Friday, April 30, 2010

La! La! La!

BismIllah wa as salaamu alaykum.

All thanks and  praise be to Allah, He made me a joyous soul. From the time I wake up, I'm bright and lively, mashaa'Allah. Very often, people find me saying, "La! La! La!"

It's my trademark. It's my daily declaration. It says, "I'm grateful for EVERYTHING." It means, "Al hamdu l'Illah!" It is joyous, happy, and infectiously optimistic. It is the result of my heart bursting with love for Allah, subhaana wa taala, and His every blessing. It makes my children, friends, and colleagues smile. It means I'm happy.

You, too, might find these three words lifting your spirits and those around you. Try might like it.

La! La! La!

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Bad Guy-ette

BismIllah wa as salaamu alaykum.

I'm the bad guy-ette. I'm the one who asks if the children went to the bathroom and brushed their teeth when they just want to jump out of bed and play. I'm the one who asks if they have wudhu before they pray. I'm the the who notices that, even if they say they have wudhu, they haven't been to the bathroom in over 4 hours and need to go first and then perform the ablution again. I'm the one who wakes everyone up for fajr. Back and forth to knock on the door again or shake the shoulder until they get up.

I'm the bad guy-ette. I'm the one who tells them to tidy up. I'm the one who makes them say sorry. I'm the one who gives them proof about their wrongdoing and doles out punishments or tells "Daddy." I'm the who has to say, "No," most of the time. I'm the one who has to say, "Stop it!" I'm the one who has to say, "Please,be quiet." Then, "I said, be quiet!" Then, "Shut up!" I'm the Manners Police, the Sunnah Supervisor, the Life Skills Trainer, the Prison Guard.

I know there are many of you out there holding the same position. You, too, are the bad guys and/or bad guy-ettes. I don't know about you, but I get tired of it. I get tired of the dirty looks, the rude backtalk, the negative reactions all directed towards me just because I'm doing my job. But, for all of you in the same boat, here's what I remembered last Saturday: the prophets Nuh (Noah) and Ibrahim (Abraham) alayhum ussalaam. These are examples of patience. These are examples of grace and incredible perseverance under mass rejection and duress. These are human examples sent to us by our Creator (Allah) who make what we put up with seem like an atom in the universe. They did it for the Good, for the Right, to try to bring mankind to success in this life and the next...and that's exactly why we do it.

So, now when I get the rolled eyes or the muttering under the breath as a reaction to some guidance or directive I've given, I just think to myself, "Nuh! Ibrahim!alayhum ussalaam" After all, this is just one young, immature person who doesn't know what's best for them. I may face it with all the children in my care, but it's nothing compared to a whole people. Keeping it in perspective makes being the bad guy-ette not so quite so bad.
All Praise and Thanks is for Allah, our Most Perfect and Merciful Guide!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

How Many Atoms Make a Bomb?

BismIllah wa as salaamu alaykum.

Yet again, I was in tears after a thought struck me today. It came during the Jumu'ah prayer and just developed from that point forward. How many small things does it take to end up with something big? How many little indiscretions, little mistakes, or omissions can we make before it ends up being a serious issue to answer for on Yawm id-Deen (the Day of Judgement)?

We are told to follow the Quran and the Sunnah. We are told to love the Prophet Muhammad (sal Allahu alayhi wa salaam) more than we love our own selves and families. We are told to emulate the example of the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam), to take what he gives us and leave the rest.

We are told that if we don't have something good to say, "ismut" - we cannot say anything at all. How many times do we forget or simply ignore that command? How many times do we forget to remind our children to step into the bathroom with their left foot, step out with their right foot, and say the appropriate dua'? How many times do we forget ourselves? How many times do we dhikr after the fard prayer so quickly that we paid no attention to what we were saying? How many times have we let something, or someone, get in the way of us dhikring at all?

How many times do we stand up or walk around eating or drinking. Many of us can quote the ahadith about the etiquettes of eating, about sitting when we eat or drink, about eating with our right hand, about taking the piece of food nearest to us, and filling just 1/3  of our stomach with food, etc. We relate these etiquettes to our children and remind them to say "bismIllah" before they eat, but then we relax...we forget as we pass them something with our left hand. We don't pay attention to them eating with their left hand. We don't check if they said bism'Illah. We don't tell them to sit down to eat and drink. We forget to be the model for them and follow those guidelines ourselves. Everyone eats until they are full.

How many atoms does it take to make a bomb - around 53,000 in reality, but in just one day we commit so many small errors, omissions, or sins that they can easily add up to a bomb before we even know it. Some people think I'm very fastidious about these things, and in general I try to cover all the bases, but I find myself constantly missing something or other. Alhamdul'Illah, we err and we seek forgiveness...but when the errors, omissions, and sins are from our own laziness or carelessness, then I wonder to myself how many will it take before we have something huge on our left-hand side account to answer for?

Audhu b'Illahi min asshaytaan irrajeem!