Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Ramadan Reflections - Day 12

The blessings that Allah bestows upon on our food during Ramadan is a miracle in itself. Two cups of rice, which was never enough in our home, now lasts for days. Dinner is so easily made and we are fulfilled and satisfied with much less than we are used to. Subhanallah, the barakah that Allah puts in one morsel of bread is more than we are able to imagine.

Today, we came home very late and had not prepared food. With only 40 minutes left until Maghrib, I was able to make chicken corn soup, Chinese chilli chicken, white rice and the sauces that go with each dish. I can't remember the last time I was able to whip up so much food in such a short amount of time. And without having to test my food, each dish tasted delicious!

Indeed, it is all through the mercy of Allah. If only we could see the miracles that surround us in our daily lives, we would be much more thankful for all that we have. 

Until next time...

Monday, July 30, 2012

Ramadan Reflections - Day 11

I am content.

I am content with what my Creator has decreed for me, for He knows what is best for his creation, like a mother knows what is best for her child. He knows my abilities, capabilities, responsibilities and inadequacies. My Lord knows my flaws and weaknesses. He knows the limit of my patience and what I cannot bear. The Most Merciful has full knowledge of my circumstances, my shortcomings, my wants and my needs. So, I am content with His resolve, for He is The Almighty!

I am content.

I am content with what my Judge has declared law. I am content with his orders and commands, for He is aware of what I cannot even fathom. He knows the past, present and future, the seen and the unseen. He knows what limitations and restrictions will help me be the best that I can be: the best mother, the best wife, the best daughter, the best sister, the best human and the best Muslim. The Just is fully aware of the state of my affairs, my situations and only He can bring about the outcome which will help me thrive in the dunya and the akhira. My heart is at ease that The Protector of all things is the one with authority. So I am content with The Merciful as my Judge, for He is The Most Compassionate.

I am content.

I am content with what The Provider has bestowed upon me: sustenance and health, family and friends. I am content that The Generous has honored me with my sight, my hearing and my tongue, so I may perceive His beautiful creations, listen to His mighty words and speak His deserving praises. The Source of All Goodness has given me what is only best for me. His bounties are unimaginable and incomparable. So I am content that The Bestower has favored me with that which I do not deserve.

I am content.

Until next time...

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Ramadan Reflections - Day 9 & 10

It is hard to keep ties of kinship when our relatives do not want to associate with us. Our own family can become our biggest test. However, we cannot control anyone but ourselves. So we have to try our best to remain polite and keep ties with our family. There are times that I find it extremely difficult to be nice to someone who is cutting me off or being rude to my parents. It is hurtful and insulting, but alhamdulillah this is our test.

Remember, Allah (swt) has chosen everything in your life for you, your body, your friends, your family. So the family that we are given are best for us, whether we see it or not. Therefore, it's our duty to respect and cherish what Allah (swt) has given us.

There are times, when this becomes to difficult. In such times, look to the hadith of the Prophet (saw):

Abu Hurayra said, "A man came to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and said, 'Messenger of Allah! I have relatives with whom I maintain ties while they cut me off. I am good to them while they are bad to me. They behave foolishly towards me while I am forbearing towards them.' The Prophet said, 'If things are as you said, it is as if you were putting hot ashes on them and you will not lack a supporter against them from Allah as long as you continue to do that.'"
This advice I give to myself because I know I can be a better person to relatives who are not the best to me. The rest is up to Allah (swt).

Until next time...

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Ramadan Reflections - Day 8

Once again, this is late. My apologies.

I went to taraweeh last night for the first time this Ramadan. Alhamdulillah. It was a great feeling to be around so many friends and community members, joined together in the remembrance of Allah.

I remember I used to attend every night before I had my daughter. Subhanallah. You don't realize how easy you have it before you have a child. I would attend qiyams, taraweeh and other halaqas and events. Now, it is very hard to even get out. And unfortunately most people at the masjid are not very open to having children around during prayer.

Last night, when I saw children during taraweeh, my heart melted for those mothers and I had much more patience with them then I ever had before. When you have your own child, you realize how hard it is to complete your ibadah.

So please, just consider this: the children of today are the leaders of tomorrow. Our Ummah relies on these leaders for our deen to continue and prosper. So when you see children in the masjid during taraweeh, jummah, or during any regular prayer, control your anger and irritation. Rather, be pleased that tomorrow's leaders are gaining the knowledge and experience they need for their religion. Let's open our hearts and our masjids to the children of Islam.

Until next time...

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Ramadan Reflections - Day 7

Arrogance. It's what can lead to our downfall. No matter how pious or religious we are, falling into the trap of arrogance can lead us to the hellfire. After all, the Shaitan was among the most pious, most knowledgable. He was raised to the status of the Angels. And now, he is the forsaken, the enemy.

Can you imagine being raised to the level of Angels in Jannah? Subhan'Allah! To have such status is an honor and a blessing. How is it possible that in an instant someone can go from being at the level of Angels to the lowest and most hated position? By being arrogant.

Unfortunately, some of the most arrogant people I have seen are the ones who are on the straight path. They often think of themselves as better than others becuase they pray, fast, give zakat, observe hijab or have a beard. This is the test of the believer. This is a major trial for those who think they are on the path to Paradise. Along with obedience towards our creator, we need to have humility and remember that we are not promised Jannah.

Even one drop of arrogance can keep us from entering through the gates of Paradise. Close your eyes and concentrate on your body, your soul. Is there even a drop pride in your veins? Do you have the tiniest feeling that you are better than another? Question your nafs. And if there is even the slightest chance that we have any arrogance within us, then we must make istagfaar and repent to Allah. We are but humble servants on an equal playing field, so don't raise yourself above another because your Lord has not revealed to you that status of another or the status of your self.

Until next time...

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Ramadan Reflections - Day 6

To my beloved,

It's happened.

You have begun to take over my life. You are constantly in my thoughts. I wait for the moment that I can get some time with you, just you and I, one on one. I miss you when we are not together and I cherish the moments when we are. 

People try to keep us apart. They tell me they need me. But they do not need me more than I need you. I yearn for the time that you and I are reunited, so that I can understand your beautiful words and ponder over your meaningful expressions. Our relationship, our bond is like no other. I don't doubt your words, don't challenge your commands. I am certain of your statements and know that our discussions are like no other in the world.

I am not suspicious of your motives. You are not selfish, jealous or envious. You want only what is best for me and I adore your morality and dependability. Your purity amazes me and I pray that one day your integrity will influence me.

You are my mentor, my inspiration, my advisor and my friend. You are my love. You are true. You, oh exquisite Quran, are the words of the Almighty and you are my guide to Paradise. 

Thank you Noble Quran for always being there for me. 

Until next time... 

Ramadan Reflections - Day 5

Sorry, posted this one late.

Why is it that we are tested with that which seems hardest for us, especially during Ramadan? Every individual faces some sort of tribulation, but it always seems like our problem is the toughest, our test the hardest, our trial the longest and our iman the weakest. 

It's simply because Allah (swt) tests everyone differently, depending on what is right for them and their situation. After all, if it is too easy, it is not a test at all. And if it is too hard, then we are likely to give up and fail. Allah (swt) does not want to set us up for failure. He simply wants us to turn to Him, praise Him and thank Him. He wants us to seek patience through salah, so that we may be among the pious and prosperous.

So during this Ramadan, we will be faced with problems that we may think are much too difficult, but remember that Allah (swt) does not test us more than we can bear. Or we may have to deal with situations that we find irritating, such as dealing with people during taraweeh, but keep in mind that if we stay patient throughout our problems, Allah (swt) will surely reward us. 

May Allah (Swt) keep us steadfast during all our problems in this month and in the months to come. Ameen!

Until next time...

Monday, July 23, 2012

Ramadan Reflections - Day 4

I fed my soul today. After what seems like years, forgetting my body, my hunger, my thirst, I put my soul first. My soul tasted the sweet flavor of iman, the rich seasoning of taqwa. And it feels amazing.

I haven't fasted in so long. Last Ramadan I had just had my baby and was unable to fast. This Ramadan, I am pregnant again, 7 months, and I didn't fast the first few days, worried about the affect it would have on my body and my baby. And honestly, I was worried I wouldn't last. Pregnancy brings about the glorious side-effects of nausea and extreme hunger, especially if you're not constantly eating.

But alhamdulillah, today is my first fast and I feel wonderful. I feel like I have been missing out on Ramadan and the iman rush that others are just raving about. Today, I feel like I am apart of it. I know that it won't be easy, but inshallah I plan to keep as many fasts as I can. Please do keep me in your duas.

Until next time...

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Ramadan Reflections - Day 3

I find that during this month in particular, I forget all the things I want in this life and in the akhira. When it comes time to make dua after my daily prayers or anytime during the day or night, I become stuck. I end up making the same dua over and over or just don't make dua at all.

Subhanallah, during the most blessed month, when prayers are answered the most, I am unable to make the duas that I know are in my heart. Consequently, I have found the answer to my problem: a dua list.

Write a simple dua list for yourself that you can use after salah or at the masjid. Just take out 15 minutes from your day to organize your wants and needs from Allah (swt). You can write in any order that you please and whatever makes sense to you. This way, you know what it is that you truly want out of this life and it gives you a chance to be grateful for what you already have.

I will be prioritizing my list as follows:
Praising Allah
Sending Salam to the Prophet (pbuh)
Duas for the Akhira
Duas for the dunya
Duas for others
Thanking Allah

Write it down on a paper or type it and print it out. I plan to have it on my phone so that I can have my dua list with me all the time.

May Allah (swt) accept all our duas! Ameen!

Until next time...

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Ramadan Reflections - Day 2

I blame the Shaitan. I blame him for my sins and my shortcomings. I blame him for my bad habits and wrong behavior. I blame him for the wrong that I commit. But it is the month of Ramadan, the month where the Shaitan is locked up. He is not whispering in my ear to commit sins. He is not in my head, convincing me to backbite. He is not in my heart, making me feel jealous.

This month, the month when the Shaitan is nowhere in sight, I am responsible for my own actions. I cannot blame anyone for my misdeeds. I am the rightful and true owner of my sins.

This month, the month when there are no devils to convince me to do wrong, I know that my transgressions are not from the whispering of my enemy. Rather, they are from myself. They are habits I have formed over the years and are patterns I have become accustomed to. Without realizing it, while blaming someone else, I have created a routine of bad deeds.

I know this, because I continue this behavior even in the most blessed month of Ramadan.

But alhamdulillah, Allah (swt) has given me the opportunity to live in a beautiful month where I am unaffected by the Shaitan. The Lord Almighty has given me the chance to change myself and my ways. I can take this month and make the most of it, by realizing my bad habits and changing them, erasing them and repenting for them before my enemy returns to drum in my ears.

So I make a vow during these most glorious days that I will make a change and catch myself before falling into sins. By the time Ramadan is over, I hope to replace my bad habits with good ones, insha'Allah!

Until next time...

Ramadan Reflections - Day 1

I'm back and just in time for Ramadan! I have decided to write a daily reflection during Ramadan to keep my thoughts together and elevate my iman.

Today's reflection is taken from www.igotitcovered.com.

Mashallah it is such an awesome read so you can check out the full article here.

Dear Book of Allah, sent down specifically for my guidance and for the guidance of humanity; dear Words of my Lord:

I weep for my negligence towards you, for my long absence from reciting your ayahs and flipping through your pages, for my distance from pouring over your meanings, powerful and moving, soothing and comforting, full of knowledge and wisdom.

Dear Book of Allah: This Ramadan, I will open my heart and mind to you. I will ponder deeply over your words, for your words were meant to be pondered over: “Then do they not reflect upon the Qur’an, or are there locks upon [their] hearts?” [47.24]. Even if I don’t fully understand the Arabic of your verses, I will open you up to read from you daily, to let my eyes fall on the pages of your sacred text.

This Ramadan, I will fall in love with you. I will engage with you, dear Words of Allah, as words that are talking specifically to me, guiding me to what is right and what is wrong. I will not read you passively. When Allah speaks of His Glory and signs, I will stop to ponder. When He speaks of His Hell-fire and His punishment, I will reflect upon my own self and my actions and weep. When He speaks of His reward and the people He has favored, I will yearn to be of those blessed with meeting Him in Paradise.

Until next time...