Friday, 8 April 2016

Through Thick and Thin..

Struggles test the strength of our faith.” ― Lailah Gifty Akita

Yesterday, was the weekly gardening meet with the usual suspect; sis M, sis G, sis F and myself. It has been two weeks since we last met. I really do look forward to our weekly meetings because not only do I get to sharpen my gardening skills and eat all those marvelous food brought by the sisters but also, I enjoy the chit-chats. I love the fact that we talk about everything under the sun, from religion to problems, food and to even how to budget travel to London just to eat fish & chips!

Anyway, I was on a stool, trying to balance myself and avoid being pricked by thorns whilst cutting the leaves of the sidr tree when sis M commented, "you know, we only remember God when we are in trouble but we forget him once we are doing fine. We need to remember more especially when we are happy." As much as I hate to admit it, I too have been guilty of that in the past.

Today, I woke up with a pounding headache. My sniffles had turned into a full blown flu. My nose is so red that even Rudolf would actually be envious. 

The first thing that crossed my mind was, I'm sick because I'm paying for my sins.

Hadrat Abdullah bin Mas'ood(R.A.) reports that Rasulullah(Sallallaahu alaiyhi wassallam) said, 'Whenever a Muslim experiences any hardship like sickness (etc.), Allah Ta'ala wipes away his sins just as a tree sheds its leaves during autumn.'
(Bukhaari and Muslim)

Then, what sis M had said yesterday echoed in my head. It is true. As human, we tend to forget. We forget about the bad times when things are good. We forget lessons learnt during hard times when things becomes easy. We forget about the sacrifices made by others when we have achieved success. We forget about the friends who stood by us when we were down when we have climbed back on top. The saddest part of all, we forget God when we are happy and would only turn to Him when we are in trouble or sad. 

“I am to my servant as he expects of Me, I am with him when he remembers Me. If he remembers Me in his heart, I remember him to Myself, and if he remembers me in an assembly, I mention him in an assembly better than his…”
(Bukhari and Muslim)

So, sometimes when we become forgetful, God sends us little signs. It may come in a gentle form of sis M or in a dizzy form of sickness or even in a big painful slap in the face.  Pay heed. Be thankful. Remember Him always.....

“Remember Allah during times of ease and He will remember you during times of difficulty”

Friday, 1 April 2016

Less but More

“To be content with little is difficult; to be content with much, impossible.” ― Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach.

Just the other day, a friend of mine asked, " How can you be happy having so little when you used to have so much more? Do you have regrets?". Hmmmm..... to tell you the truth, she's not the first person to ask me that.
It has been 4 years since I left the rat-race....

"By (the Token of) Time (through the ages), Verily Man is in loss, Except such as have Faith, and do righteous deeds, and (join together) in the mutual teaching of Truth, and of Patience and Constancy."
Surah Al Asr 103: 1-3

It's true that I had so much more in terms of money, clothes, shoes, handbags and other stuff but all of that came at a price. My work took me away from my family. I missed a lot of small but significant events in my children's life, like their first step and their progression from walking unsteadily to running. I was just too engrossed with my career.
Whilst my career did give me some recognition amongst my peers and friends but I felt small in the Eyes of God.
The Wise Old Man used to tell me, "There's more to life than work. Don't stay back too late." He also said that we will be surprised to know that we can actually survive and be happy with very little. Now, many years after, I daresay that the Wise Old Man is right.

In terms of material stuff or money, I may have less now as compared to before but I discovered something. I have more time for my husband and kids. I'm enjoying motherhood from a completely different angle. And you know what? Most importantly, I have more time for God. I am able to get to know Him better and learn to love Him. I also have more time to get to know our beloved Prophet pbuh, learn his teachings and put it into practise so that I don't feel like a hypocrite when I declare myself to be one of his ummah.

Also, now I have time to reconnect with old friends, spend time with current ones, become a gardener and recently, joined a book club. 

So in actual fact, if you think about it, I have much more now than I ever did before. I have more time, more precious time.  Time is something money can't buy as it belongs to God Almighty. Regret? Not the least bit but instead I feel quite the opposite....grateful...

Ibn Abbas narrated that Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) said:
"There are two blessings which many people lose: (They are) health and free time for doing good."
Sahih Bukhari