Saturday, 23 August 2014

Till We Meet Again.............

Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said, “The gift to a believer is death,”
 Al-Tirmidhi – Hadith 1609

It’s never easy to lose a loved one. Some of us were given advanced notice of their passing but for some, the departure was all too sudden. And then, there are also some, who can never find closure because their loved ones can't be found.

            Different people have different ways in dealing with grief. Some unleashed their frustration in anger and some remains stoic. Some find comfort in the company of others but unfortunately for some, opted for a fatal ending to their misery. In Islam, suicide is definitely a no-no!

Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Whoever purposely throws himself from a mountain and kills himself, will be in the (Hell) Fire falling down into it and abiding therein perpetually forever; and whoever drinks poison and kills himself with it, he will be carrying his poison in his hand and drinking it in the (Hell) Fire wherein he will abide eternally forever; and whoever kills himself with an iron weapon, will be carrying that weapon in his hand and stabbing his abdomen with it in the (Hell) Fire wherein he will abide eternally forever.”
Sahih Al-Bukhari – Book 71 Hadith 670

            As Muslims, we believe that life in this world is just a temporary set-up and death is a process that each of us have to go through on our way to a more permanent life i.e. Hereafter. So, death is actually a temporary separation and we will meet our loved ones again in the Hereafter. 

“Everyone is going to taste death, and We shall make a trial of you with evil and with good, and to Us you will be returned.”
 (Surah Al-Anbiya:21)

"O my people! Truly, this life of the world is nothing but a (quick passing) enjoyment, and verily, the Hereafter that is the home that will remain forever."
Surah Ghafir 40:39

            When my father-in-law passed away a couple years ago, I had mixed emotions. I was really sad to see him go but I was also reluctant to see him suffer any longer due to his illness. I loved him as much as I love my own father and he treated me more like a daughter than a daughter-in-law. He used to tease me by telling me that I was his most favourite daughter-in-law and I had to keep reminding him that I was his ONLY daughter-in-law since my husband is the only son!
            He was always the first person to greet me on my birthday and till now, I still miss that one special phone call.
            My father-in-law taught me a lot about life but most of all, he taught me about forgiveness. The person whom I knew, never held a grudge against anyone and was always ready with a smile.
            I pray that his soul is placed amongst the righteous and I know for a fact that I will be meeting him again one day.
            We tend to take our loved ones for granted. We always feel that they will always be there for us and we keep them waiting. Don’t put your loved ones in the back seat. Spend time with them while you still can. Once they are taken away from you, no amount of regret will bring them back. Cherish them now and not when they’re gone. People are to be loved during their lifetime and ours. After that, it will just be called ‘memories’……..

On the authority of Ibn Umar, may Allah be pleased with both of them, who said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) took hold of my shoulder and said, ‘Be in the world as if you were a stranger or a traveller along the path.” And ibn Umar would say, “If you survive till late afternoon, do not expect [to be alive in] the morning. If you survive till morning, do not expect [to be alive in] the late afternoon. Take from your health before your sickness and your life before you death.”
(Recorded in al-Bukhari)

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Blast from the Past.....

“Memories warm you up from the inside. But they also tear you apart.” ― Haruki Murakami

Most of the time, I am always on the move so I don’t really have much time to sit and dwell on things. There are days when I feel that 24 hours is not enough for me to tick-off everything on my ‘to-do’ list but the last two weeks I was feeling a bit under the weather hence my movement somewhat slowed down. I suddenly find myself having flashback of old memories. Some good and some….well…not so good.
            As I lay in bed, with my head hanging from the bed, praying for my head to stop spinning, I wondered why I was suddenly having the flashback. Then, suddenly a thought struck me! Gosh! Am I dying? Is this how the last 40 days of one’s life starts? Wait a minute! Is that the Angel of Death that I see in the corner of my room? Oh, it’s just my black abaya flapping about from the wind. Is God showing me my whole entire life before He takes away my soul? I started to hyperventilate. Am I ready to meet my maker? You know, I honestly felt that I wasn’t ready to die but I knew that regardless of how I felt, if my time is up, it’s up! 

"When their specified time arrives, they cannot delay it for a single hour nor can they bring it forward,"
Surah An-Nahl 16:61

            I then calmed myself down and tried to reason with my mind by telling it that I was getting paranoid. Maybe I was hallucinating in my state of pain.  I am a believer that everything happens for a reason so I have to find the reason for the flashbacks. I feel it in my heart that God is trying to tell me something but it was difficult to concentrate when one’s head is spinning madly so I decided to sleep it off first
            After a few days, when I felt a little bit more human, I started thinking and then, it dawned on me. My flashback was from the days of ignorance until the present day. I then understood that God was showing me my life’s journey and what I have become. Perhaps, I was too wrapped up with my daily task that I did not thank Allah SWT enough for all the blessings and favors that He had bestowed upon me. I can see how much my life has changed tremendously under His Guidance. Yeah….maybe I wasn’t grateful enough and I was not being a good servant of His.
            How many of us actually take the trouble to stop and appreciate the blessings that has been given to us by God Almighty? We tend to get caught up with work and family that sometimes that we take God for granted. We know that He is always there and He is always available so we procrastinate meeting Him or even thanking Him. How many of us do not pray on time? How many of us put God in the back seat and will only turn to Him when we have time? I know some of us do not do it intentionally but somehow along the way, we became negligent and complacent. We forget that everything that we have can be taken away in a blink of an eye.
            Looking back, I am very grateful that God had granted me mercy and guided me back to Him. Previously, I felt like an empty shell but I couldn’t put a finger on what was it was that I was missing but now, I feel complete and whole. I have found my Maker.
            Being human, we tend to see the negative side of things first before the positive. That is why we are always complaining about things that we don’t have rather than what we do. We compare and we envy other’s spouse or house or car or wealth or job, rather than be thankful for whatever God Himself has chosen for us. 

and it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allah knows but you do not know.”
Surah Al Baqarah 2:216

            If we take the trouble to stop and start tallying up all the blessings that God had given us, I can assure you that you will immediately fall into prostration and thank Him for His Mercy. Sometimes, we are undeserving but He still gives us His Mercy. 
            In fact, come to think of it, I have not even thanked God for giving me the spinning headache. Tsk! Tsk! Tsk! I am not being sarcastic so what am I rambling about? Did you know that even when we are sick, God is actually giving us His blessings? 

            Hadith - Bukhari 7:564
I visited Allah's Apostle SAW while he was suffering from a high fever. I touched him with my hand and said, "O Allah's Apostle! You have a high fever." Allah's Apostle SAW said, "Yes, I have as much fever as two men of you have." I said, "Is it because you will get a double reward?" Allah's Apostle SAW said, "Yes, no Muslim is afflicted with harm because of sickness or some other inconvenience, but that Allah will remove his sins for him as a tree sheds its leaves."
            Hadith - Muslim & Bukhari 

Abu Sa'id al-Khudri r.a. reported that the Prophet SAW said: Whenever a Muslim is afflicted with a hardship, sickness, sadness, worry, harm, or depression --even a thorn's prick, Allah expiates his sins because of it.

To tell you the truth, I rather atone and pay for my sins now, during my lifetime than wait for Judgment day. If possible, I want to be in the express lane. We must not think that we are without sin or that we have secured a place in Jannah by just being a Muslim. 

A place in Jannah is not a birth right but it must be earned…..

nb: this article was originally published at . is an Islamic Online Mall with many wonderful items.  Do check it out!

Friday, 1 August 2014

When Humanity becomes Irrelevant.

“Indifference and neglect often do much more damage than outright dislike.” ― J.K. Rowling.

The other day, hubby commented, "you know, I don't think people fear God anymore". I have say that I have to agree with him. I do meet many people who profess to follow a certain religion but their conduct and actions do not depict their faith.

The Wise Owl Man had long time ago, told me to study the Quran. He said that reciting the Quran is different from studying the Quran especially for someone who doesn't understand Arabic like me. The Wise Old Man told me to find out what God wants to tell me, in the Quran. After dragging my feet for awhile and after constant nagging by the Wise Owl, I finally started my task. What I found out during my studies, completely blew my mind.

Next, the Wise Old Man told me to study scriptures of other religion. He said, it's beneficial to know what other religion is preaching. So, under the tutelage and guidance of the Wise Old Man, I began to read different versions of bible, the Torah and other scriptures.

The one thing that I found, that was in common in all these other scriptures is that none of it promotes or encourages violence. All of it echoes the message of peace and love. In fact, no proper religion preaches or promotes the killing of innocent lives.

Those who kill the innocent under the banner of any religion are actually liars. They do not belong to any religion but they belong to a cult. More accurately, they belong to a satanic cult.  

Judaism does not preach killing innocent children, christianity or buddhism does not tell its followers to kill people of other faith and Islam does not tell its followers to rape women and girls in the name of God. Those justifications are created by men to appease their twisted minds.

. "And (remember) when your Lord said to the angels: "Verily, I am going to place (mankind) generations after generations on earth." They said: "Will You place therein those who will make mischief therein and shed blood, - while we glorify You with praises and thanks (Exalted be You above all that they associate with You as partners) and sanctify You." He (Allâh) said: "I know that which you do not know."
Surah Al Baqara 2:30

Somehow, believing in God has become a merely 'lip service' without any true sincere conviction. They claim that they do but their hearts do not accept what their mouth are uttering. That is why according to the Wise Owl, we will find people who claim to be religious but yet still lie, cheat and commit heinous acts of sin. They can't see God with their naked eyes or with their heart hence they have no fear of retribution or punishment. For example, hearing about ghosts would not strike the same fear as actually seeing one. They say 'seeing is believing' hence people who can't really 'see' God, are not able to truly believe.

If you put a surveillance camera in a open area where a bag full of money is placed, that alone would not be an assurance that no one will steal the money. The thief can still cover his face thinking no one will recognise him and walk away with the money but if you place a fierce looking security guard with the money, chances are, the money will be intact.

Similarly with us human. Even though we know for a fact that God is watching our every move, that knowledge alone is not sufficient to prevent us from committing bad deeds. Somehow, somewhere along the way we have lost the 'fear of God'.

Not only have lost the fear of God but we have also lost the feeling of humanity. Another person's life has become irrelevant to us especially people we don't know. Human lives have lost its value. We have indeed lost our compassion in that we can sit idle watching innocent people being killed. Some even choose to plead ignorance and pretend not to see.

But we forget, every action or inaction of ours will be questioned later on Judgment day. Are we ready to answer? Can we answer correctly?

It was narrated from Ibn Mas’ood (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The son of Adam will not be dismissed from before his Lord on the Day of Resurrection until he has been questioned about five things: his life and how he spent it, his youth and how he used it, his wealth and how he earned it and how he disposed of it, and how he acted upon what he acquired of knowledge.”

(Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 2422; classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi, 1969)