In the name of God, most Gracious, most Compassionate

In the name of God, most Gracious, most Compassionate
Al-Quran (30:30)

So direct your face toward the religion, inclining to truth. [Adhere to] the fitrah of Allah upon which He has created [all] people. No change should there be in the creation of Allah. That is the correct religion, but most of the people do not know.

فَأَقِمْ وَجْهَكَ لِلدِّينِ حَنِيفًا فِطْرَةَ اللَّهِ الَّتِي فَطَرَ النَّاسَ عَلَيْهَا لَا تَبْدِيلَ لِخَلْقِ اللَّهِ ذَلِكَ الدِّينُ الْقَيِّمُ وَلَكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ
[Al-Imran 3:8] "[Who say], "Our Lord, let not our hearts deviate after You have guided us and grant us from Yourself mercy. Indeed, You are the Bestower."


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Walk and the Squirrel

"Allah the Almighty has said: 'O son of Adam, so long as you call upon Me, and hope in Me, I shall forgive you for what you have done, and I shall not mind. O son of Adam, were your sins to reach the clouds in the sky and were you then to ask forgiveness of Me, I shall forgive you..." [Al-Tirmidhi]


We walk because we have to and is a means to transport ourselves from place to place. We bike, we walk, we run, we drive and in all of these activities we need our legs. What a blessing it is to have the ability to walk and have legs that function properly yet what lessons can one derive from the simple act of involuntary walking. Alhamdulilah waAllah Akbar !

The transience of this life is like walking. With each step, time is gone and the closer we are to our destination. A couple of days ago while walking to the masjid, I almost stepped on a dead squirrel. The squirrel was decomposing but it resembled its ground, the dirt. It provoked thought in me, how I too will be nothing but dirt someday. I felt so insignificant and humbled. Subhana'Allah, even this decomposing squirrel is a sign from Allah (swt) [2:28] "How can you disbelieve in Allah when you were lifeless and He brought you to life; then He will cause you to die, then He will bring you [back] to life, and then to Him you will be returned."

For the rest of the evening I felt so melancholic because I am so scared of departing this earth in my state. I fear for all that I will be held accountable on the Day of Judgment. I fear to be exposed and humiliated and discover I was a hypocrite all along. I cannot bear to think about it, I wish I never existed. I honestly can’t understand what I am doing busying myself in things that won’t even matter then [23:101]. Why do I waste so much energy on trying to acquire things, statuses, labels that are so useless in protecting me from what awaits everyone! [3:185]

It’s easy to lose perspective and go to either extreme but a true believer should have have hope and fear. Our prophet (peace be upon him) is the best example to follow. The mercy of Allah (swt) is everywhere even in the lucid breeze that brushes one as it passes by therefore we should always be grateful [7:144] “… So take what I have given you and be among the grateful."

May Allah (swt) guide and protect us and forgive us our transgressions Ameen.

[39:53] "Say: O my slaves who have transgressed against themselves (by committing evil deeds and sins). Do not despair of the Mercy of Allah: verily Allah forgives all sins. He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”

[15:99] "And worship your Lord until there comes to you the certainty [i.e. death]


Saturday, July 17, 2010

"You're Muslim ehh?"

Yesterday after Jumuah, I went to work and seeing that it was laid back at my workplace and feeling “Islamically pumped up,” I decided I would also do Asr at the masjid. When the time approached, I asked my boss if could go for asr prayer at the Masjid. He turned around and asked, “You’re muslim ehh??” To that I replied, “ummm yeah Kevin (fake name) I am… umm… I thought this (pointed at my hijab) sort of gave that away (and chuckled). ”

Apparently my abaya, hijab, AND the fact I don’t consume pork and alcohol (co-worker dinner) would be self-explanatory but maybe it’s not LOL. I knew he knew I that I was Muslim. He could have not possibly dismissed and overlooked when I would step out to pray, how I interact and how I dress but I figured perhaps he just wanted to discuss it. Indeed that was the reason, he asked me how was it that I was Muslim and whether there was more Mexican Muslims like me and said we were "exotic.(not sure if he meant to use another word but thats what he said)" Wow that’s NEW… Like nice attractive exotic or weird exotic? lol

We talked for a bit and I had to halt the discourse because I had to leave to the masjid. When I arrived back to work, I was surprised to find him there waiting for me. I tried not to initiate the conversation again because I wanted to see whether he was genuinely interested and would bring it up again himself. I was not mistaken and we picked up the conversation where it had paused. I did not hold anything back. I told him how I came to Islam, my trials as a Muslim(with society) and how I perceive this life as a Muslimah. (surprisingly he did not ask me about my hijab).

I watched him listen attentively, Masha’Allah it was a very heartfelt discourse. He did not approach my conversation with the usual biased baggage people usually do. So it was a bit different this time. He then told me, “I like to consider myself a bit like you, I am not superficial.” Our conversation ended there. I wonder what he meant by that or maybe that was the best he could convey something deeper he felt Allah (swt) knows best. I cherish moments like these... pure humanity! Alhamdulilah


Friday, July 16, 2010

The Sound of Elegance

[2:238] “Be guardians of your prayers, and of the midmost prayer, and stand up with devotion to Allah

[4:103] "And when you have completed the prayer, remember Allah standing, sitting, or [lying] on your sides. But when you become secure, re-establish [regular] prayer. Indeed, prayer has been decreed upon the believers a decree of specified times"

[74:42-43] "What has caused you to enter Hell? They will say, We were not of those who prayed.”

I had the strangest thing happen to me today. While preparing dinner, I imagined or thought I heard a takbir in my head. So why is was it strange? Well because when I do dhikr in my head it would not be strange if I thought I heard it in my head because I was THINKING IT! but I was not and it was completely random in this case.So according to my friend I might be schizophrenic. hmmm no I am not lol. I think its the same thing as when one imagines their name being called or their phone ring. The only difference is that this time it was meaningful for me :) So I just repeated Allahu Akbar (God is great) and then visualized a mass of people making sujud (prostration) together all at once (like in Makkah) and hearing the sound as everyone prostrates! sA what a feeling. So MAJESTIC!. I don’t believe there is anything more magnificent and elegant in this world as is our prayer.

Here is a very emotional recitation makes one want to cry. If I think this is beautiful how much more BEAUTIFUL it would be to hear our beloved's voice (May peace and blessings be upon him) .

This is how I imagined it in my head. I just love it :)

Monday, July 12, 2010

To be or not to be Optimistic?

Three nights ago I dreamt that my mother was doing Salah with me and several nights ago prior to this dream, dreamed my father doing salah as well. The dream with my father was different though, I especially remember observing him make long sujuds (prostrations) and raising his arms up to the skies crying to Allah (swt). I remember thinking (in that dream), “He is not praying correctly...”and wanted to go and correct him but somebody in my dream (whom I don’t remember) told me to leave him alone and I did (must be shaytan that wanted him to continue this biddah lol).

I want to believe that these dreams have some significance. I assume it’s my psyche and my strong desire for my parents to be Muslim that causes me to even dream it. I mean what can I do? All I can do is just convey the message but sometimes I just get so depressed. sA I can’t help it. The fact the most beloved people to me in this world are non-muslim sA is very depressing . I fear that If I survive them I will forever have the image of their "end"(if they died in another state other than Islam) ingrained in my mind forever INSHA’ALLAH that wont be the case! INSHA'ALLAH!!

So Apparently, my wittle (little) nephew is taking catechism. He approached me yesterday with a concerned tone, “Yasmine, some people are saying that Jesus is Lord and God!” I wanted to laugh so hard but stood silent to see how he responded to it. He repeated it again with a more certain tone, “Jesus is not God huh? Senor Patrick once showed me this movie of Diosito (God) dying on the cross.” I replied to him “Well, you tell me who is more powerful us or God? Can we kill him? Is God like us? Does he eat and go to the restroom? Because if he is not more powerful then who are people going to pray to? ” He replied, “no God is more powerful, this lady once came to my house and told my mom that God gave her life because she was dying (He was referring to those people who knock on people's door-Jehovah witnesses).”

At this point I began to record our little conversation on my phone because I honestly could not believe he was talking in such a manner. I told him Jesus is a prophet who is a man who called for people to believe in God and was a Muslim like me. I explained that when he got older he would understand what a prophet is. So I asked him again, “Who is more powerful humans or God,” he said, “You did not mention the devil because God is more powerful than humans and the devil.”

Mind you he is only seven years old; I only try to engage him. I never try to initiate or impose my beliefs on him. I am just so amazed by the fitrah of a young child. I have become a bit more careful of what I allow them (nieces and nephew) to do with me. Before when I used to pray in front of them they would join me and when they went home to their parents, would continue to do those acts. Their parents complained to my parents so I don’t really want any repercussions because of this. One day insha’Allah I hope they remember this. The fact kids naturally incline to Islam are indeed signs that Islam is the truth. :)

As child I was very inquisitive and deeply rooted in religion (Catholicism) because of my upbringing and my mother. I even recall building a little shrine in my bedroom but did not know why I did. I have recollections of confronting my mother about who was God, Jesus and Mary. I remember taking turns on praying to each one of them (because according to my own logic they were separate.) Whenever I felt I was praying too much to one I would switch because I was afraid “their” feelings would get hurt (astagfur’Allah :-/ ).

As I got older the more I studied and began to inquire the priest at my local parish, teachers, friends and myself! It was during this time I began to abandon the worship of Mary (praying the rosary) because I found out it was not permissible and "idolatry" but again I had no idea who Jesus was or the extent of what that really meant. I somehow thought that Jesus was just someone God appointed for us to worship and deliver the message to us to believe in God Almighty. sA its incredible how my beliefs prior to Islam were all based on conjecture that was acquired from my theology teachings. So I was not the only one.

At one point, I even considered to become a sister determined that I would be closer to “God” if I reserved myself only for God( really stupid concept indeed). I never stop asking God to help me find truth and here I am a...

... Muslim Alhamdulilah!! So yes I am happy to be Muslim. How can I not be thankful , hopeful and optimistic?! I might come off as too optimistic but in reality I am more of the practical type on the verge of pessimism. Its when I contemplate on the ayat of Allah (swt) that I find hope all around me. Indeed we are surrounded by signs of our Creator.

May my family's embrace Islam in all sincerity and may we be amongst the righteous whom establish salah and whom place their trust in their creator. Ameen!