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Archive for the ‘Muslim Character’ Category

It’s incredibly unfortunate that we as Muslims have become so judgmental of our brothers and sisters, when this trait is the complete opposite of what fits the true Islamic personality.

We’ll judge those who don’t dress ‘as modestly as us’. Sisters wearing hijab will shoot disapproving stares at sisters not wearing hijab as they enter the prayer room. We’ll look down on those who have headphones on all day, muttering ‘Istaghfurallah’ under our breaths.

These people are lost causes, they’ll never be guided. They won’t accept the deen like we have, because we’re so righteous? Because we guided ourselves, we brought ourselves to the deen? No! Let’s stop thinking we are better than others. We were given a gift from Allah, He gave us an opportunity to get closer to Him, and allowed us to take it.

We only see what is on the outside, people’s appearance. Therefore our negative opinions of others are baseless assumptions. And often these assumptions and suspicions lead to backbiting, that is, speaking ill of another person behind his or her back. And I already posted an article about gossiping last month. But backbiting can also be in the unspoken form, by just having these ill opinions of others.

But Allah (swt) can see what is on the outside and inside, the apparent and the hidden. Only He knows their sincerity and what is in their hearts. It could be that Allah wants to veil their goodness from others. These ‘non-hijabi’ sisters may be more sincere than all of us put together, and hold higher ranks in Allah’s eyes.  Brothers with headphones on may be listening to Quran all day for all we know. And even if they are not, this does not mean that they won’t be guided or that they are so ‘far from Allah (swt)’. Our stares and attitudes towards them will only drive them out of the prayer rooms and Masjids or worse still, drive them away from the deen.

Instead of judging others, why don’t we try to help each other. And I don’t mean by using harsh words and calling people haram! I mean, if we think someone can improve in one way or another, we can tell them gently without being condescending, show them that we care for our brothers and sisters in Islam. We can tell them we’re also trying to improve in that aspect so they don’t feel they’re being judged and it’ll show that we’re all in a path towards Allah together, and we should help each other to do so. Our Ummah should be one strong bond; holding us together, not weak; turning us against each other.

Before we start to judge anyone, whether they are Muslim or not, we should look at ourselves first. I’m sure we can all find plenty of things we need to work on in our hearts, minds and deen, starting with this tendency to judge others.

The meat of the matter is, we are all waiting for that one Judgement Day, where every one of us will be judged. But we will be judged by our Creator, at the end of Dunya. So we have no right to judge people before they have  even left this life. Let’s  leave judgement only to Allah (swt).

May Allah forgive us for any judgments we have made on others and help us to purify our hearts and minds.

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Nowadays, it is very common to hear phrases such as ‘Omg, you will not believe this…’, ‘Guess what just happened..’ Usually the continuation of sentences like these is not very pleasant, but rather it’s gossip.

We hear it on a day to day basis, at school, universities and in the workplace. It happens all the time as though it is no longer taboo to talk about others in their absence. Sadly, it’s so regular that it is difficult to refrain from joining in, or even just to avoid listening to it.

As Muslims, striving to better ourselves and avoid ill behaviour, we need to recognize the gravity of such conversations, and find ways to steer clear of them. 

The Prophet Muhammad (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) said:

“The majority of man’s sins emanate from his tongue” – (Tabarani)

 Even if we have avoided major sins such as lying, mistreating our parents and so on, we may have accumulated mountains of sins, just because of what we say. Gossiping is one way of misusing our tongues, and there are others – for example judging others and expressing it, but that’s another story for another time.

Allah (swt) has also cautioned us in the Qur’an:

“O you who believe! Avoid much suspicion, indeed some suspicions are sins. And spy not, neither backbite one another. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? You would hate it (so hate backbiting). And fear God. Verily, God is the one who accepts repentance, Most Merciful.” (49:12)

It’s believed by many scholars that just listening to gossip/backbiting is equally as bad as joining in, because it is as though we are approving it. Listening to people talk about others will taint our opinions of them, even when we make a conscious effort not to be affected by the negative attitudes we hear. 

Also, if these people are gossiping about others, who’s to say that they don’t gossip about you when you aren’t around? We certainly wouldn’t like it if we knew we were being talked about in that manner.

Now that we’ve understood the dangers of gossiping, that it may prevent us from entering Jannah and that Islam teaches us to have good character in all our affairs, how do we go about avoiding it?

There are a few ways and it all depends on your own personal preference and character –

1)   Stop the gossip

As we know from another hadith by our beloved Muhammad (saw) –

“Whoever of you sees an evil action, let him change it with his hand, and if he is not able to do so, then with his tongue, and if he is not able to do so, then with his heart – and that is the weakest of faith.” (Muslim)

So, when we hear someone gossiping, we should try to stop it. We can teach and help others to refrain from such activities and remind them that it isn’t right. You will find that many Muslims and non-Muslims are very receptive and also agree that it’s improper and offensive and will stop. Not only have you now gained ajir for not committing a sin, but you’ve also gained reward for helping others to avoid it too.

Also, being a good example in front of non-Muslims gives them a better opinion about the character of a Muslim. At the end of the day, we are walking representations of Islam and we should always aim to portray the teachings of the beautiful religion through our everyday actions and decisions. In fact, in doing this, you are carrying out your duty in regards to dawah. Your continuous grasp on morals and strong principles may affect someone to accept Islam. And what a reward that would be!

Of course, remember that when telling others to refrain from gossiping, it should be done so with the utmost manners (otherwise it defeats the whole point of having good character!).

2)    Change the subject

Find a topic that would interest your colleagues/classmates, or something of higher importance that would easily guide them away from the initial gossip.

3)    Leave the conversation/busy yourself

It is understandable that sometimes it is difficult to stop gossipy conversations in certain settings. The hadith says the one who cannot stop an evil action by hand or tongue is the weakest of faith; but it’s not to say that you aren’t a good Muslim.

Everybody is different in the way that they behave and undoubtedly in their personalities too. Some situations, as in the workplace for example, it becomes very awkward to start preaching good manners to your supervisors and managers, and you may not feel it is appropriate in your particular position.

In circumstances like these, you could leave the conversation by walking away or by getting on with work to show that you are not a part of the discussion, and you might notice that they are then no longer involving you. Some may view this as secluding oneself, or being antisocial, but it is far better to pass up on ill-intentioned talk that will affect our hearts than to join in. Also, you are not cutting ties or avoiding them as individuals but rather just the particular conversations.

With time, they may come to realise you are never a part of their gossiping sessions and will automatically not involve you. Again, this will give them respect for you and if they see that all the Muslims they encounter are the same with regards to this, they will associate good character with our beautiful and perfect religion.

For any of you reading this feeling a bit uneasy because you would like to avoid these situations but feel it is very difficult, just remember that Rasul Allah (saw) said:

“The reward is according to your expenses or the hardship (which you will undergo performing it)” – (Bukhari)

Of course in Islam, we shouldn’t make things difficult for ourselves but we should remember that we will be rewarded according to our struggles. So InshAllah we can follow the way of the Prophet (saw) and put our trust in Allah when we find ourselves in difficult positions like these.

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We have phones so we can contact our family and friends from wherever we are. But when we’re gone, the phones are of no use to us. We can’t call anyone from the grave. 

We have cars to get us from A to B. But when we’re gone, the cars are of no use to us. We can’t drive those cars to bring us back. 

Good deeds (and the ajir/reward from them) are the only things we need in this life, and can also take with us when we’re gone. 

“Whatever is with you, will be exhausted, and whatever is with Allah (of good deeds) will remain.” – (Quran 16:96)

We may want and need these things in this Dunya, but we also need ajir and thawab to help us in our journey to Allah (swt), to gain the Akhira, to enter Jannah. 

So why not try and find ways to get ajir even after you’ve left the Dunya. As Rasul Allah (salAllahu alaihi wa sallam) says:

“When a man dies, his good deeds come to an end except three: ongoing charity, beneficial knowledge and righteous offspring who will pray for him.” (Sahih Muslim)

Here are 7 examples of such deeds:

  1. Give a copy of the Quran to someone. Each time one reads from it, you gain
  2. Donate a wheelchair to a hospital. Each time a sick person uses it, you gain
  3. Participate in welfare projects, eg, building a Masjid, hospital, school, a homeless shelter
  4. Place a water cooler in a public place
  5. Plant a tree, you gain whenever a person or animal sits in its shade or eats from it
  6. Pass on your knowledge to others who will benefit and also pass it on to generations
  7. Raise your children with high Islamic values so that InshAllah they will be righteous and do the same, and pray for you

And a bonus 8th deed is to share this message with everyone you know. Even if one person applies any of the above, you will gain InshAllah.

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Sometimes when we embark upon a new journey or aim for particular goals, whether they are in our personal lives, our careers or studies, we may find ourselves not doing very well, or even failing. We spend so much time and effort working towards our goals, but in the end, it feels like a slap around the face. It’s most disheartening when we’ve tried over and over, but still it seems we’re not getting anywhere. We feel like our efforts for weeks, months and years went out the window in an instant as if they were worth nothing. 

I wanted to take my time to remind you and myself that our efforts never go to waste. Whenever we feel this way, we should remember Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala’s words – 

“Indeed, this is for you a reward, and your effort has been appreciated” – Quran 76:22

Alhamdulilah, our efforts are recognized and are appreciated, and we still get a reward whether or not we succeed. As long as we are sincere about our actions, and we are ultimately doing it all for His sake, we will get rewarded for every step of the way, big or small, even if we fail. Even when we only intend to do good, but cannot do it, we are being rewarded. This is the level of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala’s appreciation. SubhanAllah! So when this is the case, then He is without doubt rewarding us for all our efforts and struggles too.

Our negative emotions and our feeling to give up come from the infamous Shaytaan. “You won’t succeed in your job, just forget it”, “You can’t make amends with your mother, so give up”,  “Did you really think you as one individual could help the unfortunate, it’s pointless”  Yup, you guessed it, that’s all him! Shaytaan tries to deceive us by telling us to give up and to doubt and question ourselves, our abilities and make us forget the benefits of our actions and our efforts. Allah rewards us further when we ignore Shaytaan and try again, because we are placing stronger trust in Allah to help us through it, even when we know it is difficult for us. 


But of course, Allah (swt) also knows it is difficult for us. But we should keep trying, and Allah will not forget our efforts. Of course, sometimes we should think about whether it is our tactics that need amending. For example, if we study hard time and time again but still fail the exam, although we should keep trying, it may be that we must change how we study (so that it is more effective) and then try again. Allah knows our struggle and pain and we will be compensated for it in whichever way Allah sees fit.

If you don’t see the outcomes you hoped for in this life, then maybe Allah (swt) will reward you with something far better in the next. Keep your hope in Allah strong InshAllah.

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A young man, a student in one of the universities, was one day taking a walk with his Professor. The professor was commonly called the ‘student’s friend’, from his kindness to those who waited on his instructions.

As they went along, they saw lying in the path a pair of old shoes. They belonged to a poor man who was employed in a field close by, and who had nearly finished his day’s work. 

The student turned to the professor, saying: “Lets play a trick on this man.” “We will hide his shoes and hide behind those bushes there and see what he does when he cannot find them.” 

“My young friend,” answered the professor, “we should never amuse ourselves at the expense of the poor. But you are rich, and may give yourself a much greater pleasure by means of this poor man. Put a coin in each shoe, and then we will hide ourselves and watch how this affects him.”

The student did so & they both hid nearby. The poor man soon finished work & came out of the field to where he had left his coat & shoes.

While putting on his coat he slipped his foot into one of his shoes, but feeling something hard, he stooped down to feel what it was, and found the coin. Astonished and full of wonder he gazed upon the coin, turned it around, and looked at it again and again.

He then looked around him on all sides, but no person was to be seen. He now put the money into his pocket, and proceeded to put on the other shoe; but his surprise was doubled on finding the other coin.

 His feelings overcame him; he fell upon his knees, looked up to the heavens and uttered aloud a fervent thanksgiving in which he spoke of his wife who was sick and helpless, and his children without bread, whom this timely bounty, from some unknown hand,would save from perishing. 

The student stood there deeply affected, and his eyes filled with tears. “Now,” said the professor, are you not much better pleased than if you had played your intended trick?”

The youth replied, “You have taught me a lesson which I will never forget. I feel now the truth of these words, which I never understood before: “It’s more blessed to give than to receive.”

Abdullah bin Abbas (RA) reported that the Prophet (SAW) said that encouraging good, prohibiting evil, lifting the burden of the weak person and removing an offensive thing from a path are all acceptable prayers to Allah. [ibn Majah]

Source: islamicthinking.info

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What is putting trust (tawakkul) in Allah?

It is when we completely rely on Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) in all our matters, whether it is big or small. It is an important part of our faith as Muslims, and it’s also one of the most amazing feelings, as there is so much comfort in it.

When life gets a bit too overwhelming, we try our best, but we can leave the rest to Allah because we know we have done what we can, and that Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) will take care of the rest and whatever He wills will be.

If Allah helps you, none can overcome you: If He forsakes you, who is there, after that, that can help you? In Allah, then let believers put their trust. (Quran 3:160)

When we put our trust in Allah (subhana wa ta’ala), we can most certainly feel that He responds to this tawakkul. Maybe you’ve felt it before? If you have ever been through a difficult time in your life and you decided to leave it Allah and you knew you can rely on Him to get you through it, you may have found that not only did you get through it but Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) provided you with a better solution to your problem, or made it easier for you to deal with than you had originally thought possible.

Whoever puts his trust in Allah, He will be enough for him, Allah always achieves His aim (Quran 65:2,3)

Along with this trust, is the knowledge that Allah (subahana wa ta’ala) will never impose on us more than we can handle.

Allah does not burden anyone, except with something within its capacity; beneficial for it is the virtue it earned, and harmful for it is the evil it earned (Quran 2:286)

We should remember that when misfortune comes our way, it may be because of our own shortcomings, because Allah (subhana wa ta’ala ) does not wrong us even in the slightest. The difficulty or misfortune is from His Mercy as He wishes to purify us of some of our sins, so we should be thankful, rather than distressed. And even in this difficulty, if we put our trust in Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) He will help us through it.

This way, we become strong and able to deal with obstacles and difficulties that come our way because we know we have Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) to turn to, and this is what keeps our heart at ease subhanAllah wal-hamdulilah!

Let’s remember to say ‘Tawakeltu 3alAllah’ (I put my trust in Allah) InshAllah with all our matters and concerns, whatever the size and keep our hearts and minds at peace.

If you have felt Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) respond to your Tawakkul in some way then please share your story with us in the comments below, or on our Facebook or Twitter!

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Have you ever asked yourself – Who am I? Why am I here? What should I be doing? What is the point of life? 

I think everyone has had a time in their life when they’ve pondered about the purpose of life and what we’re all meant to be doing here. Unfortunately, some people start to get all sorts of different ideas. Some think life is all about getting rich, and ‘living the life’ as they put it. Well, then if that’s the case why aren’t all rich people happy? If that was the aim in life for all of mankind, then why don’t the people that reach it feel complete? And even if some do, what happens next? What becomes the purpose of life once you’re wealthy? And a more important question is – what’s the real point of being rich when you’re only going to leave this world at some point and leave all your wealth behind anyway?

There are probably hundreds of different theories of what people think the purpose of this life is. And sadly, millions of people live with no purpose at all, existing, rather than living.

Like Oscar Wilde once said ‘ To live is the rarest thing in the world, most people exist, that is all.’ 

But Alhamdulilah as Muslims, we know that we’re on this Earth as a test. We are in full submission to Allah (swt) and we try our best to follow the instructions we’ve been so blessed to be given in the Quran and the Sunnah. This way, we can live happy and purposeful lives. And when it is our time to go, we leave everything we have behind but take our deeds with us, which will InshAllah lead us to Jannah, completing our purpose here.

The point I’d like to make here is that it is important to regularly reflect on our purpose in this life and to keep it in check.

We live a fast-paced and busy life, with work, studies, family, and friends, not to mention the media blasting in our faces everywhere we look, telling us how to look and dress, what we should want and buy, distracting our minds constantly. It seems impossible to just stop everything for a minute and think.

We need to remember that this life is temporary; we’re only here for a short while so we shouldn’t get caught up in it, causing us to forget the whole point of it. As an example, the majority of people find university to be a few years of fun. You meet a bunch of new people, possibly your life-long friends, you join societies, sports teams, and you experience things you may not have the chance to later. It’s a blast!

But you also know that you’re only there for say ~ 3 years and the whole point of being there is to get your degree, so you make sure you study despite of all the distractions, activities and fun and you get the grades that you aimed for and you graduate. You acknowledged what you were at university for and you accomplished it.

Life is exactly the same thing. We’re here for a short time, an average of 70 years (although we have no idea when we will go, could be sooner, could be later) and then it’s bye-bye Earth, see ya never. We have families and other social relationships that we must keep; we build careers so we can earn money to put food on the table, we get married so we can share our life with someone. We have so many things that we have to do here, but we mustn’t lose sight of the fact that this is all for the Akhira.

 We have to make sure we are still working to gain Allah’s pleasure and aim to enter Jannah in the Afterlife InshAllah. And the beauty of Islam is that we can be pleasing Allah (swt) in everything we do, and in every aspect, making it the beautiful and complete religion that it is. In addition, when we life our life with purpose, we feel happy and at the end of the day, that’s what we all want in life isn’t it – to find happiness.

All we have to do is ensure that we have the intention of pleasing Allah (swt) in everything we do and that we are doing it for His sake and this is what I hope this whole site is all about. Making sure we’re on the right track with the right intentions and seeking Allah’s pleasure in all aspects of our life InshAllah.

Let’s pass the test of life and graduate together InshAllah.

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