keep striving

Asalamu ‘alaykum warahmatullahi wabarakatuhu.

Dear readers, this is a message to you from me. I know there are many people out there in the world- all across the globe- who are struggling in life, albeit all our circumstances are different from one another. The obstacles we face are numerous and range from being ill to being financially unstable to having absolutely nothing to eat or drink for days on end. Everyone is faced with a hardship or obstacle in life that is unique in its own respect. Everyone has different experiences and different methods of coping with their hardships. From my own personal experience, I suffer from chronic pain. Some days, it becomes too difficult to do the simple tasks in life such as: small chores at home, eating, getting dressed, going to work, going to school, going to the madarasa, and sometimes just being able to physically get up from where I am sitting. I am a strong believer in hardships being a “blessing in disguise.” I cannot imagine my life without pain and aches. It can be unbearable somedays, however, I think there is a beautiful lesson in all of our hardships. If you are suffering from infertility, know that you are no less than those whom Allah blessed with children. If you are struggling with school/education and feel like you’re behind on your studies and are seeing many of your peers graduating “on time,”- know that it is okay to take your time. The circumstances in life that allowed them to finish “on time” are not your circumstances. Their circumstances are designed to teach them a lesson. Perhaps to be grateful and useful in whatever field they’ve achieved. Your circumstances are also teaching you many beautiful lessons: perhaps it is preparing you for something greater, therefore, Allah swt is teaching you a beautiful lesson about patience and its fruits.  The possibilities are endless, but we cannot solely focus on the negative perceptions we create for ourselves. Continue striving, continue struggling, continue begging and praying to Allah- perhaps that’s why Allah is testing you, to hear the beauty of your voice as it begs its Creator. 

عَنْ أبي هرَيرَةَ رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهُ أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللهِ صَلَّى الله عَلَيْهِ وَ سَلَّمَ قَالَ 

يَقُولُ اللهُ تَعَالَى : مَا لِعَبْدِي المُؤْمِنِ عِنْدِي جَزَاءٌ، إِذا قَبَضْتُ صَفِيَّهُ، مِنْ أَهلِ الدُّنْيَا، ثُمَّ احْتَسبَهُ، إِلَّا الجَنَّةَ
رواه البخاري

On the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him), who said that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:
Allah (mighty and sublime be He) says: My faithful servant’s reward from Me, if I have taken to Me his best friend from amongst the inhabitants of the world and he has then borne it patiently for My sake, shall be nothing less than Paradise. It was related by al-Bukhari.

The Star that Lit the Sky

I opened the door with the brightest smile a seven year old could muster. As my father approached the door to our home, I ran towards him and opened the door, and he patted my head gently. Proud of my achievements, I relayed to my father that I had made his bed. He laughed and smiled with a hearty laugh, and said, “you’re a smart girl.” Every time the adhan would go off, he’d go to the masjid to pray- a habit he never grew out of. He spent his life in dedication to his Lord, and he embedded the love of the deen in our hearts, of course with the help and permission of Allah. People speak of legends and heroes, but he was my legend and my heroe. He is my inspiration today, and will forever remain so. People speak of fallen stars, and extraordinary human beings. However, he was an ordinary human being, with exra-ordinary characteristics. I have never come across a man of his age who was as dedicated and as assured of Allah accepting his duas as my father was. Without exaggeration, he would stand in prayer most of the night, except for two or three hours. He would constantly make wudu, and pray two ra’kats no matter the time of day.He constantly made dua for the ummah at large, and for family members individually. He would name us one by one to assure himself that he had made du’a for us. He was a gem amidst the pebbles, but I failed to realize this till he had died because I was used to seeing my father indulge in ‘ibadah on a daily basis. My father had an addiction and his addiction was the Quran. He would read and read but never tire of it. He read the Quran day and night except for when he was napping between the asr and maghrib prayer and when eating meals. I asked him one day, “Dad, don’t you get bored of just sitting and reading all day?” and he responded beautifully with, “who can get bored when they’re reading the Quran?”- I could never fathom the strength he had in terms of worshipping Allah. He was physically ill, weak due to his illnesses and his age- a combination that can make anyone feel as if they shouldn’t get out of bed. But he was never weakened by such excuses. He would stand in prayer when he had the excuse to sit. It was a devastating blow and a painful thing to watch him lay in the hospital bed. His eyes would look towards my direction as if to say he was going – for good this time. It saddened me when his eyes looked at me that way. I kept wondering what thoughts were running through his head. I regretted all the moments that I had desired in my heart to say ‘I love you’ but hadn’t said so.. I regretted all the moments I may have been undutiful to him. I regretted the many missed opportunities that I could have seized but hadn’t seized. He raised us, travelled across cities and countries to ensure that we didn’t go by hungry for a day. The soles of his feet hardened, the edges of his feet rough- every mark a print of his journey for his children and wife. Without him, the lights in our home are dimmed but the love in our heart grows for him. At times it feels as though I am dreaming, but deep down I know all of it is real. Death is a reality we must face- it’s inevitable, and my father is indelible. HIs jokes and the way he laughed will be missed. His face that glowed like the moon will be missed. And we ask Allah to forgive him and grant him the highest ranks of paradise. Indeed he was the best father a girl could ever ask for. He was and will always be the shining star amidst the dark night sky, the gem amidst the pebbles, the pearl in the sea, the diamond beneath the ground, and best of all, the servant of Allah whom we hope Allah was pleased with and loved.

Allah yarxamhu (May Allah have mercy upon him).

note: he passed away in December of 2014

#Lift the Siege

We’ve all seen, or have yet to see the images bombarded on facebook, twitter, and other social media sites that show the gruesome and brutal photographs of innocent Palestinian civilians in pieces. I know that for many, it may feel like this is just a night mare and not reality, but we are wrong, so gravely wrong. What we are seeing is the reality of an entire population who was first denied their homes, and only allowed 10% of their land (Gaza strip and West Bank). Over the years, we have witnessed the brutal massacres of the Palestinian people (ethnic cleansing). For many years we have ignored the cries and pleas of children. We’ve watched so many children squirm in pain as white phosphorus landed on  their beautiful healthy skin. We’ve watched mothers and children being held at gun point by IDF soldiers. We’ve witnessed through the media and live reports of journalists who’ve gone their the gruesome reality of mothers giving birth to dead babies because they were denied entry into certain places. We’ve heard of the Rafah gates being closed in on Palestinians looking to cross the boarder to Egypt. Just recently we’ve witnessed the Al Badsh family massacred in large numbers. Eighteen of their family members were bombarded and left for dead, and that’s exactly what happened- they were killed- murdered. It was agonizing to see the photos of the remaining children of the Al Badsh family crying in agony, leaning against a car with their head up to the sky- with tears rolling down their cheeks. The pain of those children was so evident on their faces that reality could not be denied any more. The world is slowly waking up, and many demonstrations have taken place, but Palestinians cannot wait any longer. They are not given the time to wait. As their enemy brutally bombs them, and claims of giving them a warning by bombing them with smaller bombs, as their enemy allows them only three minutes to escape- and to escape what?- a missile that is designed to out run them, to hover over them and suck the life out of them, and end the life of a child enjoying himself at a beach as he kicks around a ball. This my friends is inhumane, it’s belligerence at its best. It’s murder at its highest stage. It’s intentional ethnic cleansing at such an astonishing level. It’s DISGUSTING, DISTURBING, AND INHUMANE. This issue deserves our attention. It is no longer a Palestinian/Israeli conflict as it is referred to. It is not a conflict at all, because in a conflict it means that both sides are fighting at equal level of power. This is MURDER- GENOCIDE. It is a movement meant to kill Palestinians. If we choose to ignore this reality then know that tomorrow it will be our turn, and humanity won’t side with us then when we are the ones being bombarded, murdered, and ethnically cleansed. Let’s be law abiding citizens and lift the siege from Palestine. Let’s lift the siege from Gaza. Let’s lift this state of misery from the shoulders of the innocent who are bombarded. Let’s stop giving excuses as to why Israel can continue doing what it’s doing. Obama was mistaken, and so are his colleagues. Israel does not have the right to defend itself- it’s the Palestinians who ought to be given the right to defend themselves because they are the ones being occupied, oppressed, bombarded left and right, and not being given a day to sit and relax because they constantly have to wonder when their house will be bombed. It’s people like Dr. Khamees- a paramedic who tries to save lives, only to find out they’re too late. What’s worse, that the family they were called to were his own. Let’s bring back humanity. Let’s lift this siege- TOGETHER

to help the hospitals there, donate to this campaign: http://www.justgiving.com/1pound4gaza

falasteenpalestine

Different Lenses

Life is not all roses, and diamonds. It comes with hardships. You will face both good days,and what many call, “bad days.” But I beg to differ. There is no “bad day.” It is our negative, paranoid minds that like to label a day full of struggles as “bad.” How about we look at life with different lenses. In a sense, when we insult days, and times, we are insulting the Creator. We can turn use the hardships in our lives to look at life in a positive manner. Few days ago, I had a conversation with a co-worker. He asked me, “how come you didn’t show up for work?”- and I responded, “I was sick.” He then went on to explain that I should say instead of sick, “I was not feeling well.” His argument was that since God is perfect, and since God doesn’t want harm for his “daughters” ( the co-worker and I do not share the same faith) – that it would be wrong to say that I was sick as opposed to I was unwell, because in my statement, “I was sick” he felt as though I was blaming God. I then said to him, “but being sick is not a bad thing. It’s actually a positive.” He was more than boggled by this statement, and was curious enough to ask what I meant. I said, “Well, in our faith, we try to look at things from a positive angle. My being sick wipes out my sins. Therefore, every time I feel pain,I am in a sense rewarded.” He was astonished by this, and thought about it for a while. He walked away reflecting upon it, and seeing a new perspective. The point of this anecdote is to have people think positively about all situations in life. Sometimes, we are so tired and in so much pain, that we just can’t be patient at all. However, we have to continuously remind ourselves that there are positive means in what we perceived to be negative. So next time you are going through a hardship, be sure to reflect and smile, because your illness/struggle/hardship does not go to waste. Don’t waste the opportunity by cursing the days and nights in your life, and by complaining about your hardships. Keep on smiling- it’s absolutely a sunnah! =)

 

world hijab day!

Asalamu alaikum, a HUGE event is on its way in shaa Allah (God Wiling) and guess what it is? yep! you got it! World Hijab Day!! Now what in jannah is world hijab day? World Hijab Day is an event started by sister Nazma Khan to raise awareness and understanding among our ever growing communities. This is a day in which Muslims and Non Muslims alike, hijabis and non-hijabis alike are asked to observe the hijab for that day to get an insight into what it’s like to be wearing a hijab in a world that is growing each day. There have been many sentiments towards Muslims in the past decade, much more so than before. Many sisters are getting labeled, and both our Muslim brothers and sisters are being looked at with a suspicious eye. Why? simple- because people don’t understand why as Muslims we choose to do this. I being a sister who observes the hijab very well know what those sentiments are like. I have been asked (and not so kindly) many questions regarding the hijab, or more so why I wear it. I have been asked some of the following things out of ignorance, out of hate in some cases, and out of misunderstanding in others. Here are some of the questions: “Are you bald? is that why you wear this thing?” “did you get forced to wear this?” “do you take a bath/shower with that?” and comments like, “I smell something un-American” “go back to your country” “If I was the government I would put you all on an island and blow you up!” and soooo many others, but I think you get the point. I have brushed aside those comments and questions because I understand that most of those people who had said that to me were miss-educated at home and instilled with hate for “my kind.” Nonetheless we all now have one of the greatest opportunities to educate ourselves, to gain a bit of guidance and direction of what hijab is all about it. With that, I hope you enjoy world hijab day and I definitely hope that you will join and spread the word. FEBRUARY 1ST 2014- World Hijab Day, here we come!! 

ImageQuran, surah 33:59

 

The Weakest of Homes (Domestic Violence)

Asalamu alaikum. As muslims we should honor the sunnah of the Prophet salallahu alayhi wasalam, therefore brothers protect your sisters/wives. Don’t abuse them, don’t be violent with them. Be KIND to them. And wives be kind to your husbands. you are both garments for each other. Don’t tear down your garments.