Thursday, July 28, 2011

This is who I am.. this is me..



Awesome nasheed. Deep lyrics.

Social Expectation drowns us all inside
What you have should be what I want
Cos what I have just aint alright
The clothes I wear, the way I comb my hair
How I live, oh I don’t care

This is who I am, this is me
Nothing, everything, can’t you see
Who I am, just let me be
Cos like it or not but God loves me
Who I am

He said, she said, they all did
What’s expected of them all
To get to the top don’t matter
If somebody’s gotta fall
You gotta brace the storm, the norms to conform
Get what you wants’ gonna kill us all

Beyond the body that you see
There’s so much more to me
And I feel best when my soul is free

They tell me this is the way
that I need to reform
If I continue to stray,
I’m gonna start up a storm
Wear this, drive that, like this, not that
Don’t dare lose track or you’ll fall way back
But if my Lord loves me then
I know that I’m free
You can say what you want just let me be
I know if I’m real and it’s not a disguise
You’ll love who I am if you open up your eyes
I insist that you see, I aint a mystery
It’s who I wish to be, this is me
It’s what’s true within, come and look again
Looking through the skin
Who I Am

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Rewards according to Deeds

[Sahih Muslim : Book 35 Kitab Al-Dhikr, Number 6518]

Abu Huraira
(Radi Allah Anhu) reported Allah's Messenger (sal-allahu-alleihi-wasallam) as saying:
"He who alleviates the suffering of a brother out of the sufferings of the world, Allah would alleviate his suffering from the sufferings of the Day of Resurrection, and he who finds relief for one who is hard pressed, Allah would make things easy for him in the Hereafter, and he who conceals (the faults) of a Muslim, Allah would conceal his faults in the world and in the Hereafter. Allah is at the back of a servant so long as the servant is at the back of his brother, and he who treads the path in search of know- ledge, Allah would make that path easy, leading to Paradise for him and those persons who assemble in the house among the houses of Allah (mosques) and recite the Book of Allah and they learn and teach the Qur'an (among themselves) there would descend upon them the tranquility and mercy would cover them and the angels would surround them and Allah makes a mention of them in the presence of those near Him, and he who is slow-paced in doing good deeds, his (high) descent does not make him go ahead."




Amazing Hadith :). It gave me a lot of hope for the people around me, especially my countrymen, who in the spirit of Ramadan (and otherwise) do help people in any way possible. Theek hay in this nation, robbery, deceit and corruption is common. But the common man is still willing to go all out for helping others in time of need. 


When we were driving back from Hawksbay, there was a huge jam on a road. Within minutes, guys and uncles appeared out of nowhere, and guided the traffic so that the road soon cleared and we could move again easily. 


When the 2005 earthquake came, as well as the IDP crisis, and the floods last year, in all these calamities, it was the people who came out of their homes, spent as much as possible in these causes, and did everything they could (down to letting their kids go and volunteer in Ramadan) in order to help those in need. 


I have great hope in humanity, when I see such acts. And these may appear small-scale acts by individuals, or small groups of people... but we should check how MUCH this is rewarded and appreciated by Allah SWT. 


May Allah Enable us to act in all ways which lead to His Pleasure and rewards. Ameeen! May we have sakeenah in our lives, and may our troubled or uncertain hearts be eased with the recitation (with meaning) of His Words in the Holy Book, may we read it, understand it, implement it and propagate it in any way possible, and may He Accept these efforts and Give us the benefits of these acts both in this world and the next. Ameen.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Horn of Africa DROUGHT CRISIS – How you can Help them

Posted by • July 26, 2011

Where: SOMALIA, ETHIOPIA & KENYA

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

LEARN: Do you KNOW about this crisis? Please learn more here:
Aljazeera Spotlight on Horn of Africa: http://aje.me/p9cKte

10 million Muslims are suffering in the Horn of Africa amidst the worst drought seen in 60 years. Poverty has become extreme: children are dying of starvation, pregnancies are resulting in miscarriages and farmers’ livelihoods are being destroyed.

Many mothers along with their children say they have walked for a month on bare and bloodied feet to refugee camps in Kenya. Journeys of more than 300 miles are common. In their search for food and water, they have slept for weeks on burning sand under open skies.

Water is now so scarce that the governor of the Middle Shabelle region, Abdullahi Moalim Hussain, recently said: ‘Water is so expensive in the area that people are being buried without being washed, which is compulsory in Islam.’

Ummah Welfare Trust is appealing for funds to help feed starving refugees in Dadaab, Northern Kenya.
Rasulallah Salallahu 'alaihi wasallam said: 'Whoever gives charity equal to a date from good earnings – for Allah does not accept anything but that which is good – Allah will take it in His right hand and tend it for the one who gave it as any one of you tends his foal, until it becomes like a mountain.' (Bukhari and Muslim)

Our Responses:

Following assessments on the ground, your donations will make the following difference:

£10,000 will feed 1000 families for 10 days.
£30 will feed 1 family for 1 month.
£10 to feed 1 family for 10 days
£1 to feed 1 family for 1 day

The reality is that the people suffering today are being tested by Allah with hunger and thirst; and their ranks will surely increase because of this:

Shaykh Yasin (UWT Head of Operations in Somalia) says, ’They have lost everything, except the deen of Allah which is still strong, walhamdulillah!’

But we are also being tested; and Allah in His infinite Mercy is also giving us an opportunity to increase our ranks. But as members of the Ummah of Muhammad Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, we have to take a step forward.

Donate to Ummah Welfare Trust

Donate by Text: Text AFRC11 £1/£5/£10 to 70070, e.g. AFRC11 £5 to give £5
DONATE! Give as much money, food, clothing to relieve your Brothers and Sisters and their suffering!
RAISE AWARENESS: Inform others about this crisis. Invite them to this event in order to encourage them to give for the sake of Allah.

HOW? Through any trustworthy Islamic Charity or any collection effort in your local community...
Links to Charities Helping the Horn of Africa
 ------------------------------------------
People. This is one HUGE crisis the poor poor people in Somalia (and Kenya&Ethiopia) are suffering badly. I have read that mothers are having to make a choice between leaving WHICH particular sick baby behind (on the probability that he/she will die quicker) .. in order to save their own strength.

*blinks back tears*.

I SO wish I were a millionnaire. OR even a steady income would have done the trick. Please people. If you have the resources, and  you can afford to eat three square meals a day, please remember these people who are literally dying out there, due to lack of food and water.

In the onset of Ramadan, when these kind of adverts become common ...





We should remember that the burden of responsibility lies with us as well. A child who starved on the hot, dusty plains of Africa might ask us on Judgement Day, why we could have a lovely combo 1, while he/she starved in another land, and we didn't help.

IF we don't help.

But I have faith in people of this country especially in the month of Ramadan, that they will give as much as possible to the needy, and especially to the vast number of people struggling to survive in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya.

So long folks.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Picnic :)

Assalamualaikum

*beyond exhausted*. I wonder what I'm doing up...right. And sitting and typing. What's wrong with  me! Today I got up early (after offering Fajr dozily) - so I got up at 8am. Had to get ready by 9am. To leave the house by 9.30 to go to Hawksbay! For a doctors' picnic gathering arranged by some pharmaceutical company :D:D. It's such a blessing to be part of a doctor's family sometimes Masha Allah :):).

So we had a lovely looonggg driiiveeee to Hawksbay. The weather wasn't that great, but there was a hint of a wind and the sun wasn't shining too brightly. Reached the place in around 1 - 1.5 hours :D. And I thought the car ride lasted a few minutes. I'm sure the driver of that car wasn't feeling that way. But when we have an intellectual discussion that does use up my gray matter, then time seems to ... just fly by. Khair.

We went inside the hut area and saw a huge tent set up with stalls inside, and breakfast laid out.. :D. Alhamdulillah for the blessings. We ate yummy puri, halwa, cholay and aalu ka saag. There was also this one other thing I don't know.. and three types of juices. After eating our fill, we went down to the beach. It was crowded. So we walked to a rather secluded place and sat on the rocks, with the waves gushing over er, ourselves... :D .. *lost in the amazing memory*...

And talked and talked and talked....

Then we also sat on a camel :D. Heheh. It was awesome! MA. Even Dad went into the water. And he had on brand new pants. Nobody knows why. :D:D.

Acha, lil Bhanju was in his element. His parents had bought him a sand tools toy set, which he used happily to scoop up sand and put it in one pail after another. He also went in the water and played with 'boo' .. which actually means 'balloons' :D. And when I popped them for him, he went crazy with laughter.

After a scrumptious lunch, we went down again to the water, and had a lovely beyond amazing time watching the waves loom ahead with ferocity, and then gentle out as they reached our feet. I had no idea of the time. It was like.. still. And my mobile phone had given up :(. Water and sand had gotten into it. So it was kinda bad that when Dad tried to reach me, I couldn't pick up. Sigh.

Anyway, the tragedy of the day is...

I lose my bracelet. The  bracelet that was my birthday gift.


I was wearing it, and then took it off for performing wudu, then took it back from Sis the Priss. And then I don't remember what happened.. Maybe it was some wave :(.. or something else. A lot of times we got up in a huge hurry from the rocks, when we saw crabs crawling all over the place. One even slightly nipped me :S:S. But the point is, the bracelet is gone.


It's so hard to say goodbye to people/things we love. The worst bit? August isn't all that far off. *sniffles*.

And my thesis progress sucks too.

Anyway, to make this a non-whiny post, I should say that today I had the best fun of my life. And it wasn't just the camel ride. It was the realization that I can be my own self, my own 'kiddish' self.. and it is perceived as 'mature' .. Perceptions rock :D:D

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Tackling ‘The Lazy Syndrome’

Posted by

The ’Lazy Muslim Syndrome’ is commonly experienced in Ramadan by those who fast, and unless there is proactive planning and continuous improvement of one’s self, Ramadan could fly by, not cherished like it should be.  Like a typical disease, the syndrome can be avoided through precautionary care and combated through active treatment. This implies that you should proactively prepare for Ramadan and correct your shortcomings during the month, insha’Allah. We’ll be discussing ways to identify and deal with the signs and symptoms of the ’Lazy Muslim Syndrome.’

Identify What Makes You Lazy

You will only be able to treat a disease when you know what causes it and laziness in Ramadan is caused by factors that are often overlooked. Some causes of laziness are Shaytan’s whispers, hunger, over-eating, irregular sleep, lack of physical exercise, and a deficit in spiritual commitment. People who want to sleep in a bit longer compromise suhoor. Most people complain of insufficient sleep during Ramadan. This is because they stay up too late, following their usual routine of watching television, or pursuing another leisure activity.

Irregular sleep is the biggest contributor to laziness that one experiences throughout the day. In order to cover up, the person is found sleeping whenever he gets the chance, or spinning with dizziness when he doesn’t. A general practice is that people reduce their physical exercise. It feels as if they’ve labelled themselves “fragile.” They explain that if they move around too much they would run out of energy or feel hungry or thirsty. Also, the missing element of “commitment” to Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) invites the “Lazy Syndrome.” When a person does not strongly feel the love for his Creator, he fasts as if he’s merely starving himself or skipping lunch, and Ramadan becomes very boring for him.

Be Proactive

Fortunately, there are ways that can help you eliminate laziness in order to truly benefit from Ramadan. Being proactive for Ramadan means that you actively start a planning process before the blessed month arrives. At this stage, you schedule your Ramadan activities and identify the possible factors that can meddle with your sincere intentions of pleasing Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala). You may ask what time, what number of days, before Ramadan should this phase begin? It is the Sunnah of Prophet Mohammad (peace and blessing be upon him) to fast in Sha’baan, the month that precedes Ramadan, in particular, the first half (Al-Bukhari, Muslim). This is the ideal time to plan ahead.

Revise the Importance of Ramadan

When you are aware of your purpose, and have strong pure intentions, you can act productively without succumbing to laziness. Ramadan is an opportunity to show our love, obedience, and commitment to Allah. Second, it is a golden opportunity for self-development whereby you learn self-control, consciousness of Allah Ta’ala (a loose definition of taqwa). We can pray Sunnah and Optional prayers without food and water during the day; this shows us of our potential to perform these prayers during the year when we have nourishment. We can abstain from the usually halaal (food, water), so we surely also then have the ability to abstain from the haram. Ramadan is a training camp, Ramadan is a time to recognize your potential and live up to it, Ramadan is a time for change and improvement (though this is not restricted to the month of Ramadan).

The first 10 days of Ramadan present an opportunity to seek His Mercy, the 2nd calls for seeking repentance for all misdeeds, and the 3rd allows you to seek protection from the torment of Hellfire. You should look up the hadith of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) and the verses of the Noble Quran to understand the importance and the beauty of Ramadan – a treasure for the Muslims.

Plan for Quran Recitation

Reading the Quran and understanding its meaning is spiritually uplifting and mentally engaging, therefore it helps to combat laziness. It is a guide, a mercy, and a healing for us.  You should plan for reading the Quran, improving your tajweed (pronounciation), and understanding the Tafsir (exegesis) throughout Ramadan. This connects you directly to Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala), increases your eman, and commits you entirely towards your purpose of pleasing Him (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala).

Prepare for Laylatul Qadr

Since Laylatul Qadr is hidden in the odd nights of the last ten nights, it is advisable that you pray and observe Qiyamul Layl (standing in prayer and engaging in His remembrance) on all odd nights. Napping shortly but effectively during the day can help you achieve maximum productivity. You should also research prayers and supplications that help you maximize your efforts during the great Night of Power.

Exercise

In addition to prayers, supplications, and Quran recitation, which will make you spiritually productive, creative involvement also keeps away the “Lazy Syndrome.” Brisk walking during early morning hours, after Suhoor, refreshes the mind and keeps you physically active throughout the day. This would be a good time to listen to a lecture or to do dhikr.

Suhoor and Iftaar Menus

Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) provides abundant sustenance for us during Ramadan. Suhoor shouldn’t be rushed and the menu should be nourishing instead of unhealthy fast food which will make you feel lethargic. You shouldn’t eat too little, so you feel hungry in a few hours, and you shouldn’t eat excessively either, it contributes to laziness. Iftaar should be planned like a nourishing celebratory meal at the end of the day when you’ve successfully completed your fast; but again, eat in moderation as over-eating will make you feel sleepy and lazy.

Conclusively, if you productively plan your Ramadan and take special care of the vital elements of nourishment, exercise, and spiritual bonding with Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala), you will reap great benefits. You can always monitor your performance by keeping a checklist, make your own Ramadan planner, and recognizing when you’re becoming lazy and work to rectify it. May you all have a happy, beneficial, and accepted Ramadan!
*****
About the Author
Anum Ali is a graduate in BA Business Administration, she is also a writer for Habibi Halaqas.
Source: ProductiveRamadan.com

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

How to Set Realistic Ramadan Goals – And Stick to Them!

An excellent article to remind us that we must must must PLAN for the Holy month of Ramadan, and not just let things BE, and then hope to become a better Muslim. If we're serious about improving ourselves, we have GOT to show it. And show it we can by planning out exactly how we want to spend this month, and balance work and home and ibaadah duties etc.

I hope to implement this myself, and pray that others find this helpful too. Ameen.

--------------------------------------
By Asma Malek

How often do you find yourself driving, knowing where you want to go, but unaware of how to get there, what route to take, or what direction you are headed in? Probably not very often.

Then why do we treat Ramadan in the same careless manner? We know that we want to improve ourselves throughout the month, but unless we take proper measures to ensure that we reach our goals by the end, we are letting a valuable opportunity slip by.

This holy month is a special time in which the rewards for both obligatory and voluntary deeds are multiplied exponentially as a mercy from Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) and so we aim to do as many of both as we can. However, it is, in fact, only a month and therefore it is important that we manage our time wisely. Many of us find ourselves making resolutions and setting goals, but give up by the middle of the month, or even sooner.
Taking the following measures can help us become better goal-setters both this Ramadan and in future months to come insha’Allah:

1. Before Ramadan list all of the things you want to accomplish. This should be done as a free-writing exercise, meaning that you should not worry about whether what you are writing makes sense or not, or even whether it is attainable. Simply put down all your thoughts on paper. Afterwards, go through the list and begin prioritizing, modifying and deleting. First cross off the ideas that are irrelevant or impractical. For example, trying to memorize the entire Qur’an if you have only a few surahs committed to memory currently, and will be busy with school or work during the month, is not realistic.

Sort the remaining items in order to importance to you and try to estimate how long it will take you to attain these. Of course, some goals, such as refraining from bad language, will not be time-bound and are not applicable, but others, such as recitation of the entire Qur’an within the month can be measured.

2. Now take these attainable goals and turn them into action plans by creating a daily to-do list. If your weekday schedule differs from your weekend schedule, you can create two; in fact, if you want to be really specific you can even make a schedule for each day of the week. Regardless of how many lists you create, they should be very specific. For example, if your goal is to have read the entire Qur’an within the month of Ramadan, try to read a set amount of verses at particular times in the day. Instead of writing “Read some Qur’an in the afternoon” write “Read 10 ayaat after dhuhr prayer.”

Adding a little specificity will help keep you on track, and will also ensure that you are committed to your goals. Once in a while you might be unable to follow the schedule because of some unexpected events, and so you should also have a “make-up” time when you can make up for the loss at another time during the same day. Remember, Allah loves those deeds that are consistent, even if they are small so try your best to take consistent actions towards your goal.

3. It is possible that your schedule might not work for you, but that is not an excuse for giving up completely; don’t abandon your schedule, just modify it.Using the previously given example, if you pray dhuhr during your lunch break at work and you cannot fit in reading 10 verses of the Qur’an during that time, you can shorten it to 5 verses and then read another 5 verses at another time during the day. In other words, make sure that you are going back and revising your daily plan if you find something that is not optimal. Instead of decreasing your deeds, though, simply readjust them and budget your time within the day more wisely. Keep the lists everywhere; on the fridge, your desk, the car, kitchen table, computer, etc. Forcing yourself to read it constantly can also help keep you on track and will serve as a constant reminder.

4. The simplest way to make sure that you keep up with your goals is to make it easy for yourself to attain them. If you want to wake up for Tahajjud, keep the prayer mat, clothing, and the coffeemaker close to your bed and sleep early at night. You will not be able to wake up if you are up late doing work on the computer, so reconfigure your work schedule if you have to and make adequate preparations for your goals. On the other hand, if you are trying not to do something, make it harder for yourself. To keep away from backbiting, simply keep away from company that facilitates or encourages this bad habit. To refrain from television and music, delete all the songs from your iPod and replace it with lectures.; listen to The Noble Qur’an. Of course it will take more than just these precautions to completely refrain from these actions (they need to be accompanied by du’a, sincere intentions, patience, fighting the nafs, and hard work), but taking certain steps will make it easier for you to be obedient and harder for you to relapse.

5. Reinforcements are also necessary for those of us who need a little bit more of a push, especially during the middle of Ramadan when everyone’s morale and zeal seems to whither. In order to keep yourself from backbiting or swearing, use the classic jar trick. Keep a box or jar within easy reach, or multiple ones if you want one at work, home, etc., and punish yourself by putting in a significant amount of money every time you break the rule. At the end of the month you can donate the money to a charity of your choice, but do not let the charity be an excuse to let the jar fill up! The purpose of this is to give you a visual representation of how serious your problem is.

6. The last step is something we take lightly, though it can have a significant impact on how efficient we are this Ramadan, and that is evaluation. Every night take out a couple of minutes to either write down or simply think about whether you are on track or not, and how you can improve. This way you know what you need to work on the next morning and can monitor if you are slowing down or not doing enough to attain your goals. There are always going to be days when you are not as energetic as you would like to be and are not as productive as you should be, but through evaluation you can help prevent this from becoming a trend and save your Ramadan from being a disappointment.

About the Author
Asma Malek  is a university student who attempts to follow her own advice in managing her time and keeping her level of imaan high.

Source: ProductiveRamadan.com
Posted on iloveAllaah.com

Monday, July 18, 2011

Very True

"Truly in the heart there is:

⇨ a void that cannot be removed except with the company of Allah
⇨ a sadness that cannot be removed except with the happiness of knowing Allah & being true to Him
⇨ an emptiness that cannot be filled except with love for Him & by turning to Him & always remembering Him

If a person were given all of the world & what is in it, it would not fill this emptiness" [Ibn al Qayyim al Jawziyyah]

Thursday, July 14, 2011

HEAL yourself TODAY

[Quran]
"And We sent down in the Quran that which is healing and a mercy
to those who believe: to the unjust it causes nothing but loss
after loss".
Quran 17:82

[Lessons from this verse]
Whatever pain you are feeling today, turn to the Qur'an for the
healing. When was the last time you picked up the Qur'an and
just read for the life of you? There's a sweetness there that
cannot be found anywhere else.

For the next seven days, make a daily time to recite some Qur'an
(or a little more if you are already doing so). Start a small,
but consistent habit.

With best wishes to see you succeed at the highest level!
- Muhammad Alshareef


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Common errors made during Ramadhan (10 Lessons)

Posted by iloveAllaah.com Editor • July 12, 2011

1. Excessive spending
Ramadhan should be a time to avoid being wasteful, and learning to be prepared in facing harder times by distinguishing the needs from the luxuries. Unfortunately, many people go beyond their limits to spend during Ramadhan. Whether in the varieties of food that they savor each night, or by the other types of spending.

2. Staying awake during the night and sleeping during the day
Some people sleep during most of the day when they are fasting. Ramadhan is not a time of being lazy, and this do not allow the full benefit from the experience of fasting. It is as if they have only inverted their nights into days and vice versa. In addition, some may spend a great portion of the night indulging in eating and drinking and socializing

3. Spending more time in socializing
Because people invite each other more often during Ramadhan they do tend to spend more time socializing with friends, and relatives. While it is a good deed to feed the fasting person, this should not result in precious time lost in vain talk. Use the occasion for remembering Allah and offering additional prayers, and for the Da'wah to Allah.

4. Insisting on performing a certain number of Rakaas during the Tarawih (night) prayer to the point of not praying behind the Imam and thus forfeiting the benefit of congregational prayer.
This might also bring hatred and disagreement between the Muslims of one community.

5. Reading Qur'an too fast
Some insist on finishing the whole Qur'an once or more, even if they have to read very fast. Although reading the Qur'an many times is desirable, this should not be done hastily, especially during the Tarawih prayer without pondering upon its meaning.

Allah ta'ala said: "This is a Book which We have sent down to you, full of blessings that they may ponder over its verses," (Saad 38:29), and the Prophet sallallahu alayhe wa sallam said: "Those who read the Qur'an in less than three days do not grasp [its meaning]"

6. Socializing in l'tikaf
Many people are eager to do I'tikaf but some confine themselves in the masjid not to pray and worship Allah, but to talk and socialize.

7. The ways of doing good are numerous in Ramadhan
Many people try to perform more than they are able to. By going beyond their capabilities, they end up not performing any deed in the desired way.

8. Scholars and Dai'ahs should assume a more prominent role in educating the people -both by talking to them and by giving the best example in their behavior which should comply to the Shariah and following the Sunnah.

9. The Muslim should realize that his priorities dictate that he does what benefits him in the Hereafter and should not put worldly interests first.

10. The Muslim should apply himself to deepen his sense of following the Sunnah of the Prophet sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, in every aspect of his life, at all times and especially during the month of Ramadhan.

This necessitates seeking more knowledge about the Fiqh of fasting and its etiquette, assimilating the wisdom and goals of fasting, and facilitating the means that allow all the Muslims to benefit from their fasting.

We ask Allah to accept our fast and our good deeds.
source: Al-Jumuah Magazine, Vol 8, Issue 9

Friday, July 1, 2011

Quote of the day!

"If things are happening according to your wish, you are lucky, but if they are not, you are very lucky, because they are happening according to Allah's wish..." Alhamdulillah ♥

"they planned and plotted, but Allah plans too, for Allah is the best of planners" [Quran | Surah Al-Imran | Verse 54] ♥'