Excerpts from my life

Settling

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

muslim-woman-praying

It is almost a month from my previous post. As I reflect upon it and my state of mind whilst I was writing it,  I recall the gloominess around me. Alhamdulillah, how beautifully my Rabb looked after all my affairs.

I appeared for my exam last week and Alhamdulillah I cleared my Arabic test too. I remember being very tensed until I completed the paper. So much that I was not even certain to pass.  It was purely Allah’s mercy.

Alhamdulillah, I also managed to knock the door of my nearest neighbor one fine day. They lady who greeted me was a warm woman with an adorable toddler who could not stop laughing when I held him. There are four more doors I intend to knock this week In Sha Allah.

I’ve started to find ease in watching the sunsets and the trains the pass make me laugh when my voice sinks in their loud horns. I wake up to bright mornings with mild rays seeping right through the window on my sheets. Just how ideal could it be. The weather is always pleasant and the breeze oh so soothing! The squirrel by my window is pregnant, so I am expecting a flourishing squirrel family there soon.

The calmness has begun to settle within me.

By the mercy of Allah subhana wa ta’ala, I mingled with the Muslimahs here and managed to start a weekly study circle to ponder over the Qur’an. Knowing these girls has again showed me a bare aspect of the Muslim society. Our youth is not guided at all. It is not that they are not interested about their religion. It is wrong to blame that they are heedless. The fact is that nobody told them. I wonder what makes parents do this to their daughters. Perhaps nobody told them too.

There is an absolute dearth of knowledge about Islam in Muslims. What do we expect from the world then? If we are humiliated all over the world, whose fault is it? When we never bothered to know our Rabb and His Book, why do expect His Mercy to befall upon us. The situation is scary. I am at a place where girls join college wearing complete hijab, but after a few months drop it down due to some unknown reason. What could it be?

  1. Lack of knowledge: This is the root of all other reasons. When in the first place we do not know why we do certain things in Islam. It applies to everything we do- sawm, salah, sadaqah, service to people, being kind etc. Not just hijab. When the reason behind any act of worship is social conditioning, family values, parental instructions, or anything other than a heart attached to Allah, it will crash down the moment the reason crashes.
    Therefore, once the society, family or parental supervision is shoved aside, the hijab is also gone. Only a heart that worships out of taqwa of Allah azza wajal will continue to do it until it knows Allah is watching- Eternally.

  2. Lack of confidence: Yes, this is a major reason why most Muslim youth (sadly) does not want to look Muslim externally. It has been so tabooed in the media that a beard and hijab or a Muslim praying in public is often prejudiced to be incompetent or socially inferior. In such a scenario, it needs a lot of courage to prove your mettle in that attire. You have to be extremely good in what you do and at the same time “know” why you do it to answer a hundred questions (or comments) posed at you on Islam. These questions can range from genuine curiosity to being hurtful and discriminatory. Not knowing the answers might leave you humiliated and dumbfound, as well as a negative impact on the opposite person. Needless to say, it will also be a lost opportunity to serve information about Islam to the masses and make them ponder over it.
  3. Hostile environment: Yes, though most of the times the reasons of why we do not practise Islam openly is our own imagination of “what people will think or do” or inferiority complexes, sometimes the hostility does push the ones with a soft heart. The warden of the hostel has no issues with the girls going outside the campus with males or unknown men. She has no tab on girls secretly visiting the boys hostel or openly romancing in the lawns of the campus. But, she has a special tab on this set of girls when they adorn the hijab to attend the Tafseer sessions at my home. She suddenly remembers some alien rules of students not allowed to visit faculty homes. Not only the warden, even the authorities here (surprisingly with majority Muslims in the administration) have kept trousers and shirts as uniform for girls. I am not a moral police. But in India, uniforms in colleges is seriously not the trend. Why can there not be freedom of clothing? Why is freedom of clothing only expressed when females want to adorn western clothing or minimalistic clothing? Is wearing a hijab, abaya, salwar kameez, or scarf not a matter of choice too?

At this moment, gaining authentic and clean knowledge seems the only way.. Until we truly know what it means to be a Muslim, we will never feel confident to practise and speak about Islam. It is the religion of the Lord of Mankind! The Maker , The creator, the Fashioner of everything that exists of this Earth.

Look around and see His signs. Understand His Mercy. Feel His blessings in your own life. Know His Book- The Qur’an. Contemplate at the beauty of the verses. What is it that is expected from us as Humans- the beings with free will. Shall we destroy our own dunya, waste this time here and be doomed forever? Is there really no ultimate purpose our existence? Ponder.. for indeed He has given us his Ayahs (verses, evidences and signs) to ponder…

May Allah ease the affairs of the Ummah and increase us in knowledge and imaan.

114:1

قُلْ أَعُوذُ بِرَبِّ النَّاسِ –

Say, “I seek refuge in the Lord of mankind,

114:2

 

مَلِكِ النَّاسِ –

The Sovereign of mankind.

The God of mankind,
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Excerpts from my life

New Place

Five days back husband and I moved to a new place.  We are putting up in the college campus.  The place is beautiful with lush green corn fields all around. There is a small village outside the campus.

The house is a tiny apartment, one side of it overlooking the fields and the other side faces the campus. The railway line is so close to my apartment that I can feel my bed rocking when a train passes. Early in the morning the horn of the train gives me palpitations at times. Takes a while to soothe my nerves.

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Train through the fields

 

One strange thing I experienced after moving was relocation depression. Perhaps I am still overcoming it. I do not exactly know why this happened. It was certainly not due to my attachment to the old house, nor was it due to the sudden dearth of my social life. In fact, more often than not I spent a lot of time indoors even in my previous home. I sort of like the new house. It is a lot like how I like homes to be- Compact, serene, airy, huge windows, away from hustle bustle and more of a settled life. Sometimes I find myself overwhelmed with ‘setting up the home’ work. So much that I just let the things be. I am yet to even start unpacking things.

The worst time is immediately in the morning when husband leaves for work. For a while I do not know what to do. Though there is a lot to do, I simply end up sitting at some corner and killing time till he comes back. Mostly on the internet. As, I am writing this, I am realising the solution lies in getting up and doing ask the tasks one by one. I have exams coming up after two weeks and I am supposed study. I am terrified of Arabic. I keep forgetting what I learnt for my previous exams since  I do not have anyone to speak in Arabic and practise my lessons. I have been running away from it.

There are also times I think I should ring my neighbor’s doorbell. But there is certain hesitation I feel. What if she is not all that welcoming and warm? My previous neighbours were awesome. I remember, the day I moved in, they were all so warm and came home to greet me.

I try to counsel myself. I count my blessings. There are many things to be grateful for. I am certain I am amongst the blessed ones in this dunya.

I have a roof over my head. I am in a place that is peaceful and safe, so that I can practise my religion freely

I am allowed to study after marriage which is still rare in India. I have exams to appear, which is the easiest thing to do on planet. Yes, I feel studying is the easiest thing one can do. Taking up responsibilities and handling real tensions is so tough.

There are no daily targets and pressures to do anything. Alhamdulillah, I am still connected to some good muslimahs via Whatsapp

Every day I watch the fields at Maghreb and sunset looks gorgeous. Something like this-

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The sun literally drowns in the corn fields. The view is breathtaking

There is a village outside the campus and the villagers tend cattle. Alhamdulillah, for the first time we came across a man selling goat’s milk. Husband and I decided to try it out for a change and it was yummy.

The place is good with certain amenities like gymnasium. Though not very well equipped, but In Sha Allah I intend to join it.

There is a squirrel’s nest on my kitchen window. So early in the morning after fajr I watch them clean themselves and leave their nests only to come back at Asr. I am amazed by their strict schedule. There is some movement in their nest until early Maghreb after which they goto rest. Were we meant to follow the same routine? Husband and I are usually up until very late. Perhaps until 1am or 2 at times.

In the evenings, we can often hear peacocks and parrots chirping 🙂 I am blessed with a lot of beauty around me. Evenings are more relaxed as the day comes to an end.

I downloaded my study modules today. Tomorrow In Sha Allah I must start studying and perhaps unpack one box. I need to meet my neighbour too and figure out how to start some Deen activities here for Muslimahs.

Hopefully, I can start making my days more productive. In Sha Allah

How do you deal with relocating? Ever been through relocation depression? Comment below and share your thoughts

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Excerpts from my life

Marriage Market

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

The wedding trends these days are disturbing. I live in a city dominated by Muslim population. However, extravagant weddings are not a rare sight. Often, during the “wedding season”, we find decorated wedding lawns, burstling with crowd and loud music. More to dismay, we find bearded men and abaya cladded women walking in and out of the premises.

 “If someone should come to you whose religion and character you are pleased with, marry (your daughter) off to him. If you do not do so, there will be mischief in the land and widespread corruption” [At-Tirmidhee (1085)]

It is common that we are told by mothers and sisters to update them if we have a suitable match in sight. On a personal level, I do not mind and often I do exchange references of good muslims. In many cases, it is surprising, that people reject profiles merely by seeing the picture. The deen and character is not even enquired or considered. A fat, dark, poor and short person will stand no chance, no matter how good her/ his character is.

 

There is this one mother, who has demanded that she wants only a doctor or an engineer from IIT for her daughter. That is because her daughter deserves no less. She is the topper of her department, she is beautiful and from a good background. So, these are the factors which make her a top class girl (not her deen) and a deserving candidate for a top class boy (not deeni boy)

It is disheartening. Is it just a textual thing today? To look for a spouse based on deen? Religious people are not considered “worthy” at all. I wonder what Prophet (salallahu alayhi wasallam) saw in Ali (radiallahu anhu) to marry off his daughter to him. Perhaps people of this age would prefer an Abu Lahab.

The story of practising people is no different. Practising brothers reject sisters profile because their mothers did not find them pretty enough. or because their mothers want them to marry in same caste (reverts are a banned commodity). When will we learn to take a stand for haqq?

 

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

If they (parents) say to him: Do not eat this food, do not eat meat, do not eat rice, do not eat a certain thing – and it is something that he wants to eat – then he is not obliged to obey them in that, because it does not serve any interest for them, and it is harmful for him because it causes him to miss out on something that he likes.

End quote from Liqa’ al-Baab al-Maftooh (49/6)

It still amazes me with what ease people leave pious people with the knowledge that they are rare. The criteria of being a good muslim today is one who prays five times a day. Anyone who does just that is considered super practising. His aqeedah, his ‘Ilm, Sunnah, ‘Adab and ‘Akhlaq are irrelevant. We watch Televisions, listen to music, lie with ease, clean shave ourselves, keep our women without hijab and then we pray. Therefore, we are very practising

 

On the other hand I have had religious and pious sisters reject pious brother because the brother earned less than “xyz”lakh per annum. They have a minimum slab which males have to cross. Allow me to clarify that I do not expect rich girls to marry someone bankrupt. But rejecting young educated men who have begun their careers a few years back and In Sha Allah seem worthy to make more money in future, I find it futile. Females are seeking in their grooms status which their fathers achieved at 50 years of age. Even in these cases, if the girls are fine with it, many a times parents are not.

Other than that, of course we see people rejecting each other because he is too fat, he is too short, beard is too long, she is too skinny, her nose is too big, she is too educated, she does not speak fluent English, she is not fit for our family etc.

He does not have a beard, he does not wear pants above ankles, she has not memorised enough surahs, he does not pray Sunnah, his income is haram, she does not proper hijab as Allah says, he does not lower his gaze.. these are never reasons I have heard for rejecting anyone. Rather such prospects are picked first from the market

What is wrong with the ummah? Why are we forgetting the story of Musab bin Umayr. How he withstood the pressure of his family for haqq..  It is never easy to choose Islam over everything else .There will be many occasions that will require us to compromise a bit on deen to please others. First society and then parents. Sadly, when it comes to marriage we consider their wrong preferences over the pleasure of Allah.

 

The result?

 

“…….If you do not do so, there will be mischief in the land and widespread corruption

As warned in the above hadith, Muslims today are frivolously looking at profiles after profiles as if searching for a car for their children. Just how people unaware of Islam and who do not recognise Allah search- based on looks, background and status. After this, if the prospect is religious then Ma Sha Allah, Alhamdulillah. How many religious muslims do we see today marrying the first religious alliance that comes across? Okay, let us give a concession. How many marry from amongst the first five?

Young muslims are unmarried until thirties and forties. Bad marriages have become so common. Women are reduced to maids and nannys whilst men are reduced to money minting machine. People no more exist as servants of Allah post marriage. No time for religion. No time to gain ‘ilm. No time to do any good for the ummah. A monotonous system that has been framed by the society and thus, being abided by.

Zina has become easy. Nikah has become so difficult.

Recently, the mother of an eighteen year old messaged me that she is worried for her son. He is about to join college this fall and she is worried what if he falls into any fitnah. At a time when there is open invitation for zina, it is a genuine concern. We discussed giving books and talking it out etc. When I mentioned this to my husband, his immediate response was, ask her to get him married before joining college.

I was amazed at the simplicity of the solution. Why not open doors to nikah and shut the door to zina for our youngsters forever. I told this to her, she agreed Islam is perfect in all ways. However, I am not sure how many of us would like to implement this for our children,

We have forgotten the main purpose of this Sunnah. We forget that we are choosing a companion whose character greatly affects our life in hereafter. We forget what being “coolness of eyes” means. That is where we make the major mistake for the next few decades of our lives and sometimes there is no turning back.

May Allah give us hearts to obey his commands. May He give us beneficial knowledge and keep us on siratal mustaqeem. May He help us obey Him and love Him the most. May He protect us from the fitnah of this world and make our spouse the coolness of our eyes.

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Excerpts from my life

A Lot of Water in my Broth

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

It was one of the Friday classes. Today’s class was on ‘Adab (Etiquettes) with neighbours. The average age group in the class is perhaps five. The class was vibrant and I think, there is no better way to learn than to teach. More than what I am able to impart, I imbibe lessons from the little Momins of the class.

I introduced the lesson with the verse of the Magnificent Qur’an:
“Worship Allah and associate nothing with Him, and to parents do good, and to relatives, orphans, the needy, the near neighbor, the neighbor farther away, the companion at your side, the traveler, and those whom your right hands possess. Indeed, Allah does not like those who are self-deluding and boastful.” [Surah an-Nisa, 36]

 

and then, I followed up with this narration from the two Sahihs.

 

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In a very derogatory sense, I asked the class

-“if your neighbour gives you a hoof will you like it?”

I was expecting a clear “no” to which I thought I would say that despite that we must not dislike our neighbor. No matter how small or detested things they gift us

However, their minds word differently. It was an immediate and excited reply, “Yesss ma’am, I will like it”

I was spellbound for a minute, only to realise that in India, the goat’s hoof is used to prepare a delicacy (called Paaya_) …who would not love to receive it here. I chuckled at myself. They got me good

 

The class proceeded smoothly as we ventured and discussed various etiquettes prescribed in Islam towards our neighbours. Soon the following hadith came up for discussion, which is also very popular amongst us

 

Screenshot (36)

 

We were amused by the simplicity prescribed in Islam. Never before had we thought that simply by adding a little more water, we could add another member to consume the meal

The most hilarious point of the class was towards the end. I had asked them, what if they have very little food, sufficient for just one neighbour. However, there are many people living close to them. So how would they choose to whom they must gift that bowl of meal?

Amazing answers came up.

  • we will distribute it equally amongst all [ I dismissed it saying, then nobody will be able to enjoy it, as they will just get a spoonful]
  • We will ask mummy to make more for everyone [well, that would be too much for mummy]
  • We add lottttttttttt of water to the brothhhhh ..

at this point everyone seemed convinced. and they repeated the same , “yes yes, we will add water for everyone”

. I was spellbound again. I had no rebuttal for this. Completely amused and not knowing what to say, I just narrated the solution that Rusool Allah (salallahu alayhi wasallam):

 

Screenshot (37)

 

 

May Allah help us in obeying His commands and be good to our neighbours.

 

 

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Excerpts from my life

The Perfect Tea

Almost every Sunday we have our Tarbiyah study circle. We are a group of women who study tafseer, hadith, authentic books , Arabic etc. That requires us to spend a good four hours in the classroom.

The aunty who hosts us every weekend at her place is very kind to serve us tea and snacks every time we are in our learning process.

It was the same that day. The tea arrived and the tray was circulated amongst us. We gladly took our cup and sipped into glory……. Only to realise there was no sugar.

Tea in India is a glorious drink. It has water mixed with milk, sugar and tea leaves boiled cumbersomely until it drains the leaves off all its goodness. Sometimes it has spices in it to enhance the flavor. Miscalculation in any of the above can lead to serious disappointments to tea addicts. That, is a huge portion of Indian population. My parents and husband, both cannot do without their daily two cuppaa! May Allah bless them.

I watched the expressions change. Silent expressions and confusion. Frowns, pursed lips, shrugged shoulders, raised cups hinting what was to be done. Suddenly we hear a poised firm voice -” what an amazing cup of tea isn’t it?”, and sips on with passion

Another quickly backs, “indeed it is delicious and so healthy”
-“white sugar is the poison of the century “, says another. ,” we must now start drinking this tea only. Beautiful ”

The tension suddenly eased. Everyone was smiling and giggling. And everyone continued to sip their cuppa with ease and happiness. Indeed we were reminded of another sunnah

Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, would never complain about food. If he desired something, he would eat it. If he disliked it, he would leave it.

Sahih Muslim 2064, Bukhari 3370

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my journey as a revert muslimah, Random

Nine Things We Need to Work on

I wanted to name this post as reverts versus bornos, then I realised it was never a competition. However, observing certains trends in Muslim society disturb me. Viewing from outside, I assumed only illiterate or poor muslims did not practise Islam as it should be. It was a misconception. Stepping into their society, I realise that the privileged ones are no better.

They like to term themselves as moderate Muslims. Basically, they choose few commands of Allah over others to suit themselves. I wonder what they wish to express by terming their way of practising Islam as moderate. Are they saying that Allah erred in codifying the shari’a or the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wasallam) was shortsighted to not  know that Islam would be too much for Muslims today. Nauzubillah. May we be forgiven for such grave errors.

I came across a beautiful definition of moderation in religion by Shaykh Uthaymeen (Rahimullah). He said, “Extremism, leniency and moderation, all the three relate back to the Shari’ah (law of Allah), so whatever is compliant to the Shariah is the moderate-balanced path, and whatever goes beyond it is exaggeration, and whatever reduced from it is leniency. So the criterion for all of these is the Shariah, and the meaning of al-e’itedaal (moderation) is conformance to the Shar’iah, whatever is according to the Shar’iah is (the path of) e’tidaal” [Fatawa Ulama balad al-Haram p.211]

This will make it easier for us to now classify ourselves into leniant and moderate muslims. In sha Allah.

Let us list a few things we have observed in leniant muslims, that they need to take more seriously:

  • Purdah: It always tops my list. My revert friends struggle for hijab. They look for every opportunity they can adorn the hijab, cover themselves up and walk with honor. I know of women who do not meet their cousins without their hijab. However, majority muslim women born into muslim households do not do hijab. It is sad. They forget the privilege Allah gave them. Society, culture, parents, husband, children etc etc etc. Shayateen will always give us reasons why we cannot do it. However, for a true muslim one reason is enough, “The pleasure of Allah”. There is always an excuse of being “good muslims from within”. However, there is no rotten tomato that is sweet from within. Even the ones who observe hijab, compromise. They meet neighbors, servants or extended family non-mahrams freely without hijab. Some even marry the “brother like” non-mahram. Gasp

 

  • Gaining ilm: Most women limit their lives to cooking, cleaning and running behind kids. Only to be doing exactly the same 20 years later. Whether they are high school educated, graduates or post graduates. They do not want to do any better. The role of islam in their lives in limited to 5 salahs and fasting in Ramadan. The Quran in their homes are for the old to recite or perhaps we recite it now and then too. But what about opening it and knowing the meaning of what Allah revealed? What about knowing the tafseer, doing hifdh, reading scholarly opinion about matters that affect us? How will we learn hadith? Is there no ambition in our lives at all to know Allah, get closer to Him and become His favorite? We assume that we know Allah. But the fact is majority of us die without having clear concept of Tawheed even. We think we know tawheed but if I ask you the classification of tawheed and how common men err in it thereby entering into shirk, most won’t be able to comprehend an example beyond grave worship and amulets. There are people who spent ages in just understanding a single concept of deen and here we are so casual about it. Where do we stand in our race to earn Jannah? Are we even trying for it?
    We are so full of bid’ahs like Quran khwani, reading quran for the dead (Quran bakshna), Chaliswa of the dead, Fateha, Shab-e-baraat etc. Not once in our life did we try to learn what worship (ibadah) in real sense is in islam. We are following Islam like cattle without any knowledge.
  • Preparing Children to be dear to Allah: We prefer sending our kids to western schools rather than islamic schools. No, I am not speaking of the traditional madressah system which confines outlook of children making them devoid of wordly knowledge. Both are important. However, today there are modern islamic schools or even classes to impart true authentic knowledge in an updated fashion.

    None of us aim at sending our children to Medina to become scholars. That is not even a remotely considered idea. We treat kids as an investment for dunya. It is our foolishness. They can be a great investment for akhirah. Only if we give them correct ilm, which they will not get amply from the maulana who comes to your home and teaches them to recite Quran without correct tajweed even. Oh yea! I see most reverts striving to learn tajweed and many bornos have even forgotten to recite Quran fluently
    We will not give them good books to clear then aqeedah, we will not make them aware of prophets and their stories..but they will know everything about fictional stories. We work so hard to make them fit and pleasing for the world and equally displeasing for Allah.

  •  Working on Simplicity: We are so desperate to be recognized as someone superior. Our complete focus is on good clothes, furniture, car, fancy restaurants, holidays etc. On one hand there  are those who give away every bit only to follow tawheed. The reputation, society, degree, profession, money and sometimes their names are tossed away simply for the sake of Allah. Then there are  people finding it hard to stop listening to music, celebrating birthdays, watching movies, wearing revealing clothes ….these are such simple things to stop. Most reverts stopped it the day they came to know these are haram. Why does it take years?
  • Choosing righteous spouse: This is something that has kept me in awe. Especially when it comes to daughters. Most reverts wait for years, despite being severely reprimanded by family, for a righteous spouse. Deen is something they do not compromise on. Some girls reach their 30s but do not prefer anyone less in deen. However, when it comes to people born into deen, it is sad that parents choose their spouses based on color, caste, creed, wealth and religion. Even when the kids do want to marry righteous spouse, but they are in hope of some miracle that they will find someone great in deen as well as satisfying all the criterion of their family. Sometimes girls are married off to someone way lesser in deen but good in all other aspects. What we do not realise is that perhaps they secured their kid’s dunya (in sha allah) but that marriage will not help them much in akhirah. Why can we not choose spouses who will open doors to jannah for our offspring?
  • Balance deen and dunya: People go for extremes. It is a wrong notion that if we gain ilm, follow the commands of Allah, work for deen then we will lag behind in wordly aspects. You can be rich, successful in profession and be very good in deen at the same time. You can be highly educated, smart, beautiful, modest and kind at the same time. Neither is an option against the other. Why are we so desperate to seek recognition through haram means? Do we not trust Allah that He is the One who grants us rizq and success? So how can we be successful by shunning his commands? Indeed he is the biggest loser who thinks he is progressive by sidelining Islam. Instead, we must wonder whether all the success and wealth so attained will be a reason for us to enter fire. Will our families, homes, society, or wealth be willing to shield us on the day of Judgment? Do they even have the capacity to? Will we have the audacity to give them as an excuse for disobeying our Master?
  • Blind following: Most of us consider Islam to be an outdated religion. Whereas it is quite contrary. Sadly, we take Islam from people who do not even belong to the religion. We assume an islamic lifestyle to be confined and seek liberty in ways that Allah does not appreciate.  We neglect the role of women in redefining the society. The foundation and revolution that women create. Their role is limited to kitty parties and spending money. Everything that leads to decrease in IQs. Just because most do not make money. The role assigned to women by Allah is larger than this. More than what we can imagine. Muslim women are expected to be intelligent, well read, sharp and active. We choose to be dull women whose spare time is spent watching serials, or sleeping. Everything but reading and imparting knowledge. How will we find peace and liberty in Islam, when never in our life did we try to understand and study it as a subject?
    What do we gain in the end? Amidst all the happiness, when our life in dunya is on closure, we feel scared of death. We waste decades that could have been used for our benefits.
  • Mutual respect and Peace: There is this weird aggression in many of us. Tolerance is zero. In small matters we pick up brawls, start gossiping about people who offended us, try to make lives miserable, and do everything except keeping love for Allahs sake a preference. We expect everyone to treat us superior to them. Marry when we want, attend programs that we want, run around for errands for us, never say a no to us, always have time for us, always receive our calls, be quiet when we in argument, and listen to our allegations quietly.
  • Not being scared: why are we so scared? So scared to be recognised as muslims. So scared to speak the truth. Scared of taking a stand for the sake of Allah. Scared to choose haqq over baatil. So scared of telling a phrase about Islam to make people aware. Why do we not have tawakkul on Allah? That He is The Mightiest and it is He who protects us. It is He with whose permission can harm be inflicted upon us or be prevented. Why is jannah and jahannam such an abstract term for us? Allah, angels, qadr, akhirah…why is our imaan not firm on these things? It again comes back to the fact that we have not read and learnt enough about it. How will we feel anything about something we do not know about? And how will we know about anyone without learning about Him? We suffer from complexes. Inferiority complex. Thus, the constant effort to prove oneself “normal”.

Remember, Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Islam began as something strange and will revert to being strange as it began, so give glad tidings to the strangers.” [Sahih Muslim, 145]

So, do you find yourself a stranger or one amongst many?

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Excerpts from my life

Guidance.

I am at my grandma’s place. I feel jealous. Jealous of those who have Muslim families. Whose grandparents at least died uttering the shahadah. I am jealous of those who have practising parents. Who gave them  tarbiyah to be a good Muslim. Did you ever realise, that even when you were not practising, even on the days you didn’t pray salah, when you ever thought of God it was always Allah. If you ever have to beg before someone, it was always Allah.;

At least you knew His name. At least you knew there is some miraculous book of His. You always knew about the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wasallam)

It is a different story here. If we tell them there is only one God, they ask “which one” .. Each day starts with shirk. The temple priest is a snob and everyone hates him but he has to be respected by everyone. I can’t stand his tobacco stained teeth.

I sometimes wonder whether I should get on the top of a mountain(here rock) and declare about Islam how the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wasallam) did. Whether I should break the idols of the temple like Ibrahim (as) did. Whether I should have a direct talk with the priest. Or what else should I do.

No matter what I speak to the women here, goes unheard. My blabbering about The Creator and everything else being creations. About Tawheed. Akhirah. The idols being lifeless. Trees and sun being creations. They agree and the next morning I find them back to the same routine. As if not a thought was spared about what I said for a moment. As if it was just another gossip session.

They are not even literate for me to give away books. Males are a degree above vain. It pains to see their life. Their lifestyle is way tougher than the life in city. Women are working all day long. People eat five meals a day. They are cleaning their houses, washing and ironing clothes, cutting chopping cooking, separate schedule for temple stuff, serving in laws, raising brats, tendering cattles, filling water in containers… They slog from 6am till 9pm. They are just on and on and on. To top it, there is a fast or festival every 5th day where they have to do all this without food. They have restrictions in folding also. There is a list of things they cannot eat simply because they are married.

Waste. All a waste. Aimlessly doing things just because this is what women do in the village. Their simplicity, their goodness..will they be of any use? Only Allah knows. The prettiest bride, the most educated of them, the best and the worst person, each one has the same routine.

At times I am mum. At times I discuss things with them. How is it even supposed to happen in five days? How will guidance reach them when I live 2000 kms away. At times this question haunts me: Should I live in a Muslim dominated place where my imaan is secure. Where I am surrounded with opportunities to gain ilm and practice Islam freely with ease. Or should I give up this privilege and settle here to work on my people. What is more important?

Indeed, guidance is from Allah alone. His plans and His ways are matters we will never know or understand…

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