Ayah of the Day – Fifth 5

Day 21

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There is a saying that goes “A believer is a trader” – المؤمن تاجر – because every deed, every action, is a transaction to get the maximum in the Akhirah.
This world is but for a short time. There have been people in their graves for years, and we will be of them too. What then? The only tool we have is time – to use every second to ensure we pile our rewards in the next life.
It’s not about YOLO (actually we live twice), or just living in the moment without accountability. Enjoy the moments for sure, for Allah swt has beautified this world for us – but always remember that the ultimate goal is Paradise, which means our entire lifetime here is the like the duration of a test paper.
How much are we striving to make sure we pass?
When you showered this morning, even if your intention was to please Allah because He loves it when we keep ourselves clean, that’s sending good deeds forward for the next life. SubhanAllah!
#itsthelittlethings #striveforJannah#GemsfromtheQuran #AyahoftheDay#RamadanChronicles

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Spending for the sake of Allah is not about how much, it’s about how much was that worth to you?
I believe it was Sajid Umar who gave the example of a man who give 10/- when he has 100/- in his wallet, and one who gives 10/- when he has only 20/-. The amount is the same for them both, but the sacrifice is greater for the second.
In another ayah, Allah swt says that the Ansar of Madinah gave the emigrants of Makkah preference over themselves even though they had a little.
And I have noticed that it is the ones who don’t have much that are always so willing to give more, SubhanAllah.
One of the major points to take away these last ten days is to spend more: “And spend [in the way of Allah ] from what We have provided you before death approaches one of you and he says, “My Lord, if only You would delay me for a brief term so I would give charity and be among the righteous.” (63:10)

Because only those who have overcome the stinginess in their hearts, and the attachment of this world, will be successful ☆

#keepgiving #sadaqah #charitygoals#GemsfromtheQuran #AyahoftheDay#RamadanChronicles #striveforJannah

Day 22

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This has to be one of the most beautiful du’as, and should be on our list in these last precious days.

Asiya was married to the worst man alive – Fir’oun – but she was also quite literally the queen of the world. And yet she didn’t take solace with all the riches at her fingertips, her heart was not attached to it. All she wanted was freedom from him.
The wording of this du’a is so amazing because it says “Oh Allah, build for me near You a house in Paradise”, and while the structure of that sentence is a little bit strange, it has immense significance.
She could have said “build me a house near You in Paradise” and it would have essentially given the same meaning.
But for her, being near Allah swt was more important. She had a palace in this world, she had plenty of things – she just wanted to be near her Rabb.
That’s where her heart was ♡
Where do we want to be in Jannah?
#nearAllah#alwaysask #KingofKings#nothingisimpossible #striveforJannah#GemsfromtheQuran

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These ayahs are really scary but very important to remember.
On the Day of Judgment, everyone is going to ONLY worry about themselves. “نفسي نفسي” or “myself myself” is a phrase commonly used to encompass that.
All these bonds of blood or love or friendship, or what strengthened through time and experience will not matter. At. All.
Allah swt says the people that were closest to you – one’s children, spouse, siblings, all those people who showed you kindess – will be used by you to try and ransom yourself from the fire. May Allah protect us.

We would put ourselves in harms way if it meant saving our child from hurt. But on that Day, if we could give Allah the WHOLE ENTIRE WORLD if it means that we’re safe, we would do it.
Of course we cannot. That’s not how it works.
But in Ramadan, Allah swt writes down those that He frees from the fire. Every night, He saves people. Make absolute sincere du’a every single night that it is you. And then work hard to make it true.
#alwaysask #KingofKings#nothingisimpossible#GemsfromtheQuran #AyahoftheDay#RamadanChronicles

Day 23

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When I was studying this surah, this phrase really stuck in my head (it could also be due to the fact that my teacher quoted it quite often!) But it is scarily true.
We are told to submit to Allah swt completely, yet when it comes to His rulings, we pick and choose as per our convenience. We are whole-hearted when it suits us, and reluctant when it doesn’t.
Of course Islam is flexible depending on your circumstance, but intentionally pushing something aside because it is too hard for us to come to terms with, because it would cost us too much to actually deal with it, is like browsing and selecting where a store doesn’t even exist.
I believe the term used is ‘fatwa shopping’

#completesubmission#GemsfromtheQuran #AyahoftheDay#RamadanChronicles #striveforJannah#lategram

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The end goal of fasting is taqwa – absolute consciousness of Allah swt. To be aware of the fact that He always sees us, and always knows what we are thinking, feeling, and doing.
Whether it is a whisper from your lips, words said out loud, or a thought in your mind – Allah swt knows it all. It is all the same to Him because the barriers we have in our senses don’t apply to Him.
So when Ramadan leaves us and the fasting is over, will we still be conscious of this? Would we still remember to hold our tongues, our actions, and stay away from what displeases Him, because His Seeing is not limited to only when we are fasting and not supposed to take a bite. It is every second that we are living and breathing, and even after that.
May Allah swt make us of the muttaqeen! Ameen!

#consciousness#WhoWillYouBeAfterRamadan#GemsfromtheQuran #AyahoftheDay#RamadanChronicles

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Belief in the afterlife is what differentiates us from so many others. It is what pushes us to do more good, holds us back from committing evil, and brings us to salah 5 times a day – the fear of missing even one, and displeasing Allah.
Without absolute certainty in the Akhirah, what motivation do we have for anything?
It is when this certainty slips that we sin too, and when it is firm do we strive our utmost to attain the best ranks there.
When we only live for this world, the next becomes a blur, a thing in the far distance that may come upon us someday.
But those who truly believe know that it starts the moment we die, and because we don’t know when that is, we should try and live each moment like it will be our last.

And so patience becomes easy. Prayer becomes easy. Humility becomes easy. Because they know the reward awaits them. They know without a doubt that they will meet their Lord.
#afterdeathlife #patienceandprayer#GemsfromtheQuran

Day 24

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Allah swt has a simple formula: show our interest, and He is there. Remember Him, and He will remember us. Call upon Him, and He will respond. We just have to take that step.
People wonder why we have du’as for every little thing – when we wake up, before we eat, dress, go to the bathroom, sleep, etc. It could seem overwhelming.
But He swt taught us these words so that we remember Him in the smallest acts of our day, and so that it is a reminder to ourselves that we cannot do anything if not for Him.
Just by following what becomes habit to a lot of people, you have qualified for this ayah – and Allah remembers you especially in the company of angels, when you remember Him especially in a company of friends.
Remembering Him constantly throughout the day brings about gratitude, because we are consciously aware of the fact that we woke up this morning healthy, that we have food to eat, clothes to wear, and the simple things that make life so rich. Simple things that many are deprived of.
#rememberHim #GemsfromtheQuran#AyahoftheDay #RamadanChronicles#striveforJannah

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Part of the relationship we have with our Lord is that we love Him more than anything else. This is an important factor because love is a big part of our lives. We love love.
We love people and things and experiences and places… but how does that love define us?
Love is one of the most powerful motivators, and whatever holds our love, controls us. So when we love something more than we love Allah, we give preference to it. We put those needs before what He has asked of us.
But when our love of Allah exceeds all bounds? Submission is easy. Anything He tells us to do is easy, and staying away from what He doesn’t like becomes easier. Because when you love someone, all you want to do is make them happy.
#forlove #GemsfromtheQuran#AyahoftheDay #RamadanChronicles#striveforJannah

Day 25

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This is such a beautiful reminder, especially with the state of the world right now.
This is a prelude to the story of David and Goliath, where King Saul led a very unenthusiastic army who didn’t even want to fight. When there is no motivation, anything is an excuse.
But those with true faith, those who had absolute certainty in (meeting) Allah – because when you’re sure you’re going to meet Him, you’re absolute trust is in His plan – knew that it was not about the numbers. That the greater victory is in the afterlife. It’s not about what we can see.
When we truly have faith, we would know that Allah is capable of anything. That He can change the situation 180 degrees by just the word “Be!” It’s not about who runs the world, what laws they change, or what they say. When we have trust in Allah, we have patience in His plan, because we know that He will take care of us.
#itsallabouttrust #GemsfromtheQuran#AyahoftheDay #RamadanChronicles#striveforJannah

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This is a great reminder especially in these days where we are told to be more charitable.
Ramadan comes and we may empty our pockets, but it should not be at the expense of emptying our scales too. The best charity is that done in secret, but here, Allah swt isn’t just talking about our peers. Those that we give sadaqah to obviously know we have given them, but it is of the character of a Muslim to not remind them that they are of a lower status. That they have less. That they have been helped. That they have received charity.
But the thing about charity is, we should be grateful for those who ask and those who need, for we are not doing them a favour. Rather, they are doing US a favour. How else could we earn Allah’s pleasure through this avenue? How else could we purify ourselves and our wealth? How else can we attain Jannah this way?

#beinggrateful #itsthelittlethings #reflect#GemsfromtheQuran

 

Ayah of the Day – Fourth 5

Day 16

IMG_20160623_225237This was the du’a of Sulaiman (as) and he was granted it. He had a kingdom that absolutely no one else had, with all the riches one could imagine, as well as the elements and animals under his command. How was this possible? He just asked. When we make du’a, we need to remember Who we are asking. Allah swt created every blade of grass, every tiny crawling creature, every atom in this universe – and He controls it all. When you ask someone who is rich, you don’t ask for a little, because you know their capacity. Don’t doubt that He will give you, because it is nothing to Him to allow you all the riches in the world, all the control you can imagine. Don’t belittle your wishes because you think He won’t grant it to you. “I am as My servant thinks of Me”, He says. If we assume He won’t, He will not. But if we ask with absolute conviction that He will make it work out, He will grant us that wish. #aimhigh #asktheKingoftheWorlds#keepstriving #GemsfromtheQuran#AyahoftheDay #RamadanChronicles#striveforJannah #lategram

Day 17

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I had to put this oft-heard ayah because it is absolutely beautiful!

Never ever think that your sins are too big for Allah’s mercy, or that you are too far away from Him. All you have to do is turn to Him – not even physically – just that little feeling in your heart that is guilt. Regret. Wanting to be close to Him again.
And if you call upon Him, with total and utter conviction, He swt WILL respond. Besides, there is no better feeling than pouring your heart out to the One Who knows your deepest darkest secrets ♡
#alwaysaskforforgiveness #itsnevertoolate#keepstriving #GemsfromtheQuran#AyahoftheDay #RamadanChronicles#striveforJannah

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This are just pretty awesome couple of ayahs!

Don’t fight fire with fire. ‘Repel evil with good and you will find that your enemies are now your best friends’. BUT it will only be achieved with patience. SubhanAllah!
That is not easy to do because when someone hurts us, our first reaction is to hurt back. But after taking torture for 13 years in Makkah – where the Prophet (pbuh) maintained his amazing character – many of those enemies turned out to be some of the best companions later on. Patience patience patience.
If only we all practiced it. How much war would there be in the world?
#spreadlovenotwar #patience#GemsfromtheQuran #AyahoftheDay#RamadanChronicles #striveforJannah

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This is just 😍😍 Imagine entering Jannah and having the angels tell you that they were your allies in this world. Well Allah swt informs us of that now – we literally have guardian angels.
Who needs a gang when you’ve got amazing creation on your side? 😎

It’s so so lovely to see how the angels make du’a for us. ❤ They are always around Allah swt and pick the right moment to put in a word for us – and not just each of us individually, but our loved ones too, when they say, “and whoever was righteous among their fathers, their spouses and their offspring.” You know how you pick the teacher’s pet to ask the teacher for a favour, or the favoured sibling or grandchild because you know they won’t be refused? These are creations of Allah that only glorify Him and never disobey Him. These magnificent creatures of honour that remember us enough to ask Allah to forgive us. SubhanAllah!
If they are asking for us, we had better be asking for ourselves!
#alwaysaskforforgiveness#guardianangels #forlove#GemsfromtheQuran #AyahoftheDay

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Sometimes we go about the motions of our worship out of habit – simply because we have become accustomed to it.
We forget why we are doing it, and Who we are doing it for.
Who is Allah?
He has placed signs all around us so that we may ponder and #reflect. We can connect to Him by simply observing the amazing smoothness in which everything runs, the incredible creation that inhabits this earth with us, not the least to say, the incredible creation that is the human being.
In this age of technology where we are handicapped if our phone is not within our reach, it is ok to let loose and do nothing once in a while. It only brings us closer to our Lord ♡
#reflect #amazingcreation#GemsfromtheQuran #AyahoftheDay

Day 18

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This is the mercy of Allah, that even when we don’t put Him first, even when we give other things and people more importance, He swt STILL takes care of us, still provides for us, still protects us.
We mostly turn to Him in times of difficulty but we forget that the normalcy of a day where everything goes as it should is His love towards us, making sure life is good. It is only the absence of something that makes us value and appreciate it, and He does that just so that we realise that nothing that happens is of our doing, but it is all controlled by Him swt.
#beinggrateful #GemsfromtheQuran#AyahoftheDay #RamadanChronicles#striveforJannah #lategram

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This is a phrase that is repeated a lot in the Qur’an – “We are doing what we found our forefathers doing and will continue with that because we believe they were right”. Mostly it applies to the said group of people not wanting to accept one God, but this is a line that we hear a lot even in Muslim societies today.
A lot of extras have filtered into the practice of religion – culture that has no base but becomes a part of deen – and it is really scary because people believe it is right simply because generations before them did the same thing.
It shows how important the hadith of the Prophet (pbuh) is, where he says that seeking knowledge is obligatory upon every Muslim, and he talks of knowledge of religion because of course people are going to be educated in terms of the world.
Always always verify when you hear something. Never take anything for granted. Only when I started learning did I realise how many things we were told to do or not do had no reason behind them, and it isn’t easy to change a habit you’ve become accustomed to!
#donttakeitforgranted #keeplearning#GemsfromtheQuran #AyahoftheDay#RamadanChronicles #striveforJannah#lategram

Day 19

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This is definitely something that we don’t take seriously.
We have nicknames for people close to us, made out of love, made for fun, and sometimes we have nicknames for people that we don’t like, picking on an aspect of themselves that they’re probably not proud of.
Whether it’s said with love or not, and whether the recipient takes it with grace or not, we truly don’t know how it makes them feel.
It’s scary because on the Day of Judgment when everyone only cares about themselves, a slight word could be enough to tip your scales and have to hand over your deeds.
Islam isn’t just about praying and fasting and reciting the Qur’an. That is not what makes us good Muslims. It is caring about the people around us and looking out for society that completes our religion.
#nonicknames #GemsfromtheQuran#AyahoftheDay #RamadanChronicles#striveforJannah #lategram

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Beautiful!
The only reason we have different skin colours and different accents and different features are so that we recognise one another.
To have a culture is to be rich, to have something to belong to, a certain way of doing things; and the reason we travel is to explore other ways of life, drink it all in.
Why then do we have so many labels for people, races, and origins? We all came from one man anyway. We are all the children of Adam.
This reminds me of a video I watched recently where participants took a journey based on their DNA, so that they would know where they came from. And they were a mix of so many races, it was amazing.
We are not all one thing. We are many things, the same way the person next to you is many things. And in embracing that we can hopefully find some peace, and resolve the discord between the race that is humanity.
#embracethedifferences#breakingbarriers #GemsfromtheQuran#AyahoftheDay #RamadanChronicles#striveforJannah #lategram

Day 20

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And this is the purpose of#AyahoftheDay 😊
We all need reminders, me before anyone else. No matter how many times we’ve been told, or however long we’ve been doing the same thing, we need to be reminded of the Why. To connect ourselves back to our Rabb.
To remember what pleases and displeases Him.
And to strive to be of those who get to see Him ♡
May Allah make us of those privileged ones, ameen!

#remind #keepreminding#GemsfromtheQuran #AyahoftheDay#RamadanChronicles #striveforJannah#lategram

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Who is Allah? #part1

The best way to connect to our Creator is to observe the world around us, how He takes care of it, how everything runs smoothly.
That on so much of it we depend. That without it, we wouldn’t be able to survive.
#reflect #GemsfromtheQuran#AyahoftheDay #RamadanChronicles#striveforJannah #lategram

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Who is Allah? #part2
All the elements, whose knowledge of their use came down through generations, without which we could not survive, even living in this age of technology, come from our Rabb.
The One Who takes care of us, created us, and provides for us. Oh how we take these things for granted!
The water flowing from our taps that is the perfect drink to quench our thirst after a long day, the fire that lights with a flick of a knob, the trees that give us shade and breeze and oxygen.
Do we realise what our lives will be like without them? Do we realise that we truly cannot do nothing ourselves, and that Allah swt controls everything?
To Him we must be grateful, and to Him we will return.
#reflect #GemsfromtheQuran#AyahoftheDay #RamadanChronicles#striveforJannah #lategram

 

Ayah of the Day – Third 5 (Halfway already!)

It is a testimony to how quick the days go by that I resulted in the delay in posting these..!

Day 11

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The last page of Surah Mu’minun starts off with the ayah: “[It will be said]. “Were not My verses recited to you and you used to deny them?” ” where Allah swt asks the people of Hell.

Seeing the reality, they acknowledge their mistake and ask to be removed from the punishment. But – and this part is scary – Allah doesn’t even want to speak to them, as ayah 108 indicates. Instead, the imagery is as if He turns away from them and looks on lovingly to a group of people who are so dear to Him simply because they said “We have believed, so forgive us and have mercy on us because You are the best of the Merciful.” ☆ The most beautiful thing about this is that just 9 ayahs later – the very last ayah of the surah – those exact words are stated in the form of a command – so that we say it.
His love for us is so great that He wants us to be a part of that group, and it’s like He is giving us the answers to the test paper just so that we pass. SubhanAllah ♡
#forlove #GemsfromtheQuran#AyahoftheDay #RamadanChronicles#striveforJannah

Day 12

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This is so brilliant that I want to frame it and hang it as a constant reminder.
People are made as a test to us – whether they make us so happy, or they make us want to pull our hair out – it is all a test.
We all have our good and bad days, and sometimes one small thing can make us forget all the good that the person has done.
But: are we being patient?
Life is a reaction: it is not about what happens – because we can’t control much of it anyway – but how we react in the situation. How do we respond – with kindness? Patience? Or raging about what isn’t in our hands? That’s all Allah swt wants to see.
#patience #GemsfromtheQuran#AyahoftheDay #RamadanChronicles#striveforJannah #lategram

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Nobody likes the term ‘slave’ because it denotes a lack of control, but the truth is that we are all a slave to something, whether we realise it or not.
In following the rules set down for us by our Lord, we are His slaves, but because He knows us better than we know ourselves, and He knows what is best for us, that only brings us honour.
If we’re not following what He told us to do, we end up following our own desires. Whether that be the latest trends, society’s rules, or simply wanting what we want, we become a slave to our desires.
They rule us. They determine our life’s choices. And without the infinite Wisdom to guide us, who’s to say where it will take us?
#stayincontrol #GemsfromtheQuran#AyahoftheDay #RamadanChronicles#striveforJannah #lategram

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What Ibraheem (as) says about his Rabb.
No explanation needed ❤

#lategram #HisLove#GemsfromtheQuran #AyahoftheDay#RamadanChronicles #striveforJannah

Day 13

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Everything we have is a gift from Allah, and what better way to strive for Jannah than to use the resources given to us? Whether that be our wealth, children, or even our skills and talents, everyone is created differently for a purpose – so that we can all contribute different things to make this community a whole.
To try to be like anyone else is a disservice to ourselves.
One of the most beautiful parts of this ayah is that Allah swt tells us, “and [yet] do not forget your share of the world”, meaning USE what you are blessed with. Don’t shun them aside and assume a poor demeanor because you think that is piety.
Even the colours of the world around us are beautified for us especially, so notice it, appreciate it, and remember your Lord through it 😍

#blessed #GemsfromtheQuran#AyahoftheDay #RamadanChronicles#striveforJannah

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And this is the mercy of our Rabb ♡
That every good deed we do is multiplied, even a good intention that wasn’t able to be carried out is rewarded. And a bad deed is recompensed just as it is.
What more motivation do we need to do good, in addition to the ayah that tells us that good deeds wipes out the bad?
That’s right, wipes out. Clean slate. Every time we do something good.
SubhanAllah!
#keepstriving #multiplied#GemsfromtheQuran #AyahoftheDay

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Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful!
In order to achieve anything, we have to pass a test. To get to the next grade, to be promoted, to get a degree. We understand that the greater the achievement, the harder the test.
Jannah is the ultimate goal, the ultimate gift, the ultimate achievement. Allah swt knows we cannot get there by ourselves, and so when we fall short in our deeds and character, He tests us so that we may reach there by virtue of our patience and gratitude.
It is out of His immense mercy that He does this, because what is this life when you can have eternal happiness?
#staystrong #GemsfromtheQuran#AyahoftheDay #RamadanChronicles#striveforJannah

Day 14

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This is such a beautiful ayah and such a great representation of what Islam is about.
What’s most important is obeying Allah and the Messenger (pbuh), and what comes after that is obedience to parents.
What is equally important to worship is character – the way we behave with others. And this ayahs encompasses that beautifully 👌 “…do not obey them but accompany them in [this] world with appropriate kindness and follow the way of those who turn back to Me [in repentance]…” • Just because someone is wrong doesn’t mean they deserve to be looked down upon. We still have to be kind, respectful and caring, EVEN if they’re asking us to commit shirk, which is the biggest sin. How are people going to accept this deen if we repel them with our character?
#reflect #bekindalways#GemsfromtheQuran #AyahoftheDay#RamadanChronicles #striveforJannah#lategram

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Have you ever looked at yourself and thought about how beautiful you are? I’m not talking about being proud or vain, but has it ever fascinated you how your limbs are shaped just so, how the skin stretches over your bones, the features of your face that twist into different expressions, the elegance with which our bodies are made?
Even when there are things we dislike, there is so much that is so perfect that the cons aren’t worth half the time spent pouring over them.
Allah swt is the One Who shaped us – He decided the colour of our skin and hair, the textures of it all, the hills and valleys of our creation, that all come together to make, perfectly, you.
Complaining about what we can’t control, ie: our form, is complaining about Him نعوذ بالله, so the next time we even consider it, we should think twice.
#loveyourform #GemsfromtheQuran#AyahoftheDay #RamadanChronicles#striveforJannah #lategram

Day 15

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The world’s standards make us forget what is important. When we need to get something done, we look for people of influence, people of wealth, affluent connections, and trust that they will take care of it.
There is nothing wrong with availing the means, but we have to be very careful where the line of trust and dependance is drawn.
No matter how wealthy or influential a person is, everything happens only by the Will of Allah.

And if He wants to give us something, the whole world together cannot stop it. And if He wants to prevent it from us, the entire world together cannot make it happen.
Believe it. Trust Him.
#GemsfromtheQuran #AyahoftheDay#RamadanChronicles #striveforJannah

Ayah of the Day – Second 5

Day 6

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Firstly, can I just say how much I love Surah Yusuf? Even before attempting to understand the Qur’an, it was the one surah that drew me in because it was like a story from beginning to end – something we are all suckers for – making it easily understandable.
Secondly, the last statement in this ayah is 👌: “and above everyone possessed of knowledge is the All-Knowing One.” (12:76)
We all have knowledge, ideas and plans. And sometimes that knowledge is incorrect and our plans don’t quite work out. No matter how much we think we know, however experienced we are, we always have to remember that there is One Who has infinite knowledge and wisdom, and everything occurs based on His plan.
Knowledge was given to Adam (as) to elevate the status of man above even the angels. Don’t misuse it or make it a source of pride – a sin that Shaytan was kicked out of Jannah for.
#keeplearning #GemsfromtheQuran#AyahoftheDay #RamadanChronicles#striveforJannah

It was to this post that I got this reply from a Christian classmate of mine, someone I’ve never been super close to, but is now part of my social media circles:

“I must thankyou for sharing this! Been a couple days since I’ve been pondering over the plans of what my Lord has in store for me and for some reason the story of Adam and Eve kept playing In my head… and again this is the third time I’ve read and heard the exact same thoughts that kept me awake couple of days in a row. In the end we all have to connect to the same level of a higher consciousness and spirituality. Because only He knows all since He is the Aplha and Omega. Praise the LORD and tha kyou again!”

I was pretty mind-blown when I read this, and didn’t quite know what to say. SubhanAllah, you never know what you say that can touch someone’s heart, and we are no one to say who that might be.

Day 7

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This beautiful ayah comes after a long conversation between Allah swt and Shaytan about why he didn’t prostrate to Adam (as) when he was commanded to (pride), and how he would be kicked out of Jannah and cursed. Shaytan asked for respite until the Last Day and, despite who he was, Allah swt granted it to him. *Never think you’re too much of a sinner to be forgiven!
Shaytan then says that he would lead everyone astray, *except the most sincere of the slaves of Allah – may Allah make us from them, ameen! Because he doesn’t actually have power over us. We just choose to follow him!
After Allah swt talking about where those who follow Shaytan will end up (Hell) and a description of where those who remain true to Him will be (Paradise), He swt says this: “Inform My servants that I am the Forgiving, the Merciful.” No matter how far from the path you have strayed, or how hard your heart has become, all it takes is one sincere action of turning to Him in repentance. You’re definitely not as bad as Shaytan, and even he was granted a response to his du’a!
Like a quote from Mufti Menk recently put it so perfectly: After a thousand tears of joy at committing sin, a single tear of repentance washes it all.
SubhanAllah!
#alwaysaskforforgiveness#itsnevertoolate #keepstriving#GemsfromtheQuran #AyahoftheDay#RamadanChronicles #lategram

Day 8

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Well isn’t this just lovely!
Even though Islam talks about the benefits of giving in charity and how much it is rewarded, it might not be easy for some people. And so, this is where character is so important – because even if you can’t afford to give, do not offend.
I think that’s so important especially in this country where we see so many people in need that it becomes something of a nuisance to have them following you, and all you want to do is shoo them away. But before you do, stop yourself. Remember: a smile and a kind word goes a long way.
And the ayah after that is amazing too! Don’t be stingy, but don’t give so much that you are in need yourself. Remember, it’s not about the quantity, but quality. Your intention. That’s all Allah looks at ♡
#keepgiving #smile #itssadaqah#itsthelittlethings #reflect#GemsfromtheQuran #AyahoftheDay#RamadanChronicles #striveforJannah

Day 9

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I can’t even begin to imagine what this must have felt like. For Musa (as) to have gone for what he thought was to get some fire, and he discovers that it was Allah swt instead.
To be standing before his Rabb, about to have a conversation. He was the only one who Allah swt spoke to directly! What an amazing honour!
And yet, when we stand for salah, are we not readying ourselves to have a conversation with our Rabb? Standing before Him, the King of Kings, ready to pour our hearts out, to lay down our worries. Ah, if only we thought of that when we prayed – that we are as privileged as Musa (as), because we get to do it multiple times a day.
#stayfocused #salahisTheConnection#keepgoing #GemsfromtheQuran#AyahoftheDay #RamadanChronicles#striveforJannah

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This has always been one of my favourite ayahs. Having Allah swt say “I have chosen you for Myself” is just awe-inspiring.

And yet, when I was reading it today, what I noticed about it was the build up. He (swt) summarises the story of Musa (as) in about 3 ayahs, and then says “I produced you for Myself.” Right here, to have this conversation at this moment with Me.
In other words, every single thing happens with reason. Whether it may be moments that make you rise with joy, or a downfall that is heartbreaking, it all brings you to where you are right now. They are all what made you this person.
And to know that your story was written by the best of Writers is simply an amazing feeling ♡
#staytrue #storiesfromtheQuran#GemsfromtheQuran #AyahoftheDay#RamadanChronicles #striveforJannah

Day 10

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This is the kind of trust we should have – like when Ibraheem (as) was thrown into a fire for disobeying his people and destroying the idols, he didn’t blink. Because he knew that his Rabb would save him.
By all logic and reason, he should have been terrified. There can be no outcome from being thrown into fire except death. But Ibraheem (as) walked out of it alive because Allah swt ordered the fire to be cool.
SubhanAllah! When you put complete faith in Allah, the One Who controls every single thing in the universe, know that He can change the laws of physics for you.
When you take that step towards Him, and it seems like one that will result in failure, yet you do it just to please Him, know that He can give you the highest success.
Don’t ever doubt His love for you, when you show your love for Him.
#forlove #GemsfromtheQuran#AyahoftheDay #RamadanChronicles#striveforJannah

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“And He restrains the sky from falling upon the earth, unless by His permission…” We take this sky for granted, we do. Have we ever thought about how it stays up there? In another ayah, Allah swt says that He has raised the sky up high without any pillars.
Anyone who has ever built anything will know how important a pillar is to a structure. And yet it covers us like a canopy, protects us from the black holes of the universe, and we are, quite literally, in our own little bubble!
We need to reflect on the creation around us. It is simply amazing. ☆
#reflect #ponder #GemsfromtheQuran#AyahoftheDay #RamadanChronicles#striveforJannah

Ayah of the Day – First 5

This Ramadan I decided to do both – attempt to finish the Qur’an as well as connect with it at the same time. And so I started doing #AyahoftheDay on Instagram. It helps me reflect on the verses I’m reciting, as well as share those reflections, and some of the responses have been amazing. I just want to note here that every single reminder out there is for me first. Certain ayat and their understandings and reflections touch me so simply because those are the defects I find in myself – the areas I need to work on. And so the hope is that in posting it – and compiling it here – that when I need it most, or when I come across these reflections of mine, I realise that the fact that these words are mine alone (by the tawfeeq of Allah) are enough to make me act on them. The fact that I had these thoughts are more pressing that I follow through with them. Practice what you preach and all that.

It is supposed to be an ayah a day but some days I really couldn’t pick just one!

Bismillah.

Day 1

(I started with the 8th juz in Ramadan, hence this does not go in perfect order of the Qur’an)

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Say, “Is it other than Allah I should desire as a lord while He is the Lord of all things? And every soul earns not [blame] except against itself, and no bearer of burdens will bear the burden of another. Then to your Lord is your return, and He will inform you concerning that over which you used to differ.”
And it is He who has made you successors upon the earth and has raised some of you above others in degrees [of rank] that He may try you through what He has given you. Indeed, your Lord is swift in penalty; but indeed, He is Forgiving and Merciful. (6:161-165) “…that He may try you through what He has given you…” #powerfulwords#EverythingisaTest
#GemsfromtheQuran #AyahoftheDay#RamadanChronicles #striveforJannah

Day 2 

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[Remember] when you asked help of your Lord, and He answered you, “Indeed, I will reinforce you with a thousand from the angels, following one another.”
And Allah made it not but good tidings and so that your hearts would be assured thereby. And victory is not but from Allah . Indeed, Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise. (8:9-10)

There were so many ayahs I wanted to share today! They were all so beautiful but this one really touched me – when Allah swt says Him saying that the angels would help them in the Battle of Badr was just to ease their hearts. We always need to know the means in order to reassure ourselves. But for Allah, He can make it happen with just the command “Be!” (And it is). He swt knows us though, and even though we should completely rely on Him, He SHOWS us those means so that our hearts are quietened. SubhanAllah ♡
#GemsfromtheQuran #AyahoftheDay#RamadanChronicles #striveforJannah

Day 3 

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This is one of my favourite ayahs from when I studied the Qur’an. I was blessed with so many friendships that I wouldn’t have put together myself if it was up to me, which made me realise it is only Allah swt Who puts the love between people’s hearts.
Even today, with the state of the world, all we need to do is make du’a for our hearts to be united. Because all the money in the world isn’t buying peace.

#MakeLoveNotWar #GemsfromtheQuran#AyahoftheDay #RamadanChronicles#striveforJannah

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This is a reminder we all need. When the pressures of society and people and elders get to be too much to bear, when we cave because we are afraid of the consequences, we need to remind ourselves of Whose standards we are ultimately going to be judged by.
And even if people are disappointed in us, only He swt can change their hearts towards us again. ♡
#GemsfromtheQuran #AyahoftheDay#RamadanChronicles #striveforJannah

Day 4

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SubhanAllah this is such a beautiful reminder, especially in this month. People wait to give charity because they know how much good deeds are multiplied in Ramadan, but know that no matter the time or the amount, Allah is Ash-Shakoor, The Most Appreciative, and all He looks at is our heart.
The purer our intention, the greater the reward, and the more difficult for us to do, the more He rewards us.
Just know that our reward IS written with Him. “…that Allah may reward them for the best of what they were doing.” ♡
#GemsfromtheQuran #AyahoftheDay#RamadanChronicles #striveforJannah

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“Indeed, Allah has purchased from the believers their lives and their properties [in exchange] for that they will have Paradise… [It is] a true promise [binding] upon Him in the Torah and the Gospel and the Qur’an. And who is truer to his covenant than Allah ? So rejoice in your transaction which you have contracted. And it is that which is the great attainment.” People think this religion restricts us, that we would much rather go wild. But what we ourselves forget sometimes is what we have waiting for us. Allah does not care about this world. He gives to everyone to see what we will do with it. The ultimate transaction is if we get Jannah by trading it in, bu spending it all in His way.
He gave it all to us anyway, why is it so hard for us to give back?
#GemsfromtheQuran #AyahoftheDay#RamadanChronicles #striveforJannah

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If even a single ayah touches your heart and helps you grow in your faith, rejoice, for you are of the believers.
On another note, we need to be people who ponder over the Qur’an, contemplate as to what exactly it is saying, and how it applies to us – not just in Ramadan but out of it too.
May Allah help us carry on after Ramadan with our #Ramadangoals
One of the hardest parts of doing#AyahoftheDay is deciding which ayah to select! Because they are all so amazing and so deep and just so beautiful.
#Connect

Day 5

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What a beautiful ayah! “And there is no animal in the earth but on Allah is the sustenance of it…” Allah swt tells us that He takes it upon Himself that every single creature – human being or animal – is provided for.
Rizq is not just food or wealth, but shelter, clothing, loved ones, children, and every single thing that is provided for you in your life.
It is not of your own doing that you have food on your table and a roof over your head. It is Allah’s favour upon you.
Even those who seem to have nothing compared to us, have so much of what we cannot see – strength, faith, and gratitude.

#reflect #GemsfromtheQuran#AyahoftheDay

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Now here’s a scary one, but a much needed reminder. A reminder of why our intentions are so important.
Whether you’re doing something of this world, or what appears to be worship, if it is only done for the benefit of this world, that is all that we will get. “And they shall not be made to suffer loss in respect of them.” We will get more than what we want in this world.
But that’s it. Nothing in the next. Absolutely nada. And why would we, when we didn’t even want it?
But even if we do something of this world with the intention of pleasing Allah – and our worship is not a habit, rather it is consciously worship – then this world matters but a little, and we will have mountains of good deeds in the next.
May Allah make us from the latter!
#GemsfromtheQuran #AyahoftheDay

 

An Itchy Heart

Kamal El Makki was in town and his talk yesterday on temptations and addictions was beautiful – definitely one to be recorded and passed on. Anything to do with the heart is always beautiful.

Scholars will tell you that to cure an addiction, just attach your heart to Allah, and be more consistent and conscious in your salah. For an addict, that does not sound like the best advice. How will salah automatically fix someone who has so many problems just showing up to pray? He explains that it all depends on our information about addictions. Years ago, tests were done on a lone rat who selected water that was filled with heroin or cocaine, as opposed to pure water, over and over again until it lead to its death. From this we learnt that the drugs are addictive. Many years later, however, they discovered a flaw in the experiment – the rat was alone. So they introduced social factors – a rat park which had plenty of activities, and many other rats – and gave them the same options: pure water, and water laced with a drug. This time, not a single rat got addicted or died.

There lies the difference – the rats had other things to bond with, besides chemicals. This theory is reinforced in the fact that during surgery or an injury, a patient is given morphine – which is a pure form of heroin – to help with the pain. Even if the drug is taken for weeks at the time, they don’t leave the hospital with a morphine addiction, because they were not bonding with the drug. So the basic point of this is: If you connect with Allah, fill your heart with the love of Allah (swt), focus on Allah, you will get over any addictions or temptations in this world.

Love is a powerful drug – The learned people say that love of Allah is better than fearing Allah, because fearing Allah just makes you keep away from bad deeds, while love is a splendid motivator to go above and beyond the normal. It makes you do extra good deeds, and puts the obedience of Allah above your own basic comfort. We may not understand how the early Muslims could finish the whole Qur’an in one salah, or take so long in sujood, or be so devoted; but there are many people today who are not Muslim who don’t understand how women can cover themselves even when it’s extremely hot, how Muslims keep going back to their prayer mat or the mosque 5 times a day, or how they abstain from food and drink for a whole month. What makes us do it? Love of Allah.

A lot of people believe that in order to fill their hearts with the love of Allah, they have to rid it of the love of other things first, but that’s not the way to go. Our hearts are always filled with something – it’s like a bottle that’s filled with water, and the moment you pour the water out, air starts filling the bottle. It is never filled with nothing, a vacuum – that would make it collapse on itself. Similarly, focusing on loving Allah is what pushes out the love of this world from our hearts. Too often we fail in this because we’re doing it wrong. We cannot expect to empty ourselves of all sinful things and then become perfect people. While we are attempting that, Shaytan is happily filling our hearts with other useless addictions.

What does it mean to love Allah?

1) It means to know Him (swt) – We spend too long focusing on reciting the Qur’an with perfect tajweed and memorising, and not enough trying to understand what it is that Allah (swt) is telling us. What better way to learn about our Creator than through His Words? Understand Him, build a connection with Him, identify Him in the small and big parts of your life. When you have food to eat, it is because He is feeding you, if you sleep on a comfortable bed, it is because He is keeping you such, the moments you are happy, and even when you cry, it is because He has facilitated the circumstances. Even when someone smiles at you, let alone helps you in a way that you never thought would happen, it is only because Allah loves you and provides for you.

  ﴾وَأَنَّهُ هُوَ أَضْحَكَ وَأَبْكَىٰ ﴿٤٣   And that it is He who makes [one] laugh and weep (53:43)

2) It means to be completely obedient – Love makes us do things we didn’t think we’d do otherwise. People give up smoking in order to marry someone who disagrees with the habit, they give up foods they love in order to preserve the health they treasure, they give up sleep in order to sweat it out exercising if it will get them the body they desire. Extreme love results in obedience, and not caring about your own comforts in the process.

3) It means to prepare to meet Allah (swt) – Most people hate death because all they work for is this life. They work tirelessly to build a house, then a bigger house, to accumulate wealth, travel, etc, but little time and effort is spent in building palaces in the next life. Your heart is attached to where your effort was invested. So much of our lives is spent in working, eating, sleeping, in the bathroom, stuck in traffic, being kept on hold… How much of that time did we devote to Allah (swt)?

There is a hadith in Sahih Bukhari which states:

مَن أحَبَّ لِقاءَ اللهَ أحَبَّ اللهُ لِقاءهُ  “Whoever loves to meet Allah, Allah loves to meet him”

There are two ways to take our life back from the mundane activities and prepare for the Akhirah:

a) Fix your intentions – We are rewarded for our intentions, and every part of our day can be committed to the love of Allah. We sleep so that we are refreshed  and can worship Him, we eat to rejuvenate our bodies in order to serve Him better, we shower because He loves those who keep themselves clean, we dress well because He is Beautiful and loves beauty, cooking for the family has a new meaning because you are feeding others – a deed that Allah loves, and so on. Find a way to connect everything you do to Allah, and you will see that you cannot justify sinning and wasting time.

b) Remembering Allah (dhikr) – It is said that we spend 20 weeks of our life being put on hold. If you make a deal with yourself to say سُبحان الله و بِحَمدِه every time you find yourself on hold, you would have said it more than 1 million times in your life. (Did you know that saying that phrase 100 times at a normal pace takes just 2.5 minutes?) We need to make the most of our day! Keep dhikr every time you’re waiting for something, and you won’t be sorry on the Day of Judgment!

4) It means to work on your salah – When you meet a king, he will judge you based on how you’re dressed, how you speak, your body language, etc – he will decide whether to honour your request or not based on how you are right then. When we stand in front of Allah (swt) in salah, He knows what is in our hearts and what we say out loud, what we were doing just before we came to pray, what we sacrificed for Him a few days ago, and what deeds we hid from everyone else – good or bad. He gives us the khushoo’ that we so covet in salah based on how we are outside our salah. So work on yourself outside salah to be successful during it. 

5) It means to put in some effort – There are lots of acts of worship that we do during the day, but many of them have become monotonous and routine. We need to revive the heart of our deen, to remember Who we are doing it for, and to put in some effort to do more. Allah (swt) appreciates every single thing we do –  He is الشّاكر الشّكور, The Most Appreciative. He knows how hard it is for you to wake up for Fajr, so he multiplies the reward for that more than that of the average person. He knows lowering your gaze is hard, but He sees the effort it takes for you to do so. He sees you biting back your retort because you don’t want to be rude – something that didn’t bother you before. The love of Allah makes us do crazy things, but all in a good way.

…وَاللَّـهُ يُضَاعِفُ لِمَن يَشَاءُ…  …And Allah multiplies [His reward] for whom He wills… (2:261)

 

I want to end with a brilliant suggestion that he gave: The 2 rak’ah solution. If there is a bad habit you want to break but can’t seem to do so, commit yourself to praying 2 rak’ahs every time you do it, be it quitting smoking – so every time you have a cigarette; listening to music, etc. Take wudhu and hit the floor. Shaytan hates that we pray more, more than he loves the sin that we commit. This one takes a lot of commitment and dedication, but it’s worked for everyone who’s tried it!

Heading Back

“The problem with us is – we think we have time”  -Buddha

I woke up this morning with my whole day ahead of me. I didn’t have much to do – no pressing deadlines because I had met them already Alhamdulillah. Just a plan to take the kids to the park with friends, the rainy weather being the most threatening thing in the horizon. The day was mine – to learn, to explore, to do things for myself that meeting deadlines did not allow me to do otherwise.

I also had a dim thought that I should get started as early as possible, because one never knows what the day can bring. It is always better to tick off what’s on the to-do list at the earliest, because life here is unpredictable.

And lo and behold, my mother-in-law called, with the request that we go see someone in the hospital as they were now admitted to the ICU. It was just 8:30am, and since I had to babysit at 10, we decided to leave right then. Social activities never take as little time as we expect. There are people to talk to, courtesies to show, and so the minimum required staying time is about half an hour. My husband’s aunt was also in the same hospital, but before we could go and see her, my mother-in-law called again.

My husband’s uncle had had a heart attack. We were not far from them, so we left the hospital for their home. At that time, all I could think of was “How many sick people today?” I didn’t know what to expect when we got there – the ambulance was outside, my father-in-law was already there, and so was the doctor. Turns out, there was no need for the ambulance. He was already gone.

 

“People may not remember what you said, people may not remember what you did, but they will always remember how you made them feel”  -Maya Angelou

I am very awkward with other people’s grief. I am terrible, at best, with my own grief. It is something I cannot handle. I sat there twiddling my thumbs, not knowing what to do, while all the time thinking about how we plan life. SubhanAllah, Allah plans everything so perfectly: even our thoughts.

Just that morning, I had been going through Asmaa Hussein’s Instagram feed. Her husband had gotten shot in Egypt a year or so ago while they were there on holiday, so it was just her and her child now. It occurred to me how blessed I was to have my husband, to hold close, to spend time with, to lean on. It reminded me of how grateful I should be. Looking at this new widow, I tried to put myself in her shoes, and it was truly depressing. After being so thankful for my husband, hours later I was imagining what my life would be like without him. That was hard.

The death was sudden. He had stood up to get from the chair to his wheelchair, when his heart had stopped. This image, of death happening mid-movement, haunted me. It waits for no one, truly. He was not ill, beyond the reason for him needing a wheelchair. All of this was very unexpected, and everyone was still coming to terms with it.

I had to make myself useful. While the family got ready for visitors – we raided cupboards for glasses and coffee cups, washed, dried, cleaned and arranged – it occurred to me how a simple thing like a loss of life turns your entire world upside down. Privacy was disregarded as family and help went through their things as they tried to orient themselves in this home. Other people were now bathing the deceased’s body, something only his wife would have previously had privilege to.

Despite my discomfort at the entire situation, when we were leaving at the end of it all, the new widow’s daughter looked at me and said, “Thank you.” “I didn’t do anything,” I said. “You were here,” she replied. That touched me. Even though I felt like I was avoiding everyone because I didn’t know how to respond, just the fact that we were all there – in our own capacity – meant so much to the family. Alhamdulillah!

 

“Be grateful for what you have, before you are forced to be grateful for what you had

I thought about how everyone’s life stops when one person’s life stops. There were people there from work, at just 10 in the morning. They were helping out, standing around, offering a shoulder. Their meetings for the day would have been cancelled, all other pressing duties pushed aside. There was nothing more important than death, than family, than the life of those who were still there.

A famous ayah is: ﴾إِنَّ مَعَ الْعُسْرِ يُسْرًا ﴿٦

For indeed, with hardship [will be] ease [94:5]

A common misunderstanding is that ease comes after difficulty, but that’s not true. In times like this, when you’re still struggling to cope with what has happened, Allah gives immense ease. There are so many people to take care of all the mundane details, to take care of the grieving family, and to make the whole process so much easier.

It is my first big event as a daughter-in-law. I don’t know what is expected of me or how I will fare, but even though I thought about how much I hate being in situations like this, I realized it is a part of life. We used to tag along with my mother to pay our respects before, but now it is my responsibility to be a part of this family and to help out. How we grow.

 

“There is nothing quite like death to awaken us”

I have been thinking about death a lot recently. Before I sleep at night, I wonder if I will wake again. I wonder if this is my time, if I’ll stop breathing in my sleep and my husband will wake up to a cold body. The thought really scares me, and I think back to what I have done with my day. Was it enough, if this is my end? Did I make the most of my time that I can at least have a hope towards Jannah? The answer to that is always a ‘no’. I always feel like I wasted my day in mundane things.

I know I don’t necessarily have to die in my sleep, but given that sleep is a minor death, it does get me thinking. When I’m in the middle of doing something I’m not particularly proud of, I wonder if that will be my moment. Will I just keel over and die? Will my life stop in the middle of an action the way it stopped for him?

The knowledge that there is no going back, there is no stopping it, there are no last few moments when we can make enough repentance to cover every moment we have disobeyed Allah, is supremely scary. This type of thinking leaves me gasping for breath because my imagination closes in on me and leaves me in my grave, where there is no turning back. There is no second chance.

We need more moments like that. Moments of fright to remind us where we are headed. To set us straight when we veer off the path. Moments that push us to seek forgiveness, to repent, to beg the mercy of our Rabb, with the conviction that He will forgive us. We need moments like that when we get so lost in life, that we remind ourselves of our purpose.