Saturday, November 23, 2013


Bism Illah wa assalaamu alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

You know those flowers you see growing along the roadside or in the open fields? You look at them and think they grow naturally, without any human intervention or effort to keep them alive. They thrive in the most unlikely conditions, where other life forms don't thrive.

Sometimes we think of relationships in the same terms as those wildflowers. We think that they will thrive without any effort or maintenance on our part - naturally and in virtually any circumstances. The relationships most often viewed in this way are those of parent and child (from both sides), siblings (brothers and sisters), and spouses (husbands and wives), although it can happen in friendships and work situations as well.

However, those wildflowers cannot survive on nothing. They are not invincible; nor are they self sustaining. They require, at minimum, soil, water, and sunlight. Without those essential life-giving maintainers, they will die.

Do not take your relationships for granted and neglect them. Without sustenance they can suffer, and even die. Even the strongest and most resilient of them still needs nurturing. To this end, I recommend you revisit the posts, "Reach out Today" and "Make That Call." I needed the reminders, perhaps you do too.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Packing your 'Determination Suitcase'

Bism Illah wa assalaamu alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

So you have a goal, like pleasing Allah, for example. How are you going to reach that goal? Foremost, you need determination to reach any goal. Do not mistakenly think that if you want to please Allah, it is simply a matter of asking Allah to be pleased with you and not making an effort that requires determination. Allah clearly tells us that He does not change the condition of a people until they change themselves. You need to pull out your determination suitcase and make sure it is packed with all the necessary things to enable you to reach your goal. This is what I envisage the determination suitcase to contain:

Sincere desire to reach your goal - One of the conditions for any act to accepted by a Muslim is ikhlaas -  sincerely doing it for the pleasure of Allah, Alone.

Education - The second condition for any act to be accepted by a Muslim is that it conforms with what Allah has legislated in the Qur'aan and the Sunnah.

Strength of character - People may try to get in your way, dissuade you, or persuade you to follow your whims and desires rather that stick to your plan. Even worse, they may try to get you to follow their whims and desires, because they find you less "fun." You need to be strong enough to say, "No. I have a goal and I'm determined, with the Help and Permission of Allah, to reach it."

Energy - It requires energy: physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional to do the necessary things to reach your goal.

Ability - You must be able to do the thing. After all, if I want to go for Hajj, but I have no mahrem, no funds, or cannot get a visa, then I don't have the ability to meet that goal at that time.

Discipline - If you don't have discipline, then you may not educate yourself in a timely and effective manner or execute your plan.

Patience - Things don't happen overnight and it often takes considerable time and assiduous work to make notable progress.

Perseverance - You have to keep on trying, because pitfalls, hiccups, and set backs usually arise along the way and you just have to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and keep on trucking.

It is important to ensure that we have all those critical components, and if some are missing, to work on them, develop and nurture them. Truly if one of the components is missing, we may not reach our goal...and pleasing Allah is the ONLY worthwhile goal of our lifetime.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Do Your Part

Bism Illah wa assalaamu alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

You know, by now, that I am always advising you to make Allah your first, second, and third port of call when trouble strikes and when blessings come. However, there is something very important to remember when calling upon Allah for Help and Guidance for the good. You must eliminate any barriers that may prevent Allah from answering your du'a.

There are things that prevent our du'a from being answered, and while many of you know them, it is always good to be reminded. So, make sure if you are asking Allah, that you are firmly upon at-tawheed, worshiping Allah alone. Ensure that you are not associating partners with Him in any way, as this is something many people get sucked into by shaytaan and don't realize they are doing. Make sure you are obeying him to your best ability, that your income is halal, and that you are not committing sins. Then think of the attributes of Allah that you particularly need in relation to what you are asking Him, and call on Him by those Names.

Just as in any relationship, there are two sides - there is give and take. Du'a is a two way street, so do your part!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Come on; lay it on me!

''Whoever shows you your faults, he is your friend. Those that pay you lip service in praise are your executioners.'' 
- Umar Ibn Al-Khattab (radhi Allahu anh)

I know I lack patience, especially when facing disobedience to Allah. I also know I am inefficient in managing my time these past few months. This has been the case since having the baby and changing the system so that I sit down for a few hours a day for Islamic studies with the children and also sit with them for their homeschooling. I may try to read Qur'an for a while or get some other reading, computer work, etc. done, but between a squirmingj crawling, and cruising baby and checking work, answering questions, etc. it can be very unproductive, often. Outside of those times, I am cooking - preparing breakfast, lunch, dinner and things that will particularly please my husband. I still haven't found a regular time slot for doing the laundry (by hand) , and when a moment presents itself, it often gets filled with breastfeeding or changing a nappy/diaper and keeping the baby in a safe, happy place. Keeping up communications with friends is almost non-existent amongst all the daily rush to keep my head above water.

Even though I know some of my faults, there will  always be some I don't realize or notice. I don't want them to slip though the cracks, I want someone who loves me for the sake of Allah to tell me. Pobody's nerfect, and we all need true friends who can recognize our faults, inform us of them, and help us correct them. That's why, when it comes to my faults, I say to my true friends, "Come on, lay it on me!"

My Ultimate Spa Day

Rode the VIP bus in cool, spacious comfort to the spa and ate an organic blueberry and cream cheese breakfast pastry. On arrival at the dazzlingly beautiful spa, I had a great workout where I let my thoughts go to all my blessings, those beloved to me, and our needs. Then, hot from the workout and a sauna, I had a cool, refreshing drink filled with benefit. Feeling rejuvenated, I had my hair trimmed and then sat and had a decaf cappuccino with an old and dear friend. I stayed in a hotel where I had a nice dinner, a hot shower, and could sleep knowing that the prayers done from dhuhr onwards had the reward of 100,000 each bi idhn Illah ta'ala.

A beautiful umrah, my ultimate spa day! Alhamdul'Illahi Rabb il aal ameen!