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.