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I find the words in the Qur’an to be so mesmerizing, so profound they can cause you a shiver from its depth. Picking my favourite ayahs has been really hard because I find the entire book to be very intense. Every verse comes with a yet better heart felt message than the previous. Yet, here is what I came up with at the end.

1.

The ayah focuses on the people Allah loves who are the doers of good.
First, we learn that there are two kinds of charity; one that you give when you have surplus and another when you give while you barely have anything yourself. This shows the importance of charity for every mankind but without putting one in distress (taklif) for it. For the rich, so that they can get rid of the greed within themselves and for the less rich, to be more selfless towards other human beings.

Abu Huraira reported: A man came to the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, and he said, “O Messenger of Allah, which charity has the greatest reward?” The Prophet said, “That you give charity while you are healthy, feeling greedy, fearing poverty, and hoping to be rich. Do not delay giving until you are on your deathbed, then say give to such a person. It already belongs to that person.” (Source: Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 1353)

In another hadith, the prophet peace be upon him says,”The best of all charity is when the one with little strives to give; start with those you are responsible for.” [Hakim, Sahih] This also stresses the importance of looking after your family first before extending your charity to other people. As the saying goes, ‘charity begins at home’, and truly, what is the point of helping the entire world while your own people sleep hungry and struggle alone?

Then the ayah goes on to mention that Allah loves those who restrain their anger, forgive and are merciful to other human beings. If only we applied this verse into our daily lives…half of our conflicts would be non-existent. If only we were more understanding of the human nature and merciful towards one another. There is a story concerning this that I really love.

“One day Ja’far As-Sadiq wanted to perform ablution, he asked his slave to pour water on his hands from a jug. As the slave began to pour the water, some of it spleashed onto Ja’far’s garment, which resulted in Ja’far giving his slave a reproachful look. Fearing punishment, the servant said:

وَالۡكٰظِمِيۡنَ الۡغَيۡظَ

‘Those Who repress their anger’

Ja’far said reassuringly, ‘I have repressed my anger.’

وَالۡعَافِيۡنَ عَنِ النَّاسِ​ؕ

‘And those who pardon men’, said the slave.

‘I have indeed pardoned you,’ said Ja’far.

وَاللّٰهُ يُحِبُّ الۡمُحۡسِنِيۡنَ​ۚ‏

‘Verily Allah loves the good doers,’ said the slave expectantly.

‘Go. You are free from the countenance of Allah and you may take from my wealth 1000 dinars.’

(Excerpt from the book: ‘Glimpses of the lives of the righteous people’)

May Allah make us among the good doers. Ameen.

 

2.

Life is always going to be a bumpy ride. There will always be moments whereby we struggle to understand what is happening or what we should do or just feeling like our world is coming to an end. However pious one is, we all need reassurance. We all need someone, something to remind us that such is life, that things will eventually get better. Because this life will never be thunder and storms all the time. Sometimes there is a peaceful breeze and a beautiful sun. There is always a balance. No one’s life is entirely darkness nor is there someone experiencing 24/7 unlimited access to happiness. In these moments, Allah (S.W.) tells the believers that remembering Him is what brings tranquility to the soul. It is in remembering him that we are reassured.

3.

Every other day, we lose something in our lives. Could be something we hold dear; a person, an opportunity, a job, our loved ones…but here Allah (S.W) promises us something. That so long as there’s a seed of goodness with you, however small, He will grant you something better than what He has taken from you. He doesn’t say, ‘If Allah knows of a huge amount of goodness in you…’ He says ‘ANY GOOD’. That shows how merciful Allah is. He will be there for you despite your wrongdoings, your negligence of the deen, despite your flaws…He will give you something you never imagined having. So grieve not dear heart, for your Lord is a great Lord.

 

4.

Have you ever sat by yourself and reflected on your life and thought, ‘I don’t deserve jannah?’ The sins seems to be too many. The past seems so dark, full of mistakes and regrets. You keep slipping back to sins over and over and over again. You repent over and over and over and Allah forgives you. But then you just keep falling again and again. That is the human nature. We will never be infallible. We all have things we are not proud of. We all have mistakes we wish we could undo. But here Allah (S.W) is reminding us that He is THEE MOST MERCIFUL and that however many your sins are, He is ready to forgive you if you repent. So never despair. Never think that your sins are too big for His mercy. You have a chance. I have a chance. We all have a chance to start afresh and change our lives for the better.

Anas ibn Malik reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “All of the children of Adam are sinners, and the best sinners are those who repent.” (Source: Sunan al-Tirmidhī 2499)

5.

The entire Surat Luqman is definitely one of the best chapters in the Qur’an (Especially when recited with a qar’i like Islam Sobhi :p ). But more so, is the advice of Luqman to his son which is like a life skills session of its own.

يَٰبُنَىَّ أَقِمِ ٱلصَّلَوٰةَ وَأْمُرْ بِٱلْمَعْرُوفِ وَٱنْهَ عَنِ ٱلْمُنكَرِ وَٱصْبِرْ عَلَىٰ مَآ أَصَابَكَ ۖ إِنَّ ذَٰلِكَ مِنْ عَزْمِ ٱلْأُمُورِ (١٧)
O my son, establish prayer, enjoin what is right, forbid what is wrong, and be patient over what befalls you. Indeed, [all] that is of the matters [requiring] determination.

وَلَا تُصَعِّرْ خَدَّكَ لِلنَّاسِ وَلَا تَمْشِ فِى ٱلْأَرْضِ مَرَحًا ۖ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَا يُحِبُّ كُلَّ مُخْتَالٍ فَخُورٍ (١٨)
And do not turn your cheek [in contempt] toward people and do not walk through the earth exultantly. Indeed, Allah does not like everyone self-deluded and boastful.

‘And be patient over what befalls you…’ I find this specific part to be have so much depth in it. The ayahs are quite straightforward and Luqman aleyhi ssalam’s wisdom is worth adhering to.

Please take a moment to go through the entire surah with its translation, and learn more in shaa Allah.

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Let us meet here next week in shaa Allah for the third part of the series. In the mean time, I hope you’re having a great ramadhan and that you are using your time well. And because I want us to spend our time wisely, here’s a youtube series to watch after your ibaadah. It is the best series to restore your faith in humanity and it has daily episodes with English subtitles.

Here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTYNerRYjdiyRNR6LgRmOOQ

If you don’t know of it, thank me later! Or rather, include me in your duas 🙂

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In another important news, we are trying to assist a brother pay his outstanding university fee balance of 91,730/= of three semesters. He pays for his own fees and thus lacks support. Kindly let us join hands and help with whatever little we can to clear his debt so he can resume classes and have access to exams. We will be conducting this fundraising for this entire week till next Saturday in shaa Allah. Mpesa no: 0704 731 560 (Lubnah). Yallah, Bismillah.

“Whoever alleviates (the situation of) one in dire strauts who cannot repay his debt, Allah will alleviate his lot in both this world and in the hereafter.” (Muslim)

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Sometimes we look at our heap of sins, at our bad habits, at our personality flaws and think to ourselves, ‘At this age and time how will I ever change?’ We feel like there is no hope for us especially after we tried to change but we kept sliding back to our same old destructive habits. Yet there is always hope. Always. Allah S.W says ‘Do not despair from the mercy of Allah’. All we have to do is keep striving to be better individuals, keep praying for ourselves and others and watch Allah take us out of the trash pit.

A beautiful story of sheikh Malik ibn Dinar is just one of the proofs that Allah’s mercy is endless.

Malik ibn Dinar used to be an alcoholic and a highway robber. Everyone knew him for those traits until it became his identity. One day he comes across a poor man and a rich man trying to buy bread from another man. The man only had one bread remaining and just as the poor man paid for it, the rich man offered to pay quadriple the price for the same bread. The poor man said to the seller, “Please I really need the bread. My daughters will starve to death if they don’t get something to eat.” But the rich was still ready to pay more for the bread. Malik ibn Dinar was triggered by this and went to them whilst very angry. He paid the seller more than what the rich man had paid so that the poor man can get the bread. But the rich man still added more money. Malik added some more money again. It went on like that until the poor man got the bread. He then said to the poor man, “When your daughters eat tonight, tell them to pray for Malik ibn Dinar” and he went away.

Years went by and Malik was still an alcoholic and a robber. When he wanted to marry he couldnt get a wife because of his reputation. So he bought a slave, freed her then married her. He really loved his wife and God blessed them with a daughter called Fathima.

Malik was very attached to his daughter and vice versa. They had a very close bond. And sometimes when Malik was seated with Fathima on his lap while he drinks wine his daughter told him, “Father I dont like this. I hate this” referring to the alcohol. Malik knew that his daughter hated the wines and alcohol but he still couldn’t stop his bad habits.

A time came when Fathima became very ill and passed away at a very tender age. Malik was so shattered and was drinking even more now to forget his pain. He hadn’t slept for days and one time, he fell into deep sleep due to the excess fatigue.

In his sleep, he dreamt that it was the day of judgement and the world looked chaotic. A monster (in some narrations they say it was a huge snake) emerged and started running after him. Malik ran away but the monster was still running behind him. He reached a cliff and below him was jahannam and behind was the monster. He decided to go to another direction, still running. He arrived at the coast of an ocean and a very old man in a white robe was seated at the coast. He went towards him to ask for help but the old man was very frail and weak. He just pointed to Malik to a direction and Malik followed the way. He kept running, the monster still behind him until he reached to a hill with small beautiful cave openings. He saw children, girls at the entrance of the caves and he immediately knew these were the daughters of the poor man he bought the bread for. The girls started calling out “Fathima come save your father! Fathima come save your father!”

Fathima appeared and motioned to the monster and it faded away.
Then she said to him:
“My dear father, ‘Has not the time come for the believers (who indulge in sins) that their hearts should submit in all humility to the remembrance of Allah and to the truth which is revealed’ (Al-Hadeed:16)”. He was moved to tears and asked her “My dear child, what was this monster?” She said “It was your own evil deeds which had made it so strong that it was about to push you into Jahannam”. Heasked “And who was that white-robed old man?” She replied “That were your good deeds and you had made them so weak with your scanty good deeds that he could not help you against the monster(though he suggested to you a means of escape.)” One of the few good deeds was the one he helped the poor man get bread for his daughters.
His daughter then asked him, “Father isn’t it time yet to repent?” Then he woke up from his sleep saying, “Yes it is time. Yes it is time.”

He stood up and went to the masjid. The imam (it is said that it was Imam Shafii, Allahu a3lam) led the prayer and recited the same verse that his daughter had recited to him.
‘Has not the time come for the believers (who indulge in sins) that their hearts should submit in all humility to the remembrance of Allah and to the truth which is revealed’ Malik was weeping uncontrollably. After the prayers he went home, packed his clothes and went off to Madina to acquire deen knowledge. He thereafter became a very famous, pious and knowlegable sheikh who propagated Islam.

It is through his pain for losing his child that Malik ibn Dinar repented. Many times Allah puts us in a difficult situation or takes something beloved from us just to make us realize how much we need Him. So do not ever give up on yourself or even on someone else. This story of repentance is a reminder for us that the door of repentance is open to even the most devilish sinner.  Allah’s mercy remains endless and He guides whomsoever He wills. Keep working on yourself. Don’t be discouraged by your sins or by irrational thoughts that Allah will never help you or accept your repentance. Another lesson we get from Malik’s story is the importance of sadaqa and dua in a person’s life. You just never know when or how or what will lead to your/someone else’s guidance. May Allah guide us all. Ameen.