Get Up and Do Your Thing

Africa and Europe from space

Africa and Europe from space

By Wael Abdelgawad | IslamicSunrays.com

Life has been challenging lately. In July I’ve faced some financial setbacks, and also some personal setbacks that have hit me hard, and drained me emotionally to the point where sometimes I just sit in my padded computer chair and don’t feel like getting up. I feel like I hardly have the energy to get up and prepare some food to eat, let alone pray, work, go to class, care for my daughter…

And yet I do get up. I go out and teach a 2.5 hour martial arts class and I do it with vigor, because my students are looking to me for guidance and inspiration. I get up and do my volunteer job at the Muslim community center. I get up and take my daughter to the lake or the masjid, and have a tea party with her, and read her the latest chapter of “Fish Face”. I laugh with her and love her with everything I’ve got, because she needs me. I don’t have time for self-pity.

I get up and do my thing, because that’s what it is to be a man (or woman), to be a father (or mother), to be a Muslim, to be a friend, to be alive! You get up and do what you have to do. You pick your foot up and take a step, then lift the other one and take another step, and before you know it you are moving ahead, and time has passed and your problems have diminished and don’t hurt quite so much, or maybe you have overcome them entirely, because you are experiencing the joy of life. Your love for Allah, and your gratitude, and your attentiveness to the beauty and blessings around you, all wash the pain away like a river.

That’s what it is to be alive. SubhanAllah.

So, to all those reading this now, I send you light and love, and I know that no matter what physical or emotional aches you are experiencing, you will rise each morning with gratitude, you will take a step and move ahead, you will love and laugh, you will push self-pity to the side and live your lives with commitment, in the short time that we all have on this beautiful ball of brown and blue.

One last note:  Eat healthy foods, drink water and – very important – get enough sleep. These are all critical to maintaining an emotional balance and moving forward in life with a positive attitude.

Accountable for Our Blessings

Vancouver from the air

Vancovuer, Canada from the air

I’m still in Vancouver for a martial arts seminar, and it’s so beautiful here. Mountains, rivers, trees, beaches, shining buildings, and perfect weather. When Allah has given a people so much, they will be accountable for what they did with their blessings.

Are we doing what we should with our blessings? Are we grateful? Do we share? Do we proclaim the truth? Are we fulfilling our potentials?

If not, then there is no better time to begin than right now, this moment. Choose one small way to be a better Muslim, and implement it in your life today. That’s how it starts. The road to Jannah begins with the first step.

Allah Prepared the Earth for Us

Yosemite Valley, California

Yosemite Valley, California

“As the pregnant mother excitedly prepares the cradle for the arrival of her new baby, Allah also prepared the earth for us before He sent Adam and Hawaa. He set all in place for us: the earth as a soft bed, the heavens as a canopy, the rain, the fruits, the stars, even companions and love. He (SWT) gave us everything we need to live and fulfill our needs. It’s truly amazing.”

– Sister Fozia

See the Beauty Around You

Cut lemon

By Wael Abdelgawad | IslamicSunrays.com

We tend to think of beautiful places as being far away. We imagine exotic lands like the Caribbean islands, the Mediterranean coast, the Alps or the Himalayas, or anywhere in New Zealand, ha ha.

There is glory everywhere. Right now, in this moment, there is something beautiful within the boundaries of your vision, or very near.

From where I am sitting, through the kitchen window I can see a rose bush. The pink roses are blooming and reaching for the sky, and it’s quite lovely ma-sha-Allah. I hear birds singing outside, and through the front window I see a birds of paradise bush, with it’s angular orange flowers.

Closer at hand, on my desk is a lovely ornate metal vase from Egypt. It is covered in intricate Islamic patterns with verses of the Quran twining around the sides. There are other beautiful works of art in the house if I take the time to glance around – including a simple artwork that my daughter Salma made by sticking different kinds of leaves to a sheet of paper.

Beauty can be found in ordinary things as well. On the kitchen counter I see two lemons cut in half, and beside them a boiled egg. It reminds me of an artist’s tableau and makes me wish I were a painter. My daughter is playing on the floor with her train set, and she is the jewel of my eye, ma-sha-Allah.

One of the reasons we fall into depression is that we focus on what we don’t have, or what we have lost; and we fail to see the blessings and beauty that surround us.

Right now, look around you. Quiet your mind, and focus on beauty. Remember that life is a gift, and a miracle, and a sign.

And the grazing livestock He has created for you; in them is warmth and [numerous] benefits, and from them you eat.

And for you in them is beauty when you bring them in [for the evening], and when you send them out.

And they carry your loads to a land you could not have reached except with difficulty to yourselves. Indeed, your Lord is Kind and Merciful.

And [He created] the horses, mules and donkeys for you to ride, and [as] adornment. And He creates that which you do not know.

And upon Allah is the direction of the way, and among the various paths are those deviating. And if He willed, He could have guided you all.

It is He who sends down rain from the sky; from it is drink and from it is foliage in which you pasture.

He causes to grow for you thereby the crops, olives, palm trees, grapevines, and from all the fruits. Indeed in that is a sign for a people who give thought.

And He has subjected for you the night and day and the sun and moon, and the stars are subjected by His command. Indeed in that are signs for a people who reason.

And [He has subjected] whatever He multiplied for you on the earth of varying colors. Indeed in that is a sign for a people who remember.

And it is He who subjected the sea for you to eat from it tender meat, and to extract from it ornaments which you wear. And you see the ships plowing through it, that you may seek of His bounty; and perhaps you will be grateful.

And He has cast into the earth firmly set mountains, lest it shift with you, and [made] rivers and roads, that you may be guided, And landmarks. And by the stars they are [also] guided.

Then is He who creates like one who does not create? So will you not be reminded?

And if you should count the favors of Allah, you could not enumerate them. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.

Quran, Surat an-Nahl (The Bee), 16:5-18

Poem: Fill it With Al-Fatihah

Beach foam

Fill it With Al-Fatihah

Wounded brother, sister in belief:
pour out your cup of hurt and grief
and fill it with lavender leaf.
Fill it with sunlight seed
and the moon’s reedy laugh.
Fill it with the history of grass,
and the joy of breath.
Fill it with hope
and the poetry of God.

Fill it with Quran
and the moment before dawn.
Fill it with Allah’s soul-saving light,
and the power of His love
expressing in your life.
Fill it with dhikr like gold,
and Prophetic stories
that were old
a thousand years ago.

Fill your cup with beach foam
and the smell of baking bread;
with the mark of prayer
impressed upon your head;
with lemon drop soup
and the comfort of your bed.
Fill it with gratitude
for His gifts from above.
Fill your cup, and laugh,
for you are loved.


Wael Abdelgawad

April 14, 2011

Poem: A Peace That Sings

Dandelions blowing in the wind

A Peace That Sings

By Shireen

My soul breathes a breath it has never quite taken before
So crisp, so clean, so pure
And a giddy little grin will peak upon my lips
For no particular reason, just a peace within sings so deep
And though the meaning of life’s lesson is upon me now
I can’t help but feel that I know nothing of anything, but to God I remain, to God I bow
Time and time again we search, we befriend but in the end there are things that remain questionable
Should a friend really be so textable?
Really, is there nothing else to do other then keep us entertained
Twitter,or Facebook, Blackberry or Iphone, Google and Amazon E books
It’s all the same really, friends too many
One or two may know me
But never have they given me this feeling I feel
This ease, this lightness upon my chest, this gushing goodness of “man, God is Indeed The Best!”
Why? some may ask. Wasn’t that a test?
Yes, but a test is only a question mark away from a reward
Will you submit to that which you cannot control? Or will your choice be hard, and dramatic turmoil?
I resolve with, I need not fight if I have the angels fighting for me
I will not wander blindly when I have light making a way clearly
I will not speak ill of what’s meant to be, when I have the All Knowing watching over me
I will not be among the ungrateful, before I become alone just me and me
My life is a breath of fresh air for which I pray lasts until I return home
Though fears I have, it’s not something any human can console
For words don’t come when I try to speak it, just thoughts and only God Knows the Meanings
So I stop here, Praising the All Knowing, The All Wise
Hoping for the best, fearing my weaknesses and begging for success!

The Transformative Power of a Child’s Love

Salma smiling

My daughter Salma

By Wael Abdelgawad | IslamicSunrays.com

I’m going to share something highly personal, something I would not normally share, but I see now that my writing on this blog is changing people’s lives, and that’s possible only because I am honest. The most vital lessons in life come from suffering. If we don’t share the pain then the message learned will not pass undiminished from heart to heart.

I have always been a loyal friend. I am the kind who believes in friendship as an enduring and meaningful bond. I am a trusting person, someone with a passionate love for the Ummah, a sense of outrage for the oppressed, and a deep faith in Allah and in humanity itself, even after all I have been through.

A Difficult Youth

My teen years were very difficult. I isolated myself from my own family, emotionally and geographically. For a while I slept in my car or in an ice cream truck that I owned, sometimes went hungry, even as I devoted countless hours to tutoring two disadvantaged children, teaching them to read and write. I would sometimes visit friends just so I could raid the fridge and get a bite to eat. I remember once digging some old egg salad out of the back of a friend’s fridge, then becoming badly sick. I collapsed in the street and was hospitalized for food poisoning.

My parents tried hard to reach out to me and help me during that time, but I was lost in my own confusion and determined to estrange myself.

Later I paid for a bedroom in an apartment that was shared among 11 people, mostly college students. I was often confused. I was expelled from the university three times, until something clicked in my final year when I discovered poetry and I suddenly began getting straight A’s.

Still, my life continued to be a mess until my mid to late twenties (I am now 45). I lived in difficult environments. I saw terrible things. I was attacked or robbed more than once and I was sometimes afraid. I experienced despair at times, and yet I became so strong, like a mountain, or a grizzly bear. When I was 27 I got a steady job and worked hard, trying to save money to start a business, until one day my roommate stole all my money and disappeared. After that I lived for six months in the YMCA, in a room so narrow that I could reach out with my arms and touch the opposite walls.

I say all this so that you know that I am not naive. I’m quite aware of the evil of which human beings are capable.

Those frightening years are behind me. I have been a working professional for many years now. I was married for almost ten years, and I have a lovely daughter Alhamdulillah. I own a beautiful home, thanks to Allah’s blessings and bounty.

As far as human relationships, I have made a conscious choice to trust people, to be open to other people’s hearts, because I never want my soul to become pinched and dark with suspicion and fear.

A Broken Heart

My divorce and the time following it was difficult. As it turned out, however, I yet had one more painful experience to go through. A few years ago I became engaged to a Muslim woman who I thought was perfect for me. Truth be told, she was someone whose family I had known most of my life, and I had always harbored some hidden feelings for her. Like me she had been through hard times in her youth but had come through loving Allah, loving the deen, wanting to better herself in every way and change the world.

I felt she was very special and I was so excited that we would be married. We spoke about sharing our lives, raising good Muslim children, and one day sitting on a porch watching our grandchildren play. We spent time together in halal ways, getting to know each other better. It was a wonderful time.

Sure, we occasionally had arguments. I sometimes said or did the wrong thing, and there were aspects of her behavior that troubled me, but I understood that no one is perfect. I felt that Allah was giving me a great gift, a reward for all my years of hardship. I was so grateful for that.

Then something happened, I don’t know what. I could speculate, but I will not. About one month before we were to be married, she changed her mind. We tried to work through it and even went to see a counselor, but the sister’s attitude became cold, sarcastic at times, even hostile. She seemed like a completely different person. It was a tremendous shock to me. After a few final humiliations, I walked away. I felt used and betrayed as never before in my life.

A Terrible Depression

The end of that dream, that beautiful future that I had seen not only for myself but for my daughter and the sister’s children as well, was a tremendous blow. I was shaken to the core. I questioned my own judgment and perspective. How could I have been so wrong? I doubted Allah’s guidance to me. Why had Allah done this to me? I felt like a shambling wreck of a human being. I could not even believe in friendship any more. At Iftar dinners in Ramadan I didn’t try to talk to the people around me. My friendly, trusting nature had been shattered. There was some piece of me, some vital component of the organic, spiritual being that was “Wael”, that was busted. It had been smashed as surely as if she had taken a hammer to my head.

For a few months I was more deeply depressed than ever in my life. I have my daughter Salma with me from Wednesday to Saturday each week, then she goes to her mother. My depression was worst after I dropped off Salma each week. On the way back, on highway 152, I would sometimes think about accelerating to 100 mph and then veering into a tree, just so that the sense of loss and betrayal would end. Yes, I’m a Muslim, and I fear Allah. And I have a commitment to my daughter. But when you are intensely depressed your thinking changes. I remember thinking that Allah would forgive me because He would understand my suffering. And that Salma would be better off, because I was not a good father to her.

In retrospect I know that my perspective was abominably skewed, and I also know that I would never actually have harmed myself. I’m too much of a believer for that. But even the fact that the thought was there shows how horribly shaken and miserable I was at that time.

And it’s true, at that time I wasn’t the best father. I tried hard to hide my depression in front of Salma, but I did not always succeed. I remember one time I was having lunch with her in the kitchen and in spite of my internal pain I was trying to hard to smile and be cheerful for her. I never wanted to let her see how much I was hurting. And suddenly she said to me, “Are you sad, Baba? You seem sad.” Such words from a three year old girl. Her words touched me so deeply that I began to cry in front of her, and I said, “Yes baby, I am sad, but not because of you. You’re a good girl and I love you.”

That is still a terribly painful memory, and one that brings tears to my eyes.

Elements of Recovery

I got through it. I survived because of three things: Allah, my practice of martial arts, and my daughter.

Salma dancing

The first of those – Allah – should be obvious. Without Allah none of us could survive an instant on this crazy ball spinning through endless vacuum. And for a Muslim, Allah is the source of strength. He is the refuge, the bringer of peace, the One who heals hearts. Alhamdulillah.

The second – martial arts – is a lifelong passion. I plunged myself into my practice of the arts, teaching or studying classes six times a week, and practicing for hours at home. When I’m training, everything else leaves my mind. I immerse myself in the motion, the physical exertion. It leaves no time to think, to feel sorry for myself. Curiously, lifting weights (something else I enjoy) is the opposite. During the rest break between sets I have time to think, and I find that weight lifting brings out whatever I’m feeling and intensifies it. If I’m feeling good and confident, weight lifting makes me feel like a superman. If I’m depressed it spills out like acid and cripples me. So I gave up weight lifting. Martial arts, however, is a medicinal whirlwind, a kind of therapy in motion.

The third thing that helped me survive was my daughter. Here’s the thing about being a parent, and you mothers and fathers out there already know this, but I’ll try to articulate it anyway:  you can’t afford to sit around feeling sorry for yourself. You have this little person to whom you are the sun, moon and stars. This little person who, when she falls and scrapes her knee, wants only to be comforted in your arms. This person who can’t sleep at night without your voice reciting Quran, singing a nasheed or telling her a story. This person who cannot live without you because you feed her (with Allah’s bounty), clothe her, and care for her in every way.

This little person looks up to you and admires you. She loves you more than anyone else in the world. She needs you as a plant needs sunshine. With a relationship like that, there’s no time for debilitating self-pity. If you can’t be strong for yourself then you must find your backbone and courage for the sake of the child.

Beyond that, this awareness that another human being is completely dependent on you, and loves you utterly, transforms you, because you are no longer the center of the universe. Your child is. That’s the amazing thing. Every other relationship in life is one where, though we may feel love and caring for the other person, we still generally think of our own well being first. Even the best friendships have an element of competitiveness to them. With your parents, you may have the greatest respect for their accomplishments in life, but you still might hope to exceed them.

With a child it’s different. If there’s a choice between feeling pain yourself or letting your child be afflicted, every parent will choose himself. When my daughter was younger she couldn’t fall asleep unless I let her rest her head on my arm. My arm would go numb and sometimes ache, but I’d keep still as long as it took for Salma to sleep. This is how it is with a child. We will give up anything to protect our children. We worry about them far more than ourselves. We fret about their health, their upbringing as Muslims, about raising them as polite and successful human beings, about their futures…

holding Salma upWith children, we become truly unselfish for the first time in our lives. We live outside ourselves. Someone else becomes the axis of worldly existence. We love someone else more than we love ourselves. As Muslims we are told that we have not truly believed until we love the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) more than we love ourselves. In that case, our love is expressed through obedience and following the Prophet’s example.

With a child, the act of loving someone more than ourselves is constant, suffusing us from skin to soul. There is no other experience in life that allows us – or compels us – to transcend the limitations of self in this way. And in the process, the love of a child rescues us. People give up addictions, leave abusive relationships, change professions, move from one city or country to another, rediscover God, learn and study, all for the sake of a child.

Once again I find myself reaching out to form friendships, smiling, choosing to trust, to have faith in people, to see what is good in the world. I find myself living joyfully, laughing with my daughter, teaching her (among other things) about the brotherhood and sisterhood of Islam. I do this not out of naiveté but because I know that she is watching and learning. From me she takes her cue and learns how to approach the world.

What do I want her to learn? To be suspicious and cynical, not to trust or believe in people? Heaven forbid. I want her to be a person of Imaan (faith). The Prophet (pbuh) said that Imaan has over 70 parts, and among those are love for Allah, sincerity, gratitude for His favors, being merciful to all creatures, fulfilling promises, having no envy or malice toward anyone, being just, making peace, and caring for neighbors. This is how I want Salma to approach the world, so this is how I must be, no matter how I may have been hurt in the past. It’s a choice I must make.

By our love for the child, and the child’s love for us, we are utterly transformed.

***

Here’s a poem I wrote last year, after I got through the hardest part of that ordeal:

I Live

Like a summer storm,
like a caught breath
tasting of spice,
like the sudden blast of a train’s horn

when you’re daydreaming on the tracks,
love came. My diamond,
my redwood queen, my lioness,
came into her own and loved me

for a time… And then
My forest queen
cast down my sylvan dream,
and sneered at my passion…

So I lived without passion.
My heart’s wings shriveled
so I lived without flying.
My promises were met with lies,

so I lived without joy.
I was run through the back
with a tin spear
so I lived without loyalty.

Darkness fell on my eyes
so I lived without light.
Purpose deserted me
So I lived without direction.

But I lived! And I live. I go on,
knowing myself, lifting my head,
amazed at my power,
jealous of no one,

amazed by my ability to heal,
astounded by the way my love returns
like lava, the way my daughter
hugs me and kisses my nose,

believing in me, loving me,
sure that I am the most important person
in the world, the most capable.
For her, I will be.

I live! I awake at dawn
and go on, shaken but strong,
titanium lining my bones,
fire in my eyes, and Allah

leading me, calling me,
forgiving me, loving me,
never giving up on me,
coming to me walking as I crawl.

Wael Abdelgawad
Fresno, California – 2009

Praising Allah: the Power of “SubhanAllah wa bihamdihi”

Palm tree in a blue sky

By Wael Abdelgawad for IslamicSunrays.com

There are many hadith of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) about the power of this phrase, SubhanAllah wa bihamdihi, which means, “Glory to Allah and praise Him.”

1. Whoever says “SubhanAllah wa bihamdihi” a hundred times during the day, his sins are wiped away, even if they are like the foam of the sea. [Sahih al-Bukhari; #7:168, Sahih Muslim; #4:2071]

2. Abu Dharr reported that the Prophet (sws) said, “Shall I tell you the words that Allah loves the most?” I said: “Yes, tell me, O Messenger of Allah.” He said: “The words dearest to Allah are: subhanAllah wa bihamdihi.

3. A palm tree is planted for the reciter [of the above] in Paradise. [at-Tirmidhi; 5:511, al-Hakim]

4. The Prophet Muhammad (sws) said: “Two words (subhanAllah wa bihamdihi) are light on the tongue, weigh heavily in the balance, and are loved by the Most Merciful One.”

Allah is so forgiving and gives us countless avenues to earn our forgiveness. Today, let’s have this phrase – subhanAllah wa bihamdihi – on our tongues, and let’s earn our forgiveness, and have entire groves of palm trees planted for us in Jannah, Insha’Allah.

Praise going up, blessings coming down

Of course there are many types of dhikr. Dhikr means praising Allah, remembering Allah. SubhanAllah wa bihamdihi is a good one, but even something as simple as saying, “Thank you, Allah” when you finish a meal is a type of dhikr.

When we have dhikr always on our tongues, we have this constant connection with God, even as we go about our daily routines. When things are going well, or when things are hard, we have this lifeline to Allah, this constant stream of praise going up, and blessings coming down. Our spirits are lighter, our hearts happier. We are grateful for everything we have, because we remember that every single little blessing – good health, the comfortable beds we sleep in, the orange juice we had for breakfast, even our beating hearts and the breath in our lungs – comes from Allah.

Dhikr is a guide to excellent character, and a light that keeps us on the path to Paradise.

We covet what we think about

Here’s another important point. I am the editor of IslamicAnswers.com, which is a common-sense advice website for marriage and family issues. One type of common question I get is from a young person who is madly in love with someone who is unavailable. Maybe the unavailable person is already married, or is not interested, or the parents do not approve, but it’s clear that the match is impossible.

One thing I tell such a young person is, stop thinking about the object of your desire. When the thoughts come, push them away. Absolutely do not spend your time gazing at photographs of him/her, reading old emails, dwelling on what-ifs, and fantasizing, because that will only reinforce your obsession, and keep the unavailable person in your mind.

What we think about, we come to desire.

With dhikr, we are using this principle for good. By constantly praising Allah, we keep Him in our minds and hearts. The more we do so, the more we come to desire His love, His forgiveness, and His presence. The more we think about Allah, the more we want to please Him. It becomes a beautiful cycle of remembrance and blessings, reinforcing each other.

That’s why Allah described the believers as,

“Who remember Allaah while standing or sitting or [lying] on their sides.” [3:191]

“…and the men who remember Allaah often and the women who do so – for them Allaah has prepared forgiveness and a great reward.” [33:35]

“O you who have believed, remember Allaah with much remembrance. And exalt Him morning and afternoon.” [33:41-42]

The living and the dead

There is a very powerful hadith of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in which he said,

“The example of the one who remembers his Lord (God) in comparison with the one who does not remember his Lord is that of the living and the dead.” [Sahih al-Bukhari; 11:208, Muslim; 1:539]

I could write an entire essay about that one hadith, but I’ll just say that the essence of life is our need for Allah. Without Him, our hearts would not beat, the rain would not fall, there would be no food on our tables, and no joy in our hearts. When we remember Allah we prove that we are spiritually alive. We acknowledge our need for the One God, and we acknowledge His favors upon us.

Conversely, if we do not remember Him, it’s as if we are spiritually dead. That’s why the famous classical scholar Shaykhul Islam ibn Taymiyyah said, “The example of dhikr to the heart is that of fish to water.”

Five minutes of health

Desert wild flowers

Desert wild flowers. These flowers bloom after a rain, then die within a matter of days. That is the example of this life.

By Wael Abdelgawad for IslamicSunrays.com

“Five minutes of health comfort the ill one.” – Bengali proverb.

In other words, a person who is ill would get comfort and relief from just five minutes of health.

This reminds me of my friend Hisham, who has an autoimmune disorder and has been confined to a wheelchair for many years. He is the same age as me, and we grew up riding our bicycles together. He was an avid cyclist and even participated in a ride all the way across the United States and back. In his twenties he was diagnosed with MS, and his health began to go downhill.

Recently a physical therapist has been working with him, and last week he stood on his feet and took five steps for the first time in three years, Alhamdulillah! He said he felt very tall, being on his feet again. It was an inspiring moment for him… SubhanAllah. He literally got comfort from “five minutes of health.”

That’s really something to think about, for those of us who have our health and fitness and take them for granted as if they were nothing. We moan and complain about small things, while ignoring the huge blessings in our lives. “Then which of the favors of your Lord will you deny?” – Surat Ar-Rahman. Allah has given us so much, so much.

And let me add that although I used my friend Hisham as an illustration of the proverb, that does not mean that I pity him. He also has many gifts, for example he is highly intelligent and articulate, and he has accomplished a lot in his life. I am overjoyed for him that he was able to stand again. Allahu Akbar!

Of course we must be grateful for every blessing, and thank Allah from the bottom of our hearts. But it’s important to understand that gratitude is not just a feeling in the heart. It is expressed through action.

  • Are you grateful for your healthy body? Then use it to bow down in prayer.
  • Are you grateful for the ability to see? Then look at that which is beautiful and halal.
  • Grateful for the ability to speak? Then praise Allah, recite Quran and spread the message of Islam.
  • Grateful that you are mentally and emotionally healthy? Then use your gifts to do good in the world. Show love to those who are grief stricken, and kindness to those in pain. Spend your money in Allah’s cause, don’t hold on it it until it can do you no good!

That’s why the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said, in the famous hadith that we have all heard:

“Take benefit of five before five:
your youth before your old age,
your health before your sickness,
your wealth before your poverty,
your free-time before your preoccupation,
and your life before your death.”

(Narrated by Ibn Abbas and reported by Al Hakim)

Right? He didn’t only say, “be grateful,” he said, “take benefit”! That means USE what you have been given, while you still can, before the end of this brief life that is but a moment between a sleep and a sleep, or a desert flower blooming and then fading away.

Glory to Allah the Most High.

Speak of Allah’s Kindness

Leaf with water droplets

“Do not become proud of your position. Do not become harsh toward those weaker than yourself. And always speak of Allah’s kindness to you.”

– Ibn Isaq, “The Life of Muhammad”

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