Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Question

Bism Illah wa as salaamu alaykum.

If one were simply to consider each and every action and purchase with this question in mind, things might be quite different.

"Will this help me get to Jennah?"

How's that for putting things into perspective and focusing on what is truly important?

Friday, November 27, 2009

What Gives Me Joy

Bism Illah wa as salaamu alaykum wa Rahmat Allah.

There is a dua' I have been making for years now. It goes something like this. "Oh Allah, please let me be of benefit to those around me and put me wherever I can benefit others."

I seek Allah's Guidance on how to benefit others and on the best ways to benefit them. After all, what is the point of being in someone's life or crossing paths with another human being if there is no benefit or reminder to the good?

I have found that in trying to draw others closer to the good and truth, they have often taken off running with the concept and ended up teaching me something new in their zealous quest for knowledge.

Every now and then I consider whether I am omitting something big by not spending more time on myself. But what Allah has shown me, time and again, is that if I keep on thinking and doing for others, He will provide me what I need for my growth from whatever sources He Wills. The very people who claim I have benefited them, come back to me and open my mind to new knowledge and insights. I go online and in front of my eyes is something so relevant to a person or situation that I am dumbfounded at Allah's Perfect Plan. So, I'll keep on trucking with whatever I can do for those around me...and trust in Allah to take care of my development and growth as He Wills.

I pray that in some way, shape, or form I benefit one of you...if not by what I write then by my dua' that we all earn Allah's pleasure and sit together on those jeweled couches in Jennah al-Firdous - ameen.

On the occasion of Eid Al-Adha, 10 Dhul Hijjah 1430 AH, I say to you all, "Taqqabbal Allah minna wa minkum!"

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Where does our confidence come from?

Bism Allah wa as salaamu alaykum.

Something in human nature causes us to turn to others for reassurance and confidence building. We seek approval for our clothes, hairstyles, weight, body shape and fitness, home decor, choice of car, etc. We want others to find us attractive, to think we are good, nice, funny, kind, generous...the list can go on and on. We want our spouses to "want" us, to be pleased with us and to show pleasure in us.


So what happens if the world around us doesn't give us what we want? What happens if we don't get others' approval for our bodies, material choices, or personalities? We find ourselves depressed, miserable, feeling unwanted, without confidence. We let other people, other imperfect human beings, affect how we view ourselves. We let other people's opinions determine whether we are satisfied or not with ourselves.

Subhaan Allah! Who is the One to Judge us? Who is the One who created us as we are? Who is the One we need to please? Other people's opinions, praise, or criticism will not earn Allah's Pleasure. Other people's opinions will not add weight to our scale of good deeds. Confidence lies in one thing. This is an importance sentence so please, take it very slowly and seriously.

Confidence lies in knowing you are submitting to Allah's Will and striving to obey His Command in every aspect of your life.

Confidence lies in knowing you are taking care of yourself and dressing yourself as Allah has decreed and as the Prophet Muhammad, salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam has modeled for us in his Sunnah. Confidence comes from knowing that on any given day you are up to date with your prayers, your fasting, your zakat, are striving in some way to perform Hajj, and are basing your life on tawheed - belief in the Oneness and Perfection of Allah.

Will you continue to worry about others, when if you follow the Quran and the Sunnah you will be doing all that is praiseworthy and best? Will you continue to worry if you know that your Creator is pleased with you?

Friday, November 20, 2009

Who'd of Thunk It?

BismIllah wa as salaamu alaykum!

Well, here it is. My first post since moving to Madinah al Munawarrah. Subhaan Allah! Words have truly escaped me these last weeks. We have been here since October 19th 2009 and so much has happened in this past month that I don't know where to begin. So I won't, LOL.

What I will say is that I never planned to work and here I am teaching English in Al Fusha School for Girls. I get to go to school with all three of my girls every day. I get to be there for them in a new environment, to support them and encourage them to make friends with children who don't speak their language, and I am surrounded by classical Arabic - the language of the Quran. I have colleagues who speak to me in fus-Ha and yet want to learn English. We all stroll into the gates of the school and remove our niqaabs, abayas, and hijaabs and walk around freely all day enjoying fresh air and sunshine from the shaded courtyard. A world of our own - comfortable and protected. A Girl's Club.

Already, as I walk around without nudity or obscenity in my surroundings, I dread returning to anywhere in the West. If I rarely hear singing, it is nasheed. For every unattractive aspect or backward thing I encounter here, there are countless positives to outweigh them. All thanks and praise is for Allah, The Perfect One. He has shown us, in every way and at every station, that His Plan for us has been Perfectly Orchestrated. We are greatly blessed.