Islam

A Lesson in Gratitude

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The blessing of health is one that we often take for granted. Yet when our eyes fall on patients surrounded by formidable machines and monitors, with wires snaking in and out of their bodies, we start to really appreciate this great blessing. The hospital scene is one that people normally avoid. Some don’t like to witness other people’s miseries; those anxiously waiting outside of operating doors reading pages from the quraan, those shuffling around while holding their IV poles, those feeding their children clothed in green gowns and a bandana to hide the heads made bald by chemotherapy.  Some don’t like the smell of antiseptic. Period.

But visiting the sick doesn’t only help us appreciate our own health. It also shows us the strength of the human spirit. Sometimes the sight of the sick with their smiles and their animated conversations inspires us to stop sweating the small stuff and approach life with contentment. They teach us to face life with a smile and to say alhamdullilah no matter what difficulties we might be going through.

The writer Saad Aldosary posted an image on his twitter of this boy praying in a hospital prayer room with his IV pole connected.

hospital

Hadeeth of the Day [1]

sick

Read also: The Attitude of Gratitude 

[1] Hadeeth copied from http://sunnah.com/riyadussaliheen/7

Thirty Days to Change

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People prepare for Ramadan in different ways. Some people put more TV ads marketing new Khaliji series, and others rush to supermarkets and load multiple shopping carts in preparation for the month of fasting, while others reflect on their lives and decide what religious goals they would like to achieve in this Holy month.

They say it takes thirty days to develop a good habit, while it takes the same amount of time to remove a bad habit. So instead of seeing Ramadan as a temporary pause from one’s daily routine, maybe it’s time for us to start seeking new habits to permanently add to our routine.

We all have twenty four hours every day. In Ramadan, we tend to spend these hours differently. So when it’s not Ramadan someone might sit and watch TV after dinner, while during Ramadan, they get up to pray Isha’a and Taraweeh in the masjid. And instead of scrolling through one’s twitter timeline the moment one wakes up, they could spend the time reading Quraan. But when Ramadan ends, old habits start kicking in. That’s because mentally, we think that what happens during Ramadan should stay in Ramadan. However, religious good deeds like giving in charity, reading Quraan, praying Sunnah prayers are rewarded throughout the year.

The sad thing is some people might refrain from being more religious during the month of Ramadan because they tend to judge others and claim, “At least I am not fake and I’m not pretending to be good for one month only.” Yet the truth is Ramadan had been a turning point for many people. So this year, make it yours.

Hadeeth of the Day:

1.عن أبي هريرة رضي الله عنه أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال : ( إذا جاء رمضان فُتّحت أبواب الجنة ، وغُلّقت أبواب النار ، وصُفّدت الشياطين ) رواه  مسلم

Narrated by Abu Huraira that the prophet (PBUH) said, “When the month of Ramadan starts, the gates of the heaven are opened and the gates of Hell are closed and the devils are chained.” 

 2.عن أبي هريرة رضي الله عنه قال : قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم : ( من صام رمضان إيمانا واحتسابا ، غُفر له ما تقدم من ذنبه)  رواه البخاري ومسلم

Narrated by Abu Huraira(r.a): The Prophet said: “Whoever observes fasts during the month of Ramadan out of sincere faith, and hoping to attain Allah’s rewards, then all his past sins will be forgiven” 

(c) T. Galvez
(c) T. Galvez

At times of uncertainty

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There are parts in our paths that are plunged into darkness. We get filled with doubt and uncertainty. A friend of mine once asked, why is it that when people do things the wrong way, they get what they want but those who do it honestly, don’t? The question resonated with me and it took me a while to come up with an answer. I figured out that maybe our tests are different, uniquely-tailored. Maybe her test was to see all those people taking the wrong paths to what they desire, and see if she is going to be strong enough to stick to the right track, while their test is just to know the taste of these short-cuts and see if one day or another, they’re going to change.

Interesting enough, since I last saw her, she spoke to me telling me that the thing she was talking about; it had finally worked out, all praise is due to Allah (SWT).

So lately it has become easy to get me subdued. Blame it on the summer heat that has commenced with a fiery zeal after the spring showers or on all the horrific news headlines that are inundating my twitter time line, so I occasionally try to remind myself with this small poem I wrote once,

“I will not let anything get me down,
Whenever something starts to bother me
I imagine the wide expanse of sea and sky,
adorned by a glorious bleeding sun
I see the wide expanse of sand and sky
That show us how tiny we are in the wide scope of things
And I mutter
اللهم أرزقني حسن التوكل عليك”

 

 

This is a reminder to myself just in case I forgot.

Broken Promises

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photo(11)When I was in high school, I had a friend who told me, “Promise me that we’ll always keep in touch.”
My answer was pretty blunt and frank,” I don’t make promises.”
I think she got pissed off but I told her not to take it personally, it was a general rule I didn’t break back then. I didn’t make promises in fear of one day having to break them. And I’m glad I didn’t promise her because we grew up and grew apart, and oh well, that’s life.

It’s amazing the effect that broken promises have on children. Some grow up to believe that promises are made to be broken,while others grow up with such personal rules; not making promises lest they have to break them. It’s like they may have adults around them telling them, “We will,” and “okay, insha’Allah,” and “I promise you that…”

Then nothing materializes, and the adult hopes that the child forgets, when sometimes the child doesn’t really forget, but they find themselves continuously  in a series of daydreams taking pictures with mickeymouse by their side because of the parent’s promise to take them to DisneyLand. Then when it doesn’t happen, the disappointment is so immense that they turn into teenagers and stop trusting their parents or other adults in their lives.

But then again broken promises don’t end at childhood. They continue well towards young adulthood, especially when guys promise girls they’ll marry them only to bolt out the door at the closest exit sign, thinking that the girls should have seen it coming anyway. Then if asked, “why did you make such a promise?” They would justify it by saying, “I was just telling her what she wanted to hear.”

Then they grow up, and get married, and the spouse promises to love, cherish and never cheat, yet they end up getting the shock of their lives when the vows get thrown into the garbage disposer because situations have changed, and they end up going their separate ways.

So basically, situations might change and people tend to break promises, because they make the promise at a mindset that is different from the mindset at which the promise is broken. So sometimes the best thing that somebody can do for you is not make you a promise. They’re guarding your heart from future pain and disappointment because they know that situations might change, and breaking the promise would be inevitable, so they’d rather not make it. They’re not really being cynical but realistic (but don’t all cynics say that anyway?). Especially when they have a lifetime experience of broken promises and having to carry the broken wings of a fallen bird called Hope, trying to nurse it into health only to discover that it was actually dead.

  • Hadeeth of the Day
  • Narrated by Ibn Aamir: My mother called me once, whilst the Prophet (peace be upon him)
    was at our home and she said, “Come here, I will give you something.”  Thereupon the Prophet (peace be upon
    him) asked,  “What did you want to give to him?”  She replied, “Dates.”  The Prophet then
    said, “Had you not given him anything, it would have been recorded as a lie.”
    دعتْني أُمي يومًا ورسولُ اللهِ صلى اللهُ عليه وسلم قاعدٌ في بيتِنا
    فقالتْ: ها تعالَ أُعطيكَ فقال لها رسولُ اللهِ صلَّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّمَ وما أردتِ أنْ تعطيهِ ؟
    قالتْ : أُعطيهِ تمرًا، فقال لها رسولُ اللهِ صلَّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّمَ :
    أما إنك لو لمْ تُعطيهِ شيئًا كُتبتْ عليكِ كَذِبةٌ
    الراوي: عبدالله بن عامر بن ربيعة المحدث:الألباني -
    المصدر: صحيح أبي داود – الصفحة أو الرقم: 4991
    خلاصة حكم المحدث: حسن