“We all have hardships.”

As-salamu `alaykum wa rahmatullah

I just returned from a short trip abroad and whilst there, my sister and I were casually conversing with a Bulgarian hotel waitress. She asked about our visit and we somehow went on to the topic of my mother’s poor health. At that point, she put her hand on my sister’s shoulder and began giving such comforting words to us. Then she took out something from her uniform pocket. It was a picture of a young girl with pigtails. She said, “This is my daughter, she is only 2 years old, and she’s been taken away from me.” She then gave us a comforting smile and a look of understanding and simply said, “We all have hardships.”  

Reality. Subhan’Allah, there are some things that can easily bring together Humanity simply because they are a true reality faced by all.

Blessings are literally poured over you during testing times. But your heart and mind are so fixated on the whirlwind that you don’t see the goodness around you. And even if your eyes see it, your preoccupied mind might not acknowledge it. So take a deep breath, watch the sun rise over a new day, listen to the birds chirp, watch your beloved ones walk and talk around you, go to work or school and struggle through the day – because even in your struggle, there is peculiar and wondrous beauty.

It was never about the actual test that you went through, because tests approach every living thing; though they come wearing different masks. But it was about the turbulence during your plight and it was about the aftermath that you had to deal with; your reaction or composure, your words or your silence. See, it’s rarely ever about the test alone, but almost always just all about you.

Sometimes, a door might close upon you and you really feel its impact because it was a door that you were looking at. But as Ibn al-Qayyim said, no door closes except that Allah opens up at least 2 other doors out of Mercy. We just have to hearken to the Signs of Allah around us, and look for which doors have been opened and are now ajar. You may be in for a pleasant surprise.

Life will teach you if you allow it to teach you, and it will bring you its benefits if you allow it to bring you benefit, and it will coach you if you allow it to coach you. The key is to become its student, and remain as its student through the thick and thin.

Keep striving.
Gates usually open upon the last fatigued knock.

“Perhaps the delay in you attaining your wish lies in a benefit which Allah wants for you. So be patient. Do not hasten. And be optimistic. For indeed, what awaits you of blessing is far greater than what you wished for, and there is no-one more generous than Allah.” – Unknown

“When a person we love falls ill, we say it is a test, but when a person we dislike falls ill, we say it is a punishment. When a person we love is afflicted with hardship, we say it is because he is a good person, but when a person we dislike is afflicted with hardship, we say it is because he has wronged others. Be very careful of handing out the wisdom of Allah behind His Decree based on your desire.” - Unknown

“If you are tested, then be patient. It will soon go.
And if you are broken, don’t worry. Allah mends all hearts.
Whoever puts Allah in his heart, then none will ever harm him.”

- Unknown poet

How to Memorise the Qur’an Course

As-salamu `alaykum wa rahmatullah

How to Memorise the Qur’an Course

Course information:

This is an intensive 1-month course which has been designed to be taken before embarking upon hifdh. The course will go through specially-made coursebooks to help inspire students, break mental and spiritual barriers, learn to overcome obstacles, explore the lives of huffadh and aspiring huffadh, as well as study the various methods of hifdh. An interactive course and workshop for learning and exploring Hifdh al-Qur’an.

No requirements or pre-requisites. This course is designed for all adults. However, students must first register by emailing contact below.

Dates:

2nd March
9th March
16th March
23rd March

Time: 10:30am – 2:30pm

Venue:

Leading Life Centre
1-3 Manor Parade
2nd Floor
Sheepcote Road
Harrow
HA1 2JN

Nearest Tube: Harrow-on-the-Hill (Metropolitan Line)

Course fee: £50

Limited spaces.

Class now registering!
Please email: info@ fajr-literary.com 

The foremost will be foremost

As-salamu `alaykum wa rahmatullah

“And those foremost, will be foremost.
Those are the ones brought near.”
[al-Waqi'ah: 10-11]

The sabiqun – those who are foremost in good deeds in this world – will be sabiqun (foremost) towards Paradise in the Hereafter. But something I was reading yesterday struck my interest in the next verse. It says that these people, on the Day of Judgement, will be ‘Muqarrabun‘. This means to draw close. However the usual word for that is ‘Mutaqarribun‘ which means to do something in order to get closer to something (i.e. they did deeds to get closer to Paradise). But here it says ‘Muqarrabun‘ which changes the picture completely because now it means that they being drawn close without any effort on their part and instead, other things are being brought close to them. The exertion of effort is reversed.

The foremost in this world exerted their efforts to get near to Paradise although it lies in the realm of another world. So when they reached that world, Paradise was moved and drawn close to them; as mentioned in other verses: “And Paradise will be brought near to the righteous.” [al-Shu'ara': 90]

They no longer need to exert their efforts because it was accepted from them in a past world, wallahu a’lam. Masha’Allah, the language of the Qur’an is just incredible.

[Inspired by a text I was reading in Sh. al-'Affani's book 'Wa-Sabiqun al-Sabiqun']

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.