Give It To Allah

Sun shining on a river in the wilderness

Beautiful post by Imam Zaid Shakir:

As-Salaam Alaikum Beloveds,

Sometimes, when the situation seems too big, too complicated, too unbearable, give it to Allah. His capabilities are boundless. When you find yourself at a loss for words, you just don’t know what to say; ask Allah to guide your tongue, His words are inexhaustible.

When you find your courage challenged, your strength waning and don’t even know if you will be able to get out of bed to face another day in a seemingly dirty, dark, death-wishing dunya, ask Allah to lift you up, His strength will more than suffice you.

If you are feeling that the menacing clouds of tribulation gathering over the Sea of Despair are harbingers of yet another gut-wrenching storm, take time to pray. You will find that the light of truth will shine its life-giving rays through those clouds, caressing your heart, quickening it and allowing you to live, love and laugh for another day. Who could ask for more?

10 Islamic quotations by Sarah Saghir

Big Wet Meadow in Cloud Canyon, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park.

Big Wet Meadow in Cloud Canyon, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, California.

Thoughts on Prayer, Faith, Gratitude and the Soul
By Sarah Saghir

1. Make wudu, not war.

2. You can’t love God, without Him letting you. He must have loved you first.

3. It’s the dua at the Iftar table that tells us what we really want. It’s the ability to suppress the nafs and hush the stomach for a few extra minutes, all to let the heart speak what it wishes.

***

4. The only mirror we should obsessively check is that which reflects the soul. You cannot purchase such a mirror, but you can find it within you. *Ponder* over the condition of your soul. Sit with yourself and reflect. But for such reflections to surface, you need blessed light from God and a pair of open eyes – nay, an open heart. Because sometimes, “It is not the eyes that are blind, but the hearts.” (Qur’an 22:46)

Ya Allah put the light of the Quran in our hearts. Make it a means for us to clearly see. Ya Wahhab

***

5. There is absolutely no need, my friend – no need for you to wipe the rain off my face after the prayer. I know your intentions are well, as it may seem like there are dark clouds hovering over my head, but I am harboring rainbows on the inside, with colors of love, fear, hope, guilt, peace, shame and calmness. And sometimes these tears mean i’m desperately looking for the rays of sincerity that bring this prism to life, under the rain.

***

6. I know you cannot measure the magnitude of your blessings; but please tell me you noticed one thing: the difference between the guided and the heedless. You — whom God addresses, while causally sitting on a bus, reading His speech, surrounded by passengers full of hunger & vacancy — must be so lucky. Tell me you recognize this debt; tell me you found in its depth, gratitude.

***

7. When you finally decide to practice your faith, know that God is 100% behind you. He’s the one to give you that initial push. And at first, it will be easy breezy; you will feel ‘the rush’ and experience that ‘spiritual high.’

But then He will test you (only because He loves you) And now you’ve got to start swinging yourself, using your core, feet, arms, your will – against the wind, gravity, the hardships, people, your sins..

You need to keep pushing to the rhythm of faith that swings high, low, beautiful. Keep pushing to get higher, closer to Him. Keep pushing.

***

8. O Allah whoever wishes khair (good) for me in the secrecy of the night or in the openness of daylight, grant them double what they’ve wished for me. And whoever wishes sharr (harm) to touch me, pardon them and stretch distance and forgiveness between us. Ya Karim,

9. I want to live a life of simplicity, not an easy life.

10. If you only pray when you’re in trouble, you’re in trouble.

Photo Gallery: Muslims Praying in Amazing Places, Part 2

Muslim cabbie prays on his cab during rush hour.

Muslim cabbie prays on his cab during rush hour.

By Wael Abdelgawad | IslamicSunrays.com

(If you haven’t seen part 1, it’s here:  Muslims Praying in Amazing Places, Part 1).

Is there any blessing in this life greater than the opportunity to speak directly to God and be heard?

Salat (the Muslim prayer) is a command and a gift, and it’s something anyone can do at any place, anytime. The amazing photos below are proof of that.

Part 1 was published three years ago, and it’s taken me that long to collect these additional photos.

“Say: ‘My Lord hath commanded justice; and that ye set your whole selves (to Him) at every time and place of prayer, and call upon Him, making your devotion sincere as in His sight: such as He created you in the beginning, so shall ye return.'” – Quran 7:029

Poem: The Sorrows – by Sarah Saghir

Muslim woman praying in Indonesia.

Muslim woman praying beside a rice field in Indonesia.

   the sorrows
that borrow
the four chambers
of the heart
     shrivel
in the hour
 of Remembrance.

   the sins
that sit
on the shoulders
     tumble
to the floor
 where I'm bowing.

   the troubles
that scribble
over my vision,
     disperse
in the horizon
of Your Pleasure.

By Sarah Saghir
July 15, 2013

***

The Messenger of Allah said (peace be upon him): “When the worshiper gets up to perform the Salah, he comes with all his sins, placed over his shoulder. When he bows into Ruku’ or Sajdah, his sins fall down.” (Reported by Abu Nu‘aim)

Quiet the Noise and Weep Before Allah

Sunrays shining through the forest

By Wael Abdelgawad | IslamicSunrays.com

Road repair! Televisions blaring! Radios playing, phones ringing, appliances beeping, traffic roaring, horns honking, commercials, mall music, elevator music… That’s the external noise.

Then there is shame, worrying about the bills, frustration over relationships, guilt, anger, resentment… That’s the internal noise.

There’s so much clamor in our lives, outside and inside, that we can’t hear our own hearts anymore. We can’t hear Allah’s guidance, or we don’t recognize it when we do.

We need to find moments of total silence to pray, make dua’, read Quran, contemplate Allah… We need periods of uninterrupted calm to get back in touch with our fitrah, that pure nature given to us by Allah. We need to confess everything to Allah, lay ourselves bare before him and beg forgiveness, then forgive ourselves for what we’ve done, and pardon others who have harmed us, so that we can get rid of the baggage of bitterness and anger.

We must open our eyes to the clear light of Allah’s huda (guidance), and have tranquility in our hearts, and quiet in our minds, so we can recognize the guidance when it comes.

We cannot silence the modern world. But we can make personal changes. It’s okay to have periods of silence in our lives. We don’t constantly have to have our phones or MP3 players with us, or be listening to lectures… We don’t have be doing something every moment of the day.

So many of us are afraid to be alone and silent because that’s when the disturbing thoughts come:  resentment over the way someone treated us, regret over a lost love, shame over things we’ve done in the past, anxiety about the future. Believe me, I know exactly what that’s like.

It’s okay to feel those things. In fact we need to feel those things, to deal with them and confront them. When those feelings come we can turn to Allah and say, “Ya Allah, I have made mistakes, forgive me. I am lost, please guide me. I am worried, help me.” Let the tears come. Weep before Allah. Those tears are precious to Him. Allah, the Exalted, says:

“And they fall down on their faces weeping and it increases their humility.” (17:109)

Abu Umamah Sudaiy bin `Ajlan Al-Bahili (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said:

“Nothing is dearer to Allah than two drops and two marks: A drop of tears shed out of consciousness of Allah, and a drop of blood shed in Allah’s way. Regarding the two marks, they are: Marks left in the Cause of Allah and a mark left in observing one of the obligatory acts of worship of Allah, the Exalted.” [At-Tirmidhi].

And if tears do not come, that’s okay too. As long as you are honest with yourself and with Allah, and turn to Him with sincerity and humility, that’s what matters.

Find a place that is your special place, a refuge where you can be alone to pray, recite Quran, do dhikr, meditate and think. Amid the chaos and noise of modern life, take time to be alone with your Lord.

For me that place is in my bedroom with the door closed and the lights dimmed, late at night when everyone is asleep. I sit on the floor on a musalla and confess everything to Allah. But I also want to find an outside refuge, someplace in nature.

Do you already have a special place like that? Tell me about it. And if you don’t, then your mission is to find such a place, then comment here and tell me about it Insha’Allah.

Expecting Great Things, and Doing My Part

Misty rainbow in Waialu Valley, Hawaii

Misty rainbow in Waialu Valley, Hawaii

“Holding on to the rope of the LORD, believing in the power of prayers, faith and good deeds. Expecting great things from GOD. I am ready and willing to put in the work and do my part to make it happen… faith without works equals nothing but false hope… wanting without striving and struggling is like dreaming. I gotta get busy putting in more work!”

– Hanan K Bilal

What to Say on Laylat al-Qadr, the Night of Power

Center of the Milky Way galaxy, as seen from Cherry Springs State Park

Center of the Milky Way galaxy, as seen from Cherry Springs State Park, one of the darkest places in the USA.

By Wael Abdelgawad | IslamicSunrays.com

The last ten nights of Ramadan are here. This is an amazing, powerful, unique time. These days are the most spiritually charged days of the year, more full of power than a great star or the mighty ocean. And one of these days is Laylat al-Qadr, the Night of Power, equal to a thousand months. Every prayer is magnified, every good deed is multiplied exponentially.

What to say during Laylat al-Qadr? It is recommended to supplicate a lot during this night.

It is reported from ‘Aisha (ra), that she said: “O Messenger of ALLAH! What if I knew which night Lailatul-Qadr was, then what should I say in it?” The Prophet (PBUH) said.- “Say.-

(Allahumma innaka ‘affuwwun tuhibbul ‘afwa fa’fu ‘annee.)

“O ALLAH You are The One Who pardons greatly, and loves to pardon, so pardon me.”

[reported by at-Tirmithi]

I also wish to remind everyone that all difficulties pass, all troubles pass. Hard times don’t last, but strong people do! Worry if you must, but do not fear. Allah is with you. He is The Forgiving, The Merciful, The Loving, and the Giver of Peace. Call upon Him, especially during this blessed time.

As one of my readers said, call upon Allah using His beautiful Names…

Ar-Rahman – All Compassionate
Ar-Raheem – Most Merciful
Al-Wadood – All Loving

You have no idea how much your worship at this special time is valued. More than any of us can count. SubhanAllah.

Invite Allah’s Power and Wisdom Into Your Life

Man surrounded by sun rays

By Wael Abdelgawad | IslamicSunrays.com

Allah’s power and wisdom are limitless and beyond our comprehension. But guess what? There is a key that brings Allah’s infinite wisdom into play in your life. That key is prayer. Salat and dua’ are like a special hotline that transcends the veils of space and time and goes directly to Allah. Prayer is the means and the voice that Allah has given us to speak to Him, ask His forgiveness, and request His assistance and wisdom in any situation that we are dealing with. And it works.

“And when My servants ask you, [O Muhammad], concerning Me – indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me and believe in Me that they may be guided.” Quran, Al-Baqarah 2:186

Miracles happen every day. Do you not believe that miracles can happen in your life as well? Do you think that you are too insignificant for that? SubhanAllah. Allah sees and knows every fallen leaf, every grain in the darkness of the earth; and He knows your innermost thoughts. He is closer to you than your jugular vein. (Quran 50:16)

Do you think that Allah’s nearness to you is because He mistrusts you? No! Allah has nothing to fear from you, and therefore nothing to mistrust. Allah is near to you because He loves you. He is near to you because He cares about you and understands your pain. He is near to you so that He can help you. You matter, as much as the ocean, the trees and the stars. You are important to Allah, not as a general concept, but you, as an individual person with your own private needs and fears. You only have to turn to Him, and call upon Him; and His wisdom, power and guidance will manifest in your life.

I personally went through a very difficult period when I was younger. At the time I felt that I had failed in life. I was beginning to feel some despair. But I kept my faith in Allah, and I prayed to Him in the day and the dark of the night. I trusted Allah, and I knew that He would not abandon me. And then the last person I would expect, an acquaintance who I hardly knew and who had no reason to care about me or my situation, suddenly took an interest and began helping me. Within a short period of time I had a job, and was able to get my own apartment, and my life had changed completely. It was literally a miracle. Even now it blows my mind. Allah stepped into that situation, and He made the impossible possible, because I believed in Him and I prayed.

Miracles happen every day. Allah hears you. You matter.

“O You the Ever Living Who sustains all that exists! O You Who created the heavens and the earth without precedence. O You, Who owns the glory and the honor, none has the right to be worshiped except You. We seek refuge with Your mercy. Grant us success in all of our matters. Please, do not abandon us to rely on ourselves even for an instant nor on any of Your creation.” – (dua’ mentioned in Tafsir ibn Kathir, in the tafsir of Surat Ar-Rahman, ayahs 26 to 30.)

Every day do your best, Allah will do the rest

Idyllic village next to beautiful mountain

By Wael Abdelgawad | IslamicSunrays.com

Wash your heart every morning with salat, then warm it up with dhikr. Begin each day with faith in you heart, and know that no matter how steep the mountain, Allah is with you as you climb. Every day do your best, Allah will do the rest.

Winter is the Season of the Believer

Dome of the Rock covered in snow

The Dome of the Rock Mosque covered in snow is seen from the Mount of Olives, 31 January 2008. Blankets of snow that year brought the Holy City of Al-Quds (Jerusalem) and other cities across the Middle East grinding to a halt as icy weather gripped the mainly desert region. AFP PHOTOAFP PHOTO/MENAHEM KAHANA (Photo credit should read MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images)

“The best season to a believer is the winter, its nights are long for those who wish to pray, and its days are short for those who wish to fast.” – Imam al-Hasan al-Basri (rahimahullah)

See Amatullah’s concise but inspiring post on MuslimMatters.org: “Why Winter is the Season of the Believer.”

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