Thursday, 19 May 2016

It's ok to be alone......

“There is a certain strength in being alone.” ― Heather Duffy Stone

One of the biggest fear for most of us is being alone.

To be alone often means being lonely. Loneliness is not a nice feeling to have and it can make a person feels utterly depressed.

Long time ago, I found out that in order to discover ourselves, we need to be alone. That is truly when we can learn about our own strengths.

If you think about it. We came into this world alone and we will return to our Maker, alone. Then again, we are never alone. We always have Angels surrounding us and most importantly, we have God.

"When My servants ask thee concerning Me, I am indeed close (to them): I listen to the prayer of every suppliant when he calleth on Me: Let them also, with a will, Listen to My call, and believe in Me: That they may walk in the right way."

Surah Al Baqara 1:186

Today, at the Sisters Book Club, we talked about being alone and being lonely. Actually, we talked about a whole load of others stuff also *grins*. Well....You know how it is...when sisters meet, they tend to talk about everything under sun!

But the gems I got from our discussion was that, sometimes, you find that you need take a certain journey on your own. The journey to get closer to God is the journey that we need to make on our own. Even if we have friends on similar path, each of our experiences will still be different.

And, the beauty of it is....we may be alone but we will never be lonely.

"It was We Who created man, and We know what dark suggestions his soul makes to him: for We are nearer to him than (his) jugular vein."

Surah Qaf 50:16

The Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said, “Allah the Most High said, ‘I am as My servant thinks (expects) I am. I am with him when he mentions Me. If he mentions Me to himself, I mention him to Myself; and if he mentions Me in an assembly, I mention him in an assembly greater than it. If he draws near to Me a hand’s length, I draw near to him an arm’s length. And if he comes to Me walking, I go to him at speed.’”

[Sahih Al-Bukhari]

I'm not saying that we need to isolate everyone in our lives or become a hermit, in order to come close to God. Neither am I'm saying that we shouldn't seek help from others or companionship when we need it.

All I'm saying is that if you find yourself to be alone, don't feel despair or sad as it could be that God wants some private time with you. Perhaps so that you can devote your entire attention to Him without distractions. An intimate session, just you and Him.

Moral of the story....Don't worry...... we are never truly alone...

Thursday, 5 May 2016

The Book Club

“A room without books is like a body without a soul.” ― Marcus Tullius Cicero

The Wise Owl always tells me to read. "Sister, you must continue to read books. You must continue gaining knowledge".

What the Wise Owl said is true, in fact,  "Iqra", which means 'read', was the first word that was uttered by the Angel Jibrail a.s. to our beloved Prophet Muhammad SAW in the cave of Hira', when the first wahyu was revealed.

The good news is that I love books and I love reading. The bad news is that I've been so caught up with other stuff that I couldn't find the time to sit down and actually read a real book. The honest truth is that I've been slacking....

Realising that fact, I decided to do something about about it. The mountain of un-read books that are stacked high at the corner of my bedroom seems to be mocking me every time I glance at it. With all these hi-tech gadgets and gizmos, I tend to get easily distracted. I needed to to discipline myself to get back to old fashion book reading. I needed to do something..

So as a solution...I decided to join the Book Club! I figured that by joining a book club, I would not have any excuse but to read at least 1 book a month. Perfect solution right? I purchased the books on the club's reading list (and added it to the existing mountainous pile) and started reading the book that was going to be discussed at the next book club meet. 

I must admit that I was really looking forward to the book club meet but I was also a bit nervous as I didn't know most of the ladies in the group. The group had decided to meet at one of the Mosque. 

After the introduction, we went on to discuss about the book of the month. Each one of the sisters gave her view on the book and author. 

I must say, I was amazed. I never thought that a book club can be so interesting and fun. I love listening to the views of the sisters with regards to the characters and also the contents of the book. It was refreshing. I discovered that by reading, you can gain knowledge of things that you don't know but by listening, you can gain a deeper understanding of the knowledge that you possess.

Did you know that any gathering with the intention of obtaining knowledge is a blessed gathering?

The prophet (SallaAallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said, “Whoever seeks a path through which to gain knowledge, then Allah will make easy a path for him to Jannah (e.g. facilitate study for you, making the Day of Judgement easy i.e. journey over siraat, etc).” 
Hadith Tirmidhi & Ahmad

I went to the book club meet that day with the intention to discuss a book but what I got instead was so much more. I learnt the true meaning of modesty or 'haya' of women. I learnt about the obstacles and struggles that the other sisters face in trying to be a good Muslimah. Most of all, I made new friends. Now, I can say that I belong to a sisterhood of books. As nerdy as it sounds, I am happy to be part of this group and I am really looking forward to the next meet, to learn more...InshaAllah...

"Proclaim! (or read!) in the name of thy Lord and Cherisher, Who created-
Created man, out of a (mere) clot of congealed blood:
Proclaim! And thy Lord is Most Bountiful,-
He Who taught (the use of) the pen,-
Taught man that which he knew not.
Nay, but man doth transgress all bounds,
In that he looketh upon himself as self-sufficient.
Verily, to thy Lord is the return (of all).
Seest thou one who forbids-
A votary when he (turns) to pray?
Seest thou if he is on (the road of) Guidance?-
Or enjoins Righteousness?
Seest thou if he denies (Truth) and turns away?
Knoweth he not that Allah doth see?
Let him beware! If he desist not, We will drag him by the forelock,-
A lying, sinful forelock!
Then, let him call (for help) to his council (of comrades):
We will call on the angels of punishment (to deal with him)!
Nay, heed him not: But bow down in adoration, and bring thyself the closer (to Allah)!"

Surah Al-Alaq 96:1-19