Keep up your good work

Sunrise behind a hill, Sun and tree

Sunrise

By Wael Abdelgawad | IslamicSunrays.com

Keep up all your good work. Don’t give up on yourself.

I am 100% sure that there are people who admire you and look up to you.

Recite Surat al-Asr often and contemplate the meaning. Imam Shafi’ famously said that if Allah had revealed only Surat-al-Asr, it would have been enough for the guidance of humanity.

By the time!
Surely, humankind is in loss –
Except for those who believe and perform righteous deeds, and strive together for truth, and strive together for patience. – Quran 103

Those who do as Surat al-Asr advises are not in loss. Where are they? In success, peacefulness, gratitude, and progress.

If you are still struggling on the path to your dream, then believe in yourself and know that you have a bright future in your work and in love, Insha’Allah. Problems never last, but patient people do. Your day will come, don’t worry.

Make dua’ (pray) immediately when you wake up, and last thing before you sleep. Be peaceful and trust Allah. The road unfolds ahead of you each day. Keep your head up.

Believe in Allah, Because He Believes in You

Amazing sunrays and clouds

By Wael Abdelgawad | IslamicSunrays.com

I believe in Allah because He believes in me… and He believes in you too. Believe in His plan for you, have faith in Him, trust His guidance to you, because He has faith in you, and trusts you.

Some people might challenge this assertion that Allah believes in us and trusts us. To me, that’s surprising. Allah created nothing in vain. Everything He does has a purpose. His creation of humanity was done with intent.

Why were we created? Many Muslims will automatically respond, “To worship Allah.” That’s true, but why does Allah want to be worshiped? Furthermore, why did He create everything else – the stars, planets, forests, seas, mountains, animals?…

Without presuming to know Allah’s intentions, and returning to the realm of the human for a moment, I will make a simple observation. As a writer, one of the reasons I write is because the act of putting my thoughts and feelings on paper satisfies something deep within me. I’ve been writing creatively since I was a child, and to me it’s not a hobby but a calling. I’m a writer, therefore I write; and I am a writer because I write.

The same is true for a painter or any other artist. I imagine if you asked a painter why he paints, you might get many different answers:

  • “It makes me happy”
  • “It’s my passion.”
  • “To express my ideas.”
  • “To make money.”
  • “I don’t know, I just do.”

The bottom line is that it’s the painter’s nature to paint; it’s her calling, her function. She is a painter, therefore she paints; or she paints, therefore she is a painter. Same difference.

Allah is Al-Khaaliq, The Creator. That is one of His names, one of His attributes. He expresses this attribute by creating. You are a part of that expression, and so am I. So is a blue whale, Mount Kilimanjaro, the Grand Canyon, a dolphin, a mouse and an amoebum. Everything that Allah created is amazing in its function and awesomely complex in its design. Everything that He created is beautiful and purposeful. Including you and me.

To create is an act of love. It is an act of faith. The Creator loves you and believes in you. Believe in Him, believe in yourself, believe in humanity, and believe in the unique path that Allah has chosen for you.

Everything is possible for those who believe

Iceland mountain valley

A mountain valley in Iceland

By Wael Abdelgawad | IslamicSunrays.com

Nourish your dreams. To achieve anything requires faith in Allah, belief in yourself, imagination, vision, persistence, hard work, and sometimes blood and tears.

The will of Allah and the power of your heart and mind make an unbeatable combination. Everything is possible for those who believe – anything you can envision, and many things you can’t.

I’m thinking of a ragtag group of desert Arabs, who, in the course of a single generation, transformed the world forever. I am speaking of course of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his companions. What they did was impossible – there’s no other word for it. But through the power of Allah, and the tremendous determination of one man, and the faith of those who followed him, the impossible became possible. Because of their faith and sacrifices, you and I can utter the words, “Laa ilaha-il-Allah” and put them into practice in our lives.

Your dreams don’t have to be that grand. Whether you dream of building a new masjid for your community, writing a novel, competing in sports, becoming a doctor, doing charity work overseas, memorizing the Quran, or any other good and meaningful goal – it can be achieved by the will of Allah. But you can’t just sit back and wait for it to happen. Feed your dream as you would feed a newly planted seed. Care for it, devote time to it, don’t give up, and watch it grow before your eyes.

Knowing Who to Believe, and Who to Trust

Forest path

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.

Allah says,

“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.

Fly, bumble bee, fly!

Bumble bee and flower

By Wael Abdelgawad for IslamicSunrays.com

“Aerodynamically, the bumble bee shouldn’t be able to fly, but the bumble bee doesn’t know it so it goes on flying anyway.” – Mary Kay Ash

Just because someone thinks or says that you are not capable of something, it doesn’t make them right, no matter who they are.

Rather than attend to the insidious whispers of others, believe in Allah the Almighty, who created you as a powerful creature. Do you think Allah would create a weak being to act as His khalifah (agent) on earth?

“Behold, your Lord said to the angels: “I will create a khalifah (vicegerent) on earth.” They said: “Will You place therein one who will make mischief and shed blood? – while we do celebrate Your praises and glorify Your holy (name)?” He said: “I know what ye know not.” (Quran: 2:30)

What do you think that thing was that Allah knew that the angels did not know? Think about it.

Believe in the Messengers and Prophets (peace be upon them), and the Sahabah, all of whom did things that to our modern, “pragmatic” minds, seem impossible.

Believe in yourself, the voice of your conscience, and the urgings of your heart. When you dream of great things, don’t dismiss them as daydreams. They are the promptings of your soul, which knows better than your conscious mind what you can truly achieve.

Fly, bumble bee! Spread your wings and fly.

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