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.