Sunday, November 27, 2011

Taraweeh Tales - Part 3

Here's the part 1 and part 2

I miss Ramadan dearly, it would have been so much easier to be one's best self without having your constant enemy around tempting you for the wrong things. Then again I guess we wouldn't value Ramadan as much.

One of the most memorable Ramadan evenings was when my friend S came along with Shamsi and me to shamsi's place after taraweeh. It was late and I was there waiting for my brother to pick me up. We were not doing much except checking something out on the laptop and eating the left over iftar stuff (yes, we don't care if it is midnight when the stomach calls :P)

It was no great night we were not praying, reading quran or ahadith to each other. Nothing religious at all. We were just talking, all three of us and the struggles we face sometimes. That night S also opened up about how difficult it is to be a good muslim with the business of life, the after office commitments with family and friends that take up all the time and in the meanwhile the eman gets effected on the sidelines. Just a plain basic discussion about the simple things we could do, watch a video here and there, give short eman boosters to ourselves and lastly how this world is nothing but a short period of time which in comparison is nothing to the eternity in the hereafter..

Just opening up with people who go through the same issues and struggles like you do, just knowing that you are not all alone and they are others who can also give up but they are holding onto this faith because its the right thing to do is a big consolation in itself to the heart to stay strong when life becomes tough. It is a consolation enough that when you feel down you always have someone who knows what you are going through because they too have once been there...

Saturday, November 26, 2011

That One Moment

Between doing something right or doing something wrong lies a moment. The moment when you decide, which way to go and what path to choose and If you can just control yourself in that one moment it saves from a lifetime of regret.

The nafs is a pretty dominating factor, the desire to do what would make you feel better and not caring about rest of the world and the people in it is quite easy. It does not take much to switch off the button of your consciousness. We all know ourselves too well to know how we can each avoid going on a guilt trip or to even remember that we had the moment of choice when we decided.

Fighting with your nafs can be more torturous than anything you have ever witnessed in your life. The stronger the battle, the deeper the torture but eventually when you win against it, the victory tastes like nothing you have experienced before.

The decisions we make can alter our present and make our future more appealing to us than it would have been otherwise. It saves you the pain of having a bad past and regretting about it for a lifetime. Of course not many people can do it because only the strongest survive and lets not forget the one million of new temptations being thrown in our faces everyday.

But, speaking from experience if you do choose the right thing fighting against all odds then just know it is so worth it.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

A Muslim Girl's Confusions - Nail Colors

If you are a Muslim Girl,then you're probably gonna have an idea of what I am about to write on. And if you are not then *think no more* you are about to find out!

As Muslims, Prayer is one of the 5 Pillars of Islam. It's basically one of the five compulsory things that a Muslim must do. Prior to performing the prayer or salah we make ablution which also includes the water touching the nails!

But sometimes muslim girls just like other girls love to color their nails and I am not saying there's anything wrong* with that. The problem arises when they are not visited by ''Lady Flo'' and they have to pray they know, yet they play around with the nail colors and with them on they also stand to pray. It is a unanimous agreement among scholars that nail colors do not allow the water to touch the nails resulting in an incomplete ablution. Some of the famous excuses for it are ;

1. I forgot to remove the nail color off (and well hey maybe they did) and it's time to pray. I cannot leave prayer just because I have the nail color on (although the ablution is not complete and there's no prayer without ablution and wallahu alim)

2. Well you see, I have left super tiny space between the nail color and the skin of my finger, the water can touch here. So the water is ''technically'' touching my nails. (confession - this cracked me up like something)

* I don't personally find anything wrong if girls color their nails when they don't have to pray. It's their total choice but in my honest and humble opinion if you are a girl and if you Don't have to pray then why would you choose the ''Brightest Pink'' or ''Tomato Red'' or ''Green'' color for your nails? I mean It's practically an open declaration to the world that you don't have to pray and youknowhat! I know of friends who love being girly or having nail color on but the colors they generally choose are so natural that its only when you look hard that you can notice it. It's not flashy at all, same is the case with the french manicure - the nails just shine with transparent enamel and look super elegant.

I know this might not sound like fun and some of muslim girls themselves might feel like ''This is no fun''. But see, If you are having a girly party or a segregated wedding, if you are at home or if you wear gloves then GET THOSE DAMN FLASHY NAIL COLORS AND GO WILD! :D

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The thing about kids..

This weekend my uncle and aunt had to attend a parent-teacher meeting for 2 of their 3 kids at their school. They left the youngest one at home too who is about to be 3 soon.

I was (sort of) babysitting them. The 2 kids were good on their own with occasional fighting and screaming. The youngest one though was supposed to sleep until afternoon because she had slept really late the night before but she was woken up, courtesy her 4 year old brother. So in a bid to make her go back to sleep I had to lie down with her on the bed, pat her on the back give her the favorite blanket. The thing I was reminded of was this - when kids are small they always have that one person they need by their side. Every time I thought she slept and I tried to move from the bed she would wake up again and I had to convince her I am there until she was sleepy again. This happened about 3-4 times and I eventually decided not to move unless I am super sure.

It also made me think about how although we grow up we still have that one person. It can be your parent, sibling, friend. Anyone really. Their presence makes you feel a whole load lighter and makes you feel you are cared and loved for and you just don't want them to leave you or your life.. We are still kids at heart, in a different manner though. To each, his own.

What are your thoughts on it? Any experience like above? Share! :D

Friday, November 11, 2011

Safeguarding emotions

I feel for people who think twice or even thrice before expressing themselves and at the same time I know that, sometimes I am one of them.

We are so afraid and we ensure not to truly express our emotions. We lock them, not because we are afraid of getting hurt, it's just because we do not want to go through the pain of heart break again. So we develop this habit and we never really show our true selves to anyone, not even the ones who we are close to. It's not because we don't want them to know how we feel it's just that we subconsciously do it with the loved ones without even realizing it.

I generally try to express as much as I can to the ones I am close to, but I also know that many times I hold back my feelings because I feel it's too much of a burden to let anyone know how I truly feel. I also feel that it makes me a cry baby.

Just the other day my friend showed me an interesting article over here . It talks about how women are conditioned to believe that we are complicated creatures and all that so we try a lot not to show our vulnerable side to others. I do it myself many times, if I am hurt I won't say it, my text would contain a message for which I've selected some assertive words along with a '':)'' smiley at the end of it just to ensure that the person whoever I am sending this text to does not get a hint that I am mad or upset or anything of that sort.

The question really is, when to safeguard our emotions and when to let it show? I really don't know. I try really hard to get it right many times, but I err and I fail and I learn again. The problem is also that I am easy to trust people and despite being stabbed plenty, I can't leave this habit.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

A word called 'Sorry'

There's this part of me that is so easy to apologize to others if I am at fault or not. Yes, you read that right even if I am not at fault, It is not because I am a weak person but most of the times I value the person more than my own anger. I cannot forget the good that they have done to me and hold a grudge against them for a moment of anger that they had because It could be me in their place the next time and I would really want another shot at another chance.

Then there are some people who have the toughest time saying the precious dear word called ''sorry''. It is like this, they will try anything from Blame to Denial to anything that they think would work except just saying ''sorry'' and moving on. This is not to say that I am not like that, I am that way but very rarely.

Few months back I've had an experience with a person like the above group and man did they break my heart. All I really wanted from them was a heartfelt apology and I couldn't get one. So now as I am in India I met them again and they said sorry. It felt so good but followed by that apology was another thing that they blamed their earlier anger outburst on. And BOOM! The good feeling disappeared within that moment.

A heartfelt apology is all that I need. So that I could be free of having any Ill feelings for them as I am not really capable of doing it on my own...

Whats the BIG Deal?

Growing up and even until few months ago I couldn't quite get the BIG deal of knowing or learning about the Names and Attributes of Allah swt. I knew that they were important, I believed that they were true and I thought it's quite cool if I could memorize them and that was about it.

February 2011, When I started going to Al Huda classes here in Dubai I was so skeptical about going there because I thought that the first class of the 3-class schedule on Sunday evenings was not really as important as the 2nd class of tafseer followed by fundamental principles of Islam. The first class at Al Huda on a sunday was and is about the Explanation for the Names and Attributes of Allah swt. The first few weeks when I was new to Al huda, the teacher was explaining the name Al-Ghani and I still remember it because that was pretty much the first time that I ACTUALLY thought and pondered over a name of Allah swt. Also, because the same name was continued for next couple of weeks too and I remember crying my heart out in each of these classes because it was never explained in so much detail to me before. BIG alhamdulillah for that.

So, the purpose of this quick post is to give you few reasons as to why you should totes learn about the Names and Attributes of Allah SWT


1. It is one of the requirements of a correct creed. Believing in the Names and Attributes of Allah SWT a.k.a Tawheed al asma was sifaat (now, I am not gonna write more details :P)

2. How can you worship Allah swt, if you do not even know who He is? I mean think about it seriously : How often is it that you love someone without knowing them, their qualities?

3. It brings comfort to the heart and I am not just writing this keeping in mind the verse from Surah Rad. Speaking from experience, the anxiety at the occurring of a problem, the grief, the hurt from someone etc is put at rest when you ponder on the Name and attribute of Allah regarding such situation.
Example : When you feel like nobody really loves you and everyone that you loved has let you down. You can quickly think about Allah's name Al-Wadood : The Most Loving. His love is unlike the human love, It's perfect and you know what happens when Allah SWT loves you? Google the hadith :P

4. Your trust and dependence on Him increases a lot. I mean, sure we all know how we all trust Allah SWT but how many a times have we trusted a mean more than Allah SWT? Don't know what I am talking about?
Imagine this: you have to go a meeting at 9 am and the run to that place is about 20 minutes. So you leave at 8:15 thinking of the 5 mins you require to park the car and in any case you are going to be about 10 minutes early that'll leave you sometime to prep up. So you are on the way everything seems to be going smoothly, the traffic is in normal motion and suddenly you see all the cars on the road have their hazard lights on and the traffic has slowed down due to a massive accident! What you did here without realizing is that you depended on your perfect planning and your mean of transport instead of first depending on Allah and then following it by your planning.

5. Once you start pondering about the Names and Attributes of Allah SWT, I swear by Allah you will experience contentment and peace which would not be explainable.

6. Everything around you will start reminding you of your Creator.
Example: even when you would look at the most beautiful thing ever, you would think of Allah Al-Jameel (The Most Beautiful). And Don't think that this wont be counted as an act of worship because Inshallah it will.

7. The knowledge of Him subhanah wa ta'ala is like an ocean, every time you indulge in it you will always walk out with pearls of wisdom.

8. It affects your life in more ways than One. It may not be a dramatic overnight change but it steadily changes your life in one by one aspect.

Those are just a few and there are so many more reasons which I haven't written here. Feel free to give your input :)

So What Can you do now to learn about them?

I would suggest if there are any classes happening around with this subject then you know you can't miss it. Also, subhanallah good teachers are an added advantage.

You should try to buy this book called ''Who is Allah'' and I forgot the author's book I have it with me and I just read few pages and already in love with it. I guess it's about 200 or so pages of content.

I have read this which happens to be an Explanation of Names of Allah in the Qur'an by Imam As-sadi and its not more than 28 pages and I swear by Allah, THIS IS EXCEPTIONAL.

I haven't really searched for any online lectures on youtube on this topic but I would definitely love to know some that you could suggest to me. Feel free to post the links to them in the comments box.

That is all for now, May you all you have a wonderful Eid! May All your good deeds be accepted and abundantly rewarded by Allah azza wa jal - The Most High.