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


New Blog

Bismillah:Asalamoalaykum warahmatullah,

A new blog with slightly advanced interests is underway. Please feel free to use resources at: My Mind’s Tote. I am certainly slow at updating it but I’m getting to it inshaa’Allah. I have lots of new things to add and I will do so gradually. The blog is definitely in its infancy (added a few pages) and I pray it grows for the benefit of many inshaa’Allah.

With this, walhamdolilah,

Umm S. aka Umm I.

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Motherhood in the Shade of the Qur’an —

Ever since I started Qur’an classes, I would hear my Teacher talk about her Ustadha. My teacher was obtaining an Ijaza at that time, so she would recite to the Ustadha once a week over the phone. She would constantly share advices and tips from her teacher and marvel at her knowledge and ability. Her […]

via Motherhood in the Shade of the Qur’an —


What am I reading?

Bismillah: Asalamoalaykum warahmatullah,

Good books take you places and help you learn through experiences that you haven’t yet experienced. Like wise friends, you can be counselled through them. Over the passage of years, books that you read become your inner voice. Often times I am surprised at my preferences because how odd it is when you discover that you have been unknowingly mirroring Elizabeth Bennet in your teens. Or that your pastimes are exactly that of Jo March. Or perhaps you fancy going to places which you have read so much about historically and geographically in your Social Studies class as a ten year old. That is fascinating as well as telling of the strong (almost dangerous) influence of books.

It has been ages since a novel has stirred my heart and made me reflect. Unfortunately, there is nothing much left to read for a Muslimah if you have dealt with majority of the Victorian classics. Much of what is left is trashy. And of course, you reach a point that makes reading fiction feel very trivial and a complete waste of time. Especially when you have tasted the sweetness of the Quraan.

However, I feel in certain phases of life, you do need a novel to rest your head on. This is what I felt when I picked up a copy of the book, ‘The Little Paris Bookshop’, by Nina George. I haven’t had a luxury to peacefully read anything for a long time. This book has so far softened my heart of stone and allowed me to feel what I needed to feel to enable healing.


Some people keep hurting as they keep feeling. Then there are others who create a wall because they have been feeling and hurting too much for a very long time. When you block those feelings, you prevent healing because to reach completeness, you need to accept the good days and the brokenness of bad days. You need to allow the ‘bad’ days to come full force, head-on. And then, you need to let yourself cry. Cry so freely from a place of unconditional and non-judgemental love. The kind of crying which lets the liberating empathetic kind of tears flow which you would have shed for a beloved had it been their story instead of yours.

The novel talks about being lost, about the heavy emotions that relationships carry and how they make us vulnerable as well as empower us with the passage of time. This book almost has a Paulo Coelho kind of feel to it.

After a long time, I have truly liked a male protagonist. I love his vulnerability. I love how beautiful his emotions are and how he navigates them and analyzes them during his daily conversations with people. I also find myself forgiving him for his mistakes because I can just look right into his soul and empathize. What is remarkable about him is that he is severely broken but he has a gentle way of using his brokenness to understand others, almost fight for them and always be willing to cure others of their brokenness. His sadness is breath-takingly beautiful. I have yet to finish the book but I’m totally in love with the author’s style of writing. Some paragraphs may seem complicated, wordy or unnecessary to others but I can see how she is expressing feelings without directly expressing them. I just adore that style.

I thought I would share some quotes as I go as I find them too beautiful to ignore and I will keep adding more: click here to read them.

All in all, I feel that because of this book, Allah swt has helped me rediscover the emotions I had locked away in the dungeons of the past and it has humanized me in ways I can’t still fathom. There were places in which my soul finally stopped sobbing because it realized that it was okay to be hurt… for those who love deeply, are often hurt. Of course, all that has made me raw again but I think all of this is an essential part of healing and if you ignore certain stages, you risk the chance of becoming bitter and resentful. I don’t think a woman who wants to love freely would want to take that chance because loving the incapable,freely and deeply, is a sign of strength and it helps you grow in beauty and wisdom. And Allah swt knows best. (Of course, I am talking about all the halal relationships Allah swt has graciously blessed us with.)




Another book I am reading is an Arabic book called ‘Al Wasaa-il al Mufeedah Lil Hayaat as-Saa-‘eedah’ (Beneficial ways to a happy life) by Sh. As Sa’di, the famous mufassir of the Quraan. I am reading it with the help of lecture commentary by Dr. Farhat Hashmi. It is a gem of a book and I have been making podcasts (yes! podcasts!) for the past month of my favourite quotes in it. Inshaa’Allah I will upload them very soon. My biggest problem with reading good books is that I like to think about them, digest them, come back to the same pages and think some more. This is the reason why I am very slow at giving my opinions on books related to spirituality. It could also be because I can’t let go of them. And finishing a book is like letting go of something beloved. Allahu ‘alam but to me books have been invaluable companions, walhamdolilah. So, this is a book I definitely recommend inshaa’Allah.


Whatever I read, I seek to learn about your Mercy and rectification of my affairs:

اللهم رحمتك ارجو فلا تكلني إلى نفسي طرفة عين ، وأصلح لي شأني كله ، لا إله إلا أنت

What we have left are but a few breaths so may we never use them for our or others’ misguidance, causing fasaad through heartaches and making this world our only concern. May we be granted deep insight and whatever we read and experience becomes a means of much guidance back to Allah swt. May we find our soulmates who help us reach Allah swt’s Pleasure safely. Like we have been forgotten by creations and our traces are slowly disappearing, O Allah, please don’t let us be that worthless that the traces of our sins remain. May we reap the benefits of the upcoming blessed days and may we make duas that take us out of our darknesses.


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Teaching to Love Abu Bakr RA and ‘Umar RA

It is reported that Imām Mālik (R) said:

The Salaf used to teach their children to love Abū Bakr and ʿUmar like they used to teach them a sūrah of the Qurān.

[Al-Lālakāʾī, Sharḥ ʾUsūl ʾIʿtiqād Ahl Al-Sunnah #2325.]

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Oh Yes, about Her…


A warm, respectful flicker of an eye can fill you up with all that you need and more as compared to words served to you which are meant to nourish you but consume you instead. Words meant to clothe you but unclothe you. Words and actions that haunt you and not secure you.

We think what we say or do not say can be said and unsaid and not said at all, unlimitedly.But the reality is that everything has a time limit. Nothing is forever. Not love founded on need. Nor claims of love.

We nurture love and celebrate it not by words born in our sporadic moments of mood or when personal need wakes it up from slumber. We nurture it by embracing  actions that make love truly the focal point.

Her love is like a flower, capable of pleasing the senses; yet more important than the mere sensual pleasure, she reveals the promise of life. Of hope. Of birth and fertility. Of progress and reaching new heights…of so much more.

However, her love must be nurtured for her love is not a trophy that if once attained, it lives a forgotten, suffocated life in the cupboard, uncared-for and only boasted about. When you care about something’s longevity, you nurture it. Perhaps as easy as that sounds, it is as difficult as nurturing a positive attitude. Maybe even more.

For her strength in her unwavering love despite the grief she holds is deemed as her fickle-nature, you know utterly nonsensical because a moment ago she said she was angry. And her God-gifted femininity is used interchangeably with a woman’s weakness.

Only one man by His Mercy, Rasoolalah salalahu ‘alayhi wasalam taught the entire mankind the ways to love her. Value her, respect her when she was considered a commodity. Value her, respect her when she is still considered a commodity. Not a power tool: an easy political and domestic target. Not to unclothe her and increase your sales. Not to silence her by demonizing her and increasing your ego. Just to love her, her imperfect being. Not damage her beyond repair.

The West or the East. Both have monumentally and colossally failed in honoring the One in Whose Name she can lawfully be approached.

Where is she to exist then and live a life without dying a hundred deaths? Where is she to belong? Where is home? Where is security? Perhaps Aasiya AS never seemed closer to her than now. She can feel her cry for it is hers too:


Clothe me Ya Allah for I am unclothed.


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Hasan al Basri (R) on Real Reciters of the Quraan

Abu Muhammad Yahya b. Muhammad b. Sa’id narrated to us, he said: al-Husayn b.
al-Husayn al-Marwazi narrated to us, he said: Ibn al-Mubarak informed us, he said:
Ma’mar informed us, from Yahya b. al-Mukhtar, from al-Hasan [al-Basri] who said,
“Truly, this Qur’an is recited by slaves and children who have no knowledge of its
interpretation, for they have not followed the matter from its beginning. Allah, Mighty
and Majestic, said, ‘A book, We have sent it down to you, blessed, that they may ponder
its signs deeply.’Pondering its signs deeply is no more than following it, and Allah
knows best. But by Allah, it is not preserving its letters and wasting its limits! One of
them even says, ‘I have recited the whole Qur’an without missing a single letter of it,’
although by Allah, he has missed it all, for the Qur’an is not seen in him in any of his
character or deeds. Another even says, ‘Truly, I can recite a surah in one breath’! By
Allah, these are not reciters or people of knowledge or wisdom or spiritual caution!
When did real reciters ever say things like this? May Allah not make their like
widespread amongst the people!”
[The hadith is hasan, and was also transmitted by Ibn al-Mubarak in Al-Zuhd

and Muhammad b. Nasr in Qiyam al-Layl]
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“…for truly the Qur’an is in his interior.”

Abu Bakr ‘Abdullah b. Abi Dawud narratd to us, he said: Abu l-Tahir Ahmad b.
‘Amr narrated to us, he said: Ibn Wahb narrated to us, he said: Yahya b. Ayyub informed
us, from Khalid b. Yazid, from Tha’labah b. Abi l-Kunud, from Abu l-Kunud, from
‘Abdullah b. ‘Amr b. al-‘As, who said,
“He who collects the Qur’an has borne a great matter. Prophethood has been inserted between his shoulder-blades, except that he does not receive revelation. Thus, it does not befit the bearer of the Qur’an to show harshness with the one who shows harshness, or to show ignorance with the one who shows ignorance, for truly the Qur’an is in his interior.
[The narration is hasan. Transmitted also by Hakim, Bayhaqi and Ibn al-Mubarak.]