My Struggle

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simplesunnah:

The generally accepted interpretation of the above dua is:

O Allah, grant us the good in this world and good in the hereafter and save us from the torment of hell

When faced with hardships, it is often easy to slip into the extreme in our focus on what is important. The above dua provides the most balanced view of how we should focus our efforts so that we don’t feel burdened in our efforts to earn Allah’s pleasure. 

Some points that I believe are worth noting from this dua include:

  1. It immediately directs our attention to Allah and reminds us that He has power over everything. So we obtain everything we need, both worldly and otherwise from Allah only and therefore rely on Him and not on people.
  2. It emphasises the fact that we cannot live with only the akhira (hereafter) in our minds, but that we do have to attend to our needs in this world as well. This balance is critical towards ensuring our fulfilment of our own rights as well as the rights that others may have over us.
  3. Interestingly enough, it mentions this world’s needs before the needs of the akhira, not because that is our goal, but (in my opinion) because by neglecting our worldly needs we may become easy prey for Shaytaan to whisper suggestions in our hearts that the burden of the akhira is too great for us to bear. This often leads to hopelessness and feelings of being unworthy when we find that we can’t live up to the unrealistic expectations that we place on ourselves. So it is important to ensure that we don’t neglect our worldly needs as well.
  4. Note how we are pleading with Allah for protection from the fire of Jahannam, and not pleading for entry into Jannah. This, to me, confirms that it is not the pursuit of Jannah that we should focus on, but rather to live in a way that will save us from Jahannam because a natural consequence will be the attainment of Jannah. This is similar to how we find that if we strive for favourable attention, we’ll become slaves to that attention, but if we strive to benefit others, we’ll find that their favourable attention will be a natural consequence.
  5. The most important point in all this is that it underlines the moderation that we are encouraged towards in the Sunnah of our beloved Prophet (SAW). 

The following ahadith confirms the importance of relying on Allah and establishing moderation in all that we do:

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “Do good deeds properly, sincerely and moderately…Always adopt a middle, moderate, regular course, whereby you will reach your target (of paradise).” - Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 8, Hadith 470 

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “The good deeds of any person will not make him enter Paradise (i.e., no one enters paradise only through his good deeds).” The Prophet’s companions asked: “Not even you?” The Prophet replied: “Not even myself, unless God bestows His favor and mercy on me. So be moderate in your religious deeds and do what is within your ability. None of you should wish for death, for if he is a doer of good, he may increase his good deeds, and if he is an evil doer, he may repent to God.” - Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 7, Hadith 577

May Allah guide us all towards the most beneficial balance in our lives, Ameen. 

Sorry but how the hell do you actually exist? Your thoughts are similar to mine, it's like i've found my twin! May Allah raise your ranks, bless you and your family, bestow His mercy upon you, and increase your love for Him and His Prophet

Anonymous

Assalaamu Alaykum…wa iyyakum! Ameen. Thumma Ameen. :)

Jazaakallah for making contact. Would be even better if you weren’t on anon. I don’t publish personal messages. :)

My dua for this Ummah is that we will stop focusing on the symbolism of Islam and instead, start focusing on the essence of it. Hijab and eyebrows are not more important than modesty and sincerity. Wearing pants above our ankles and long beards is not more important than lowering our gaze and fulfilling the rights of our families. But it’s easier to use these symbols to judge others negatively because it automatically elevates those of us that do practice these rituals while our hearts are void of sincerity. May Allah protect us from ourselves, and guide us towards the best character in line with the example of His beloved Nabi (pbuh). Ameen.

Spot the problem with this? Allah is enough for us,  but let’s incorporate that pagan symbol of the moon and star to symbolise our reliance on Allah. It’s the same as running through the streets and crying out Allahu Akbar when trying to overthrow a dictator, but then rejecting shariah in favour of secularism when you’re successful.

Spot the problem with this? Allah is enough for us, but let’s incorporate that pagan symbol of the moon and star to symbolise our reliance on Allah. It’s the same as running through the streets and crying out Allahu Akbar when trying to overthrow a dictator, but then rejecting shariah in favour of secularism when you’re successful.

(Source: muslimagnet)

OK,  but does that make it haraam?

OK, but does that make it haraam?

(Source: xahu-writes.blogspot.com)

The most despicable amongst persons in the eye of Allah is one who tries to fall into dispute with others (for nothing but only to display his knowledge and power of argumentation)

- Hadith Saheeh Muslim, Book 34 (via thegreaterjihad)

The Problem With Context and Interpretations

Far too often I’ve been witness to, and party to, debates that sometimes rage out of control because of differing views about the Sunnah or the correct application thereof. Let’s ignore the irony of that for now and consider what actually gives rise to these debates.

The debates, in my opinion, are always centred around the interpretation of the ahadith being discussed, which is often fuelled by the absence of context within which the actual event related to in the hadith actually took place. What I mean is that we take one hadith, read its meaning or translation, and then expand the scope of the discussion to include other ahadith that relate to different but similar events and then insist that they must be considered as a whole.

So the question for me is really simple. If such consideration was demanded, would the Prophet (SAW) not have provided such comprehensive guidance to the companions (RA) at the time of giving them the advice or instructions as contained in the hadith in question? Would we not have received specific instructions, like we do with so many other issues, that confirm when one revelation abrogates another, or when one practice is no longer allowed because its time had passed?

This all reminds me of the hadith where two of the companions (RA) returned from a journey and the one complained to Rasulullah (SAW) that the other had read the full four units of prayer instead of shortening it to two, to which Rasulullah (SAW) replied that both were correct in what they did. Isn’t that confirmation that variations in practices or the Sunnah, except where specifically and clearly forbidden in the Qur’an or Ahadith, is entirely acceptable?

If I am mistaken or misguided, please correct me. But I often wonder how much of the problems of the Ummah is related to our excessive questioning and over analysis of the Sunnah which obviously breeds more intolerance and divisions rather than uniting us through the beauty and simplicity of Islam?

The Beauty of Perspective

Ibn Al-Jawzi said;

The believer dedicates his attention to the Hereafter, and anything that he faces in this life reminds him of the Last Life.

Surely, one will dedicate his attention to whatever busying affairs one engages in. For instance, if craftsmen enter a house, the furniture maker will examine the furniture in that house, the carpenter will examine the final touches of the roof, the builder will examine the walls and the tailor will admire the curtains.

In contrast, when the believer sees darkness, he remembers the darkness of the grave. When he experiences pain, he remembers Allah’s punishment and when he hears terrible noise, he remembers the blow in the Trumpet (for the commencement of the Hereafter).

When he sees people asleep, he remembers the dead in their graves. When he witnesses a delight, he remembers the delight of Paradise.

Therefore, his attention is all directed at what is to come, and this makes him busy from whatever there is of life’s splendours.

Source: Said-ul Khatir, by Ibn Al-Jawzi, Page 521

I came across the above on my dashboard today, and thought that an alternate perspective may be worth considering. I deliberately did not reblog it because I don’t want my alternate views to come across as an attack on the original blogger (because that is not what is intended).

When seeing posts like this I’m immediately reminded of Allah’s proclamation that His Mercy precedes His Wrath. I’m also reminded that Allah is as His servant perceives Him to be. So with that in mind, this is how I would interpret those scenes referred to in the above quote:

When the believer sees darkness, they’re reminded of the blessings of Allah that is obtained from rest and repose, and the promise of Allah for a life well lived in line with Allah’s commands will result in the absence of darkness in the grave, and instead, a light from Jannah will illuminate their final resting place with the most beautiful scents to accompany it. They’re also reminded that they are closest to Allah when in sujood calling out to Him in the darkness of the night when others are asleep.

When the believer witnesses delight, they grow in appreciation of Allah’s blessings in their lives, and remember that every trial could be worse, because the believer is inclined to compare themselves to those less fortunate than they are, and therefore appreciate that much more what little they may have.

When the believer hears a terrible noise, they grow anxious knowing that death is near, but soon remember that for the just person, death offers peace, and that the sincere ones who strive to do good will be spared the torment of the grave.

When the believer sees people asleep, they marvel at the design of the creation where something as seemingly simple and free provides so much benefit, from improving our health, our memory, and our comfort, to removing our accountability for forgetfulness whilst in that state. They’re also reminded not to take it for granted because there are those that struggle to find rest, even in sleep, which further increases their appreciation of the gifts of Allah.

So when a believer is faced with trials or bounties, they’re reminded of the blessings that trials hold in this world and the next, while remembering that bounties must be used for the upliftment of those around them, which also in turn increases their rewards for the hereafter, further emphasising Allah’s Mercy that even in the gifts we receive, by using it correctly, or even just showing appreciation, Allah finds a reason to reward us, rather than punish us. Subhanallah.

Like life, our perspective of what is required of us in Islam can mean the difference between feeling overwhelmed and unworthy, or blessed and grateful.

HOW DO I STRUCTURE MY DUA?

mujibrahman:

The Prophet (saw) said: “When one of you makes dua, let him begin by praising his Lord, then send blessings on the Prophet (saw) then pray for whatever he wants”
(Tirmidhi)

Is Crimea to Russia as Israel is to America?

Strange how Russia’s use of its veto is suddenly not appreciated by the hypocrites that say nothing when America does the same for its bastard state.

Mar 9

A mosque should be a hospital for the spiritually ill, not just a club for the pious.

- (via intoxication0fdreams)

The challenges facing Muslims are unfortunately complex and overwhelming at times, and it seems that the traditional structures of Ulama are ill equipped to deal with it, or lead the community through it, whilst engagement is almost impossible because of the prevailing climate that suggests that you either subscribe to their interpretations or remove yourself from the conversation because you’re a deviant with [insert name of sect] tendencies. It’s disheartening to say the least. 

We’ve turned Islam into a subject to be studied…and nothing more. Then we take those that perform the best in these studies and overt practices and we place them on pedestals. And everyone else is rubbished and dismissed if they even attempt to draw attention to the superficiality of it all.

- (via cynicallyjaded)

tmihijabi:

I don’t mind it when people say that X is a sin…

But please, fisabilillah, don’t say that “you will go to the Hellfire for X”.

Seriously, we don’t know what sins Allah Azza wa Jalla will forgive, and which ones He ta’ala will count against us.

Last week, a very old Aunty spoke about a Muslim woman after the time of the Salafiyeen, and how someone had a dream about her on the Day of Judgement whilst her book was being reviewed. One of the biggest deeds she had done (as judged by herself) was completely ignored, and she feared the worst. But then, she was given a massive credit for listening to the athaan one time because she was extremely thirsty but she delayed drinking a glass of water in front of her until after the athaan had finished and after she had made duaa to Allah.

I don’t know if the story is true or not, but the point is we don’t know. This is why we say Judging is for Allah ta’ala only. We can judge worldly behaviours of course, and decide if someone is doing something that should be avoided or repeated, but we cannot judge people’s intentions nor can we see their sincere tawbah and istighfar. On top of that, we simply cannot comprehend Allah ta’ala’s Mercy. It is beyond us.

Please correct each other with manners (adab) and humility, because that’s what Muslims should be doing. But don’t be overly harsh, don’t correct for the sake of your own ego (nafs), and please don’t say someone is going to the Hellfire because of a sin, because you don’t know. Perhaps your judgement might be seen as shirk (wa audhubillah) because you’re putting your own opinion above Allah’s.

Simple truth.

Feb 3

Reported by Ibn `Abbas (RA): The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “If anyone constantly seeks pardon (from Allah), Allah will appoint for him a way out of every distress and a relief from every anxiety, and will provide sustenance for him from where he expects not.

-

Abu Dawud (via ayub-job-as)

There is an underlying message that struck me from this because our focus is always on receiving Allah’s help. What we often fail to remember is that Allah’s help only comes to you in times like this when you’re afflicted with trials or distress. I know it might seem superfluous, but for me, the realisation that Allah’s blessings mostly become manifest only when we’re under duress is an important point to remember, because we rarely consider the blessing of receiving Allah’s help when we’re experiencing ease and happiness. At times like that we may praise Allah for the good that we have, but the true appreciation only comes when we emerge from troubled times.