Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Letting Go

BismIllah wa assalaamu alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

For most of my years as a Muslimah, I have asked Allah to use me to benefit others and be a positive influence. That is a big deal to me. However, there have been situations in my life where I have tried to help and failed, Qadru Allahi wa maa shaa faal. What I didn't pay enough attention to was the Qadru Allahi wa maa shaa faal part. I churned my failures over and over in my mind, feeling ill considering what I did wrongly or aspects I missed. I held myself accountable for my inability to solve, resolve, or alleviate others' problems.

Finally, alhamdulillah, I internalized the fact that the only way I have ever helped anyone was by Allah's Will; I understood that it was not in my control. Those situations I could not benefit were never within my ability to benefit. I, nonsensically, held myself accountable for something outside of my ability.

So, this is about letting go. Letting go of guilt and misery about what I cannot control. No more profuse apologies and sleepless nights, but rather, Qadru Allahi wa maa shaa faal. Better to hang on to those feelings of guilt and misery in regard to the things within my ability that I fall short in. Most surely, focusing on those can bring benefit and positivity to myself and those around me.

Subhaanak, Allahummah wa bihamdik, laa ilaaha ilaa ant, astaghfiruka wa atoobu ilayk.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Don't Turn Around

Bismillah wa assalaamu alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

Something happened in summer 2015 that changed my thinking and behavior, maashaa Allah. We were in England visiting my parents and my husband and I were walking out of a shopping center when we saw a tall man of likely African descent with a long, brightly colored gown and an 18-24" high, furry, black, beehive hat on his head. My first instinct was to turn around and take another look at his outfit. However, the most overwhelming clarity came over me, maashaa Allah, and I kept my eyes focused straight ahead. I realised that it did not concern me; there was no valid reason for me to look at that man again. I told my husband the thought process I'd just been through and felt like I had moved to a new level of understanding of the hadith on the authority of Abu Hurayrah (radhi Allahu anh) who said: The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) said:

"Part of the perfection of one's Islam is his leaving that which does not concern him."
[Tirmidhi]

After that incident, not only did I find myself doing split second analyses of situations and stopping myself from many reactions that were not my concern, but I realised something else. If I had turned around, I'd have been no different from those people who turn back and stare at me and my daughters in our hijab and niqaab. So next time you pass someone dressed differently or unusual in some way, live the hadith and don't turn around.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Lessons from a bag of potatoes

Bismillah wa assalaamu alaykum.

The other day I took a bag of potatoes in order to prepare breakfast  and found that there was a bad potato that had made the potatoes near it start going bad. Yet again there was a powerful message from Allah in that bag of potatoes. One bad potato will eventually turn the whole bag bad.

Consider how Allah  tells us to only keep good companions and that we are on the Deen of our companions. He doesn't tell us to have mostly good companions and a few bad are okay. Neither does He say that if there are many good companions then it's okay to have just one bad one amongst them.

Now, obviously, we need to deal with the bad potato. We might cut off the bad part and use the remainder, but, most surely, we separate it from the good potatoes. This is much like life, where we do our best to handle bad people well and bring out the good, but do damage control and keep our distance.

Subhaanak Allahumma wa bihamdik, laa illaaha illaa ant, astaghfiruka wa atoobu ilayk.


Dirty Laundry? Clean Attitude!

BismIllah wa assalaamu alaykum.

Time to do laundry; I left it a couple of days to see if it would gain independence and wash itself. Obviously, due to love for me, it decided to stay inert so I could get the reward. Gotta love that laundry!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Just know...

BismIllah wa assalaamu alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

I wanted to share this perspective with you. It can bring forth gratitude and calm in the greatest adversity.

Just know, that

every test,
every trial,
every hurt,
every rejection,
every bad name you are called,
every misinterpretation,
every evil assumption,
every disrespect,
every backbite,
every lie told about you,
every cut,
every pain,
every sickness
and every other struggle you face...

you needed it.

When you stand before your Creator and face your account, you will benefit from all those unpleasant things in the dunya (worldly life). They will be the things to help erase your sins, add to your good deeds, tip your scales, or elevate your level in Jennah.

 Now, doesn't that warrant a big "alhamdulillah?"

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Micromanagement

Bismillah wa assalaamu alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

As parents, spouses,  friends, managers, and employees we often find ourselves trying to micromanage situations. We see a potential opportunity or problem and try to set up a whole scenario or sequence of events to make it work or avoid it. We see weaknesses and try to troubleshoot and scaffold until they are overcome, or at least not causing serious harm. We try to establish road blocks to disobedience to Allah and open pathways to all that is halal and tayyibaat.

But, although this is simply tying our camel , like Yusuf (alayhi salaam's) father in Surah Yusuf, there is a basic truth in his words that sums it up.

Ayah 67. And he said: "O my sons! Do not enter by one gate, but enter by different gates, and I cannot avail you against Allah at all. Verily! The decision rests only with Allah. In him, I put my trust and let all those that trust, put their trust in Him."

 We cannot micromanage Allah's Qadr. When all our efforts are turned upside down, we need to stop trying to do what, in reality, is out of our ability and control, and leave it to Allah with complete calm and trust. He is perfect, we are not. His Plan is infallible, whereas He shows us that clearly our's are not. He knows each of His creation, the path they will travel, and their ultimate end.

We cannot micromanage aqeedah,  emaan, taqwa, or tawwakal. We cannot micromanage a mind or a heart. How many have persisted on major sins before coming to obedience? How many have wallowed in kufr before coming to correct aqeedah? If a person is destined to obedience we cannot ruin that and if a person is destined to disobedience, we cannot save them.

So we do what we can to enjoin the good and forbid the wrong, but when Allah steers a situation away from our righteous goals, trust in it. He is the only One Who really micromanages anything; we need to know that and trust in His perfection.

Subhaanak Allahummah wa bihamdik, laa ilaaha ilaa ant, astaghfiruka wa atoobu ilayk.

Followers