بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

YOU WILL LOVE ME LATER

Once a little girl went shopping with her dad to a local store. After having picked up the necessities they needed the father and daughter made their way to the till point. As they passed through the aisles of the supermarket a doll in the toy aisle caught the little girl’s attention. She ran to the doll and clutching it tightly asked her dad to buy it for her.  The little girl pleaded with her Dad to buy her the doll but the Dad in a gentle but firm tone said No explaining to the little girl that he couldn’t afford it right now. The little girl burst into tears and angrily shouted, “I hate you Dad!”

Normally a parent would be annoyed at such an outburst from a child but here the father kept his composure and was not moved at all. All he did was just smile at the little girl, put his hand on her head and gently patting her said, “That’s alright dear. You’ll love me later”.

The above incident can be so perfectly related to our relationship with our Creator!

How often in our lives have we cried and thrown a fit when we didn’t get what we wanted or when things did not turn out the way we expected them to be no matter how hard we tried. How often have we become disappointed and angry at Allah Ta’ala when we felt that our fervent supplications weren’t being answered? How many of us sometimes question His will when we are deeply hurt? These are nothing but our outbursts resulting from disappointment which changes us and our attitudes towards Allah Ta’ala. However, through them all, Allah Ta’ala never changes His attitude towards us in the least bit. He still remains patient, loving, and kind with us despite the fact that He could punish us instantly for such insolent behaviour. Allah Ta’ala knows that we don’t really understand why certain things happen the way they did. He knows that our anger and outbursts is the stepping stones to our spiritual growth in this world.  And he also knows that we will love Him later, when we understand better, just like the little girl in the story above.

Allah Ta’ala loves us all so much and so dearly. He will never treat us unjustly or burden us with that which we cannot bear.

Hadrat Umar Bin Khattab Radiyallaahu Anhu relates that some prisoners were brought before Allah’s Messenger Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam and amongst them was a woman who was frantically searching for someone in the crowd. When she found a baby amongst the prisoners, she took it in her arms, cradled it next to her chest and suckled it. On seeing this affection of the woman towards the infant the Messenger of Allah Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam said: “Do you think that this woman would ever throw her child into the fire?” We (the companions) said: ‘By Allah, Never!’ He Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam then said: “Allah is more merciful to His believing servants than that mother could ever be to her child.” [Bukhari & Muslim]

We are all Allah Ta’ala’s children and His love for every one of us is deep and profound regardless of how rebellious we become at times. And because in spiritual growth we are still lacking and need to grow we don’t know all the answers. This is why we need to trust and believe in Our Allah Ta’ala’s Love and give Him ours as well in the form of being obedient to Him at all times-even when He says no to some of our wants! This denial now is only because He knows what is good for us and what is not at that particular point in time. Only when our Imaan reaches the levels of complete faith and trust in Him we will understand and accept fully His decisions! In the meantime we need to love Him unconditionally! This is a sign of true and pure belief.

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم 

A BARBER BELIEVES

 

Not long ago on a quiet Sunday afternoon I took a stroll through the park which bordered the suburb, I lived in.  Having enough leisure time I decided to sit on the park bench and just take in the surrounding beauty which always had a therapeutic effect on me. 

I had just seated myself on the bench when a young man came and sat beside me. After the exchange of greetings we began chatting. One topic led to another and then we found ourselves delving into a discussion on the existence of الله. To me the young man was on the brink of atheism as his views concurred more with atheism than theism. He cited a good few reasons as to why الله did not exist. I listened to him attentively for some-time all the while trying to prepare something that would prove him wrong. And then, as if by some sort of divine inspiration, a story which I came across very many years ago came to mind, which I decided would prove my point and change the young man’s perception on the existence of اللهor rather the non-existence of الله.

As the young man finished, quite confident that he had proved his point, he said to me, “Sir, it is now your turn to convince me otherwise.”  I smiled at the young man, and then related to him the following story.

Once a man went to a barbershop to have his hair cut and his beard trimmed. As the barber worked with his hair a conversation was started. They talked about many things and various subjects and then touched on the subject of الله. The barber was quite vehement when he said: “I
don’t believe that الله exists.”na’oozubillah 

“Why do you say that?” asked the customer.

“Well, you just have to go out in the street to realize that الله doesn’t exist. Tell me, if الله exists, would there be so many sick people? Would there be abandoned children? If الله existed, there would be neither suffering nor pain. I can’t imagine how a loving and caring الله who would allow all of these things.”

The customer thought for a moment, but didn’t respond because he didn’t want to start an argument. He knew that this was a very sensitive topic and carried the potential of offending the barber unless he really had concrete evidence to back up his belief in the existence of الله. The barber finished cutting and grooming the customer’s hair where after the customer left the shop. Just after he left the barbershop, he saw a man in the street with long, stringy, dirty hair and an untrimmed beard. He looked dirty and unkempt. As he looked at the man badly in need of a haircut an idea sprung to his head.  Strangely and amazingly, He could use this man’s example to prove that الله did exist!

The customer turned back and entered the barber shop again and he said to the barber: “You know what? Barbers do not exist.”

“How can you say that?” asked the surprised barber. “I am here, and I am a barber. And I just cut and groomed your hair!”

“No!” the customer exclaimed. “Barbers don’t exist because if they did, there would be no people with dirty long hair and untrimmed beards, like that man outside.”

“Ah, but barbers DO exist! What happens is, people do not come to me.”

The man smiled triumphantly and said: “Exactly!”! “That’s the point! ,اللهtoo, DOES exist! What happens, is, people don’t go to Him and do not look for him and because you have not really gone to الله so you perceive that he does not exist! The barber thought deeply and then said: “Now I do believe”.

All the young man said was wow! It’s quite possible that because I too have not been looking for اللهin the right way, I too felt that He did not exist!

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

ALLAH TA’ALA IS ALWAYS WAITING FOR US

 

If there is anything that puts the greatest and most debilitating strain on our relationship with Allah Ta’ala it is disobedience to him which translates into sin. Whilst we all are prone to sin time and time again we cannot lose hope for it is only this hope that has the power of driving us to work harder to shun sin. Allah Ta’ala loves each and every one of us regardless of how we falter all the time as long as we are remorseful after every sin. This is what differentiates us from the conscious sinner and that one whose sins do not even cause him or her to bat an eyelid.

There was once a little girl who from her bedroom window enviously eyed the children playing in the snow. How she longed to play with them! She so much wanted to go out and play with them but she remembered her father telling her that morning. “You can’t play in the snow today.”

“Why not, Father?” she had asked. Every day, the neighbourhood children gathered at a park just behind the little girl’s house.

“Just trust me, dear. It’s not what’s best for you today,” her father had replied.

At the time, the little girl had responded by kissing her father on his cheek and assuring him that she would stay inside and read. But now she was having second thoughts.

It is beautiful outside, she thought to herself. It was true: the sun wasshining brilliantly. Why wouldn’t her father let her go play?

Why should she have to miss out on all the fun? She wondered to herself.
 When a snowball exploded just outside her window, the little girl couldn’t resist the temptation any longer. She simply had to go join her friends outside!
Leaving her book on the table, she quietly slipped out. She tried to tell herself she was having a good time, but all the while her heart felt uncomfortable. She kept looking this way and that, fearful least her father see her.
After a few hours of fun in the snow, she finally said her goodbyes and headed back towards the house. She wanted to be safely lodged in her room before her father came home.

Intent on getting to her room as quickly as possible, she didn’t see the mitten someone had left on the stairs until her foot slipped on it. The next thing she knew, she had fallen several stairs. To her horror, she noticed that she had hit her father’s favourite picture when she fell! A huge gash ran along the front of the picture.

Normally, she would have hurried immediately to her father after such a fall so he could doctor her up and make her feel better. But not this time. How could she face her father right now? She had disobeyed him and ruined his favourite picture! Biting her lips to keep from crying out, she grabbed the ruined picture and hobbled to her room.

For the remainder of the day, she lay in agony. Her body ached from the bruises she received on her fall. But her heart—ah, that ached worse of all! She felt certain that her father would no longer love her. She had messed up in the past, but surely this time she had gone too far! He would probably never want to speak to her again. How could he still love her?

She sobbed uncontrollably on her pillow. She had always been close to her father. They had played and studied together. They had laughed and cried together. But not now. No, she felt certain that all those wonderful times were over.

Who knows how long she would have lain thus had her nanny not come in to check on her. Her nanny had a way about her of finding out exactly what was wrong and offering solid, wise counsel. Tonight was no exception.

Dear,” she said firmly, but gently. “You’ve been very wrong. But you must not continue in your wrongness by sitting here. You must go to your father with the broken picture in your hand and tell him everything.”

“Oh, but I can’t! I’m not worthy of His love!” sobbed the little girl.

Her nanny sighed patiently. “You were no more worthy of it yesterday than today, child. Your father loves you because you’re his daughter, not because of anything you do or don’t do. Hasn’t he told you everyday since you were a little girl, ‘I love you’? Do you doubt his word? Do you really think his love is dependent on you?”

Doubt his word—that was an angle the little girl had never thought of before. Maybe she should go see her father…yes, she must go see him, for if she didn’t, she’d never be able to rest.

So, still shaking and trembling with fear, she limped down the hall to the living room. She paused at the doorway. Her father was sitting in his favourite chair, just like he did every night. He looked up when she entered, and a smile radiating with love illuminated his face.

“Ah, you’ve come at last! I’ve been waiting. Come, sit here on my lap.” As he spoke, he opened his arms widely.
The little girl couldn’t stand it. “Oh, you don’t understand, Father! You can’t love me anymore. I’ve been terribly wicked and-” she held up the picture frame for her father to see.

“I know all that has happened—more than you think. I watched you go outside. I watched you fall and hit the picture frame. I saw it all.”

“You did?” The little girl was flabbergasted. “But-but weren’t you at work?”

Her father shook his head. “I took the day off to spend some special time with you. That’s why I told you not to go outside to play. Ever since I saw you fall, I’ve been longing for you to come to me so I could bandage your wounds and help you. Won’t you come now?”

The little girl could hardly believe her ears. Her father had planned to spend the afternoon with her…and she had missed it. Oh, what foolishness! Yet her father knew it all…and loved her anyway. Could it be? “But, Father, how can you love me now?”

Her father smiled a smile she would never forget. “Dear, I loved you before you were born. You’re my daughter. And I will always love you. Although sometimes your actions will result in consequences you could have avoided, nothing can ever separate you from my love. Now won’t you come and let me help you with those bruises?”

Our relationship with Allah Ta’ala is very much alike. Sometimes, taken away by the temptations of the world, we get sucked into sin and forget about how displeasing it is to Him. He sees and knows everything but still waits patiently for us to return to Him so that he can once again embrace us with His love and mercy. As long as we keep on turning to Him in remorse, regardless of how disobedient we have been, he will always be waiting for us with open arms.

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم 

he King and the Little Girl, an Islamic Poem




For years I saw the world in black and white,

never to realize the severity of my own plight

For I was the most powerful leader of my time,

never to realize that corruption was my own crime

For my arrogance told me that I deserved true happiness,

and that I needed something to honor my own greatness

So I ordered every citizen to work in the underground quarry,

to make me the ring of a leader that knew no match in glory

The ring was made of the most precious stones from the land,

and every governor came to honor the greatness of my band

I forgot about the blessings that Allah (SWT) had given me,

and thought that the Day of Judgment would never reach me

Then one day I saw a little girl in the bazaar,

she had her hand outstretched to me from afar

A tear rolled down my cheek for the first time as a king,

because the little girl said to me “Wait sir, you dropped your ring!”

The little girl was dirty, coughing with sickness, yet very calm,

and told me she couldn’t steal the ring because it was haram

I cried like I never cried before, realizing that I was lost,

not even knowing how much the forgiveness of Allah (SWT) would cost

I kneeled down and smiled, looking at the little girl’s face,

and closed her hand, giving the ring to her as a good grace

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Uswatulmuslimah.co.za | Role Models for the
Muslimah

Viewed from within the Veil (Part One)


The following is a Japanese woman’s account of her journey to Islam. She explains, in detail, the various phases that she went through as a new Muslimah and the various misunderstandings that she initially had regarding the position of hijaab and niqaab in Islam. From a simple headscarf, she progressed until she was covered from head to toe, embracing hijaab and niqaab in its entirety.

In the beginning of the 1990’s, when I embraced Islam in France, the controversy surrounding the wearing of hijaab in school was an extremely heated issue. The French were faced with economic problems which had resulted in high unemployment and social insecurity. This was predominantly felt in the big cities. The immigrant population, especially from Muslim countries, was seen as one of the causes of unemployment. The sight of hijaab in their towns and schools aggravated already negative attitudes towards Muslims. The majority of people thought that allowing students to wear hijaab was against the public education system’s principle of neutrality on religion. I had not yet become a Muslim, and I did not understand why the schools were so concerned over a mere piece of cloth worn on a student’s head. Observing the hijaab from the outside, I also did not understand its significance to Muslims. But I considered that in maintaining neutrality in matters of religion, the schools should still respect a student’s beliefs and his performance of religious duties. As long as this expression did not disturb the school’s discipline, it should not be prohibited.

The French, along with most westerners, expected that the hijaab would pass away into history as westernization and secularization took root. However, in the Muslim world, especially among the younger generation, a great wave of returning to hijaab was spreading through various countries. This current resurgence is an expression of Islamic revival. It is part of the process of restoring to the Muslims their pride and identity, which had been repeatedly attacked through colonization and economic exploitation.

I come from Japan. In our history we experienced the first contact with western culture during the Meiji era (In the 1860’s when Japan was closed to foreign countries). During this period, the Japanese reacted against western lifestyle, including western dress. So to my people, the adherence of the Arabs and others to Islam could be compared to the conservative traditionalism or anti-westernization that the Japanese themselves experienced. Man seems to have a conservative tendency and consequently rejects and reacts ignorantly against the new and unfamiliar. He seldom stops to investigate or understand whether it is good or bad.

It is exactly the same with non-Muslim people who judge the hijaab as a sign of oppression. They believe that Muslim women are enslaved by tradition and are unaware of their “lamentable” situation. These people think a Muslim woman’s salvation will come through a woman’s liberation movement or some other type of socio-economical uplift which will give her independence, awaken her mind, and release her from the bonds of tradition and hijaab.

This naive point of view is commonly shared by those who have little knowledge about Islam. Accustomed to secularism and religious eclecticism, non-Muslims are simply unable to comprehend why anyone would want to mold his or her life to conform to a religious system established many centuries ago. They do not understand Islam’s strength and appeal, which is universal and eternal. They are disturbed by the fact that an increasing number of women of divergent nationalities all over the world are turning to Islam and covering themselves. They feel uneasy about this “strange object” – a material which not only covers the woman’s hair but also hides something special to which their eyes can have no access. From the outside, a non-Muslim can never effectively see what is behind the hijaabNeither could I. Many books dealing with the subject do so simply from a point of external observation. Their authors cannot grasp what a female perceives from behind the hijaabAnd only after I became a Muslim in 1991 did my vision become clear.

I have no country, tradition or social identity to defend through the hijaabIt upholds neither social nor political significance to me. It signifies only religious conviction.

During the process of deciding whether or not to embrace Islam, I neither seriously contemplated my ability to perform the required five daily prayers nor deeply thought about wearing the hijaabMaybe I was afraid I would discover within myself a negative response which would affect my decision to become a Muslim. I had lived in a world which had no connection to Islam. I was not at all familiar with prayer and Islamic cover, and I could hardly imagine myself ever performing these duties or adopting those ways. Yet something happened within me, and my desire to enter the fold of Islam was so strong that I did not really worry about what awaited me following my conversion. Indeed, it seems remarkable, but I was guided into Islam by the grace of Allah Ta‘ala.

The First Step

After my conversion, although I was not accustomed to wearing hijaabI soon began to realize its benefit. A few days after my first attendance of an Islamic lecture, I bought a scarf to put on when I attended the next lecture. No one told me to wear a scarf – I just wanted to do so out of respect for the lecture and the other Muslim Sisters there. I was impatient for the day to come because the lecture had inspired me with a spiritual elation I never experienced previously. My heart, so hungry for spiritual nourishment, absorbed every word of the lecture like a dry sponge absorbs water. Before going to the lecture room, I made wudhu and put on the scarf. After the lecture, I prayed along with other sisters in a room filled with solemn silence. The few hours I spent at the program made me feel so happy and content that I kept my scarf on even after leaving, in order to preserve this happiness in my heart. Due to the cold weather at that time, my scarf did not attract attention. This was my first public appearance in hijaaband I sensed a difference within myself I felt purified and protected. I felt closer to Allah Ta‘ala.

As a Japanese woman in a foreign country I was sometimes uneasy in public places when men stared at me. Yet, with my hijaab I felt protected. I no longer perceived myself as an object of impolite stares.

Whenever I went out thereafter, I dressed in hijaabIt was a spontaneous and voluntary act which no one forced upon me. The meaning of the word “Islam” is submission to Allah Ta‘ala’s will and obedience to His command. For a person such as I, who had lived many years without a religion, it was difficult to follow any command without reservation. But Allah Ta‘ala’s orders are without fault, and the correct Islamic attitude is to accept and implement them without questioning. It is only man’s understanding that is faulty. And I, like many others, only believed in my own power of reasoning and continuously questioned the need to adhere to any existing authority or system of values. However, at this point in my life my will spontaneously conformed to Allah Ta‘ala’s will, and I was able to fulfill my Islamic duties without any feeling of having been compelled – alhamdulillah.

I became content in my new covering, which was not only a sign of my obedience to Allah Ta‘ala but also an open manifestation of my faith. A Muslim woman who wears hijaab is clearly recognized as a Muslimah. In contrast, it is often only through verbalization that a non-Muslim’s faith can be known. With the hijaab on, I do not need to utter a word. It is a clear expression of my belief, a reminder to others that Allah Ta‘ala exists, and a reminder to me of my submission to Allah Ta‘ala. My hijaab prompts me, “Be careful, you should conduct yourself as a Muslim.” Just as a policeman in uniform becomes more conscious of his profession, my hijaab strengthens my identity as a Muslim.

The Second Step

Two weeks after my conversion, I returned to Japan to attend my sister’s wedding. Embracing Islam, I had discovered what I was searching for. As a result, I was no longer interested in obtaining a doctorate in French literature. Instead, my passion turned to learning more about Islam, so I decided not to return to France.

Remaining in a small Japanese town was certainly a test. I was a new convert with very little Islamic knowledge and completely isolated from other Muslims. Yet this isolation intensified my Islamic consciousness. Accomplishing the five daily prayers and wearing a scarf helped to confirm my Islamic identity and strengthened my relation with Allah Ta‘ala. In my solitude I turned often to Allah Ta‘ala.

The manner in which I dressed now went through its first major change. In public, Islam prohibits women from revealing the shape of their bodies; therefore, I had to abandon many of the clothes which accentuated my shape. Miniskirts, pants and short sleeved blouses do not conform to hijaabso I made myself a Pakistani style pants and top. It did not bother me when people stared at my “strange” new fashion.

The Third Step

Six months after my conversion, I traveled to Egypt. In Cairo, I knew only one Japanese person, and no one spoke English where I was staying. I was extremely surprised at the first sight of the lady at my residence. She was covered in black from head to toe, including her face. Previously, in France, I had seen a woman in a black dress and her presence among the other Muslims, who were wearing colourful dresses and scarves, appeared very strange. I recalled (incorrectly) thinking to myself, “This is a woman enslaved by Arab tradition, unaware of the real teachings of Islam!” At that time, my Islamic knowledge was very limited and I wrongly believed that covering the face stemmed from ethnic tradition, having no foundation within Islam. A similar thought came to me as this woman in Egypt led me into her home. I wanted to say to her, “You are exaggerating! This is unnatural!” Her attempts to avoid any contact with men also seemed abnormal.

Shortly thereafter, this sister informed me that my attire was unsuitable to wear in public. Although I believed my apparel satisfied the requirements of Islamic dress, I was flexible enough to adapt. I sewed a long black dress and a long headcover called a “khimaar”. Thus, I was completely covered, except for my face, and I even considered veiling. It seemed like a good idea in order to avoid the continual dust in the air, but the sister said that there was no need, perhaps thinking that I would not be able to do this in Japan or that my intention was not correct. These sisters firmly believed and correctly knew that covering the face was a part of their religious duty. Most of the sisters with whom I became acquainted were veiled. However, they constituted only a small minority within the huge city of Cairo. Some people were apparently shocked and embarrassed even at the sight of my black khimaarAverage westernized Egyptians kept their distance from the covered Muslim women, calling them “Al-Akhawaat” (the sisters). Yet, at the same time, men treated them with a special respect and politeness. These “sisters” seemed also to share a special bond. Generally speaking, the women who completely veiled were more conscientious of their Islam. Those who wore simple scarves or none at all appeared unconcerned with their religious obligation.

Before my conversion, I had preferred an active pants style to a feminine skirt. But now my new long dress pleased me very much. I felt as exquisite as a princess. Besides, I found it to be more comfortable. I did not dislike wearing black. On the contrary, I found that my black wear was quite suitable in a dusty city like Cairo.

During my stay in Cairo, I was happy in black. However, I reacted negatively to my Egyptian sister’s recommendation that I remain so even when I returned to Japan. I became angry with what I considered anachronism and ignorance of the circumstances. Due to my lack of knowledge, my understanding was that Islam commands women to cover their bodies and conceal their figures. As long as this is accomplished, one may adopt any style of cover she pleases. Each society has its own fashion. I assumed that if I appeared in a long black dress on the streets of Japan, I would be considered a lunatic. I argued with my Egyptian sister, explaining that my apparel would shock the Japanese and that they would not listen to me. They would reject Islam on appearance alone, never trying to hear or understand its teachings.

By the end of my stay in Egypt, however, I had become accustomed to my new long attire and even considered wearing it in Japan. However, I still regarded wearing black in my country a bit shocking, so I made some light coloured and white khimaarsDressed in this manner, I once again returned to my homeland.

(to be continued insha-Allah

Preparation for Ramadhan Part 1

Miss Muslimah's Blog

Guidance and advice for the Blessed Month from Hadrat Mawlānā Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullāh

Building Stamina

Right from the onset of the month of Rajab, we should begin to prepare for Ramadān. By building up slowly over Rajab and Sha‘bān, we will be in peak spiritual condition when Ramadān arrives.

To do this we need to make a programme of ibādah and set daily targets. We then need to fix a timetable so that we are able to achieve those targets. Thereafter targets should be reviewed every week or every fortnight, and gradually increased until Ramadān arrives. Then throughout Ramadān this process should continue.

If we do not set targets and do not fix a timetable early on, we will not be able to progress. Consequently, we will not develop the necessary spiritual stamina required to maintain the level of performance in order to reap the maximum benefit from Ramadān.

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