I appreciate your offer but ..

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.. but I am a muslim, Alhamdolillah. Few things before I start:

“And no moving (living) creature is there on earth but its provision is due from Allaah” [Hood 11:6]

“Allaah will destroy Riba” [al-Baqarah 2:276]

“but do not help one another in sin and transgression” [al-Maa’idah 5:2]

Allah Almighty says, “If a person is forced by necessity without willful disobedience or transgressing due limits, thy Lord is oft-forgiving, most merciful.” [Al-An`am: 145]

It took me 4-5 months of job search and interviewing to find a Software Engineering job that suited my extremely fine grained criteria:

  1. I don’t want to relocate,
  2. I don’t deserve a below market-standard salary,
  3. The company must sponsor my *h1 visa*,
  4. The work must be exciting and learning-oriented,
  5. The company can hire non-citizens,
  6. It should be easier for me to practice my religion,
  7. The company should allow me to survive without shaking any female hands,
  8. &  again, I don’t want to relocate!

In today’s economic crisis, none that I know who is looking for a job has any criteria – people JUST need jobs! So perhaps, this was a perfect time for Allah SWT to test me – and it happened.. I got my first job offer after clearing 3 interviews & guess what, the job suited almost perfectly against my criteria.

But, there was something missing in my list –

  • The company must primarily depend on halal sources of income.

And unfortunately, this company was dealing in interest. Although I was a just a leaf-node who was not supposed to be directly concerned with the company’s main buisness, but I don’t give this idea any weight.. because I was supposed to be a “part of it”, while helping it flourish, & taking it easy. I always wanted to avoid such companies, but I was far from making it a solid filter in my job search. But it took me mere seconds to categorize this as a test from Allah SWT.. and hence I decide to pass the trail and reject the offer.

It was not a big deal at all, Alhamdolillah. Although, the offer attracted me in many ways – from a decent salary to free covered parking, & from a cool boss to lamborghini showroom just across the street .. it wasn’t bad 😀 But the more it had to offer, the stronger became my will to decide against it. And just moments ago, I did it.

I feel no insecurity & I feel no hopelessness. I am sure that something good is coming up, be it comprehensible as good in my terms or no, but I am sure that Allah swt has better options in reserve for me!

Now, I may sound like boasting about something I did that I feel is good.. but I had to write this. I just want many to understand that we must not ‘make up’ strong cases of need when we find ourselves facing such trails. There is no need other than finding more ways to please Allah SWT because none of us has signed any contract about the time when we are supposed to meet Azra’eil A.S. (Malakul Mawt). And deep inside, I am dead sure, that we all know that most of the times we choose luxury over hardships by ignoring the commandments of Allah SWT. We abuse the definition of ‘neccessity’.

So be it a beard, a hijab, a strong denial to mix up beyond limits in office parties, to deny to shake opposite gender hands, or the numerous other things that we commit or ignore (while pleasing or displeasing Allah SWT).. trust me, the GOOD is always doable. And, it always end up in something better for us, we don’t see it sometimes, but we can always realize it from the eyes of our Iman.. if we try.

p.s. SCW -> SW -> W -> DONE -> W 😀

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“Allah favors those who nag in supplications”

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The Prophet Muhammad PBUH said: “Allah favors those who nag in supplications”, referring to those who never tire of repeating their supplications over and over again. SubhanAllah! Allah is Great, & for sure, nothing’s more beautiful than meeting Him and nothing is more pleasant than the moments when we praise Him. The following video, may Allah SWT bless the speaker (Brother Belal Assad), while listening to it, I could not continue without tears.

Al-Mugney (The Enricher)

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I was looking out for the meanings of the 99 Asma-ul-Husna of Allah SWT, and I came across this page that talked about the benefits of memorizing the names. One of the strongest Hadeeths that supports the idea is that

Abu Huraira reported that Allah’s Messenger said: ‘There are ninety-nine names of Allah; he who commits them to memory will get into Paradise. Truly, Allah is Odd (he is One) and He loves odd numbers.” [Hadith Muslim: Book of Remembrance of All (Kitab Al-Dhikr) 6475; See also Sahih Bukhari 3.894]

Following that, it’s about satisfaction in this life, which comes from the remembrance of Allah SWT:

“.. and certainly the remembrance of Allah is the greatest, and Allah knows what you do.” [29:45]

“Those who believe, and whose hearts find satisfaction in the remembrance of Allah: for without doubt in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find satisfaction.” [13:28]

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: “… Beware! There is a piece of flesh in the body if it becomes good (reformed) the whole body becomes good but if it gets spoilt the whole body gets spoilt and that is the heart.” [Sahih Bukhari / Belief (Al-Eman), Volume 1, Book 2, Number 49]

So, one of the beautiful names I could relate my upS&Downs to was Al-Mugney (The Enricher). It means two things:

  1. He who enriches whom He will.
  2. He who ends the needs.

One of the related verses was verse number 48 in Surah An-Najm. So, I opened up my Mus’haf and started reading the translation and SubhanAllah, I came across these verses from Surah Najm, the 53rd in index, which talks about the fact that Revelation from Allah SWT for Prophet Muhammad PBUH is not an illusion and that He SWT is the source and goal of all things. Following versed amused, as well as amazed me:

Those who avoid great sins and indecent deeds, only (falling into) small faults – certainly, your Lord is ample in forgiveness. He knows you well when He brings you out of the earth, and when you are hidden in your mothers’ wombs. Therefore make not claims of piety; He knows best who it is that guards against evil. [32]

That man can have nothing but what he strives for; [39]
That (the fruit of) his striving will soon come in sight: [40]
Then will he be rewarded with a reward complete; [41]
That to your Lord is the final Goal; [42]
That it is He Who grants Laughter and Tears; [43]
That is He Who grants Death and Life; [44]
That He did create in pairs – male and female, [45]
From a seed when lodged (in its place); [46]
That He has promised a Second Creation (raising of the Dead); [47]
That it is He Who gives wealth and satisfaction; [48]

These verses turned out to be a sort of good news because v. 32 talks about Allah SWT’s mercy and forgiveness for those who are not perfect in their deeds (perhaps all of us). Then v. 39 confirmed that we must strive to gain anything. And that If I strive, the result must appear in form of a reward from none but Allah SWT, and that no result of my struggle can be better than what He wills. Finally, what flipped my mood was v. 43 that explicitly states that tears are from Allah SWT. I know that all good and bad comes from Allah SWT, but deep inside, I felt blessed to know that Allah SWT owns each one of our tear drops too! :>

-asalamalaikum.

Trust, Responsibility, and Intentions.

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“If you put your whole trust in Allah, as you ought, He most certainly will satisfy your needs, as He satisfies those of the birds. They come out hungry in the morning, but return full to their nests.” [Tirmidhi]

Life is all about ups and downs (and downs and downs ?! :>) Alhamdolillah for everything. I try not to hasten but I ensure not to delay things; things that I’ve little control over. I think, talk, listen, argue, and learn. I think ideal, talk truth, listen critically, argue constructively, and learn sincerely. I’ve changed people’s opinions; opinions of people much older than me.. and helped them to be more optimistic.. Allah, the Exalted knows better.

And in the meantime, I discovered a bunch of things about my (real) self by observing the way people see me. The one best thing I learned is that I am different in the way I think about responsibility. One of the facets of optimism is an ideal trust on Allah SWT. With such an ideal trust, you feel comfortable in taking on responsibilities. Now, I don’t like it when someone tells me that he’s not mature enough to take a next big step in life, where apparently, all he is a trying to get is a little more freedom of being single, what we call partying out with friends. To me, it’s a lack of sense of responsibility combined with some nonsensical ideas about life.

Although, most of the times when we talk about the next big step, we refer to marriage. But, I want to talk in general. In general, how the heck can you feel immature by the age of 22-26? and again why the heck do you want to party out at such an age? I feel like this has something to do with the definition of freedom that perhaps is communicated to us by well-defined devilish sources like teen movies, sitcoms, and just some specific breed of friends. And this is where I become argumentative. I am straight in letting someone know that he’s a ruined fellow as far as his related concepts are concerned..  so harsh, I know! But to leave someone in a laughable state is NOT at all better than making him angry with you and at the same time, incite some serious thought process in him.

Anyways, unless someone has a geniune reason of not taking the next big step, He/She must take it.. I don’t see an option here and taking this step is not hastening, it’s truely about time. Talking about marriage, I am dead sure that it brings happiness being equally propotional to your intentions. If you want to enjoy a “few more” gatherings with friends to pick on each other and do some indecent jabbering etc. (while being financially able to get married) then you’re really not planning to take the most out of this relationship. There is not a single aim or goal of our lives that would ensure our well being in the hereafter, which might get obstructed by getting married. For all worldly objectives of supposed “well-being”, such a human being needs a serious rethinking.

Now most importantly, I don’t talk out of experience, I just try to make the most of the Hadeeths I know and the essence of trust on Allah SWT communicated by Allah SWT Himself. You are supposed to trust Him, depend on His plans, refresh your intentions, and take the decisions. And then, it’s so simple, with no need to know about people’s experiences :> and Allah, the Exalted knows the best.

`Abdullah ibn Mas’ood (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that he heard the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) say:

“Whoever transforms all of his concerns into one concern only – concern for the Hereafter – Allah will satsify his demands and needs in this life. As for he who devotes his concerns to wordly matters, Allah will not care in which valley he perishes.”

Allah The Most Kind – Tribute To Andalus (@ muslimmatters.org)

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I came across this hamd here. Sheikh Yasir Birjas described this effort as “The poem is attributed to Abdurrahim Ali Albura’iee a famous poet from Yemen who died in the 15th century, i.e the 9th hijri century. He was famous for his poems which promote Zuhd and asceticism. sh. Mishari sang more than one of his poems, and this is one of them. (Taken from another Arabic website). And Allah knows best.”

Undoubtedly, this poem is marvelously soothing for the ears.. and although I know nothing at all of arabic,  I can feel the sensational and powerful words literally affecting me somewhere inside. Mashallah!

May we all live in absolute fear of Allah SWT and find tranquility in submission ~ ameen.

الله ذو اللطائف

Allah, The Most Kind and Gentle

أَغِيبُ وذو اللّطائِف لا يغيبُ وأرجُوهُ رَجاءً لا يَخِيبُ

Although I vanish, the Most Gentle and Kind vanishes not.
Thus, I have hope in Him – hope that fails not.

وأَسْأَلُهُ السَّلامَةَ مِن زَمانٍ بُلِيتُ به نوائبهُ تُشِيبُ

I seek safety with Him from a time
where trials would age this body of mine

وأُنزِلُ حاجتي في كل حالٍ إلى مَن تطمئنُّ به القلوبُ

So, I bring my needs, and I’m ever in poverty
To the One with whom hearts find tranquility

فكم لله مِنْ تَدبِيرِ أَمْرٍ طَوَتْهُ عَنِ المُشَاهَدةِ الغُيوبُ

Numerous are the matters that Allah decrees!
Yet, the unseen realm, is that which none sees

وكم في الغَيْبِ مِن تَيْسِيرِ عُسْرٍ ومِنْ تَفريجِ نائبةٍ تَنُوبُ

His decree eases secretly our difficulties
And by decree does He alleviate our calamities

ومِن كَرَمٍ ومِن لُطْفٍ خَفِيٍّ ومِن فَرَجٍ تَزُولُ بِه الكُرُوبُ

and by His discreet kindness and generosity,
there’s relief – replacing all adversity.

ومَنْ لِي غَيرَ بابِ الله بابٌ ولا مَوْلًى سِواهُ ولا حَبيبُ

Whose door do I have, besides Allah’s door?
I have no other Master nor another whom I so adore!

كريمٌ مُنْعِمٌ بَرٌّ لَطِيفٌ جَمِيلُ الستْرِ للدّاعي مُجيبُ

He is generous, kind and gentle, blessing us ceaselessly,
He answers our prayers and conceals our faults so beautifully,

حَليمٌ لا يُعاجِلُ بالخَطايا رحيمٌ غَيْثُ رَحْمَتِهِ يَصُوبُ

Enduring is He, never hastening to recompense our delinquency
He bestows his mercy like pure rain, gracefully

فيا مَلِكَ المُلوكِ أَقِلْ عِثَارِي فَإنِّي عنْكَ أَنْأَتْنِي الذُّنُوبُ

Therefore, King of kings, please pardon me;
My sins have cast me so far away from thee

وَأَمْرَضَنِي الهَوَى لِهَوانِ حَظِّي وَلَكِنْ لَيسَ غَيْرَكَ لِي طَبِيبُ

My lusts have caused my malady
Yet there’s none but thee to heal me

فَآمِنْ رَوْعَتِي وَاكْبِتْ حَسُودًا فَإِنَّ النَّائِباتِ لها نُيُوبُ

So my Lord, comfort and shield me from eyes burning green.
for when calamities strike they do so with fangs sharp keen.

وَآنِسْنِي بِأَوْلادِي وَأَهْلِي فَقَدْ يَسْتَوْحِشَ الرَّجُلُ الغَرِيبُ

My Lord, fasten me with the joys of children and family
Without them a man is certainly a stranger, poor and lonely

وَلِي شَجَنٌ بِأَطْفالٍ صِغَارٍ أَكادُ إِذا ذَكَرْتُهُمُ أَذُوبُ

Ah, my young children, on their fate I do fret
Worn from worry and grief I am ever upset

ولَكِنِّي نَبَذْتُ زِمَامَ أَمْري لِمَنْ تَدْبِيرُهُ فِينا عَجِيبُ

But to thee the reigns of my life I do surrender
To the One who handles affairs with majestic splendor

هُوَ الرَّحْمنُ حَوْلِي وَاعْتِصَامِي بِهِ وَإِلَيْهِ مُبْتَهِلاً أُتِيبُ

The Most Merciful, my refuge and the pillar on which I lean
In repentance, I call Him with none in between.

إِلهِي أَنْتَ تَعْلَمُ كَيفَ حَالِي فَهَلْ يا سَيِّدِي فَرَجٌ قَرِيبُ

Allah, Of my condition thee did hear
so my Master, I ask, is relief near?

فيا دَيِّانَ يَومِ الدِّينِ فَرِّجْ هُمُوماً فِي الفُؤَادِ لها دَبِيبُ

O Lord of Judgment Day, relieve this anxiety
of stubborn worries that in my heart sink deeply

وَصِلْ حَبْلِي بِحَبْلِ رِضَاكَ وَانْظُرْ إِلَيَّ وَتُبْ عَلَيَّ عَسى أَتُوبُ

And bind me to the rope of thy content, and turn thy Face to me
And accept me so that I may repent and return wholly to thee.

وَرَاعِ حِمَايَتِي وَتَوَلَّ نَصْرِي وَشُدَّ عُرَايَ إِنْ عَرَتِ الخُطُوبُ

My safety and success are in thy Hands
So support my will against life’s difficult demands

وَأَلْهِمنِي لِذِكْرِكَ طُولَ عُمْرِي فَإِنَّ بِذِكْرِكَ الدُّنْيا تَطِيبُ

And with Thy remembrance illuminate my life.
Indeed when recalling thy name sweetness becomes rife

وَقُل عَبْدُ الرَّحِيمِ وَمَنْ يَلِيهِ لَهُم فِي رِيفِ رَأْفَتِنَا نَصِيبُ

And say of me that I am still thy servant
sharing in thy Kindness, drawing near to thee, no longer distant

فَظَنِّي فِيكَ يا سَنَدِي جَمِيلٌ وَمَرْعَى ذَوْدِ آمَالِي خَصِيبُ

My thoughts of thee, my Sustainer, are pleasant
And my hopes in thee, lie in meadows, fertile and fragrant

وَصَلِّ عَلى النَّبِيِّ وآلهِ مَا تَرَنَّمَ فِي الأراكِ العَنْدَلِيبُ

And send prayers and praises upon the Prophet and his family
For whom the nightingales from their branches sing their sweet melody


Translation by:
Yaser Birjas, Shpendim Nadzaku
Final Editing: “Manoffewwords”
Video by: Ahmad Saleem, Sadaf Tahir
Dedicated to the students of Ilm Summit 2008

Being thankful

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Today was a special day.

What’s so special? nothing much, I just bought a car!
Where’s the achievement? My first car, Alhamdolillah.

But still, I’ll not remember this day primarily for that. I’ll remember this day forever to remind myself about the absolutely adorable and blessed people I have around me all time.

When I landed in USA, I used to hear stories and suggestions from people that I should stay away from tradational Muslim people and that I must get into friendship circles of white/black/local/native Americans who are going to be more helpful, cooperative and worthy of being around with. I was never comfortable with this idea. I’ve this problem, I am absolute straightforward and natural in my interactions. Now, to be around such people, if I have to change the way I really am, I wouldn’t survive. So, I couldn’t survive!

I am not being racist, but I am trying to make a case here: one should never choose friends to make some worldly use of them and if he or she cannot behave naturally with those friends. Still, I’ve all kind of friends, independent of religion, color, creed or nationality. I love intermingling with people and learn their perspectives about things around us.

But still, with the grace of Allah SWT, out of nowhere, I found some pearls from heaven living around me. To call them *just* friends is equivalent of disgracing them. They are the true brothers and sisters in faith who only know one definition of love i.e. love for the sake of Allah SWT.

When someone does a favor to you, you really want to do something helpful in return later on. But for somethings that people do to you, you just can’t thank them enough. There is just no way to say “I am grateful” and feel good about it. You miss something from the inside, you miss a satisfaction that perhaps you didn’t say enough “thanks” or that you didn’t show enough courtesy. Today, this happened again with me.. and as usual I felt the helplessness at it’s best when I came back after a long day with them to rest in my cute little room.. again all alone.

Anyways, I’ll summarize. From the depth of my heart, I’ll be eternally grateful for each word and every action of this beautiful little family that keeps me hopeful, cherished, and satisfied. If I’ll ever be able to be a part in helping them, I’ll start from giving up the best that I’ll have then. I do and I would forever pray for them with the most sincere good wishes.

What did I learn once more? the fact that if I can’t even thank a couple of fellows, how would it ever be possible for me to thank Allah SWT, besides other things, for giving me more opportunities  to live and ask for repentance? Allah-hu-Akbar!

Asalamalaikum.

p.s. SCW -> SW 🙂

Allah SWT’s Plans!

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How many times have we lost trust and hope in Allah SWT and His long term plan about ourselves? How many times in one single day do we say or merely think about something to be unachievable.. a wasted struggle? I am sure most of us have been through these times when we only consider logical self-made plans as part of our future. This is because our natural instincts, to a greater extent, restrict our ability to plan in accordance to unseen and unimaginable opportunities.

Here is my take on it: We all forget that Allah SWT is the best planner of all. I am not saying that we forget this to be a fact, but, we forget that this should be a part of our plans!

Yes.. I realized that the bigger share of our plans should be to ensure that we depend on Allah’s plans!

Let me clarify my ambiguous suggestions with these verses from Surah Al-Talaq:

Thus when they fulfil their term appointed, either take them back on equitable terms or part with them on equitable terms; and take for witness two persons from among you, endued with justice, and establish the evidence (as) before Allah. Such is the admonition given to him who believes in Allah and the Last Day. And for those who fear Allah, He (ever) prepares a way out (2) And He provides for him from (sources) he never could imagine. And if anyone puts his trust in Allah, sufficient is (Allah) for him. For Allah will surely accomplish His purpose: verily, for all things has Allah appointed a due proportion. (3)

Now, here is the thing: 65.3% of my life’s proceedings are not dependent on anything that I’ve control of..

I am looking for a job but most of them are not interested in *aliens* (for those who know this.. yeh laugh!)

I am seriously planning to be a good funny sheikh (impressed by Imam Siraj Wahaj).. yes, the next step in Islam, Inshallah.

I am looking for an *exceptional* muslim entity because:

  1. I’ll marry her..
  2. that’s the best way to get rid of the haunting fitna of summer-time girls in usa esp for brothers :p
  3. It’s about time!

Dilemmas:

  1. sheikhs like Yasir Birjas freak me out!! See this: Marriage Crisis in USA; may God be pleased with him 🙂
  2. being confused, unconfident and a shy guy to a certain extent.. this *exceptional* criteria is, like I said, seemingly unachievable if you’re not exceptionally relying on Allah’s plans!

Now, when I think of all this and then the other 100 things going on in my life, I get nightmares (mostly after fajr, because that’s when shaiytan controls your dreams).

So what do I do? I trust on Allah’s plans! .. believe me it’s the toughest job to do so.. because then a huge chunk of your americanized friends (even those not living in America) would say that you don’t want to put your efforts in it.. but I know for sure that this is the most painstaking struggle, my struggle within!

I observed one thing recently. For those of the weak souls out there like me, you need to reinforce your belief by constantly looking for stories of people and listening to optimistic sheikhs, it helps unlike anything! I do it on almost daily basis, and it helps me to get a smile of satisfaction on my face out of nowhere 🙂

Here is the most recent one I came across: Rachel Noor – The Reversion Story

Enough talking 🙂

Fee aman Allah. Ws.