Sunrise over the Great Smoky Mountains, USA
By Wael Abdelgawad | IslamicSunrays.com
Have you ever felt “thrown away”? Cast aside like trash that is no longer valued or wanted?
It’s not a good feeling, is it?
Sometimes we feel this way when we’ve been rejected by someone we love; or when we are relentlessly criticised by a spouse, parents, family or friends. We can also feel this way when it seems like we’re not living up to society’s expectations.
Feeling this way makes you doubt yourself, makes you wonder if you are a worthwhile human being, if you have anything meaningful to offer, if you are someone worthy of love and praise.
When you feel this way, you might begin to act this way. You stop valuing yourself, and you start behaving as if you are worthless, ugly, invisible, unredeemable. You do things that you know are bad for you, either because you no longer care, or you think no one else cares. Or maybe just to fulfill the negative labels that others have put on you.
I want to tell you something very important: Allah does not make “throw away” people. He does not create waste.
We humans do that. Increasingly in this modern society, we manufacture cheap items that are meant to be used once then thrown away. Disposable razors, diapers, soda bottles, packaging… hospital visitors are given disposable gowns and gloves… Our oceans are filling up with garbage. There is a floating plastic garbage patch in the Pacific that is the size of Texas. It is known as the Pacific Gyre and contains 3.5 million tons of trash.
We human beings do that. We create such waste.
Allah does not do that.
Look around at what Allah has created: the oceans, mountains, clouds and majestic trees; birds and animals from the eagle to the elephant; the stars, sun and moon; the four seasons, each with a special beauty; and a treasure-trove of amazing, healthy foods like olives, mangoes, almonds, oranges…
Allah says in the Quran, Surat Aal-Imran, 3:190-191:
“Indeed, in the creation of the heavens and the earth and the alternation of the night and the day are signs for those of understanding. Who remember Allah while standing or sitting or on their sides and give thought to the creation of the heavens and the earth, [saying], “Our Lord, You did not create this in vain; exalted are You [above such a thing]…”
Allah created nothing in vain. Nothing that He made is disposable or worthless. Every one of His creations is precious and has a profound purpose, from the smallest bacterium to the greatest nebula. Everything is beautiful. Including you.
Allah did not create you to be thrown away. You are not disposable. Whether or not you are ready to admit it, you have a profound purpose in this life. You are priceless, beautiful, unique, redeemable, and worthy of love. Because Allah made you that way.
We must begin valuing ourselves according to how Allah has valued us. Those people who would devalue us, they are not walking in our shoes, living our reality. They’re not responsible for our souls, and we are not responsible for theirs:
“No bearer of a burden can bear the burden of another.” (Quran 6:164; 17:15)
If others are not responsible for us, and cannot bear our burdens, then they have no right to value or devalue us. Allah has given us honor, therefore our honor is with Allah, not with the people. Allah has given us purpose, therefore our purpose is with Allah, not with the people.
Every person has a dignity and value that has been granted by Allah. It is inherent in our makeup and cannot be taken away by anyone. Every person is a gift. Every person is a miracle. Including you.
The most beautiful things in the world don't come in packages
By Wael Abdelgawad | Zawaj.com
(This piece was written for Zawaj.com, and I am reprinting it here):
Is his hair nicely styled? Is he the perfect height? Are his dimples so cute when he smiles?
Is her makeup just right? Does her body have the perfect curves? Do her feet arch perfectly in those killer high heels?
This is packaging, it’s irrelevant.
American, Pakistani, Arab, African, black, white, this is a veneer. These qualities are insignificant by any true, spiritual standard. When you’re feeling ill and are curled up in bed, it’s not an Arab or American who holds your hand and tells you that it will be okay, who takes your temperature and cools your forehead with a towel, who makes you chicken soup with lemon… it’s a human being, a husband or wife who loves you.
We must get beyond superficial and meaningless classifications like race and nationality. In one of the most powerful condemnations of tribalism that I have ever read, the Prophet Muhammad (sws) said, in a hadith narrated by At-Tirmidhi and Abu Dawud,
“There are people who boast of their dead ancestors; but they are more contemptible in the sight of Allah than the black beetle that rolls dung with its nose. Behold, Allah has removed from you the arrogance of the time of Jahiliyyah (Ignorance) with its boasting of ancestral glories. Man is but a God-fearing believer or a miserable sinner. All people are the children of Adam, and Adam was made from dust.”
And about the impulse to nationalism and racism in general, he said, “Leave it, it is rotten.” (Agreed upon).
Alright, how about this: That guy wanting to court you, is his Armani suit cut just right? Are his shoes sleek and stylish?
That woman who caught your eye, does her dress drape elegantly on her figure?
You know what? That Armani suit can’t stand on its own. It needs a hangar to stay upright. That elegant dress can’t raise your children right.
We must learn to look beyond appearances. I’m not saying that appearance is irrelevant, but how much of our attraction is based on true human beauty, and how much is based on distorted standards and poisonous imagery pumped into our brains by TV, movies, and advertising? In other words, to what degree have we been brainwashed?
The world of advertising teaches us to focus on the wrong things. Consultants are paid millions to design the perfect package for a box of cereal or an energy drink, just the right shape and bright color to catch your eye and entice you to open your wallet. Meanwhile, the product – likely as not – is actually bad for you, consisting of sugar, salt, chemicals and dyes. These advertisers are teaching us to make choices based on packaging and image.
What they are teaching us is entirely ruinous and wrong.
Human beings are not consumer products. We’re not disposable. When you marry someone you’re in it for the long haul. You’re with them when they wake up in the morning with crust in their eyes and hair pressed to one side of the their head; when they get laid off from work because the company is “downsizing”, and you don’t know how the bills will get paid next month; when they’re depressed, tired, sick; when they make mistakes, when they say and do the wrong things, when they lose their temper, when they’re afraid or insecure…
This is as serious as it gets. This is life, and a shiny but empty package won’t get you through it, won’t help on you the path, won’t hold you up when you’re weak, or make you laugh when you’re down. The package can’t do that. Remember that when you buy something, the package ends up in the trash. If you choose someone for the package only, you may be bitterly disappointed when the storm comes and no one is there to shelter you, or to hold.
These are lessons learned through heartache and disappointment.
Look deeper. Find a gentle and honest heart, a strong backbone, a striving spirit. Look to what the person does, how they live, how they treat people, how they relate to the Almighty. Look to that shimmering soul inside, and discern whether it’s a selfish and bitter soul, or loving and true. Look beyond the packaging to the core, and trust your God-given instincts, and you’ll find yourself a rare happiness, a precious partnership, or a true friend.
The most beautiful, powerful things in the world don’t come in disposable packages. Mountains, trees, ocean, sky, stars… their true attributes are bared to the world. They don’t need packages because they are stunning and profound in their essence.
As someone said, beautiful things are not always good, but good things are always beautiful.
By basing your life choices on matters of substance, you’ll avoid social and financial traps that ruin so many. You’ll build friendships as real and solid as mountains, with people you can trust with your reputation, your heart and your life. You’ll do work that matters, and leave a legacy that improves people’s lives in unforgettable ways.
Kulsoom Abdullah, 35, is an a electrical engineer and also a female weightlifter.
By Wael Abdelgawad | IslamicSunrays.com
Every part of you must be exercised in order to grow stronger. Those who memorize Quran, study for advanced degrees, or perform other difficult mental tasks know that it becomes easier with time. The brain responds by building neural connections that, essentially, make you smarter.
With the body it’s obvious, right? A weightlifter lifts 100 pounds one week, his muscles get stronger, and the next week he can lift 105. As long as he keeps challenging himself, his muscles continue growing, to the limits of his genetic capacity. If he quits working out, his muscles shrink.
As for the soul, it is exercised through hardship. There’s no getting around this. Our spiritual muscles are developed by confronting pain and loss.
“And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits…” – Quran, Al-Baqarah, 2:155-157
My friend Bilal Mustapha comments on this verse,
“God has to test us with lost of life, property, love ones, health, money, beauty, power, influence, prestige, ego, relationships, knowledge…etc. to prove that we are who we say we are or claim to be, and there’s no shortcut or easy way around it. True Believers have to be separated from the Fake Ones. With that said, LET’S GET READY TO RUMMMMMBLLLLLE!!! (in my Michael Buffer voice)”
(Yes, Bilal is much more interesting than I am).
This is why the Prophet Muhammad (sws) said, “When Allah desires good for someone, He tries him with hardships.” (Al-Bukhari)
A bodybuilder must lift huge weights in order to challenge himself. A believer is tested more severely than the average person because he’s already powerful. A lesser test would be no test at all. It’s got to hit hard, it’s got to be heavy.
Then why bother? Wouldn’t it be easier to be a weak, apathetic non-believer and not be afflicted with tests?
Let’s read the rest of the ayah quoted above:
“And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient, who, when disaster strikes them, say, “Indeed we belong to Allah , and indeed to Him we will return. Those are the ones upon whom are blessings from their Lord and mercy. And it is those who are the [rightly] guided.” – Quran 2:155-157
Those tests bring blessings and mercy from Allah, in ways we see and don’t see. They help us lead lives of meaning, and if we are patient then the results accrue for us in Jannah. From the moment we die, we see the results of all the tests we suffered. We see light, and ease, and comfort. I know this because I have been told so in the Quran and by the Messenger of Allah (sws), and I believe it. It makes sense to me, and it’s confirmed by countless anecdotal near-death experiences from cultures all over the world.
Don’t be jealous when you see that those who commit evil on earth are living in luxury. The tyrants of the world who steal billions, or the capitalists who build wealth on the suffering of others, or any who gain coin through haram means; and even those whose work is halal but who hold their money back from the needy :- that wealth is an anvil around their necks. It is their test, and most of them are failing miserably.
Don’t fear hardship. When the time comes to exercise your spiritual muscles, stay firm in faith. This is how we grow into our potential, how we prove ourselves. In the words of Helen Keller, who was blind and deaf from childhood and yet became an author and women’s rights advocate, “We could never learn to be brave & patient, if there were only joys in the world.”
This is Allah’s manhaj, His way, His methodology of life. It makes perfect sense because it’s rooted in the way things really work. So let’s welcome the opportunity to use our spiritual muscles.
This is not all theoretical for me. The day I wrote this article, I was treated badly by someone close to me, I was stressed about the future, and I was berating myself for not being as good a father as I would like. Strangely enough it was also the day of the Eid picnic, and amid the crowd of Muslim families I found myself feeling very alone.
So I wrote this piece for all of you and as a reminder to myself, because I do know the solution: Pray, meditate, contemplate Allah’s love and care for you. Enjoy what you have. Appreciate the small things in life. Be brave. Dare to dream, and then make those dreams happen. Lift that weight, move that rock, and forge ahead with a straight back and clear sight.
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.
The happiness of material wealth is a mirage.
By Wael Abdelgawad | IslamicSunrays.com
As infants, our first seeming victory is being able to grasp – a finger, a toy, or anything bright. Only later do we realize that the dunya (the material world) is constantly grasping at us, trying to get us to buy, eat, feel, possess, own. Forces of greed are trying to get us to pour our souls down the drain of disposable consumerism, and poison our planet in the process.
Believers realize at that point that the real struggle is to give up our love for material things, and let go. To take what we need, and enjoy the simple pleasures, and not let ourselves be corrupted by waste.
Doesn’t Allah say that the wasters are the brothers of the devils?
“And give the relative his right, and [also] the poor and the traveler, and do not spend wastefully. Indeed, the wasteful are brothers of the devils, and ever has Satan been to his Lord ungrateful.” (Quran, Al-Israa’ 17: 26-27)
Modern society, and Western society in particular, is based on waste. Everything is disposable, everything is plastic, everything is buried in landfills where it seeps into the drinking water, or dumped into the ocean where it poisons the marine ecosystem. Knowing this, how are we to regard modern society in view of Allah’s statment that the wasters are the brothers of the devils? And what is our role in this massive assault on planet earth?
Things are not always as they seem. Consumerism is a spiritual desert, and the happiness that we think will come from buying this, or owning that, is a mirage. Buying the latest flat screen TV or data phone will not make us happy. Owning a McMansion in the suburbs will not bring us inner peace. Having a pile of money in the bank will not bring us closer to Allah, or save our souls, or extend our lives one moment beyond what has been written, regardless of our insurance plans. In fact, all those things are balls and chains that bind ours soul and create stress and worry.
The Messenger of Allah (sws), is reported to have said, “That which is little yet sufficient is better than that which is much and diverts man from his goal as a result.”
What is the goal? It is the worship of Allah, working fee-sabeel-illah, and the ultimate goal of Jannah. In the Bible, Jesus (peace be upon him) asks, “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” If you own the most beautiful furniture, the most expensive clothing, and the coolest cars, yet you fail in your mission of achieving Jannah, then what have you achieved? You have ruined yourself.
Let go of these material illusions. We’re not infants anymore, trying to grab any pretty thing and put it in our mouths. We can think critically. The “reality” that is flashed in our eyes a thousand times a day by commercials, billboards, movies and TV is a lie. See things as they are. All that matters is Allah. Above all is Allah. Success lies in our relationship with Allah. Peace and happiness come from being in harmony with Allah’s teachings, which in turn brings us in harmony with all creation.
Buy less, own less, don’t use disposable products, don’t throw away things that can be repaired, re-sold or donated. Hand things down, pass them on. The best fun is free: playing sports or word games with your children, walking in the park, swimming at the beach or the public pool, enjoying tea with friends. Don’t worry about owning the latest gadget. Forget about brand names. The only brands we need are Muslim, Mu’min, Ummah, Deen. Keep your eyes open, think for yourself, and don’t be fooled by bright illusions.
By Wael Abdelgawad | IslamicSunrays.com
We Muslims in particular seem to be a nation of extremes. On the one hand we have our stricter brethren who tell us that it’s haram to have fun, and that even laughing is disliked. On the other end we have plenty of young people whose main interests seem to be Facebook, clubbing, and “hanging out”. Not to mention our corrupt “kings” and “princesses” who own private planes stocked with French wines, and spend millions at the blackjack tables in Monaco.
We need a balance. Our Ummah is convulsing, and these are times when every Muslim must be dedicated to da’wah and jihad (by which I do not mean violence, but the constant struggle for spiritual improvement and social reform).
At the same time, for those of us who do take our deen (Islamic way of life) seriously, not everything we do has to be about worshiping (in the devotional sense of the word) or helping people. Nor does it all have to be work and earning money for our families. It’s okay to have hobbies, to have fun, to relax now and then in halal ways. Ali ibn Al-Khattab (ra) said, “The believer’s time has three periods: the period when he is in communion with Allah, the period when he manages for his livelihood, and the period when he is free to enjoy what is lawful and pleasant. And the last part is a tonic and refreshing for the other parts.”
If our work itself is also enjoyable and fun, then ma-sha-Allah, we are blessed with the best of both worlds.
The Prophet (sws) and Entertainment
Once Abu Bakr (ra) came to visit his daughter, Aishah (ra), the Prophet’s wife. He found two maids singing. He told them off and reproached his daughter, saying: “Is Satan’s trumpet to be heard in the Prophet’s house?” The Prophet (sws), who was reclining on a sofa, revealed his face and said to him: “Leave them alone, Abu Bakr, for these are Eid days.” The Hadith mentions that this took place at the time of Eid Al-Adha, when pilgrims perform their Haj rituals.
Another time a delegation from Abyssinia came to see the Prophet (pbuh) and pledge their loyalty to him. These were some of those who adopted Islam as a result of the da’wah done by the Muslims who emigrated there. The Abyssinians wanted to entertain the Prophet with a show of their folk dancing. This took place in the mosque, with Aishah watching from her position behind the Prophet, placing her head on his shoulder.
Can you imagine that happening now? People would be horrified and would accuse the masjid of blasphemy.
On another occasion, the Prophet was informed by his wife that she attended an Ansari woman’s wedding. He asked her: “What entertainment did you have? The Ansar enjoy a bit of entertainment.” Aishah indicated that there was none and the Prophet said that they should have had some singing. He even suggested the words to sing.
There were several occasions when the Prophet either suggested that there should be some singing, or approved of it, or corrected people’s attitude when they expressed disapproval. The Prophet was with his wife, Umm Salamah (ra), when a maid of Hassan ibn Thabit (ra) came in, with her hair untied and a tambourine in her hand. Umm Salamah reproached her, but the Prophet said: “Leave her alone, Umm Salamah. Every community has their festive occasion, and today is our Eid.”
On another occasion, the Prophet was at Aishah’s place when a woman came in. The Prophet asked Aishah whether she knew the woman, but she said she did not. The Prophet said: “This is the singer of this clan. Do you like her to sing for you?” She did some singing.
Keep a Balance
Allah created us and He fathoms our needs. One of our human needs is to laugh sometimes, to chuckle and giggle and see the ridiculous side of life. This allows the mind to collect itself and the spirit to smile, Alhamdulillah. And sometimes we need to forget all our cares, to be exhilarated, to hang out with friends and chat and tell stories, or swim in a lake, hike in the woods, go bowling, play table tennis, read a novel, attend a poetry reading, and wet our toes at the beach.
Of course, many of us go too far and need to reel it in. I’m talking about ordinary Muslims now. We neglect our prayers, but we don’t neglect our movies, music, iPods, dining out, taking trips, playing sports, and shopping. In that case we need to reverse the dynamic, and spend less time being diverted and more time worshiping Allah and working fee-sabeel-illah. When it’s time for salat, put down that iPhone. When Ramadan arrives, turn off the TV and devote more time to dhikr and Quran reading. Don’t spend your afternoon watching two rental movies back to back. Make time for contemplation and Islamic study.
Let’s try to find that wholesome balance that enables us to be worshipers, workers, family members, and also to have a little fun when we need it.
By Wael Abdelgawad | IslamicSunrays.com
Don’t get discouraged if your imaan (your faith) is low sometimes. You are not a lost case. Imaan is organic and can be cultivated. Just as a tree needs sunshine, water and good soil; imaan needs salat (prayer), dua’ (asking Allah), sawm (fasting), dhikr (remembrance of Allah), sadaqah (charity), Quran recitation, contemplation of Allah’s signs and blessings, and the company of good people and mu’mineen.
Authentic Islamic knowledge is also important. The more you increase your knowledge, the more you understand the depth of Laa ilaha il-Allah. The more you study, the more you are awed by the Majesty of Allah; the more you appreciate the beauty of Islam and its completeness, the more your mind feels certain, and your heart feels assured, and your soul feels peace. All of this leads to taqwa (Allah-consciousness) and increased imaan.
You don’t have to change your life in one day, or adopt all these behaviors at once. Try to implement them in your life one at a time.
When the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) sent Mu’adh ibn Jabal to the people of Yemen to teach them about Islam, he said, “O Muadh! You are going to a community who are of the People of the Book. So, first invite them to bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah. If they accept this, then inform them that Allah makes five prayers in a day and night obligatory for them. If they accept this, then inform them that Allah makes charity (i.e., Zakat) obligatory for them. (It is) to be taken from their rich and given to their poor.” [Bukhari]
You can start the same way. Keep Laa ilaha il-Allah on your tongue all the time, and start doing your salat. You will feel the difference in your imaan right away, as it takes root and grows.
Of course avoiding sins and making tawbah (repentance) for past sins is part of the formula too, but don’t despair if you are still committing sins. Start doing the behaviors of imaan as I described, and this will lead you in a very natural way to giving up sin, and making tawbah. You will not have to force it. Just as a river washes the dirt from your skin, actions like salat and dhikr will wash away your desire for sinful things, and you will find your connection with Allah getting stronger and stronger.
Abu Hurayra (ra) narrated, “I heard the messanger of Allah (pbuh) saying, ‘Suppose one of you had a river running at his door, and he washed from it five times a day: would any dirt remain on him?’ They (the companions) said, ‘No dirt will remain on him.’ He (the Prophet pbuh) said, ‘That is the likeness of the five prayers. Allah remits sins with them.'” (agreed upon)
Of course you should ask Allah to renew the imaan in your heart and always make it grow. But you must also strive and struggle. Allah says:
“Verily, Allah does not change the condition of a people until they (first) change that which is in their hearts.” (Quran, Surat ar-Rad 13:11)
You must put in the work. You can do it. Your soul is as capable of purity and imaan as anyone else’s. Your soul obeys the laws of creation that Allah has set down. It will respond to these actions of imaan. Go ahead. I know you can do it, Insha’Allah.
Some people say, “I can’t pray, I am too corrupted. I have committed too many sins. I would feel like a hypocrite, and I’m sure Allah would not accept my prayer. I have to stop all my sins first, then I can pray with a clean spirit.”
That’s like saying, “I can’t take a shower because I am too dirty. I need to get clean first, then I’ll take a shower.”
The salat is the purifier. You perform salat for many reasons, one of which is to wash away your sins. Even if you continue to commit sins, keeping on doing your salat, just as you bathe every day because you get dirty ever day.
If it doesn’t feel like it’s working right away, give it time. Keep on performing your actions of imaan. Don’t give up. When you plant a seed, you don’t see anything at all for many days. And then all you see is a tiny shoot. Give your tree time to grow. Give yourself time to change. Trust the process that Allah has given us. Your imaan will come back Insha’Allah, and will soar to the sky.
Finding your way through the forest
By Wael Abdelgawad | IslamicSunrays.com
The world is chaos. There is an underlying order in nature, but human society is a tsunami of lies, disinformation, conflicting claims, selfishness and greed. This news channel says one thing, that one says another. One group claims to be freedom fighters, others call them terrorists. One person tells you to practice Islam this way, another says that way. You meet someone and he or she seems honest, while others say, “Don’t trust him, he’s no good.” You make personal choices for your life, and people criticize you and say you are foolish or misguided.
What confusion! How do you know what to believe, and who to trust?
Answer: Believe in Allah. Trust Him. Invite His word and guidance into your life and open yourself to it fully.
Next, believe in Allah’s Messengers, His books, the angels, the Day of Resurrection, and that certain things are predestined and beyond your control (Qadar).
These are the six pillars of Imaan (faith).
Lastly, believe in yourself. With Allah guiding you, have no fear. Believe in your instincts, your choices, and your own heart. This is the most difficult challenge, but it’s vital. Know yourself, and believe in yourself.
If you get that down, it’s clear sailing. You’ll know which people you can trust, and which ones you can’t. You’ll know which causes you can support, and which ones are lies. That’s the power of faith. It lights the way and makes things clear. The Quran is Al-Furqaan, the criterion by which all things can be judged. The authentic Sunnah is our guide that shows us how to put the Quran into practice in our lives.
These are the sources of Truth. As the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said during his last sermon, on the occasion of the Hajj and on the day of ‘Arafah, in the Uranah valley near Makkah, with ten thousand people listening:
“O people, no Prophet or Messenger will come after me and no new faith will be born. Reason well, therefore, O people, and understand the words which I convey to you. I leave behind me two things: the Qur’an and my example, the Sunnah; and if you follow these you will never go astray.” (Agreed upon)
Islam is as-sirat al-mustaqeem, the Straight Path. When you have knowledge of the Truth, you cannot be distracted or fooled by falsehood.
“Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clearly distinct from Error: whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah has grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold that never breaks. And Allah is Hearing and Knowing.” (Quran, 2:256)
On the day the Muslims opened Makkah, the Prophet (pbuh) recited, while watching the idols being smashed:
“…And say [O Muhammad]: ‘Truth has come, and falsehood has departed, Indeed is falsehood, [by Nature], ever bound to depart.’” (Quran, Al-Isrâ’: 81).
The same is true on a personal level. When Truth arrives in your heart, and you put it into action in your life, you will find that falsehood can no longer stand before you.
You’ll walk calmly amid the media whirlwind, the spin, the claims, the bigotry and greed, the selfish people who only want to use you, the betrayers who would hurt you without remorse. You will know who to believe and trust, because you know yourself, and you carry truth inside you.
To realize the value of ONE YEAR, ask a student who has failed a grade.
To realize the value of ONE MONTH, ask a mother who has given birth to a premature baby.
To realize the value of ONE WEEK, ask an editor of a weekly newspaper.
To realize the value of ONE DAY, ask a daily wage labourer who has kids to feed.
To realize the value of ONE HOUR, ask the bride who is waiting to meet her groom.
To realize the value of ONE MINUTE, ask a person who has missed the train.
To realize the value of ONE SECOND, ask a person who has avoided an accident.
To realize the value of ONE MILLISECOND, ask the person who has won a silver medal in the Olympics.
Treasure every moment that you have! And treasure it more because shared it with someone special, special enough to spend your time…. and remember that time waits for no one……
Yesterday is history…..
Tomorrow a mystery……
Today is a gift. That is why it is called the Present.
– Anonymous author
Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: “Allah, the Exalted and Glorious, said: ‘The son of Adam displeases Me by abusing Dahr (Time), whereas I am Dahr, since in My hand are the day and the night.'” – Al-Bukhari, Book 27
By Wael Abdelgawad | IslamicSunrays.com
If we lie to our children and pretend that we are perfect and that life is always wonderful, we do them a disservice. Young children are idealistic by nature, inclined to believe that all people are good, that adults have the answers, and that their parents are the best and strongest people in the world. They believe that the adults are managing the world properly as they should.
As they grow older they begin to see through our pretenses. They see that our words don’t match our deeds, and that adult society is running the world into the ground, ravaging the natural environment, making war, and destroying their futures in the process. So our children become deeply disappointed. This disappointment leads to cynicism and bitterness. That’s when we lose them to alcohol or drugs, gangsterism or bizarre countercultures.
That’s when, in Western society, children begin getting tattoos and piercings, wearing black clothing and chains, getting drunk and having casual sex, listening to screaming metal music, and generally saying to adult society, “I see through your lies, and I want nothing to do with you. Since there’s nothing to believe in, I won’t even try.”
Some parents strive to maintain the facade because they have no truth to offer. They are caught up in a meaningless consumerist lifestyle. Or they may see the hypocrisy of adult society but have no alternative to offer.
We do! We have Allah, Subhanahu wa Ta’alaa. We have the Qur’an, the Prophets, and the tremendous life lesson of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh). We have the amazing lives of the Sahabah, and all the heroes of Muslim history. We have the shahadah, salat, zakat, sawm, and Hajj. We have something real, a genuine alternative to corruption and malaise, but first we must be on the path. We must be dedicated. We don’t have to be perfect but we must be sincere.
So let’s do that, and then let’s tell our children the truth.
Let’s tell them, “I’m not perfect and neither is any other human being, but I’m working on it Insha’Allah, and I love you, and that’s what counts. Yes, there is evil and hypocrisy in the world. Yes, adult society is largely superficial and selfish. But each of us has the ability to change the world. Each of us is powerful. Go out there and be a force for change in the world. Imagine the world as it should be, then work to bring it about. Be sincere, be strong, keep Allah in your awareness, and do what you can. If you do that, then you have succeeded. No matter what, I will always love you and be proud of you.”
See also: Tell the Truth and Watch Your Relationships Shine