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."

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Awkwardness during the "season" and the state of weaklings in our ummah

There is nothing more that I desire right now in this world than for my parents to accept Islam.  Now that the “holiday season” has arrived its very difficult for me to remain hopeful as I see the devotion my whole family puts into the “holidays.” Indeed it’s nice as family gets together and spend time. Why would she ever give that up?

When I became Muslim, I expressed to my mother that I would not partake in the holidays. I would be present obviously but that I would not partake in any aspect of it, no gifts for me or from me to them ( I buy them Eid gifts instead), no decorating, no prayer and no greetings. I would spend time with family Regardless if there was no holiday and I had a “break”.

When holidays come into play, it becomes very awkward for me. This year I thought that I would go to a Islamic seminar in southern California on December 25th. I told my mother about it and she seemed saddened but “understood.”  It broke my heart because she told me that she did not expect me to “participate” but she wanted me to be there to spend time with family. I felt like such a inconsiderate and bad daughter.
I told her that it was convenient for me to go on to this seminar on this day as I really did not want to celebrate Christmas  by being present and that it hurts me to see them worship Jesus as God/son of God.  She chuckled and asked me why would that hurt me as that everyone is entitled to believe what they want. I told her I really did not care for the rest but I cared about her as I don’t want her to die with that belief and go to hell.  She had a look on her face that made me want to beat myself up and claw my eyes out… seriously.  The remained of that night just her and I sat and talked about something else as I changed the topic quickly and then she sat with us (daughters) and watched a movie. The entire time I felt like crap.

There are times that I feel so hopeless but I don’t want to feel hopeless because she is my mother and I love my parents so much. I try my hardest to be the best example as I can.  Alhamdulillah I have mended the relations with my aunts and I try to get closer to them. I sometimes I feel as if they are afraid to say anything to me as I used to get so upset and few times a commotion has arisen from them which is NOT GOOD. I really hope they are not afraid of me as being the fire cracker I used to be. I really hate that about myself. I just cannot stand when people insult Islam. I can stand people insulting me, no problem. My brother as well is very kind to me now.  This time when I went home we all had a family day and watched movies together. It was so nice. I loved it.  Don’t know why they are all so nice to me nowadays… hmmm.

This brings me to another point I wanted to make. Recently I heard a lecture of an imam that said that its “Islamic” and “merciful” to give holiday greeting to non-Muslims especially family because if we expect them to greet us that apparently we should too! I was like “SAY WHAT?!!” I COULD NOT BELIEVE HE JUST SAID THAT. I cannot believe these Muslim clerics go and just give their opinion without looking at the consequences. What the heck does he know?! He apparently is again participating and celebrating “their” holidays but yet he wants us to go around greeting them. Okay?!

SECOND,  I AM IN NO NEED TO COMPROMISE ESPECIALLY MY RELIGION. I DON’T NEED THEIR APPROVAL FOR THE TRUTH! Reminds me of the meccans tried to reach a compromise with our Prophet (sallahu allayhi wa salam). That they would abide by islam if he would abide by their religion.  I guess the imam forgot that IMPORTANT PART that occurred in our Islamic history. Never mind that huh? Not important apparently (sarcasm intended)
THIRD, the most Islamic and merciful thing I can do to my loved ones and family is to invite them to Islam. Why would I “approve” their shirk holidays in order to show how merciful I am?!  That is so ridiculous that I cannot even begin to articulate how unislamic that is.  Tell me how this sounds “HEY MOTHER, HAPPY CHRISTMAS, THE DAY YOUR “LORD” WAS BORN. LETS CELEBRATE. OH BY THE WAY Islam is the truth FYI I invite you to Islam”
FOURTH, why are Muslims so desperate to find any fatwah to make it permissible to celebrate non-Muslim holidays? Do we have no dignity? I say, if a “muslim” really wants to celebrate those holidays, just leave Islam! Then one can do what they want without feeling “bad.” I usually say “it’s better to be a sinning Muslim than not a Muslim at all.” 

We all sin but acknowledging something is is sinful and having  no intentions to abandon it,  how that even being a Muslim (one who submits). If one wants to feel better about a sin there is no Islamic reason to try to justify it.  To some extent that saying holds some significance.

 Trying to make things APPEAR permissible does not take away from the sin. If anything it might even magnify it as it can be shirk and even kufr.  In the process of trying to make things appear acceptable, they misguide other weak Muslims and conclude with having a weak ummah that compromise their religion and bring our destruction that you see today. Clearly this is why we have not attained victory and are the most humiliated of people.

 If one wants to do something just do it. There is no need to try to bend oneself to make it permissible. JUST OWN IT PEOPLE. Just own your wrong and your desires. No need to justify it or make it permissible when it’s not (this is SHIRKH AND KUFR: trying to make things not permissible, permissible). I would be very cautious in making things permissible. Nowadays these “cool,” “all-american” imams want to appease to everyone even compromising Islam and making things permissible that are not and misguiding others. Imagine all the sins they will have upon themselves on the DAY OF JUDGEMENT.

Only and individual that does not believe on the Day of Judgment would dismiss that reality and do such a thing. Only people that believe on the Day of Judgment are merciful!

So owning the sin and just leaving it as it is is better for one than trying to encapsulate it with makrooh or even permissible. So in this instance, “being a sinful Muslim is better than not being a Muslim at all” is what I understand to be true in this case.  I rather just accept the sin and try to repent from it rather than trying to modify things to not make it sinful. Everyone sins its okay but own it and repent y’all.

It really makes no sense when muslims try to justify the celebrating of these holidays. If one has a muslim family, why even celebrate or commorate these holidays? Why even entertain the thought of it? I see absolutely no reason to. The fact that one would want to when they have a Muslim family (not reverts or not alone in their Islam) reveals their weakness of being a follower and the state of their iman. If they were in another country that for example did not celebrate thanksgiving would they celebrate it?

Their argument is that thanksgiving is merely a "custom" (aada) with no religious connotation which is far from reality. In Shariah things are looked upon in terms of reality and not how we want it to appear as. Thanksgiving for example is specific to non-Muslims, so it would fall under the hadith of the prophet (sallahu allayhi wa salam) "The one who imitates a people is from them." Ibn Tayimiyah mentions that imitating them, the kuffa is necessitated by following those things that are specific to them and their culture/history/religion, he says, "Muslims resembling them in their celebrations leads to them (the kuffar) being happy with their falsehood that they are upon"

Ibn Qatum states that congratualting them in their holidays (specific to them) is HARAM by consensus of the ulama. What more proof do you need other than logical Islamic sense? I don't know maybe ISLAM?!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Being Thankful...for trials

Today I have received great news on the status of a dua request (:D... Its kind of hard to describe but I do not want to disclose it as I want to be sincere about it and I want Allah to grant it for me (must be sincere).  I have been making this same dua since I became muslim and now I feel that its finally unraveling itself. I feel so humbled, ungrateful yet grateful. I dont think I passed the test of patience... feel so horrible because I could have passed the test with flying colors. I loose my patience so much yet Allah is so merciful towards me. I dont know why Allah is blessing me when I am so horrible. But afterall he is the most Merciful so he does this for all his servants... shoooot... he is so merciful even to the Kufar and Mushrik (those that reject him and those who practice shirk) when they call in "the name of Jesus Christ." Allah is so merciful that he' does not destroy them right away and even grants them many blessings of wealth so they can atleast have some ease temporarily as they wont have it in the hereafter as he is also Just.

I never thank Allah for his blessings. I can not recall when I thanked Allah for my legs, my sight, my hair, my hands, my teeth, my skin, my health. All I do is complain to myself  my own situation and even have the audacity to consider my life "hard." OH MY GOD... so ridiculous. I got it good Alhamdulillah. Recent college graduate, I have a great job and awesome tolerant co-workers (yup thats a blessing). I have a roof and a bed and I can eat whatever I wish. I could actually afford it. I can go to sleep in peace without worry of anything (eventhough I do have sleeplessness nights because I worry about stupid stuff). May Allah guide  me.

I tend to feel bitter about things for a long time especially when people have "done" me wrong...  Yesterday I emailed someone who I was made aware was ill. I thought it was a great opportunity FOR MYSELF to clean and soften my heart. Sure I wanted to show that person that I "cared." Well I sorta do because afterall they are believer and they have a family... I dont plan on receiving any reply. I have many assumptions of why they would which I presume are all correct but then again I am only assuming. Initially, I kept checking my email hoping to receive a reply but then I realized that if I want it to be sincere I should not expect reciprocation or validation. I feel that my heart was clean and I don't feel bitter towards that individual anymore. I dont want to hold them accountable for anything nor do i want them to have to answer to it on the Day of Judgment.

This brings me to another issue that I think is so important... COMMUNITY... where is the brother-hood and sister-hood? I will confess that my 'sisterhood enthusiasm' has died and therefore I should not expect otherwise either or be surprised why it has "died."

 I have learned a lot lately about this. Something really horrible happened to me this year and no one was there to help me. My rights were trampled on, and only a few realized it but only help came my way when I requested it whole heartily  and was persistent.  "I say that no one will be able to take your rights if you know your rights" which is why it is so important for MUSLIM WOMEN especially to learn their Deen as much as possible. Anyways so things got awkward when somehow I am supposed to feel indebted to these individuals who "helped" me because they went "out of their ways" when in reality it is their obligations as Muslims to help others in distress especially when they see someone having their rights taken away. Nevertheless I have gratitude towards them for the sake of Allah because one who does not show gratitude to the people does not show gratitude to Allah. Mind you! I have no Wali or anyone to stand up for me but myself so I guess its only necessary for me to be very grateful right?

I was very bitter for a long time and I actually stayed away from the masjid and from people (muslims) until recently. Even my Mother inquried me about the  masjid as she had "noticed"I did not talk about it anymore. What made me more upset is that my family got to experience the "pearl" that is the Muslim Community. Such great Dawah right? (sarcastically) After that I was sure they had no desire to even know about Islam Alhamdulilah that was not the case.

I lost hope in Muslims and even my Iman suffered. I did not want to be associated with Muslims at all which I think prompted my whole inner hijab drama I had (May Allah forgive me for my thoughts). I have come a long ways to forgive all those involved and to make dua to Allah to forgive and guide them (To guide me first). I dont think the people get it and I dont think they will ever get it. I don't want to act like a victim as I dont want to be a victim of anything. I shall only be a victim of my ownself.

Sometimes I cry remembering how I was humiliated and mocked at and how I felt so powerless and desperate. Then it reminds me of how I should prepare for the day of Judgment... Guess its good practice. I hope Allah purified me through such a trial and I continue to be purified as I clean my heart Ameen.  I was made stupid promises like to make mockery out of me. I will succeed BI'ITHNILLAH and I have those people as examples of exactly what I don't want my life to be like.

Islam for me is more than just a mere label or a canon. I dont want to live a life where everything revolves around my kitchen and what I can do to please a husband that works hard to earn more dunya... seriously I don't want that. I want a husband that knows that he is my companion in this world and that he and I will assist each other to righteousness, to revive the sunnah of Muhammad (sallahu allayhi wa salam) in our home and compete with one another in goodness. I want my children to have a zeal to learn Islam and also want to compete with us for Jannah. I want them to love the Qur'an, to love Rasulullah  (sallahu allayhi wa salam) and his companions INSHA'ALLAH!. I want so much... and its so easy and FREE. All this is free! Allahu Akbar! Why do I want from this dunya then if not this? What is possibly better than this?

 I sometimes envision a time in which my children (insha'Allah) one day love will fight between each other to please me by reciting Qur'an. That they will fight amongst each other of who knows more Qur'an and knows more about a certain companion of Rasulullah (sallahu allayhi wa salam). I can't wait for all this. I want them to be my investment to Jannah. I want my family to be the one who race to helpe the helpless and the weak. That they only derive courage, honor and strength from Islam. None of this fruity stuff of wanting my children to be singers, actors, musicians.. ya Allah some people (muslims) actually wish this for their children. How disgraceful. I want my children to establish salah and always fear that they are not grateful enough to their Lord. I want my children to love to learn and in everything see the signs of Allah.

I can envision all this because I have seen this in my nieces and nephews who are so young and not muslim. They are so eager to learn. so eager to comply which is so extraordinary for kids that young to feel any inclination towards religion. My nephew still until this day speaks on  my behalf to his other cousins on why I wear hijab and why I pray the way I do and the many times I do. I remember listening to his reply to his little cousin who inquired him why. It was the cutest thing ever and for me a sign from Allah that indeed we all have that fitrah. I don't remember what exactly he had told her but he taken back almost in awe of her question like a little adult.  

 I have so much I want to do and I thank Allah for my trials because they have humbled me. 

Monday, November 14, 2011

I can't believe...

Sometimes I can't believe that I am a muslim! Like OH MY GOD I'M A MUSLIM. Like I can not believe that I know Allah and his last messenger (sallahu allayhi wa salam)... that I know Islam... 

I can't believe I have taken such a journey already in my young life. I can't believe others dont know about Islam. I can't believe others don't want to believe and others just dont believe. I am just in awe sometimes of this reality... of MY reality. I feel as if I am a dream.

My whole life has changed drastically. From the way I think, eat, my hygiene, my dress, the way I talk, my mannerisms, to even how I love (my family, friends, and humanity...etc). And in all these things there are blessings and rewards. 

What kind of religion rewards you for every step you take towards good? What kind of religion rewards you for your good intentions and rewards you for having a bad intention but not exercising it? Then when we recite Qur'an we are rewarded for each letter not word we recite. ALLAHU AKBAR! (God is Great!)  I have learned so much with so much ease that I can not remember having hardship. Alhamdulillah... indeed my Lord is merciful and we are so ungrateful. 

Narrated Anas: (The people of) Bani Salama intended to shift near the mosque (of the Prophet) but Allah's Apostle disliked to see Medina vacated and said, "O the people of Bani Salama! Don't you think that you will be rewarded for your footsteps which you take towards the mosque?" So, they stayed at their old places. -Sahih Bukhari
“Whoever reads a letter from the Book of Allah, he will have a reward. And that reward will be multiplied by ten. I am not saying that “Alif, Laam, Meem” is a letter, rather I am saying that “Alif” is a letter, “laam” is a letter and “meem” is a letter.” So increase your recitation of the Qur’an to gain these merits, and to gain the following merit as well. At-Tirmidi 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Do you love Allah and his Messenger??

Shaykh Al-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah, may Allah have mercy upon him, said: "Loving Allaah and His Messenger (sallahu allayhi wa salam) is the greatest action that faith obligates, it is the greatest tenet of faith itself and the most glorified fundamental of it. Indeed loving Allah and his Messenger is the foundation for all deeds".

In sync with my prior post about loving the prophet (sallahu allayhi wa salam) I wanted to share this awesome video that is heart wrenching. 

Shaqeeq Ibn Ibraaheem, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said that Ibraaheem Ibn Adham. may Allah have mercy upon him, passed by one of the markets of Basrah, so the people of the market gathered around him and asked: "O Aboo Is-haaq! Allah says in the Qur’aan (that which translates as): “Call upon me, I will respond to you.” (Ghaafir: 60) and we have been supplicating for a long time but Allaah has not responded to us." He, may Allah have mercy upon him, replied: "O people of Basrah! Your hearts have died due to the following reasons:

o       You know Allaah but you do not fulfil His rights.
o       You recite the Qur'aan but you do not act in accordance to it.
o       You claim to love the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam but have abandoned his Sunnah.
o       You claim enmity against Satan but have taken him as a guide.
o       You claim to love Paradise but are not working to attain it.
o       You claim to fear Hell but have made yourselves hostages to it.
o       You keep yourselves busy with analysing the faults of others and are neglecting your own.
o       You eat from the bounties of your Lord but never thank Him for it.
o       You bury your dead but never learn any lessons from their death."

So we should ask ourselves if we truly love Allah and his messenger would the above apply to us? 

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Yogurt and Honey

These past days I have been indulging in plain yogurt with honey and almonds... Subhana'Allah! its so delicious! Unfortunately, I have a palate that is very hard to please but I have taken delight in this simple desert of mine. I wish I was modest and easy to please as I feel horrible that while people starve, I have the luxury to be "picky" about my food ya Allah what a trial for me.  

So whats my point? Well...I like to eat foods that the prophet Sallahu Allayhi wa salam liked. When I discover that I love something that perhaps our beloved Prophet (sallahu allayhi wa salam) loved, it makes me very happy. I like to envision what I am eating at one point Rasulullah (sallahu allayhi wa salam) also ate and makes me feel closer to Rasulullah! Since I have been indulging in yogurt a lot lately I wanted to see if there was any connection to the sunnah of Muhammad (sallahu allahyi wa salam)and I recalled many accounts in which he ate "dried" yogurt (??) but I am not sure how that was… I will share some hadith that talk about yogurt and honey. 
Narrated Anas: The Prophet stayed for three days at a place between Khaibar and Medina, and there he consummated his marriage with Safiyya bint Huyay. I invited the Muslims to a banquet which included neither meat nor bread. The Prophet ordered for the leather dining sheets to be spread, and then dates, dried yogurt and butter were provided over it, and that was the Walima (banquet) of the Prophet.
 Narrated Said bin Jubair: Ibn Abbas said: Um Hufaid, Ibn 'Abbas's aunt sent some dried yogurt (butter free), ghee (butter) and a mastigar to the Prophet as a gift. The Prophet ate the dried yogurt and butter but left the mastigar because he disliked it. Ibn 'Abbas said, "The mastigar was eaten at the table of Allah's Apostle and if it had been illegal to eat, it could not have been eaten at the table of Allah's Apostle." 
 Narrated 'Aisha: Allah's Apostle used to love sweet edible things and honey. 
I always try to increase my love for the Prophet as much as I can and somehow my love for him  increases without having to intend to. The more I learn about him, the more I love him.

I find amazing how I love someone so much that I have never met. At the same time my love for him is so great that I feel its not enough. If indeed I loved him I would obey and follow him more but I do not. I dont feel like this for anyone in this world even with whom I love the most in this world, my mother. I never think whether I love for my mother enough. I know I love her I only try to treat her as best as I can but I never question my love. I always know I do. 

May I attain the sweetness of faith not of mere yogurt and honey. May Allah guide me and increase our love for Rasulullah (sallahu allayhi wa salam). Ameen.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Success is in Islam

 Every time I sin, I feel that its only a matter of time before Allah disgrace and exposes me. I feel the weight of it linger over my consciousness. Every time I sin, I realize that its its a sign that my heart is becoming sealed and I wonder how much more is there until its completely sealed.  Every time I am not disturbed by shamelessness I know that the end of times is near and I am of those that will be most susceptible to the fitnah of the end of times.

When reading and listening about the stories of the end of times sometimes one wants to believe that they  will from those that will hold on to their Deen and so far I have not convinced myself that I will be of those. The worst of all feelings is that I feel like a hypocrite. what erks me the most about myself is that I started off with a blank canvas (free of sins when I accepted Islam) and now I have mountains of sins... ya Allah. I had an advantage and now I am behind... WAY BEHIND in my Marathon to Jannah (my analogy).

I was thinking of putting a sign on my wall to remind me that I am a hypocrite because I felt so angry at myself. Sounds kinda psychotic but I dont know nothing else to remind and discipline myself. The closer I feel I am getting to Allah the worse I fall. Its the weirdest thing ever. I could be reading Qur'an in the night, fasting, praying nafl and sunnah and being "extra" modest and bang... I SIN after all those good deeds as if they were done out of vain.

My attitude towards myself soon after is "what the heck i already destroyed myself already the heck with everything." I treat my soul like I treat my diet. For example, If I eat a chocolate (mess up my diet), I feel I might as well just make it my FAT DAY and lately I've been having these many converted fat days because I have no discipline...

My overall discipline affects my actions even my ibadah (worship) so it makes sense that Islam is a way of life. Good muslim will have good sleeping habits, be a good student, productive, healthy and fit individual and successful in all they do because Islam is about Ihsan.

I have prohibited myself from watching movies now. I dont care to watch dumb stuff that makes me waste my time when I could be learning something new and being productive and achieving my life long goals. My little sister is so awesome. she as well has prohibited herself facebook.... I could have been a hafiza by now with all the time I invest doing nothing. I could die now and I die a disgrace. Goodbye TV... goodbye mindless crap stuff...  I have reached the point where I can say that this is not an extreme decision. I would have not thought so before but it would have been more difficult but not anymore. I am tired of wasting my time and only distracting myself which only makes sinning easier.

I am excited... VERY EXCITED to see how much my life will change from now on. I ask that Allah guides me and guides those who sincerely want to become closer to Allah. Ameen!

My Best Friend.

Today I shall embark on my journey with my best friend, the Qur'an. I feel so humbled and so excited... I have been working on my Arabic because my reading is horrible. I struggle so much with it. The Qur'an that I own has very small Arabic script on it which is difficult to read so a friend gave me my first Mushaf this weekend...

I can't even believe it! I wanted to buy one for some time but they were always not the size I wanted or too expensive or it had other stuff I did not want. I just wanted a simple Mushaf and subahan'Allah I could have not asked for one better than the one I was given. I could not wait to get my hands on it...

I feel so humbled I want to cry. I feel like a hypocrite. If I indeed worked as hard as I do with other things I would be a better Muslim and would have memorized more Qur'an...perhaps the whole qur'an by now!! ( anything is possible yeah....*_*)... but I chose not to... my "reason" was that I don't want to memorize the Qur'an using transliteration and wanted to get started on my Arabic as soon as possible which obviously seems not to be my priority. * feeling like a hypocrite*

I hate feeling categorized under those that are strangers to the Qur'an. One of the first things that made me realize I wanted to be a Muslim was that I did not want to be classified as a hypocrite or a disbeliever that the Qur'an describes. I felt I had worked so hard to be a "good person" and considered myself to be a believer that I did not see the rationale to keep on my failed pathway towards "goodness" which was not Islam. How did I know my prior pathway was not leading me to goodness? Well because I found a better one which was Islam. Only an idiot after seeing something better would opt for something besides the best. I always liked the best things thats how I "roll"  so Alhamdulillah!