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moon_riseAssalaamu ‘alaykum, may peace be upon you and welcome,

As expected, the blessed month of Ramadhan is swiftly leaving our company – with a mere two weeks left to enjoy inshaAllah. InshaAllah, as I hope has been the case with me, you have all been able to benefit from the blessed month, increase in Iman, taqwa and nearness towards to The Most Beloved, Most High, ameen.

The joys, beauties, love and mercy that fill our homes, hearts and minds do not have to come to an end the night that ‘Eid id pronounced. Because Ramadhan is so dear to us all,  before its conclusion draws near, we should start eagerly deciding on how to keep its spirits alive as soon as it goes. So, to get you started on welcoming ‘Laylatul-Qadr – The Night of Decree’ and to avoid having your captured jewels slip form your hands, here’s a quick to-do list for the upcoming days:

1) Make a list of 3 acts of ‘ibaadah you really enjoyed performing, write why you enjoyed each one… these can now become your regular daily actions – for life inshaAllah.

2) Make a list of 3 things you shouldn’t have done in Ramadhan, but which you did, and as a result feel guilty about and add them to your ‘Du’a list’Why? So that you won’t forget to make tawbah (repentance) for them inshaAllah!

3) Du’a list: Make a list of everything you want from your Lord, Most High, The Only One Able to answer your prayers. Make a list, read through them to ensure you have EVERYTHING SINGLE REQUEST written (those for this life and for The Next Life) inshaAllah… And?… Start asking for them! What’s the use in leaving the list for only the last 10 nights when Allah answers du’as every night! [Start making those du’as asap and ensure you double if not triple the number of times you ask for them during the last 10 Nights inshaAllah.]

4) Empty and Refill… There is a morsel of flesh in the body that needs more spiritually cleaning than any other organ in the body… So what do we do? Ask Allah to cleanse your precious heart of any and every ill-feeling that presently exists. Ask Allah to forgive any person you feel ill towards and remember them in your du’as [it’s one of the best ways to transform a heart, mind and soul inshaAllah] and refilll your heart with nothing, absolutely nothing but good thoughts of others, positive thoughts of yourself and loving thoughts of your Lord, Azza wa Jal.

5) And lastly, just as you started off by listing 3 continuous acts of worship, now set your goals. We sometimes forget that goals are for life not just for Ramadhan! So get thinking, get writing and get doing! InshaAllah. Your goals in life must reflect your personal values – things that are important to you. Once you’ve written them, share your achievement (yes, the construction of your goals!) with someone special… someone you know will aid you and be a great means of support to you for as long as is required… of course this should come after correcting one’s intention and turning to your Lord and requesting of Him His Aid and assistance.

Dear readers, enjoy the rest of the blessed days to come and don’t forget, our lives aren’t preparation for Ramadhan… Ramdhan is preparation for our lives.

Wassalaamu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakaatuh.

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None but You, my Lord, only You

I do call, cry out, searching, hoping for answers

My prayers are deep and understood

But not by any of them, they are understood by You

Only You.     

 

My Lord, my beloved Lord, forgive me, please do,

Forgive them, we are but simple sinners,

Sent to worship and believe, but indeed corrupted

Our souls darkened by our ugly sins

Cutting and scarring further into our hearts and minds

 

Our blackened hearts are too cold to be melted

Too hard to be broken, and maligned are we

But defenceless, for indeed we have lost the right

To be defended, by the greatest defence

How so for us now our Lord, beloved Lord?

 

Indeed in the blackness there is always a light

After every hardship there is always ease

I do not see it now, but will we soon be free from our oppression?

Will our diseases be cured so we may be once again purified and forgiven?

 

I beg of you my dear, dear Lord

For answers to my broken heart

There is no hope but you, only You my beloved Lord

Please, I do beg, to be freed from

The disease of my blackened heart.

 

© Quratul Ayn 2009

 

The Shadow of Worth

Its head looms bigger than mine over me, threatening almost, to swallow me?

And it’s shoulders are somewhat distorted

They stand at odd corners and…no, no, they really don’t do justice to the body.

 

The arms, well they’re sort of hanging,

large and looming, like they’re going to grab me.

But nonetheless, they are surely stronger than mine…at least that is how they look.

 

The hands are a tad bigger

Perhaps more so than the shoulders, or is that just beyond common sense?

No, they appear almost the same…I’m sure.

 

The body isn’t that much larger, though its position almost makes it appear…

Well, bigger? More robust? Powerful?

Umm…I think it’s just a lot more full…eager to feel it’s worth.

 

Comparatively I suppose, I suppose I’m much smaller.

Height, life, worth…but then I wonder

Why does it not have features, like mine…what of its eyes, ears and mouth?

Does it have any sense?

Taste, smell, touch, sight or sound?

 

And as I move, I see, suddenly…

like a rock bounded back to earth, a comet through the universe

I feel, with certainty,

My shadow has no worth

Just as little as my ego

 

Because while I am a perfect creation of my Lord swt

My ego is only a creation of my insignificant self.

 

© Quratul Ayn 2008-04-08

A Priceless Sensation

 
Your gentle movements…

 

 

My quiet sighs

The hunger pangs

Between you and I.

 

Your unpredictable kick…
 
 

 

My cravings begin

What a wonderful feeling

Growing deep within.

 

Your visible growth…

My sleepless nights

My love for you

No words can describe. 

 

Your beautiful image…

The joy that I feel

A priceless Sensation

Unbelievably real.

 

My indescribable pain…

Your immediate cry

I hold you in my arms

And wipe tears from my eyes.

 

My tiny precious

A gift from above…

An irreplaceable sensation

A token of love.

©Aug 08 Umm Thameenah

 

Salaam and welcome to this week’s reminder … the first in the blessed month of Ramadhan. We pray these reminders will be one of the many treasures you will gather over the next few weeks, insha’Allah.

As Ramadhan slowly graced us with its arrival, many of us may have felt somewhat overwhelmed by it’s embrace and though true for some of us, let us ponder over our actions leading to it. How many of you set ‘Ramadhan targets’ or ‘Ramadhan ‘ibaadah timetables’ ? And how many of you prepared for this blessed month mentally, physically and spiritually months before its blessed arrival?

The month of Ramadhan is a time for general and specific reflections; deep contemplation; soul-training and life changes. Yet many of us enter into the month sure of the fact that ‘we want to change’ ‘but have we’ve actually sat down to think and plan through ‘the changes’ we desperately want to make. How ironic: we know the blessings that this month brings with it each year – every year, but we haven’t quite realised  its profound signifcance. You see knowledge and realisation are two very differnt concepts, often harboured one without the other. But the servant of Allah (Swt) that acquires the knowledge and then strives to put that acquisition to work, gains a jewel for life: undersatnding.

How many of us believe in Allah (Swt) but haven’t truly understood Who Allah (Swt) is (His Names and Attributes)?  And‘how many of us know the treasures that Ramadhan brings, but have failed to realise and thus understand its true  beauty? Take the opportunity this blessed month to go a step further: dont’ merely stop at the road of knowledge, be amongst the oft-spoken of seravnts of Allah (Swt): ‘Men who reflect; men who contemplate and men of understanding’. For truly it is they that gather the best fruits in this blessed month, for they do not merely walk through the blissful orchard and gaze at the beautifully lucious fruits, contenting themselves with the vision of them  – no – rather they stop to relfect; take heed; realise; understand and thus implement the treasures that they have gathered from the trees in the garden of Ramadhan.

Dear readers, do not merely be spectators, for your orchard is filled with treasures – jewels waiting to be plucked, for a fruit left untouched can never again be attained. So may Allah (Swt) enable us to be amongst the most fortunate of servants:those that pluck only the best from His (Swt) Orchard of Jewels … ameen.

Salam and welcome to this week’s reminder…

As Ramadhan is briskly approaching, we hope to set the tone by giving you beneficial reminders to prepare for the blessed month ahead, insha’Allah. The first of our Ramadhan reminders is on two themes of such great significance, it always serves to benefit the servants of Allah (Swt).

Have you ever stopped . . . searched within your heart and examined its contents?

Contemplation, pondering, self-reflection are all apart of spiritual growth. Yet, how many of us take account of ourselves? Or question our actions before or after we’ve performed them? What becomes very sad, is when a person becomes convinced that their actions are for Allah (Swt), when in actual fact their actions are simply being performed to be seen, marvelled and envied by others. But how can we protect ourselves from falling into this trap of shaytaan? The answer, dear readers? . . . ‘ilm (knowledge) and Ikhlaas (Sincerity).

ILM – Knowledge

If I told you that I had a friend who was kind, generous, so polite, and because of their beautiful characteristics I truly loved them for the sake of Allah (Swt) – what would you say? Would you suddenly love them too? Would you know enough about them to love them? And if so, do you think your love would be equal to mine? Of course not, for how can it be so, when you know very little about my friend. So, what would cause you to love my friend, as I do?

Knowing Allah (Swt) is synonymous to loving Him (Swt), and yet many of us claim love of our Lord (Swt), though we haven’t taken the time to learn and understand how best to worship Him (Swt), understand Tawheed – The Oneness of Allah (Swt), or learn, understand and implement His(Swt) Names and Attributes. Are we aware of the affects these important areas should have upon our lives?

Dear readers, in order to truly be able to love Allah (Swt), we’ve got to know Allah (Swt), study His Names and Attributes and read His Blessed Words – Al-Qur’an, making it more attched and beloved to our hearts than anything else, insha’Allah.

IKHLAAS – Sincerity

Purity is a state of self, required in a variety of ways in order to achieve particular goals. Ikhlaas – sincerity is a state of the heart that must be present before any action can be accepted by Allah (Swt).

“Actions are but by intentions. And every man shall receive that which he intended. Thus, if a his migration was for Allah and His messenger, then his migration was for Allah and His messenger. But if his migration was for some wordly benefit or to seek a woman in marriage, then his migration was for that which he migrated.”

[Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]

Thus, who must we have sincerity for? Someone may be sincere in an action, but direct it towards to a family member, spouse, friend etc – is this acceptable? How can it be? When The Only One worthy of performing an action for is Allah (Swt)? Any action done simply to seek the pleasure of another, will be rejected on Yawmul Qiyaamah – The Day of Judgement, with the unfortunate servant being told to seek reward from the one whom they sought reward from, initially:

“If you associate partners (with Allah), your deeds will be cancelled”

[Surah Az-Zumar:65]

Is it worth it?  A worthless praise or insignificant acknowledgement, does not even come close to a speck of dust compared to the pleasure of The One Whom hearts were created to please. A servant’s niyyah – intention is sufficient to make a great deed small and a small deed great.

Dear readers, this is a concept that should always remain with us, for remember this … Can a action really be worh performing, if the end result will only be rejected by Allah (Swt) due to its defects? No, absolutely not, for He (Swt) is the reason why we live.

Thus, let us think of ways in which we can make the most of the three weeks we have left, before Ramadhan, in order to ensure that we achieve both ‘ilm and ‘ikhlaas, insha’Allah. So, we’ve noted a few points of very beneficial actions to perform now, in order to prepare ourselves for the blessed month ahead, insha’Allah.

*Make a ‘Ramadhan Achievement List’ – things I will achieve by the end of Ramadhan, insha’Allah. Along with that you could create a ‘Ramadhan Good-deeds chart’ – where you tick off the deeds you manage to perform eac day. And don’t forget your ‘Ramadhan timetable’ – a time guide to aid you in fulfilling your Ramadhan targets, insha’Allah.

*Make the niyyah to read atleast 1 ayah after every salaah, and if you find it difficult to achieve that, then read the equivalent amount every night before going to sleep (1 ayah x 5 daily prayers = 5 ayat a day) insha’Allah. For if we truly want to love Allah (Swt), then we will strive to be amongst the family of Allah (Swt). For verily those that learn, understand, implement and teach The Words of Allah (Swt) – are considered amongst the best of people – the family of Allah (Swt).

*Incorporate into your Ramadhan timetable, a small slot everyday to memorise, understand and implement 5 of the Names of Allah (Swt). For anyone who memorises all 99 names of Allah (Swt), understands them and acts according to them, shall enter Paradise, by Allah’s (Swt) Grace.

*Before going to sleep, ask yourself 2 things: What did I do, purely for Allah’s Sake today? and … If my soul were not to return to me, what would I be ashamed to answer for, on The Day of Judgement? And whatever you find the latter to be, seek immediate forgiveness before closing your eyes to sleep. 

Dear readers only with true knowledge of Allah (Swt) will we grow to understand and appreciate the magnanimity of The One we call Lord – Allah (The Most High).  For truly, when we say that we love our Lord (Swt), He hears our claims and is fully aware of what really lies within our hearts.

Salaam and welcome, to this week’s reminder …

By the grace of our Magnificent Lord (Swt), we’re back after three long weeks, with our next reminder to get you contemplating, insha’Allah. Alhamdulillah, our last reminder touched upon the topic of baa’ithun qawi – an inspirational urge’. This week, dear readers, we have continued on the topic of ‘A Gift from Allah (Swt)’, to shed what we hope will be a source of benefit to you all, insha’Allah.

 A beauty of our deen is as such: everything we are honoured to see, hear, read, write and discuss, are gifts from Allah (Swt). However, there are particular aspects of our religion that shine as examples from others. To be able to turn to our Lord (Swt) Who never turns away from us – except when we ourselves turn away; Who receives us time and time again; our Supporter and Protector; from all of the bounties we taste, day in and day out, will we ever be able to repay Him (Swt) back? Though we know the answer to this question is no, there is a gift with which we have been blessed, one like none other, which enables a connection to our Beloved (Swt) … every single day of our lives. What can this gift possibly be? I sense you asking. It is the first station of the wayfarer – a yearning to approach Allah (Swt).

Tawbah:Repentance – when did you last perform it?

If we had a debt to repay, how would we view it? Would we strive as much as we could to repay it? Seek all necessary means to clear our slate? So what then of a very important debt that we have to Allah (Swt)? Every time we commit a wrong action without seeking forgiveness, how do we feel? Do we convince ourselves that Allah (Swt) is AlGhafoor ArRaheem (The All-Forgiving, The Most Merciful)? Do we delay rectifying it, in the hope that it’ll, somehow, sort itself out? But what if I told you that there is an action that is effortless and yet so weighty, simple and yet so profound, what would you say? Dear readers, the depletion and complete clearance of our debts to Allah (Swt) are just an action away of being forgiven, insha’Allah..

Tawbah is a gift that Allah (Swt) bestows upon whom He Wills. The literal meaning is “to turn back“, thus one does not merely ask Allah (Swt) for forgiveness – for such an action is known as istighfar– “seeking forgiveness“, rather one begins a new phase of their life, having turned to their Lord with every essence of their heart. 

When we make tawbah, we make a strong resolve never to return back, intentionally, to our sinful or ignorant ways. It is as though we are asking Allah (Swt) to take us forward, to never turn away from us and to guide us upon what is right. When one performs the beautiful action of tawbah, something very significant takes place, both spiritually and physically; not only do you feel a sense of release, as though a heavy load has been lifted from your shoulders, but you feel as though Allah (Swt) is with you, and that dear readers, is a blessing within itself.

It is an agreed upon opnion that repentance is an obligation for each sin. If the sin is between a servant and their Lord then there are three conditions: ‘Desist, Remorse and Resolve’:

Firstly, desisting from the sin.

Secondly, being remorseful for doing it.

Thirdly, resolving never to repeat it again.

If any of these conditions is missed, repentance will not be correct”.

Along with this Imam an-Nawawi (rh) states a fourth condition, depending on whether the sin involved the right of another:

“Redressing the right of the one who has been wronged. If it entails [falsely] accusing a person of adultery or its like, one must give himself up to him or else ask him to forgive it. If it involved backbiting, then one must have him pardon it.” [Riyad as-Saalihin]

This is crucial for us to remember, as our ‘turning back’ to Allah (Swt) is our way forward, an acknowledgement that we have fallen short and need to return, once again, to our source of tranquility. Not only are we settling our debt with Allah (Swt),we are also uprooting ourselves from disobedience, insha’Allah. For such a blessed gift is a door leading to the station of ‘mahbubiyyah’:being loved by Allah (Swt). And I ask: which of us are not in need of His (Swt) Divine Love?

“Indeed Allah loves those that turn to Him in repentance.” [2:222]

So dear readers,  ask yourselves this: ‘When did you last make tawbah?’ and more importantly, ‘Are you ready to turn back to your Lord (Swt), now that you know you should?’

Do not delay in telling Allah (Swt) you love Him, nor delay in feeling remorse for your sins. For your heart is yearning to approach your Lord (Swt), thus take heed and enable your realisation to penetrate your soul and know … that this gift is one truly from you Lord Alone (Swt).