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By: Abdulqadir Mahmoud

 

Alhamdulillah, here we are in another year, another month, where in less than ten days we will get to offer a sunnah of Nabi Ibrahim (as) and enjoy all that comes after it in shaa Allah. Yes people, it is the month of Hajj and slate forgiveness; it is the 1st of Dhul Hijjah, 1437. But before the meat, clothes and joy, we have the first ten days of this month that come before it. But they are not just any first ten days,

Allah swt says in the Noble Qur’an;

“I swear by the daybreak, And the ten nights, And the even and the odd, And the night when it departs. Truly in that there is an oath for those who possess understanding.”  (Q 89: 1-5)

Allah swt specifies His words to those who understand because they are the ones who truly know their value, as Ibn Abbas RA reported that the Prophet s.a.w said:

“There are no days in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allaah than these ten days.” The people asked, “Not even jihaad for the sake of Allah?” He said, “Not even jihaad for the sake of Allaah, except in the case of a man who went out to fight giving himself and his wealth up for the cause, and came back with nothing.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, 2/457).

Now, most of us have not realized this great opportunity because, even though some may blame it on the rainy weather, we haven’t internalized how great of a breather it is.

In this era of today, wrong has become so opened and celebrated that it has engraved in our mental capacitors that it’s of norm. Whether it is from those strokes of keys on the keyboard or that glance you throw when no one’s looking, or frankly everyone, all the things we do in secrecy or in public, alone or with others, they are still wrong, and we know it. You know the mere aspect of us being Muslim is such a big ne3ma and blessing, subhanallah. Having a Lord that you know looks at you, sees you and completely understands you and still loves you anyway. He swt knows how much temptation and tests, how much trouble we are in just trying to maintain our identities as Muslims, how thin of a thread we are hanging on to them and for that, even after giving us a whole month free from shaytaan with gates of Jannah wide open, Rahma oozing out from His Mercy (Month of Ramadhan), He decided to put aside another 10 days…10 days that He will make more dearer to Him than any other day of every other day that will be existent on this Earth. Subhanallah, how much of a ne3ma is this…no other religion bears any favors of such immensity, proportions, Alhamdulillah 3alaa ne3matil Islaam.

Now you understand what Allah swt was referring to as ‘those who understand’? Good. If not, re-read that paragraph until you do.

During these days, shaytaan will be on steroids trying to woo everyone because he knows their worth so stay sharp. The Prophet (saw) advices us to increase Takbeer (Allaahu akbar), Tahmeed (Al-hamdu Lillah), Tahleel (La ilaha ill-Allaah) and Tasbeeh (Subhaan Allaah). The easiest way to do all these is to recite the dhikr done on the day of eid. Besides, gets the spirit of Eid going. You know that feeling you get in the early morning when the mosques are doing the takbeers and mum’s busy in the kitchen and then you smile to yourself as you realize that it’s the day of eid, Alhamdulillah. So I want you to be saying these dhikr when you walk, stand, sit, lean…Man I want you to be snoring these dhikr. It is also sunnah to recite them out loud, helps to keep your tongues busy and free from shaytaan’s control.

Fasting. This is the most efficient way of both earning the pleasure of Allah and since shaytaan’s out and free, it’s another level keeping a clean slate. Fasting helps in this limitation. But just to put this ibaadah simply, can you imagine the Creator of the most humongous and continuously expanding universe to the smallest, tiny and most minute proton, neutron and electron of smallest atom, smile at the sound of your name, joy at the sight of you humbling yourself to Him through your fasting as He tells every creation to praise you and ask forgiveness for you, because you did that one ibaadah that only He can reward you, in the days that are most beloved to Him. What more better of a gift to your Lord than offering it on His favorite days?

Lastly, cannot emphasis any greater on Salah. This is the single most important ibaadah out there because its validity defines whether everything else you do in service of Allah matters, or not.

These days, they are a gold mine people. Try to utilize them aki. Fight that urge to get up from sujood, force yourself to recite word by word in that ruku’u, say dhikr everywhere you are and every time you remember to. These are special times, especially to Allah and pleasing Him… Every second counts ya akhy, yaa Ukhty, every second counts, every deed counts. Don’t ignore even the smile you give to your fellow muslim when you meet or to shake hands for your sins fall off as long as you have not retracted your hands. Take that dusty translation quran and read a chapter from juzuu 3ama, give charity, don’t argue with mum, help out dad, fight that urge that makes you want to open that music app or look at those hot and catchy pps, forgive that one who looks at you in that weird manner, it’s usually the small things, and they are shaytaan’s traps, don’t fall in, if you do, get straight back out and take this chance that only comes once in every allowed year.

Oh yeah, and do one good right here but sharing this to fellow Muslim friends and relatives. In shaa Allah you too will get a reward for that. Ameen.

By: Hassan Al-Basri

The word Hikmah (wisdom) has been misinterpreted for too long. It means to approach the people in the best way possible, to act in the in most appropriate way, taking that particular situation into account. It has never meant to give a false image of Islam for personal or community welfare. When Muslims are willing to compromise in all aspects of their life, we lose the favor of Allah, emit an image of weakness to our enemies, and lose dignity in the sight of our Creator.

 

All praise is due to Allah, the Just, the Bestower, and peace and blessings upon our beloved and humble Prophet Muhammad (saws). The most popular catch-cry of today’s generation is the word “compromise“. The weak consider it as harmless, the ignorant hold it as beneficial, and the misguided count it as essential.

 

This conclusion may seem extreme, but that’s the reality. In Islam, there is absolutely no room for compromise. There is no evidence that the Prophet (saws) ever did so, nor did his companions, or does the Qur’an provide scope for it.This stance also makes rational sense to those who sincerely dwell upon this topic.

 

A person suffering from a heart condition would be foolish if he chose to consume half of the medicine prescribed, and then took sugar lollies as a substitute for the rest of the tablets. Who is he cheating? Not the doctor, who sought the best possible solution for his condition, nor the pharmacist, who supplied the medicine. The patient is the one at loss.

 

Surely Allah, in His Wisdom and Mercy chose Islam as the medicine for the ills of humanity and the society we live, a cure for the cancer of interest and woes of politics, the mistreatment of women and the division of society, the nature of man and his insatiable desires.

 

Why do we Compromise?

 

There appears to be three main reasons why people will willingly compromise Islam, and those same people will choose those orders Allah has enforced us to follow, according to their own desires and substitute the rest with man-made systems.

 

1. “We are living in hard times, in a difficult society, and thus Allah permits us to compromise,because (now wait for it)…‘Islam is easy, not hard’”.

 

A Hadith also quoted is that narrated by Aisha (raa), who said that when the Prophet (saws) had the choice between two actions, he chose the easiest course. True, Islam is easy to follow, but not to the extent that we are permitted to change the rules set by Allah for our own convenience. When asked for proof for the statement we can compromise, they claim that our condition today is similar to that during the Makkan period of the Prophet’s mission. We should bear patiently like he did then, and act as he did in those circumstance.

 

The fallacy of this argument stands clear when we study the reasons why the Prophet (saws) acted as he did back then, and how later on in his life he (saws) acted differently. We are now living in the Madinah era, the era where the Qur’an was completed. The Makkan period could be seen as a temporary stage where the companions were trained and prepared in that special environment. But Islam was completed, finalized with the ayah: “This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favor upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.” (Qur’an 5:3)

 

Islam was then perfected, so by retracing our steps all the way back to the Makkan era is illogical. A cup full of fresh milk will be spoilt if only a drop of blood was to fall in it. Allah has never asked us to go beyond our capacity to please him, thus arguments such as “I must work in a Haram field because I have no choice” is an invalid argument. If our women must mix with men in the workplace, Allah never asked them to go to such extents. If we eat food, which is declared Haram, don’t expect automatic forgiveness, because no excuse remains. We have transgressed the boundaries. Where as most people use their own rationale to substantiate their weak claims, I have the Word of Allah: “Such is Allah, your Lord in truth. So after the truth, what else can there be, save error.” (Qur’an 10:32)

 

“It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decreed a matter that they should have any option in their decision. And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he has indeed strayed in a plain error.” (Qur’an 33:36)

 

Do you consider our current situation to be much worse than that suffered by the Prophet (saws) and his companions, or the other prophets before him? Surely this is the same code enjoined upon the Prophet (saws) and upon us. Yusuf (as) went through many tortures, but never compromised, but instead turned to his Creator: “O my Lord! Prison is more to my liking than that to which they invite me.” (Qur’an 12:33)

 

It was not in the nature of Yusuf (as), nor in any of the Prophets, nor in any of the righteous servants of Allah, to compromise in order to gain some worldly benefit.

 

Yusuf preferred jail to falling for the lusts of women.

 

2. Another false argument is the apologetic one: “We want to show people a religion, which is easy and doesn’t require much effort, not to make people run away from Islam.”

 

In truth, people have been running to Islam because, when shown in its real light, Islam provides the solutions people have been seeking. They do not want a mixture of Islam with the Kuffir they fled. Showing Islam in a “moderate” or “soft” light will only give the wrong image of an already perfect religion.

 

3. The third argument is that we must compromise in order to strengthen Islam.

 

We must enter and join these institutions, join hands with the non-Muslims who are our partners in this life. This way, we can spread Islam, and live happily ever after.

 

WRONG!!! Again, there is no proof in the Shariah for this view, but rather to the contrary. Surah al -Kafirun is a prime example of this: “Say: “Disbelievers! I do not worship what you worship, nor do you worship what I worship. I shall never worship what you worship, neither will you worship what I worship. You have your own religion and I have mine.” (Qur’an 109)

 

Muhammad (saws) declared his religion to be that of Ibrahim (as). The unbelievers thus argued that there was no reason for them to leave their own beliefs and take up that of Muhammad’s (saws), seeing they were of the same religion. They sought to compromise with him, proposing that he should prostrate before their gods in exchange for them prostrating before Allah, and he could demand whatever he wanted from them. This Surah was revealed in an uncompromising tone, clearly dividing Tawheed (monotheism) from shirk (polytheism), establishing a true criterion, allowing for no further wrangling. This wasn’t the only situation. When the Prophet’s (saws) uncles felt that he was getting too powerful, they tried to bribe him with the gifts of this world. They offered him the leadership of Makkah, wealth if that was his purpose, the most charming wife if that was what pleased him, yet he refused all these because he only desired that the truth prevailed. Under such harsh and luring circumstances, he (saws) commented that if the sun were to be given in his right hand, and the moon in his left, never would he leave this cause until Allah will elevate it, or he would die striving for this cause. This was his prime opportunity; if it were in his nature to compromise, he could have accepted the leadership, secretly hid his true convictions, and later spread Islam after being confident and powerful enough. Rasulallah (saws) was known as the Trustworthy and due to this fact he (saws) was thus able to kindle the fire of Arab nationalism and would thus have united them. They would have responded gladly to his call, tired of their tribal warfare’s. Thereafter, he could free the Arab lands from the domination of the Romans and the Persians. He could have easily established an Arab state in this way, instead of bearing thirteen years of pain and torture. He could have made the people bow initially before his authority, then he could have used his position of authority to impose the belief in the unity of Allah, and bow before the True God. This was not what Allah desired though, and that is not Islam. Islam seeks the destruction of all forms of evil, through pure ways, not the manipulation of evil to reach a pure goal.

 

This is not possible, nor permissible. Even in a life or death situation, we are told of the rewards if we persevere and bear patiently. Ibrahim (as) chose to burn in the fire prepared by his own father, rather than to hide his religion, leave the area, and spread the Word of Allah.

 

If Allah (swt) or the Prophet (saws) have forbidden us to do something, we must believe with all our being that it is forbidden for our benefit. For example: Music – it is Haram (except the duff on certain occasions)…don’t try to change it around to suit your desires, by saying those favourite words we hear over and over again as justification, “I know its Haram ……but..?” If the Prophet (saws) forbade it, that’s it, accept it, don’t try and “Islamisize” it. You can’t, unless of course you think you know better? (istaghfirullah, May Allah protect us from this)

 

Another example is the issue of Hijab: Many Muslim sisters have even tried to “Islamisize” this act of devotion, which has guidelines and conditions. This stance is very weak…often justified by this saying, “But, if we look more fashionable, the non-Muslims won’t find it so hard to relate to us.” Wrong!!, as Allah (swt) says in the Qur’an: “Never will the Jews nor the Christians be pleased with you till you follow their religion. Say: “Verily, the Guidance of Allah, that is the only Guidance. And if you were to follow their (Jews and Christians) desires after what you have received of knowledge (i.e. the Qur’an), then you would have against Allah neither any “Wali” (Protector or Guardian) nor any helper.” (Qur’an 2:120)

 

No Excuse Allhamdulillah, we are provided with all the necessities of life. We have enough money to purchase Halal products and these are available everywhere, so we need not compromise in terms of our food. We can freely wear the required clothing asked by Allah, so we have no excuse not to. Our sisters need not mix in our universities or workplaces, because Allah never requested them to compromise Islam to gain worldly knowledge. We can choose our work, our partners, our lifestyle, yet we consider ourselves fighting some imaginary “Jihad” of the nafs. Indeed, you never had an excuse, and you certainly do not now, so cling to the path chosen by Allah; to all of it, for that is the only way we can dig ourselves from this rotten trough we have fallen in. We will inevitably fall if we prefer to attribute orders to Allah, which He never asked for. “Say you (O Muhammad): ‘This is my way; I invite unto Allah with sure knowledge, I and whosoever follows me with sure knowledge. And Glorified and Exalted be Allah. And I am not of the Mushrikun.’” (Qur’an 12:108) “And verily, this is my Straight Path, so follow it, and follow not other paths, for they will separate you away from His path. This He has ordained for you that you may become pious.” (Qur’an 6:153)

 

(Read more )http://justamuslim.com/compromise/

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

 

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Hassan Al Basir;

Is a friend,Humanitarian,Mentor,Listener and Future youth advocate Who is Struggling to make his Heart and Mind work together.

His thoughts and words of inspiration may portray piety that he struggles to achieve at Times,If you see him falter kindly make a du’a(prayer) for him.

His blog Justamuslim.com  is a letter to the world Focusing on Deen Reminders and showing the world the beauty of Islam,Promoting peace,Tolerance and Justice among diverse Faiths .

 

Photo Courtesy: iface cover

We all have flaws, mistakes, things we are not so proud of. We all have things within us that remain buried; secrets we wouldn’t want people to know about. But sometimes we feel so helpless so we let people into our dark world, we tell them our secrets, our fears and our regrets. We allow them to see the real us by being vulnerably honest. And sometimes people get to know our flaws just by chance. They perhaps weren’t supposed to know… but the risk here is; are they going to keep your secret?

There are people who look so angelic, so pious, so good then you somehow get to know of their flaw, their bad habit that could ruin their CV, what do you do with that information? Call a press conference? Do an exposé or perhaps get a live footage to crucify them? Do you go around saying, ‘I always knew these pious people are hypocrites?’ And if the person was never pious in the first place do you go about saying, ‘look at the mate of shaitan?’ It doesn’t really matter how you do it; whether you just bad mouth them or go to worst extents of exposing them on social media or the internet, it just isn’t right.

You know people keep forgetting one important thing; that even the best of people fall in the trap of shaitan and the worst people eventually change to be wonderful people. We forget that Iblis was once the most pious creature in the heavens then what happened to him? We forget that we are all so vulnerable to fall in that same ugly trap that we crucify others for.

How do we forget the story of the very pious man who was approached by 3 brothers who were travelling for a very long time. They trusted him with their younger sister and that he be’s her guardian while they were are away. The pious man was as pure as ever. He protected the girl and would always take food to her place, knock the door and leave the food at the door before she came out. But shaitan started whispering in his ears, he started talking to the girl and that went on until he slept with her. The girl became pregnant and gave birth. The pious man was not yet set free from shaitan’s trap for he was convinced to go on and kill both the child and the girl. That once very pious man became a zannii, a murderer, a betrayer. How then are we so confident of ourselves when we wash others publicly and mock them for their misdeeds? How many times have we heard of very arrogant, very ignorant, very bad people who turned back to Allah? So who are we to judge and spread word of the misdeeds of others? Doesn’t it scare you that someday you could fall in the same trap or even worse? That perhaps the best way to do this is approach someone nicely and correct them, guide them, pray for them, help them and be there for them when they need to change? It’s true sometimes they don’t see the mistakes they are making. They see nothing wrong with themselves so they get rebellious when told the bitter truth about what they do. They may not accept your help. All you have to do is pray for them and keep trying. Give them space when they need one…but just don’t stop praying for them.

There are so many stories around us and since the time of the prophet of how people have greatly changed their ways. We are not better than those that we talk about. We are not any more pious or holy for pointing out people’s mistakes. Not unless it is very necessary and you are perhaps looking for help from other people to join in helping the person then it just isn’t right.

Human Beings are imperfect, we are prone to commit sins but the Worst sin is exposing your brother. In the Literal Meaning of Ali Ibn Abi Talib’s quote he says Never look down upon a Sinner because You never Know if he repents. Yes we are in Dark Ages (Akhir Zamaan) where Sinning Openly has been the order of the day but that does NOT qualify us to Uncover the Sinners. Look how the Prophet taught us: Ibn ‘Umar (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: Messenger of Allah (ﷺ ) said, “A Muslim is a brother of (another) Muslim, he neither wrongs him nor does hand him over to one who does him wrong. If anyone fulfills his brother’s needs, Allah will fulfill his needs; if one relieves a Muslim of his troubles, Allah will relieve his troubles on the Day of Resurrection; and if anyone covers up a Muslim (his sins), Allah will cover him up (his sins) on the Resurrection Day”. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

One other very scary thing about life is that you just don’t know at what state you are going to die. You don’t know how low or high your imaan will be at sakratul maut. You don’t know how much you’d have changed by then. So before you crucify anyone for their sins, remember you have your own to repent for. This doesn’t mean it is okay what they are doing. Sins are sins. There is no justification. It also doesn’t mean they can get away with their dirty secrets. It just means you are going to give them the benefit of doubt where there is no proof, you are going to correct them but in a nice way and separately not in front of other people. That you are going to help them correct themselves when they need it. That you are only going to talk about it when it is very necessary to do so. Otherwise, when your brother lets you see their flaws and mistakes be sure to tell them, ‘Bro, i’m going to help you. I got it covered.’

Always remember this:

من ستر مسلما ستره الله يوم القيامة
Man satara musliman satarahullaahu yaumal qiyama (Muslim)
Translation: Whoever covered the disgrace of a Muslim then Allah will cover her shame on the Day of Judgement…

Photo Courtesy: Unknown

Since our childhood we’ve been told, taught and re-told about qadar (fate & destiny). We chorused it as one of the six pillars of Imaan (faith). We always say it proudly that we believe in what God has written for us. But how true is that? How much do you believe in the light at the end of the tunnel?

The true test of Faith is not when you win, not when things go as you wish, not when you are happy with your results. The true test is when you have worked extra hard yet still fail, when you have lost your beloved one, when your duas remain unanswered, when you don’t get a husband or when you get a divorce. It is these moments that you should question yourself; how much do I believe in what Allah had written for me?

When going through a hard time, it is so difficult to think straight. There is so much despair, pain and frustration. But do you take time to question yourself that perhaps this is really the best for me? That perhaps something good is to come from this? That perhaps Allah is protecting me from something more harmful?

I once asked a friend who was competing in an international project whether he believes there could be any good in him losing. The competition was that the winner would win 10 million dollars to do a huge youth project (that they had proposed) in their home land. He was short-listed and that was when I asked ‘do you believe there could be any good?’ But of course anyone would think, what could be good in losing 10 million dollars?! I mean, all that money could do wonders. But have you ever thought of it this way?

You get 10 million dollars. The first thing anyone does is throw a party. It’s time to celebrate. It’s time to hang out with friends. It’s time to party. It could also be the time for extravagance. The time for arrogance. The time to totally ignore your parents. The time to break all your principles. The time to do fasad. You think you can control money demons? Well, truth is, money always had a way of controlling man. This is why Allah S.W clearly stated it in the qur’an; that wealth is fitnah. Haven’t we seen very humble people become so arrogant because of wealth? Haven’t we seen how people change?

My friend never won. His project was so inspiring and amazing I was almost sure he would win yet he didn’t. Then I said, “perhaps this wasn’t kheir for you. Perhaps you would have changed and we wouldn’t be able to recognize you again…”

You will be disappointed of course. Everyone does. But how quickly do you recover from it?

One of things I really push myself to do is see things beyond. Take a different view point. When someone you love is very ill; the kind of ‘very ill’ that there is barely any hope in them you cry to Allah to give them shifaa right? You give out sadaqa, you do all you can to make them feel well but then Allah still takes them away. You cry again; you cry your heart out. ‘Why didn’t Allah answer my prayers?’ But have you ever thought of how much more this person would have suffered had they lived more? When my late aunt; mama two (for those who have read her story here) passed away her leg had been cut three times. She was diabetic. Sometimes I really feel nostalgic. I look at my nephew and wish she could be here to be an amazing grandma. But then I also imagine how life would have been for her in crutches. How spending her 50’s in all that struggle and pain would be for her. Then I say alhamdulilah. Allah knew she deserved to rest. Allah knew this life would no longer serve her much good. So yes, even in death, perhaps there is so much mercy that we never look at.

Many times people pray istikhara to ask Allah for what is best. But the problem is, you ask Allah yet you already have an opinion. You already want to travel. You have made a choice already, then how will you see Allah’s answer when you are already blinded by what you want? You pray to ask Allah if the job is kheir for you, when your prayer turns out negative, you still put your opinion that ‘perhaps I haven’t prayed well. Maybe I should just try.’ And many of us have become victims of claiming ‘I believe in qadar’ yet we think we are so smart to take onto life by ourselves.

You pray istikhara to ask about a spouse, it turns out negative but because the person seems good, family members start giving you a list of reasons of why you should agree. Hallo? Where is your imaan in qadar? Where is your belief that what is meant to be will be even if all humans are against it? Where is your faith that what isn’t meant to be will not happen even if the entire mankind gang up to support it? Trust me, when the right person comes, everything will work out miraculously. There will be no doubt. There will be no obstacles. There will only be Allah’s mercy and everything will flow as it should be…same thing with jobs, children and everything else we want in life.

So here you are, you get a wonderful job offer, you send your CV, you are so excited to start your new job then suddenly…they decline. They just change their mind. And you are left there, shocked and perhaps angry. You get another job which pays much less than what you would have received before. You wonder why. You start questioning why. God why?! Then this same job that pays you less brings out the best of your abilities and you prosper such that you keep climbing up the ladder. At that time, you don’t even remember to thank Allah that He brought you here and not there. You think it is your hard work. Yet it is Allah’s great plan to bring you to greatness.

Perhaps the best thing for you to do is ask Allah for what is kheir for you. Ask for success that is kheir. A job that is kheir. A spouse that is kheir. To grant you children that are kheir. To grant you wealth that is kheir…don’t rush to ask for things. Ask Allah from His own knowledge to grant you only what is best for you.

And when your duas are not answered you have to believe that this was simply not kheir for you. When you keep having miscarriages, when you are getting old with no husband, when you never get a well paying job…just think of all the bad possibilities that could have happened if you indeed got what you asked for. Think like a public relations manager. These people’s jobs is to think of the worst of scenarios before thinking of how they will deal with the situation. So you too, think about it.

If I had children…perhaps they would grow up to be very cruel children that would cause me nothing but pain.

If I had a good job…perhaps I would be too busy to be with my family anymore.

If I had a spouse…perhaps I wouldn’t be strong enough to deal with the challenges of marriage

And when people start questioning your calmness in dealing with your problems; when they ask you why you are not yet getting married, why you haven’t conceived yet, why you haven’t bought the house you wanted to…tell them; I am just going by the flow that which Allah has written for me. And what He has written for me is the best for me. So I will keep believing in His plan until the day He knows is the right time for my plan to come true.

Remember, all these obstacles you meet on your way to your destination are but reasons to drive you away to something better; something that Allah had written for you.

So whenever you are having a bad day, whenever things seem to be going haywire, whenever you feel in despair, ask yourself: how much do I believe in qadar?

 

How much do you believe in Allah’s best and great plan for you??

 

Hold on right there 😊

By: Swaleh Arif

In the name of Allah, The most beneficent, The most Merciful.

One of my great uncles once remarked to an overweight woman that God didn’t like fat people. Needless to say she was reduced to tears. Then she lamented, “But how can that be? He’s the one that made me this way!”. He defended his comment by pointing out that overweight people were generally lazy in worship.1

As cruel as this statement may be, it does hold some truth in it. Imam Ghazali (may Allah have mercy on him) once quoted, “A full stomach fattens the body, hardens the heart, dulls the intellect, and renders man lazy in worship.”2

However, can someone still be obese and appear physically normal at the same time? As much as this world is physical, it is metaphysical as well. It’s unfortunate how most people have solely focused on the material and ignored the immaterial, thereby creating an imbalance that has caused a negative impact on a global scale.

To answer my question, yes it’s possible. This is achieved through what I’d like to call ‘mental obesity’. It’s similar to physical obesity in the sense that it involves the consumption of filth and junk.Once you notice the similarity, it’s easy to draw parallels between the physical and metaphysical aspects of obesity.

As much as I’d like to explore and elaborate these aspects, I’m inclined at the moment to simply explain how people unwittingly (or deliberately) subject themselves to this illness. As I mentioned above, it pertains to the consumption of filthy and unhealthy material. However, I’ll ignore the physical aspect because it’s quite obvious what it’s causes are i.e. junk food, lack of exercise and so forth.

When it comes to mental obesity, it’s a bit tricky to employ a measurement of scale, unlike physical obesity that can be measured by the use of Body Mass Index (BMI), among others. This is because the full negative impact it creates on the mind and soul is often hidden from the naked eye and it’ll take time and keen analysis to actually make an approximate estimation. Nonetheless, identifying the causes of this metaphysical disease is relatively easy.

When we consider the causes, two things come in play: what we see and what we hear. These two senses form the most immediate routes through which information reaches the brain. Never has there been a time when access to information has been made easy, other than this one. And never has there been a time when access to harmful information has been made easy, other than this one. Majority of the world’s population has been exposed to harmful information in the form of films and music that leave little to the imagination, books and magazines that are explicit, video games that perpetrate violence, world leaders that perpetuate hatred and bigotry, the list is endless.

The effect of the aforementioned causes is this: it puts us to sleep, it robs us the ability to think, to focus on the most important things that will make our lives better if we pay attention to them. Mental obesity is a tool designed with the intention of controlling the masses. As I’m writing this, an attack has occurred in the Ataturk International Airport in Istanbul just a few days ago where many lives have been lost and many more have been injured.

Yet most, if not all, of us will simply post a facebook status talking about how our thoughts and prayers are with them, and then nada. Our job is done. Congratulations! We’ve succeeded in making this world a better place yay!

But we actually can make this world a better place. We can turn it into the eutopia that we and our forefathers envisioned it to be, not the dystopian wasteland that it’s going to be. We can only do this, however, if we decide to flex our brains and do those mental push ups while consuming healthy metaphysical food.

So stop watching porn, stop watching pointless Tv shows and films that will not move your soul in the right direction. Stop doggedly obsessing over the lives of celebrities who don’t even know you, who set unrealistic standards in your lives to intentionally make you feel miserable.

Instead, read the Quran or any good book that’ll nourish your mind and spirit, consume good information that’ll open up your mind and see the possibilities of a better future, listen to good music, watch empowering lectures.

You’ll change your life for the better and you’ll be able to change the world for the better.

Stop being a zombie.

Start being human.

Notes

1. This paragraph was not meant for people suffering from obesity due to circumstances beyond their control. I pray to Allah he brings them relief in this life and the next.

2. Ihya ulum-u-din, book 1; the book of knowledge.

Picha: http://missionislam.com/

Mwandishi: Fafi

Uislamu ni dini ya imani, yenye msingi wa Quran na Sunnah ambayo ni maneno na vitendo vya mtume (S.A.W). Nguzo za uislamu ni mfumo wa maisha ya muislamu. Nazo ni shahada, swala, utoaji wa zakah(kuwasaidia wenye dhiki), kufunga katika mwezi mtukufu wa Ramadhan na kuhiji Makkah japo mara moja kwa mwenye uwezo. Ni dini yenye wafuasi wengi na sana sana hutambulika kwa jinsi waislamu wanavyofuata dini yao.

Wanazuoni wa sharia ya kiislamu walisema kwamba kuna mambo sita ya sita ambayo mwanadamu anafaa kuyalinda vyovyote iwezekanavyo. Kwanza ni maisha. Unapochukua maisha umeokoa maisha, ndipo dini ikaamrisha kuuliwa kwa atakaye muuwa mwenzake yani qisas. Mathalan anapopanga mtu kuuwa kisha akahofia adhabu ile, hivyo basi dini imeokoa maisha ya watu wawili na kadhalika. Siri ya pili ni mali. Mali ni jambo la kuthaminiwa sana ndio maana ni sharia kwa anaedaiwa kulipa deni hilo na unapoiba mali ya mtu anafaa kukatwa mkono. Ya tatu nayo ni hadhi yani “izzag”. Mwanadamu anatakiwa alinde hadhi yake na pia heshima yake. Ndio sababu ya kuwekwa sharia ya kumpiga mwenye kuzini au kumpiga kwa mawe hadi kufa kwa wale waliokuwa kwenye ndoa.

Siri ya nne nayo ni akili. Muislamu anafaa kukaa na akili zake timamu kama alivyoumbwa na mwenyezi Mungu mtukufu. Ndipo kukaharamishwa pombe na mihadarati yote. Muislamu hafai kuwa na uraibu wa kitu chochote ila isipokuwa ni halali na hakina madhara kwake. Mtume Muhammad rehema na Amani zimshukie yeye amesema, “mwenye kufa ilhali yupo katika hali ya uraibu basi amekufa kifo cha mshirikina”.

Siri ya tano ni kizazi. Ni jukumu letu kulinda kizazi na kujenga undugu. Mathalan, kiislamu mke wa mtu hafai kumfungulia mwanamme yeyote kuingia kwake ikiwa mume wake hayuko. Mtume wetu asema “shemeji ni kifo” kwa sababu anatangamana na mkeo na mwisho anaweza kukusaliti. Siri ya mwisho ni dini. Mwenyezi Mungu mtukufu anasema kwenye kitabu chake tukufu katika sura ya nane aya ya thelathini na tisa,

“na wapigeni vita mpaka kuwe hakuna fitna na iwe dini ya Allah peke yake. Lakini wakiacha hakika mwenyezi Mungu anayaona wanayoyatenda”. Kwa hiyo ni lazima tulinde dini yetu.

Tukiangazia hali ya uislamu duniani tunapata kuna madiliko chungu mzima ambayo yamejitokeza. Uislamu tuliokuwa nayo leo sio kama vile zamani ambapo kila mahali palikuwa shwari na dini yenyewe ilikuwa inanawiri. Kila siku zinavyopita na maendeleo kukithiri ndivyo waislamu haswa vijana wanavyokumbana na changamoto. Kama tunavyojua, hiki kipindi cha ujana, kuanzia miaka kumi na sita hadi thelathini na tano ndipo homoni za mwanadamu zinakuwa moto. Hapa ndipo utakuta kijana anakutwa na kila aina ya majanga. Alisema mtume wa mwenyezi Mungu (S.A.W) miongoni mwa makundi saba ya watu ambao watakuwa chini ya kivuli cha mwenyezi siku ya kiyama ni kijana ambaye moyo wake umeambatana na msikiti. Kijana ambaye anashinda msikitini akimtukuza Allah na kutenda ibada akitafuta ridhaa zake. Tunapoangazia haya yote ndipo tunapotanabahi ya kwamba kijana ana nafasi kubwa sana katika mujtama’a wa uislamu na maisha kwa ujumla. Hivyo basi ni muhimu tuangazie kwa kina zile changamoto zinazowakumba vijana na zile sukuhu amabazo tutapendekeza.

Naam, changamoto zeneyewe zinatofautiana kulingana na sehemu anapoishi yule kijana. Wale wanaoishi katika nchi zinazotawaliwa kwa mfumo wa kiislamu changamoto zao zina nafuu tukilinganisha na wale wanaishi katika nchi zinazotawaliwa kwa mifumo mingine kama vile demokrasia na mingineyo.

Changamoto ya kwanza kabisa ambayo ambayo ningependa kuizungumzia ni swala la Elimu. Elimu naweza kusema ni kama msumeno, hukata mbele na nyuma. Mathalan, ina kochokocho na manufaa yake mingi pia. Mfumo wa elimu yetu ulivyo unaweza kupoteza watoto kuanzia umri mdogo wanapojiunga na shule za chekea. Kwa mfano kuna nadharia ambayo vijana wetu wanafundishwa katika somo la historia ambayo ni potofu sana. Nadharia kama ile inayowafunza wanafunzi kwamba wanadamu wanatoka na kizazi cha kima ni moja wapo ambayo inapotosha watoto. Elimu kama hii inaanza kumchanganya mwanafunzi na kuanza kushuku vitu vingi vya dini ambavyo sio sawa. Wako wazazi ambao wanapeleka watoto wao katika shule za dini zingine kama vile wakatoliki wanaambiwa kwamba Nabii Issa ni mwana wa Mungu. Ukienda kama marekani utapata watoto wanaambiwa kwamba kila mtu ana uhuru wa kufanya kila jambo analotaka. Wanafunzwa kwamba maumbile yako tofauti, utapata watu wa jinsia moja wanafanya mapenzi. Haya yote yanatokana na athari ya masomo ambayo wanayapata katika shule hizi. Dini iko na msimamo mkali kuhusu jambo hili. Lakini watoto wanakua na mambo haya kwa akili halafu inafikia muda inakuwa ngumu kumbadilisha mtu. Mwenyezi Mungu anasema kwenye kitabu kitukufu kwenye sura ya saba aya ya themanini na moja,

“nyinyi manaowaendea wanaume kwa kuwa mnawatamani badala ya wanawake! Ama nyinyi ni watu wafujaji”.

Katika wakati wa maswahaba, walikuwa wakichoma na kuwaacha pasi na kuwaswalia hata janazah wanaofanya tendo hili ovu. Je kama tumewafunza watoto wetu na kuwapa elimu ya dini wangejihusisha na tabia kama hizi?

Ama kwa upande wa pili, elimu pia ni nguzo katika mambo mengi, tumeamrishwa tutafute elimu. Elimu husaidia katika mambo chungumzima kujikimu kimaisha. Suluhisho kwa jambo hili ni kwa wazazi wahakikishe watoto wao wanapata elimu iliyo sahihi. Na hali zisizoepukika inawalazimu wawe wakihimiza wanana wao kujua dini itakayowasaidia leo na kesho akhera.

Ama changamoto ya pili ni mihadarati na madawa ya kulevya. Jambo hili sana sana husababiswa na shinikizo vijana wanapokuwa hawana kitu cha kufanya na hupata wakati mwingi wa kutangamana na wenziwao walio waislamu na hata wasio waislamu. Vijana na waislamu kwa jumla tuko wa aina mbili. Kuna wale wenye Imani thabiti na wale wenye Imani dhaifu. Wale vijana wenye Imani ya nguvu wanaweza kukataa wanaposhawishiwa kufanya jambo lisilo kuwa la sawa. Ama kwa wale wenye Imani dhaifu wao hujikuta wamefuata wenzao kwenye maasi. Suala la madawa ya kulevya ni suala la kusikitisha sana na linaathiri ulimwengu mzima. La kusikitisha Zaidi ni kwamba hapa kenya, pwani ndio inayoongoza. Tunapoteza vijana wetu wenye akili nzuri. Vijana ambao wangeimarisha dini ya kiislamu pamoja na kuleta maendeleo katika nchi kuichumi, michezo na Nyanja nyinginezo. Suluhisho ya jambo hili ni kuwapa vijana wetu ajira ili wasipate muda wa kukaa mabarazani au maskani kama wanavyoziita sehemu hizo. Tunaweza kuja na miradi tofauti tofauti.

Changamoto ya tatu ni teknolojia. Jambo hili pia ni ndumakuwili kwani faida zake na hasara zinakaribia kuwa sawa. Waswahili wanasema kuwa mgala muuwe na haki yake umpe, hivyo basi ningependa kuanzia na mazuri yaliyoletwa na teknolojia. Dini ya kiisalamu na ulimwengu kwa jumla umeendelea pakubwa kutokana na manufaa yaliyoletwa na teknolojia. Tumeweza kusoma dini kwa mtandao na kufanya utafiti wa kila aina kwa mtandao. Shughuli za nchi pia zimeweza kufanywa kwa wepesi na urahisi na kusababisha maendelea makubwa katika Nyanja mbali mbali kama vile kilimo.

Teknolojia vile vile imeleta maafa mengi sana. Ujumbe wowote kwa mfumo kama vile video, sauti au hata arafa umekuwa mkubwa na rahisi. Jambo hili limefanya vijana kuona picha chafu ambazo zinawaharibu akili. Zinawapotezea muda wao kwa sababu siku hizi vijana wanakesha kwenye mtandao wakifanya upuzi mwingi. Akili zao zinakuwa zimejaa mambo yasiyokuwa na maana. Ndipo ukapata kijana mkubwa wa umri tu lakini akili ya watoto. Hawawezi kukomaa kiakili iwapo mambo wanayoshinda wakifanya ni ya kipumbavu. Imezidisha zina katika jamii, kiasi cha kuwa watu wanazini mpaka hadharani. Pia imevunja ndoa nyingi sana katika jamii ya kiislamu. Vijana wanasasisha kila jambo wanalofanya katika mitandao ya kijamii kama vile “Facebook”,”Twitter” na “Instagram”. Kumekuwa hakuna siri tena. Jambo hili linaweza kusababisha husuda pia. Na jambo lingine katika kusasisha mambo kwenye mtandao ni katika utoaji wa sadaka na zakah. Mtu anatoa zakah na sadaka ambayo ni mambo mazuri lakini anajitangaza kwenye mitandao hii. Hili linapelekea mfumo mzima wa kupeana kwake sadaka na zakah kuwa riyaa. Mtume (S.A.W) anasema “toa kwa mkono wa kulia,wa kushoto usijue.” Mambo mengine kama haya huenda yakatufanya tukose thawabu kwa jinsi tunavyojumuisha vitu. Na huenda zikabadilisha nia yetu zakufanya matendo na tukaishia kufanya mambo visivyo. Suluhisho ya jambo hili ni kuwa tunatakiwa kuwa waangalifu katika kumpokea mgeni huyu. Tujaribu vilivyo kuepukana na fitina iliyomo ndani ya jambo hili. Tutumie kwa mambo yatakayoimarisha dini yetu, kusaidia jamii na ulimwengu kwa jumla.

Changamoto ya nne ni Umoja. Sisi kama waislamu tunatakiwa kuwa wamoja. Tushikamane, tushirikiane na tusaidiane katika mambo yetu ya kila siku. Tutakapo fanya hivi tutakuwa na msimamo bora kabisa na msingi bora wa kimasisha. Tutakuwa kielelezo chema kwa watu wasiokuwa waislamu. Tukiwa pamoja tunaweza kuvutia adinasi lukuki katika dini yetu. Umoja huleta maendeleo, furaha na Amani. Tutaweza kusuluhisha tatizo hili kwa kwa kukubali na kuzifahamu tofauti zetu, na sote tujiangalie kama waislamu na wala sio kutumia makabila kujitambulisha. Hakika kizazaa chengine kipo katika malezi. Tena nasisitiza MALEZI! Asilimia kubwa anavyokuwa kijana husababishwa na malezi yanayotokana na wazazi. Kwanza mzazi anamlea mtoto kwa matusi, kivipi tunataraji mtoto huyo ataongea maneno mazuri akikuwa.

Mtoto anapigwa kama ngoma, mtoto huyo ni mbwa mara kesho ni punda. Kuna wazazi wenye vilma vichafu jamani. Ndipo pale watoto wanakulia vibaya. Pili watoto haswa wale wenye mzazi mmoja, pengine baba pekee au mama. Kuna wale wanaoacha kuwashughulikia wanawao kifedha pindi tu akimuona yule mtoto kakuwa lakini hajapata njia yoyote ya kujikimu kimaisha. Jambo hili ni hatari sana hususan kwa wasichana. Wewe kama mzazi unatarajia mtoto kama yule atoe pesa za kujikimu wapi? Wapo wasichana wengi wanaoathirika na mambo kama haya ndani ya vyuo vikuu. Tukiongea ukweli hapa ni kama yule mzazi anamsukuma yule mtoto aende akaombe. Na ataombea wapi? Mahali penye pesa si kwa wavulana wadogo kama wao bali ni mijibaba yenye pesa zao! Na tukumbuke hakuna vya bure. Ndipo hapo tunaskia flani kapachikwa mimba, mara flani kapata ukimwi. Alafu flani ndio atalaumiwa bila kuzingatia mzizi uliomeesha miba hiyo, ambayo ni wazazi. Sasa ombi langu kwa wazazi kama vile mulivyoanza kuwaangalia watoto wenu walipokuwa wadogo, maadamu mtoto huyo hajapata namna halali ya kupata riziki, ni wajibu kwenu kuwaangalia hata kama ni hicho chako kidogo, mpe! Ataridhia na kutosheka kuliko kumnyima kisha kuletewa majanga nyumbani, waama usipoziba ufa utajenga ukuta. La tatu utapata wazazi ambao hawana uhusiano mwema au wa karibu na watoto wao. Hii inasababisha watoto wajihisi wametengwa, wanakosa ule upendo unaotakikana hivyo basi wanaenda kupenda watu wasio sahihi. Kwa ujumla wazazi wajitahidi waepuke mambo kama haya.

Ama changamoto nyingine ambayo inatukumba ni kuwepo wanazuoni wengi wenye kutofautiana hivyo basi kutuchanganya na kutuacha kwenye mataa. Mathalan ukienda mjini capetown katika nchi ya afrika kusini, wapo wanazuoni wanaoamini kitabu kitukufu cha Quran lakini hawaamini hadith za mtume. Sasa tunashangazwa, kwa sababu tukiangalia suala kama hilo,swala iliteremsha na kutajwa katika Quran lakini idadi ya rakaa tulipata kwa Mtume(S.A.W). kivipi leo tupate wanavyuoni wanaokubali Quran na kukataa Sunnah! Pia hivi majuzi nchini ufaransa walipiga marufuku mavazi ya hijabu na mitandio. Kisha pakatokea mwanachuoni mmoja kutoka sehemu za Azhar na kusema watu wafuate marufu hayo. Sasa wafaransa walianza kuwacheka waislamu kwa kutojielewa. Mtume Muhammad (S.A.W) alisema,

“Ninachohofia Zaidi katika ummah wangu ni wanazuoni dhaif”. Vile vile tofauti katika kufasiri ayah za Quran na hadith zinasababisha vijana kutojielewa. Vijana husikiza khutbah za wanazuoni wengi.

Jambo la ndoa za kulazimishwa ni jingine ambalo linawakumba vijana wa kiisalamu. Hili hutokana na wazazi kuwa na tamaa ya pesa ama mila kwa makabila mengine. Jambo hili sio zuri na ni moja katika sababu kuu zinazosababisha kuongezeka kwa talaka katika jamii. Mwenyezi anasema kwenye Quran katika sura ya wanawake aya ya 19;

“Enyi mlioamini! Si halali kwenu kurithi wanawake pasi na matakwa yao, wala msiwazuie (kuolewa kwa wanaume wengine kwa kuwa hamuwataki) ili mupate kuwanyang’anya baadhi ya zile mlizowapa. Isipokuwa wawe wamefanya uovu uliowazi…..” hadi mwisho wa ayah. Ndoa kama hizi za kulazimishwa haziruhusiwi. Suluhisho ni kwamba wazazi wanapaswa kuacha tabia kama hzi.

Nayo changamoto nyengine ambayo inawakumba vijana na waislamu wengine ni hisia za udhalili. Asilimia kubwa ya waislamu hawajiamini. Hawajiamini kidini na pia mambo mengine ya maana. Tunafaa kutambua kwamba dini yetu ndio ya haki na kila kilichoamrisha na mwenyezi Mungu kina sababu yake, unaweza kuithibitisha kisayansi au pia kimantiki. Uislamu ndio unajali maslahi ya kila mtu. Sisi kama waislamu tunatakiwa tujiamini kidini kwanza kisha mambo yote yatafunguka. Tuondoe shaka kabisa katika akili zetu.

Tatizo jingine kubwa linalotupata ni mazingira ya kazi. Vijana tunakumbwa na fitina nyingi katika kazi zetu. Unyanyasaji wa kijinsia kwa wavulana na wasichana. Sio kazi za uhandisi,sio maofisini,sehemu karibia zote hapakosekai tatizo hili. Ukweli ni kuwa tunaweza kupunguza mambo kama haya kwanza kwa kuhakisha wasichana wamevaa kiheshima na kuwepo mazingira ya kazi ya kuheshimika. Unajua wanaume wana maradhi mengi sana yasiyoeleweka. Itakuwa vyema basi kuhimizana kumcha mola na pia kuheshimiana.

Illustrations by : www.ayeina.com

Day 22: We are at the end of Ramadhan. We lost a few individuals on the way; people of our age and probably people who yearned for a brighter future. It’s a blessing to have lived to this day. Alhamdulilah. May we live to eid, to fast the six days of Shawwal and to the next Ramadhan as well biidhniLlah. May Allah shower His mercy upon all those who have died and grant them His jannah. Ameen.

Day 23: Alhamdulilah for the tests that Allah has put us through. For all the hardships and struggles because all these are His Mercy in disguise. Alhamdulilah that He gives us hard tests so that He can erase our mountains of sins. So that when we die, we can enter jannah like new born babies with no sin. Alhamdulilah.

Day 24: Sometimes we cry and whine about our unanswered prayers. We ask why the duas we made in tahajjud and taraweh and itikaf haven’t been answered for years. But wallahy some day you are going to thank Allah for these unanswered duas. Just this month of Ramadhan, I came to realize the harm that Allah was preventing me from by not answering two of my duas. You can’t jut imagine my joy on realizing that Allah has saved me from great trial. Alhamdulilah. Perhaps this is why we should always have faith; deep faith in all that He has planned for us. We should always pray that He grants us only that is best for us. Ameen to that.

Day 25: Alhamdulilah for every relief that Allah grants us after hardship. For every happiness after sadness. For every peace after storms of the soul. For every great decisions made after confusion. Alhamdulilah for everything that He made easy for us even when we are undeserving.

Day 26: My family, they are my world. I can never thank Allah enough for them. May Allah grant my parents and my family long lives full of joy, sacrifice, patience, joining hands and love for the sake of Allah. Ameen.

Day 27: My pen has been my ‘realest’ friend. I don’t know how I would survive any of my grief or even my happy moments without writing. I am really grateful for the talent of the pen. I am thankful that I got a gift from Allah that can be very useful not just to me but to many other people. Alhamdulilah for this ne3ma.

Day 28: I am indeed happy that I was able to fulfill my promise of taking part in this challenge and to the very end of it. Alhamdulilah for not forgetting my commitment and for completing this Ramadhan series. May Allah accept it from me. Ameen.

As we go into eid season I pray that Allah accepts all your good deeds that you worked on in Ramadhan. May He accept your repentance and make you amongst His beloved servants. Same goes to me in shaa Allah.

Please let us not rush into eid and forget what we are just from. Ramadhan. All that you worked for, don’t let it go to waste by breaking all rules in eid. Please check my article ‘etiquette of eid’: http://lubnah.me.ke/etiquette-of-celebrating-eid/
And finally: eid mubarak. Taqaballa Llahu Minna wa minkum a3mal aswaliha. Ameen. Happy eid season 😊

Alhamdulilah third week is already over and Ramadhan is quickly winding up. For the past week the challenge was making up a list for the things we are grateful for in Islam.

DAY 15: When you see people like Trump you really gotta thank God for Islam. There is so much fasad in the current world, so many people fighting against Islam and doing kufr. Isn’t it such a blessing that in this century to be a Muslim? Alhamdulilah ala ne3matil Islam. Alhamdulilah for being born in Islam and for growing up within a Muslim family. May Allah make us die in Islam too ya Rab.

DAY 16: I read the qur’an and I feel amazed. Subhanallah there is so much scientific knowledge, miracles and predictions that took years before modern world scientists identified. For example the formation of a baby, how each human being has their own fingerprints, the barrier between salty water and fresh water oceans they meet but never mix, the benefits we can get from cattle and many others. But one amazing miracle of the qur’an that I just learnt lately is from surat Iqra, ayah 15-16 “Nay! If he (abu Jahl) ceases not, we will catch him by the forelock. A lying, sinful forelock.” The area of the front cerebrum in the brain (forelock) is responsible for planning, motivating and initiating good and sinful behaviour and is responsible for the telling of lies and speaking of truth. Thus it is proper to describe the front of the head as lying and sinful when someone commits a sin. Scientists have only discovered these functions of the prefrontal area in the last sixty years yet the qur’an mentions this more than 1400 years ago. Alhamdulilah for this great knowledge. Let’s read the qur’an and understand it. There is just so much for us to learn.

DAY 17: We had a prophet true in his nature, kind in his dealings. His character was the qur’an and became a role model to us. He taught us to be kind to the poor, to cherish our wives, to grow in unity, to fight for Allah, to be humble to our parents. When we check the hadiths of the prophet and the history, there is nothing left un-turned. The prophet taught us even the smallest of details of life; how to behave in the washroom, how to eat, how to drink, how to live with our spouses, how to treat animals and our neighbours, how to behave in all situations subhanallah. Alhamdulilah for such a role model. Alhamdulilah for all that he taught us that shaped our behaviour and character.

DAY 18: There are so many Muslim scholars who discovered and made great inventions that are used to date. Philosophers like Abu Nasr Al-Farabi who wrote one hundred books whose topics ranged from ethics, politics, Music, sociology, metaphysics and natural science. His ideas influenced several other known Muslim thinkers like Ibn Sina (Avicenna), Al-Razi (Rhazes), Ibn Rushd (Averroes) and Ibn Khaldun. They were geniuses great scholars that explored different subjects just like Al-Farabi. They made a remarkable history in Mathematics, medicine, physics, philosophy and many other fields. These philosophers transmitted the scientific and philosophical wealth of ancient Greece and made substantial improvements and additions to this knowledge by their own independent work. Alhamdulilah for such amazing personalities in Islam. Alhamdulilah for the Muslim geniuses that made and are still leaving a mark in the current world.

DAY 19: Islam has come with so many stories of past prophets, the pious people, the oppressive kings, the sinful societies. It has come with so many life lessons for us such that we can learn from them. But most of all, we learn from how our prophets struggled and how they were tested; prophet Ayub’s long ailment, prophet Nuh’s son drowning right in front of him, prophet Lut’s wife turning into a rock, prophet Muhammad and his sahaba’s tough journey in spreading Islam etc…we learn to be patient. We learn to accept Allah’s destiny and have faith in Him always. These stories are brought down such that our hearts can be at ease and at peace for what He has tested us with. There are so many moral lessons to learn from these stories. Alhamdulilah for the hope Allah keeps giving us from them.

DAY 20: Being a woman I am grateful to be a Muslim. I am thankful at how Islam has elevated the status of women, at how we are the queens, the daughters and the wives. At how the jannah lies under our feet when we become mothers and how we can be the reason our fathers go to jannah and our husbands too. I am thankful that Islam eliminated the jahiliyyah traditions of undermining the women and burying of girl babies. Islam has made it possible for women to inherit and to own their own wealth and to be the greatest teachers, role models and influencers of all time. Alhamdulilah for being a Muslim woman.

DAY 21: Alhamdulilah for a Merciful God for granting us such a month like this of Ramadhan. Alhamdulilah for all the chances that He gives us so that we can correct ourselves, repent with no limits, spread humanity and love each other honestly. Subhanallah. I mean, how Merciful is our Lord to give us such a flawless month where satan is locked away and gives you all the energy so that you can talk to Him and He, listens to you always? Alhamdulilah for Ramadhan. It is indeed one of the great blessings of Islam.

As we go into the final week of Ramadhan I would like to kindly ask you to remember me in your duas, I will forever be grateful for that. May Allah accept our duas, grant us guidance and the love of Islam. May He grant us the peace of the heart and love of akhirah.

Next week in shaa Allah the topic is Alhamdulilah for everything. Till next week, stay safe, keep thanking Allah and may Allah bless you. Ameen 😊

Photo Courtesy: http://productivemuslim.com

It is these times that Muslims are giving in charity abundantly,humanity levels are at the peak. Kindness is probably an understatement and you could be awed at how everyone is going an extra mile to help those in need. This is one of my favourite times. It is indeed the last ten days of Ramadhan.

People differ in how they offer the sadaqa and zakat but of late, some Muslims have made it a trend to make a call-out that they will be giving zakat/sadaqa on a certain day. On these days, you would see women huddled with their children and men, old and young standing outside the premises awaiting the ‘promised package’. They would wait as long as it takes, so long as they get the flour,oil, sugar and other necessities. People are hungry, they would do anything to get that package. People are jobless, they would do anything to get something to feed their families. You see the queues of people waiting and you know how much people are desperately in need. Some would say, Kenyans just like whatever is free whatever it may cost them. Quite true but nonetheless we can never totally disagree that majority are genuinely poor. It is quite a heart breaking sight when you see them standing, seated, squatting under the scorching sun, some with crying babies and tired children waiting for the 500, 1000 shillings or the package. But have we ever kept ourselves in their shoes?

I have never really known whether what is being given is sadaqa or zakat. Whether it is announced that people should come or leakage of information that leads those crowds of people to the premises. Whatever the case, the method used in sharing this zakat or even if it is sadaqa is quite depressing. If the people responsible in giving the sadaqa/zakat are not the ones who called out for people to come over then there must be leakage of information on their plans and thus the queues of people. Because people just can’t walk miles and miles in crowds or queues if they didn’t hear the grapevine and the rumours that this person at this place will be giving out this and that. Or perhaps it is just a bad trend amongst the people to crowd themselves up? Allahu a3lam.

I’m just assuming the rich are the ones who give information on such plans or they have made the poor get accustomed to such sadaqa traditions over the years and thus the automated numbers of people appearing at the same place year in year out. If it is indeed so, then a lot has to be considered.

This woman with her child or this old man is probably coming from South Coast or Kilifi or even farther areas like Changamwe. Most probably he/she came by foot because they are not about to waste money for fare. We all know how our heat is here in Mombasa. And even if it is any other place, the distances these people walk is not a joke honestly. They come and find the ‘earlier birds’ have already arrived. It’s a huge crowd already. He thought he was early but in this case, it is first come first serve. Survival is for the fittest. He might spend the entire day roaming around the place waiting for the package. This man might have wasted a whole day of work where he would have probably earned 1500 shillings while you give them only 1000. Even if he was going to get the EXACT amount or even more from you, he wouldn’t be humiliated in such a way.

Many people take these things really for granted but please think about it. When you call out to people that you will be giving out sadaqa and people; very poor people desperately come to your place, not knowing the exact time or anything. They ‘just heard’ you will be giving out something, and ‘something’ is such a great deal for them. Have you really thought about the struggle they go through to get to your place? Waiting for hours? With all this heat and tired children on their backs?

You know, we keep saying we want jannah. We want to be in the same jannah like Umar ibn Khattab and Hamza and Fatima Azahra and Aisha Radhiya Llahu 3anhum. We want to be in the same heaven with the prophet and with people who were killed for Islam, with people who sacrificed their entire wealth Fi sabiliLlah. With people who used to take sadaqa to the doorsteps of the poor. With people who fought with the prophet peace be upon him. How by God? How do we expect to be in the same jannah with them while we humiliate people? When we make people make queues to get what is their haq from you? Even if not intentionally, aren’t you supposed to do unto others what you would prefer for yourself? How do we even dream of being in the same jannah with the sahabas and prophets??!

Let us not try to justify ourselves. If we can afford to give zakah to a random number every year then we can very well afford to actually go to South Coast, work along with the local imams in giving out to those who are really needy and just lazy beggars. And even if one is sick or unable to get there himself then he can probably afford to hire reliable people to do it on his behalf.

We keep forgetting that every single step we take towards these poor people the more the rewards for us. It is not a must that you feed 1000 people for you to feel satisfied with your sadaqa or zakat. You can as well do big projects for ten people such that they don’t have to come to you again the next year. If we REALLY want jannah then we must go out of our comfort zone. We must work hard and feel the pain of people. What we give in queues does not mean is any less valuable. No that’s not what I am saying. It does not mean that I am not aware of the bad begging habits in our Coast and Kenya in general. It does not mean I am underestimating anyone’s approach of giving sadaqa and zakat. God knows I am not being judgemental here and may He forgive me if i’m making wrong assumptions..all I meant to say is; please when giving out what you have remember that these people are human beings like you. Don’t just take their desperation to your advantage and let them struggle to get what you had in store for them. Put yourself in their shoes. Do unto them what you would have wanted if you were in their place. Not meaning to step on anyone’s toes; Allahu a3laam.

Illustrations by: www.ayeina.com

What are we without the ties that we have? What is to become of us without the people in our lives?

Week 2 challenge was to thank Allah for the ties that we have in our lives.

DAY 8: My mother is a super woman. It doesn’t matter i you believe it or not, but she is the most admirable being I ever saw, met or even heard of. She is my mother. And what more reason do I need to love her? Alhamdulilah for a creative mother; an intelligent mother, a wonderful, caring, most loving woman in the world. Her sacrifices for me and her family is beyond. Alhamdulilah for a mother that truly deserves the title of a mother.

DAY 9: Alhamdulilah for a father who loves his children sincerely. For a dad who teaches his children matters of deen. For a father who leads his children in prayer. For a father who has shown the best example by being attached to the book of Allah. Alhamdulilah for such a great great blessing. Alhamdulilah for my hero.

DAY 10: Alhamdulilah for my whole family. For having a family. Alhamdulilah for my siblings that I live with. For my sisters and brothers. For the cute children. For my cousins. For my aunties and uncles. For my dearest nephew. Alhamdulilah for siblings who are more knowledgeble. Those who teach me something new everyday. Alhamdulilah for siblings that I would never wish for others. Alhamdulilah for a large family. For the wonderful loving bond between us.
Alhamdulilah because I very well know that there are so many people out there who are homeless and without their families. It is a blessing.

DAY 11: Alhamdulilah for my other siblings and their families in Yemen. Alhamdulilah that despite the war Allah has enabled us to keep communication. Alhamdulilah that He has protected them for us. Alhamdulilah that despite not meeting in almost 20 years; despite the gap of time and distance, we still have hope to have our family re-united once again in shaa Allah.

DAY 12: Alhamdulilah for strangers who value me. Those who regard me as their mentor. Strangers who keep binding our ties. Strangers who keep reading my humble work and supporting me always. Strangers who keep believing in me more than I ever did. Alhamdulilah for such lovely people in my life.

DAY 13: ALhamdulilah for my small circle of lifetime friends. For friends who are sisters too. Alhamdulilah for friends who remind me of Allah. For friends who are always by my side through thick and thin. For friends who correct me when I go wrong. Who are honest with me. Who are loyal to me. Friends who support me and give me a shoulder when I need one. Those who give me a helping hand whenever. Friends who love me for the sake of Allah. Alhamdulilah for real friends.

DAY 14: They say everyone comes into your life for a reason. I look at my best friend and I just know she is God-sent. Alhamdulilah for her existance in my life. Alhamdulilah for a friend truer than the truth itself. Alhamdulilah for a very patient, very understanding, very honest, very supportive best friend. She is the best gift of my life after my family and I don’t know how I would survive in such a cold world without her shoulder and helping hand always. And all this is because Allah blessed me with her. So yes, alhamdulilah thumma alhamdulilah for my best friend.

My family, my friends are my world and I would be empty without them. So alhamdulilahi kathira for them. Alhamdulilah for ties that bind. May Allah protect them for me, guide them and grant them happiness in this world and the next. Ameen, ameen thumma ameen.

So what ties were you grateful for this week? I hope you had something to thank Allah for because even in the worst of situations there is still something to be grateful for.

Next week in shaa Allah the topic is: Alhamdulilah for Islam. Keep thanking Allah. Till next week in shaa Allah, stay safe and saum maqbul 🙂