Wednesday, January 20, 2016
Friday, May 1, 2015
Understanding the Qur’an
Why are We Created?
I have only created Jinns and men, that they may serve Me. [Surah Ad-Dhariyaat, Ayah 56]
High Moral Standards in Islam
Narrated by Sahl bin Saad Al-Saidi that Allah's Messenger (saw) and Al-Mushrikun met each other in a battle and started fighting. When Allah's Apostle (SAW) returned to his camp and when Al-Mushrikun returned to their camp, somebody talked about a man amongst the companions of Allah's Apostle (SAW) who would follow and kill with his sword any Mushrik going alone. He said, "Nobody did his job (i.e. fighting) so properly today as that man." Allah's Apostle (SAW) said, "Indeed, he is amongst the people of the (Hell) Fire." A man amongst the people said, "I shall accompany him (to watch what he does)" Thus he accompanied him, and wherever he stood, he would stand with him, and wherever he ran, he would run with him. Then the (brave) man got wounded seriously and he hurried to die quickly. So He planted the blade of the sword in the ground directing its sharp end towards his chest between his two breasts. Then he leaned on the sword and killed himself. The other man came to Allah's Apostle (SAW) and said, "I testify that you are Allah's Apostle (SAW)." The Prophet asked, "What has happened?" He replied, "(It is about) the man whom you had described as one of the people of the (Hell) Fire. The people were greatly surprised at what you said, and I said, 'I will find out his reality for you.' So, I came out seeking him. He got severely wounded, and hastened to die by slanting the blade of his sword in the ground directing its sharp end towards his chest between his two breasts. Then he eased on his sword and killed himself." when Allah's Apostle (SAW) said, "A man may seem to the people as if he were practicing the deeds of the people of Paradise while in fact he is from the people of the Hell) Fire, another may seem to the people as if he were practicing the deeds of the people of Hell (Fire), while in fact he is from the people of Paradise." [Sahih Bukhari, Chapter 54, Book of Jihad, Fighting for the Cause of Allah, Hadith No. 2898]
The Importance of Wudhu
Abu Hurairah narrated that Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: When a bondsman-a Muslim or a believer-washes his face (in course of ablution), every sin he contemplated with his eyes, will be washed away from his face along with water, or with the last drop of water; when he washes his hands, every sin they wrought will be effaced from his hands with the water, or with the last drop of water; and when he washes his feet, every sin towards which his feet have walked will be washed away with the water or with the last drop of water with the result that he comes out pure from all sins. [Sahih Muslim, Chapter No. 2, Purification (Kitab Al-Taharah), Hadith No. 475]
Umar bin Al-Khattab narrated that Allah's Messenger (SAW) said, "anyone performs ablution and makes it a perfect ablution and says (I bear witness that there is no God besides Allah who is the One, Who has no partner and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger. 0 Allah! Cause me to be among those who repent and cause me to be among those who purify themselves), then all eight doors of Paradise are opened for him that he may enter whichever door he chooses." [Sunan At-Tirmidhi, Hadith No. 55, A 17316, 17398, Muslim 234, Abu Dawud 169, 609, Nisai 151, Ibn e Majah 470]
Repenting to Allah
Belief in Angels
Belief in the Book
Belief on the Judgement Day
Belief in Destiny
Suhaib reported that Allah's Messenger (SAW) said Strange are the ways of a believer for there is good in every affair of his and this is not the case with anyone else except in the case of a believer for if he has an occasion to feel delight, he thanks (God), thus there is a good for him in it, and if he gets into trouble and shows resignation (and endures it patiently), there is a good for him in it. [Sahih Muslim 2999; In-book reference: Book 55, Hadith 82; USC-MSA web (English) reference: Book 42, Hadith 7138 (deprecated numbering scheme)]
Narrated by Anas that the Prophet (SAW) said, "The real patience is at the first stroke of a calamity." [Sahih Bukhari Chapter No: 23, Funerals (Al-Janaaiz), Hadith 389]
Narrated by Anas bin Malik that the Prophet (SAW) passed by a woman who was weeping beside a grave. He told her to fear Allah and be patient. She said to him, "Go away, for you have not been afflicted with a calamity like mine." And she did not recognize him. Then she was informed that he was the Prophet (SAW). So she went to the house of the Prophet (SAW) and there she did not find any guard. Then she said to him, "I did not recognize you." He said, "Verily, the patience is at the first stroke of a calamity." [Sahih Bukhari Chapter No: 23, Funerals (Al-Janaaiz), Hadith 372]
Make Islam Real!
The Attitude of Gratitude
Narrated by Abu Bakrah that when the Prophet (saw) heard news that made him happy, or for which one should be happy, he would fall down prostrate in gratitude to Allah, the Blessed and Exalted.
[Sunan Ibn Majah Chapter No: 7, The Chapters of Establishing the Prayer and the Sunnah Regarding Them, Hadith no: 1394, Grade: Hasan]
Goodness to Parents
The Importance of Surah Al-Baqara
Abu Huraira reported Allah's Messenger (SAW) as saying “Do not make your houses as graveyards. Satan runs away from the house in which Surah Baqara is recited.” Reference: Sahih Muslim 780, In-book reference: Book 6, Hadith 252, USC-MSA web (English) reference: Book 4, Hadith 1707 (deprecated numbering scheme)
Narrated Abu Hurairah: "The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) sent an expedition force [comprised] of many, and he asked each what he could recite, so each one of them mentioned what he could recite - meaning what he had memorized of the Qur'an. He came to one of the youngest men among them and said: 'What have you memorized O so-and-so?' He said: 'I memorized this and that and Surat Al-Baqarah.' He said: 'You memorized Surat Al-Baqarah?' He said: "Yes.' He said: "Then go, for you are their commander.' A man among their chief said: 'By Allah [O Messenger of Allah]! Nothing prevented me from learning Surat Al-Baqarah except fearing that I would not be able to stand with (in voluntary night prayer).' The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: 'Learn the Qur'an to recite it, for indeed the parable of the Qur'an for the one who recites it and stands with it (in prayer) is that of a bag full of musk whose scent fills the air all around. And the parable of the one who learns it then sleeps while it is in his memory is that of a bag containing musk that is tied shut.'"
Reference: Jami at-Tirmidhi, Chapters on the Virtues of the Qur’an, English Reference: Vol. 5, Book 42, Hadith 2876, Arabic Reference: Book 45, Hadith 3116, Grade: Hasan (Darussalam)
Yahya related to me from Malik that he had heard that it took Abdullah ibn Umar eight years to learn Surat al-Baqara. (Surah 2)
Reference: Imam Malik’ Muwatta, Chapter: The Qur’an, USC-MSA web (English) reference: Book 15, Hadith 11, Arabic reference: Book 15, Hadith 483
Ibn 'Abbas (May Allah be pleased with them) reported that the Prophet (SAW) visited a bedouin who was sick. Whenever he visited an ailing person, he would say, "La ba'sa, tahurun in sha' Allah [No harm, (it will be a) purification (from sins), if Allah wills]."
Reference: Al-Bukhari, Riyad as-Salihin, Chapter: The Book of Visiting the Sick, Sunnah.com reference: Book 7, Hadith 14, Arabic/English book reference: Book 7, Hadith 907
Question and Answer Session
Intention for Good Deeds
Goodness to Parents
Dhikr of Allah
Lowering the Gaze
Alhamdulillah, this concludes my humble attempt at recreating what I learned from Dr. Bilal’s lecture. Please note that none of the points quoted in the article comprise of any personal viewpoint of my own. I have just ventured to put down whatever Dr. Bilal spoke about during the lecture. It may not be a complete account but I have aimed to recollect as much detail as possible.
I have also tried my best to search for authentic Ahadith with references that were quoted by Dr. Bilal Philips and to verify each and every bit of detail that I have written. Still, if you find any mistakes whatsoever, please do feel free to point them out.
Monday, February 28, 2011
A week before Eid-ul-Azha last year, Inaaya went to the birthday party of her friend’s sister. Oh yes. Talk about social life of a three-year-old! She went with her mother of course, and her little sister just had to tag along because she’s so little.
Saturday, November 20, 2010
A son studying in a hostel finds his eyes closing every now and then as he tries to study for his exam. He gets up, frustrated and goes to the kitchen to make tea for his own self in order to stay awake. As the tea brews, memories of his mother bringing tea for him while he studied come to his mind that make him really wish that she were there for him or that he were at home.
Monday, November 1, 2010
|My Mithoo and I|
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
This one’s going to be a really, really sad post and has been written with just such a state of mind.
Saying goodbye - always the toughest of things to do, isn’t it? Saying goodbye to a job or a place you’ve called home for years or saying it to friends you’ve worked with, studied with or to best friends who’ve left you behind – actually, scratch that, in these cases you never get to say it, it’s just a silent one, from within your own heart. But the thing is that it’s always tough.
It turns out my best friend of years is going to go away. Well, she was always going to go away, once she got married that is. She was always going to settle down abroad. But what’s more striking about this new discovery is that this is something that can be helped, unlike marriage. She’s going to go off to study. And it really doesn’t help that she’s the only best friend I’ve known in a couple of years now. The other one is just so engrossed in her own life that she’s forgotten she ever had a family before her current one, let alone remembering me. Don’t get me wrong here, I’m really happy that she’s happy just not happy that she’s never there for me anymore.
There’re very few friends who create a lasting impact on your life. And there are fewer best friends who manage to motivate you, who would say things like they are to your face, they would thwart you when required, set you straight when you go wrong, encourage you when you need it, and most of all, lend a listening ear to all your rants that would always cheer you up. Going out with friends is the only vent you get from your monotonous life. The way they feel bad about not being there when you got sick but didn’t get a chance to tell them, the sudden plans for going out shopping and for dinners, the long late night conversations over the phone are all the things I’ll really, really miss. I’ll also miss advising her, scolding her when she’s wrong, cheering her up and also the feeling of being important to somebody and making a significant difference in somebody’s life.
Best friends are people you can share everything with. Even the things you would never share with your family because you don’t want to upset them. I’ll miss that the most because only best friends can make up for this. No one else and no other friend can.
Friends are like this ray of hope when you feel you’ve reached the edge of the road. How I’ll manage to survive without this ray of hope in my life is something I haven’t gotten around to asking myself because I’ve been so busy crying my eyes out and fighting this suffocating feeling of loneliness. True, I’ve got other friends. But you don’t call your best friend the best for nothing.
Ok, so there’s still time. There’s still time to build up on some last few pleasant memories; there’s still time to share a few good laughs, some tears and a lot of talks. But it really doesn’t help that she’s gone for Umrah just when I’ll be having my last day in office. It gives me a feel of how it’s going to be when she actually leaves. Although I really hope she enjoys her first trip to Allah’s House to the divine and Blessed experience that it really is.
And yeah, my leaving office is another impending goodbye that seems less saddening compared to this one although it wouldn’t seem that way when that day actually arrives. I’ll be saying goodbye to my office of two years full of all kinds of memories and to the few but precious friends I’ve made here. I will miss you buddies hard and I know you guys know it.
If I’ve depressed you people enough, I’d sign off and leave you to mourn over all your long lost friends and best friends and jobs you’ve left behind. Sharing felt good, though. As a colleague of mine put it, writing can be a relieving activity. That really stands to be very true.
Saturday, March 20, 2010
How ironic. What signals an end also indicates a new beginning. The day my resignation got finalized was the day I got appreciated for my writing skills that I had been too shy to present to even my friends, let alone to the general public. It may appear as a small achievement to others, but to me, being recognized as a writer – be it by my father, my friends, or colleagues – means a lot.
I wrote a reply to a colleague’s humorous and well-written article, which was meant to be a tribute to girls on Women’s Day. I agree that my article may not be completely comprehensible or as much fun to people not working in our office but what follows is my first ever public and humble attempt at writing humorous non-fiction:
Speci-Men in Our Company
Warning: This article is meant to hurt people’s feelings but the author and her creative team do not claim any responsibility whatsoever with regard to tears running down anybody’s cheeks.
Over a large span of time, various kinds of species have evolved within this company. Since Men’s Day is still a long way away, we, the girls have decided to ‘pay tribute’ in advance to these peculiar but interesting creatures in our company.
Our first category is the Cactuses. These species are the touch-me-not category. Even minor contact would drive you running out of the cluster to get some fresh air, the air of attitude they throw about is such. Be careful when you interact with them because the thorny tone of their voices is bound to make you bleed.
The Rubber-band kind prefers to stretch so far back in their seats from time to time that one can fear that they might snap or at least their chair would. Not to mention the fate of poor unfortunate girls sitting behind them who to avoid their outstretched arms, have to crouch into their cubicles.
Then there are some at whom the word style starts to begin but forgets to end—simply put the (J) Bravos. Apparently being trapped in the wrong profession, they seem to fantasize themselves as models and the corridors of the office as ramps. If by any chance, you’re ever stuck walking behind them, you’re bound to reach your destination a couple of hours later than you anticipate.
There are also a few Richie Riches, who have probably been brought up with servants at every beck and call. They seem to perceive every passerby as one and would not think twice before handing over their used mugs and glasses to them to be taken away while they sprawl lazily on the sofa.
There is another batch of species that lack simple courteousness of moving away to give space to others (read girls) or leave the seats of those they are sitting on. But mind you, having said all this, they would still not refrain from pretending to have manners, trying to make up for their lack by using extremely muddled up definitions of ‘Thank you’ and when to put a ‘No’ before it. Poor souls also really have a hard time deciphering that the word Sorry can also be used an alternate for “Could you repeat that, please?” and not just as an apology.
There also exist some Free Biscuit Lovers, who can just sense the fragrance of free biscuits like anything. They pounce on those biscuits and finish them off when the owner isn’t at her seat, making her wonder if she even bought a pack that day.
Then there is a type who use their pen (or should I say a word processor?) to criticize everybody under the sun (or at least under the company’s illuminated roof). This makes you wonder if there is anybody that they actually like.
In the end, I would just like to say that within the categories defined above, I’m sure there isn’t a complete dearth of etiquettes, consideration or good people for that matter. It’s just that as is the case with our management, the good points just tend to ‘slip’ out of the mind when you begin writing.
Strict instructions had been shared amongst the girls that no questions regarding the identities of the guys would be entertained so as to avoid bad feelings and embarrassments and so that the article could indeed be taken lightly. But there are always a few bad elements set out to try to ruin your wonderful day, aren’t there? Try as they might but they couldn't succeed though! It’s situations like these that make you wonder how you can go from having no opinion about a person to a very low opinion about a person.
But what moved me was the appreciation and support that I got from everybody. It was this that made my day. There was something else that made my day even better and that was the pride I saw on my dad’s face when I shared with him my experience at office. I truly can say that this was one of the happiest days of my life.
I always believe that the success and achievements of a person are measured by the contentment they can bring into other people’s lives. The happiness, ease and relief that a person brings into the lives of their loved ones – whether it’s family or friends - are the primary achievements in a person’s life. It is what makes life worth living for a person. All other successes are secondary.
I’m grateful that I have the greatest of parents, wonderful-lest of cousins and best-est of friends in life. May Allah Bless them all always.
I dedicate this first blog entry to them and to my colleagues. A lot of people have been very encouraging about this blog too. I hope everyone enjoys what they read here. Happy Reading! :o)