Friday, September 18, 2015

This moment – right NOW!

Bismillah wa assalaamu alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

There are no coincidences. Everything in life is precisely and perfectly orchestrated by our Creator, Allah subhaana wa ta'ala. I was given a book many years ago entitled, “Divine Will and Predestination in light of the Qur'an and Sunnah'” by 'Umar, which I have been re-reading this past few days. An extremely beneficial book, I intend to make it part of our Islamic studies curriculum this year inshaa Allah. There is a very important hadith quoted therein, that we need to open our eyes and minds to.
In Saheeh Al-Bukhari it is narrated from Abu Haazim from Sahl ibn Sa'd that during one of the military campaigns of the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) there was a man who was excelling in fighting. The Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) looked at him and said,” Whoever wants to see a man from among the people of Hell, let him look at that man.” 
One of the people followed him, and at that point he was one of the fiercest fighters against the mushrikeen (polytheists), until he was wounded. Then he hastened his own death by driving his sword into his chest until the point emerged between his shoulders. The man (who had seen this) rushed back to the Messenger (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) and said, “I bear witness that you are the Messenger of Allah!” He said, “What happened?” He said, “You said to so and so, 'Whosoever wants to se a man from among the people of Hell, let them look at this man,' He was one of the greatest among us at fighting in defense of the Muslims, but I knew that he would not die like that. When he was wounded, he hastened his own death and killed himself.” At this, the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) said: 
“A slave may do the deeds of the people of Hell, but he is one of the people of Paradise, or he may do the deeds of the people of Paradise, but he is one of the people of Hell. But it is the final deed that counts.”

Upon reflection, what is the most important thing we can learn from this? That regardless of what we have done in the past, whether it be years or seconds ago, what we have to put all our energy into is what we are doing right now.

Consider the crane accident at Masjid Al Haraam in Makkah; what a powerful reminder that Allah can take our worldly lives at any time, in any place, in any way He decrees. So with every action, every reaction, every decision about how to use our time, money, energy, skills, talents, and emotions remember that it may be the last thing we do. STOP and think that it IS the last thing we will do. How do we want to end? As a summation to our life, do we want to die while losing our temper shouting or screaming, doing, watching, or listening to something haraam, backbiting, being selfish and stingy, with severed ties of kinship or brotherhood/sisterhood, being lazy or skipping a prayer, or choosing our desires over Allah?

There is no point planning to do better later, tomorrow, or next time because Allah doesn't promise us that there will be a later, tomorrow, or next time. We don't know which act will be our last. So be aware, conscious, that it is all about NOW, this moment, and making the best decision to please Allah at each and every stage of our day so that we can end as the people of paradise. 

May Allah unite us all upon the ultimate success of His Pleasure – ameen.

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

Wednesday, September 16, 2015


Bismillah wa assalaamu alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. These days are special, these first ten days of Dhul Hijjah, maashaa Allah. These days hold amazing opportunities for rewards in all that we do. Allah's Generosity is overwhelming!

Many of us fast, do extra ibaadah, give sadaqah, try harder...but there is something else we can do that's free but gives huge and valuable rewards to others. We can make use of our gifts.

Drink a cup of the special tea your friend gifted you with each day after iftar or for suhoor. Read your du'a and adhkaar from the books gifted to you, or say the authentic ones taught you in a class or by a loved one. Wear the socks and gloves gifted to you, use the pen, carry the bag, blow your nose on the hankie.

Use your gifts with the clear intention of rewarding the givers for their generosity. Make du'a for the gift givers and ask Allah to bless them with more. If you cannot make use of some gifts, ask Allah to reward the giver as if you used it every day.

Give bigger gifts back to the givers, by using their gifts. "Is there any reward for good except good?" (Ar-Rahmaan) It's a win-win situation!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Give your Best

Bism Illah wa assalaamu alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

Consider this scenario. You know of a sister who has not been praying or wearing any form of hijab. She asks for some Islamic clothing and hijab. You know that she has not worn any hijab consistently for years and shaytaan whispers to you that she is probably asking you so that you will have a better opinion of her or think she really is trying to improve but prevented by a lack of suitable clothing. shaytaan whispers that she will probably not wear what you give her much, or for long, and it will probably end up dusty in the closet or thrown away.

Audhu b'Illahi min as-shaytaan ir-rajeem!

Give her good hijab. Give her things from your collection that you particularly think she will like, or will suit her. This will encourage her towards modest dress. Give her a nice quality aba'a (abaya), a good khimar - things you would wear yourself to Jumu'ah or Eid.

Give your best, Allah will do the rest.

The sister will feel that you have honored her by giving her nice things. It will open her heart to you and give your da'wah a smoother reception bi idhn Illah ta'ala. She will taste the beauty of Islam, the practice of loving for others what one loves for oneself. And for you, you will have lived the beauty of Islam. You will  have lived loving for another what you love for yourself. You will have lived Ihsaan, giving your best knowing that Allah is watching you. You will have lived giving the sister her rights of husn-u-thann, having the best suspicions about her. She may well live up to those expectations, inshaa Allah. You will have triumphed over shaytaan and his evil whispers.

Regardless of what happens to those donated clothes, giving your best elicits the best from yourself and from Allah, subhaana wa ta'ala.

So give your best, Allah will do the rest.

Subhaanak Allahumma wa bihamdik, laa ilaaha illa ant, astaghfiruka wa atoobu ilayk.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Planning for Success: Ramadhaan 1436

Bism Illah wa assalaamu alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

For major events in life, we usually make plans so that they will be a success. Well the "Month of the Year" is coming up, a month that can turn hearts, set lives in order or back on track, repair broken connections with our Creator, and be an expiation for all that has gone before it. Ramadhaan deserves planning - planning for success!

Something I find very beneficial in Ramadhaan is to have a study plan, or lessons, that fit the month -
30 days:30 lessons. Here are some suggestions for your Ramadhaan study plan.

SISTERS ONLY CLASSES: Making the most of Ramadhaan and The Qur'aan: A Light and a Mercy

This 29-day course consists of two daily classes during Ramadhaan:
Making the Most of Ramadhaan:
Using the book Fasting from Alif to Yaa, compiled by Umm Mujaahid, Khadijah bin Lacina Al Amreekiyyah, and
Sittings during the Blessed Month of Ramadan By Shaykh Muhammad Ibn Saalih Al-Uthaymeen
The Qur'aan: A Light and Mercy:
This interactive class will cover a Surah a day from the Surahs of Juz Amma as well as Suratul-Fatiha. It will include: Tafseer, rules of Tajweed and evaluation of recitation, tips on memorization and review, the importance and benefits of learning and reciting the Qur'aan, especially within the month of Ramdhaan, and much more.

Disciplining the Soul by Ibn Jawzi, raheemahullah. This is truly a self-help/self-improvement book for Muslims, maashaa Allah, with 30 short, life-changing chapters. We have recently read it as part of our Islamic Studies curriculum, so we are not including it in our Ramadhaan study plan, but it is something I plan to revisit yearly bi idhn Illah, ta'ala either in Ramadhaan or in preparation the month.

30 Lessons in Fasting, Shk Saalih Al Fawzaan
We are doing these this year, inshaa Allah.

Shk Uthaymeen's Daily Sittings in Ramadhaan
We did these for 3 or 4 Ramadhaans in a row, maashaa Allah, and they are wonderful!

Bitesize Articles 2011
Short lessons for each day of Ramadhaan by Abbas Yahya, found on Al Miraath Publications website.

Bitesize Articles 2013
A different set of short lessons for Ramadhaan by Abbas Yahya, found on Al Miraath Publications.

Our family will be having a very international Ramadhaan, bi idhn Illah ta'ala, with the first week spent in Madinah, the second in Makkah, the third England, and the last traveling across the USA from Washington DC to New Mexico inshaa Allah. We are planning a course of study that can be done on the road, on the run, offline, and pretty much wherever we find ourselves. This year, we are focusing on tafseer of the Qur'aan. We seek greater understanding and connection with Allah's perfect words. What more appropriate time to do that than the month the Qur'aan was revealed?

We have found some wonderful technology to assist us, an application called Quran Tafsir Pro. This application has the Qur'aan ayah by ayah by a huge range of qaaris, including Ibrahim al Akhdar, the qaari we learn our recitation from exclusively. It also has the translation, and at one touch, the tafsir of each ayah. Not only that, but it has an ayah test and random ayah test feature where you are shown an ayah and have to chose the translation/meaning of each word and are scored at the end. On the touch of a word it will give you the grammatical information about it, maashaa Allah. Now that's beneficial entertainment we can all happily indulge in bi idhn Illah ta'ala! And lastly in my promo for this application (ha ha ha!), it has a feature where you can see the du'a from the Qur'aan - beautiful, wal hamdul'Illahi Rabbil aal ameen!

We will be tapping in to Umm Mujaahid's class, Making the Most of Ramadhaan whenever we can inshaa Allah. We are also planning to use the interactive Qur'aanic Arabic Quiz Programme, These things, along with our goal to complete the recitation of the complete Qur'aan over the month, will be our plan for Ramadhaan 1436 bi idhn Illah ta'ala.

We seek Allah's success for our family, your family, and our whole ummah in reaching and exceeding our goals this  Ramadhaan - ameen!

Subhaanaka wa bihamdika laa ilaaha ilaa ant, astaghfirukah wa atoobu ilayk.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

The Internet Talks - Part 2: Medicating and Curing

A man once asked Abû Hurayrah – Allâh be pleased with him, ‘What is al-taqwâ?” He replied, “Have you ever taken a path filled with thorns?” The man replied, “I have.” Abû Hurayrah asked him, “What did you do?” He replied, “When I saw a thorn I would dodge it or pass over it or behind it.” Abû Hurayrah said, “That is al-taqwâ.”

Al-Baihaqî, Al-Zuhd Al-Kabîr p351.

Bismillah wa assalaamu alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

The key to resolving the problems associated with Internet use are to view going online just like a path filled with thorns - each and every thorn a tool of shaytaan to pierce our obedience to Allah.  Allah has presented us with the Internet as a huge test of discipline and taqwa. The Internet can be an excellent means for His pleasure and drawing closer to Him, when used within very specific limitations and intentions. Allah is watching you. There is no click on a site or surfing the web that isn't recorded, so if it isn't for benefit and some form of worship of Allah, then where is it going - the right-hand book (illiyyeen) or the left-hand book (sijjeen)?

Introspection about what occupies our heart is a good place to start, followed by a practical plan to develop and increase our love of Allah. When we fill our time with beneficial things, we crowd out the time that can be spent on non-beneficial things. Will we ever want to displease or disobey Allah when we think of the fact that He gives us EVERYTHING and exceeds every expectation, hope, desire, wish, and dream we could ever aspire to?
Here are some things to consider, or even to put on a bold screensaver or daily reminder, to remind and warn yourself before going on the internet, opening social network sites, etc.

Remember that everything we say on the internet represents Islam. Are we representing it truthfully, or lying about it? 

For example, we cannot "like", watch, or post a music video without pleasing shaytaan and spreading his evil call to following desires. Furthermore, unless we clearly state that we are sinning in doing so and that music is haraam, we have done one of two things (maybe more, but this is what I can think of):
  • shown the understanding Muslims that we are openly following our desires
  • presented a lie to uneducated Muslims and non-Muslims about Islam, as they will understand that it is an accepted and permissible thing.

If we wouldn't say it or reveal it to someone in person, we shouldn't reveal it on the net - it's still impermissible. 

For example,  describing our physical attributes, our talents, our preferences. If we wouldn't stand in front of a stranger and tell them such things with a clear conscience, then they should not be anywhere on the Internet either. Are we comfortable and happy to read whatever we post, comment on, or surf, out loud to our spouse, children, parents, and friends?

Before you "like" something, check if Allah and His Messenger - sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam - would like it too.

This may seem simple, but actually we may have to research to find out whether it is permissible to "like" or post a certain statement or philosophy. We could post something that has elements of kufr, shirk, or is agreeing with something prohibited in our perfect deen.

Here are some practical measures to troubleshoot Internet dangers for ourselves and those under our authority (children, wives, etc.).
  1. Turn our screen, so what we are doing is visible to anyone and everyone around.
  2. Project our screen on the wall, so it's larger than life and public property.
  3. Make sure we are never alone with unmonitored computer/internet access.
  4. Put programs on our computer to record our internet activity and have someone else review where we've been and how long we spent on it.
  5. Set access times so we cannot go on at certain times.
  6. Keep an Internet journal to  note down each time we use it, the intended benefit before using it  and whether we deviated from that. This is so tedious that it should really deter us from using the Internet unless absolutely necessary!  
  7. Be transparent about what we type, like, or post. Never type anything our husband would not fully approve of. (My husband reads all my posts on these blogs, and if I comment on someone's blog I let him know.)
  8. Have our grown son or daughter read our comment, post, or blog first.
  9. Read it out loud to our children of all ages.
The android phone can also accept Internet filtering and restriction programs, and the last three on the list are a good way to troubleshoot Internet use on your phone. After facing the fact that such convenient Internet access is more fitnah than they can cope with, there are some of us who are opting for a return to flip phones for the safety of our aakhirah and our health.

This is probably one of the biggest challenges we will face in our lifetimes: conquering our desires and weaknesses when it comes to the Internet. With Ramadhaan approaching, we need to do everything we can to implement effective remedies and corrections so our fasting will not be tainted, devalued, or ruined by our Internet use. May Allah purify our intentions, fortify our resolve, and give us success in achieving His lasting pleasure - ameen!

Subhaanak Allahumma wa bihamdik laa illaha ila ant, wa astaghfiruka wa atoobu ilayk.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

The Internet Talks - Part 1:The Situation

Bism Illah wa assalaamu alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

So many warnings are being given, including from our own scholars such as Shk.Saalih bin Fawzaan Al-Fawzaan, advising the Muslims to get off the Internet and social media sites and return to seeking knowledge. We can easily find talks, warnings, and admonishments about the social media being a cause of our destruction wa audhu b'Illahi min dhaalik. Here are a few personal observations about the Internet that I want to share with you.

The Internet, in particular social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter, are for the most part in complete contradiction with 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]

If I simply open up Twitter, I see photos of a Muslimah's hand holding a cup of Starbucks coffee, another of a container of ice cream someone is enjoying, another with a photo of someone from the nose down, some from the neck down, and a plethora of ideas, opinions, and information that can be found by anyone who seeks it. So instead of me learning something that I specifically need or concerns me, I inadvertently see an onslaught of things that don't concern me at all.

We seem to have lost the ability to differentiate between what is good to share in the differing situations of friendships, relationships, the public at large, and strangers. Most certainly, professing love and happiness over coffee is something the vast majority of people have no need to know about. It is also dangerous territory, as in the case of Muslimahs, they are giving out private information (yes, even loving Starbucks or a type of ice cream) to non-mahrem men who have no business knowing her likes and dislikes, let alone what her children's bodies look like from the neck down.

Do you see the danger in this? Those key bits of information are actually a nice, tidy puzzle easily put together by a man with a sickness in his heart or mind, who could seek out that sister by hanging around the Starbucks in her area and actually recognize her by her children's bodies once he finds her there...or by the photo showing her hand. It is a stalker's paradise.

So much danger and so much haraam comes from putting batil, unnecessary information about ourselves on social media. Subhaan Allah, Twitter is nothing compared to Facebook wa Allah ul Musta'an. I have seen decent, private Muslimahs end up in flirty repartee with non-mahrem, and at times non-Muslim men, simply from commenting on a sister's or friend's post. They mention personal things: likes, preferences, talents, or plans, on posts or comments, and perhaps forget that anyone can read them. That means that anyone can also respond to them, or at the least, formulate a more intimate or detailed picture of them that they have no right in Islam to have. Just remember, once you give away private information, you can never take it back. It is planted in the other person's/people's minds for as long as they like to keep it.

Even for those who want to use media to further their Islamic knowledge, there are many drawbacks as we:

- don't learn the manners and etiquette of seeking knowledge that are learned in a face to face lesson
- don't learn the patience required to seek knowledge, as everything is done on our own time, at our own convenience
- do not see the character and mannerisms of the teacher, in order to emulate them
-without proper research methods and logic, can be misled by the information and knowledge available
- simply read without guidance or explanation, which is not seeking knowledge according to Shk. Al Fawzaan and other senior scholars of Ahl us Sunnah
- face information overload, where so much information is available that we don't take in anything with any level of depth.

I have experienced this, personally. I use Whatsapp and Telegram to keep in touch with my mother, husband, and a few close friends. However, some well meaning friends started sending me beneficial reminders, until I got between 10 and 50 of them in a day. Imagine, this was just from a few friends not exceeding 10 in number! So many of the reminders I had read before, and others have nothing to do with my situation (for example, I am not going out to fight in the way of Jihad, my jihad is in my home alhamdul'Illah). The time it took me to read the reminders made them end up being the opposite of benefit, as my responsibilities suffered as a consequence.

If we simply look at the examples of the best Muslims on this earth, we will see that the sahabah learned 10 ayaat of Qur'aan and didn't learn another 10 until they had fully understood and implemented those ayaat in their lives. How does that equate to what we are doing now? It is impossible to read the tens of hundreds of messages and implement them in our day. It is impossible to even remember what those messages are, due to the sheer volume - so where is the benefit?

Are we really benefiting, or simply spending our days reading so many messages that we don't find time to read the Qur'aan, let alone memorize and implement it in our lives. We snatch pieces of information from these reminders instead of properly studying and memorizing the Sunnah and foundational texts and mutoon. It is like spraying perfume on a dirty body instead of giving it a bath. The first thing to know is our Book and the Sunnah; understanding and adherence to these will cleanse us and fragrance us from the inside out bi idhn Illah, ta'ala.

So the first stage is to see the situation and sickness of our relationship with the Internet truthfully and clearly, seeking Allah's aid in this. Then we can look at the ways to medicate and cure ourselves, bi idhn Illah ta'ala, which I will write about in Part 2 inshaa Allah.

Subhaanaka wa bihamdika la ilaaha ila ant, wa astaghfiruka wa atoobu ilayk.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Roadmap to Smiles

Bism Illah wa assalaamu alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

Ever try to please someone, seeking their smile? You do something you think they will like so they will be pleased with you and you can enjoy seeing their pleasure. Well, just have a quick look at the map and make sure you are taking the right route to their pleasure. You see, sometimes when you want to see appreciation in the form of thanks, smiles, or even gifts, you might compliment, joke, play a trick, or do an act of compliance for the sole purpose of pleasing specific people.

"Your wealth and your children are only a trial, whereas Allah, with Him is a great reward." At-Taghaabun 15

This is a subject that needs to be clarified to children, as they might mistakenly try different things to please parents, but remain disobedient to them, and consequently Allah. I was once told that someone wanted to please me and was doing a certain action to gain my approval. I had to say that what will please me and gain my approval was them pleasing Allah. Pleasing Allah entails obedience to parents, and obedience to parents is obedience to Allah, so whichever way they approach it they will succeed. However, they said that they can't see Allah's pleasure.

I realized, then, that not just children, but many adults just don't feel motivated or satisfied with the concept of obeying and pleasing Allah. They are seeking instant, visible or tactile gratification. They cannot make the connection that all the goodness and blessing that comes to them is from Allah; that it comes from obedience to their Creator.

However, Who gives His Creation the ability and inspiration to smile and give instant, visible, or tactile gratification to others? Who puts in the nature of His believers love and appreciation for the good? Who decrees whether and what you will receive? Know that there is no goodness that comes to you, except by Allah's Will. If you want goodness, smiles, beautiful relationships, love, then go to the One Who can make that happen and give them to you - check your map and set your route to Allah.

"Is there any reward for good other than good?" Ar-Rahman 60

Seek Allah's pleasure through obedience to Him and acts loved by Him; Allah will send you rewards far beyond thanks and a smile. He will send you thanks and smiles from His creation far more heartfelt and plentiful than those you seek, and you will have other blessings in this life, as well as a reward set aside for your aakhirah.

"For those who have done good is the best (reward) and even more..." Yunus 10 

So rather than focusing on pleasing your parents, children, husband, wife, relatives, and friends, focus on obeying and pleasing Allah and see what Allah sends you through it. There is no shaky ground in this, it is a guarantee from your Creator that He will reward your obedience with good.
 "If you lend to Allah a goodly loan He will double it for you, and Allah is most ready to appreciate and to reward, Most Forebearing" At Taghaabun 17

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Mai and the Rifq

BismIllah wa assalaamu alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

Allah sent a test to me, wa alhamdul'Illahi Rabbil aal ameen! It was not the usual test, where He places some great difficulty, fitnah, or painful experience in my life that I have to remain patient through with tawakkal. It was something that was personal, a questioning and suspicion about my words, my religion, my manhaj. This test shook me to the core, had me sick and shaking for almost two weeks, because it planted the doubt in my mind that I had a fault in my aqeedah and had said or done something incorrect that was against Allah, and the perfection of Islaam.

The biggest issue surrounding the test, is that the people who questioned about me did not come to me to ask about whatever the matters are. They did not seek any clarity from me or complete information on any issues or concerns they had with me. They did not find mistakes in my explanations and advise me with daleel, but rather contacted someone else with screenshots of quotes from some things I wrote. To date, I don't know what those quotes are. I don't know if the quotes were sent as part of the total writing, to ensure they would be understood in context, or simply taken out of context as individual statements. That is a lot of not knowing, maashaa Allah.  

I prayed istikhara about this blog and had clear signs that I was not to stop it or close it. However, I made it private for the past month or so, in order to review the posts and try to see where there might be things that could be misunderstood or misinterpreted. Allahu aalam, anything can be interpreted badly if viewed through a negative lens but I can only seek refuge with Allah from that. However, reviewing is a process that has been of great benefit because I had a chance to spring clean and improve on some posts alhamdul'Illah. I also hoped that I would hear something from somebody regarding the issues, in case I needed to make changes, but still nothing Qadr Allahu wa maa shaa fa'al. This blog is now being checked through by an established student of knowledge, Baarak Allahu feehee wa jazaahullahu khayr. If I am informed of any errors, I will correct them and post clearly about them inshaa Allah.

I have written on several occasions over the years, asking that if there are any mistakes or clarifications needed, to please let me know. In fact, I was approached by a dear sister with concerns about a few wordings in my posts and the permissibility of  using personal experiences as examples for da'wah. I immediately sent out a notification and removed the capital letters in My therapist, clearly seeing where the danger lay. I then checked the other issues for scholarly proof through a student of knowledge to learn the status of them. I am not even asking for private communication; I gladly accept public questions by way of a comment on the post in question. I have had a few people ask for clarification or challenge certain points, which you can see I happily addressed. I know me and my intent; I can explain me and what I write bi idhn Illah ta'ala.

I am human and make mistakes but they are not intentional and are not based on me writing without a clear source of knowledge (Qur'aan, Sunnah, scholars). I have never followed a madhab and have based all my understanding on Salafiyyah for my 28 years in Islam, maashaa Allah. It has been a learning curve, and I hope that others can learn from my mistakes and experiences. As I learn at a basic level, I implement it in my life, and then I call to it - within the limitations Allah sets upon me. Please remember who I am - a middle aged nobody who loves Allah and calls others to Him in the rudimentary and basic way that I am able to - nothing more, nothing less.  May Allah protect you from any harm from me and benefit you with all that is good from Him.

Most of the things I write about are general reminders. If I remind sisters to make a little change to please their husbands, it is a general thing. If a sister has a demanding husband and a little change isn't enough to evoke any pleasure from him, that is a specific situation that would require a specific response. Please do read things in context, not picking out sentences to derive a meaning that doesn't exist when included in a paragraph or whole subject.

Alhamdul'Illah, I have been focusing on this beautiful naseehah from Shaykh Saalih as-Sindee for the past few days. If you have time, I highly recommend you read it. It gives order, direction,focus, encouragement, and comfort. However, I have included an excerpt near the end that was so important, subhaan Allah, that I had to include it in this post.

Establish the Deen in Yourself and Your family and Then call others to it – Shaykh Saalih as-Sindee 

September 12, 2009

 "Know that shaytan is extremely diligent in trying to bring about separation between people who follow the correct manhaj. And for this reason, we hear many times about the differences and the separation amongst the Salafees in the lands of the West, in the lands of the kufaar. This requires that we come together and work together to solve this problem.

And from the greatest things required from us all, so we can solve this problem, is that we get rid of something we may have in our hearts, and this is evil thoughts (suspicion), or suu-a-dhan.

We have to have good thoughts about our brothers, and not have evil suspicion. If we see something from our brother that is incorrect or could [go] either way, we should strive to get this thought out of our heads. This is the only way we can kill the fitna that shaytan will want to cause between us.
We claim that we follow the way of the Salaf. Then, let us look at the brotherhood they had [and those who followed them], and you can base your conditions upon this example.

At one point, Imam Shafi’ee (may Allaah have mercy on him) became sick, and one of his students – his most famous student al-Muzanee – made du’aa: “may Allaah make your weakness stronger.”

Imam Shafi’ee said: “If my weakness became stronger, I would die.”

The student said: Wallaahi, I didn’t intend anything except good.

{Shaikh as-Sindee commented: “And look how the Imam Ash-Shafi’ee dealt with his students”}

Imam Shafi’ee said: If you had cursed me explicitly, I (still) would have known that you really didn’t mean it. [Source later supplied by Shaikh as-Sindee: In Shaikh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah’s refutation upon al-Bakri, and Ibn Taymiyyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) called it “a well-known story.”]

This is Husn-u-dhan.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Du'a for Exposure

Bismillah wa assalaamu alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

There are some situations, and some times, when we cannot accurately assess the character and genuineness of another person. We may have a doubtful feeling about them, but we just cannot put our finger on it. Allah is, as always, the answer. Ask Him to show you the true nature of the person. Ask him to expose to you their reality, so you may act accordingly. It is more important to know the reality of what you are dealing with, than for that reality to be good.

Hudayfah ibn al-Yaman (radhi Allahu anhu) said:

"The people used to ask the Messenger of Allah (salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam) about good things, whereas I used to ask him about evil things fearing that they befall me." (Bukhari & Muslim)

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Du'a for Righteousness/Piety

Bismillah wa assalaamu alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

Allah gives us a du'a in the Qur'aan for righteous offspring (children). It is in Surat ul Ahqaaf, ayah 15 and it is this:

《 و اصلح لي في ذريتي إنى تبت إليك و إنى من المسلمين》

"And make my offspring righteous/pious, truly I have turned to You in repentance and truly I am one of the Muslims."

I have added to this for a few years now and ask each day for Allah to make not only my offspring righteous,  but also my husband - زوجي, my family - أسرتي,  my friends - صديقاتي, my heart - قلبي, my manners - أخلاقي, my niyyah - نيتي, my wealth - مالي, our hearts - قلوبنا, our wealth - مالنا, and our land - ارضنا. It is a beautiful du'a, from the perfect words of our Creator, alhamdulillah!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Give Ten People a Recipe...

Bismillah wa assalaamu alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

Give ten people a recipe. Do you get ten identical results? No.

There are the people who follow it exactly, knowing that is the only way to get the right result. Even so, there may be slight variations depending on the brand and function of their oven, the type of utensils or kitchen equipment they use, and even the weather and their altitude. 

Then there are those who think they have a better technique, and change the recipe before even following the original directions. 

At least one will try to cut corners, skimping on quantities or using inferior or cheaper ingredients. 

There are the ones who can't read the recipe properly; their vision is blurred and so they misinterpret it.

Of the ten, someone may not understand units of measurement, and so rather than learn, they guess at the quantities.

And there are always the ones who couldn't care less and throw the recipe together uncaring about the result.

Which one of the those people are you? What would you expect your version of the recipe to turn out like?

Our Creator, Allah, gives us a recipe: a recipe for success that He names Islam.  

"...This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favor upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion..."
Surat ul Maa'idah 3

The recipe is perfect, and He clearly tells us that following it will lead to eternal blissful reward. So, I ask you, what are you doing with His recipe? How can you follow it more accurately, for that perfect result?

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Be Greedy and Selfish!

Bism Illah wa assalaamu alaykum wa RahmatUllahi wa Barakatuh.

Yes, you read it rightly; Mai is now telling you to be greedy and selfish, LOL!

"... but His plan is to test you in what He has given you; so strive as in a race in good deeds..." [Quran 5:48]

When someone enters a room I am in, and they don't give the salaams, I give the salaams. True, it is a reminder that the salaams should be given, but I'm also being greedy for the reward of spreading the salaams. I'm greedy for the reward of making du'a for others; greedy for chances to be the first to help; greedy to bring a smile to someone's face. Tell me, who doesn't love making others happy or helping them in some way? It is human nature, and it feels wonderful maashaa Allah.

Recently, a beloved sister asked me for some help; it wasn't even for her, but for a dear sister of hers maashaa Allah. She then apologized for asking too much of me. I told her not to be sorry for giving me a chance for the Pleasure and Reward of Allah; it is a blessing! The sister told me I'm sweet, maashaa Allah, but I had to correct her. I am not sweet; I am selfish. I want to feel the joy and happiness in helping others and pleasing Allah. When I respond to her requests, I am pleasing myself!

So please, be as greedy and selfish as possible: greedy for rewards and opportunities for rewards; selfish in wanting to feel good by doing good to others. It is greed and selfishness for your happiness in both this worldly life and the aakhirah!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Just Say the Words

Bism Illah wa assalaamu alaykum wa RahmatUllahi wa Barakatuh.

Sometimes it is difficult to automatically think and react in the correct and good way to what befalls us. The initial reactions to a broken down car or cutting our finger might be, "Oh no!" or "Ouch, that hurt!" However, I have found that in training ourselves to say the appropriate words, we actually train ourselves in sabr (patience) for the improvement of our deen.

For example, when we say al hamdu l'Illah as our first automatic and immediate response to any affliction, (the burn from the oven, the baby falling, the house collapsing, LOL), then we direct our minds to automatically seek out its blessings from Allah. It reminds us to have yaqeen (certainty) that it is, indeed, a great blessing from Allah, even if it isn't clear where some of the blessings lie. Certainly, the test is sent to us as a reminder, an expiation, and improver.

Narrated Anas (radhi Allahu anh): The Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) said,

            “The real patience is at the first stroke of a calamity.”
                                                                                                 Sahih Al-Bukhari – Book 23 Hadith 389

Sometimes all it takes is to just say the words to focus ourselves on the correct thinking and belief.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Here's what you do...

when you want to be heard, or
when you want to be understood, or
when you want to improve, or
when you want to grow, or
when you want to have a long hard look in the mirror, or
when you have unclear priorities, or
when you can't see things clearly, or
when you need to make a decision, or
when you feel sorry about something, or
when you are a mess, or
when you need security, or
when you feel unsure, or
when you feel sad, or
when you are having bad thoughts, or
when you are happy, or
when you are totally focused:


because that's what it's all about - turning to Allah, your Creator, for everything and in every situation.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

A Beefy Story

As salaamu alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakaatuh.

Here is a true story that might inspire. About 3 years ago, a dear sister of mine was pregnant at the same time as I was. She visited us once a month for our Girl's Reading Club,  and on one occasion told me she was craving beef. I had already prepared chicken for that night's meal and only had one opportunity to serve beef during her pregnancy- just some ground beef in a chili dish. A bit later in her pregnancy she learned that she had an iron deficiency, so the unfulfilled intention to make her beef stayed with me.

Since then, we have seen each other a handful of times, due to our heavy homeschooling and family schedules maashaa Allah. So, this past Friday when she and her family were invited to dinner, I prepared roast beef  with gravy.  I was ill with a cold and sore throat, preparing the meal with a bad headache, and making dua' throughout that Allah would bless the food. As we sat eating, I reminded her of her cravings for beef 3 years before during her pregnancy and that I was finally fulfilling my intention to serve it to her. She looked at me a little incredulously and laughed. I said, "Better late than never!"

As there was plenty of the beef, al hamdul'Illah, I asked her to take some home. She took it and this morning, Sunday, she told me that she had been talking to a sister who is pregnant and has been suffering from extreme fatigue and low iron. My friend asked the sister if she was craving beef, and the sister shyly informed her that she she sent her the beef. This morning she got a message from the sister saying that she had never had beef so beautifully tender and delicious and asked for the recipe, the cut of beef, and made dua' for her. My dear sister responded:

"Wa alaykum us salaam sweety. I am so happy you liked it. A dear friend of mine made it for me the other night in honor of my intense desire to have beef while pregnant - 2 1/2 years ago! As I ate it, I thought of you. It wasn't decreed for my pregnancy, but yours, alhamdulilah!"

Allahu Akbar! See how far a fulfilled  good intention can travel?

I ask Allah to use me to benefit others REPEATEDLY. If it wasn't for the fact that I know He loves me to ask and never tires of it, I would have shut up out of shame and embarrassment from asking all the time. The news about the beef made me cry, maashaa Allah; the barakaat of the beef made my day. It sounds quite hilarious to say that a story about beef can have such an effect, but that is yet another huge Mercy from our Lord. He gives us things to smile and laugh about from the things we do seeking His Face. So, for all of you who have unfulfilled good intentions that you CAN fulfill,

it's never too late to cook the beef!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

What do words say?

Assalaamu alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakaatuh.

When we speak words, do we truly understand their meaning and what we are saying? I will give you a few examples.

  1. "I wish I were thinner."
  2. "I wish I had straight hair."
  3. "I hate being lazy!"
  4. "I hate being poor!"

The first sentence, "I wish I were thinner," says that the speaker doesn't like their weight and would like to lose some. It also implies that they are struggling to find the control they need to make weight loss or exercise happen to reach their goal. It is a self-directed statement.

The second sentence, "I wish I had straight hair," is a whole different story. It is saying that the speaker isn't happy with their hair and wishes it was a different texture. It is saying that the person isn't happy with how Allah specifically created something in them. This is not self-directed, but actually a complaint of dissatisfaction to Allah. It is called ingratitude, lack of appreciation, and lack of satisfaction or contentment with a characteristic of the body Allah gifted them with.

The third sentence, "I hate being lazy!" is another self-directed sentence, expressing an extreme dislike of laziness in themselves and setting a criteria of what should be avoided or corrected in regards to that bad quality.

The fourth sentence, "I hate being poor!" also expresses the speakers strong dissatisfaction with the amount of rizq (sustenance) Allah has provided for them at that time in their lives. I expresses not only disagreement with Allah's Judgement and Fairness, but also rejection of His Tests.

I won't belabor this; inshaa Allah you will see from these examples how important it is to think about what the words actually say, BEFORE saying them. Which angel would be recording those sentences, the right-hand one or the left-hand one?

May Allah increase our taqwa and emaan that we may speak with clear understanding words that are only pleasing to Him - ameen!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Looking inward...


I am alive, striving

I wonder if I will earn Allah's ultimate pleasure

I hear Allah's perfection amidst much futile noise

I see inimitable beauty tainted with the grotesque

I want to live the Qur'aan and Sunnah on this earth

I dream of basking in Allah's countenance in Jennat-il-Firdaus

I worry about my weaknesses and failings

I feel desperate for Knowledge and improvement

I am believing, hoping.

If you would like to complete one of these poems for your own self-discovery, you can find the format over on Healing Earth blog in the post: Self Discovery Exercise through Poetry.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Little thoughts are not aways small...

Assalaamu alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh!

Shall I apologize again for not blogging in so long? Well, it is certainly not for lack of things to share with you, but I haven't had the time or computer access to type, Qadr Allah. It is disastrous in some ways because I also haven't written my ideas down in my pink journal, which means they get lost among the daily studies, teaching, mothering, wifing, cooking, and housework. Al hamdul'Illah, I say! Why, you ask? Because what will reach you, will reach you bi idhn Illah, ta'ala. And what will reach you will benefit you at the best time and be written at the best time, bi idhn Illah, ta'ala.

So, before I plunge back into "blogland" with more chunky subjects, I will share some of my little passing thoughts with you.You may find value in them, perhaps even more than in a lengthier writing on the subject.

  • Parenting is an incredibly testing job, but as long as you know that you gave the right information and modeled the Qur'aan and the Sunnah, then inshaa Allah, you will have earned  your paycheck, even if mistakes were made.
  • Beware of hypocrisy, that misalignment between what you believe or stand against and what you do. It can be the most impervious of things, like taking the scholars' ruling that photographs of things with souls for non-essential reasons are impermissible, but clicking "like" for people's photos or even commenting on them. 
  • When you see someone dear to you showing some weakness in their religion, reach out and draw them closer to  you, so they can draw from your strength, obedience, and love of Allah.
  • When we are presented with choices to make throughout our day, almost always there will be a choice more pleasing to Allah. Give your best, Allah will take care of the rest!
  • How can we hold other people to account for not making us a priority in their lives, when we don't make Allah a priority in ours?
  • A deed is accepted by Allah only if done with ikhlaas (sincerity) and conforming to the Qur'aan and the Sunnah. Are your deeds counting for you?
  • Dua' is the the most powerful ally of the believer, but it can become impotent if you persist on your sins.
  • If you ask Allah to show you His Haqq, then make sure when you see it you accept it, gratefully.
  • Keep it simple. Being in this world as if you are a traveler doesn't cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in houses, furniture, cars, electronics, clothing, or vacations.
Hmmm, I wonder which of these you will like the best? Barak Allahu feekum!