You never know who you meet who will inspire you

As we stood in line to ride our next roller coaster, Ahmad and I didn’t realize that someone was listening in on our conversation.  We stood there talking about a lot of different things on that hot summer day trying to pass the time of the long wait.  I don’t even remember what we were talking about, but it was enough to have the person in front of us in line turn around and ask, “Are you guys Muslim?”  Just his pronunciation of the word “Muslim” made my hair stand up.  His dirty tank top ripped up jeans, scruffy face, and long, shaggy hair made us wonder what kind of ignorant statement might come next.

“Yes, we are,” we responded.

He then continued, “I used to play in a rock band.  We used to jam in my buddy’s basement.  And I remember a couple years ago, I was going through some really tough times in my life.  That’s when I noticed that my buddy had a Quran on his shelf.  So I walked over and picked it up.  I opened it up to any random page, and I put my finger on any random verse.”

What happened next blew us both away.  This scruffy looking wannabe rockstar then proceeded to quote a verse from the Quran in English, with no mistakes as if he sat and memorized it.  Or at the very least, it penetrated his heart for him to know it word for word after all these years.  Allah’s words had clearly had an impact on him. We both recognized the verses from Surat al-Kahf.

“Say, ‘Shall We tell you about the greatest losers in respect to their deeds? Those whose efforts have been wasted in this life and who believe nevertheless that they are doing good.’” (Surah Kahf: Ayah 103-104)

He continued, “And that verse just hit me!  I thought, man, what am I doing with my life?  What am I really doing?”  He then continued his story, “Then some time passed, and I went about my life.  And about a year later, I started going through some really tough times again.  So I went back to my buddy’s house and grabbed the Quran off his shelf again.  I opened it to any random page and put my finger down on any random verse,” he said as he gestured opening a book and pointing to it.  “Same exact verse man!!  Same exact verse!”  He then looked up towards the sky and pointed his finger up and said, “I hear ya man.  I hear ya.”  Ahmad and I started laughing at his unexpected story.

We spoke to him for a little bit longer and before we knew it, it was time to get on the ride.  After we said our goodbyes, never to see this man again, Ahmad and I were amused with the whole situation and this man’s story.  We joked about how crazy we thought our whole conversation was.

It wasn’t until later when I thought about our conversation that I felt that there was a lesson to be learned from the rockstar that Allah sent us that hot summer day.  I had to ask myself when was the last time I turned to the Quran when I was going through tough times – taking the opportunity to hear what Allah has to say to me?  I thought to myself, don’t I have as much right to the Quran as he does?  It reminded me of a couple I heard once before:

قُلْ هَلْ نُنَبِّئُكُم بِالْأَخْسَرِينَ أَعْمَالًا -الَّذِينَ ضَلَّ سَعْيُهُمْ فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَهُمْ يَحْسَبُونَ أَنَّهُمْ يُحْسِنُونَ صُنْعًا – 

(Al-Quran -Surah Al-Kahf 18 : Ayah 103-104)

“Say, ‘Shall We tell you about the greatest losers in respect to their deeds?  Those whose efforts have been wasted in this life and who believe nevertheless that they are doing good.”


Original Source: Muslim Matters

JUZ 15 – POINTS TO PONDER (Part 1)

PArt1

bismillah2 copy

A year before Hijrah to Madina, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ   was taken by Allah, from Masjid Al Haram to Masjid Al Aqsa and then towards the heaven and shown different signs in Jannah and Jahannum.  In this trip, he ﷺ was gifted with the obigation of the five prayers, the last two ayaat of Surah Al-Baqarah and the news of fogiveness for the one who is saved from shirk.Also the angels mentioned to the Prophet ﷺ that he recommend Hijama (cupping) to his ummah (nation).

Surah Al-Isra 1 – 111

  • [17:7] Do good because when you do good, you do good for yourselves. When you do one good deed you get 10 to 70 rewards and when you sin it’s just one.
  • [17:9] The Quran guides you to what is most suitable in each and every daily life situation; ask Allah to help you take the Quran as your day-to-day manual and not as a book gaining dust on your shelf.
  • [17:11] Do you ever say or even ask things in anger you don’t mean? Be careful what you ask for in your dua, especially when you are angry! Avoid praying for evil as much as you can as the Prophet (sallAllahu alayhi wasallam) said:

“Do not pray against yourselves, do not pray against your children, do not pray against your wealth, for your prayer may coincide with a time of response from Allah and Allah will respond to your prayer.” (Abu Dawood 2:185)

  • [17:14] We have to keep our record book clean and pure…if we are embarrassed to make our deeds public today then how will it be on the Day of Qiyamah…when we will have to read our record of all our actions in front of Allah and ALL of creation, our body parts are going to witness for and against us…the kiraman katibeen (recording angels) will be witness for or against us. Ask Allah, to be of those who are happy when they are made to read their Record on the Day of Judgement.
  • [17:19] If you wish the best life in the Akhirah, strive for it and meet that specific standard to be successful in the akhirah while you are a believer then and only then your efforts will appreciated, accepted and rewarded. Such people are business minded…always thinking about the actions the deeds that will bring them profits in the Hereafter. They are the Akhirah Oriented people, not just intending and thinking while doing nothing…hard work is necessary to get to Paradise.

Akhirah Oriented= Intentions + Effort

  • [17:20-21]  Allah’s gifts are coming to both groups. The ones who desire just Dunya and the ones who desire the Akhirah. Both are using those gifts to reach their own specific aims but it’s only the Akhirah-Orinted group that will be successful. And in the Akhirah their levels will be higher and their reward much better.
  • [17:20-21]  Allah’s gifts are coming to both groups. The ones who desire just Dunya and the ones who desire the Akhirah. Both are using those gifts to reach their own specific aims but it’s only the Akhirah-Orinted group that will be successful. And in the Akhirah their levels will be higher and their reward much better.
  • [17:23-24] Check yourself seriously; how are you with your parents? Sincerely ask Allah to help you fulfil their rights and make dua for Allah to have mercy on them every single day.
  • [17:26-30] Never spend your money wastefully because if you do, then you are from the friends of Shaytan. Don’t hoard your money or keep on saving it, not wanting to give some sadaqah. Be generous. The Prophet ﷺ said:

“There is no day on which the people get up but two angels come down and one of them says, ‘O Allaah, give in compensation to the one who spends (in charity),’ and the other says, ‘O Allaah, destroy the one who withholds.’”  (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1374; Muslim, 1010)

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) also said:
“Allah said: ‘Spend, O son of Adam, and I shall spend on you.’”
(Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 5073; Muslim, 993)
  • [17:32] Allah didn’t just say, don’t commit any unlawful sexual intercourse, He said do not even come close to anything which can lead to it! Meaning protect your eyes, ears, tongue, hands and legs from even going that way. How come then, we take free mixing, chatting to the other sex on social media etc so lightly? Doesn’t Allah who created us know us best?
  • [17:36]  Allah says in this ayah,

Do not pursue that of which you have no knowledge. Indeed, the hearing, the sight and the heart – about all those [one] will be questioned”.

This can be understood by the hadeeth:

“From the perfection of one’s Islam is his leaving that which does not concern him.” [al-Tirmidhi, hasan].

Imagine that. It’s basically saying that our Islam will never be perfect if we’re so concerned with things that are none of our business. And in this verse we understand the reason why… because it leads us to regretful questioning. It leads us to paths that bring more harm than good. It leads us to woefully wronging others and ourselves. It leads us to bad thoughts, suspicions, ill-feelings, partiality and unfair bias. It leads us to a complete waste of our time.

  • [17:50] Life after death is certain. Be you stone or iron, Allah will raise you up and take account of all that you used to do
  • [17:52] Your whole life – a chain of happy and sad moments – will seem like a couple of hours on the Day of Judgement; don’t attach yourself to moments, happy or sad, as they will pass, but keep moving forward seeking the pleasure of Allah.
  • [17:53] If you speak, speak good or stay silent.
  • [17:57Au’liya always seek means of access to their Lord (Allah), hope for His Mercy and fear His Torment. We should also need to turn towards Him, instead of calling upon other means out of our desires.
  • [17:64] Music is one of the things that are prohibited by Allah and His Prophet but unfortunately is very common in our homes. Very few might know that music is the sound of shaytan…as Allah tells shaytan in this ayah (to test the humans)

“And incite those whom you can among them with your voice……” (17:64)

Among the many other interpretations, in Tafsir Ibn Kathir and Tafsir Al Qurtubi, Scholars Mujahid and Ad-Dahhaak interpretated “voice of shaytan” to mean music, song and amusement. According to Ibn Abbas, the “voice” refers to every form of invitation that calls to the disobedience to Allah Ta’ala.

  • [17:78] The recitation of Quran at fajr is witnessed by special angels – make an effort in reciting the Quran beautifully and with feelings at fajr.
  • [17:79] Study the virtues of the (voluntary) night prayer; don’t think this prayer is ‘reserved’ for those with strong emaan. When your emaan feels weak, get up and pray in the night (after ‘esha and before fajr) and feel the effect on your soul of conversing with Allah privately in the night! (The sahabah used to feel its paradise on earth).
  • [17:109] Can you easily cry over arguments with others, or even by watching certain movies but you can’t find tears out of fear and love for Allah? Can you cry in salah? Ask Allah to be of those who can cry because of the effect of the Quran and its message on their hearts.
  • [17:110] Call upon Allah or call upon the Most Merciful. Whichever [name] you call – to Him belong the best names.

PART 2

English Compilation by: Sr. Mariam Anwer (Quest for the Paradise)

WHO ARE THE GREATEST LOSERS?

Allah subhanawatallah says in Surah Al Kahf ayah 103-105,

“Say, [O Muhammad], “Shall we [believers] inform you of the greatest losers as to [their] deeds?” (18:103)

“[They are] those whose effort is lost in worldly life, while they think that they are doing well in work.” (18:104)

“Those are the ones who disbelieve in the verses of their Lord and in [their] meeting Him, so their deeds have become worthless; and We will not assign to them on the Day of Resurrection any importance.” (18:105)

The most unsuccessful people are those who confined all their endeavors to the worldly life. That is, whatever they did, they did for this world without paying any regard to Allah subhanawatallah and the Hereafter. As they considered the worldly life to be the real life, they made the success and prosperity in this world their sole aim and object. Even if they professed the existence of Allah, they never paid any heed to the two implications of this profession: to lead their lives in a way to please Allah and to come out successful on the Day they shall have to render an account of what they did in this world. This was because they considered themselves to be mere rational animals who were absolutely independent and free from every kind of responsibility and had nothing else to do but to enjoy the good things of the world like animals in a meadow.
All their deeds were lost” in the sense that they will be of no avail to them in the life-after-death, even though they might have considered them as their great achievements but the fact is that they will lose all their value as soon as the world shall come to an end. When they will go before their Lord, and all their deeds shall be placed in the Scales, they will have no weight at all whether they had built great palaces, established great universities and libraries, set up great factories and laboratories, constructed highways and railways, in short, all their inventions, industries, sciences and arts and other things of which they were very proud in this world, will lose their weights in the Scales. The only thing which will have weight there will be that which had been done in accordance with the Divine instructions and with the intention to please Allah. It is, therefore, obvious that if all of one’s endeavors were confined to the worldly things and the achievement of worldly desires whose results one would see in this world, one should not reasonably expect to see their results in the Hereafter, for they would have gone waste with the end of this world. It is equally obvious, that only the deeds of the one, who performed them strictly in accordance with His instructions to win His approval with a view to avail of their results in the Hereafter, will find that his deeds had weight in the Scales. On the contrary, such a one will find that all his endeavors in the world had gone waste.

May Allah subhanawatallah pure our intentions, and protect us to be wasted in this Dunya, and make our all actions according to His Divine commandments and accept them as well, Ameen Ya Ghafoor’o Raheem, Ya Rahman o Ya Raheem.

REFLECTIONS ON JUZ 15

Surah Bani Israel

  • Doing good to others, is actually doing good to oneself and having bad intentions towards others, can effect oneself.  (Bani Israel 7)
  • We should not haste in making bad duas.And never start cursing ourselves, if things do not go in our way. (Bani Isreal 11)
  • What are whispers of Shytan? Music and waswasa, those ill thoughts that provoke us to do bad. Beware as these are tactics & tricks of shytan. (Bani Israel 64)
  • Quran is shifa and rehmat for believers , having believe, can benefit us, both in dunya & akhirah.  (Bani Isreal 82)

Surah Al-Kahf

  • When we feel fright and external pressures,  ask Allah subhana’watalah’s mercy and guidance & HE Al-mighty, will protect us in special way just like He did people of Cave. Very powerful dua only if we ask with true faith. (Al-Kahaf 10)
  • Saying In sha Allah is command of Allah swt for all our future plans. (Al-Kahaf 23-24)
  • Do not consider any sin small, they all are written in our Book of deeds. (Al-Kahaf 49)

By: Sr. Uzma Hussain

REFLECTIONS ON SURAH AL-ISRA

I came across beauty of this Surah that how Allah subhana’watalah has combined the warnings, instructions and admonitions, by stating the whole infrastructure on which Islamic state was going to built in Madinah and then all over the world.
As we look theme and background of Surah, the name is given as per first ayah Surah Al Isra ( the journey of night), it is pointing towards the Bani Israel as well, so also known as Surah Bani Israel.
The Surah was revealed before a year of Hijrah, so it is said to Bani Isreal to avail this last opportunity, if you ll behave same like as u are already behaving then u ll soon meet with the severe punishment.

In this connection, the fundamental principles of morality and civilization of Islamic System of life have been put forward. Thus this was a sort of the Manifesto of the intended Islamic state.

  • Ayah 13-15 tells us that our fate is in our hands and tells us that what we do will be rewarded or punished for on the Day of Judgement.
  • Ayah 25-27, have righteous life, in balanced manner. Don’t be etravagant in spending
  • Ayah 26- Take care of of the relatives, poors, Islam emphasize on obligations.

As a matter of fact, it is ingratitude towards Allah’s favor to spend money for the sake of show, luxury and sinful acts and similar things which are neither man’s real necessities nor useful. Therefore, those people who spend money lavishly on such things as these are the brothers of Satan.

  • Ayah 31: it was revealed to forbid the pre-Islamic Arab practice of killing or burying alive a newborn child (particularly a girl) on account to refrain poverty or female child.

Besides these, the Holy Prophet sallulaho copy has been instructed to stick firmly to his stand without minding the opposition and difficulties which he was encountering and should never think of making a compromise with unbelief. Moreover, we learn that Mi’raj was the first occasion on which the five daily Prayers were prescribed to be offered at fixed times, to purify and reform the souls.