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Noora.

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  1. ~ Extinguishing the Flame of Ignorance ~ Knowledge and Wisdom ~ The following article focuses on knowledge and the discipline for gaining it. Before you begin reading, set an intention. Intention is power and it is all we have. If your intention is pure, Allah will help you with the action and the blessing of the action that you had intended to make. And this is what we need because this is what we mean. Therefore we have to keep in mind that we need the intention, we need the Iqhlas (sincerity) of intention and it has to be purely for Allah. Wise Sayings: Ibn Al-Mubarak (RA) (one of the pious predecessors & a great Muslim scholar) once remarked that we are more in need of manner than we are in need knowledge. Another great person said:, Knowledge without manner is like a fire without wood and manner without knowledge is like a soul without a body." Umar (RA) once said: "Seek knowledge and learn to be humble & possess humility towards knowledge and learn to have humbleness & humility towards whomever you seek knowledge from. Do not be an aggressor against knowledgeable people or else knowledge will not benefit you." I.e. to say, the more you seek knowledge the more you should gain humbleness, humility and manner with everyone you are in touch with. Another person said: "The best Emaan is the one that is decorated with knowledge. The best knowledge is the one that is decorated with actions and good deeds. The best action is the one decorated with humbleness & humility. To be decorated with all of the above one has to have patience coupled with manners (manners of your knowledge)." Whoever seeks knowledge for Allah (SWT), Allah will elevate him and he will gain the happiness of this life and the hereafter. On the other hand, whoever does not seek knowledge for Allah (SWT), he loses Duniya (this world) and Akhirah (the hereafter). Whoever seeks knowledge for Allah (SWT), but wants to benefit his Duniya with it, he will not enter Jannah (Paradise). Someone asked…Who is a King? It is said by the people of knowledge that, the King of the end of time will be the one who casts Duniya away from his life. As reported by the companion Muadh Ibn Jabal (RA), the Prophet Muhammad (saw) said: "A human being, will not move forward (in other words, he'll just be fixed standing – and will not be able to move forward) on the Day of Judgment, with their Lord, unless and until they're asked about 4 things. ~About his age and how he spent it. ~About his health and how he used it. ~About his wealth, where he got it from and how he spent it. ~About his knowledge and what he did with it." It is said by the scholars and wise men: "Seek knowledge in whatever way you can but Allah [swt] will not let you benefit from it until you work for it." Sufyaan Ath Thawri (One of the pious predecessors, RA) said: "If I act according to my knowledge, I am the most knowledgeable person on earth, and if I do the contrary then I am the most ignorant man on earth." Abu Darda (RA), one of the famous companions of the Prophet, said: "Whoever seeks knowledge acts and applies 1/10th of this knowledge then Allah [swt] will give him knowledge of what he does not know." Isaa (AS) said: "Whoever seeks knowledge and acts upon his knowledge and tries to teach this knowledge, he becomes a great person in the eyes of Allah [swt] and in the kingdom of Allah [swt]." Al Khidr (AS) gives Moosa (AS) advice: "O the seeker of knowledge; be careful of making your listeners becoming bored of your speech. Do not make people who sit in front of you become bored of you. You have to know that your heart is like a cup so beware of what you fill it up with. Leave Duniya behind, as it is not your residence. You are not going to stay here permanently. Duniya is like a slipper for the worshipper, he gains from it for the hereafter. O Moosa (AS), train your nafs to be silent, you will gain wisdom. Fill your heart with piety and you will gain knowledge. Train your nafs to be patient and you will stay away from a lot of sins. O Moosa (AS), if you seek knowledge, give it your prime time because knowledge is for those who value it. Do not laugh too much, but balance the way you talk. Do not argue with the ignorant. Be patient with those who give you a hard time, this is the action of the wise and the decoration of the learned people. If somebody argues with you, be silent and do not try to answer them, otherwise you will promote his ignorance against yourself. Do not ever feel arrogant over your knowledge and feel that 'you know' because what you have is not even a drop in the ocean. O Moosa (AS), do not open a door which you do not know how to close, and do not close a door for which you do not have the keys to open. O Moosa (AS), do not try to be hungry for Duniya; instead be an Abd (a Worshipper) to Allah. Be careful against feeling discontent, or to feel you do not have too much, for at this time you will become a kaafir (one who denies) of the bounties of Allah [sWT], you will not be thankful and will not be a believer in the Qadr of Allah. Seek knowledge to benefit yourself and do not seek knowledge to talk about it. O Moosa (AS), make Zuhd (staying away from Duniya) and Taqwa (Piety) your clothing. Make knowledge & remembrance of Allah your talking and increase your good deeds. Verily soon, you may become prone to committing sins. Shake your heart with the fear of Allah [sWT] and Allah will love you. And if you seek wisdom then make it beneficial to you first." Ali Ibn Abi Talib (AS) said; O the seeker of knowledge, knowledge is very high. The head of knowledge is humbleness & humility. The eyes of knowledge are to not look upon others, meaning, to not have envy & jealousy. The ear of knowledge is to comprehend with a tongue that speaks the truth (to save it is to remain silent). The heart of knowledge is pure intention. The brain of knowledge is to seek understanding. The hand of knowledge is to be full of Rahmah (Mercy). The feet of knowledge is to visit the learned and sick people. The will of knowledge is pure niyyah and the wisdom of knowledge is accepting the little. And most importantly; always talk softly and always look for the right companion and ask Allah to give you Tawfeeq (ability). Question and Answer Question: In our daily life, how can we distinguish between following our desires and following Allah and His Prophet (SAW)? Answer: The Day when man shall remember (all) that he strove for, And Hell-Fire shall be placed in full view for (all) to see,-Then, for such as had transgressed all bounds, And had preferred the life of this world, The Abode will be Hell-Fire; And for such as had entertained the fear of standing before their Lord's (tribunal) and had restrained (their) soul from lower desires, Their abode will be the Garden. [Quran Surah Naziat, Verses: 35-41] Desire is the mother of all evils. A Mo’min seeks only Allah’s pleasure. When you look into Islam, the pleasure of Allah [sWT] is always against human pleasure. Someone might ask, “What about food, shelter, husband, wife and kids?” This leads us to the understanding of Duniya. If our goal is to eat and to gain strength to help us to worship our Lord, then this eating and this meal will become a part of our worship. But, if we seek luxury and expensive food, just to fulfill certain desires, this meal will now become against us. Thus we should restrain ourselves from seeking certain food at certain times because of our desires. Instead we should seek a balanced diet and seek what is good for our health, without spending too much. You might say… "So and so always invites us for good food." Now this is kindness and generosity is from Allah [sWT], you did not ask for it! As a result, in life if you will be patient against your desires then Allah [sWT] will fulfill your needs in different ways. Similarly, when we walk on the street and look at different men and women we like, we are in the act of committing sins and if this is the case we will go nowhere. Similarly, when you look at the houses of other people, their style of living, clothing etc, at this time you are looking at Duniya and you are looking for the pleasure of this Duniya. Therefore if we fulfill our needs without excessive expenses and without looking at what others have and we try to be honest in the way we spend and we have time and ability for Sabeelillah (the sake of Allah), then it is allowed and Allah will put Barakah (blessings) in it… meaning this act will please Allah [sWT]. If we wake up with a desire for a certain meal, though it is expensive and we work 3-4 hours for this meal, then we are doing it for our desire and not out of necessity. Muslims should have a simple way of cooking especially during Ramadan. If you look at us today, Ramadan has become the month of eating rather than being the month of lesser eating. The month of worship should not be the prime time for eating. If we truly follow Prophet [sAW], then WE WILL BE HAVING SIMPLE FOOD IN RAMADAN. For example: In India and the majority of the Muslim nations, Iftar has become a fancy. Oily foods which are bad for health and causes stomach burns day and night that lead to weight gain and laziness are fancied. Fried food is a strict no-no for our body. Men come to Masjid smelling bad after eating the above mentioned food. In Ramadan, we should have a simple recipe, easy to digest, easy to sleep, easy to wake up & less money consuming. However, we follow our desire and disregard the amount of time & energy spent in cooking & other expenses. Now this time will become against us. The difference between seeking the pleasure of Allah and seeking the pleasure and desires of our nafs Prophet Muhammad [sAW] said that you will never be a believer unless you desire according to what I came with!!! For example; A wife should be supporting her husband in worshipping Allah and in generating the Muslim Ummah (nation). A husband should support his wife to become a good Muslim wife. However, if relationship becomes like "I am fulfilling your desires so you fulfill mine", we will disregard the fact that we are Muslims and this will result to having loyalty to other than Allah. This means, lack of Emaan & straying in our heart. To explain further; if we are looking at the beauty of our wives or husbands, the style of food, the style of clothing, houses, cars, and easy life - then we are living to fulfill our desires. But if we make money and we try to live a simple life to save money so that we can use this money for sabeelillah (the sake of Allah) and we think about the poor & needy people - then we are trying to fulfill our duty towards Allah [sWT]… there is a huge difference between the two. Now we should always ask ourselves one question: "Is what I'm doing fulfilling my desire or is it taking care of others." "Do I mostly take care about my necessities or my desires and which one will gain pleasure of Allah?" If you came to a conclusion you will understand. However, all this discussion requires a concern, awareness and a certain wakefulness of our duty and purpose on earth, meaning are we living as a Muslims and as a Mu'min. Question: I am reading a book called 'Book Of The End' about what happens to the body in the grave and what happens to the body on the day of Resurrection. After all this knowledge, how should I seek my future? Answer: Reported by Ibn Abbas [RA]: - Prophet Muhammad [sAW] said, "Gain five before five : ~Your youth before your old age. ~Your health before you get sick. ~Your wealth before you become poor. ~Your time before you get busy. ~Your life before your death. In consequence we can see that our Prophet Muhammad [sAW] advices us to gain & grab whatever we can from every aspect because today we have a chance, tomorrow we don’t. When we neglect this advice, then we lose time and money, many lost years and a lot goodness that could have been done. If we die in this state, we would wish that we were never born. Example: If we are believers now and we think about our Lord who is going to hold us accountable, we will have to report our slavery to Him. To summarize; if we are in a state of Emaan, then we will do the maximum that we can to benefit ourselves in this life & the hereafter. Therefore, the awareness of Emaan will help us to be strong against our desires, weaknesses & surroundings and enable us to purify our intentions purely for Allah [sWT] and according to the Sunnah (traditions) of the Prophet Muhammad [sAW]. In addition, when we do so, it will help us to engage in the actions and deeds that will be a witness for us and not against us on the day of resurrection. The main commitment is to be a slave to Allah, and when we lose the meaning of slavery to Allah, we become a slave to others and Duniya accordingly. Hence, any topic we talk about is due to the lack of Emaan versus the love of Duniya and La Ilaha Illa Allah versus slavery to our desires. Our effort towards the Akhirah (hereafter) is minimal and the amount of steps we take towards it is very few. The remembrance of Akhirah is very little and the majority of mankind is running after Duniya. If you do not believe me then read ‘Men Around The Messenger’ read about Abu Darda (ra) & Abu Bakr As-Siddique (RA). Read about what they have to say and their understanding about life and what they have gained. Today as Muslims we cannot make time for Allah [sWT], it has become heavy, and our prime time goes after Duniya and what is left of it is devoted to the hereafter. We are so weak that we cannot even revert back. All I can say is that may Allah [sWT] help us. Read 'The Book of End', 'Journey of the Soul' and read about The Day of Judgment and see what Allah says. Loyalty will be according to the relationship between you and Allah. Those who you are serving besides Him [sWT] will destroy you in this life and the Hereafter. And most of all, read how many verses in the Quran warn us about Duniya and the meaning of Duniya. This is the Book of Allah [sWT], the one we read and we are supposed to live by it. Read how many Hadith of the Prophet of Allah [sWT] has warned us about Duniya. Now it is time to ask: Where am I??? By Da'ee Ahmed Moait, Source: http://noora1.com/24mayhalaqa.htm
  2. What Has Happened To The Forum?

    ^^Insightful discussion can lead to more activity/involvement in the real world.
  3. Female vs Woman, Male vs Man A Female vs. A Woman In the early days, kings, princes and men of status, when they used to choose a wife or even buy a slave girl, beauty was not the only factor. Her knowledge, ability to communicate and convince, her awareness of the history and the surroundings, her skills in medicine, were all taken into account, not just her beauty and femininity. When you study in the history of mankind, some of the best leaders used to seek support and consultation from their own women. Everyone knows the saying; behind every great man is a great woman. Today, we find out that the opposite is true. Where does this come from? Historians in the early days used to say, if you want to know the power and strength and the future of any nation, see the condition of their own women. There is a big difference between a female, a girl and a woman. A female is the biological terminology for the female of the species. A girl is a young female, who does not know what she wants in life. What then, is a woman or a lady? She is a female with a good character, a serious goal and responsibility, and who lives her life to fulfil her goal. According to the Qur'an, the title of a woman denotes someone who carries the message of Allah, with full responsibility, with the willingness to devote and sacrifice her life for the message. The example in chapter 66, verses 10- 12 speaks for itself: Allah presents an example of those who disbelieved: the wife of Noah and the wife of Lot. They were under two of Our righteous servants but betrayed them, so those prophets did not avail them from Allah at all, and it was said, "Enter the Fire with those who enter." And Allah presents an example of those who believed: the wife of Pharaoh, when she said, "My Lord, build for me near You a house in Paradise and save me from Pharaoh and his deeds and save me from the wrongdoing people." And [the example of] Maryam [Mary], the daughter of 'Imran, who guarded her chastity, so We blew into [her garment] through Our angel, and she believed in the words of her Lord and His scriptures and was of the devoutly obedient. The Qur’an gives us a spectrum of examples, starting with women who married the greatest of men but still had the highest level of disobedience, such as the wives of Nuh AS and Lut AS. On the other hand, Allah honours the wife of the Pharaoh by calling her a woman, for standing up against her husband, one of the worst tyrants in mankind, and standing firm for sabeelillah, the message and the belief, even when it led to her brutal torture and death. Further, the Qur’an shows that the ultimate journey in life, to obtain Allah’s pleasure, can be done without a husband, as was demonstrated by Maryam AS. The Qur’an shows us the example of what being a true woman means. Today, we are at the end of time. The ummah and mankind have developed a lot of diseases from colonialism, media brainwashing and propaganda, which promotes the female to be an airhead, competing in material status and chasing flashy lifestyles - but losing herself, her principles, belief and integrity in the process. The woman has been conditioned to become weak, vulnerable and easily manipulated, for a bigger goal, which is to weaken the nation. In the early days, people used to say that teaching one woman is like teaching a nation. This is because of the role of women as the role models and educators of their children and the next generation. If we do the opposite and ignore the potential and role of the woman, we can destroy a nation, because any nation, and the future of any nation, is measured by the strength and the character of its own women. A Male vs. A Man Similar to women, when a man is not a man (as in he does not have the values, goals and aim in this life), he is just a biological male: hollow, vulnerable, weak, insecure, egotistical and empty. What drives him? He would want to play the role of a man, but he does not have the qualities of one. The only way to give him assurance and to make him feel satisfied with his own character and superiority, is if he finds an equally hollow person to reinforce his own fantasy of manhood and being the one in control. The man is supposed to be the developer and the maker of his own woman, not the breaker of his own woman. If he is empty inside and has nothing to give – in terms of values, character, guidance – it is easier for him to look for someone who is even more hollow than he is as his life partner. If he finds someone who possesses greater strength of character than he does, he will end up breaking her. However, the woman is also partly responsible. It is a vicious cycle: she wants a material life, wealth and companionship, regardless of his manner, character and soul. If she does not develop her own qualities and character, and is content remaining airheaded and superficial, this is the kind of man who will be drawn to her. Continue reading here: http://muslimfootsteps.com/?q=a-woman-of-substance-or-a-bimbo/page/0/1
  4. When Things Don't Go Well When things are on an even keel or on a comfortable and predictable plateau, it is not difficult to be on the path of obedience. However, once in a while, Allah shakes up your life to test your sincerity to Him. Those in a state of obedience to Allah will accept that what Allah has ordained is the best for them, and those whose sincerity is shaky, will struggle to cope with the tests. Trials in life are inevitable, and as believers, we must be prepared for our faith to be tested. These can be in the form of calamities or with the loss of things which are precious and beloved to us. Surah Al Baqarah at 2:155 makes specific mention of things that we will be tested with: “fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits [of your labour].” Hence, the Qur’an pinpoints our most basic instincts and emotions which lie at our primal core: fear, which denotes the absence of security; hunger, which denotes the inability to satisfy our most basic needs for physical survival; and the loss of our general material needs, including the people around us. The Path of the Believer What should we do when things do not go that well? The solution is simple, for Verse 2:155 of Surat Al Baqarah concludes “… but give good tidings to the patient.” Hence, the Qur’an has already told us the attitude to adopt when hardship falls upon us. With patience, we have demonstrated that our love of and trust in Allah outstrips the love of the things the loss of which we suffered. What does this mean? An obedient person accepts that nothing, absolutely nothing, happens without the will of Allah. When there is any change in circumstance or any event that disrupts the equilibrium, they do not become unbalanced or get upset about the changes, but rather, they accept the changes with patience and trust in Allah. This does not mean that believers are defeatists or losers in life. It simply means they recognize that when certain uncontrollable events happen, the best course of action is to accept such changes calmly. Despite the external hardships, their inner tranquility and emotional and psychological ability to deal with events remain intact. If our faith in Allah is weak, it seems that this state of mind requires a superhuman effort. However this is not the case at all. It is simply a matter of letting go, and submitting our will to Allah’s Will. We give priority to Allah’s plans instead of our personal ones. It requires a simple shift of control – to transfer the trust and reliance that we have in ourselves, abilities and possessions; our dependence on our money and status; our reliance on the people around us – to trust, dependence and reliance in Allah alone. Faith and love in Allah is such a beautiful thing. With the passing of every test comes rewards, both tangible and intangible, in this world and in the hereafter. All tests by Allah elevate us to a higher level in His eyes, but only if we pass them. Hence, we can either get upset, question, analyse, refuse to accept undesirable events … we can weep bitter tears, complain, shake our fists in anger - but all these misguided emotions, desires and confusions will not help us in any constructive way. On the other hand, we can submit to the will of Allah, because we know that there is a higher power which has caused these events to occur. Allah is the best Planner, and we are optimistic that whatever has happened, was the best for us. If we adopt this conviction, we are effectively entrusting the burden of our fate to Him. We will have confidence that the same God who has taken care of us all our lives, will take care of us through our difficult moments. If we pass the test and exercise patience and gratitude in adversity, He will eventually reward us with something even better to compensate our obedience and trust in Him. Indeed, in time the believer will come to understand how wonderful a gift Allah has bestowed upon us by not only providing us with this facility, but also in rewarding us for doing so. There is no reason to worry The One who created you has already identified your abilities and limits. When He tests you, He already knows your individual circumstances and your breaking point. He will never burden you with something that is beyond your capability. We will be tested again and again throughout our lives – this is an inevitable fact of life. In Surah Al Baqarah, we are reminded: “Or do you think that you will enter Paradise while such [trial] has not yet come to you as came to those who passed on before you? They were touched by poverty and hardship and were shaken until [even their] messenger and those who believed with him said, "When is the help of Allah ?" Unquestionably, the help of Allah is near.” [2:214] However, there is no reason to worry. There is no reason to fear. The believer is safe in Allah’s care. The help of Allah is coming. Hence, control your inclination to break down and give up. The path to Paradise is paved with adversity and trials, but the believer must stay focused. Do not give in to your irrational emotions, for if you are with Allah, the solution is close at hand. Often these events are a catalyst for some inner reflection. Could it be that Allah has taken away your means in order for you to turn towards Him? Could it be to purify your heart of your love for the material world? Could it be to keep your arrogance in check? Could it be to absolve your sins? Could it be to strengthen you in preparation of your own future? Whatever the reason, you have to keep holding on to your trust in Allah. To do that, you have to quell your personal desires, anger, disappointments, frustrations, and all other futile and negative emotions. Instead, change your attitude and your mindset to a positive and humble one. Trust in Him, be patient, and things will be fine. What is the alternative? The first two verses of Surah Ankabut pose the following statements to us: “Do the people think that they will be left to say, "We believe" and they will not be tried? But We have certainly tried those before them, and Allah will surely make evident those who are truthful, and He will surely make evident the liars.” [29:2- 29:3] Do we want to be classified as those who fail the trials that Allah has given to us? Do we want to be labelled as liars and disbelievers in Allah’s Kingdom? A disobedient person will become angry, argue with Allah, doubt in Allah, think that Allah is punishing him, resist the changes even though they are beyond his control. A disobedient person will think he knows what is best for him better than his Creator does, and refuse submit to Allah's will. Instead of trying to comprehend the wisdom behind the events, the disobedient will get caught and sucked into a self made cyclone of self pity, denial, anger and despair. This escalates his inner turmoil, confusion, sadness and impaired judgment. Worse, he runs the risk of Allah prolonging his suffering due to his lack of gratitude and trust to Allah. All inner peace is shattered; he is in a whirl of internal and external chaos and everything becomes complicated. If one adopts this attitude, where is the sincerity to Allah? It is not a happy ending ... he will end up in an emotional and psychological mess and will slowly and surely destroy his happiness for this life and the next. Allah’s Sequence The above may sound simplistic, but life is really that simple. Allah has a certain sunnah, a sequence or manner in which events unfold according to His rules, based on a simple cause and effect formula. How Allah deals with you depends on how you deal with Him. If you believe in Allah, you simply need to eliminate all your pre-conceived notions about handling your life affairs and problems, and follow the sequence commanded by Allah in the Qur’an. You have a choice of which state you want to be in. Whatever the tragedy, it is not the end of the world. Others have suffered worse and have triumphed. By empowering yourself with trust in Allah, you will realize that even though the circumstances may be tough, your attitude and ability to rise above all these events have given you the means to stay balanced even if the world is shaking. With the passing of time, you will also understand that whatever Allah chose for you, even if in the form of a calamity, was actually the best for you, even if you did not understand it when the events occurred. So be patient and seek the help of Allah in times of distress. Allah is waiting for you to turn to him, so turn towards Him and let him navigate the way through your turmoil. Similar to this: The Road to Happiness http://muslimfootsteps.com/?q=the-road-to-happiness
  5. Just For You ~

    ~ Just for you ~ Do you know yourself? Today, teenagers and young adults go through life with three or four different faces and personalities, depending on who they are with. Like chameleons, they skillfully alter themselves in order to adapt to their high pressure environments and the various demands that originate from their bosses, parents, spouses, family and friends. Life has become a masquerade for them, and over time external layers which were initially invented as a coping mechanism, compelling them to have different hearts, minds, soul and even goals in order to accommodate whoever they are with, develop. Are you the same person with your family, your friends and others? Or do you develop alter egos, meek in front of parents, easygoing amongst friends, rigid with family, charming with your colleagues; and living behind conflicting facades in order to achieve what you think you need: to accommodate everyone, to satisfy everybody, to blend in, or even just to escape you own reality? If you act with a different personality before different groups, and ask these various groups to come together to describe you, will they give a consistent coherent picture of who you are, or will their reports be contradictory? All these layers of make believe and being phony, will develop habits of living an illusion.In the end, such people disintegrate internally and are in constant inner conflict, because all the various personalities and faces are not reconcilable. Like a lens that is constantly shattered and reglued, each cracked facet, even when joined together, unifies to a very fragile and dysfunctional whole. How many faces do you have? Are you forced to be different people all in one, revealing or suppressing different aspects of yourself depending on who you are interacting with and who you are trying to impress? Can you really be three or four different persons within one body and soul, and be true to who you are and who you were meant to be? Are you a lost soul? With a lost heart? And a lost mind? Have you lost time? Lost lost lost …Busy busy busy… But you are going nowhere! What do you hope to achieve when living life as a pretender? Scoring well in examinations? Landing a good job? Making a man or a woman happy? To be popular? Entering into a fantasy relationship where you are living in a dreamland, the never ending story? Can you be who you truly are if you are constantly pretending to be someone that you are not? After acting out these multiple roles, diminishing who you really are,obscuring your true goal in life, and causing you a lot of sadness, loneliness and inner misery, what is the next step? What is it that you are so desperately seeking to make you feel fulfilled and happy, and why? Is it love that you are seeking? A physical relationship? Are you searching for a companion, and if so, what kind, and why? Apply the same question to your job, lifestyle, and all the decisions that you make in life in order to seek this fulfillment. Or, is it inner peace and tranquility that you are secretly yearning for? Are you on the quest of true happiness? Again, you have to ask yourself: what are you searching for, and what is its value to you? If you do not know, the cycle of make-believe and pretense will continue, and you will keep hunting for various safety valves whenever you are on the verge of breaking down under the weight of so many conflicting personalities. It can be a vacation, pretty clothes, jewellery, piece of music, a nice evening out, or a fancy dinner. But when it is over, you are still like a hamster running on a wheel, exhausted, without a real personality, and going nowhere. "Nobody understands me. I'm looking for someone to understand me." Do you feel misunderstood, wanting, hoping and wishing for others to understand you? Or do you wish to understand who you truly are, under all these layers that you have created? Are you free to make your own decisions, think for yourself, and do what is the best for yourself? Do you have a stable and clear vision and set of principles that you are living with? I have come across wonderful people in my life, with beautiful souls and hearts, who are highly intelligent and well meaning. However, they are living in an illusion, composed of lies and complex make-believe to protect themselves from family battles, social misunderstandings or complicated situations … the reasons are endless. What is the result? They become deceivers to others, play-acting to be who they are not, faking emotions they do not feel; and living life as an imaginary personality to the point that they end up lying to themselves and repressing many aspects of who they really are. Where are you? Who are you? Are you there? I have encountered numerous wonderful people who are wearing themselves out, trying to indulge everyone; and searching for or defining their own identities through professional growth and career, or setting out their roles in life relative to the expectation of others rather than what they want for themselves. They lose themselves in the process. In my younger days, a wise man advised me that it is all right to lose everything but not lose yourself. When you have lost yourself, you have lost everything; even if you own everything else in the world. Conversely, if you gain yourself, it is much better for you, even if you have lost everything else. There is a very important point to be made here. What would the outcome be if, in your whirlwind of pleasing others, your illusory identity becomes a habit which ultimately diminishes and strangles your own personality? You will become blind and unable to breathe because you have always been doing things at the direction of others but which are not necessarily beneficial to you. You will be fractured and fragile. If you are sucked into the vortex of other people’s expectations and issues, will you know what to do for yourself? Will you know how to make the correct decisions for your own well being instead of the benefit of others even if it destroys you? This leads us to a critical juncture: when one wants to cross over from this disguise of half truths and lies, to who he really is. The majority of teens and young adults adopt different camouflages to assimilate with the different styles of life, friends, age groups and cultures. This pushes them to live without a clear set of principles, personality or guidance. They destroy themselves as each phony outer layer, layer by layer, drowns them until there is nothing of them left. What is the value of a person living without a principle, where the person ultimately becomes a doormat, with no identity? How does this end? They become clowns, faceless, in elaborate costumes, but with tears running down their cheeks. You want it to stop when the conflicting demands get too much to handle. You don't want to talk but you cannot deal with it anymore. Time to Relax! Life’s reality is tough, and there will always be problems and demands from others. The truth is heavy, and the challenges are high. Now you are in the fork with two available paths.You can continue falling into this downward spiral, losing yourself every day, or you can make it stop and break out of this cycle. If you want it to stop and find yourself, then you need to relax. Take a break from everyone, to give yourself the peace of mind and heart, to allow yourself to reflect and break away from your cyclone. The first stage is to start a journey of self-discovery. Think of it as a journey of snatching, rescuing, saving and guidance. This is a voyage that no one can or will do for you. It is a path that you have to travel by yourself. The starting point is to free yourself utterly and completely from every attachment that you have formed, and escape from everyone for some “alone time”, with completely different companionship, or even no companion if no one is a suitable companion for your journey of iman. One of my beloved sisters once kept crying and saying that she wished to relax. But what does relaxation really mean? The word "relax" varies from one person to the next. Some people sleep, listen to music, have a drink. Some people perform yoga or meditate. Some people go for a sauna or jacuzzi. Some people even commit suicide! However, these are not solutions, they are merely tools of escapism... A bit long but the rest of the article is here: http://muslimfootsteps.com/?q=just-for-you/page/0/1
  6. Photography

    Post your fave./best pictures you've taken! :) Some of my fave. that I've taken:
  7. Photography

    So I told my best friend that I'm not feeling well, and feeling sad, so when I go to sleep over at her house the next day, she puts this next to my bed, Kleenex and ear swabs. The Kleenex was too funny because she thought I was going to cry. LOL xD The best birthday card from my awesome little sister. <3 Anddd finally, a cool picture of an airplane flying overhead. :happy:
  8. Random Incoherence

    It's official. I have a short temper. -______- I guess I'll grow out of it eventually? I mean I've gotten much calmer since my younger days. I hope that's how it works anyway. :/ Sometimes I'm glad to have people like my older bro to tell me to calm down, and things just aren't as big of a deal as I make them out to be.
  9. Random Incoherence

    I have fallen and I can't get up. :/
  10. Random Incoherence

    That funny moment when somebody tries to be slick and you see right through them. lol Of course, I won't call people out on it. But I find it funny nonetheless.
  11. Random Incoherence

    That veryyyyyyyyyy awkward moment when friend A says to me in front of friend B, 'oh, aren't you going to miss her so much when she moves to Texas' and I get brain freeze and don't say anything at all for a good 10 longgg seconds and just give friend B the fakest smile with a confused look on my face. LOL I wasn't going to miss her since I don't even know her that well, I couldn't even get myself to lie and say yes, I just FROZE. Friend B probably thought 'wow ok fineee' lol Man, I really need to prepare myself for these kinds of painfully awkward situations.
  12. Help Me Learn And Learn In Turn

    What do you mean by combat? How do they combat the gods? Do you see this take place?
  13. Do I Leave My Mother?

    As salaamu 'alaikum, can you possibly move in as a roommate with other girls, if you do decide to leave? I don't think its a good idea to leave the U.S. Does your mom abuse your sister? You have to call the cops on her. Hopefully she will get the message after she's visited jail a couple of times.
  14. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WD440CY2Vs0 What are some of your solutions to procrastination?
  15. Help Me Learn And Learn In Turn

    lol Just following the conversation. :D
  16. Random Incoherence

    Walaikum as salaam, Thank you for the advice. Well, that's exactly it, certain things, I am just not ready to compromise. Sometimes I suppose families think that if they pressure you enough, you'll give in. So I would much rather go out and live alone, than marry anyone who comes along, just because of family pressure. Of course, if there is a fit, or even some level of compatibility, I am willing to compromise *something* but until then I should be able to live peacefully without being pressured. :D
  17. xD http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GCWBrMPZtH0
  18. Salam Cafe - Working With A Muslim

    This is still funny! lol
  19. Random Incoherence

    The time has come yet again, to be pressured into getting married. I am not willing to sell myself short for the feelings and whims of others. I think its time to move on out.
  20. Photography

    Thanks!
  21. Walaikum as salaam, Hmm, maybe there was no other option for the doctor? And maybe he didn't know of the alcohol content in the tablet? Your husband wasn't feeling well and the doctor gave what they thought was best for him. Maybe you can ask them to prescribe an alternative to Phenergan? May I ask how this is malpractice? P.S.: You'd be surprised the kinds of things that are added to our everyday food. lol O_o http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/10/26/fda-approved-rat-hairs-an_n_773608.html#s165326&title=Pizza_Sauce_30
  22. Photography

    Taken by my brother =D
  23. Islam is from the inside out ~ As a child, and even into my adulthood, I was brought up to believe that all one needs to do to enter Paradise is to become a Muslim. This meant, from an academic understanding, to accept a certain belief system (the Islamic pillars of faith, such as the belief in God and His scriptures); solemnized by the proclamation that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad SAW is His messenger (the shahadah); and followed by the performance of the compulsory rituals that form the five pillars of Islam. I was raised to believe that if someone performs the five pillars of Islamic worship, such as the daily prayers and the monthly fast of Ramadan, his admittance to Paradise is guaranteed. A Muslim (and to my understanding, including the lucky ones who are born Muslim) has a free ticket to jannah, if they adhere to the essentials of worship. Paradise is guaranteed – even if you were dipped in Jahannam first for your sins, your Islamic birthright will give you traction to enter Paradise. This complacent attitude was confusing. What about people who pray but carry spite in their hearts? What about people who perform hajj and umrah but continue being rude and arrogant once the pilgrimage is completed? What about people who pay zakat but are tight fisted and greedy? What about people who fast but look down on the needy? I was puzzled by the disconnect between ritual and behaviour. Can people who profess the shahadah and perform the prescribed rituals really be so confident of Paradise, even if they are selfish or arrogant – or just plain unhelpful to society? Do outward acts of worship obviate the need for basic kindness, compassion, generosity and consideration? For, on the face of it, the pillars of Islamic faith and worship are silent and do not clearly impose these additional duties on us. The sad thing is, having had 11 years of formal Islamic education, I was never once taught that Islam comes from the inside out, not the outside in. How you conduct yourself should be a personification of your belief and what you carry in your heart. The first step is internal – the cornerstone of Islam is to surrender to the will of Allah. Islam is born in the heart and personified through action and manner. Unfortunately, most Islamic education today emphasizes the external aspects only - rules and rituals, the permitted and the prohibited. There are extensive discussions and arguments over small ritualistic details, but so little on establishing the understanding of what Islam truly is. I was taught how to pray but not why we pray, how to fast, not why we fast. I was taught how to recite the Qur'an, but not what the Qur'an says. There was no proper education on how to be thoughtful, generous or kind – I took these as universal values but never realized that these can also be derived from Islamic knowledge. Hence, the outward acts have been memorized to perfection, but the essence itself remained superficial. I believe that many of us suffer from the same lack of substantial Islamic understanding – a sad legacy of many postcolonial countries. As a result, the concept of piety is often misunderstood, as emphasis is placed on outward appearances and the frequency of worship. Now I know that one who prays five times a day in a Masjid but is abusive to his wife cannot be considered a pious man. Neither can a fasting woman in a hijab who continually slanders and backbites be considered a pious woman. Piety takes the whole package into account. But in the society I grew up in, appearances overwrote behaviour. Islam for so many of us starts and stops at the ritualistic acts. Many of us don't realize that the continuation of our behaviour outside of "worshipping hours" is also a reflection of our faith. Islam does not just regulate our relationship with God, but also regulates our relationships with each other. Most of all – and I believe I am not alone in this – no one explained to me that what I utter on my tongue must be in complete sync with what I have in my heart. For this is what Islam is, total submission of your entire being. If we say "La ila ha illallah" - the negation of everything and everyone but Allah – these words are only sincere if they are transmitted into affirmative action by our hearts, minds and bodies. Islam is not just a talk. When we bear witness that there is no deity but Allah and that Muhammad SAW is His final Messenger, it is then our continuing duty to learn and put into action what Allah and His Messenger require of us. This is why the belief in the holy scriptures is important. Of the sacred texts, only the Qur'an, the final guidance to mankind, is preserved in its pure and unadulterated form, and contains the guidelines by which we are to live if we want to be under Allah's acceptance and protection. Our Messenger SAW also gave us many examples to live by for the same purpose. Islam is not just about rituals. True Islamic teachings extol the value of love, kindness, sacrifice, good manners, humility, mercy, compassion, patience, generosity and all other elements which are important for the formulation of our individual characters as well as for the upholding of the social contract between us. There are plenty of warnings that traits such as stinginess, hastiness, selfishness, rudeness, backbiting, anger, arrogance, hatred, harshness and jealousy are destructive to us at an individual and collective level, and categorically prohibited in Islam. In short, Allah does not just take to task our compulsory acts of worship, but He also watches how we behave with each other and what is in our hearts. If our behaviour on the small day to day things, or even our basic manners, are contrary to what Allah has ordained, then can we say we truly carry Islam in our hearts? If we claim we believe in Allah but our manners with others indicate otherwise, then aren't our acts of worship at risk of being eroded or rejected? Will our acts of worship be anything but hollow routines, done by way of imitation rather than true comprehension? It is true that the shahadah will lead us to Jannah, but there is no guarantee that we do not have to go to hellfire first for our sins. If so, we do not know how long we will stay there. We do not know which of our deeds, including our worship, will be accepted by Allah. Islam is an entire way of life – rituals do not exist in a vacuum, but are supported by all other aspects of our conduct. It is upon us to seek the correct knowledge on this. It is said that one of the indications of whether our worship has been accepted is if it leads to a marked improvement in our conduct and the abandonment of our wrongful behaviour. Hence, someone should emerge from his prayer calm and tranquil. Someone should complete his fasting with a higher degree of compassion to the needy. Someone should emerge from giving zakat with even less attachment to his riches. Someone should come home from pilgrimage with an increased patience and obedience to Allah. The worship is a reinforcement of someone's good character. Thus, if one consistently persists in being rude, stingy, arrogant, cruel or sinful after fulfilling all his acts of worship, it is an indication that there is something gravely amiss about the quality of his worship, despite how superior it may be to the human eye. For me, this bridges many of the gaps I've always wondered about, but leads me to another eye opening thought – forget about their actions, what about my own? How much of my own good deeds and acts of worship have been accepted by Allah, and how much of it have I destroyed by behaving badly and carrying the wrong things in my heart before and after the ritual? The answer is unknown, and indeed, quite frightening. May Allah grant us sincerity in our deeds and accept all of them, ameen. Source: http://muslimfootsteps.com/?q=Islam-is-from-the-inside-out
  24. Random Incoherence

    Sometimes it's strange to think that one day I'll be in the ground covered in dirt. Life is so short. :/
  25. Random Incoherence

    I loveeeeeeeeeeeeeee the time between summer and fall. The weather is so amazing, masha Allah. Nice cool breeze yet warm at the same time. Nothing quite like great weather. <3
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