Monday, 29 December 2014

Returning Home

“Each night, when I go to sleep, I die. And the next morning, when I wake up, I am reborn.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

Today, I was greeted early in the morning by the news of two deaths. Though I did not know both the deceased personally, the news of their death affected me deeply. Perhaps, it is because both of the deceased were mothers like me.

No one will live forever. Each of us have our own expiry date, just that we don't know when.

"Every soul will taste death"
Surah Al Imran 3:185

Sometimes, I wonder that when I die, will anyone miss me. Will anyone be at my funeral?  I'm not exactly the easiest person to get along with so have I done enough to repair the damage? Are my deeds enough to save me later? How will I die? I do hope it's a beautiful death. The one very question that I always ask myself is, have I put my affairs in order, if I die?

I keep telling myself to try simplify my life but each day I get side-tracked and distracted with other things and almost  each night I would go into a state of panic when I remember the things that I've not done or undone. Sigh!

One thing that I've done, at least, is to leave a request with my hubby on how I would prefer to be buried in the event of my death. I told my hubby to make sure that my modesty is always protected and my awra is always covered. I would also prefer to be buried as soon as possible following the sunnah.

Authority of Abu Hurairah who quotes the Prophet as saying: "Speed up the funeral; if it is one of a good person, you are only taking that person to a good prospect. If otherwise, then he is no more than an evil you are putting off your shoulders."
Hadith Bukhari

I figured that if I never managed to get my worldly affairs in order when I return 'home' to my Maker,  at least I got my 'death' sorted out.....

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Winds of Change.....

“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don't resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” Lao Tzu

It is difficult for most people to accept change especially if the change is sudden. I am no exception. I would complain and whined about it. In fact, I will make all kind of excuses to resist the change. I was the Queen of excuses. Give me one positive point and I can give you 101 negative excuses. 

Then, I realised that I was my own worst enemy. I was sabotaging myself.  Of course I had a lot of encouragement from satan, whispering negative things into my ears. Positive changes are good especially those that are suppose to bring you closer to God but we have trouble dealing with it.  

When my daughter told me, a few month ago that our usual transporter was not able to ‘transport’ my kids to and fro, from school, I inwardly groaned. I knew that I was going to be the designated driver, ferrying my kids around. That would actually disrupt my entire daily schedule. Then, I immediately stopped myself. There’s no point me whining or groaning about it. Unless I find a new transporter, I will just have to do it. I just have to change my schedule and embrace the change, regardless of how I feel about it. 

Years ago, when I realised that my life needs to drastically changed, it was not easy for me at first but then I found out that if I embrace the change instead of resisting it, the transition was a lot easier. 

The bottom line is, do I want to change? If I truly wanted to be a better Muslim then change I must. I can’t expect things to get better by just sitting down. If I truly wanted to be a better Muslim, I must stop making excuses.
“Indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves.”
Surah Ar-Rad 13:11

I have to stop giving myself excuse and sabotaging myself. Most of all, I have to stop being my own worst enemy. 

Normal human behaviour is to instinctively become defensive when faced with something negative. The thing is, that negative thing that we perceived, is sometimes a positive change. Our negative attitude is the stumbling block to our change actually, at least, it was in my situation. 

I don’t know about others but I realised that sometimes, in order to embrace the change, I need to cheat myself I need to introduce the change slowly until I get accustomed to it. Drastic change only works when I’m back to a corner or forced to accept the change but more often than not, it does not last. It normally fizzles out and I find myself reverting back to my old self.

Back to my predicament, after accepting the fact that I have to be a ‘mom taxi’, a saviour, in a form of a new transporter recommended by a friend, came to our rescue. Phew! 

So, the moral of the story, when calamity strikes, don’t be too quick to jump. Pray hard for a solution but be prepared for the worst. Embrace changes willingly to ease the transition and never give up on possibility of a miracle….

Sunday, 14 December 2014

How We Forget.

“The advantage of a bad memory is that one enjoys several times the same good things for the first time.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche.

The other day, my eldest commented, "Mummy, why is it despite not getting enough sleep, you don't have dark circles under your eyes?" Hhhmmm.....good question but honestly I don't know why despite being zombie-fied due to lack of sleep since the arrival of our little bundle of joy. It's true that miraculously, I don't bear any signs of sleep deprivation.

In fact, for most moms, we tend to forget all the pain, discomfort and sleepless night each time after giving birth. We go through the whole process over and over again. The funny thing is that I only remember it when I experience it again and not a moment before. It's like God has accorded me with 'temporary amnesia'. Chances are, if I remember every pain and discomfort beforehand, I would probably have only 1 kid.

My eldest was born via C-section after 2 nights of labour and an hour of pushing. She was just stuck and refusing to come out hence I had to be wheeled in for an emergency c-section. Suffice to say, I did an a-z birth process! Right after the surgery, I remember telling my husband that I'm not having anymore children, but, lo and behold, after a year, I forgot about the pain of childbirth  and started whining to hubbs for another baby.

Yups! We mothers do forget . Even those who remembers, if one were to ask them, without hesitation, they will do it all over again in a heart beat because being a mother, without a doubt, is the greatest experience ever.

"It is mentioned in another Hadith that Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “Does it not please you (O Women!) that when you conceive from your husbands while he is pleased with you then that woman will receive such reward equal to that of a fasting person in the path of Allah and spending the night in ibaadat. When her labour pains commence the inhabitants of the earth and the sky are unaware of the stores of comfort that are prepared for her. When she delivers and breast feeds her child then she will be granted a reward for every gulp of milk, and if she had to remain awake during the night for the sake of her child, she will receive the reward of emancipating seventy slaves in the path of Allah. O Salaamat! Do you know who these women are? They are pious, upright, delicately natured but yet are obedient to their husbands and not ungrateful to them.”

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Tiny Pitter Patter of Miracle

“To wake up each morning is a miracle.” ― Lailah Gifty Akit

'God works in mysterious ways'. I find the phrase to be absolutely true. After going through 4 very painful miscarriages, my husband and I thought that perhaps, it's just not meant to be. We accepted His decision without questions.

After 5 years, we then found out that God has granted our dua. Alhamdulillah! We, as His slaves, only need to ask but He decides as to when He will give. More often than not, there's wisdom as to the timing, which we, sometimes can't comprehend.

Looking back, I understand now that God wanted me to complete certain tasks before granting my wish. These tasks are ones which I would not be able to complete with a new born to take care of.

Every birth is a different experience, miracle and drama and this one is no exception. Yes! There's always drama. Now, my world has once again turned topsy turvey. I've become a zombie again due to lack of sleep. I sleep and wake up at odd hours and most of the time, I lose track of what's go on in the outside world. Do I mind? Absolutely not! Given the chance, I would do it again in a blink.

This time round however, I'm able to appreciate the experience more because God has given me more time. No more rat race, no rush, just savour each precious moment. When you make time for Him, He will grant you time. He has also given me the wisdom and patience, two of which I lacked in the past. God has taught me about the true meaning of faith and putting my entire trust in Him. The best of all, God has given me, my tiny pitter patter of miracle.....

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

I will call you back...

Not returning phone calls is the severest form of torture in the civilized world.”― Marisha Pessl

Sometimes, when you call a friend, an acquaintance or even a stranger, he or she might say ' I will call you back' or 'can I call you back?' Sounds familiar? . Well, with certain friends, I get it ALL the time. I do get that also with certain people whom I call with regards to work.

Frankly, I don't mind it at all BUT it irks me when the person who said it never calls back. Now, that's plain rude. If you don't want to speak or entertain the caller, then tell him or her in a nice way. I'm pretty sure that the person understands and even probably appreciate you being honest and nice. Don't tell your friends that you'll call back and make them wait forever and hope, but you then never do nor do you have any intention in doing so.

By telling them that you will call them back but with no intention of calling back is 1. Lying 2. Making promises that you have no intention to keep.

It may seem trivial to you, but a lie is still a lie no matter how small and not keeping promises, intentionally, depicts the characteristic of a hypocrite.

So shun the abomination (worshipping) of idol, and shun lying speech (false statements).

Surah Al Hajj 22:30.

It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The signs of the hypocrite are three: when he speaks, he lies; when he makes a promise, he breaks it; and when he is entrusted with something, he betrays that trust.” 

(Narrated by al-Bukhari, 33; Muslim, 59) 

and fulfill the promise, surely (every) promise shall be questioned about.”

(Surah al-‘Isrā’, 17:34)

Abdullah reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: Truth leads one to Paradise and virtue leads one to Paradise and the person tells the truth until he is recorded as truthful, and lie leads to obscenity and obscenity leads to Hell, and the person tells a lie until he is recorded as a liar.
Sahih Muslim – Book 32 Hadith 6307

Narrated Sufyan ibn Asid al-Hadrami: I heard the Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) say: It is great treachery that you should tell your brother something and have him believe you when you are lying.
Sunan of Abu-Dawood – Book 41 Hadith 4953

It was narrated that ‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever breaks the covenant of a Muslim, upon him be the curse of Allah, the angels and all the people, and Allah will not accept any obligatory or naafil act of worship from him.” 

Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1870; Muslim, 1370. 

For me personally, I do lose respect for the people who use the ever famous line but never follow through because words and action do tell a lot about a person's truthfulness and reliability. I would never put my trust in that person and work wise, I would not work with such person.

Some of my friends do take a day or two to call me back but I don't mind because I know how busy they are and they do apologised for the delay but the bottom line is, they called me back.

So, next time, if you plan the use the phrase 'I will call you back', make sure that you really mean it otherwise, like it or not, you are actually a liar who can't keep a promise.....

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Picture Purrrrrfect......

“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened.” ― Anatole France

I have always been an animal lover. When we were small, we were not allowed to have our own pets because I think our parents didn't think we were responsible enough to take care of them. Our next door neighbour, on the other hand, had a black and white cat called ‘Kunta Kinte'. 

Kunta Kinte was a special cat. She was the only cat that was ever allowed to set paw in our house at that time. Every Sunday morning, when my mom opened the back door, Kunta Kinte would dash in and make a bee-line towards our room. She would then wake each of us up by licking our noses. If we refuse to get up, she would sit in front of our faces and purred loudly until we got up. When Kunta Kinte died due to an illness, my sisters and I were devastated.

Now, that I have my own home, I decided to let my kids have a pet, on the condition that they take responsibility over the pet. We adopted Fluffy from the shelter and Sam was a stray that showed up one day.

I have to admit that our cats have taught me a lot. Fluffy actually taught me about forgiveness, patience and acceptance. My little boy is a little terror and he used to torment Fluffy whenever he saw her, when he was 3 years old. But Fluffy, being such a sweet natured diva and a gentle soul, never once retaliated by scratching or hissing at my tiny terror. Instead, she forgave him every time and would still allow him to pat her. If she feels that she's had enough, she would just run away and hide until the coast is clear. Fluffy actually showed me how to deal with certain people in my life.

Sam on the other hand, has a very strong personality. He doesn't accept nonsense from anyone. He came to us as a tiny scrawny kitten. We felt pity for him because he was getting bashed up by the other male cats in the neighborhood so we took him in. Of course, Fluffy was not too happy at that time as she wasn't keen on sharing her food bowl and domain with another cat. That was the only time we ever saw Fluffy's temper and her claws but Sam persevered and was eventually accepted by her. Now, he has quadruple in size and is Fluffy's protector whenever she ventures out. Even the neighbour's dog is afraid of him.

Sam taught me about perseverance, trust and loyalty. No matter how far he ventures out, he always come home to us. He also taught me about being brave and firm. I suspect that some of the neighbours have also adopted him as he is quite fat now and he sometimes comes home clean!

Animals are also God's creation. Like us, they are put on earth for a purpose. We must treat them with compassion and love. We must never be cruel to any animal. Pets can bring out the best in us also. 

The Prophet(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam),was asked if acts of charity even to the animals were rewarded by the Almighty. He replied: "Yes, there is a reward for acts of charity to every beast alive." (Narrated by Abu Huraira, Bukhari)

In fact, sometimes, I find that pets make better friends than human. One thing for sure is, they are not judgemental and they can sometimes give you comfort that fellow human can't.

I know that God has put these two cats in life for me to learn something from them and I have learnt a lot from them. In fact, they are sometimes the best teachers....

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Yours Faithfully.....

“Sometimes the hardest things to believe are the only things worth believing at al.” E.J. Patten.

            One fine day, a friend asked me, “sis do you check your husband’s phone?” I gave my friend a blank look. “Why? Should I?” I asked. I merely stared at her, not knowing how to answer her question. Anyway, this friend went on to elaborate the reasons and justifications of why I should. Errrrmmm……
            To tell you honestly, I do have a suspicious mind but that resulted from years of legal training. Call it occupational hazard! I was trained by my mentor to think suspiciously and crookedly so that I can think of all possible options and solutions for clients, in the worst case scenario. So, in my case, the only time I acted on my suspicious mind was actually strictly professional.
            Personally, I have never been one who snoops but, I do understand why one spouse has difficulties in trusting the other. It could be that the spouse has a history of infidelity or it could be a simple case of paranoia. Constant fear of the ‘what if’ disease. I have dealt with cases involving spousal infidelity in the past. I have to say that it is never pretty but it is what it is….
            The thing is, should we spy on our spouse? Should we give in to our suspicions? Well……

Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: ‘Beware of suspicion, for suspicion is the falsest of speech. Do not eavesdrop; do not spy on one another; do not envy one another; do not forsake one another; do not hate one another. Be, O slaves of Allah, brothers.”
Al-Bukhaari, 5144; Muslim, 2563. 

“O ye who believe! Avoid suspicion as much (as possible): for suspicion in some cases is a sin: And spy not on each other behind their backs. Would any of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? Nay, ye would abhor it...But fear Allah: For Allah is Oft-Returning, Most Merciful.”
Surah Al-Hujurat 49:12

I’m no expert but to me, in a marriage, one of the most important ingredients for ensuring happiness is to have ‘trust’ between spouses. If you can’t trust your spouse, then you are better off not being married at all. Why you ask? It is because, without trust, everything will crumble like a deck of cards. To me, trust is the glue that holds the union together. The suspicion and paranoia will drive you insane. It can also drive your spouse away. By not trusting your spouse, it is akin to telling him or her, that she or he is a liar. No one likes to be called a liar.
I know of a couple where the wife calls the husband every half an hour, just to check his whereabouts. She tracks his every move. Now, that is a bit extreme, if you ask me and definitely NOT a recipe to a happy marriage. It can be quite suffocating for the husband. The thing is, if you continue backing a person into a corner and making him or her feel trapped, one day, he or she might retaliate, break free and never turn back. How can one, in this case, the wife, live in constant fear? Fear is a dangerous thing. It can consume and destroy a person. Fear also has the ability to eliminate any chance of happiness.
Someone had asked me before, what if the spouse suspects the other of having an affair? Shouldn’t they try to find out for certain? Well, my answer is –don’t! Don’t bother snooping around or spy on your spouse. Suspicion is a device of satan to create disharmony amongst married couples. It will create doubts in our mind the way it tried to create doubt in Prophet Ibrahim’s mind when he was commanded to sacrifice his son, Ismail.
 You see, if our suspicion is wrong and our spouse finds out about it, it can very well wreck a happy marriage. Remember, no one likes to be accused if a crime that he or she didn’t commit.
if you search for the faults of the people, you will corrupt them, or you will nearly corrupt them.” [Abu Daawood]
So how do we know if our spouse is being faithful to us? Honestly, to me, just leave to God Almighty. He is the Disposer of all affairs so let Him dispose of the matter. I know it’s easier said than done but for the sake of your sanity and happiness, you will just have to put your marriage in His Hands.
I am a believer of signs. I believe that God teaches us through His Signs sometimes. In those instances, we just need to open our eyes wider and see carefully. I have learnt that if God wants to show us something, it will be as clear as day. No snooping around or private investigator is needed. If we are not meant to see or know something, then trust me, even if we move mountains, we will not be in the know and the knowledge will not be revealed to us.
The thing is, it’s not just we need to trust our spouse but we also must trust God. We must always believe that God has our best interest at heart. Every day we pray and ask God to lead us on the straight path. So, trust the path that God puts us on. Sometimes, it is better for us not to know certain things as we probably are not equipped enough to handle the situation rationally. If God shows us the evidence of our spouse’s infidelity, only then should we decide on the next step to take, otherwise let sleeping dogs lie.
Rather than spending one’s waking time in making sure that one’s spouse is not or does not cheat, perhaps it is better to spend one’s time in trying to make each other happy. Work hard to find out what makes the marriage ticks and how to keep it interesting. Learn to love more rather than learn how to become a spy! Be happy. Life is too short to be in constant worry and fear of the unknown. If you want to meet your spouse in paradise, then find the correct recipe for Jannah and not settle for Hell………

Those who patiently persevere, seeking the countenance of their Lord; Establish regular prayers; spend, out of (the gifts) We have bestowed for their sustenance, secretly and openly; and turn off evil with good: for such there is the final attainment of the (eternal) home,- gardens of perpetual bliss: they shall enter there, as well as the righteous among their fathers, their spouses, and their offspring: and angels shall enter unto them from every gate (with the salutation): “Peace unto you for that ye persevered in patience! Now how excellent is the final home!”
(Ar-Ra`d 13:22-24)

*this article originally was published on writer's corner. is an online Islamic mall that offers many Islamic merchandises.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

I am only Human

“To hurt is as human as to breathe.”― J.K. Rowling.

One fine day, I was driving and I was feeling dejected and demoralised. Suddenly, a song came on the radio. I didn't know then the singer of the song but it was the lyrics that caught my attention.

"But I'm only human
And I bleed when I fall down
I'm only human
And I crash and I break down
Your words in my head, knives in my heart"

Yup! That pretty summed up what I was feeling at that time.

Every one has their own battle to fight everyday. My on-going battle is trying to be a true Muslim and to share whatever little knowledge that I've acquired in my quest to correct myself.

I have to be honest, it hasn't been easy. It's not that I expected it to be but some days were just too much for me to bear. I'm only human and God has given me a very sensitive heart. I fight back when I'm angry or irritated but when I'm hurt, I would keep quiet and crawl into my shell and hibernate. I would avoid the person who had hurt me at all cost and for as long as I can until I feel that my heart has properly healed. But, how does one stay away from strangers who hurt one's feelings? You can't stay away from the world. Of course, one can become a recluse but that would beat the purpose of our creation.

Trust me, I know that people can be very mean and vicious with their words sometimes. Some criticism has the ability to destroy a person that's why there's a saying that 'a pen is mightier than a sword'. So, there will be days where my sanity hangs by a thread and my courage had plummeted to the ground. I too get affected by harsh criticisms about my efforts to try to spread the deen.

There were days when I feel that I just don't have the strength to carry on and I will hear whisperings telling me that I'm not qualified to share anything. I get whisperings to tell me to stop writing, which is how I mostly share my thoughts but I learnt a long time ago that the whisperings are the work of the devil, trying to dissuade anyone who wants to good so I have learnt to shoo it away but, how do I persuade my hurting heart? How do I pick myself up and find the courage to face the world again?

"Do men think that they will be left alone on saying, 'We believe,' and that they will not be tested? We did test those before them, and Allah will certainly know those who are true from those who are false" (Quran, 29: 2-3).

The first time I crashed and almost got burned, the Wise Owl shared with me the above Quranic verse. He also told me the story of Prophet Ayub, who remained steadfast in the face of adversity. Of course, me being me, had to argue with him and pointed out that Prophet Ayub is a prophet hence possessed the patience of a saint. I'm no saint. The Wise Owl then said, "sister, you are missing the point, it's not just about patience, it's about even the prophets were tested, so why should we be spared?". Oooooooo....

I also found out that I'm not alone in this. Those who shares the same journey and mission as me, also suffered the same fate sometimes. But despite that, I am thankful that each time I fall, God picks me up, fix my heart and show me the fruits of my sacrifices. Though my heart has many battle scars, it is still functioning perfectly, for now. He also sent people my way to help me along and I am very grateful for those people. 

So for those who has been hurt in their quest to share this beautiful religion, I can only share with you the advice that was given to me, Don't give up! If your intention is in the right place, God will watch over you and help you along the way. You may slipped, but that's God's way of showing you how to deal with the glitch. If you fall, get right back up and try again. You are never alone.....

"Verily, with every difficulty there is relief."
(Qur'an 94:5-6)

Sunday, 21 September 2014

I'm not a Fanatic......

“You have to quit confusing a madness with a mission.”
Flannery O'Connor

A couple of years ago, when I started my journey to re-discovery, someone had called me a religious 'fanatic'. This person had labeled as such because I wanted to make sure I kept my five daily prayers at its appointed time. Because, I changed to wearing black abaya in order to dress more modestly and in line with the teachings of Islam. Because I wanted to reveal my beauty to my husband only. Because I was striving to re-learn the contents of the Holy Quran. Because, I was trying to revive the forgotten teachings of our beloved Prophet pbuh. Because, I wanted to spend less time for worldly matters and start investing in Hereafter.

Fanatic means :-

a person with an extreme and uncritical enthusiasm or zeal, as in religion or politics; zealot.

Seriously? I mean, this person must be joking right? The irony of it is, the person who labeled me as such, is also a Muslim. Imagine that...

The thing is, I admit that I apply a different set of rules on myself but I don't enforce or impose my rules on others. I don't expect others to follow my rules either. The thing is, my own personal rules are not at all extreme. I'm still struggling in trying to perform the basic obligatory acts, so let's not get started on the voluntary acts. All I have done is share the little knowledge that I've acquired with others but what they do with that knowledge, is entirely up to them. I'm not the keeper of their conscience and neither do I judge them. I leave the judging to God. But, if the very act of me trying to get my basic acts together is considered extreme or fanatic, then, I'm really loss for words.

Maybe some who observe me find that my ways are a bit too strict for their taste but like I said before, my rules apply to me alone. I really don't expect anyone to understand, let alone, follow me. One thing that I know that I don't do is blow up people in the name of religion or participate in suicide bombing or go around labeling others as inhabitants of hell or  force the non Muslim to accept Islam.

You see, years ago, I found out that I was a hypocrite. I declared myself a Muslim but I lied. I actually lied to God. I didn't follow the religion correctly. I didn't do the things that a Muslim should do. In fact, I did quite the opposite! It's like declaring oneself as a doctor but knows nothing about medicine.

The day I got 'slapped', I realised that I had a lot atoning to do. I wasted many years being a liar and I wanted to correct things as fast as I could.

"The Hypocrites - they think they are over-reaching God, but He will over-reach them: When they stand up to prayer, they stand without earnestness, to be seen of men, but little do they hold God in remembrance;   (The Noble Quran, 4:142)"

On the authority of Abdullah ibn ‘Amr (may Allah be pleased with them both) that the Prophet (pbuh) said:

"Four traits whoever possesses them is a hypocrite and whoever possesses some of them has an element of hypocrisy until he leaves it: the one who when he speaks he lies, when he promises he breaks his promise, when he disputes he transgresses and when he makes an agreement he violates it.

Muslim and Bukhari

So my journey started in me re-learning about Islam. I knew that if I wanted to continue declaring myself as a Muslim, I must actually follow the religion otherwise, I would still be a hypocrite. I don't think I can look at myself in the mirror anymore if I were to continue with my past lifestyle.

I talked to the Wise Old Man about the labeling. He told me that the relationship between a servant and his or her Creator is a very personal one. It does not involve anyone else. It's strictly one to one kind of relationship. How close that relationship is, is dependant on the servant. Unfortunately, not many Muslims understand that but surprisingly, some non Muslims do.

To tell you honestly,  I wasn't upset with the labeling because I knew this person doesn't understand but I did tell this person that I am NOT a fanatic but a normal person who is merely trying to be a Muslim..........

Hadith Qudsi 15:
On the authority of Abu Harayrah (may Allah be pleased with him), who said that the Prophet (PBUH) said: Allah the Almighty said:
I am as My servant thinks I am (1). I am with him when he makes mention of Me. If he makes mention of Me to himself, I make mention of him to Myself; and if he makes mention of Me in an assembly, I make mention of him in an assemble better than it. And if he draws near to Me an arm's length, I draw near to him a fathom's length. And if he comes to Me walking, I go to him at speed.

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

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Is it Truly Mine?

“Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.” - Epictetus

Two days ago, hubby asked me "babe, who does our money belongs to?" I blinked at him a couple of times, wondering if this is a trick question. Hubby is beginning to sound like the Wise Owl. Would he be upset if I answer all his money belongs to me? Hehehe....

So, I answered, "I believe that all our wealth belongs to God Almighty. It's only on loan to us hence we are answerable for every penny that we squandered away" .
Then hubby said that the beauty of the ‘loan' that was given to us is that when we give it away for charity or spend it in the way prescribed by God, the rewards will be given to us. It's like we borrow money and whatever returns of investment made on the money, we get to keep.

I remember the Wise Owl telling me the same thing years ago. Of course at that point of time I panicked, thinking about the amount of 'loan' that I wasted away. Oooooo my handbags and jewellery....!! Yikes! Am I in trouble?

Upon seeing my face turned deathly pale, the Wise Owl smiled, as if he could read what was going through my head. Then, he calmly explained, "sister, whatever money that you have earned, you may spend it on yourself as long as it is not spent towards Haram things or wasteful. But, however, you must always remember that the wealth does not belong you so when God sends someone your way, asking for help, you must help if you are able to. Don't be stingy or selfish"

"Believers are merely those whose hearts feel wary whenever God is mentioned and whose faith increases when His verses are recited to them. On their Lord do they rely. Those who keep up prayer and spend some of what We have provided them with are truly believers" (Quran 8:2-4).

Asmah related that the Prophet said: Spend, and do not count, lest Allah counts against you. Do not withhold your money, lest Allah withholds from you. Spend what you can. (Bukhari, Muslim)

Abu Huraira related that the Prophet said: The Lord's commandment for every one of His slaves is, ‘Spend on others, and I will spend on you'. (Bukhari, Muslim)

We must never hoard our wealth. Pharaoh believed that he could take his wealth to the grave and be buried with it but he was wrong. I, for one, have no intention of being like Pharaoh, though I must admit that sometimes, it is difficult to let go of certain things.

" They who hoard up gold and silver and spend it not in the way of God, unto them give tidings (O Muhammad) of a painful doom" (Quran 9:34).

In actual fact, no one can be proud of their so called wealth because it is never theirs to begin with. We are merely custodians and it can be taken away from us in a blink. We can be stripped off the custodian title whenever He wishes. Then, we might find ourselves to be on the other side of the fence, ie the receiving end.

Every day, I do try to remind myself that my money is His money so don't get too attached or spend it in the way that can incur His wrath but being human, of course, I do suffer from the occasional memory lapse. Still, the important thing is, I keep trying....

"Give the kinsman his due, and the needy, and the wayfarer, and squander not (your wealth) in wantonness. Lo! the squanderers were ever brothers of the devils, and the devil was ever an ingrate to his Lord" (Quran 17:26-27).

Abu Said Khudri related that the Prophet said: There are two habits which are never present together in a believer: miserliness and bad manners (Tirmidhi).

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Calling me Softly....

“Every day, God grants us the precious gift of life. Yet every day, we squander it with our selfish, petty concerns, rather than helping someone as He helps us.” Kirn Hans

A very long time ago, I was not exactly on the desired path of a Muslim. I was clueless about Islam and neither was I bothered to find out. Do you know why? Honestly, because I was put off with Islam because of the impression that was given to me by some of the Islamic scholars that I met.
I admit that my appearance then was not syariah compliance and there were many things that I was lacking but that was due to my ignorance and lack of knowledge about this beautiful religion that I was born into. My dad had taught to be vocal and not to be afraid to ask questions so I asked a lot of questions. The Wise Old Man had trained me not to be bullied by anyone so I refused to be bullied even by the Islamic scholars.
The problem I faced back then, while I was trying to find God, was that these scholars had painted a very grim and bleak picture about Islam. They kept pointing out my flaws and were eager to sentence me to eternal hell! I may have been very naughty in my younger days but I was not completely evil. Ok, it’s true that some of my aunts and uncles used to say “Auzubillah Minashaitan Nirajeem” which means ‘"I seek refuge in Allah from Shaitan, the accursed oneevery time I passed them by but I can assure you that I am not Cruealla De vil!. Which kid was not naughty when they were small? In fact, even the adults are not saints.
Anyway, I was very discouraged and disheartened when I heard that Islam is all about the ‘don’ts’ and the forbidden. You know, things that you must not do or things that is Haram. It’s always haram this or haram that. Then, I thought to myself, is Islam really a negative religion? Why isn’t there anything cheerful about Islam? Gosh! Is Islam truly gloom and doom?
So, I ended up getting into one argument after another with each scholar that I met.  I also became very defensive whenever I meet an ustaz or ustazah, I felt the need to put up my invisible shield, to ward off any possible ‘attacks’ on me. This went on for years until I was almost on the verge of giving up. I couldn’t find the answers that satisfied me and put my restless heart at ease.
Thankfully, that all changed when God decided that it was time for me to meet the Wise Owl. The Wise Owl is also a scholar so naturally, when I first met him, I looked at him warily, anticipating criticism from him about my appearance but none came. He spoke to me gently and with respect. I was intrigued.
Then, I bombarded him with all the pent-up questions and he answered each of them patiently. Not once did he brush me off or made me feel inept. He coaxed me into reading more about Islam and started telling about our beloved Prophet SAW. I find myself, going back to the Wise Owl countless of time, as my interest about Islam was piqued.
Over the years, the Wise Owl had managed to make me fall in love with Islam. All he did was enticed me with the positive and beautiful aspect of Islam. He shared with me, the rewards of being righteous. I, in turn, asked him about the punishment of being disobedient. 

“Allah's Messenger (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said:
"Indeed Allah is gentle and loves gentleness, and gives due to gentleness that which He does not give to harshness."
Reported by Ibn Majah

The Wise Owl once told me that once the soul has fallen in love with his or her Creator, he or she will naturally leave the negative aspect and strive harder to please God. The heart and soul will only be drawn to the good and the positive vibration. 

 Abu Hurayra said, “A bedouin urinated in the mosque. The people moved towards him and the Prophet SAW, said, ‘Let him be and pour a bucket or pail of water onto his urine. You were sent to make things easy and not to make them difficult.’” [Al-Bukhari]
Anas reported that the Prophet SAW said, “Make things easy for people and do not make them difficult. Give good news to people and do not frighten them away.” [Agreed upon]

Now, I truly believe that if we want to entice people into Islam or if you want your fellow brothers or sisters to be better Muslims, we must approach them with gentleness and love. Being harsh and judgmental will only turn people away.
Don’t be petty. Don’t pick on the small things. Don’t argue on minor issues. Maybe that brother or sister has committed minor sin but with the Will of Allah SWT, they will change for the better on their own accord. Change must come from within. You can’t force it on them.
Don’t overwhelm those who had just embraced Islam with minor matters that can confuse them. Even I, a born Muslim, get suffocated sometimes especially when people argue about petty things in Islam, let alone those who are new to the religion. Let our new brothers and sisters grasp the basic principles first. Let them strengthen their footing and then, slowly progress to a more advance level. Don’t tarnish our wonderful religion by giving the wrong impression. Islam is SIMPLE. Do not make it complicated.
Most important of all, NEVER judge a person who is ignorant but instead share your knowledge sincerely and unconditionally with them. Who knows, that person might even secure a special place with God, in the Hereafter that you and I can only dream about……….. 

* This article originally was published in writer's corner at . Zaahara is an online Islamic Mall selling many wonderful stuff.