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~ 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
Glimpses from Surah Adh-Dhariyat Invitation to the Hereafter How to communicate with the Quran: Allah SWT has created everything in perfect order, including the Qur’an. Quran is a message from Allah, we have to know how to read it in order to understand the messages. One of the ways to derive real pleasure from the Qur’an is to understand its order and organization. Allah SWT revealed Qur’an on our beloved Prophet SAW over a period of twenty three years. During this time the verses were revealed according to the situations that arose; these verses were later compiled into surahs (chapters) and these surahs were then organized in a certain order—all under the guidance of Jibreel AS according to the will of Allah SWT. About 2/3 of the Qur’an was revealed in Makkah and it mostly deals with two major issues, faith and sacrifice; 1/3 of the Qur’an that was revealed in Medina deals with laws and rules/regulations according to the needs of the developing Muslim society at the time. However, the compilation of Qur’an is vastly different from its revelation. Majority of the longer surahs at the beginning were revealed in Medina and deal with laws and rules of the deen; the middle of Qur’an contains stories of the Messengers and Prophets which deal with the development of faith; but as we get closer to the end of the Qur’an the verses become shorter and more precise, and surahs deal with the issues of hereafter, with the description of heaven and hellfire, and warnings against disobedience and rejection of the message of Allah SWT. Qur’an has its own unique continuum with each chapter’s ending introducing the beginning of the following chapter. Being the word of Allah SWT, Quran is an ocean of knowledge and wisdom—every believer can find answers to his questions and quench his thirst of knowledge in this ocean. The key of this is humbleness and humility as the pious scholars have mentioned that Qur’an reads you before you read it (meaning you will receive messages according to your intention, humbleness and state of your heart.) Receiving Messages from the Qur’an: When you read Qur’an and Allah SWT allows you to receive a message, communicate with Him. Stop and repeat the verses and make du’a for Allah SWT to allow you to live and spread this message. The message you receive could be a glad tiding or a warning against your actions or lifestyle. After that Allah SWT wants you to believe in Him, trust Him, and perform actions according to the message you received. These actions could both be internal and external. Internal actions are intention and sincere determination of continuous good deeds, and external actions are good deeds. This requires complete emotional commitment, sincerity, humbleness, and honesty. Once these traits are intact, Allah will be the greatest in the heart and sacrifice will be easy. If these traits are not inculcated deeply in the heart, meaning the person is not ready yet and has to continue fighting against Shaytaan and his nafs (desires, temptations and negative personality traits). Surah Adh-Dhariyat: In this article, we will look at surah Adh-Dhariyat and the general messages that we can derive from it, bi-idhnillah. Surah Adh-Dhariyat was revealed in Makkah and is located towards the end of the Qur’an so its theme is hereafter. As I mentioned earlier, the ending of a surah is the introduction of the following one. Surah Qaf is located before Surah Adh-Dhariyat and introduces it to us with the following verses: And listen for the Day when the Caller will call out from a place quiet near,- The Day when they will hear a (mighty) Blast in (very) truth: that will be the Day of Resurrection. Verily it is We Who give Life and Death; and to Us is the Final Goal-The Day when the Earth will be rent asunder, from (men) hurrying out: that will be a gathering together,- quite easy for Us. We know best what they say; and thou art not one to overawe them by force. So admonish with the Qur'an such as fear My Warning! (50: 41-45) Allah SWT started Surah Adh-Dhariyat with the mention of His qudra (power) and He swore by it. In the Arabic language, swearing is done to bring attention to an important matter as well as a final ultimatum towards it, and this is what Allah SWT has done here. By the (Winds) that scatter broadcast; And those that lift and bear away heavy weights; And those that flow with ease and gentleness; And those that distribute and apportion by Command;- Verily that which ye are promised is true; And verily Judgment and Justice must indeed come to pass. (51: 1-6) Allah SWT swore by His qudra to emphasize the reality and importance of the hereafter, and He SWT continues to do that for the next few verses until all of a sudden the message changes and the story of Ibraheem AS is mentioned. Allah SWT mentions the miraculous birth of Ishaq AS who was born to Sarah and Ibraheem AS at a very old age—another display of the power of Allah showing that nothing is impossible for Him SWT. The message that we can derive from this story is that Allah fulfills His promise to His slaves who sacrifice all that they have for the love of their Lord SWT. Ibraheem AS was given the gift of Ishaq—referred to as the knowledgeable boy in the Qur’an—after he showed willingness to sacrifice Ismaeel, his first born son for the pleasure of Allah SWT. Allah SWT first granted him and his son the honor of rebuilding the Ka’bah and then went on to grant Ibraheem AS another son from whom many more Prophets came. (When they did not eat), He conceived a fear of them. They said, "Fear not," and they gave him glad tidings of a son endowed with knowledge. But his wife came forward (laughing) aloud: she smote her forehead and said: "A barren old woman!" They said, "Even so has thy Lord spoken: and He is full of Wisdom and Knowledge." (51: 28—30) Allah SWT continues this message of His power and strength by mentioning the destroyed nations of the past who didn’t heed the call of the Prophets sent to them and were arrogant over the signs of Allah SWT. Nations like those of Lut, Pharaoh, ‘Ad, Nuh and Thamud who mocked the signs of Allah SWT were ruined and turned into signs for the future generations. (Abraham) said: "And what, O ye Messengers, is your errand (now)?" They said, "We have been sent to a people (deep) in sin;- "To bring on, on them, (a shower of) stones of clay (brimstone), "Marked as from thy Lord for those who trespass beyond bounds." Then We evacuated those of the Believers who were there, But We found not there any just (Muslim) persons except in one house: And We left there a Sign for such as fear the Grievous Penalty. And in Moses (was another Sign): Behold, We sent him to Pharaoh, with authority manifest. But (Pharaoh) turned back with his Chiefs, and said, "A sorcerer, or one possessed!" So We took him and his forces, and threw them into the sea; and his was the blame. And in the 'Ad (people) (was another Sign): Behold, We sent against them the devastating Wind: It left nothing whatever that it came up against, but reduced it to ruin and rottenness. And in the Thamud (was another Sign): Behold, they were told, "Enjoy (your brief day) for a little while!" But they insolently defied the Command of their Lord: So the stunning noise (of an earthquake) seized them, even while they were looking on. Then they could not even stand (on their feet), nor could they help themselves. So were the People of Noah before them for they wickedly transgressed. (51: 31—46) Notice the precise message of the verses: act of disobedience by the people and Allah’s punishment on them. There are no excuses or details involved anymore. At the time this surah was revealed, the believers were severely tortured in Makkah and no door seemed to be open for them to escape from these atrocities. At a time like this, Allah SWT is strengthening their faith by reminding them of what happened to arrogant nations before them and also emphasizing His power and the truth of His promises so as to reaffirm their faith and encourage their patience. Allah SWT is telling us that we need Him and that He SWT doesn’t need us. Allah SWT reminds us of His existence in everything around us, including our own selves and then gives us the following advise/command: Hasten ye then (at once) to Allah.(51:50) He SWT is the one who created us and He knows our weaknesses; one of which is anxiety about provision. He SWT doesn’t want us to be distracted from His message so He assures us that He is the provider and He will provide for us. If you work for Allah, Allah promises to provide for you; at this point, worry for future, disability, lack of education or strength all become meaningless and only the Qudra of Allah SWT remains. Allah SWT relieves the worry of provision from His slaves in the following words: I have only created Jinns and men, that they may serve Me. No Sustenance do I require of them, nor do I require that they should feed Me. For Allah is He Who gives (all) Sustenance,- Lord of Power,- Steadfast (for ever). (51: 56—58) This takes us back to the beginning of the surah where Allah SWT proclaimed that He is the All-Powerful and His promises will come to pass. In Surah Adh-Dhariyat Allah SWT invites humanity to His oneness, declares His unlimited and unimaginable abilities, reassures of His sustenance to His slaves and leaves the door of akhirah open to whoever wants to walk through it. And it is among the choicest blessings of Allah on a person to be able to reject duniya (world, this transitory life) with all its temptations and choose akhirah. May Allah allow us to be among these chosen ones and open our hearts and souls to receive the message of Qur’an. Ameen. By Da'ee Ahmed Moait For more articles like these, please visit: http://noora1.com/ :)