapped in a matter
That I didn’t have time to utter Your name.
O Allah,
Please forgive me for all the salat I missed
Because of ignorance or laziness,
Please forgive me for all the fasts I didn’t make up,
Thinking it was alright, since I fasted most of the days anyway.
O Allah,
Please forgive me for the sins I committed in the past
And those I will commit in the future.
O Allah,
Have mercy on all the Muslimeen,
And guide them.
Guide me O Allah,

Ya Allah,

I am thankful for giving me another day!

Ameen

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What’s in a number?

Recently I read a book that explained word choice and how listing our 10 most favorite words would be a way of deciding how to categorize word choice in writing.  Next, I read someone’s blog highlighting suggested things to do within a 10 minute time to remember Allah. Okay, so now I wonder is 10 just a number that limits our list of things to do?  Anyway, I would like to post the following:

10 Things We Waste

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Curiosities challenge choices

“And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give glad tidings to the patient.”

The Holy Qur’an, Chapter 2, Verse 155

A friend once asked me, “What is it that you really, really, really want?” A question that can be defined by today, tomorrow or the future I asked. No, what is it that you really want. Is it happiness, is it more wealth, maybe to live a longer life ? I was not sure how to answer this question. I almost felt like I was taking a survey of my life and the choices that I had made. This question can mean so many things from an individual perspective I thought. This question was asked by my non-Muslim friend who seemed to really want for me to evaluate my life. Okay, I could do that but I thank Allah for everything past, present and future. An answer I could not find myself being able to simplify over a cup of coffee with my dear colleague. Okay, so I said to her, what really defines this question is that fact that I need to seperate what you are asking to how I live as a Muslim-a different state of mind. Being the broadminded person she is had no choice but not challenge me and so she gladly smiled and began conversing about her thought processing challenges in getting an affirmative answer that she was able to define what she really wanted.

We all have different points of view don’t we?

 Although I have been working a long way from home now, I can’t help but wonder how much societies change overtime but people pretty much stay the same in their own state of mind, whether circumastnaces change or not in their lives.  Always wanting more, needing more, planning for a future with a timeline that may be so unpredictable in the end. Thus, resulting in disappointments and questions of should I or could I have done this or that without being able to turn the hands of time back to those events.

The statement I once heard from a friend planning to go off to college many years ago was that a person should “plan while he/she can becasue you never know what could happen in the future.”  This statement had no bearance with the quality of life I wanted. Yes, we try to use critical thinking for the choices we make BUT there is one thing that I have lived while a long way from home and that is that people live according to their means. In a society where the “rich get richer and the poor get poorer” you can’t help but ask, “why, are people in such a state of  financial need but yet don’t complain about it or if they do well, there is no way of telling.

  As you drive away from the urban areas into rural places, you can see how much people care for their children as you watch them walk to the beach as a family for a day of fun carrying a basket of fruit or other delights. People still find the time to appreciate their families and time spent in simple lifestyle. On the flip side of this, you can’t help but wonder how do some people have the money to be driving around a Hummer.  Well, this is a changing world of always trying to keep up with the latest of this and that. Anyway, these are just a few of my curiosities that challenge the choices I make as a parent who wants to instill in my child that the very essence of life is not in the kind of clothes you wear or the kind of shoes you have but tin the actions of respect, responsibility, ethical and community minded individual that one hopes and aspires for each child to portray in their adulthood.  Islam is a complete way of life and their are choices that challenge us day in and day out but at the end the answer to what I really, really, really want is simlpe- to be thankful for the things that I have and the things that I don’t have.

Do you know what you really, really, really, want?

A Word: Multiple Meanings

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What is the meaning of Alhamdulillah? 

It is usually translated as, “All praise is due to Allah.”  In the reality of our lives, what does it truly mean? Depends from an individual perspective I think. However, it is not just a word on our lips. I believe that it is a genuine feeling in our hearts.  Once, I read that “Alhamdulillah” means when you don’t have something you need or want, you are content with your fate; when you have a limited quantity of that thing, you are content with it, and you try to share it when you have a lot, or when you are content that youa re searching for ways to share it more. Therefore, no matter what your condition, you are grateful to Allah for that condition. In another words, I believe it is a recognition that all that Allah has given us or taken from us id the best for us.

For Allah mentions, “This is of the grace of my Lord that He try me whether I am grateful or ungrateful; and whoever is grateful, he is grateful only for his own soul, and whoever, is ungrateful, then surely my Lord is Self-sufficient, Honored. (27:40)

A Hadith that was found by Ibin Qayim Al Jawziyyah, p.70

Allah had given us so much, and our duty as Muslims is to be grateful for those many blessings. Ibin Abid-Dunya mentioned that Dawud asked Allah, “What is the least of your blessings?” Allah revealed to him to take a breath. Dawud did so, and Allah told him, This is the least of my blessings on you.” 

 When I read this I was like “WOW” to just take an involuntary action such as a simple breath that basically sustains us is quite a blessing from Allah.

The blessings of ALahmudlillah are many in itself.

Narrated Samurah ibn Jundab: The dearest words to Allah are four: SubhanAllah (Hallowed be Allah), Alhamdulillah (Praise be to Allah), La ilaha illallah (There is no god but Allah), and AllahuAkbar (God is the Greatest)… Sahih Muslim: Book 24, Number 5329.

Narrated Anas ibn Malik: Allah’s Apostle (peace_be_upon_him) said: Allah is pleased with His servant who says: Alhamdulillah while taking a morsel of food and while drinking. Sahih Muslim: Book 34, Number 6592.

I pray that ALlah gives me and everyone the faith, patience and gratitude to implement “Alhamdulilah” into our lives as true and pious slaves of Allah. May He forgive me, us, we as He guides us and provides the best in this life and the next.

Ameen

Heartfelt

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Giving thanks, expressing appreciation and to render one’s thanks to someone who has shown favor is a very important concept day in and day out. However, through experiences I have found that giving thanks to Allah should be done in the good and the bad times. I once had a friend make this statement and could not understand through this sign of faith that gratefulness to Allah is a concept mostly emphasized through many verses in the Quran.

“If you would count up the favors of Allah, never would you be able to number them: for Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Al-Nahl, 18)

O you who believe! Eat of the good things that We have provided for you, and be grateful to Allah, if it is Him you worship. (Al-Baqara, 172)

I have experienced that giving thanks every day is part of my test in this life. It was my expectations to wait for some grand favors or special occasions to render my thanks to Allah. I have learned through hardships that it is only for one to reflect on everything that makes life possible: good health, intelligence, his life, the air that we breathe, our five senses is indeed a blessing.

To reflect on my life is to say that one should never neglect to render thanks to Allah.

See you not that the ships sail through the ocean by the Grace of Allah?- that He may show you of His Signs? Verily in this are Signs for all who constantly persevere and give thanks. (Luqman, 31)

Think About It

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 This is a little reminder which was sent to me.

Several years ago an Imaam moved to London . He often took the bus from his home to the downtown area. Some weeks after he arrived, he had occasion to ride the same bus. When he sat down, he discovered that the driver had accidentally given him twenty pence too much change. As he considered what to do, he thought to himself, you better give the twenty pence back. It would be wrong to keep it. Then he thought, oh forget it, it’s only twenty pence. Who would worry about this little amount? Anyway, the bus company already gets too much fare; they will never miss it. Accept it as a gift from Almighty Allah and keep quite. When his stop came, the Imaam paused momentarily at the door, and then he handed the twenty pence back to the driver and said “Here, you gave me too much change. The driver with a smile replied “Aren’t you the new Imaam in this area? I have been thinking lately about going to worship at your mosque. I just wanted to see what you would do if I gave you too much change.” When the Imaam stepped off the bus, his knees became weak and soft. He had to grab the nearest light pole and held for support, and looked up to the heavens and cried “Oh Allah, I almost sold Islam for twenty pence!” Remember, we may never see the impact our actions have on people.

Sometimes we are the only knowledge of Quran someone will read, or the only Islam a non-Muslim will see. What we need to provide, Insha Allah is an example for others to see. Be careful and be honest everyday, because you never know who is watching your actions and judging you as a Muslim. Just remember- Allah is watching you. If we could get arrested for being a Muslim, would the police have enough evidence to bring us in? Why is it so hard to tell the truth but yet so easy to tell a lie? Why we are so sleepy in mosque but right when the prayer is over, we suddenly wake up? Why is it so hard to talk about Allah but yet so easy to talk about nasty stuff? Why is it so boring to look at an Islamic Article but yet so easy to look at a nasty one? Why is it so easy to delete a Godly e-mail but yet we forward all of the nasty ones? Why are the mosques getting smaller, but yet the dance clubs are getting larger? Do you give up??

Let’s continue to pray for each other.

A living reality

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I found the following article entitled: The Quranic Journal: Why to keep it, how to do it as a beneficial reminder of how I can better spend my time. I feel these days that I am always crunching for time to read the Quran. I do make it a point that when I get up for fajr not to go back to bed right away. This can be difficult and especially since the weather is cold and to give up the comfort of our sleep and warmth is a BIG sacrifice. A while back ago at a sisters blog http://adikbongsu.wordpress.com/ where she mentioned an article in September entitled “What prayer means to me” by Velma Cook gave me some valuable information. In this article there were many things that helped me better understand the importance of spending my time wiser. In the end it is concluded that “we should continue in prayer whether well or ill, tired or wakeful sad or hopeful, I continue, knowing that success doesn’t lie in the amount of money, weapons or strength one thinks one has, but in one’s morality.

In saying this I have found that reading the Quran is just as important and in this fast paced culture we live in, TIME is always of essence. Children, spouse, job obligations, university projects, home environment and other duties we have are important and huge but I am not spending enough time as I wish I could reading the Quran. I hope that the following article can be of benefit and I have tried already some suggestions.

http://www.soundvision.com/Info/quran/journal.asp