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There you are. Staring at the mirror once again before turning right away. You hate it. You hate how your nose bulges and how your lips are too thin. You hate the black spots on the cheeks and how your eyes seem to sink into the sockets. You stare at your skin, too dark or too pale? You hate how your frail body always seems unbalanced like wind could easily sweep you away. You don’t like your kinky hair nor your inability to be the height you really wish you had. In short, you pretty much dislike everything about your body, your physical appearance and even your existence.

We are so filled with insecurities because of the society’s definition of beauty. And I said this before; the beauty industry is so ugly. It makes us apologize all our lives for not being ‘beautiful enough’. So here we are, so obsessed with ‘doing something’ about how we look and our outer image. Spending so much money on three, four make-up kits, buying designer clothes, shoes and perfumes just so we can hide all these things about ourselves we are not proud of. Don’t get me wrong, you are free to spend on whatever you like but when you do it, it should only be because it really does make you happy and not for the sake of fitting into the society’s league of beauties.

I come across several people, who when you tell, ‘You look pretty’ they’ll really be shocked and shrug it off not just for the sake of being polite but because they really think they are not. And it is sad because of how much this really affects our self-esteem. The truth is, we may all vary in our levels of attractiveness yet we all are beautiful in our own unique way and beautiful in the eyes of Allah. If Allah (S.W) considers you beautiful, why would you ever doubt that?


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Let me tell you a story of a sahabi who was considered the ‘ugliest’. His name was Julaybib (may Allah be pleased with him). Julaybib’s family background is unknown. We don’t even know what his second name is. We don’t know who were his parents, his lineage or which tribe he came from apart from that he came from Madinah. His name actually means ‘deformed’. He was known for his deformities and for his appearance. In fact the way he was described was, ‘qaseer, wa faqeer, wa dameem’ i.e. he was extremely short, extremely poor and extremely repulsive. In a world where family lineage, background, wealth and appearance are made to be so important, we can imagine what kind of a tough life Julaybib had. He didn’t have friends or family or companions. No one was interested in him. He went through a lot of verbal abuse and was bullied countless times.

So one day the prophet peace be upon him meets Julaybib and asks him about him. The prophet was actually concerned about him. Julaybib replies to the prophet by asking, ‘Ya Rasul Llah, do you think the only woman I get to marry is in jannah? The hur al ain (women in paradise)?’ and the prophet immediately understood his agony and belief that he would never be able to get married in this world. So the prophet decides to take the matter in his own hands and went to one of the sahabas who had a beautiful daughter. He said to the other sahabi, ‘I want to ask for your daughter’s hand in marriage.’ The Sahabi was so excited and saw no greater honour than that. In his mind, he is marrying off his daughter to the prophet peace be upon him. Then when the prophet clarified that he wants to ask her for Julaybib, the father paused in hesitation and said ‘let me ask her mother’. The reaction was the same with the mother; extreme excitement when she first thought it was the prophet who wanted their child and immediate rejection upon knowing it is Julaybib. But the girl overheard the conversation and told her parents, ‘How can we reject a proposal and an order from the prophet peace be upon him?’ This pure lady insisted on accepting Julaybib and eventually became his wife.

On the battle of Uhud, Julaybib passed away. The prophet (SAW) frantically tried to find Julaybib on the battle ground and saw him surrounded by 7 enemies. Julaybib killed 7 enemies before they killed him. The Prophet (SAW) gets emotional, picks Julaybib up with his two hands and repeatedly says, “This one is from me, and I am from him, he is from me and I am from him, he is from me and I am from him.” He takes Julaybib and digs a grave for him with his own hands, and buries Julaybib himself. And what better honour than this? What is physical attractiveness compared to the love of Allah and his prophet?


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There are several other stories about other sahabis who were deemed unattractive and the prophet peace be upon him always showed love to them for who they really are; their beauty deep inside and not how they looked. Another example is the story of a sahabi by the name of Zahir ibn Haram. His story is narated in a hadith by Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) said,

“There was a man from amongst the Bedouins whose name was Zahir bin Haram. Whenever he came to Medinah for a need, he brought something for the Prophet (saw) as a gift, like cottage cheese or butter. Likewise, when the Prophet (saw) would prepare something to give to him whenever e wanted to leave, such as dates and so on.

The Prophet (saw) used to love him and say, “Zahir is our Bedouin and we are his city dwellers.”

Zahir was not very good looking. One say, Zahir (may Allah be pleased with him) left the desert and came to Allah’s Messenger (saw) but did not find him. He has some merchandise to sell so he went on to the market place.

When the Prophet (saw) found out about his arrival, he went to the market place looking for him. When he arrived, he saw him selling his merchandise with sweat pouring down from his face. He wore Bedouin clothers which did not smell good either. The Prophet (saw) hugged him tightly from behing, while Zahir was unaware and could not see who it was.

Zahir became scared and said, “Let me go! Who is this?!” But the Prophet (saw) remained silent. Zahir tried to release himself from his grip and started to look right and left. When he saw the Prophet (saw) he relaxed and calmed down, placing his back against the Prophet’s chest. The Prophet (saw) began to joke with him, saying to the public: “Who will buy this slave?! Who will buy this slave?”

Thereupon, Zahir looked at himself and thought of his extreme poverty, for he had neither wealth or good looks.

He said, “You will find me unmarketable, O’ Messenger of Allah.”

The Prophet (saw) said, “But you are not unmarketable with Allah. You are very precious to Allah.” And in another narration the prophet tells him, “But you are priceless in the sight of Allah, you are beautiful in the eyes of Allah, do not worry about how you look”

In another instance, the prophet again tried to redifine the meaning of beauty to us in the story of Abdullah ibn Masood. Abdullah ibn Masood (RA) was so short he was a dwarf, and one day he climbed into a tree to grab a siwak from the Arak tree for the Prophet (SAW). But Abdullah was so small that the wind blew him into tree. The Sahaba burst into laughter, and the Prophet (SAW) asked them why they were laughing. The Sahaba respodned with, “Ya Rasululllah, his legs are so short like two little twigs.” The Prophet (SAW) said, “But you don’t understand these two legs on the Day of Judgement will be the size and weight of Mount Uhud (on the scale of his good deeds).”

And I get it. It is way tougher right now with all the cover magazines, social media personalities and superstars we idolize from all over the world. But in the end remember God never created anything ugly, again I say it, we may vary in the level of attractiveness but no one is entirely ugly. This is because Allah (S.W) mentioned it Himself in Surat Tin:

By the fig and the olive

And [by] Mount Sinai

And [by] this secure city [Makkah],

We have certainly created man in the best of stature;

See how Allah took an oath FOUR times before stating that He created us in the best form.

Whatever or however you look like, do know that it is but a test from Allah. We never really put much thought to it but beauty is a big test of its own. There is a high risk into falling into arrogance or zina or other detestable behaviours. The same way physical unattractiveness may make us fall into the whispers of shaytan of self-pity and self-loathing and sadness. So love yourself in whatever state you were created and be grateful for it. What really matters is the state of your heart and soul and imaan. And also, remember to not stigmatize, bully, laugh or point out the flaws in others. You never know how much it hurts them.

REMEMBER:
{“Verily, Allah does not look at your appearance or wealth, but rather he looks at your hearts and actions.”} -Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H)

P.S Don’t forget to subscribe please! (the button is at the end of the page)

Sources:
The prophet’s path- Youtube
The merciful servant- Youtube
The “Ugliest” Sahabis
https://www.ummah.com/forum/forum/islam/general-islamic-topics/267496-zahir-bin-haram-our-beloved-muhammed-saw

Photo Courtesy: https://s22.postimg.org

Warning: This is going to be a long one 😉

Everyone can agree that Madrasas make up almost the biggest part of our great childhood memories or perhaps the worst. This is where we got shaped and molded into the characters we are today. How we were shaped however, is a different story. They say, the end justifies the means… or does it? If anything, Madrasas are the best example of this phrase.

Back down the memory lane, most families had neglected the Madrasas. Secular education was given the priority giving minimal time for the children to adopt Madrasa teachings. This in turn made the children consider Madrasa as ‘not-so-serious’ a place. It was like the damp spot where parents would take them on weekends so that they don’t bother people back home.

If you ask anyone about their Madrasa days they’ll mention a lot of punishments where students were subjected to individually or as a group. First mistake would always be ‘getting late’ because hey! It’s weekend! The entire family is going for a wedding somewhere and you spent an entire hour crying why you are being left behind while they’ll be enjoying some good biryani with roasted chicken. So you get to the gate, eyes red and swollen and you find a whole group standing aside while the assembly is going on. You become a bit relieved that you are not alone. However, once the assembly is over and the teacher on duty confronts you, he surprises you all by checking the uniform instead or whether your nails are clipped. So you end up with double punishment. But it never ends there does it? You somehow end up in the noisemakers list in class and the ustadh gives you ‘THAT look’ of ‘Too many mistakes in one morning young boy’!

There was always a lot of fun associated with all the mischief which involved incomplete assignments and ending up doing the assignment at the corridor, making fun of other students or rhythmic and loud reading during classes; which more often than not irritated the teachers, a lot of skiving where one or a collective group would go out for lunch break and decide not to come back because you decided that your family will not go for that wedding without you, a lot of ‘tell your parent to come tomorrow’ because let’s face it the teachers were having up to their necks dealing with stubborn kids.

Coming back to class late was a norm because you got caught up in the games you were playing or were waiting in line for your potatoes and other snacks to be prepared; and so when you reach the class you know what’s waiting inside so you all stand by the door deciding who was bold enough to ask for permission to get in. Then there were those days we’d be sent home because we had applied henna on Eid day despite it being against madrasa rules or for the lack of payment of fees on time…yeah the list is endless!

In attempt to change the ‘relaxed-mode’ children had on madrasa, the teachers always opted to cane the naughty children, especially with the famous kikoto (A local type of cane commonly made in Coastal region by use of Reeds.)


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When it came to the need for students to learn, caning only brought fear into them making them memorize things they don’t understand in the least bit. My mother tells me of how when they were young, they’d go to madrasa sit in straight lines and start singing what they’ve been taught, swinging themselves frontward and backward. How they’d put small pieces of kashatas between the mashaf pages then come back and start eating them piece by piece while the ustadh is not looking. They’d then quickly go back to chorusing with the rest, turning their oily mashaf pages. It seemed all merry when the whole class was chorusing like that…but now many years later, she confesses that then, she, and many others did not even know what they were saying. The caning only prompted them to cram something so that whenever the teacher asks a question, they had an answer. Nonetheless, the caning was fruitful when it came to hifdhul qur’an (memorization of the holy qur’an).

So basically, punishments differed on 3 factors: The teacher himself, the personality of the student and the kind of mistake done.

We all had some experience with the ‘bad news’ ustadh who you’d carefully avoid on the way even if you’ve done nothing wrong. He is always ready to cane; always ready to strike; always armed with his kikoto. Yet others would go for other less violent kind of punishments like making the students kneel, making them stand the whole session, pinching, sweeping, squatting, washing the washrooms, cleaning corridors, extra assignments, calling of the parent or being detained from going to tea/lunch break.

This however also differed according to the child in question. For some children just the mere mention of ‘I’ll cane you’ is enough to scare them and make them do the right thing. They’d weep like no one’s business if you even jokingly mention that you’ll summon the parent. Yet another child is so used to the canning that it doesn’t matter anymore. It’s routine now and thus, doesn’t mould them in anyway. Sometimes, it even made the students become more rebellious and beating them was as useless as screaming on their faces. But this same naughty child if detained from going to have lunch, he tends to settle down. A lazy child would detest being given extra assignment and that would be the perfect punishment for him/her.

When it comes to collective mistake i.e. the whole class making noise, or late comers, the teacher would ask them to sweep the classroom or wash the loos for the older students. For some children, telling them to go out of the class as punishment acts as the best thing for them. It turns out to be ‘free-class-to-have-fun’ oh yeah, and to make more mischief. So the child’s personal character always factored in the kind of punishment.

How the child/children are punished depended on the kind of mistake too. For a mistake like late-coming, the punishment would be lesser than the ones who got into a fight. Or noise-makers compared to the ones skiving classes.

The teachers would always use the small punishment methods and only when things really escalated is when the parent is summoned.


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It’s no secret that Madrasa punishment is better than school (before the anti-punishment law came in). Yet still, there were/are parents who still go to complain once their children are canned or in the least, touched at all. The parents would sometimes respond to complaints from the Madrasa by transferring their child to another institution which ends up making the child always half-baked with information and sometimes in character too.

We all have experienced or at least witnessed the dramatic parents who are always so protective and just at the slightest caning of their child, they’d appear at the institution and start shouting to whoever they can throw words to, threatening to report to the police if their children are canned again yet they are in the first place responsible for the negligence the children have on Madrasa. If the parents showed the children how important Madrasa is, the mischief would be less and they’d be more serious on Madrasa education.

Punishment systems have changed over the years. This could be because the teachers realized that they are using the wrong approach in the desperate need of making students prioritize Madrasa studies. Nowadays, there is less caning. We can’t say it has stopped completely but teachers are more and more adopting the alternative punishment systems like giving them extra assignments or sweeping classes and corridors amongst other methods. Different Madrasas have also tried different ways to make Madrasa more interesting for children i.e. including extra-curricular activities and trips too. They also involve the parents a lot more than before on the issues of their children.

The best move Madrasa systems have taken, however, is ensuring that their teachers undergo teachers’ training before stepping into class. This is unlike before whereby anyone with the knowledge could teach regardless of whether they knew how to handle the mentality of children or not. Some Madrasas would let the older kids teach the younger ones just because they had a little more knowledge than the little ones, or the smarter kids would teach the other kids when a teacher was not around. So now we have better teachers who have studied psychology of the children and are able to deal with them in the right way.

The punishments have been the better evil for many of us. Apart from the notorious students whom we’d tell ‘haskii la mwadhini wala mteka maji mskitini’ to, many owe their good discipline to the Madrasa teachers who ensured they behave. Many of us wouldn’t even know how to recite Surat Fatiha if not for the canning. The punishments done in Madrasa have mostly been moderate apart from a few cases and they seem necessary in order to straighten the children up.

Apart from that, we got the many memories from these days; the days we did mistakes and cried even before the teacher raised the cane, or the days we knelt down until our knees ached, or when we were late and were sent back home; half happy half miserable, or those days when someone stole and we’d have soot applied on his face (someone mentioned this and couldn’t help but imagine and laugh). As much as we as a community have undermined the Madrasa for so long, we have to admit that we learnt good lessons and became better people from what we learnt back then.

I know some really hate the memories they have of back then or of the entire madrasa system, and some would enthusiastically want to debate this whole punishment issue, nonetheless, I guess at the end of the day it is only each one of us who can judge and perceive those days as they will. Everyone is entitled to their opinion after all.

In my opinion, there is improvement and gradual process in the Madrasa systems which hopefully will make more students serious on the deen education which has been comprised for so long. As for the punishments (the moderate reasonable ones that is), I hope they still stay in the system until the later generations. In the current dark world, we need a system that will still humble us and mold us to be better individuals.

…And how my 1 year in madrasa changed my perspective of things

Just a few weeks after my graduation, I decided 2016 would be my year; the year to discover myself, to challenge my abilities, the year to heal and let go, the year to get to my higher self so I decided to join madrasa again. It had been more than 5 years since I was in a madrasa class but I decided this would be my new year resolution. I quickly registered for the diploma in Islamic studies and went ahead to get my goal done.

It was quite strange for people at first. Those criticisms started coming.
“First class honors? Aren’t you supposed to be at KTN anchoring and killing people with that smile?”
“What about your masters? Don’t you want to do your masters?”
Then came the concern.
“But why are you doing this anyway? Be a teacher?”…I am doing this for myself and that is enough reason.
“Isn’t it too far for you?”
Then came the pettiness.
“Aren’t you the girl who spends all her time on the internet?” (Apparently this makes me a haramee so going for deen studies quite conflicts my journalistic career lol)
But the pettiness has always been there.
“Ustadha mzima wavaa hizi vitu?” (Hizi vitu: the luminous bracelets)
“If you; a Muslim union official wears a cap, what do you expect from us?” (This was during a sports events; all women, the cap on my hijab but still, it makes me a haramee somehow :D)
“You are too obsessed with sneakers” ( *rolls eyes* This somehow makes me like a gangster and gangsters barely get to jannah you know 😀 )

Then, my friend, don’t you dare make mistake, or say a wrong word, or the wrong joke. Have I insisted enough? No wait. DO NOT DARE MAKE A MISTAKE because both the haramees and halalees are going to judge you. Because once you do, the haramees will call you a silent killer, a pretentious little devil. The halalees will quote from the qur’an and hadith. They will quote fatawas of Bin Baaz and talk about Sheikh Annawawy. You, my friend, you are NOT allowed to make a mistake. They will send you pdfs and long emails on how wrong you are. They will condemn people like you; people who talk about faith and truths people didn’t even want to hear, then make a mistake. Buddy, you are NOT allowed to be human.

A moment of silence people. A moment of silence to all the petty people 😀 😀 😀

But then I was forced to accept that as a writer and a journalist, you are putting a part of yourself to the world out there. Not everyone will like you or what you say and write. You will get positive remarks but also lots of negative ones and you just had to accept both and learn how to be yourself.

So for the longest time in my life, I was the girl who was too haramee (the ones breaking the rules of religion) for the halalees (the ones who are very pious; jannah material straight away 😀 ) and too halalee for the haramees. So I was right at the middle. I had friends on both sides. Some haramees would sometimes be the go-getters, the ambitious souls who just won’t allow life to bring them down. They became my source of inspiration. And halalees, people who would always bring you closer to Allah. But then I didn’t just belong anywhere. You sit with the haramees and they talk of how judgmental the halalees are. How they pretend to be so perfect and straight. Then they’ll refer to them as, “Those friends of yours nkt…they are so judgmental” and I would be quick to jump in and say, “That is just inferiority complex” because as much as some are judgmental, sometimes, the halalees haven’t even told them anything. It’s just their guilty conscious making them feel attacked even before they are.
Then when i’d sit with the halalees, they’d start talking of how someone did something wrong or messed up and i’d jump in, “You guys don’t give people the benefit of doubt or just try and understand how our backgrounds and lives are so different…sometimes people are just so neglected they get lost.” As such, I barely had any long-term friendships with people. They expected me to fit in; I just simply didn’t and it bothers them when you are different. I believed and still believe in seeing the good in each and every single person so I interacted according to what each human being had to offer and filter out the rest. So when 2016 began, I was ready to explore my higher self and this, changed my perspective of things in a great way.

Upon joining the college, I realized again, that it would be hard to fit in. Being in an environment with people who are very-well covered from head to toe, ladies who don’t even go out without a mahram, they rarely even have phones. So here I was again, the haramee; the social media noise maker, the too English, the too opinionated & educated, the non-niqabi, the girl who is always typing (Too much dunya you know 😀 ). But they were beautiful souls; the kind to inspire you be a better person and change your ways. Sometimes they just look at you or comment on something you have done and you feel attacked, so here I was, thinking like a haramee. They are judging me. But then it is just the battle between the soul and the brain. How to accept opinions and change. And yes, sometimes they’ll judge you because they are humans too; making mistakes.

And you are in a class environment with very educated lecturers who tell you of how they were in their jahilliyya periods; how they also did mistakes before finding their way. Teachers who keep reminding you that even as a deen seeker, you are never to be rough to those who may be lost. In an environment where young men debate about important issues and you just realize, yes, there are some good men out there who are only after their akhera.

Slowly, I came to see them making mistakes and you get to notice the human part of them. You see them complain and sad sometimes. You see them planning their halaal outings and having fun their own way. My perspective started to change and I realized something interesting about us human beings.

That we are all desperate human beings trying to be right in this messed up life. We all seek what our heart desires but at the end of the day there is no us or them. There is just WE; all of us having that little devil inside of us. Sometimes it gets the better of us and conquers our souls and we do wrong things, and sometimes our imaan is high and alive and we conquer our ego. There is no haramee or halalee per se because there are some haramees who are actually doing so much good to other people despite their rebelliousness to deen. And there are halalees who are so attached to the deen yet have no character to deal with people. We are all kinda messed up so we create squads and think we are the better humans just so we can satisfy our egos. We are all a combination of haramee and halalee at the same time. We just choose which one to make it visible as our image. It’s all about everyone’s personal journey to their higher self; some are still at the first step, some at the fifth, some have reached the peak while some haven’t started yet. Maybe this is why we should be kind and more empathetic to people; let us try see the good in them despite how annoying and evil they may seem. Forgive people and judge them not. Let God be the judge, but still, pray for yourself and for others. Pray for guidance and understanding. Pray for a beautiful end that would lead to all of us be in jannah together.

Yes, I am a halamee.
I am the haramee who is on the path to being a halalee.
I am still on my journey to getting to my higher self 🙂

P.S Munawwarah college has now started a bachelors of arts in Islamic studies after partnering with International University of Africa. They also offer diploma in teaching Arabic and Islamic studies, diploma in arabic language, certificate in Arabic, certificate in Islamic studies and by the way, ICDL (International Computer Driving License) course too.

You need to find yourself? Find Allah first.

You can contact the college at: 0735 559 095 or check their website at: info@almunawwarah.ac.ke

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The past two days at the first annual Islamic conference were just A.M.A.Z.I.N.G!!! Alhamdulilah; just the kind of things that can make me feel the thrills for the rest of the year 😀 I mean, one sheikh Rishard can make your entire week wonderful so you can imagine having him plus sheikh Kishki plus Al Qahtani plus Abu Hamza plus Ismail plus Abdulghani Bashir plus sheikh Suleiman from different parts of the world, all under the same roof on the same stage! May Allah bless them for all their outstanding lectures and to all the organizers, volunteers and donors who made this event a major success mashallah. It was too exciting I wish I could literally drag everyone to come and learn from them. If you missed it, you REALLY missed out! Lol okay I won’t add any more pepper to the wounds but I can share something I learnt from sheikh Abdulrahman Mansur Al-Qahtani; one the most humorous and coolest sheikhs of our century 😀 Maybe next time we can have both Mufti Menk and Nouman Ali Khan on the same stage and we all know how that conference will rock! Ameen to this 😀

So sheikh Al-Qahtani talked about the promises made by Allah in the qur’an and how Allah is speaking directly to us. So many times we are swept off by life, with it’s tests, with it’s demands, always busy, always in a rush with the worldly affairs and it’s fanciness we forget the most important thing; what brought us into this world.

The Prophet salallaahu ‘alayhi wa aleh wa sallam said that Allah said (in hadith Qudsi): “Myself, Mankind and Jinn are in a great serious state. I create them, then they worship other gods that they make for themselves. I bless them with my bounties, then they thank someone else for what I sent them. My Mercy descends to them while their evil deeds ascend to Me. I endear them with My gifts even though I have no need to any of them while they alienate themselves from Me with their sins even though they are desperate for My help. Whoever returns to Me , I accept him no matter how far he is. And whoever turns away from Me, I approach him and call on him. Whosoever leaves a sin for My sake, I reward him with many gifts and whoever seeks to please Me, I seek to please him. Whoever acknowledges My Will and Power in whatever he does, I make the iron bend for his sake. My dear people are those who are with Me (i.e. whoever would like to be with Me, let him supplicate to Me and remember Me). Whoever thanks Me, I grant him more blessings, whoever obeys Me, I raise him and endeavor him more. Whoever disobeys Me , I keep the doors of My Mercy open for him, if he returns to Me, I bestow him with My Love , since I love those who repent and purify themselves for My Sake. If he does not repent, I still treat him by putting them in hardship to purify him. Whoever favours Me over others, I favour them over others. I reward every single good deed ten times over or seven hundred times over to countless times over. I count every single bad deed as one unless the person repents and asks for My Forgiveness in which case I forgive even that one. I take into account any little good deed and I forgive even major sins. My Mercy supercedes My Anger, My Tolerance supercedes My Blame, My Forgiveness supercedes My Punishment as I am more Merciful with My slaves than a mother with her child.”

Subhanallah, the weight of this hadith qudsi is heavy. So much to question ourselves about. Like how much Allah keeps blessing us, granting us what we want, forgiving us, forgiving us again and again and what do we send back to Him? ‘their evil deeds ascend to Me.’ Yet still He made promises to us; the ungrateful weak humans.

The first promise is: “So remember Me, I will remember You.” Surat Baqarah: verse 152
I am pretty sure we have come across those angry memes on the blue ticks on whatsapp. You are in dire need of help or perhaps just someone to talk to, the ticks have turned blue, the last seen is every past second you check…yet no reply. It is annoying, sometimes heart-breaking. But this is us human-beings. Have you tried Allah? Have you tried talking to Him directly? In your sujood? In your dua? Anywhere anytime??! Do you remember Him at all? We keep saying that communication is a two-way thing then how do we expect Allah to remember any of us when we don’t do the same to Him? Not that He needs us, but because WE NEED HIM! So remember Allah as many times and in many places as possible. Remember Him and He has promised to remember you!

The second promise is: ‘ If you are grateful, I will surely increase you (in favour)’ Surat Ibrahim: verse 7
But how many times do we thank Allah? Sincerely thanking Allah from the bottom of our hearts? For both the good and bad in our lives? He says: ‘when you thank me, I will give you more’. It is a promise. So thank Him. Thank Him for every small and big, Good and bad. And remember; even that the bad you go through is good in disguise. Again, have trust in Allah! 🙂

The third promise: ‘Call unto Me (and) I shall respond to you!’ Surat Ghafir : verse 60.
The thing with Allah is that your messages to Him are delivered spontaneously and so are His replies. You may not know it but Allah has already answered your prayer the moment you make it! Even when you don’t see an answer, His silence is the answer. Sheikh Al Qahatni said: Allah answers your duas in 3 ways: I know you have heard of this so many times but look at it keenly this time round. Let it sink in the mind.

1. He answers your dua immediately. Yep that is when I say; Blue ticks and typing (not literally, His way is way faster than that but you get me right?!) 😉 Trust me, if you have ever made a dua with so much sincerity from the heart, you will relate to this perfectly.

2. He doesn’t give you what you want so that He prevents you from some harm. We have cried. Most of us or all of us for something we wanted so badly. You cry your eyes and heart out but the answer you get is ‘silence’. You pray and cry in days, in months, in years and you give up because you think Allah doesn’t feel you, doesn’t love you…then some day years later something better happens in your life and you are so happy and you just say, ‘I’ve never been happier that what I wanted never happened!’ Ever done that? or heard someone say that? It could be for a job they wanted so badly, or a spouse, or a journey or a child…it can be anything. Yes, that is Allah, loving you and protecting you always. Have trust in Him!

3. Allah doesn’t answer your dua so that you can get abundant reward in jannah. All this pain and heart-ache you are going through right now, be patient about it. Be happy with what Allah has prepared for you. Nabii Ayub aleyhi salam was tested with sickness and loss of wealth and children and Allah answered his dua 18 years later. Mind you, he was a prophet and his dua is immediately accepted yet Allah answered him only after all those years. Be patient. Don’t say that is a prophet I can’t wait that long. Yes, but you can wait for as long as you can.

There are several other promises Allah has made to us, but we are just too blind to see or too unfocused to understand. Verily, in the qur’an and hadiths and hadith al qudsi, you will find Allah repeatedly telling us talking to us, promising us, giving us hope…

“Abu Dharr reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, relates from his Lord that Allah said:

يَا عِبَادِي إِنِّي حَرَّمْتُ الظُّلْمَ عَلَى نَفْسِي وَجَعَلْتُهُ بَيْنَكُمْ مُحَرَّمًا فَلَا تَظَالَمُوا

O my servants, I have forbidden oppression for myself and have made it forbidden among you, so do not oppress one another.

يَا عِبَادِي كُلُّكُمْ ضَالٌّ إِلَّا مَنْ هَدَيْتُهُ فَاسْتَهْدُونِي أَهْدِكُمْ

O my servants, all of you are astray except for those I have guided, so seek guidance from me and I will guide you.

يَا عِبَادِي كُلُّكُمْ جَائِعٌ إِلَّا مَنْ أَطْعَمْتُهُ فَاسْتَطْعِمُونِي أُطْعِمْكُمْ

O my servants, all of you are hungry except for those I have fed, so seek food from me and I will feed you.

يَا عِبَادِي كُلُّكُمْ عَارٍ إِلَّا مَنْ كَسَوْتُهُ فَاسْتَكْسُونِي أَكْسُكُمْ

O my servants, all of you are naked except for those I have clothed, so seek clothing from me and I will clothe you.

يَا عِبَادِي إِنَّكُمْ تُخْطِئُونَ بِاللَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ وَأَنَا أَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ جَمِيعًا فَاسْتَغْفِرُونِي أَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ

O my servants, you sin by night and day and I forgive all sins, so seek forgiveness from me and I will forgive you.

يَا عِبَادِي إِنَّكُمْ لَنْ تَبْلُغُوا ضَرِّي فَتَضُرُّونِي وَلَنْ تَبْلُغُوا نَفْعِي فَتَنْفَعُونِي

O my servants, you will not be able to cause harm to me and you will not be able to cause benefit to me.

يَا عِبَادِي لَوْ أَنَّ أَوَّلَكُمْ وَآخِرَكُمْ وَإِنْسَكُمْ وَجِنَّكُمْ كَانُوا عَلَى أَتْقَى قَلْبِ رَجُلٍ وَاحِدٍ مِنْكُمْ مَا زَادَ ذَلِكَ فِي مُلْكِي شَيْئًا

O my servants, were the first of you and the last of you, the human of you and the jinn of you, to become as pious as the most pious heart of anyone of you, that would not increase My kingdom in anything.

يَا عِبَادِي لَوْ أَنَّ أَوَّلَكُمْ وَآخِرَكُمْ وَإِنْسَكُمْ وَجِنَّكُمْ كَانُوا عَلَى أَفْجَرِ قَلْبِ رَجُلٍ وَاحِدٍ مَا نَقَصَ ذَلِكَ مِنْ مُلْكِي شَيْئًا

O my servants, were the first of you and the last of you, the human of you and the jinn of you, to be as wicked as the most wicked heart of anyone of you, that would not decrease My kingdom in anything.

يَا عِبَادِي لَوْ أَنَّ أَوَّلَكُمْ وَآخِرَكُمْ وَإِنْسَكُمْ وَجِنَّكُمْ قَامُوا فِي صَعِيدٍ وَاحِدٍ فَسَأَلُونِي فَأَعْطَيْتُ كُلَّ إِنْسَانٍ مَسْأَلَتَهُ مَا نَقَصَ ذَلِكَ مِمَّا عِنْدِي إِلَّا كَمَا يَنْقُصُ الْمِخْيَطُ إِذَا أُدْخِلَ الْبَحْرَ

O my servants, were the first of you and the last of you, the human of you and the jinn of you, to rise up in one place and make a request of me, and were I to give everyone what he requested, that would not decrease what I have any more than a needle would decrease the sea if put into it.

يَا عِبَادِي إِنَّمَا هِيَ أَعْمَالُكُمْ أُحْصِيهَا لَكُمْ ثُمَّ أُوَفِّيكُمْ إِيَّاهَا فَمَنْ وَجَدَ خَيْرًا فَلْيَحْمَدْ اللَّهَ وَمَنْ وَجَدَ غَيْرَ ذَلِكَ فَلَا يَلُومَنَّ إِلَّا نَفْسَهُ

O my servants, it is only your deeds that I record for you and then recompense for you, so let him who finds good praise Allah and let him who finds other than that blame no one but himself.”

Keep having faith, keep being strong, keep thanking Allah, keep trusting Him and most importantly; keep smiling 🙂