He turned to you so you could turn to Him.

As-salamu `alaykum wa rahmatullah

When Ibrahim and his son built the Ka’bah, their du’a included this:

“…Our Lord, and make us Muslims (submitting) to You and from our descendants a Muslim nation (in submission) to You. And show us our rites and turn unto us (in Mercy). Indeed, You are the Accepting of repentance, the Merciful.” [al-Baqarah: 128]

The last bit is very interesting because it says ‘tub `alayna’ which means ‘turn to us’ but the term used is the same derivative as tawbah itself (which is what they’re requesting). Subhan’Allah, Ibrahim (as), the close friend of Allah, understood something that most of us don’t understand… There is a step before repentance; a process happens before any of us can repent and that is: Allah first turns to us in Mercy.

This is why in the story of Ka’b ibn Malik (who didn’t go on the Tabuk expedition along with 2 others), Allah says:

“And (He also turned to) the three who were left behind (and regretted their error) to the point that the earth closed in on them in spite of its vastness and their souls confined them and they were certain that there is no refuge from Allah except in Him. Then He turned to them (taaba `alayhim) so they could repent (li-yatubu). Indeed, Allah is the Accepting of repentance, the Merciful.” [al-Tawbah: 118]

…He first turned to them, so that they could turn to Him in repentance. Subhan’Allah, how merciful is Allah, and how arrogant we can be if we think that our repenting was from our own accord – no, it’s all from Allah `azza wa jall. So let’s learn a lesson from Ibrahim, the khalil (close friend) of Allah, and beg Allah to always turn to us, so that we can keep turning to Him.

‘I don’t think it ends like that.’

As-salamu `alaykum wa rahmatullah

Shaykh al-Maghamisi mentions an interesting story of a Bedouin who once walked past a man reciting the Qur’an. The man was reciting the verse below from Surah al-Ma’idah:

وَالسَّارِقُ وَالسَّارِقَةُ فَاقْطَعُوا أَيْدِيَهُمَا جَزَاءً بِمَا كَسَبَا نَكَالًا مِّنَ اللَّهِ ۗ
“As for the thief, both male and female, cut off their hands as a recompense for what they committed as a deterrent [punishment] from Allah…” [al-Ma’idah: 38]

But as he was reciting, he made a mistake at the end and closed the verse with, ‘Wallahu Ghafurur-Rahim’ (‘And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful). The Bedouin surprisingly halted and said, “I don’t think it ends like that.”

When the man double checked, sure enough, he found himself mistaken and corrected himself saying, ‘Wallahu ‘Azeezun-Hakim’ (‘And Allah is Powerful and Wise’). The Bedouin replied, “Yes, that’s it.”

 وَاللَّهُ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ
“…And Allah is Powerful and Wise.” [al-Ma'idah: 38]

When the people asked him how he know (since in general, Bedouins weren’t learned or scholarly), he replied:

“Allah in His Might confirmed (the ruling), then He judged by it, and so the hand is cut. But were He to forgive and show Mercy, then the hand would never be cut.”

Subhan’Allah, his understanding of Allah and His Attributes was on-point and because of this, he was able to suss out a mistake even though he was not learned. And for this reason, if a sincere slave knows their Lord well and knows the core Principles of the Deen well, then insha’Allah they will not be misguided easily and they will always have an unease towards things that are not good, proper or authentic. Allah will preserve His Book through various means, even through the hearkening of a Bedouin’s ear.

May Allah increase our understanding and keep us firm on His Path, ameen.

A Sign

As-salamu `alaykum wa rahmatullah

The first verse of the Qur’an is an interesting one:

“All Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds.” [al-Fatihah: 1]

Have you ever wondered what the word, ‘Alameen’ (العالمين) really means? Most of the time it is translated as ‘worlds’ or ‘all things’ etc. But is there a deeper meaning to it?

Well, one interesting take by the scholars (such as Sh. Muhammad al-Amin al-Shinqiti in his tafsir ‘Adhwa al-Bayan) is that this word comes from the Arabic word: ‘alamah (علامة) which means ‘a sign’. Because everything in the heavens and the earth, everything in the world and all the Worlds out there, is a sign pointing to the existence and power of Allah, the Creator.

Allahu akbar :)

Don’t let calamities stifle you

As-salamu `alaykum wa rahmatullah

Wow, how incredible masha’Allah! This book of du’as that you see above, was gifted to a friend of mine. Please read the story behind it:

“…I stumbled across this selection of Duas that had been gifted to my husband and me when we lived in Istanbul. When the brother gave it I thought it was a beautiful gesture in itself, to guide us and give us a reminder to ask Allah by way of these Prophetic Duas. I folded it away and put it to the side, the brother then said to us “That’s hand written.” I was amazed and re-opened it, Subhan Allah, so perfect! Could it really be written by hand? I looked for any slight error, slight bump in the smoothness of the each line and curve. Mashallah, there were none to be found. “That’s not all”, he said, “this was written by a sister who had learned and received ijazah in the art of calligraphy. She then tragically lost her right arm in a terrible accident. She felt such sadness without her ability to write that she decided to go back and learn again with her left hand. She strove and worked hard and that there in your hands is what she achieved with her left hand.”

Allahu Akbar! It is one of the most inspiring stories and most treasured item I have. That great things can be achieved, that loss is only as stifling as we allow it to be, that work and learning in the path of Allah is made easy and facilitated by Him so always aim high. I never met this sister, I don’t even know her name but this sheet of paper with her hand written Duas lifts me every time I cross paths with it alhamdulilah.”

Yes, you can all wipe that tear away now and make a special du’a for this inspiring sister (and also my friend who shared the picture and story).

‘…It will come and go…’

As-salamu `alaykum wa rahmatullah

“People will live amongst people, for as long as they live,
For without doubt, fortune and goodness will come and go.
The best of people amongst others is a man who,
Upon his hands the needs of others are settled.
Never withhold your assistance from anyone,
As long as you are capable, for fortune tends to come and go.
And give thanks for the bounties of Allah,
If you are the one to settle the needs of others.
Indeed, people have died, and their virtues died too
And some have lived, but they are truly dead among the people.”

- Imam al-Shafi’i