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.

Reflections

Assalamu Alaikum

Qadr of Allah my grandfather on my father’s side just passed away at the age of 96.  He lived in in the Guangzhou Province in Southern China, in a very poor village with most of my father’s side of the family living there as well.  When I went to China a few summers ago, I was going to meet him for the first time.  Qadr of Allah I never made it to Guangzhou – I was extra sad because this is also where the first Masjid in China was built by Saad ibn Abi Waqqas (radiy Allahu anhu) and I really wanted to visit it with my father.  Next time Insha’Allah.

When I phoned my father to ask how he was doing, he told me he would be flying to China in 2 weeks for the burial.  When I asked why they were waiting 2 weeks to bury him, he replied, they had to look at the calendar for the best day (there are “good luck days” and “bad luck days” to perform certain actions like getting married, moving, burying a deceased, etc), and then everyone attending would go and make certain ritual prayers to the gods.  Subhan’Allah – these are but 2 common cultural traditions, totally based on shirk, that I grew up with almost ALL my life.  By Allah’s favor He has taken me far away from it to the point where I even forgot about them.  So when I was reminded about it from my father, it hit me like a ton of bricks.  I used to live and follow these types of beliefs as if they were mere instructions in a manual, without even thinking twice about them. without even thinking that anything was even wrong with it.  Now Alhamdulillah I realize the magnitude of these baseless, DARK practices, and the great harm in them.  On one hand I was so grateful to reflect on where I was and how Allah SWT took me from that darkness into light, and how Allah SWT has guided me to Tawheed, for my son and myself Alhamdulillah.  Then on the other hand I listened to my father speaking and became very sad, because I understood my family’s mentality very well as I was raised by them with the same exact mentality.

I understood how my family sees there is nothing wrong with these things, as they are just cultural traditions.  I understand and greatly appreciate how Allah freed me from those shackles and guided me to Islam.  As much as I am thankful, I am also sad that my family is still in that state of darkness.  Hediya is from Allah SWT, and He will guide only those whom He wills.  I will not stop making du’aa for them and trying with them, as anyone can be guided at any moment if Allah wills – and I do not question His Qadr either way.  But this whole incident was a huge reminder to me on how temporary life is in this Dunya.  The means to Jannah are spelled out for us and through His mercy we can attain it, yet there are so many internal and external deterrances that distract us from our purpose here.  We fight so many demons and weaknesses on a daily basis, and without Allah’s mercy we would be losers.  Allah SWT gives us so many favors.  Although I am grateful for them, I personally feel I fall short in many ways and can do much more to show my appreciation.  May Allah SWT help us all to thank Him, remember Him and worship Him in the best way.  Subhan’Allah things can change in a person’s life in a split second, but when the angel of death comes, there is no turning back.  Whatever we have done in this life will earn us punishment or reward by His mercy, but our ending is what counts.  Death is always a reminder especially for the believers, and this was particularly a big reminder for me, as I reflected on my family and my personal path, by Allah’s will.  May Allah keep us all firm on the Deen and help us all to die in a state of Islam, leaving this Dunya with a good ending.  Please make du’aa for me and all of our Ummah.  Please, also make a du’aa for my family’s guidance Insha’Allah, as well as all of our families.  You are all in my du’aa as well.

Jazaka Allah Khayran

Don’t Be Sad

In dedication to Ah Ying

Do not be sad: for Allah defends you and the angels ask forgiveness for you; The believers share with you their supplications in every prayer; The Quran is replete with good promises; And above all is the mercy of He Who is the Most Merciful.

Do not be sad: the good deed is increased so that its value is multiplied tenfold or seven hundred fold or even much, much more.  Meanwhile, the evil deed is valued without increase or multiplication, and your Lord can forgive even that.  How many times do we witness Allah’s generosity, generosity that is unmatched by any! 

Do not be sad: you have the ability to supplicate to Allah and thus excel at humbling yourself at the doorstep of the King of kings.  You have the blessed last third of the night to invoke Allah and to rub your head upon the ground in prostration.

Do not be sad: Allah has created for you the earth and what is in it.  He has caused gardens of beauty to grow, filling them with many kinds of plants and flowers in pairs, both male and female.  And He has made tall palm trees, shining stars, forests, rivers and streams.

Do not be sad: for do you not see how the black clouds disperse and the violent winds subside?  Your hardships will be followed by comfort and your future is bright.   

An Arab poet said:

“Some eyes are restless while other are in sleep, In meditating that which may or may not occur, So leave worrying as much as possible, As carrying the burdens of anxiety is madness, There is your Lord, who provided you with solutions to yesterday, And He will similarly provide for what is to come tomorrow.”

Another said:

“Let events flow in their predestined path, And do not sleep except with a clear mind, Between the period of the blinking of the eye and its opening, Allah changes things from one state to another.”

فَإِنَّ مَعَ الْعُسْرِ يُسْرًا

إِنَّ مَعَ الْعُسْرِ يُسْرًا

“How wonderful is the affairs of the believer!  His affairs in their entirety are good for him…”

[Excerpts taken from: “Don’t Be Sad” by ‘Aaidh ibn Abdullah al-Qarni]

Gaza – A Test for the Believers by Dr. Ibrahim Dremali

This is a powerful Khutbah that reminds the believers that through Allah’s great mercy, He puts us through hardships in order to test us, to distinguish who the true believers are, and to purify us. 

Our Ummah is going through a lot of trials and tribulations at the present time, but the Sheikh gives examples of some of the greatest trials in the past that resulted in victory.  During the time of Ahmad Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahu Allah), the Muslim Ummah went through severe harships.  The Tatars invaded the Muslim countries, killing everybody, from men, women, soldiers, children, animals… making piles of bodies.  But those killers, those Tatars, those Mongolians entered Islam after that and Islam became victorious with those people ya Allah.  Look at the number of Muslims in China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Bangladesh, and the surrounding areas!  The Mongolians carried Islam there.  Subhan’Allah.  

The situation in Gaza right now is inhumane in a way that is beyond belief.  But there is hope, a light, something that will come sooner or later.  The Prophet (sallAllahu alayhi wasallam) swore that Islam would prevail and be victorious, bringing peace to the earth.  May Allah SWT reparate Ghazzah, and grant victory to them, and Muslims all around the world.  Ameen Ya Rabb!

Don’t ever lose hope.  Hasbi Allah wa naimal wakeel – Allah is sufficient for us and the best of Guardians!

The Islam That Made You Convert

I had the pleasure of attending a gathering today with my fellow sisters; some of whom converted to Islam such as myself, and some of whom were born into an Islamic family.  While discussing Islam, one sister who was born Muslim said, “I want to learn Islam.  I want to learn the Islam that made you guys convert.  Upon saying that another sister agreed with her and stated how amazing it was to see the conviction and practice of converts. 

That statement hit me hard.  I wasn’t thinking so much about the practice of converts vs. the practice of born Muslims – I thought about the conviction behind the practices.  In a split second I was equally amazed, grateful, inspired and humbled.  I shared in their appreciation and it made me reflect upon my own path to Islam.  I learned about Islam for about year and a half before taking my shahadah, from converts, born Muslims, and through my own reading.  I understood and loved everything I learned, but still did not want to take that plunge.  The events of September 11th inclined me to view life with a purpose, a beginning and an end, and was a big turning point for me.  I remember hearing a sister speak about the coming of Judgment Day and the need to correct our affairs.  It wasn’t so much what she was saying that affected me, but it was more of how she was saying it – it was spoken with such conviction.  Her certainty or ‘yaqeen’ showed me her Iman and although it was like water for her it hit me like a ton of bricks.  I was taken back by witnessing her firm beliefs and faith, in something I also believed in, but did not have the same level of faith in.  I had the belief, but the faith was not there.  I heard a Sheikh once say that belief and faith are not always the same – they are two different things.  At times they go hand in hand, and at times they do  not, which is what Allah refers to in the Qur’an.  Now I understand why.

At that time I had known this sister for about a year, and she was one of the people who made me really love Islam – through her behavior, her etiquette, and her actions.  It was through her Islam that portrayed to me the true teachings of Islam and mannerisms of a Muslim.  That is what appealed to me so much. 

I always reflect upon the great blessing of hediya that Allah SWT willed for us, and also for putting good examples of Muslims in my path.  Not everyone has this experience wa la quwatta illah billah.  My friend and a few other sisters have made such a positive impact in my perception of Islam – before my shahadah and right after.  All praise is due to Allah SWT first and foremost, and for using them to show me ‘their Islam’.  It was through ‘their Islam that made me convert.’  Alhamdulillah.

May Allah SWT make all of our Islam the Islam that makes others want to convert.  A reflection of the true teachings of Allah and His Messenger (sallAllahu alayhi wasallam).  Allahumma Ameen.   

The Birth of a Muslimah

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For many female converts who grew up in America, namely those who had lifestyles that were very “American” or different from an “Islamic lifestyle”, most tend to share the same issues when they first embrace Islam.  Do I have to stop plucking my eyebrows?  Can I still wear nail polish?  Is hijab mandatory?  I cant see myself wearing it all the time!  I have to throw away all my clothes.  Wearing a jilbab makes me look like an old lady!  I feel like everyone is judging me! 

These questions and feelings are typical as a new Muslimah is going through transitional phases.  Then you will have sisters in every direction giving advice on what she should and shouldnt be doing or wearing. Although I am sure our dear sisters are well-intentioned, for a newly converted American Muslimah, focusing on these issues may tend to be overwhelming for them.  These issues are what is focused on primarily because they are evident, noticed, on display and subject to judgment.  Of course, there are always exceptions to the case, but for the majority who commonly face these issues, or if you know someone who can relate, this is for you.

Every time we go through a life altering change in our lives, whether it is going away to college, getting married, having your first baby, starting a new career, etc., we are not expected to jump right into the swing of things completely and perfectly.  We will make mistakes, and learn from them while gaining experience.  There will be feelings of uncertainty, insecurity, and questioning our capabilities as we embrace this new role in our life.  The same goes for embracing a religion.  It wont be perfect in the beginning.  It wont be perfect even after a few years.  We are human. 

The good news is, that Islam is easy.  Allah never intended on making the religion hard for us.  All those issues are part of a necessary transition that we must go through in order for growth to occur.  Through transition, growth is given room to flourish.  Even though these issues do have a place in Islam, each with its own rulings to abide by, they do not define the essence of what Islam is.  Islam is simple, it is about a very important concept – “Tawheed” or Monotheism.  Giving our Creator His due right of sole worship, in every which way and form, totally belonging to Him and only Him.  This is what separates Islam from every other religion.  From this concept, once it is understood, engrained and firmly rooted in us, all the other little pieces will come together in it’s due time.

I often think about an email that circulates the cyberworld.  It is called “Parent Job Description”.  Here it is:

Continue reading The Birth of a Muslimah