Archive for the ‘Islamic stories’ Category

To Learn is to Live

  

This is beautiful story… … …
 An old American Muslim lived on a farm in the mountains of eastern
Kentucky with his young grandson. Each morning Grandpa wakeup early
sitting at the kitchen table reading his Quran. His grandson wanted
to be just like him and tried to imitate him in every way he could.
One day the grandson asked, “Grandpa! I try to read the Qur’an just
like you but I don’t understand it, and what I do understand I forget
as soon as I close the book. What good does reading the Qur’an do?”
The Grandfather quietly turned from putting coal in the stove and
replied, “Take this coal basket down to the river and bring me back a
basket of water.” The boy did as he was told, but all the water
leaked out before he got back to the house. The grandfather laughed
and said, “You’ll have to move a little faster next time,” and sent
him back to the river with the basket to try again. This time the boy
ran faster, but again the basket was empty before he returned home.
Out of breath, he told his
 grandfather that it was impossible to carry water in a basket, and
he went to get a bucket instead. The old man said, “I don’t want a
bucket of water; I want a basket of water. You’re just not trying
hard enough,” and he went out the door to watch the boy try again. At
this point, the boy knew it was impossible, but he wanted to show his
grandfather that even if he ran as fast as he could, the water would
Leak out before he got back to the house. The boy again dipped the
basket into river and ran hard, but when he reached his grandfather
the basket was again empty. Out of breathe, he said, “See Grandpa,
it’s useless!” “So you think it is useless?” The old man said, “Look
at the basket.” The boy looked at the basket and for the first time
realized that the basket was different. It had been transformed from
a dirty old coal basket and was now clean, inside and out. “Son,
that’s what happens when you read the Qur’an. You might not
understand or remember everything, but when
 you read it, you will be changed, inside and out. That is the work
of Allah in our lives.”
 If you feel this email is worth reading, please forward to your
contacts/friends. Prophet Muhammad (P.b.u.h) says: “The one who
guides to good will be rewarded equally”
 

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Guiding by sacrifice

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  Love of the Sahaba(RA): Abu Bakr & Ali(RA)

 The noble Sahaba ra of Rasool Allah proved their love by sacrificing their own selves, their lives and their properties for him. They loved him more than their own selves, their parents and their family. The Seerah is filled with display of this utmost love. Some incidents are being mentioned below.

Abu Bakr Siddiq
The Quraish of Makkah made a plot to murder the Holy Prophet. Allah had given the order for migration to Medina. At night, in the cover of darkness, the Holy Prophet and Abu Bakr left Makkah and arrived at a Cave called Thor where they decided to take refuge.

(The shoes of Abu Bakr) were worn out; some said he used to walk tiptoe in order not to leave a trail behind him. Abu Bakr, first entered to explore the cave and be sure that it was safe, closed all holes with pieces torn off from his clothes, cleaned it and then asked the Prophet (saw)to step in. The Prophet went in and immediately laid his head in Abu Bakr’s lap and fell asleep. Suddenly Abu Bakr’s foot was stung by a poisonous insect, but he did not stir or move despite the pain, fearing Muhammad saw might wake up. (Mubarakpuri, The Sealed Nectar)

This was how much the Sahaba loved Prophet Muhammad (saw), they were willing to sacrifice their life and bear so much suffering and pain.

Ali ibn Abi Talib
The Quraish of Makkah had made a plan to assassinate the Holy Prophet (saw) and they had laid siege to the House of Rasool Allah.

The Prophet told ‘Ali to sleep in his bed and cover himself with his green mantle and assured him full security under Allah’s protection and told him that no harm would come to him. The Prophet [pbuh] then came out of the room and cast a handful of dust at the assassins and managed to work his way through them reciting verses of the Noble Quran (36:09) and went towards Medina with Abu Bakr. [Mubarakpuri]

Despite grave danger of attack from the Quraish, Ali slept in the bed of Rasool Allah, endangering his own life, for the sake of Rasool Allah.

Seeking an understanding

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“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”
– John Fitzgerald Kennedy

I am always trying to be on the look out for short, simple stories that I can learn from and then in turn share with my family. I hope that this gift of a story can bring an abudance of meaning in our lives as we live through our tests and decisions that only Allah is the best of planners for what we go through day in and day out. Because of such sacrifices made by the companions of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), I find that remembering these kinds of events can be a source of comfort whenever we too are faced with difficulties regarding our practices and beliefs.

 A Gift After Hardship

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) dispatched towards the sea-shore an expedition of three hundred men, under the command of Abu Ubaidah (ra) in 8 A.H. He gave them a bag full of dates for their rations. They had been hardly out for fifteen days when they ran short of rations. In order to provide the contingent with food, Qais (ra) began buying three camels daily from his own men, to feed the Mujahideen, with a promise to pay on return to Madinah. The Amir seeing that the slaugther of camels would deprive the party of their only means of transport, prohibited him to do so. He collected the dates that had been left with each person and stored them in a bag. He would issue one date to each man as his daily ration. When Jabir (ra) later on narrated this story to the people, one of his audience inquired:“How did you manage to live upon one date only for the whole day?” He replied: “We longed even for that one date, when the whole stock was exhausted. We were on the verge of starvation. We moistened the dry tree-leaves with water and ate them.”When they reached this stage, Allah had mercy on them for He always brings ease after every hardship, provided it is endured patiently. A big fish known as “Ambar” was thrown out of the sea for them. The fish was so big that they lived on it for eighteen days altogether. They also filled their satchels with the remaining portion, which lasted them right up to Madinah. When the episode was narrated to the Prophet (peace be upon him), he said: “The fish was a provision arranged for you by Allah.”

Source: From the book “Stories of the Sahabah” by Shaikh Muhammad Zakariyya Kandhalvi.

Simplicity in Living

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Understanding the Prophet’s Life 

One of the most compelling and inspirational ways I have felt drawn to gaining a better understanding of Islam and the Prophet (PBUH) is through the stories that depict his lifestyle. I sometimes wonder what the Propet would say about the way we live. Alhmadulillah, we have these collections of exemplary writings that leave an image of who he was and what he believed. The following story made me reflect on the physical and spiritual aspect of my present day lifestyle and religious conviction.

One day ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab came into the house of the Prophet to find him lying on a simple mattress which left its marks on his body. Umar started to sob. ‘Why are you crying? O ‘Umar’, said the Prophet. ‘I thought of Caesar and Chosroes sitting on thrones of gold, wearing silk. And you are the messenger of Allah, yet here you are sitting on this simple mattress.’

‘O Umar’, said the Prophet, ‘are you not satisfied that they have this world and we have the next?’ So simple and austere were his living habits that he went half-hungry most of the time. ‘A’ishah reported that for three consecutive nights, a fire was not kindled in the homes of the Prophet because there was nothing to be cooked. When asked how they managed, she said they depended on water and dates (the two blacks). Where is the basis for the image of a self-indulgent, luxury-loving ruler with his ‘harem’ which some critics of the Prophet have contrived to draw for him? Source: “Sunshine at Madinah” – Zakaria Bashier, p. 154

Generosity through example

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I came across the following story that really stood out as an example of conduct.  

 “You invite the rich and forsake the poor”

 Abdullah Bin Umar

Piety, simplicity and generosity combined in Abdullah to make him a person who was highly esteemed by the companions and those who came after them. He gave generously and did not mind parting with wealth even if he himself would fall in want as a result.
He was a successful and trustworthy trader throughout his life. In addition to this he had a generous stipend from the Bayt al-Mal which he would often spend on the poor and those in need. Ayyub ibn Wail ar-Rasi recounted one incident of his generosity..

One day Umar received four thousand dirhams and a velvet blanket.
The following day Ayyub saw him in the market buying fodder for his camel on credit. Ayyub then went to Abdullah’s family and asked: “Didn’t Abu Abdur-Rahman (meaning Abdullah ibn Umar) get four thousand dirhams and a blanket yesterday?” “Yes, indeed,” they replied.
“But I saw him today in the suq buying fodder for his camel and he had no money to pay for it.” “Before nightfall yesterday. he had parted with it all.
Then he took the blanket and threw it over his shoulder and went out. When he returned it was not with him. We asked him about it and he said that he had given it to a poor person,” they explained.

Abdullah ibn Umar encouraged the feeding and the helping of the poor and the needy. Often when he ate, there were orphans and poor people eating with him.
He rebuked his children for treating the rich and ignoring the poor. He once said to them: “You invite the rich and forsake the poor.”

Source: http://www.streetdawah.com/books/Companions%20of%20the%20Prophet.pdf

About Struggling

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A man found a cocoon of a butterfly. One day a
small opening appeared. He sat and watched the
butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its
body through that little hole. Then it seemed to stop
making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten
as far as it could, and it could go no further.

So the man decided to help the butterfly. He took
a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit
of the cocoon.

The butterfly then emerged easily. But it had a
swollen body and small, shriveled wings.

The man continued to watch the butterfly because
he expected that, at any moment, the wings would
enlarge and expand to be able to support the
body, which would contract in time.

Neither happened! In fact, the butterfly spent the
rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body
and shriveled wings. It never was able to fly.

What the man, in his kindness and haste, did not
understand was that the restricting cocoon and
the struggle required for the butterfly to get
through the tiny opening were Allah’s way of
forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into
its wings so that it would be ready for flight
once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon.

Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in
our lives. If Allah allowed us to go through our
lives without any obstacles, it would cripple us.

We would not be as strong as what we could
have been. We could never “fly”!

I asked for Strength………
And Allah gave me Difficulties to make me strong.

I asked for Wisdom………
And Allah gave me Problems to solve.

I asked for Prosperity………
And Allah gave me Brain and Brawn to work.

I asked for Courage………
And Allah gave me Danger to overcome.

I asked for Love……….
And Allah gave me Troubled people to help.

I asked for Favours………
And Allah gave me Opportunities.

I received nothing I wanted ……..
I received everything I needed!

from Living Islam

My thoughts are that it is obvious that it is not an easy transition to discuss human life and the struggles that individuals face in life and there are times when we need to let people struggle through the “cocoons” in their lives. Of course, we can cheer them on, speak words of encouragement, but we should not necessarily try to “remove” the “cocoon” because it is in that person pushing through that he or she will come out strong and will be prepared for his or her future life as a new butterfly!!!

Insightful story

  Allah is the Most Forgiving

It was narrated that in the days that Musa (Alahi salaam) wandered with Bani Israel in the desert an intense drought befell them. Together, they raised their hands towards the heavens praying for the blessed rain to come. Then, to the astonishment of Musa (Alahi salaam) and all those watching, the few scattered clouds that were in the sky vanished, the heat poured down, and the drought intensified.

It was revealed to Musa that there was a sinner amongst the tribe of Bani Israel whom had disobeyed Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) for more than forty years of his life. “Let him separate himself from the congregation,” Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) told Musa (Alahi salaam). “Only then shall I shower you all with rain.”

Musa (Alahi salaam) then called out to the throngs of humanity, “There is a person amongst us who has disobeyed Allah for forty years. Let him separate himself from the congregation and only then shall we be rescued from the drought.” That man, waited, looking left and right, hoping that someone else would step forward, but no one did. Sweat poured forth from his brow and he knew that he was the one.

The man knew that if he stayed amongst the congregation all would die of thirst and that if he stepped forward he would be humiliated for all eternity.

He raised his hands with a sincerity he had never known before, with a humility he had never tasted, and as tears poured down on both cheeks he said: “O Allah, have mercy on me! O Allah, hide my sins! O Allah, forgive me!”

As Musa (Alahi salaam) and the people of Bani Israel awaited for the sinner to step forward, the clouds hugged the sky and the rain poured. Musa (Alahi salaam) asked Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala), “O Allah, you blessed us with rain even though the sinner did not come forward.” And Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) replied, “O Musa, it is for the repentance of that very person that I blessed all of Bani Israel with water.”

Musa (Alahi salaam), wanting to know who this blessed man was, asked, “Show him to me O Allah!” Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) replied, “O Musa, I hid his sins for forty years, do you think that after his repentance I shall expose him?”

Source: from the article by Shaikh Muhammad Al-Shareef.