Archive for the ‘Ramadan 2011’ Category

Bismillah,

Alhamdulilah, alhamdulilah! My Lord is so good to us, He gives, He gives, and blesses us in so many ways its unbelievable!

I’ve been swamped- a good type of swamp, wherein I truly believe its Allah subhana wa tala answering my dua list from Ramadan. I’m attached to my dua list in Ramadan and throughout out the year and all of these things that Allah blessed me with is a result of Him choosing to bestow His mercy upon me! Ujeeboo dawati itha daan! Truly Allah did say, “call upon me and I will answer”. So thats the best part of the last couple months, busy, good type of busy, but not enough time to blog. So here are things that have been on my mind!

* If you leave the Quran, the Quran leaves you! Yes, it does. This is something really scary. I’m really big on memorization, beyond tafsir, tajweed, memorization gives me my Quran-eman fix. I don’t know how to describe, but truly combining all three is wonderful works for me! My heart rejoices. So a reminder to all of you out there, don’t let a day go by without reciting, reflecting, and looking in the book of Allah for directions, its a must. Because as time goes by your brain sort begins to rust, almost like cob-webs begins to set in, and in place of a reflective mind, and an eman filled heart, therein begins a deadness that is scary. This reminds me of the saying of the scholars “as the one who doesn’t have quran in their life, is like a ruined house”; how sad that is!

* I was a camp councelor for MYNA again, I love it! Its amazing, and life changing. Camp isn’t really different from what I do with the youth in my community (at least my role), but the activities/lectures I take part in are a bit different. The best way to be better Muslim is to really help others be better Muslims. I have a hadeeth on my wall that I try to live by everyday. “khayro naas man yanfa3o naas” “The best people are those who are of benefit to others” Not to say I’m the perfect Muslim, but helping out the youth, helping them reflect on the deen, and helping them to remember Allah in one way or another really makes my day.

* Teaching in the morning and working at the library really helps me reflect on all sorts of stuff! I’m currently reading “The Help” by Kathyryn Stockett, and I’ve had two things come to mind (Power of the prayer, shunning/mean girls). I was really moved by Aibileen (a black maid in 1962) desire to be close to God and her need/turning to God for everything in the book. Aibileen, though a christian reminded me of my connection with prayer/dua in Islam! This woman writes her own prayers, and this is something I totally relate to. I listened to a lecture once where the shaykh mentioned how we should make our duas personal/specific to Allah, so that we show Allah how weak we are, and of how much we are in need of Him, and our desire to have what we are asking for. I know its odd to think about this, but think about all the duas we’ve been making through out the years, (good health, good deen, etc.), do we ever change it up? Are we better people because of these duas? Have we changed because of them? I say be precise, get to the nity gritty details of what/and how we want something from Allah! This is something I found that worked for me! One of my favourite lines from the book that Aibleen says is ” Cause that’s the way prayer do. It’s like electricity, it keeps things going” Subhana’Allah, how true that is! Second part of this reflection is that of mean girls! Has anyone seen the movie ‘mean girls?” I have never but the gist of it is a bunch of mean girls causing havoc, and subhana’Allah one of the things my camp adviser said was how at times girls can beeeeee soooo viscous/so mean to each other, meaner than boys. Sometimes I see bits and peices of that in my first graders! Subhana’Allah! But anyway, in the story, Skeeter one of the main characters gets shunned by her ‘friends’ when she decides to try to change things up, and stand up for what is right; i.e equality/rights for humanity! Its a sad case though when Hilly, the head ‘mean girl’ shakes things up and turns everyone else against her. Its sad, and the author describes this when Skeeter is told by Aibileen of her being shunned ” I don’t care about any of that ole stuff, anyway. She kind a laugh and it hurts my heart. Cause everybody care. Black, white down we all do.” Its sad stuff, and personally I’ve been at the end of such situations before while I was young as well as an adult (Yeah, if your outspoken at times like me, you are bound to face some difficulty in this area), but subhana’Allah it really takes a strong will, a determination to stay firm in what you fully believe in, and a lot of dua! Its a road of self discovery as well and it really shows you what you are capable of as a person. I try to teach my first grade girls that things like this shouldn’t happen, and that they should be better people and shouldn’t treat each other this way! I really enjoyed this book overall! It reminds me of the Civil rights era, I always enjoyed learning about that era. I feel like its a part of my history as an immigrant to this country. It reminds me back in 6/7th grade when I read “The Watson go to Birmingham…” one of my favourite books, or the “To kill a mockingbird”… man these are really good books to teach in the classroom, I can’t wait to work with my middle Schoolers!

* When my Ipod battery dies in my car and I can’t listen to my Quran, I’m left to NPR lol. I like NPR, but I don’t like listening too much news, because it makes me sad. I listen to it to the point of just being ‘aware’, and cut it off when it passing towards the point of ‘too sad’. So this past week, while driving home from work, there were some recurring news… 4 nights in a row at least. Syrian issues, Pope having a meeting from members of the church from all of over the world for victims of paedophiles in the church… thats a mouth full, and It really made me sad. This is a case of religion/folks practising that religion gone really really wrong! I respect people of faith, but at times its really hard to listen to stuff like that and have an objective mind. Politics/ the run for office/Romney. All sorts of other stuff, Politics is interesting but I’m always sceptical of things that goes down in Politics.

Alhamdulilah, really busy days, but insha’Allah insha’Allah it is all things that Allah is pleased with. I pray that Allah alleviates our difficulties, and may these difficulties be a cause for us to grow closer to our Lord, the Mighty and Majestic!

Till next time, may we meet in the highest abode! Al Firdous Ala!

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Bismillah,

Alhamdulilah, all praise is due to Allah who has blessed us with time.

Bullet format is the way I’ll go for this post, too many things to capture all at once.

* Time is so precious, so important, Allah subhana wa tala swears by it! Must use it wisely

* Quran memorization picked up again and going really well alhamdulilah. Surah Rum eases my heart! loves it, alhamdulilah.

* Learning to speak up more and speak my mind without thinking it will hurt others. Expressing how something makes me feel and expressing a simple “no” when something is just not my ‘cup of tea’. Being assertive without being mean and expressing what I feel is the healthy way for me.

* Teaching again..loves it! Both secular studies and Islamic studies (weekends). This is the stuff that made undergrad the best, the constant whirl wind of activities all tying back with to Allah’s remembrance makes me happy. I can’t imagine doing anything else in life beyond imparting what I know to little minds (bit minds more like it, as they teach me in the process!) . Its a joy to be around them, subhana’Allah!

*Distractions, sounds, all of it. This is one of the reasons why I left facebook. I am one of those people who are somewhat hermits, too much noise, too much of stuff just isn’t for me. Spiritually wise its also deadens me a bit in ways I can’t put to words …like there isn’t a lot of room for contemplations, to think, to ponder over the blessings Allah has provided for me, to the wonders all around me, I feel that I miss out on this just a bit when the aforementioned occurs.

*Finishing up a bunch of stuff I started up…
1.) Yaseen Lecture by AbdulNasir Jangda
2.) Alhuda lectures, listen, take notes
3.) Kitabu Tawheed lecture by shaykh Yasir Qadhi
4.) Story of the Ifk by Shaykh Yasir Qadhi
….a lot more stuff to add to list, but needs to look through blog.

* Loving the book search so far…I’ve got a couple in mind so far ” The alchemist” , “A child called it” etc. Just got done with Saturday school and soon to hit Barnes and noble for the Alchemist! Hurry

* Shawaal! Must getr done! Alhamdulilah, Oh Allah grant me the ability to benefit from this month, to continue the race and finish up strong! Allahuma Ameen!

* Dua: I recently read a wonderful post on MM about continuing in the deeds of Ramadan. The dua part is something that I think that I tend to slow down on for some odd reason and for many people too. Its like we rush to it with full force in Ramadan, and then right after its like ‘OK, I’ve done what I could’ and i think for me after Ramadan because of what I like to call ‘my Ramadan lull’ weird, odd, but still there. Dua especially, maybe its human nature but we think…I’ve asked, and now it should come asap, but thats not how dua works, thats now how Allah operates. We as servants are but servants, we do the asking, we wait and remain patient and have the yaqeen (certainity), that Allah azza wa jala will answer our dua according to His decree. So we shall not give up in our dua making, we will continue in this blessed journey.

(Post: http://muslimmatters.org/2011/08/31/top-3-post-ramadan-spiritual-productivity-tips/ )

Till next, may Allah bless our lives with meaningful activities.

Continuing the race…

Posted: September 7, 2011 in Ahh moments, Quran, Ramadan 2011

Bismillah,

So recently I’ve been reviewing from bottom to up (started at juz amma), and always the short makki verses that are so powerful in meaning always put me in a different mood. In Ramadan and even now when I hear some verses I just want to shake my head and think ” wow, how could you”. Mostly, verses like ‘we didn’t use to pray’ or ‘encouraging the feeding of the poor’ (paraphrased), and there is something I always reflect from these verses, that at times we may also fall into these categories (not completely forsaking these duties), but not giving it our all. How many times have we in the past dashed through our salaah in hurry to attend to something, mindlessly, not letting the words sink in and not pondering over the glory of this gift; i.e salaah. How many times have we thought “me, me, me” and didn’t volunteer or give enough of our time to the needy. As a recent graduate I was given a powerful advice from a friend of mine “now rahma, don’t sit at home now…volunteer as much as you can” lol.

Continuing the race…

That is of fasting… Its pretty hard to pick up after Ramadan and do the activities that you kept doing. I know for me there is a bit of a lull but in my house (specifically my mom) the six days of shawaal are completed with much dua, fasting, and continuing of the great activities from Ramadan. Its tough to continue in the motion of things but most definitely the rewards are there for the taking, it is just who need to be selfish in pursuing in these wonderful deeds!

“Whoever fasts Ramadan and follows it with six days from Shawwal it is as if they fasted the entire year.” Reported in Muslim

Bismillah,

Alhamdulilah, all praise is due to Allah who has allowed us to reach these last blessed days and nights of Ramadan.

Every Ramadan, I literally get addicted to a series of lectures by one or two specific Shaykhs. A couple Ramadan’s ago or maybe it was last Ramadan it was Kamel El Makki Lectures, now this Ramadan its been Shaykh AbdulNasir Jangda’s Tafseer of Surah Yaseen. Masha’Allah, this series is really really beautiful Masha’Allah.

So many gems picked up from lecture but here are a few…

1.) A reflection of some sort, I love love how he connects everything back to Seerah, the story of the Prophet sal allahu sallam. My heart rejoices in the connections made of the life of the Prophet sal allahu sallam i.e of the hardship he faced and how Allah subhana wa tala reminded him to be patient and continue to do the dawah. This particular surah was sent down as a consolation for the Prophet sal allahu sallam (just like many other surah’s such as surah Yusuf). The group of people mentioned and discussed in surah Yaseen are similar to the people of Mecca and the hardship he sallahu alayhi wa sallam faced while giving dawah to them. Its an amazing reminder to know that these verses of Quran were sent down as a consolation for the Prophet sal allahu sallam,i.e that when worry, harm, fatigue, concern, or anything touched him Allah sent him sal allahu sallam a reminder to keep moving, to not give up, and to know that Allah would aid him….and that is powerful, because in the same way we also are granted the same privilege from Allah every single time we open this blessed book. Subhana’allah. Subhana’Allah. I’am in awe of the magnitude of this privilege! My Lord is truly great to us!

2.) Ayah number (8), such a vivid description of what happened to these specific people who denied the message…This verse I’ve memorized years ago, but now every time I read it now I think about shackles and the restriction of it…in the literally sense, they are indeed restrict in this capacity in dunya means…may Allah grant us not to be shackled down by our own sins, our own short-comings, our own neglect in our faith.

36:8
Inna jaAAalna fee aAAnaqihim aghlalan fahiya ila alathqani fahum muqmahoona

Indeed, We have put shackles on their necks, and they are to their chins, so they are with heads [kept] aloft.

3.) Quran memorization. Word. I cannot describe in words how happy this makes me. Every Ramadan I am reminded of what I’ve memorized, what I know like the back of my hand, and what I need to still cover. The process in itself is a beautiful thing, and I loved the fact that Shaykh AbdulNasir encouraged his listeners on lecture series to memorize the verses he has done so far, for indeed I am reminded again of how beautiful it is when you connect the understanding with what you’ve memorized…its like internalizing the powerful words of Allah in a different/amazing way. This is exactly why I love Alhuda and my own Quran memorization modes!

I encourage everyone to start listening to the series during Ramadan or even after. I am on 17-18 right now, slow poke mode, but insha’Allah I should pick up more after my finals this week!

Till next time, may Allah make us the people Quran, the people Allah. May we be joined in Al Firdous ala!

Bismillah,

Don’t mind me, and don’t let the title scare you (its not as morbid as it sounds…)
Ever since 2009, since my father passed away I think often about death, not in the “I am so depressed/sad” kinda of way, but in a aah…’ I will return to my Lord kinda of way’. It truly comes with the territory as in the process of making dua for him I cannot think but reflect on my own end. In so many places in the Quran Allah subhana wa tala speaks of life and death being a sign of His ultimate power but also a frame work- a reference for us to remember and reflect on this! That is when one life departs from this world, it is not just a mere “someone died” but rather it is a reminder that we all will return to the Mighty and the Majestic.

So what spurred this talk of death in this blessed night of Ramadan? Today in taraweeh (half way through), one of my most dearest and favorite verses of all time was recited (from Surah Fussilat), alhamdulilah though we are not at surah Fussilat (for surely that would cause for reason of super sadness as thats super close to end of taraweeh, end of Ramadan). I wrote about this verse when I first memorized Surah Fussilat…and how my heart rejoices every time I hear it (see reflection below). There have been so many times throughout taraweeh these days that my heart rejoiced, and my mind and limbs were moved by the verse…but I have not had the chance to sit down and document this as I’ve been extremely busy. Alhamdulilah though, this verse is dear to my heart and truly amidst looking at cadavars every week for my anatomy class, I am in awe of the power of Allah subhana wa tala to create, and mold all of us in such a fashion. I am also aghast at how at times we may be ungrateful to Allahu subhana wa tala i.e not worshipping Him as He is most deserving, or even so falling short in our worship of Him….for at the end of the day when I look at these cadavars I just think …’ we are just flesh and bones, and just these parts put together…we are weak and turn frail once the soul departs this shell of a body of ours…and all of these minute things are but for usage in worshipping Him, the most High…’ subhana’Allah, subhana’Allah. Indeed my Lord is great, and may we always recognize this and never forget the purpose of our lives, the end goal..our greatest purpose we were created for.

The end goal…which brings me back to why the verse below is one of my favorite parts…..I get happy to hear of the angels descending and consoling the believer, and then something else happens along the way…I make myself imagine myself to be of those, or at least I want to be one of those (I like to think and ponder on my end), and indeed that reflection or that thought frame allows me to work hard and excel in seeking this glorious end. May Allah grant all of us to be of those whom He loves and may we have a blessed end- a qatimul Khayr!

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=================Heavenly agents at time of death================

Surah Fussilat

This Surah is like any surah in the Qur’an for it is full of meanings that subhanallah if one were to just read and implement it they would be successful. To touch base on somethings that grabbed my attention are the following verses…(30-31)

30. In the case of those who say, “Our Lord is Allah., and, further, stand straight and steadfast, the angels descend on them (from time to time): “Fear ye not!” (they suggest), “Nor grieve! but receive the Glad Tidings of the Garden (of Bliss), the which ye were promised!

31. “We are your protectors in this life and in the Hereafter: therein shall ye have all that your souls shall desire; therein shall ye have all that ye ask for!-

To me these verses are amazing for the they speak concerning the death of the believer. To many people the concept of death is hard to swallow for it is scary knowing no one will aid anyone when the angle of death comes to get the person…however in these verses it explains how the angles will console the believer…they will tell them not to grieve. Its shocking to know that at the most loneliest time in a person history a heavenly being will be there to assure them of their destination just because they were beleivers. Subhanallah overall it just makes me strive to be the best believer.

====================================================================

Bismillah,

Alhamdulilah, all praise is due to Allah, who gives life and causes all His creatures to return to Him.

I absolutely love Ramadan. Many times throughout the year, I know what Ramadan means to me, but there is nothing like the first day of Taraweeh to make me rejoice on this blessed event to come. While sitting in the masjid today after maghrib, revising, going through old dua’s list, my mind raced through many Ramadan’s before…of the things I got to do, of the so many eman-rush opportunities given to me, of the so many reflections on the words of Allah, and most important ability to read and understand this noble book (Alhamdulilah for Alhuda), of the dua’s list visited and reflecting on how exactly Allah answered my duas, and last but not least of the amazing habits developed.

Ramadan means a lot to me as its the times during my youth that Allah allowed me to understand its true meaning. Its a time where I became to see the world as it was, a race, a race for goodness and a time to draw more closer to the one who is most deserving of it! I am happy that Allah allowed me to have another Ramadan, for indeed it is one of the greatest blessings indeed!

I made my dua list (a fresh one) the night before, and there is no words to describe how I feel about my dua list. Truly, Ramadan is a time where you just need to race, run, go go go- to not let fatigue, hunger, or anything get in your way. Its time to just ask ask ask ask for all that stuff you’ve been dying for all year long. Its time to ask for things of this dunya and most definitely the akhirah.

So now dua list is made, goal list is done, and now all that is left is….to act, and just move along and do the khayr. Oh Allah accept these deeds from me, grant me to be of the slaves whom you love, and help me to remain steadfast during this month and afterwards!

Till next may Allah make us the people of Paradise, and make us of the people of Allah (the people of Quran), and grant us a qatimul Khayr- those with a blessed end!

Ramadan 2011

Posted: July 15, 2011 in Ahh moments, Ramadan 2011

Bismillah,

Alhamdulilah, all praise is due to Allah who gave the blessing of time!
Alhamdulilah, for the upcoming Ramadan month.

In between school, work, graduation looming ahead I’ve decided to deactivate my facebook and just get in the gear of Ramadan! There is an awesome program coming right up, that I pray we all benefit from!

here it is> http://ramadanprep.com/

Till next time, may we benefit from reminders and may we all be joined in Al firdous ala!