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Sometimes people wrong us in such despicable ways. Sometimes we are the ones who wrong people. Sometimes we are oppressed, we are discriminated and mistreated. Sometimes we are the ones carrying the baggage of harming others. Sometimes we lose everything at once, sometimes it is so hard, it is difficult to move on. Sometimes is sometimes our always; each one of us desperately trying to understand why things go the way they do. How villains are still walking free while some really good souls are the ones to be diagnosed with cancer. How very evil, ungrateful, arrogant people could be the ones enjoying luxurious lives while a very hardworking person suddenly loses his hand which he desperately needs for his manual labour. It doesn’t make sense! It never does! How is it a very poor child loses their mother who was the only family they knew while an already rich boy wins a car he doesn’t even need…How is it that one prays for a child for ten years yet when they finally get one, the wife dies at delivery??…and sometimes we just want to ask God, ‘Why though?’

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Only God knows…
Sometimes we realize how lucky we are for not getting what we cried for and sometimes we never get the answers. And sometimes it is as it is. We can never know. Difficult things happen. We lose and sometimes we gain. Sometimes people hurt us, they betray us, they take our differences to another level it shouldn’t ever reach, they forget all the good and tough situations you went through together. Sometimes they realize they wronged us and apologize and sometimes they die believing what they did was right. That is the human being. He is insan. He forgets and he errs.

But we should always believe that there is a bigger picture. That as much as we don’t understand what is going on in our lives or why it is going the way it is, we should have undoubted faith that God knows what’s best for us. And this is actual test of faith; believing when it is hardest to do so.

We have proof in the qur’an that there’s always something more to our painful and even happy stories. There is always something extra that our eyes will not simply see and our minds won’t easily fathom.

In Surat Kahf, in the story of Nabii Musa aleyhi salaam when he was told to search for a servant of Allah who had more knowledge than him, we get to learn something very valuable. During their journey; Nabii Musa and his teacher, Al Khidhr, three occasions happen which agitated Nabii Musa aleyhi Salam:

71. So they both proceeded, till, when they embarked the ship, he (Khidr) scuttled it. Musa (Moses) said: “Have you scuttled it in order to drown its people? Verily, you have committed a thing “Imra” (a Munkar – evil, bad, dreadful thing).”

72. He (Khidr) said: “Did I not tell you, that you would not be able to have patience with me?”

73. [Musa (Moses)] said: “Call me not to account for what I forgot, and be not hard upon me for my affair (with you).”

74. Then they both proceeded, till they met a boy, he (Khidr) killed him. Musa (Moses) said: “Have you killed an innocent person who had killed none? Verily, you have committed a thing “Nukra” (a great Munkar – prohibited, evil, dreadful thing)!”

75. (Khidr) said: “Did I not tell you that you can have no patience with me?”

76. [Musa (Moses)] said: “If I ask you anything after this, keep me not in your company, you have received an excuse from me.”

77. Then they both proceeded, till, when they came to the people of a town, they asked them for food, but they refused to entertain them. Then they found therein a wall about to collapse and he (Khidr) set it up straight. [Musa (Moses)] said: If you had wished, surely, you could have taken wages for it!”

78. (Khidr) said: “This is the parting between me and you, I will tell you the interpretation of (those) things over which you were unable to hold patience.

79. “As for the ship, it belonged to Masakin (poor people) working in the sea. So I wished to make a defective damage in it, as there was a king after them who seized every ship by force.

80. “And as for the boy, his parents were believers, and we feared lest he should oppress them by rebellion and disbelief.

81. “So we intended that their Lord should change him for them for one better in righteousness and near to mercy.

82. “And as for the wall, it belonged to two orphan boys in the town; and there was under it a treasure belonging to them; and their father was a righteous man, and your Lord intended that they should attain their age of full strength and take out their treasure as a mercy from your Lord. And I did it not of my own accord. That is the interpretation of those (things) over which you could not hold patience.”

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If we were to witness these same occasions ourselves, wouldn’t we just react according to what is visible to the eye, as Nabii Musa did? If your boat was the one destroyed or your boy killed, how long would it take any of us to actually think that perhaps there is something greater, something bigger beyond what the mind comprehends? Were we the ones to be denied food, would we even want to smile at those people let alone build a random wall somewhere? If you just lost all your property in a fire and someone told you, ‘Perhaps it is kheir’ you would perhaps glare at them like they are the ones who set your property on fire. When misfortunes befall us we cry ‘Why God?’ yet we don’t know how much good Allah is doing to us by that same terrible incident. We tend to only look at what is in front of us. But Allah is the Most Merciful and there are a lot of instances where we should thank Allah for despite how ugly the situation is. And indeed, this story is the perfect proof that we don’t know everything. That however powerful, mighty, rich or knowledgeable we are, there are just some things we would never be able to explain or understand. That as much as we make plans, Allah has already written in detail how our lives are going to be. That we should always ask God to direct us to only what is kheir for us.

We may not have the answers but we need to trust Allah’s wisdom and choices for us. May Allah grant us the patience and guide us always. Ameen.

We plan and Allah plans, and He is the Best of planners.

P.S Humble Reminder: Do read surat Kahf if you haven’t. It still is Friday 🙂

“Do the  people  think  that  they  will  be  left  to  say:  We  believe,   and they will not be tried?  But We have  certainly  tried those  before  them, and  Allah  will  surely  make  evident   those  who  are  truthful,   and  He will  surely  make  evident   the  liars.”  (Qur’an, Surah Al-Ankabut, 29: 2-3)

By: Aisha Zale Navi

Photo Courtesy: http://bestmodernpaintings.blogspot.co.ke/

The hot summer weather had me wishing I was wearing an air condition fitted outfit (seriously, someone should work on that).

‘’I still don’t get it why men can walk in three quarters and vests while muslim women are to cover from top to bottom in this unbearable weather.’’ He argued. And this was the climax of our heated argument. I could have just answered simply; ‘’Jahannam is hotter’’ but I dislike that answer even though it is so true and also I know the person am talking to. He is not the one to accept one word answer or three for that matter. He would have probably said something like, ‘ why can’t God make the earth cooler’. And no he won’t understand the concept of; the earth is a prison for a believer and paradise for a disbeliever. No, he just don’t roll like that. He is a man of reasons. Deep thoughts. Contemplating, arguing and finding logic. Yeah, I hate him sometimes when he becomes so philosophical but not for long because he is my friend and more importantly, it is my duty to answer such questions.

After our long argument which took two hours or more, I sat on my bed and a thought came to my head. ‘I wish I was like Imam Shafi or was it Malik, definitely one of those clever people that were before us who possessed so much wisdom to argue their points.’ Then it hit me, I was not sure which Imam or person I was referring to. I just have a rough idea of this man who was good at debates but don’t know who. Sad, isn’t it? Or may be not that sad because it’s just a debate; after all we should avoid them as much as possible.

What is really sad is that, few of us todaytake time to learn our religion. We are updated on most of the aspects of this world but when it comes to our religion, we are where we left off from madrassa. Some of us are doing a PHD in whatever field we are specializing in but it has never bothered them to learn how to make their swalah better and sweeter. The world that is supposed to be in our hands is in our hearts and the deen whose place is in our hearts is no where near our thoughts. Don’t blame time, because most of our time is consumed on absolutely nothing constructive. In this times whereby you can get anything and everything just by clicking a button, you really want to blame time for your luck of advanced knowledge in religion? Nouman Ali Khan has made it easier for you to get a chance to understand the Qur’an like never before just for $100 per year subscription, Qalaam institute got Seera intensive classes every year at $85, Hadith of the Day sends you daily hadiths at no cost, Islamic Online Universities offers different courses on religion at $100 per semester, there are numerous books on religion found online and teachers too from every corner of the world, Productive Muslim teaches you ways to be productive from life of the Prophet s.a.w at an affordable price.. what then is our excuse?

The worst part is when a non-muslim asks a question about Islam and we have no idea what the answer is, they present their arguments and we answer by getting raged and we are ready to fight for the religion that we  have not taken time to understand it for ourselves. We really need to see the urgency in us learning our deen. We should not leave it to Imams and Aalims. We have to learn it for ourselves. So that, just as you update your mode of whatsapp messenger, you update your reading of Qur’an. In your many dreams in life, fit in something to do with acquiring knowledge of the deen. You don’t have to take it all in, we can leave that for the scholars. But for your day to day life; you need Qur’an, Sunnah, important aspects of fiqhi, seera. Find books or courses on them and spare time on learning it. Every year, under your new year resolution, have something like: ‘’ Do in depth tafsir of Qur’an’’ or any other field you know you are really poor at.

And as I always say: it all comes down to the people we love and look up to. Who are the people we admire the most in our lives. Doctors might tell you Dr. House even though he is a fictional character. But really, do you think he is the best person to be looking up to. Yeah he is a genius according to the series and what not, but is he worthy a role model to a muslim lady or gentleman. I remember when we were preparing for our KCSE, the school will invite people from different fields. Now that I mention it, am not sure if it was form four or form three. My point is, there is this one guy. I don’t remember his name nor his profession but I will never forget his advice. It was as simple as, ‘’whatever you want to pursue in life, make sure you are a muslim first. So that you will be: a muslim teacher, a muslim lawyer’, a muslim engineer etc… not by name but by your way of living.’’ We can achieve this by having the right role models in our lives. If you are a muslim and your number one role model is not Rasulullah s.a.w, then you need therapy.

And my opinion is that, apart from the messenger of Allah may peace be upon him the swahabas,  tabiin and those who followed the religion to the letter would make great role models. Whatever profession you are in, look for a role model from the former people and also current who are in the same field and Allah is pleased with them. So if you are a teacher, get to know Aisha r.a one of the best teachers of her time, if you are in army how about you take some notes on Khalid bin Walid’s life, you are a business lady or gentleman, let AbdulRahman Ibn Awf blow your mind; you are a doctor Ibn Sina, you are a nurse Nusaybah bint Ka’ab, you want to be the president or a leader in anything you have a list to choose from, from the four Caliphates to Ummar Bin Abdulaziz, Architectures you can definitely find someone during Ummayad dynasty… the list goes on and on. We have this great people to look up to with whom we are sure if we follow their footsteps we will be successful in this world and the hereafter. The sad thing is that, we don’t know about them and we don’t bother to know about them. Now this is really really sad.

In this world, we are just passers by and the Hereafter is permanent. What if I tell you that there is a way to be happy in both worlds, won’t you jump at the opportunity to know how can you do it? Well this how… whoever you are, wherever you are, whatever you are dealing with, check and see how intact is your islam. Not by possessing the most beautiful Arabic name (so far mine is the most beautiful :p) but by possessing the most beautiful heart and characters as we were taught by the teacher of teachers Muhammad s.a.w and his Teacher Allah s.w.t. Make time to know Allah and know what He asks of you. Make time to acquire as much knowledge as you can so that you won’t be wishing to be like a wise someone centuries back because you will be that wise someone and you will be able to answer the questions and remove any doubts. Be a carrier of knowledge. This is an advice to myself first and then to you my dear brothers and sisters. Lower your gaze but don’t lower your standards by failing your religion.

And for the one who is curious to know how the argument with my friend went, well… we agreed to disagree. I pray one day, he agrees to agree with me in shaa Allah. May Allah increase us all in knowledge that is beneficial to us and others and make the path of knowledge easy for all of us, may He grant us success in this world and the hereafter, ameen.


Photo Courtesy: Salem_Beliegraphy

I am by no chance a scholar in deen as much as I wish I could be one and maybe one day by Allah’s will I will be able to be but nonetheless, I was listening to what Luqman (A.S) was telling his son as mentioned in the qur’an and it got me thinking; perhaps we would be living better lives if we followed what wise men of olden times and even of the present said to us. And maybe, things would be at their best, if parents would sit down with their children and give them serious lessons on life and morals.

In the qur’an, surat Luqman as from the ayah 13-19, we get to learn from the wise Luqman the most basic advice for mankind in his life. Below I will state the lessons as derived from the ayas and perhaps in shaa Allah we can learn from it.

1. Do not worship anything apart from Allah nor join others in worship with Allah.

2. Man should be dutiful and good to his parents for they have raised him in hardship upon hardship.

3. Always give thanks to Allah and to your parents as well.

4. If your parents drive you against Allah or that you join others in worship with Him then don’t follow them BUT still treat them with kindness.

5. Allah is able to bring forth anything however hard it may seem to you…(so have faith in Him).

6. Do perform prayer

7. Enjoin on people all that is good.

8. Forbid people from all that is evil and bad.

9. Do not turn your face from men with pride.

10. Do not walk with insolence or arrogance.

11. Be moderate in your walking.

12. Lower your voice when speaking.

Imagine how life would be if we followed these simple lessons; how we would avoid so many problems if we could keep our voices low even when we are angry or when someone is confronting us, if we treated our parents with utmost respect, if we had total faith in Allah, if we could all correct each other when we go wrong and support others in good deeds, if we could be humble instead of being arrogant or insolent. Just picture the world like that, wouldn’t the world be such an amazing place to live in?? Change starts with me and you, be modest, humble and polite and see how you will be able to spread love and peace even without you knowing 😉