bismillah

View / Print this Newsletter Issue flipping pages

Ramadan! Let's Make a Change

When it comes to the materialistic world, one should look to those who have less than them in order to be thankful to Allah for what he has given us.The No1 reason

If perfection is your goal, then you have the lowest standards! Why the lowest? Because perfection cannot be achieved by any human being. Perfection belongs to Allah alone! Thus, if this is your standard, you will never achieve it, and then you will just give up. Instead, focus on what you are doing right, and keep growing that plant. And when, not if, you do something wrong, something displeasing to Allah, bounce back immediately in Tawbah to Allah. Quickly come back and make things better. Those people whom come back to Allah the fastest are the most blessed children of Adam.

If one gets in their car and has no destination in mind, they will never arrive at the 'nothing' in their mind. You will never arrive if you don't know where you are going or take actions to get there. Paradise is something that must be hoped for day and night. Because they hoped and prayed for it so much, they lived their lives striving towards it. Envision yourself entering the highest level of Jannah! And now.............work for it!

It is said that a person will do more to avoid pain then achieve pleasure. Let's say you don't 'feel' like working for Jannah. Well then, let's introduce ourselves to Hellfire. There are only two destinations. Everything in life is a gift from Allah, it's not 'ours'. It's a test to see if we will truly be thankful to Allah, by doing what He commanded and staying away from what He forbids. All these commandments are meant to raise us to be humans in the greatest mold. Anything less is subhuman. Paradise or Hellfire? Your choice.

We tend to not disobey Allah 'until' we think that no one is watching us. If only we knew. The angels of Allah are watching us all the time, writing everything that we do. Our very body parts that we use to obey or disobey are watching us and will testify on the day of Repayment. The earth that we walk on will bear witness to whatever we did. There is a book that records everything, small or large, that we do; if you read it you would be amazed! And above all, Allah is watching. You're not alone.

If anything on earth reaches a state of excellence, it is the promise of Allah that He will bring it back down to earth. Nothing on earth remains in the pinnacle state. And because of that, whenever we get something, when it's our day to 'boast', we should instead humble ourselves to Allah. Imagine what life would be like if we loved each other, thought everyone else was better than us in some way, and sincerely sought to treat people good because we truly hoped for Allah's pardon. Be humble. It feels so good.

If you lose hope, you've already lost. The test of life is too hard for us to enter it wishy-washy. Be confident, strong, and determined in seeking Allah's love, in seeking His paradise. This is what HE commands of us. It is not Allah that wishes to see us thrown in to Hellfire. Shaytaan is the one that wishes that end. Allah Ta'ala wants for us to be forgiven, wants for us to be protected from Hellfire, wants for us to enter His paradise. The question now is: what do we want? And what are we doing about it?

Do you have full conviction that Allah has the power to guide your heart to achieve your goal here? If you are feeling a little doubtful, then silence the doubt, raise your hands, and make dua to Allah to grant you the favor of achieving your heart's goal. Trust in Allah, following the footsteps of all the Messengers of Allah, and Allah will be all the strength you need.

The no.1 reason that people enter hellfire? Open your mouth and stick out your tongue! Our tongues are the no.1 reason. How could such a simple piece of flesh be so destructive? It's the backbiting, the slander, the lies, the mocking of nations, the name calling, and on and on, that we indulge our tongues in. Let's watch our tongue today, and every day, and cultivate it to be a beautiful flower, only sweetness coming from it. And if there is nothing sweet to be said, then … silence.

"Just as I, had I been the one to make the mistake, would wish to be forgiven, I forgive you." This is one of the most powerful rockets to Jannah. Go to sleep every night without harboring any grudges or grievances against your Muslim brothers and sisters. I forgive you for the sake of Allah. And I pray that Allah will forgive me too. The snake bite doesn't kill, it's the venom that seeps through the blood that kills. Don't let that venom of grievance seep through your blood. Forgive people, for your own happiness is on the line.

Do you ever get frustrated or stressed? Is it because, perhaps, you are focused on yourself at the moment? Probably. Focusing on oneself = stinginess = frustration = ingratitude to Allah. Instead of focusing on ourselves today, why don't we focus on others? How is their health? How long have 'they' been waiting in line? Maybe their perspective is something valid that I haven't considered before? Whatever it is, stress comes from focusing on ourselves. Happiness, on the other hand, comes from upright righteous character.

Whenever there is a feeling of abundance, it tends to bring out the best in people to share. When one feels like there isn't enough of something, it tends to bring out the miser within. Ask yourself today, hasn't Allah given me total abundance? What can I share today? When the issue of 'sharing' comes up, just like when we were in grade school, when we were told to share, the fear of there not being enough would cause us to hold tightly. Not so with Sadaqah. The more we give, the more we shall receive. That's Allah's promise!

Just as Allah is the most Merciful, He is also the most severe in punishment. This is not something that people like to focus on, but in order for a person to be saved, the hope in Allah's Mercy must go hand and hand with massive fear of Allah's punishment. How many nations before us were destroyed by that which their own hands reaped? How many arrogant tyrants had their thrones taken away from them because of their decision to turn their backs on Allah?

Almost everywhere one goes these days, there is some sort of attack on our soul's chastity. It might be a lewd magazine at the market, or not averting one's gaze in public or it might be an internet banner ad. One must be extra vigilant to protect their heart. Cupid is not a chubby angel that strikes the hearts of men. That is the Shaytaan. Our glances are direct connections to our heart. Avert the glance, and you've just supported a tree of Eman in your heart. Indulge the glance and you are speared by Iblees. Our choice.

The bigger the mission, the more one will have to prepare and train for it. So if the biggest mission of our lives is to worship Allah, then how do we train? How did Allah's Messenger, SAW, train when Angel Jibreel came to him? The answer: with prayers in the night, Qiyam ul-Layl. There are few things on earth more valuable then to get up during the night, make wudu while others are sleeping, raise your hands, and begin worshipping your Creator.

The purpose of Islam is to raise the human being to become the most noblest creation of Allah. Nobility comes from Taqwa and upright character. Allah's Messenger, SAW, lived the Qur'an every single day through his actions. How much of the character taught in the Quran do we know? And how much of that are we living on a daily and hourly basis? The beautiful thing is that there is so much happiness that awaits in taking this path.

When one thinks 'charity', what automatically comes to the mind is giving money. While money is a fundamental part of charity, it is not the end all. Charity is a much larger term that includes visiting the sick, speaking kind words to people, smiling to others, and so much more.

There are two weapons, if you use them, no one and nothing can harm your emotions. They are: thankfulness and patience. Patience, true patience, is that time, as soon as the calamity befalls, that someone holds back, and praises Allah. Immediately they are blessed with a calm that carries them through the calamity, a gift from Allah. Not only is that moment blessed, but that which comes after it becomes even more blessed because of the patience. Imagine life as a truly patient servant of Allah.

How do you take a good thing and make it better?

Answer: by being thankful to Allah for it. Thankfulness is the secret ingredient to happiness on earth and in the hereafter. If you want to enjoy it all, be thankful. Thankfulness isn't only an action of the tongue. Thankfulness is done in action as well: by following the commandments of Allah, desiring nearness to Him, and keeping far away from that which Allah forbade. Kufr, in its root meaning, means ungratefulness. It's the root of disbelief.

When people attempt to listen to music or watch TV, they are actually searching for one thing: peace of heart. The music and watching TV produces emotions that they wish to achieve and cannot in the everyday trials of the world. True peace of heart is found in a beautiful book sitting on your shelf: the Qur'an. In it are the stories of perished nations and prophecy of what is to come in the future. In it is hope for paradise and warning from hellfire. In it is contemplation of the heavens and earth, and all in between. You are searching for peace, right? It's right here.

Just when you thought it was over, it's just begun. Worship of Allah does not end after 30 days. The Lord of Ramadan is the Lord of all months. Worship of Allah only ends at death. What awaits after that is the trial: is Allah pleased with me so that I may rejoice like no human has ever rejoiced? Or should I regret like no human has regretted, perhaps Allah is displeased with me? Perhaps my intentions weren't for Him alone? It is with constant fear and hope, that we'll find our way back to Allah! May Allah accept our noble work this month!

top


The Islamic Bulletin
P.O. Box 410186, San Francisco, CA 94141-0186

September 2009
Ramadan 1430
Note from the Editor
Letters to the Editor
Everyday Dua'a
Islamic World News
How I Embraced Islam
Let's Make A Change
A Sad Passing
Islamic Beliefs
and Practices
Common Mistakes
In Ramadan
Istikhara...
Feeling Confused?
Day Of Judgment
How Not To Miss Fajr
You Can Do It
A Love Story
Cook's Corner
Women in Islam
The Qur'an & Science
Kids' Corner
Parent's Corner
A Request
Beauty Tips for Sisters
Who Is Your Best Friend?
How to Concentrate
In Your Prayers