بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
‘Eid announcements are a cue which remind a believer that Ramadan’s going to end soon.
How has your Ramadan been? Mine has been a huge lesson in its entirety. I learned for the first time that I have deep within me so many things that need fixing. Some even need demolishing and re-building. Without sliding into despair, it is a relief to realize that Allah SWT showed me my faults before death. Not only that but He SWT showed me how to correct them. Alhamdolilah.
My Ramadan has been quite sad because I got to meet so many beautiful people with beautiful hearts yet not so beautiful lives. I learned this Ramadan how easily I can let go of Sabr and Shukr in my life. But Allah SWT allowed me to meet some Muslim women who are inshaa’Allah among the Sabireen and Shakireen of this Ummah. I’m not even exaggerating when I’m saying that.
Of these women, there are three in particular that I felt Allah SWT literally inclined my heart towards. It is extremely common for people here to complain just about everything. If you ask someone, ‘How’re you doing?’ They would most probably respond, ‘Not too bad.’ I cringe when I hear that. SubhanAllah. This attitude has sunk into Muslims who complain without having anything really to complain about. I have met people who have so much but complain like they are in the worst of situations. SubhanAllah, it is a huge favour of Allah SWT to grant you a mind’s eye to appreciate the blessings around you. Without it, one’s life is that of the most unfortunate person!
These three sisters I met reminded me of this ayah:
(Charity is) for Fuqarâ (the poor), who in Allâh’s Cause are restricted (from travel), and cannot move about in the land (for trade or work). The one who knows them not, thinks that they are rich because of their modesty. You may know them by their mark, they do not beg of people at all. And whatever you spend in good, surely Allâh knows it well.
[Surat’l Baqarah, 2:273]
You could not tell that they have almost nothing to their name. You could not tell that they were suffering because they always had these contagious bright cheerful smiles. You could not tell by their attitude and also not by their words the grief they were coming to terms with every single day. The way they thanked Allah SWT was inspirational. This is why I said that Allah SWT showed me my faults and allowed me to meet these three sisters who taught me more than they can imagine. I wanted to store this on my blog for future reflection and I want these women to get Ajr for what they have taught me through their examples. May Allah SWT resurrect them among the Siddiqeen! Ameen.
1. Sister S reminded me of the following ayah:
And there is no creature on earth but that upon Allah is its provision, and He knows its place of dwelling and place of storage. All is in a clear register.
[Surat Hud, 11:6]
This sister lives in a shelter, doesn’t have any education to land her a job and knows broken English. She knew no one here except her ex-husband. But despite having no one, I can see it she has Allah SWT on her side. Sister S reminds me that Allah SWT provides even when you have zero humanly means of provision. True happiness is not born when you have but only when you don’t have whatever it is that you don’t have. This true happiness can only come from Tawakul…
2. Sister R – if I were to extract one trait from her, it would be Sabr. That’s her quality and with her soft heart and superior manners, you can feel it that her future in Akhirah is promising inshaa’Allah. She reminded me of obedience to parents and then obedience to one’s husband in order to please Allah SWT. Two things almost no Muslim woman wishes to talk about any more. This sister to my utter surprise lives in a shelter. She never even mentioned it once subhanAllah. It’s not even that she mentioned it herself that I later found out. Sister S said that Sister R is her neighbour and then it clicked. I felt so ashamed of my level of Sabr in front of Allah SWT. Some people are so patient and uncomplaining of their circumstances that they don’t make it known even that which common people make it known. Just so that it doesn’t negate thankfulness to Allah SWT. Allahu Akbar!
3. Sister A – I never asked her age but I think she’s the youngest of the three and that’s why I felt that she’s extremely affectionate. For a long time, I had been deprived of meeting people I truly loved for His Sake. I feel it’s better to be quiet than be a liar and say it to just anyone without attaching any truthfulness to it. When I told Sister A that I really loved her inshaa’Allah for His Sake, she kept telling others not to be jealous of her because I loved her. She was so exuberant and like a child, I could see her eyes light up whenever I met her as if she had achieved the world’s greatest treasure subhanAllah. This special treatment was not just limited to me. She met everyone with same happiness and humility. Another sister wasn’t wearing proper Hijab for Salah and Sister A said to me that she feels scared that what will she tell Allah SWT if He asks her that why didn’t she advise that sister. Because of her broken English she was hesitant to go forth and make it known. I had noticed that sister too but was too distracted to do anything about it. Yet Sr. A. had the Eeman to mention it even though we couldn’t do anything. How many Muslim women do that? Those who do, they have the worst of manners in enjoining good and forbidding the evil. Sister A has been spending the last 10 nights in the Masjid and she goes for work in the morning. She too lives in a shelter. Some people show you so much love just because of Tawheed that you know why there’s such a huge reward for Muslims to love each other for His Sake and express their warmth. I felt inspired to love other Muslim sisters without any inhibitions in a true Sunnah-wise manner just by being around this sister. Love born out of piety heals all by His Help of course.
I questioned myself why Allah SWT opened my eyes to so many women in such circumstances when I’m unable to do much for them. It’s not a good feeling because you constantly feel upset for not being able to do anything for them. It just struck me that with my desire to meet people of Istiqamah and always wanting guidance to correct my faults, I think I just hit the jackpot for Allah SWT provided me with (inshaa’Allah) 21st century role models of As-Sabireen washakireen. People I can look up to and people I’m honored that I met this Ramadan. This Ramadan I met patience, gratefulness, great Akhlaaq, modesty, Tawakul and nobility of character despite smallness of means – altogether under one umbrella. Alhamdolilah. In a nutshell, I met what could make a Muslim woman eligible for Paradise inshaa’Allah.
The following hadith makes so much sense:
Al-Bukhaari reports from Usaamah ibn Zayd that the Prophet salalahu ‘alayhi wasalam said, “I stood by the gate of Paradise and saw that the majority of those who entered were the poor and wretched. The rich [Muslims] were detained while the people of Hell were ordered to be taken to Hell”.
[Sahih al-Bukhaari, Kitaab ar-Riqaaq, BAab Sifaat al-Jannah, wan-Naar, Fath al-Baari, 2/345]
Nobody’s above Allah SWT’s Decree and I seek refuge in Allah SWT from such trials for me and everyone else. Each one of the sisters is a sign of Allah SWT’s Greatness in that you see for yourself after meeting them the rewards Allah SWT promises for those who do Sabr and Shukr through Tawakul on Him. Mashaa’Allah. By meeting them you almost feel that no matter what happens, Allah SWT will take care of you. You are reminded of His Ruboobiyah.
While my Ramadan was not as great in terms of ‘Ibadah and that this thought nags me ruthlessly, I do know I learned lessons for life which I hope add Sabr and Shukr in every aspect of my life. Inshaa’Allah I hope that these realizations quieten me down in turbulent times and that I am more attentive to what pleases Allah SWT. Only Allah SWT knows what is in our hearts and He SWT knows our ends so as a result our opinion doesn’t count as to who is pious and who is not. However, when people remind you about Allah SWT in the most profound of ways, you know for sure there’s something so very special about them. They somehow stand out in crowds of people without calling for attention. And why wouldn’t they? They have two treasures which only few of His Slaves have: Sabr and Shukr. This is a special bounty of Allah SWT and He SWT gives it to whomsoever He wills in His Supreme Wisdom. These people may be unknown to the people of the world but must be so popular in the Heavens among the Angels due to Him constantly mentioning them with pride… as they consistently mention Him in their times of trial. That is true contentment at its peak. And Allah SWT knows best.