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Inspiration to keep Studying…

Some of the ‘Ulema of the past used to say that those who do not believe that the Talibul ‘Ilm, that the scholar is a warrior, is a Mujahid then he has no intellect. The scholar, the talibul ‘ilm, is defending the borders and the lines of Islam just like a Mujahid is fighting and defending Islam with his body and blood. He’s fighting it with his pen and lectures, his teachings and his classes. You know? That Mujahid wouldn’t be there unless he had a good teacher, right? So it’s tough to get up everyday and recite 10 pages of Quraan, and memorize, and review, and then study this. It’s tough! Those people don’t have the stomach to study or the discipline , or the humility to sit between somebody’s legs under their feet and study. They just want a fatwa. They, as the scholars say, want the taste of knowledge but they don’t want to eat the meal. They say the introduction is too long and the teacher is not getting to the point. But the introduction has its place. If they would stick to the first five lessons, they would get somewhere, you know?

– Ustadh

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Imam ibn al Qayyim (R) on Things that Increase and Decrease Rizq (Sustenance)

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Bismillah:
Allah عزوجل said:

وَأْمُرْ أَهْلَكَ بِالصَّلَاةِ وَاصْطَبِرْ عَلَيْهَا ۖ لَا نَسْأَلُكَ رِزْقًا ۖ نَّحْنُ نَرْزُقُكَ ۗ وَالْعَاقِبَةُ لِلتَّقْوَىٰ
“And enjoin prayer upon your family (and people) and be steadfast therein.
We ask you not for provision; We provide for you, and the (best) outcome is for those with piety.”
[TaHa, 132]

It’s noteworthy how in this Ayah, enjoining salah is connected to provision of rizq. More specifically, after making salient observations, Ibn al-Qayyim(R) said:

وأربعة تجلب الرزق : قيام الليل ، وكثرة الاستغفار بالأسحار ، وتعاهد الصدقة ، والذكر أول النهار وآخره
وأربعة تمنع الرزق : نوم الصبحة ، وقلة الصلاة ، والكسل ، والخيانة
“(There are) four things that bring about rizq: ‘Performing qiyamul layl, making abundant istighfar before dawn, giving regular sadaqah, making dhikr at the start and end of each day. And (there are) four things that prevent rizq: ‘Sleeping through the morning, slacking in salah, being lazy, and betraying (trusts).” [Zaad al-Ma’ad, 378]
***
There isn’t any reason why our next thirty nights and days can’t bring about lasting self-discipline in embracing means of increasing our rizq, and removing barriers that prevent it.
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Suwar Series: “…I have given up saying poetry…”

Bismillah:

Suwar Series: Unveiling the Beauty that Lies Within  – Part 2: Poetry

Those who love words and have a skill with them love the aroma of delicious poetry. They not only enjoy it, they consume it, devouring it hungrily as this is what they live on.

An expert on literature knows when he comes across a good piece of literature. It inspires him and grows his intellect. And when he comes across a type of literature which is unmatchable, his intellect is humbled. When you come across the beauty of Quraanic literature, then it is a totally different level of humility. You feel like submitting at the sheer awe of your Rabb’s beautiful selection of Words. Nothing seems as beautiful…

‘Umar RA, the second Khalifa, once asked the governor of Kufa, al Mugheerah ibn Sho’bah,  to hear some poetry of the Islamic period. When Labeed (the famous pre-Islamic poet who had embraced Islam) was asked to recite, he inquired, ‘Of what he has been forgiven?’ – meaning from Jahiliyah. He was told, ‘No of what you have composed since the coming of Islam.’

Labeed departed then wrote down Surat’l Baqarah (and Ale ‘Imraan) on a sheet of parchment and brought it saying, ‘God has given me this in place of poetry.’ Upon hearing this, ‘Umar RA raised Labeed’s stipend by 500 dirhams.

(Ibn Qutaybah, Al Shi’r wa al Shu’ara, p.149)

~

In another narration, Qurtubi reports from Ibn Abdul Barr’s “Al-Isti’ab” that when ‘Umar RA asked Labeed to recite for him some of his poetry, Labeed began to recite al-Baqarah. “This is not what I asked you,” ‘Umar remonstrated. Labeed replied: “Well, I have given up saying poetry after Allah gave me al-Baqarah and Ale ‘lmran.” The reply pleased ‘Umar so much that he increased his state-allowance.

Let’s celebrate Surat’l Baqarah or Ale ‘Imraan next time we read it. If we truly understood it, we would be awestruck, humbled and so in love. SubhanAllah that is how they, may Allah swt be pleased with them, cherished His Words. May we be like them. Ameen.

And Allah swt knows best.

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Gems Series from Imam ibn Al Qayyim (R)’s Book: Ad Daa-aa wad Dawaa

Bismillah: Asalamoalaykum warahmatullah,

The tazkiyah course that I had mentioned in my previous post is being delivered on one of the most beautiful books of Imam ibn al Qayyim Jowziyah (R)’s. It is called ‘ Ad-Daa-aa wad Dawaa: Al Jawaab al Kaafi Lee munn Saa-‘ala ‘Ann ad-Dawaa ash-Shaafi’ or The Ilness and the Medicine: A Sufficient Answer for the Ones who Sought Answers to the Healing Medicine. It can be also called as ‘Ad-Dawaa ash Shaafi’. Basically it is a whole treatise on the illnesses of the hearts and how to cure them.

It’s being taught in Urdu from the Urdu translated version of the book.

I thought I might share a few thought provoking gems in my blog posts. :)

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Gem # 1

DS 1

DS 1bDS 1c

(Note: the words used display an imagery of duaa and difficulties dueling with each other)

A believer’s duaa has three levels at the time of difficulties and trials;

First (level):  Duaa is extremely strong and vicious against the Difficulty. Such a Duaa obliterates Difficulty and removes it completely.

Second (level): Duaa is weak compared to the Difficulty. In such a situation, Difficulty becomes stronger and a person is put in a position to tolerate Difficulty unecessarily. However, it is important to (notice) that no matter how weak Duaa is, it does make the impact of Difficulty lighter.

Third (level): Duaa and Difficulty are of equal power and they both fight against each other  like how it has been narrated from ‘Aisha RA that Prophet salalahu ‘alayhi wasalam has said:

‘It is not possible to escape from destiny. Duaa is effective in a situation of trial that one is currently going through as well as effective against a trial that is about to come. When a trial descends, duaa fights against it (such that) duaa and trial keep battling against each other until the Day of Judgement.’

[Dawaa ash Shaafi, ch. 1. pp. 33-34, translated version]

I want us to reflect regarding this.

We must not feel helpless no matter how strong the trial. Our duaas matter no matter how weak they are. Even the weakest of duaa helps bring relief. However, we must work on making our duaas strong. How do we make them strong? We have ample tips from the Quraan and Sunnah. The most important being: one’s proper focus.

So inshaa’Allah, don’t stop making duaas. They are like our weapons which will keep fighting against a calamity. A calamity which was destined to hit us but perhaps Allah swt has also destined for us to be saved from calamities only when we make duaa to be protected against them. Isn’t that an interesting thought?

I hope that you keep the gem I shared in your head the next time your resolve to make duaa weakens. We don’t know how many soldiers of Allah swt even our weakest of duaa conjures! :)

May Allah swt protect us all from the evils of our nafs and evils around us. Ameen!

Inshaa’Allah will continue posting whatever I learn from this course.

Many duaas,

Umm Ibraheem

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Another Journey Begins…

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Bismillah: Asalamoalaykum warahmatullah,

I do not remember the last time I posted here and I do not remember what my last posts were about. I have been wanting to restart blogging regularly and it’s just not been happening. First I became a wife and then a mother, and in-between and after I became so many other things that I quickly forgot my true self-catharsis’ methodology was only through writing or blogging. I not only process my feelings through it but manage them as well. It is something crucial for my well-being. But I put my well-being on hold, almost dangerously entirely.

I am in a stage of life in which I am very very sad. It is grief of the highest level. I used to calm myself down thinking that Rasulalah salalahu ‘alayhi wasalam went through a Year of Grief. He lost his two support figures who were not just supportive figures but also individuals he truly and deeply loved. How massive of a grief that must’ve been. How massive of a year that had been. I consoled myself last year that perhaps it was my year too. A year of grief. Yet, a year has come and gone, but the sadness has entered to the very inner cores of my soul. It has intensified. SubhanAllah, I know there’s abundant khayr in it and I love thinking about Aasiya ‘alayhisalam in this time of grief. What I love the most is Allah swt’s intervention when her pain, her ordeal, did not stop. Allah swt blessed her a place in Paradise close to Him. What more can a slave want! SubhanAllah. This therefore shows that Allah swt values a slave’s emotions. The entire Quraan was revealed as a Message and as a consolation to the Prophet. When one thinks of this, one’s love for Allah swt helps one in one’s period of grief.

I also think of Imam al Bukhari (R) and how his contemporaries had made his life unbearable. A man who’s works are regarded as the most authentic compilation in Islamic academia after the Quraan. It is said he used to cry in his Salah towards the end of his life, begging Allah swt, and complaining to Him that this world has become very constricted for him so please let me live as long as You wish, thereby indirectly asking to return back to Allah swt. He passed away in few weeks time. Some accounts mention that almost the next Friday.

I was carrying my squirming, tantruming toddler all the way back home in my arms across a field and I looked up at the skies. It was about to rain. And the drizzle from the sky, triggered my own tears. Very desperate tears of a very weary body. My duaa resembled Imam al Bukhari’s but was of course wasn’t half as sincere.

Almost everything I looked at, was so painful.

Sometimes the world makes us feel that we are worthless. Like Rasulalah salalahu ‘alayhi wasalam was made to feel and many Prophets as well as Aasiya AS and many beautiful people. Yet, Allah swt knows their worth and after their death, because of their sincerity, Allah swt celebrates them. Allah swt makes an example of them. Allah swt makes them role models. Allah swt honors them, perpetually. Why? Because their sincerity led them to work in extraordinary ways. Their sincerity to Allah swt in their extraordinary circumstances made them accomplish extraordinary feats. They were sincere to Allah swt alone and not to ‘good’ circumstances only. What a consolation and what an inspiration!

I have decided to begin a new journey.I have decided to prove my sincerity to Allah swt through the work I want to pursue for His Sake. I have never longed to return back to Allah swt as much as I long today. However, I know my deeds are limited and I know I need to gather a bit before I am ready to rest.

This is a monumental decision for me because I had forgotten about me. I was made to believe that my spirituality does not matter. I had kind of believed a lot of those pre-Prophethood-like narratives for women. But not anymore…

I am going to try to get back to blogging inshaa’Allah as regular as I can be within my means. I am going to use every means possible to draw positive energy from inshaa’Allah. I am going to work hard until Allah swt intervenes. Harder than ever before. Make stronger duaas. Strive to do Ihsaan in every aspect to every human, especially the most stingy ones.

Let smallness of my means to amplify the amount of khayr I can contribute to the world around me.

Simply put, I am not going to waste a single second and become mentally resilient inshaa’Allah. I am not looking back inshaa’Allah. Nor am I going to fear for the future. Wa ‘alaAllahil tawakul al Mutawakileen is going to be my motto.

If you are going through a sad year, know that you’re not alone. Learn what you have to, gain wisdom and move on via the beautiful companionship of the Quraan. But I beg you, do not remain stagnant. Ever. Don’t let yourself become a puppet of Shaytaan in your time of sadness. Cling firmly onto the Quraan and the Sunnah! I know it is a very simplistic advice but what I mean is that turn to the advice given to sad people in the Quraan and Sunnah. Follow it with conviction. Tick all boxes. Don’t miss a single thing.

Alhamdolilah, I have begun my new journey by signing up with an online tazkiyah course. I will try to share the gems inshaa’Allah in upcoming posts.

Ending with the highest hope attached to Allah swt that Allah swt will make us all Muttaqeen and that He swt will pull us out of dhulumaat (many darknesses),

-Umm Ibraheem (a.k.a. Umm Sulaym)

 

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How much does it pain you?

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Imam ash-Shafii'(R): “If you want to see betterment in your child or companion…”

If you want to rectify your heart, or want to see betterment in your child or companion—or whoever it is for that matter, then direct them to places where the Qur’an is recited and direct them to be in the company of the Qur’an. Allah will then cause them to become better, whether they are willing to it or not.

-Imam ash-Shafi (R)

[Hilyat al-awliya’ 9/123]

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Unappreciated Much: Surat’l Fatihah’s Forgotten Value

quran

Bismillah:
Asalamoalaykum warahmatullah,

Have you fallen in love with Surat’l Fatihah yet?

Do you recite it often outside of Salah?

Does your heart sing when you reflect over it?

Surat’l Fatihah is a Surah which is so under appreciated. We lack realization of its beautiful virtues and the treasures contained within it. On top of that we complain of our problems and confusion. We try to look for solutions/remedies everywhere except the Quraan! SubhanAllah. Most of us know Surat’l Fatihah but do we know how to use it in our affairs?

Check this out (something immensely beautiful I stumbled upon which will make you love Surat’l Fatihah):

:قال ابن القيم رحمه الله

 فاتحة الكتاب وأم القرآن والسبع المثاني والشفاء التام والدواء النافع والرقية التامة ومفتاح الغنى والفلاح وحافظة القوة ودافعة الهم والغم والخوف والحزن لمن عرف مقدارها وأعطاها حقها وأحسن تنزيلها على دائه وعرف وجه الاستشفاء والتداوي بها والسر الذي لأجله كانت كذلك

ولما وقع بعض الصحابة على ذلك رقى بها اللديغ فبرأ لوقته ، فقال له النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم :  وما أدراك أنها رقية

ومن ساعده التوفيق وأُعِين بنور البصيرة حتى وقف على أسرار هذه السورة وما اشتملت عليه من التوحيد ، ومعرفة الذات والأسماء والصفات والأفعال ، وإثبات الشرع والقدر والمعاد ، وتجريد توحيد الربوبية والإلهية ، وكمال التوكل والتفويض إلى من له الأمر كله وله الحمد كله وبيده الخير كله وإليه يرجع الأمر كله ، والافتقار إليه في طلب الهداية التي هي أصل سعادة الدارين ، وعلم ارتباط معانيها بجلب مصالحهما ودفع مفاسدهما ، وأن العاقبة المطلقة التامة والنعمة الكاملة منوطة بها موقوفة على التحقق بها ؛ أغنته عن كثير من الأدوية والرقى ، واستفتح بها من الخير أبوابه ، ودفع بها من الشر أسبابه  .قال وهذا أمر يحتاج إلى استحداث فطرة أخرى وعقل آخر وإيمان انتهى .

[ (زاد المعاد  (4/318 ]

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In his book, Zad al-Ma’ad, the Hanbali scholar, Imam ibn al-Qayyim (R) wrote on the virtues of Surah al-Fatihah:

“(It is the) opening of the Book, The Mother of the Qur’an, the Seven Oft-Repeated Verses, the Complete Cure, the Beneficial Medicine, the Complete Ruqyah, the Key to Wealth and Success, Protector of one’s Strength and Defender from(or Reliever of) Distress, Grief, Fear (of future) and Sorrow (of past), are (benefits) only actualized for a person who realizes its value, gives it its due right, is aware of the manner of its application for illness and seeking its treatment and knows the secret of its potency.

When some of the companions realized these secrets, one of them read it over a person who was stung by a scorpion and he immediately recovered.  The Prophet asked them, ‘How did you know that it is a cure?’

A person who is granted Divine help (tawfeeq) and is helped through the light of insight (baseerah) will understand the mysteries of this surah and what it comprises.  It affirms monotheism; ma’rifah (cognizance) of His Essence, His Names, Attributes, and Actions; establishes religious law; Decree, and includes an acknowledgment of His Ruboobiyah and Uloohiyah; complete reliance on Allah (s.w.t.) and the relegation of all affairs to Him, the Disposer of All Affairs to Whom Belongs all praise and all that is good; professes our seeking out for His Help in Guiding us which is the essence of happiness both in this life and in the next. Knowing the relevancy of its meanings to the fulfillment of our interests and for warding off evils of this world and the next; and knowing that the prosperous and perfect outcome of our lives and blessings are contingent upon following its meanings.  This surah is a remedy for the ailments of mind and spirit, opens up the doors to all goodness and wards off evil.  To realize this, a person must develop a sublime disposition and the faculty of reflection and must foster his faith.”

 

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So if you ever feel lonely, distressed, weak physically or spiritually, going crazy as a mother (like me most times), fearful, tired, ill or chronically ill, financially unstable, wanting to learn but having a weak memory, having trouble in marriage etc., and so on…then take deep breaths and recite Surat’l Fatihah with all your heart, seeking cure from Him inshaa’Allah. If Allah swt sent us to this world with problems then He didn’t send us without solutions. Please don’t ever forget that!

And one more thing: if you approach Allah swt’s Word with love, you will feel the warm fuzzy happiness Allah swt gives you through it and what you will have with you is the Quraan as your best friend in this world and in your grave.

Make Surat’l Fatihah your new constant companion inshaa’Allah.

May Allah swt make us from the People of Quraan. Ameen.

Many du’aas,

Umm Ibraheem

 

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