The preparation for submission

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“One last bug and you’re almost done, keep pushing.” .. that’s what I was whispering to myself minutes before the time for salat-ul-jumah. I wanted to be there not even a second before the khutbah was scheduled. Anyways, I found a spot in the fourth row right behind the section dedicated for the elderly with chairs prearranged for their convenience.

La Tahzin, or don’t be sad, was the subject of the khutbah today .. but I wasn’t upset about anything, so the khateeb failed to grab my absolute attention, unfortunate was me. While scratching the carpet, I kept on wondering if the uncle sitting on the chair right in front of me really needs a chair.. he seemed all fit, the morning-jog type, no kidding!

So, moments after passing my judgement on him, I pushed in another victim in my stack of potential judge-able culprits. Surprisingly this time, right next to the healthy uncle is this white american “dude”! The most distinguishing feature about him – the sparkling earring. He was calm, and patiently listening to the khateeb. His body language was a true depiction of his infallible respect for everyone of us around him. I wasn’t the first to notice him.. uncles felt no fear to make an eye to eye contact, an expression of curious awe.

So anyways, “Smile is a Sadaqa”.. brought me back to attend to what was more important.

But honestly, nothing I mentioned by far is relevant to what encouraged me to share this experience. This brother (inshallah, soon-to-be Muslim if not one) did something really amazing that humbled me and triggered another serious iteration of introspection. We noticed that he didn’t stand up to pray with us, but I could see that he knew this upcoming activity to be a very sacred thingy. In fact, what he did while we were praying was even more inspirational and beautiful. He bowed his head to a max of 30 degrees when we went down for sujoods and rukooh, and he repeated it!

It was truly amazing to witness someone just beginning the preparation for submission to Allah, the Exalted. This person despite all the fitnah around him in a society where he probably grew up, decided to submit himself. This soul was ready for the eternal submission. It takes enough courage, and a lot of us born-muslims don’t realize it. And subhanallah, that’s when it hit me that I never had one such day. I never decided to submit, I was born in submission. Islam is one of the few things I took for granted.

There is no lesson to be extracted out of this post, enough of that. But I’ll post a warning here. In any of the non-muslim countries, we’ve an opportunity to give dawah. The way we walk, dress, talk, and behave is the least we can do. Don’t underestimate it and don’t assume that it’s optional – hence, a warning, wallahu’alam.

The Prophet Muhammad صلّى الله عليه و سلّم said, “How can I relax when the bearer of the Soor (horn/trumpet) has put the Soor to his lips and tilted his forehead, listening and waiting for the command to blow it?” The Muslims asked, “O Messenger of Allah! What should we say?” He (saws) said, “Say Allah is Sufficient for us and He is the best Disposer of affairs, we put our trust in Allah, our Lord.” – [Al-Tirmidhi]

The Prophet Muhammad صلّى الله عليه و سلّم said: “A servant of God will remain standing on the Day of Judgment until he is questioned about his (time on earth) and how he used it; about his knowledge and how he utilized it; about his wealth and from where he acquired it and in what (activities) he spent it; and about his body and how he used it.” – [Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 148]

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Don’t miss this opportunity ..

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For more pictures:

Today, there might not be anything on the face of earth that could bring us more closer to Allah Subhanahu wa-ta’ala than to give out charity and Zakat to these people in need. If there’s an extra penny that you have, which you were about to spend to improve your lifestyle in one way or the other, think again. They are suffering out there and we must not let go this opportunity that’s come in the most blessed month of the year. For this duniya, this disaster might be the toughest test for these people, but for what we’ll be questioned about in akhirah, this is by all means the biggest test for all of us who can afford to contribute in any possible way.

May Allah Azzawajal have mercy on all of these flood victims and their families, ameen.

Somewhere up there ..

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Abu Hurayrah reported that the Prophet (Peace & Blessings of Allaah be upon Him) was speaking about the people of Paradise one day when a Bedouin was present. He described how a man of the people of Paradise will ask his Lord’s permission to grow some plants. (In Arabic, the past tense is used here to show that this will undoubtedly happen). Allaah will ask him, “Do you not already have all that you want?” He will say, “Yes, but I like to grow things.” So he will go and plant his seeds, and within the blinking of an eye they will grow, ripen, be harvested and piled up like mountains. Allaah will say, “Here you are, O son of Adam, nothing makes you satisfied!” The Bedouin said, “O Messenger of Allaah, you will find that he is either from Quraysh or the Ansaar, for they are the ones who like to grow things; we don’t like to grow anything!” The Prophet (Peace & Blessings of Allaah be upon Him) smiled broadly.
[Reported by al-Bukhaari, 6965]

Every once in a while, my imagination takes me somewhere up there where I catch glimpses of people enjoying certain charms known to this world as extraordinary. I don’t know many of them but what I know is that whatsoever they are enjoying is exactly what they left behind in this world because of the contamination that came along with it.

Somewhere up there, I see a brother who’s almost always chilling around with the Prophet Muhammad PBUH. I learned that he’s not one of His PBUH companions or the successors. Then, it doesn’t take long for me to recall that this brother was always the odd one out where ever I saw him. He was the strangest and to some, scariest person to roam around with. He used to ‘annoy’ us to pray on time, stay away from movies, turn the music off, and grow our beards the way the Prophet Muhammad PBUH had it. We were really fed up with his redundant alhamdolillahs and subhanallahs every now and then. His humbleness and apparent piety was really frustrating. We never saw him angry, impatient, or complaining about circumstances. We were jealous and annoyed … He was living the best moments of his life.

Somewhere up there, I see a brother surfing the blue waves of a beautiful sea that he owns while riding the most stylish Jetski, which is out of this world. Within moments a flashback roughly reminds me of the incident where the very same brother denied accompanying his friends to a beach party on a summer weekend, embarrassingly mentioning that “it’s too much” .. they ridiculed him for his lack of courage and for messing up the whole plan for his stupid ideas. But right now, I can’t stop looking at this beautiful sight; he just wouldn’t get tired surfing it.

Somewhere up there, once, I saw a few brothers cruising in some sort of vehicles. Those weren’t the cars we drive here but a lot faster than the fastest super cars I know of. They were competing in all sorts of competitions from sprints to drag races. Noticing them for a while, I realized that only a few of them were good at it, but they were all happy and content, they were loving it. One of them was a rich brother that I knew of. He was very rich but he chose to live a simple life.. we used to think that he’s a stingy person, and he’s just hoarding money. Just after he died we were shocked to know that he was not saving his money for the duniya, he was donating all of it for his akhirah. Next to him, was another brother who was almost always found around mosques and religious gatherings. He belonged to a lower middle class family, but he loved cars. He was pious, God-fearing, humble, and patient – but he just loved cars! Up there, they were enjoying together in the rides they never dreamed of.. they were happy, unlike anything!

But then I come back. I come back to find myself sitting on a couch with a bunch of worries. I find myself in midst of a chaos where every decision has the potential to lead me away from the straight path. And so we all have to come back. We all have to come back in this world which is worth nothing compared to what’s up there.

This temptation that leads us to struggle in certain matters of our lives is derived from our innate desire to achieve perfection. Unfortunately, it is not possible. It was never meant to be possible. But up there, you can let your desires drive your future. The future that has no boundaries :>

So, somewhere up there, I want to see myself enjoying everything that I must keep myself away from in this world. I want to see myself with my people. By Allah, I believe that many of us are very close to change this beautiful imagination into reality. A little more perseverance and patience, and Inshallah by means of Allah swt’s mercy, we are all set for the never ending, and uncontaminated pleasures of Jannah ..

It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said (that Allaah said): ‘I have prepared for My righteous slaves that which no eye has seen, no ear has heard, and it has never entered the mind of man.’ Recite if you wish: “No person knows what is kept hidden for them of joy as a reward for what they used to do” [al-Sajdah 32:17]
[al-Bukhaari, 3244; Muslim 2824]

It was never between you and them ..

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“People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered; Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives; Be kind anyway. If you are successful you will win some false friends and true enemies; Succeed anyway. If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you; Be honest and frank anyway. What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight; Build anyway. If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous; Be happy anyway. The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow; Do good anyway. Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough; Give the world the best you’ve got anyway You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and Allah Azzwajjal; It was never between you and them anyway.”

Islam and Ego by Nouman Ali Khan

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There is nothing that I can add to it, it’s a complete message, subhanallah. It’s a strong message, or let’s say a warning for us all. There is no way that you finish listening to it and you feel that he’s not talking about you.. it’s ABOUT ALL OF US.

“And turn not your face away from men with pride, nor walk in insolence through the earth. Verily, Allaah likes not any arrogant boaster. And be moderate (or show no insolence) in your walking, and lower your voice. Verily, the harshest of all voices is the braying of the asses” [Quran – Surah Luqmaan 31:18-19]

It was narrated from ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Mas’ood that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “No one who has an atom’s-weight of arrogance in his heart will enter Paradise.” A man said, “O Messenger of Allaah, what if a man likes his clothes and his shoes to look good?” He said, “Allaah is Beautiful and loves beauty. Arrogance means rejecting the truth and looking down on people.” [Muslim, 91]

It was narrated from ‘Amr ibn Shu’ayb via his father and grandfather that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “On the Day of Resurrection, the arrogant will be gathered like ants in the form of men. Humiliation will overwhelm them from all sides. They will be driven to a prison in Hell called Bawlas, with the hottest fire rising over them, and they will be given to drink of the juice of the inhabitants of Hell, which is teenat al-khabaal.” [Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 2492; classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi, 2025]

I ask Allah SWT to humble us, and remove from us each and every bit of ego-centric motives and accompanying actions and appearances, ameen.

‘ummati, ummati’

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On the Day of Judgement, when all will cry ‘nafsi, nafsi’ (‘myself, myself’), only Muhammad al-Mustafa (saw) will say ‘ummati, ummati’ (‘my people, my people’)

On the authority of Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) from the Prophet (PBUH), who said:

The believers will gather together on the Day of Resurrection and will say: Should we not ask [someone] to intercede for us with our Lord? So they will come to Adam and will say: You are the Father of mankind; Allah created you with His hand He made His angels bow down to you and He taught you the names of everything, so intercede for us with you Lord so that He may give us relief form this place where we are. And he will say: I am not in a position [to do that] – and he will mention his wrongdoing and will feel ashamed and will say: Go to Noah, for he is the first messenger that Allah sent to the inhabitants of the earth. So they will come to him and he will say: I am not in a position [to do that] – and he will mention his having requested something of his Lord about which he had no [proper] knowledge (Quran Chapter 11 Verses 45-46), and he will feel ashamed and will say: Go to the Friend of the Merciful (Abraham). So they will come to him and he will say: I am not in a position [to do that]. Go to Moses, a servant to whom Allah talked and to whom He gave the Torah. So they will come to him and he will say: I am not in a position [to do that] – and he will mention the talking of a life other that for a life (Quran Chapter 28 Verses 15-16), and he will fell ashamed in the sight of his Lord and will say: Go to Jesus, Allah’s servant and messenger, Allah’s word and spirit. So they will come to him and he will say: I am not in a position [to do that]. Go to Muhammad (may the blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), a servant to whom Allah has forgiven all his wrongdoing, past and future. So they will come to me and I shall set forth to ask permission to come to my Lord, and permission will be given, and when I shall see my Lord I shall prostrate myself. He will leave me thus for such time as it pleases Him, and then it will be said [to me]: Raise your head. Ask and it will be granted. Speak and it will be heard. Intercede and your intercession will be accepted. So I shall raise my head and praise Him with a form of praise that He will teach me. Then I shall intercede and HE will set me a limit [as to the number of people], so I shall admit them into Paradise. Then I shall return to Him, and when I shall see my Lord [I shall bow down] as before. Then I shall intercede and He will set me a limit [as to the number of people]. So I shall admit them into Paradise. Then I shall return for a third time, then a fourth, and I shall say: There remains in Hell-fire only those whom the Quran has confined and who must be there for eternity. There shall come out of Hell-fire he who has said: There is no god but Allah and who has in his heart goodness weighing a barley-corn; then there shall come out of Hell-fire he who has said: There is no god but Allah and who has in his heart goodness weighing a grain of wheat; then there shall come out of Hell-fire he who has said: There is no god but Allah and who has in his heart goodness weighing an atom.

It was related by al-Bukhari (also by Muslim, at-Tirmidhi, and Ibn Majah).

About Mother

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I’ve no idea about the source of the following passage. It doesn’t apply to me or many of us directly, but alhamdolillah, the message is clear, strong and almost universal .. no tears please :>

Here it goes ..

After 21 years of marriage, my wife wanted me to take another woman out to dinner and a movie. She said, ‘I love you, but I know this other woman loves you and would Love to spend some time with you.’ The other woman that my wife wanted me to visit was my Mother, who has been a widow for 19 years, but the demands of my work and my three children had made it possible to visit her only occasionally.

That night I called to invite her to go out for dinner and a movie. ‘What’s wrong, are you well,’ she asked? My mother is the type of woman who suspects that a late night call or a surprise invitation is a sign of bad news. ‘I thought that it would be pleasant to spend some time with you,’ I responded ‘just the two of us.’ She thought about it for a moment, and then said, ‘I would like that very much.’

That Friday after work, as I drove over to pick her up I was a bit nervous. When I arrived at her house, I noticed that she, too, seemed to be nervous about our date. She waited in the door with her coat on. She had curled her hair and was wearing the dress that she had worn to celebrate her last wedding anniversary. She smiled from a face that was as radiant as an angel’s. ‘I told my friends that I was going to go out with my son, and they were impressed,’ she said, as she got into the car. ‘They can’t wait to hear about our meeting.’

We went to a restaurant that, although not elegant, was very nice and cozy. My mother took my arm as if she were the First Lady. After we sat down, I had to read the menu. Her eyes could only read large print. Half-way through the entrees, I lifted my eyes and saw Mother sitting there staring at me. A nostalgic smile was on her lips.

‘It was I who used to have to read the menu when you were small,’ she said. ‘Then it’s time that you relax and let me return the favor,’ I responded. During the dinner, we had an agreeable conversation nothing extraordinary but catching up on recent events of each others life. We talked so much that we missed the movie. As we arrived at her house later, she said, ‘I’ll go out with you again, but only if you let me invite you.’ I agreed.

‘How was your dinner date?’ asked my wife when I got home. ‘Very nice, much more so than I could have imagined,’ I answered.

A few days later, my mother died of a massive heart attack. It happened so suddenly that I didn’t have a chance to do anything for her. Sometime later, I received an envelope with a copy of a restaurant receipt from the same place Mother and I had dined. An attached note said: ‘I paid this bill in advance. I wasn’t sure that I could be there; but, nevertheless, I paid for two plates – one for you and the other for your wife. You will never know what that night meant for me. I love you, son’.

At that moment, I understood the importance of saying in time: ‘I love you’ and to give our loved ones the time that they deserve. Nothing in life is more important than your family. Give them the time they deserve, because these things cannot be put off till some ‘other’ time.

Somebody said it takes about six weeks to get back to normal after you’ve had a baby … somebody doesn’t know that once you’re a mother, ‘normal’ is history.

Somebody said you can’t love the second child as much as you love the first … somebody doesn’t have two or more children.

Somebody said the hardest part of being a mother is labor and delivery … somebody never watched her ‘baby’ get on the bus for the first day of kindergarten … or on a plane headed for military ‘boot camp.’

Somebody said a Mother can stop worrying after her child gets married … somebody doesn’t know that marriage adds a new son or daughter-in-law to a mother’s heartstrings.

Somebody said a mother’s job is done when her last child leaves home … somebody never had grandchildren.

Somebody said your mother knows you love her, so you don’t need to tell her … somebody isn’t a mother.

That’s it.. may Allah swt be with our mothers and families wherever they are in all ups and downs of their lives.

“Thy Lord hath decreed that ye worship none but Him, and that ye be kind to parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in thy life, say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honor. And out of kindness, lower to them the wing of humility, and say: ‘My Lord! bestow on them Thy Mercy even as they cherished me in childhood'” [Quran 17:23-24]

The Prophet Muhammad said, may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him: “Your Heaven lies under the feet of your mother” [Ahmad, Nasai]

A man came to the Prophet and said, “O Messenger of God! Who among the people is the most worthy of my good companionship?” The Prophet said: “Your mother.” The man said, “Then who?” The Prophet said: “Then your mother.” The man further asked, “Then who?” The Prophet said: “Then your mother.” The man asked again, “Then who?” The Prophet said: “Then your father.” [Bukhari, Muslim]

Abu Usaid Saidi said: We were once sitting with Rasulullah SAW when a man from the tribe of Salmah came and said to him: “O Messenger of Allah! do my parents have rights over me even after they have died?” And Rasulullah SAW said: “Yes. You must pray to Allah to bless them with His Forgiveness and Mercy, fulfill the promises they made to anyone, and respect their relations and their friends” [Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah]

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