I Am That Hijab

I am that Hijab

A stunning and powerful poem on hijab by guest writer Aatifa Shareef

Originally posted on http://www.igotitcovered.org

I am that Hijab
That cloth, that fabric
That symbol, that fear
In people’s eyes

Why does she wear it?

I am that cloth
Bound
Grippingly around her head
Secure but comfortable
Strong but delicate
Covering her hair, her ears, her neck

I am that fabric
Pinned
Gracefully around her head
Protective but alleviating
Simple but beautiful
Displaying the beauty within, the pride within, the soul within

I am that concept
Placed
Gloriously around her head
Fierce but merciful
Unyielding but blessed
Compelling the wearer to go on, the onlooker to pause, the bystander to ponder

I am that liberation
Wrapped
Graciously around her head
Desired but attained
Unseen but felt
Refusing the persecution, the unwanted glares, the harsh words

I am that freedom
That concept, that liberation
That symbol, that serenity
In her eyes

That is why she wears it.


Aatifa Shereef originally wrote this poem in 10th Grade for an English assignment requiring a creative piece on freedom. The first thing that popped into her mind regarding freedom (ironically to some) was to write about hijab! “I am that Hijab” was previously published in The Columbus Dispatch, and was submitted to this site by the author. In 2009, she graduated from The Columbus Academy in Gahanna, OH, and is currently a freshman at Northwestern University.

Patience

When we face inevitable hardships in life, we can find inspiration from the story of Hajar, Ibrahim’s (alayhi salam) wife.  She was left alone with her baby son Ismaeel (alayhi salam) in a desert in Makkah without food and without water. Hajar did not know what Allah SWT had hidden for her but she was obedient and remained patient. We see now some of the tremendous blessings that manifested from her patience and Taqwa – one of which include millions of people following her actions between Safa and Marwah during Hajj every year.  Did Hajar ever think that during her big test, that she was actually doing something that would be a cause for millions of people to imitate her each year – thereby earning millions upon millions of rewards until the Day of Judgment!  Through PATIENCE and trust in Allah, comes a multitude of unimaginable blessings.  Likewise, lack of those virtues at the least can be a cause of many lessons to be learned.  Here are some words of wisdom about Patience from two of our Shuyookh (rahimahullah).

May Allah SWT make us among those who are patient and successful; Ameen.


From the Greatest Causes of Fitna

Shaykhul Islam Ibn Tamiyyah

Ibn Muflih said in "al-Fur'oo : 6/160-161":
Our Shaykh Ibn Taymiyyah said:

The general of the trials and tribulations (fitna)
which have occurred: the greatest of their reason
is a decrease of Patience.

And as such: Fitna has two reasons:

  1. Weakness of knowledge or
  2. Weakness of Patience

Indeed ignorance and transgression are the causes of evil.

And the doer of evil; he will do it due to :

– his ignorance that the actions is indeed evil [and harmful]
– Or due to the fact that his soul wants to do that.
Therefore, by Knowledge; Ignorance ceases, and by Patience; he can hold back the desires.And thus the fitna will end.

The Patience of Noble People and the Patience of Ignoble People

Imam Ibn ul Qayyim al Jawziyyah


Patience and Gratitude – an abridged translation of `Uddat as-Sabirin wa Dhakhirat ash-Shakirin

Every person has to exercise patience in order to face difficulties, whether he does so willingly or unwillingly. The noble person exercises patience willingly, because he realizes the benefits of patience, and he knows that he will be rewarded for his patience and will be criticized if he panics. He is aware that if he does not have patience, panicking and impatience will not help him to regain missed opportunities, and will not take away things he dislikes. Whatever is decreed and is qada’ wa qadr cannot be prevented from happening, and whatever is decreed not to happen cannot be made to happen. So an attitude of impatience and panic actually causes harm.

A wise man said: “A man with wisdom as soon as adversity appears does that which a foolish man does after a month (i.e. he resorts to patience)”.

The ignoble man exercises patience only when he realizes he has no choice. After wasting a lot of time and energy and panicking and struggling, he realizes that his impatience will not help him. Then he exercises patience in the same way that a person who has been tied up to be whipped exercises patience.

The noble person practices patience in obeying Allah, whilst the ignoble person exercises patience in obeying the Shaytan. So ignoble person have the greatest patience in following their own whims and desires, and have the least patience in obeying their Lord. They have the greatest patience in spending in the way of Shaytan and no patience when it comes to spending even a few pennies in the way of Allah. They will endure many difficulties in order to follow their own whims and desires, but cannot bear even the least difficulties in order to please their Lord. They will endure slander for the sake of committing wrong action, but cannot exercise patience in putting up with slander for the sake of Allah. Such people will avoid enjoining the good and forbidding the evil for fear of what people will say about them for doing so, but they will expose their honour to slander and bear it most patiently for the sake of following their own whims and desires. Similarly, they are not prepared to practise patience in devoting themselves to Allah, but when it comes to devoting themselves to Shaytan and their own whims and desires, they will exercise remarkable patience. Such people will never be noble in the sight of Allah, and on the Day of Resurrection they will not be raised with the people of nobility and decency.

REMEMBER

reminder

Remember that with the rise in temperatures there will be an evident rise in fahisha/shamelessness and all types of immodesty that will surround you and I.

Remember to guard your eyes and guard your faith for these are the times where fitnah/trials will approach us from all corners.

Remember that no matter how difficult it becomes to maintain your modesty, Allah Subhanhu wa ta’Ala knows of every single sweat, tear and struggle along the way. He, Subhanhu wa ta’Ala is closer to us and knows us better than we know our own selves: “And when My servants ask you concerning me, I am indeed close (to them): I respond to the du’a (prayer) of every suppliant when they call on Me.” [2:186]

Remember that the blazing heat of the sun can no where be put into comparison with the heat of the blazing fire: “The fire of Hell is more intense in heat.” [9:81] Remain firm on modesty and Allah will further strengthen your firmness on His Deen.

Remember, it may be that you strive to cover yourself and lower your gaze during these heat-filled days; whether it be with loose garments, hijab, jilbabs, etc… but just imagine the heat you feel with the hijab or thobe is not even an atom’s worth of heat that fills the Hell-Fire:”Surely, those who disbelieved in Our Ayat, We shall burn them in Fire. As often as their skins are roasted through, We shall change them for other skins that they may taste the punishment.” [4:56] and “By no means! Verily, it will be the Fire of Hell. Taking away (burning completely) the scalp!” [70:15-16].

Remember that this life is nothing but a split moment and very soon we will stand in front of our Creator and be held accountable for every single sin: major, minor; known, unknown; evident, hidden! Likewise, if you and I strive towards the good then we will be rewarded with Allah’s mercy, His forgiveness and His pleasure: Abu Sa’id Al-Khudri said that the Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu alayhi wasallam) said, “Allah, the Exalted and Ever High, will say to the people of Paradise, ‘O residents of Paradise!’ They will say, ‘Labbayka (here we are!), our Lord, and Sa’dayk (we are happy at your service!) and all the good is in Your Hand.’ He (Allah) will ask them, ‘Are you pleased?’ They will say, ‘Why would not we be pleased, O Lord, while You have given us what You have not given any other of your creation?’ He (Allah) will say, ‘Should I give you what is better than all this?’ They will say, ‘O Lord! What is better than all this!’ He (Allah) will say, ‘I will grant you My pleasure and will never afterwards be angry with you.'” [Ahmad]

Remember that if you ever doubt yourselves or when you waver in your faith, remind yourselves that this religion is the best there is and there is no better place to be than on the path of Guidance: “It is He Who has sent His Messenger with guidance and the religion of truth, to make it superior over all religions even though the idolators hate (it).” [9:33]

Remember that even the fish in the sea and the birds that fly in the sky testify to the Oneness of Allah and are obedient and submissive to Him. Moreover, even if our shadow prostrates to the Majesty of Allah! Why then should you and I, a fashioned creation of Allah, not be subservient to Him?

Remember that there is nothing better that you can fill your hearts, your tongues, your ears and your thoughts with than the recitation, the understanding and the implementation of the Glorious Qur’an. “So be not in doubt about it. Verily, it is the truth from your Lord.” [11:17] Ask Allah Subhanhu wa ta’Ala, to make the Qur’an, the spring of your heart, the light of your chest, the banisher of your sadness and the reliever of your distress, just as Prophet Muhammad (sallAllahu alayhi wasallam) used to supplicate [Ahmad]

Remember that there is not a thing nor a person that can bring any harm or good to you except if Allah wills for it to happen. And remind yourself, anything that Allah wills is good for you whether you see the immediate good in it or not.

Remember that you and I should not look to complain about our grieves and sorrows to created beings. Instead we should only complain to Allah and He is the Only One we should turn to. Just as Ya’qub (alayhi Salaam) said, “I only complain of my grief and sorrow to Allah.” [12:86] You may be at a point where you are pouring your heart out to your friend and just a minor distraction such as a cellphone call will end it all. Likewise, a therapist needs to be available at the office hours or an appointment needs to be made to let out your feelings and emotions.. Similarly, just as you are pouring your thoughts and feelings out, the therapy session comes to an end! In direct contrast, the complaining or “session” with Allah does not require any appointments, no distractions and no time limit! You and I will gain so much more if we speak to our Rabb for He knows you better than you know your own self!

Remember that with every difficulty comes ease: “So, verily, with every difficulty there is relief. Verily, with every difficulty there is relief.” [94:5-6] Allah will never burden you and I beyond what we can handle. And Who can possibly know us better than our Creator!

Remember that during times of prosperity and happiness, turn to Allah in gratitude and thank Him for what He has blessed you with. And when hardships and adversities come about, turn to Allah with patience and remind yourselves of the patience of Ya’qub (alayhi Salaam) when he lost his beloved son and immediately uttered the words: “So (for me) patience is most fitting.” [12:18] Let you and I choose patience and gratitude over all other alternatives.

Remember that time is very limited and every moment of ours counts and will be questioned of on the Day of Resurrection. On that day we will search our pockets for any good deeds that can make our scales heavy so as to save us from the blazing heat and entire us into eternal bliss.

Remember that the greatest deprivation for mankind is not the lack or shortage of food, nor shelter. Rather, the greatest deprivation is the inability to see the One Who created you and fashioned you. The One Who provided for you, bestowed His continuous blessings upon you. The greatest deprivation is not being able to see your Rabb! ‘Abdullah bin Qays Al-Ash’ari said that the Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu alayhi wasallam) said, “Two gardens, their pots and whatever is in them are made of gold, and two gardens, their pots and whatever is in them are made of silver. Only the Veil of Pride of Allah’s Face separates the people from gazing at Him, in the garden of Eden.”

Remember…For Allah says that only a few actually remember Allah: “Little do you remember!” [7:3]

-Reflect for Allah did not create everything that surrounds you out of vain. Rather He, the Most High created everything to serve a purpose. Strive to be of the people who reflect: “Verily, in the creation of the heavens and the earth, and in the alternation of night and day, there are indeed signs for men of understanding. Those who remember Allah standing, sitting, and lying down on their sides and think deeply about the creation of the heavens and the earth, (saying): ‘Our Lord! You have not created this without purpose, glory to You!” [3:190-191]

Remember to be thankful for there is nothing that you have except that Allah has blessed you with it yet still we busy our lives and never stop to thank Him Who is deserving of all thanks and praise: “Little thanks do you give!” [7:10]

Remember to remember…and remind so that you may not forget!

What I Love About My Muslim Wife

Taken from sistersmagazine

Brothers from different walks of life tell us what they love most about their wives – may Allah reward them with good!
 
“What I love about my wife” 
How would life be without my wife? 
The emptiness, 
the strife, 
Would all be rife 
I care not to think of that plight amiss 
So much I love ’bout her, too long is the list. 
Her faith in her Lord and her pure and dear heart 
Tis the reason I married her, but that’s just the start 
Beauty pervades her, in every way and thought 
These are blessings so countless … can never be bought 
Her smile, her gentle face, the sparkle in her eyes 
When our kids are causing havoc, logic defies 
So hard-working, striving to make her family content 
Yearning foremost to make her Lord happy 
Reasons enough for a singler’s lament 
Desire and doing in her life is her worth 
Allaah upon us Your Mercy shower,
And increase our blessed state 
And Your Mercy enshroud her when she’s raised from this earth 
So when you asked us to write “what you love about your wife” 
That blessings so countless, I dare not think of life 
And after so many years our love still gets stronger 
Allaah I cannot thank you enough for all that you have given me 
Just allow me to be with her in Jannah 
And make our bond stronger. 
Ameen
By Abu Abdillah 
34yrs old from London, UK

What do I love about my Muslim wife?
Everything. My wife is the closet partner and friend I’ve ever had. She is the ‘backbone’ of our household. After a very long day at work, it is very comforting to come home and just be with my wife (& the screaming kids). She is my ‘treasure box’ and the ONLY key is with me, alhamdulillah. The most satisfying thing to hear from my wife is to hear how much she loves me, which builds further the bond between us.
Should I be allowed to re-run this life again, surely this would be the one thing I would not change.
Tansar Hussain, UK
 
What I love about my Muslim wife is her ability to adapt to different
situations and surroundings. It’s not easy for women who marry and move away
from home, having to start all over again, leaving behind their family and
friends….its something us men take for granted!
Imran
 
 
“My wife, masha Allah, loves to learn about Islam and takes time out of her busy schedule to read authentic Islamic books on issues of Tawheed, ‘Aqeedah, Islamic manners etc… My wife does her best to implement Islam in our family life and does not just practise Islam when it is easy to but also when it gets difficult alhumdulillah.  She is very patient with me when I am angry in trying to calm me down and does not leave me until she has found a way to please me. She is playful and likes to joke around once in a while and lightens the mood when life gets stressful.  My wife is very particular about the house and works very hard to keep it as clean as possible, masha Allah.  I find her to be a very good mother attentive and loving to her kids’ needs as well as in disciplining them when it is needed.  She is careful to thank me for every good that I do (i.e. provide money for groceries and needs, take her out on a date etc) – she has even expressed guilt at forgetting to say thank you to me after she bought groceries! 
Abu Taimyyah, Age 37, United States
 
Allah is so Merciful and Gracious that if I tried to count the blessing that my Lord has bestowed upon me I would not be able to do, I just might lose my fingers! And one of those blessing is my wife. All praise is for Allah and no one else. In His infinite wisdom he gave me a prize, a jewel, the blessing of a righteous wife, masha Allah. She has this unconditional love that is tremendous and beautiful, Allahu akbar! We have six children and this August, insha Allah, it will be eleven years that we have been married and the only thing I would trade her for is Jannah. I love my wife ‘big much’. I ask Allah to keep us together until He calls us back to him, ameen. I ask Allah to bless those Muslim marriages out there with love and goodness from His Rahma, ameen.
Amir Abu Hudhayfah Ali-Dorsey, East Orange NJ, Masjid Rahmah

 
Her patience – especially with me
Her support – when others would have given up
Her understanding
Her wisdom
Her strength
Her kindness
And I thank Allah that we are together and may He keep us that way.
Anonymous Brother

How Does the Heart Fast?

How does the Heart fast?
by Shaykh Aa’id ‘Abdullâh al-Qarnî

 
 
And if anyone believes in Allah, (Allah) guides his heart (aright)’ (64:11). 

The guidance of the heart is the basis of all guidance, the law of all success, the origin of every deed and head of every action. The Prophet saws said:
 ‘Truly there is a piece of flesh in the body which, if it be wholesome, the whole body will be healthy and which, and if it be diseased the whole body will be diseased. Truly it is the heart.’

Thus the goodness of your heart is the guarantee of your happiness in this world and in the hereafter. Likewise, its corruption is the surest way to destruction, the extent of which only Allah knows.
 ‘In this, behold, there is indeed a reminder for everyone whose heart is wide-awake – that is [everyone who] lends ear with a conscious mind’ (50:37). 

Every creature has a heart. In reality though they are two hearts, a heart that is alive and pulsating with the light of faith. It is filled with intense conviction and God-consciousness. The other is a dead heart, covered and diseased with every wreckage and rubbish.

Allah Almighty says concerning the hearts of the foolish folk:
 ‘In their hearts is disease, and so God lets their disease increase’ (2:10). 

 ‘But they say, “Our hearts are already full of knowledge.” Nay, but God has rejected them because of their refusal to acknowledge the truth: for, few are the things in which they believe’ (2:88). 

Allah also says:
 ‘Will they not, then, ponder over this Quran? — or are there locks upon their hearts?’ (47:24). 

 ‘And so they say, [as it were:] “Our hearts are veiled from whatever thou callest us to, [O Muhammad,] and in our ears is deafness”’ (41:5). 

From all these verses we learn that the hearts can become ill, they can be covered, locked and they die. The enemies of Allah have hearts in their bosoms but they do not perceive with these hearts. Hence the Prophet saws used to say:
 ‘O dispenser of hearts make my heart firm in Your religion.’

The heart of the believer fasts during Ramadan and outside of Ramadan. The fasting of the heart is done by emptying it of all corrupt material such as destructive forms of polytheism, false beliefs, evil suggestions, filthy intentions and degenerate thoughts. The heart of the believer is adorned with the love of Allah. It knows its Lord by His names and His qualities as He has described Himself. This heart explores with a discerning eye the lines of His names and qualities and the pages of Allah’s making in the universe and the books of His creations.

Continue reading How Does the Heart Fast?

All for a Palm Tree in Jannah

In life there will always be those people who are opportunists, or those who take advantage of any opportunity to get what they want no matter what the cost is.  Opportunists are usually thought of in a negative, “out for yourself” perspective.  In reality this depends on your intention, your acts, how you go about getting what you want, and at what costs.  In Islam, being an opportunist is not seen as cut throat, but rather it is encouraged to compete as opportunists, and even considered a praiseworthy act.  This is because an opportunist racing towards the pleasure of Allah and towards getting good deeds in this life will have success awaiting for them on Judgment Day and in the Afterlife.  This goal is more important to reach “no matter what the cost in this world”.  Here is the beautiful story of one opportunist who did not let go of his chance to get guaranteed pleasure in the Hereafter.

Abu Darda (may Allah have mercy on him) was one of those people who found an opportunity to win what is greater than the heavens and the earth.  There was a companion of the Prophet (sallAllahu alayhi wasallam) who cultivated his garden next to the property of an orphan. The orphan claimed that a specific palm tree was on his property and therefore belonged to him. The companion rejected the claim, so the orphan boy went to the Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu alayhi wasallam) to complain.  The Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu alayhi wasallam) measured the two gardens and found that the palm tree did indeed belong to the companion. The orphan erupted crying. Seeing this, the Prophet (sallAllahu alayhi wasallam) asked the companion, “Would you give him the palm tree and for you is a palm tree in Jannah?” However, the companion in his disbelief that an orphan would complain to the Prophet (sallAllahu alayhi wasallam), missed the opportunity and went away angry.

But someone else saw the opportunity – Abu Darda (radi Allahu anhu). He went to the Prophet (sallAllahu alayhi wasallam) and asked, “Ya RasulAllah, if I buy the tree from him and give it to the orphan shall I have that tree in Jannah?”

The Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu alayhi wasallam) replied, “Yes.”

Abu Darda (radi Allahu anhu) had chased after the companion and asked, “Would you sell that tree to me for my entire garden?”  (Abu Darda had a garden of 600 trees)

The companion answered, “Take it, for there is no good in a tree that was complained to the Prophet about.”

Immediately, Abu Darda (radi Allahu anhu) went home and found his wife and children playing in the garden. “Leave the garden!” shouted Abu Darda. “We’ve sold it to Allah! We’ve sold it to Allah!” Some of his children had dates in their hand and he snatched the dates from them and threw them back into the garden. “We’ve sold it to Allah!”

When Abu Darda was later martyred in the battle of Uhud, RasulAllah (sallAllahu alayhi wasallam) stood over his slain body and remarked, “How many shady palm trees does Abu Darda now have in Paradise?”

What did Abu Darda lose? Dates? Bushes? Dirt? What did he gain? He gained a Jannah whose expanse is the heavens and the earth.

Subhan’Allah, how beautiful is this story, of one Sahabi who gave up everything he had, just to have one palm tree in Jannah.  Allahu Akbar.