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!