Inspirational Islamic sayings by Wael Abdelgawad, Hanan Bilal, Imam Zaid Shakir and Others
By Wael Abdelgawad, Hanan Bilal, Imam Zaid Shakir and Others
The Prophet Muhammad (s) said: “Be kind, for whenever kindness becomes part of something, it beautifies it. Whenever it is taken from something, it leaves it tarnished.” – Imam Bukhari’s Book of Muslim Manners.
Abdullah bin Al-Haarith said, “I didn’t see anyone who smiled more than the Messenger of Allah (s).” – (At-Tirmithee, 3641).
“Allah. It all starts with Him – the universe, humanity, and our own conception – and it all comes back to Him in the end. There’s no victory without Him, no progress, no peace. Strengthen your relationship with Him in the easy times, and you will find Him beside you in the hard times.” – Wael Abdelgawad
“Allah (God) is an exponential word.” – Imam Zaid Shakir
“Keep your head up, forge forward fee-sabeel-illah, keep praying, learning, thinking, following your dreams, and loving the people in your life. It’s all worth it, it all matters and makes a difference. Every single thing you do is meaningful, even when you don’t see it. You are my brothers, my sisters, my heroes.” – Wael Abdelgawad
“When you’re out of ideas, that’s when faith comes in. Let Allah show you the way.” – Wael Abdelgawad
“No one should ever be depressed by his or her worldly situation as long as he or she is walking on the path leading to Paradise. Attaining Paradise is the great objective of this life, and the person who gains it is victorious, regardless of what he achieved in the world.” – Imam Zaid Shakir
Allah has a beautiful plan
for every woman and man.
Trust Allah and pray
and He will light the way.
– Wael Abdelgawad
“When I am feeling low and downtrodden I just find a quiet place and sit alone with my favorite book (the Quran)! When I turn each of its miraculous pages my heart begins to feel lighter and the world around me brighter! The love, warmth and security of each word sets in and it is in these very moments that I know for sure in my heart how much Allah really loves me! Alhamdulillah! Subhanallah! Allahu Akbar!” – Asmaa Deanna-Dee
“‘Oh, but what’s the use of trying to be a good Muslim when I end up sinning again and again?’… Well, what’s the use of bathing when you get dirty again and again? Salat (prayer) is a purifier. Though you sin again and again, keep returning to Allah for purification. Fasting is a purifier, Zakat is a purifier, Hajj is a purifier… We can use the same analogy for hope and motivation. We have to keep finding them again and again. That’s the nature of life.” – Wael Abdelgawad
“Try to become an embodiment of compassion and mercy in your daily life. Do not wait for a situation to occur that will call out these virtues in you. Rather, seek out opportunities where you can manifest them along with all of the other prophetic virtues. Do not live your life passively waiting to be used, roused or stimulated into action by events. Live an active life wherein you become the one who is initiating acts of goodness and kindness in all that you do. Be an embodiment of the truth you represent. Let your words and comportment convey the dignity of the believer to all that you meet.” – Imam Zaid Shakir
“Wash your heart every morning with salat, then warm it up with dhikr. Approach life with hope and faith. Every day do your best, Allah will do the rest.” – Wael Abdelgawad
“God is truly AWESOME! I see the POWER of GOD moving in MY LIFE, in my families’ lives, in the world….GOD has GREAT things in store for us. All we have to do is submit and accept GOD’s direction for our lives. I accept!” – Hanan K. Bilal
“I believe in Allah because He believes in me… and in you too. He made us Muslim, didn’t He? That is a gift and a blessing. So believe in His plan for you, because He believes in you, He has faith in you, He has a purpose for you.” – Wael Abdelgawad
“Is not the help of God close by? Certainly it is. God says “Call upon Me and I will respond.” Don’t tire on calling on Him. Don’t despair from receiving His Mercy. Despair is a sign of disbelief.” – Imam Zaid Shakir
“It’s okay to feel sad, anxious, lonely, frustrated, and confused. Feeling these emotions doesn’t make you less of a believer. The difference between the believer and non-believer is that the believer remains patient and turns to Allah for help.” – Wael Abdelgawad
“Sharpen the mind, harden the body, soften the heart, and be of service to others.” – a motto for the believer, by AbdelMalik Ali.
“When we’re out of ideas, surrounded by problems, and feeling totally alone… we’re not alone. Allah is with us. If we pray sincerely and strive to the best of our capacity, He will put light in our minds and hearts and help us from directions we did not expect.” – Wael Abdelgawad
“We come to love not by finding a perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly. Let’s all practice having a lot more love for self and others… LOVE is a verb… it’s an action in constant motion…. we are either loving or unloving… love starts at home with our family.” – Hanan Bilal
“If Allah brings you to it, He will bring you through it.” – Unknown author
“If we let Taqwa – Allah-consciousness – become our guide then it leads us to self-awareness and sincerity. A person who cultivates Taqwa can never be a terrorist, an oppressor, or a hypocrite. A person with true Taqwa must shed compassion as the sun sheds light.” – Wael Abdelgawad
“You will not believe until you are merciful to each other. Your faith is not complete until you are merciful to each other.” – Imam Zaid Shakir
“Even when we think we have nothing, we have Allah, and Allah is everything.” – Wael Abdelgawad
Let love be selfless
and truth fearless;
Let our breasts be flooded with light –
Make our hearts clear as crystal.
– Muhammad Iqbal
“One of Allah’s names is Al-Wadood, The Most Loving, and this is appropriate because a Creator must have love in order to create works of beauty and power. Allah created you out of love. He created you with intent. He created you to succeed, not to fail, and He gave you all the tools that you need to thrive. Open your eyes and see what a miracle you are, what a thing of beauty, what a gift to the world. I see that in every person I know. Do you see it in yourself?” – Wael Abdelgawad
“True religion shines from the face of the believer and impresses itself on others without words. It is subsequently followed by words that are uplifting and beneficial.” – Imam Zaid Shakir
It’s okay if you’re not free from sin;
Allah will forgive you, and let you in.
Just turn to Him, and from your soul
ask forgiveness, and make Him your goal.
– Wael Abdelgawad
“I asked Allah for strength and Allah gave me difficulties to make me strong. I asked Allah for wisdom and Allah gave me problems to solve. I asked Allah for courage and Allah gave me obstacles to overcome. I asked Allah for love and Allah gave me troubled people to help. I asked Allah for favors and Allah gave me opportunities. Maybe I received nothing I wanted, but I received everything I needed – Alhamdulillah.” – Anonymous
“Forgiveness is not for the weak. Being able to forgive those who have wronged you is a mark of spiritual strength and confidence. When you forgive, you grow, your heart begins to heal, your back straightens up, your eyes clear so that you can see the road ahead. Anger is a spiritual sickness; but when you forgive you live.” – Wael Abdelgawad
“You are all my family. I know that you are human and imperfect. Some are confused, some struggling, some tired, needing a moment’s rest. Tired of the rain and needing the rainbow. I love you all fee-sabeel-illah. Have no fear. Allah is with you and will not abandon you for a single heartbeat. The rainbow is coming, or maybe it’s already here and all you need to do is look up. ” – Wael Abdelgawad
“Hatred and bigotry are NOT the permanent conditions of man. Dictators fall and pass. War, oppression and hunger remain, but the power to change those terrible things is in our hands. Allah made us khulafaa over the earth. We have the ability to forgive, to understand, and to comfort one another. I believe that compassion is the essence of who we are. Is the best part of us, the quality that makes us worthy of the mercy of Ar-Rahman. Our love is an elemental force, a vast untapped potential. We only have to be who Allah created us to be. If we can aspire to that, and hew to it, it will suffice us and the earth itself.”
– Wael Abdelgawad
“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”
“If we let Taqwa – Allah-consciousness – become our guide then it leads us to self-awareness and sincerity. A person who cultivates Taqwa can never become a terrorist, an oppressor, a hypocrite. A person with true Taqwa must shed compassion as the sun sheds light.” – Wael Abdelgawad
Changing the World
“Sometimes I want to ask God why He allows poverty, famine and injustice in the world when He could do something about it; but I”m afraid He might ask me the same question.” – Anonymous
“People will love you for a short time but Allah will love you forever. People will listen to you sometimes, but Allah will listen to you all the time. People will forgive you sometimes, but Allah forgives every time.” – Anonymous
“You don’t need a Plan B if Plan A is for Allah.” – Bilal Int’l
I gave my Salam to the mountain
And I drank from the mountain stream
And I walked upon its surface
And it all felt like a dream
And this mountain it is a Muslim
And I feel like he’s my friend
And as I climbed on to his peak
I wished it would never end
– Hamza Robertson
“Your heart is a mirror that reflects the world. If it’s clean, it will see the world as it really is. If it’s dirty and warped, it will see a warped vision of the world.” – Yasmin Mogahed
“When you get close to giving up take a step back, pray and come right back to it. You just never know who you could be inspiring out there. May Allah keep our faith strong and grant us the ability to turn back to Him and to be grateful for that ability and many more…ameen ya Rabb. This goes out to all those who inspire me.” – Fauzia Mohamed
By Wael Abdelgawad | IslamicSunrays.com
Some people worry about appearing Muslim because they don’t want to attract negative attention from non-Muslims. They want to be liked and accepted. So they hide their deen. At work or on a journey they worry about doing salat in public and may actually miss prayers. They are reluctant to wear hijab. They don’t even like to greet their fellow Muslims with salam in public.
I say that it’s better to be hated for what you are, than loved for what you are not.
When you appear before Allah, do you want to say, “I hid my religion and the non-Muslims accepted me.”
Or do you want to say, “People harassed me and despised me, because I represented Islam.”
Be proud of who you are – not the pride of arrogance but the pride of self-respect. Be grateful for Allah’s greatest favor to you, Islam. Represent your faith, no matter how people respond. I think you’ll find that most people will respect you for it. In fact I have noticed that practicing, representing Muslims are sometimes treated like sages or priests. But if you are mocked for being Muslim, that’s an honor and a barakah for you on Yawm Al-Qiyamah.
Stand up straight and smile. Speak your truth without preaching. Perform your salat wherever you are, without ostentation. Greet your fellow Muslims with enthusiasm, wish people a happy Eid (even non-Muslims!), wear your Islamic garments, have no fear, and be yourself, a believer.
The following excerpt is from Henri Nouwen’s book, “The Inner Voice of Love”. He is not Muslim, but what he has to say here is very consistent with the Islamic idea of life as ‘ibadah (worship), and having taqwa (Allah-consciousness) in everything we do:
Whatever you are doing–watching a movie, writing a book, giving a presentation, eating, or sleeping–you have to stay in God’s presence. If you feel a great loneliness and a deep longing for human contact, you have to be extremely discerning. Ask yourself whether this situation is truly God-given. Because where God wants you to be, God holds you safe and gives you peace, even when there is pain.
To live a disciplined life is to live in such a way that you want only to be where God is with you. The more deeply you live your spiritual life, the easier it will be to discern the difference between living with God and living without God, and the easier it will be to move away from the places where God is no longer with you.
The great challenge here is faithfulness, which must be lived in the choices of every moment. When your eating, drinking, working, playing, speaking, or writing is no longer for the glory of God, you should stop it immediately, because when you no longer live for the glory of God, you begin living your own glory. Then you separate yourself from God and do yourself harm.
Your main question should always be whether something is lived with or without God. You have your own inner knowledge to answer that question. Every time you do something that comes from your needs for acceptance, affirmation, or affection, and every time you do something that makes these needs grow, you know that you are not with God. These needs will never be satisfied; they will only increase when you yield to them. But every time you do something for the glory of God, you will know God’s peace in your heart and find rest there.
By Wael Abdelgawad for IslamicSunrays.com
People often translate “Taqwa” as “fear of Allah.” Not so. Linguistically it means “to protect” or “to shield”, as in to protect oneself from wrongdoing. The root word is Waqa (spelled with the Arabic letters wow qaf ya) which means to preserve something, to take good of something, to be cautious, to protect, prevent, obviate a danger, or to preserve a thing against any harm or injury.
The meaning of the root wow-qaf-ya ? ? ? is demonstrated in Quran 16:81, where garments are mentioned as a means for protection from heat, and coats of armour for protection in fighting.
In the Shari’ah, Taqwa refers to consciousness of Allah. It describes a state of awareness of Allah in everything you do, and letting that awareness guide your actions and shield you from harm.
Allah often tells us in the Quran to “Ittaqoo-(A)llah”, which is generally translated as, “Fear Allah.” By understanding the linguistic meaning of the root word, we can grasp that the phrase more accurately means, “Take Allah as your Protector.” Or it could mean, “Guard yourself against the consequences of violating Allah’s commands (by obeying Him).”
Fear of Allah is a component, but it is balanced with love of Allah, gratitude to Allah, hope for Allah’s mercy, and remembering Allah’s infinite blessings on us. It also includes patience, forgiveness, acceptance (reda), generosity and treating people with love.
Taqwa is also not just a matter of ritual. As Allah says in the Quran:
“It is not taqwa that you turn your faces toward East or West, but it is taqwa to believe in Allah and the Last Day, and the Angels, and the Book and the Messengers, to spend of your substance out of love for Him, for your kin, for orphans, for the needy, for the wayfarer, for those who ask, and for the ransom of slaves; to be steadfast in prayer and practice regular charity; to fulfill the contracts you have made; to be firm and patient, in pain and adversity. Those are the truthful and those are the muttaqun.” [Qur’an 2:177]
Taqwa is achieved by following Allah’s guidance, staying on the Sirat al-Mustaqeem (the Straight Path), worshiping Allah, and cultivating an awareness of Allah as our Creator, Sustainer and Lord.
One who has Taqwa is a muttaqi. The plural is muttaqeen or muttaqoon. Some of the characteristics of Muttaqeen/muttaqoon mentioned in the Quran are:
- Those who believe in Al-ghaib (the unseen), establish salat, and keep open for the welfare for others what Allah has bestowed upon them [2:3]. Those who believe in Allah’s Revelations and Al-Akhira [2:4]
- Those who keep their wealth open for mankind in favorable as well as in adverse circumstances. They divert and sublimate their anger and potentially virulent emotions to creative energy, and become a source of tranquility and comfort to people. They pardon people gracefully. Those who quickly correct any wrong or indecency that has occurred from them, they remember Allah, and protect themselves from trailing behind in dignity. They refrain from willfully persisting in error. [3:133-135]
- Those who stand in awe of their Lord even in privacy, and fear the approaching Hour of accountability [21:48-49]
- Those who are the doers of the good; who rarely fall asleep at night (without reflection); who heartily seek to be guarded against their imperfections. Those in whose wealth is the Divine Right of the requester and the deprived [51:15-19]
- Those who keep on guard and when a visitation from Shaitan comes, they become mindful [7:201]
- Those who believe in Allah and the Last Day and struggle in the way of Allah with their lives and their wealth [9:44]
- Those who give away their wealth [92:17-18]
Sometimes it seems to me that Islam is vast, and incorportes so many beautiful spiritual concepts. It seems that achieving a single Islamic “concept” such as Taqwa could be a lifelong journey. I think this is a good thing. Men and women should always have something to strive for.
In Quranic verses 2:2, 3:138 and 5:46, it has been stated that the Quran is huda(n)-lil-muttaqeen (a guidance for those who have Taqwa). The Quran teaches us how to protect ourselves against the perils of this life, and how to preserve ourselves against the punishments of the aakhirah (the Hereafter). Ayah 39:28 also explains that the purpose of the Quran is Taqwa (of those who would follow it). So the Quran is a guide to becoming muttaqeen.
A basic practice that helps to build taqwa is reciting the Quran with contemplation of its meaning and message. Let us make time to implement that today, even if only for ten minutes, and see how it strengthens our spirits and shines a light on the path ahead.