Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Blessings in Disguise

Blessings in Disguise…

By Abu Muhammad Yusuf

The journey of life often encompasses difficulties, challenges, trials and tribulations. These conditions can be stepping stones to ease and wisdom. With the right frame of mind we can come out of each "dark tunnel" better, stronger and wiser.

We have a choice on how we respond to life's "storms." Either we can cast blame while becoming resentful and bitter, or we can be positive and turn to the Allah Ta'ala. Every hurdle we face in life has a meaning and Allah Ta'ala will not expose us to a burden we cannot endure. "Allah does not burden a soul beyond that it can bear…" (Qur'an: 2:286).

 "Great reward comes with great trials. When Allah loves a people, He tests them, and whoever accepts it attains His pleasure, whereas whoever shows discontent with it incurs His wrath."  (Hadith- Tirmidhi)

"…….If anything befalls you, do not say 'If only I had done (such and such), the such and such would have happened,' rather say: 'Allah has decreed and what He wills He does , for (saying)  'if only'  opens the door to the work of the shaytaan(devil)." (Hadith-Muslim ).

As part of our Imaan (faith), we believe that all matters are in the hands of Allah Ta'ala. However, our Imaan can get shaken during times of trials and hardships. It is during such times though that we should remind ourselves that a believer's position and rank is raised in front of Allah and that such a hardship may very well be a sign of Allah's love for the believer. This can help us in maintaining and even strengthening our faith.

Once a boy found a cocoon of a butterfly and took it home. One day a small opening appeared, he sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through that little hole.

Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could and it could go no farther. Then the boy decided to help the butterfly, so he took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon. The butterfly then emerged easily.

But it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings. The boy continued to watch the butterfly because he expected that, at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body, which would contract in time.

Neither happened!

In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings. It never was able to fly.

What the boy in his kindness and haste did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening were Allah Ta'ala's way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon.

Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our life. If Allah allowed us to go through our life without any obstacles, it would sometimes cripple us. We would not be as strong as what we could have been and possibly never be able to "fly".

Sometimes we need heat and warmth to ripen fruit and sometimes cold is needed in certain fruit to complete the ripening process.  So exactly is the same in life sometimes we may have to undergo various conditions that may appear to be unfavourable so that we "ripen" and are ready for the onward journey.

I wise person once said: " I asked for Strength...And Allah gave me Difficulties to make me strong. I asked for Wisdom...And Allah gave me Problems to solve. I asked for Prosperity...And Allah gave me Brain and Brawn to work. I asked for Courage...And Allah gave me Danger to overcome. I asked for Love...And Allah gave me Underprivileged people to help. I asked for Favours...And Allah gave me Opportunities. I received nothing I wanted ...Yet I received everything I needed!"

Accepting and enduring our condition and the Divine Decree of Allah Ta'ala can help us in not only shedding burdens of the past but to also win Allah's pleasure. Suppressing our urge to blame others for the pains that we encounter by maintaining a positive mindset can help us maintain a less stressful life and promote healthy relationships.

"Nothing befalls a believer, a (prick of a) thorn or more than that, but Allah will raise him one degree in status thereby, or erase a bad deed."  (Hadith-Bukhaari )

Hardships and trials are part of everyone's life. The important thing is for us to have the right attitude of trusting Allah and His plans when facing such hardships and trials. During such trying times, always remember that nothing happens without the Will of Allah. Second, we may not know that our trials and hardships may be part of a bigger plan of which we may have only limited knowledge. It's only at a later stage when the bigger Plans of Allah reveal themselves to everyone. We can see an example of this from the following verse of  Qur'an-Surah Yousuf that when the step brothers of Prophet Yousuf (peace be upon him) were taking him to throw him into a dark well, Allah revealed to Prophet Yousuf (AS) that,"Allah will bring about, after hardship, ease." (Qur'an, 65:7) and this is exactly what happened.

"There is a blessing in calamity that the wise man should not ignore, for it erases sins, gives one the opportunity to attain the reward for patience, dispels negligence, reminds one of blessings at the time of health, calls one to repent and encourages one to give charity and endure."

Life is a learning curve and the challenges are there to make us stronger and to condition us and build us emotionally, spiritually and physically for the greater challenges that we will encounter tomorrow. Outwardly circumstances may be perceived as hardships but in reality they may really be blessings in disguise!


Importance of Salaah

IMPORTANCE OF SALAAH
"From the Qur'aan"
 
 
1. Establishing Salah Develops Taqwa (Fear and Awareness of Allah)
"This is the Book in which there is no doubt, a guidance for those who have taqwa; who believe in the unseen, and who establish Salah, and spend out of what we have provided for them" (2: 2-3)

2. Salah Is the Sign of a Believer
"The believers, men and women, are protecting friends of one another; they enjoin good and forbid evil, and they establish Salah, and give Zakah, and obey Allah and His Messenger. Allah will have His Mercy on them, and surely, Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise." (9: 71)

3. Establishing Salah Leads to Allah's Eternal Blessings
"So whatever you have been given is but (a passing) enjoyment for this worldly life, but that which is with Allah is better and more lasting for those who believe and put their trust in their Lord. And those who avoid the great sins and lewdness, and when they are angry, they forgive. And those who answer the Call of their Lord, and perform the Salah, and who conduct their affairs by mutual consultation, and who spend of what We have bestowed on them." (42:36-38)

4. Those Who Pray Shall Have Nothing to Fear on the Day of Judgment
"Truly, those who believe and do righteous deeds, and perform Salah, and give Zakah, they will have their reward with their Lord. On them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve." (2:277)

5. Remain in Allah's remembrance after prayer
"When have finished performing the Salah, remember Allah standing, sitting, and reclining, but when you are free from danger, perform the Salah. Surely, Salah is enjoined on the believers at
fixed times." (4:103)

6. Command to Pray with Congregation
"And establish Salah and give Zakah, and bow down (in worship) along with those who bow down (in worship)" (2:43)

7. Special Command Regarding Punctuality of Prayer
"Guard strictly the Salah, especially the middle Salah. And stand before Allah with obedience." (2:238)

8. Allah's Help Comes Through Salah
"Seek help through patience and Salah; truly it is extremely difficult except for the humble true believers." (2:45)

"Oh you who believe! Seek help through patience and Salah. Truly, Allah is with those who are patient." (2:153)

9. Special Emphasis on Friday Prayer
"Oh you who believe! When the call is made for the Salah on Friday, come to the remembrance of Allah, and leave off business. That is better for you, if you only knew! And when the Salah has ended, you may disperse through the land, and seek the Bounty of Allah, and remember Allah much so that you may be successful." (62:09-10)

10. Shaytaan Tries His Best in Finding Ways to Take You Away from Salah
"Shaytaan desires only to excite enmity and hatred between you with intoxicants and gambling, and hinder you from the remembrance of Allah, and from Salah. So will you then not abstain
(from these evils)?" (5:91)

11. Prayer Protects Against Evils
"Recite that which has been revealed to you of the Book, and perform Salah. Verily, Salah prevents from lewdness and evils. And indeed, the remembrance of Allah (by you) is greatest. And
Allah knows what you do." (29:45)

12. Friendship Should Be with Those Who Pray
"Indeed, your protecting friend (Wali) is none other than Allah, His Messenger, and the Believers who establish Salah, and give Zakat, and bow down (in prayer). (5: 55)

13. Allah's Special Order to Women
"And stay in your houses, and do not display yourselves like that of the times of ignorance, and perform Salah, and give Zakah, and obey Allah and His Messenger. Allah wishes only to remove uncleanness from you, Oh people of the House, and to purify you with a thorough purification." (33:33)

14. Hypocrites Are Lazy in Salah
"Verily, the hypocrites seek to deceive Allah, but it is He who deceives them; When they stand up for Salah, they stand with laziness, only to be seen by men; and they do not remember Allah but a little." (4:142)

15. Laziness in Prayers Leads to Rejection of Sadaqa
"And nothing prevents their Sadaqa from being accepted from them, except that they disbelieve in Allah and in His Messenger, and that they do not come to Salah except in a lazy manner, and that they do not give Sadaqa except unwillingly." (9:54)

16. Leaving Salah Leads to Shirk
"(And remain always) turning to Him (only), and be fearful and dutiful towards Him, and perform Salah and be not of those who commit Shirk." (30: 31)


17. Previous Nations Were Corrupted when Salah Was Left
"Then, there came after them a generation who gave up Salah and followed lusts; so they will be thrown in Hell." (19: 59)


Slow down!

Slow down !

By:Abdur Rahman Umar

"Can you believe this!" lamented Yusuf as he looked sadly at his leg covered from foot to knee in a thick white plaster cast leaving his plaster stained toes exposed.

"This is so frustrating!" he continued, addressing his exposed toes who had now become his captive audience, "Just when everything was going perfectly. Now this! Like I needed it in my life?"

Ridwaan stood idly by, adding little to the lament being addressed to the toes. He fidgeted wearily with his cell phone paying little attention to the monologue until Yusuf turned to him and asked:

"Did you hear what I said? I really didn't need this in my life. Not at any time, and definitely, definitely not now. I mean..."

"What's so special about now?" enquired Ridwaan not bothering to look up from his cell phone.

Yusuf ignored his question, shifted painfully in his chair and struggled to get his leg into a comfortable position. He stared at some of the graffiti on his plaster cast "Mojo was here!" "Oops. My brain just hit a bad sector" "On the other hand, you have different fingers" and some other writings that became a bit smudgy with the first attempt at taking a shower.

"I mean how does someone rupture an Achilles tendon playing tennis? It must be a one in a million thing, and I am the one! So now I sit – six weeks with this thing on my leg. Six weeks! and at a time when the business is going so well. Just when we got the Department of Education tender for printing. There's so much to do .... preparation, layout, design. Yo! It was going crazy at work."

Ridwaan stopped fidgeting with his cell phone long enough to exclaim, "So what's the hassle. You get a nice break and fully paid on top of it!"

"You don't understand, do you!" said Yusuf, glaring at him. An uncomfortable frown crossed his forehead, "You don't know what it means. I really didn't even have enough time to eat let alone take a six week break. We were working 12 hours a day to get that tender out. So what happens now?"

"I know exactly what it means," replied Ridwaan, "It means you were moving too fast so Allah put down a speed breaker"

"What!" he exclaimed, "What you mean...speed breaker?"

"You see, sometimes when we rush through life and we forget the important things then Allah puts down a speed bump so we can slow down and reflect. Maybe a little sickness or a small problem. Just to ponder on what we're doing and what we should be doing. And that's it! You were chasing like a madman so you got hit with a speed bump."

He paused allowing his words to sink in then continued, "You know most of us get so caught up in life then we forget about Allah, our salaah becomes just a ritual and the family ...well, they even forget who we are. I bet your kids call you Uncle by now?"

"Hey, it's not that bad," said Yusuf struggling to find a comfortable position for his plastered leg, "But I hear what you saying. Things were getting a bit out of hand. I missed my daughter's pre-school jalsa, my son's graduation and dropped a couple of salaahs on the way and jip, Allah knows what else I gave up for this tender...."

Yusuf fell silent pondering on his situation, a thin smile broke on his lips and his face lit up with this new found understanding, "So this wasn't all bad then. Actually...."

"It was for you own good," Ridwaan completed the sentence for him, "Too often we forget the real things in life...our Allah, our Deen, our families and those so called little things we tend to forget."

"Yup," chorused Yusuf, "I remember a clever guy telling me once, pay attention to the little things in life, for one day you may find out they were actually the big things. Really can't believe Allah's mercy and kindness upon us. It is, as they say, more than that of a mother. He cares for us and even what I thought was a horrible misfortune was actually an act of kindness from Him."

Allah, The Most Wise, says:"…and it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allah knows but you do not know." ( Qur'an-Surah Baqarah: 216)

A calamity that makes you turn to Allah is better for you than a blessing which makes you forget the remembrance of Allah.

 Let us slow down and ponder of the journey of life and make more calculated decisions that will not only benefit us in the transitory life of this world but more so in the eternal life of the Hereafter.

 


Year End Functions and Parties

Year End Functions and Parties
 
 
 
(By Year End Parties/Functions specific reference is being made to Functions that include alcohol, music, merry making, free and lustful intermingling of sexes and dancing.)
 

It's approaching that time of year when people at the workplace forget about the rules in their need to hold parties and year end functions to let off steam. Besides the Islamic repugnance for such gatherings, it is common knowledge that such parties are misused as an excuse to go beyond what company rules and the law allows.

Due to the relaxed atmosphere created by the social nature of the event, music and alcohol, employees and management alike often make the mistake of behaving in ways that they would not do during normal working hours. This they do for many reasons including the mistaken beliefs that: Such behaviour is normal at parties; nobody will mind because it is year-end; people are more tolerant at parties; I can just say 'I meant it as a joke'; The party is outside working hours and/or away from the office so the rules don't apply; on Monday nobody will remember what I did.

There maybe "some pressure" from management to attend. Be mindful that there is no obedience in disobedience! In other words to comply with management and disobey Allah is extremely unwise. To uphold your Islam will not bring you disgrace. Rather be classified as "anti-social" than ever incur the wrath of Allah. Allah will NEVER disappoint you so long as you are true and faithful.

If you "have to" or "want to" attend, be particular of not transgressing the Laws of Sharia. For those who are going to attend we have the following suggestions:

·         Well ahead of time inform the organisers about your halaal dietary requirements. According to hadith that flesh that is nourished by haraam is destined for the Fire of Hell. If in doubt abstain. Moderation is key. You can always eat and drink at home.

·         Dress Islamically. Your dress is your protective armour. The function is still a business function, so conservative dressing is a good choice. Many functions have themes. Be mindful of your deeni obligations.

  • Don't overstay. Usually most functions are started off by welcome speeches. If you fear fitnah(evil) thereafter-leave! Spend the least amount of time at the function just for appearance. But don't overstay your welcome by partying until the wee hours.

·         Do remember that although office parties are intended as social events to reward employees and raise morale, they remain strictly business events. Do act as though your behaviour is being observed every minute (because it is!).

·         Do conduct yourself professionally at all times. Don't use the office function as an excuse to blow off steam. It's still a company function, so proper etiquette and decorum matter.

·         Be in a state of wudhu(preferably). We are thought according to hadith that Whudu is a weapon and protection for a Muslim.

·          Perfume: A hadith states, The woman who perfumes herself and passes through a gathering is an adulteress. (Hadith_Abu Daoud and al-Tirmidhi)

·         Do keep your hands to yourself. Don't flirt, and do avoid any other inappropriate behaviour. The office function is not the time to end your career with the company by doing something inappropriate or haraam.(prohibited).

·         Don't spend all evening talking business. You'll forever have the label as the office bore. Rather steer your discussion in a constructive way. Remember that you are an ambassador of Allah! If possible bring in Deen by talking about the beautiful aspects and wisdom of ISLAM!

·         Salaah( Prayer)- Don't miss your Salaah or even make it Qadha. Allah  says: "Then woe to those prayer performers. Who are heedless of their prayers (Qura'n Part 30, Surah Ma-oon, verse 4-5). According to hadith:"Prayer is a pillar of faith. Whoever abandons it has destroyed his faith." (Baihiqi)

·         Make Dhikr.Any gathering in which Allah and His Noble Messenger (peace be upon him) are not remembered is accursed according to hadith.

·         Do keep all conversations positive and upbeat. Don't spend the evening complaining, bragging, correcting, whining, or ridiculing. And do avoid controversial subjects (such as, politics, etc.) and off-colour jokes.

·         Don't monopolize conversations and, especially, don't talk about yourself or your accomplishments all the time.

·         Do show interest in others. Do be gracious and thank co workers and team members for all their help and hard work during the past year. And don't even think about gossiping about others. Prophet Muhammad(peace be upon him) said : "Who protects his tongue from unlawful utterances and his private parts from illegal sexual intercourse, I shall guarantee him entrance into Paradise." (Hadith-Bukhari and Muslim)

·         Avoid touching the opposite sex. The Messenger of Allah (peace be on him) said, It is better for one of you to be pricked in the head with an iron pick than to touch a woman whom it is unlawful to touch ( Hadith al-Tabarani and al-Bayhaqi)

·         Sit when eating and drinking: It is indeed a great sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) .

·         Do take the time to network and schmooze with people at the function who can influence your career or who you may not see regularly, such as top management, people from other departments, and employees from other locations. You can begin building or strengthening business relationships, so do introduce yourself and build your network.

·         Don't forget to thank the person responsible for making necessary  arrangements for halaal food. And do consider sending a thank-you note to top management for accommodating you as a Muslim.
 

Evil Deeds usually present at Year-end Parties/Functions:

·         Alchohol: The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "...don't drink wine for it is the key to every evil." He (pbuh) also said, "Every intoxicant is Khamr and every intoxicant is forbidden. He who drinks wine in this world and dies while he is addicted to it, not having repented, will not be given a drink in the Hereafter." (Hadith Muslim)

·         Music & Dancing: The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) is reported to have said:

"There will appear people in my Ummah, who will hold adultery, silk(for men), alcohol and musical instruments to be lawful" (Sahih al-Bukhari)

"Music makes hypocrisy grow in the heart as water cause plants to grow" (Sunan al-Bayhaqi).

"Verily Allah has forbidden alcohol, gambling, drum and guitar, and every intoxicant is haram" (Musnad Ahmad & Sunan Abu Dawud).

·         Adultry: Islam totally forbids adultery and also those things that lead to it. Allah Most High says:"And do not come near to adultery, for it is a shameful deed and an evil, opening the road (to other evils)" (al-Isra, 32).The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) is reported to have said:  "Whenever a man is alone with a woman the Devil makes a third." (Hadith Tirmidhi)

May Allah guide us and protect us and guide us to live a life in His total submission and according to the Sunnah(lifestyle) of His beloved and Final Messenger Muhammad (Salallaho alihe wassallam)…Ameen

PLEASE NOTE: We do not condone, encourage or support unislamic practises of year-end parties or functions. These functions are latent and synonymous with many practises that are at variance with the Laws of Allah.


The Year End Party

The Year End Party…

By Abu Muhammad Yusuf

Sharifa gazed at herself in mirror as she applied the final touches of make-up. A highly qualified Chartered Accountant, she remarkably climbed the corporate ladder in just a few years. She surely wanted her presence felt at her Company's Year-End Function. After all the CEO was flying in from the USA and she was to be seated right next to the local MD Mr William Cook.

The night had arrived and she wanted to be sure to shed her old title of being too "conservative and anti-social" as it tendered to hinder her career. That was precisely the reason she stopped donning her hijab(scarf) a few months ago. She felt that it impeded her progress. Tonight she was going to let her hair down!

She arrived in her latest BMW coupe scantly dressed turning heads,eyes and noses as she made her way to the function hall. Her perfume could be smelt a mile away. It was a night of glitz and glamour with many prominent socialites present.

Seated next to the MD Mr William Cook she listened attentively to some of the pre-party speeches, and the comedians were really hilarious. As William went to the podium to deliver his speech she gave him a supportive hug. Then there were moments of light entertainment before the actual bash kicked-off. William had been consuming alcohol and offered Sharifa a drink. She smiled and politely declined. Being brought up in a religious and conservative Muslim home she knew alcohol was a no no!

Sharifa was climbing the corporate ladder really fast and wanted to reach the top, irrespective of the cost. She was passionate about her career. It came well before her husband, baby and religion. Her baby was in a day care centre. Being at the top was her clear ambition. It was William's approval and signature that she urgently needed to move to the next tier.

A party atmosphere erupted in the room and the music blared out causing even the spoons to vibrate. William was soon completely inebriated and started loosing himself. William offered Sharifa a drink of wine. She thought for a moment and said to herself "its just a one glass and it will definitely not make me drunk and to refuse will be indeed so anti-social." She took the tall wine glass smiled and slowly sipped as the party fever raged.

It was now close to midnight. She faintly heard her mobile ring. Over 7 missed calls from her husband. She honestly thought she will call back when things are a bit more quiet and relaxed. Her husband, as was now a custom, stayed at home to look after their cute little baby Fatima. He never really approved of attending parties, not that Sharifa cared.

William insisted that she have a little more. She responded "ok just a little more", can't do much harm she thought. Being a teetotaller, in a short while the wine completely intoxicated her…she now lost control of herself and behaved like a party animal responding to William's passionate and intimate moves…

Soon they were on their way to William's car where he promised her the most memorable romantic moonlight drive. He stopped the car at a nearby park where he made very intimate passes and touched her at places she knew was so incorrect. She was now a bit more sober and began to realise her folly. As he tried to kiss her passionately she pushed him away. He was deeply angered and drunk and in a fit of fury, started the car, driving recklessly like a maniac. He now appeared to be the devil incarnate. Swearing and cursing her. He failed to stop at the traffic lights..she begged him, implored him to slow down but he became more rebellious and aggressive. Reeking of alcohol he now drove even faster. He had no control over the car and himself. She began to cry…

He swerved into the opposite lane and there was a huge bang… there were definitely two cars involved…it seemed the world had come to an end…she heard voices.

It was now well passed midnight. Good Samaritans ushered around them trying to pull them from the wreck. She heard one saying, " Oh no in the other car the driver is crushed to death!"

Than came the sound of sirens. Breathing became difficult. The fire fighters and paramedics huddled around her and frantically applied device after device. 'She's not not gonna make it,' she heard one of them saying. Her heart started pounding. She was soaked in sweat and blood. William lay motionless beside her, his head crushed.

Her voice uttered some feint words of regret as she was mounted onto a stretcher waiting to be loaded into the ambulance. She so regretted but there was no way the damage could be undone.

For a moment her eye caught a final glimpse of the other car in the crash. It was her hubby's car crushed…and beside it laid his dead body. She heard an emergency service worker screaming, "we still need to remove the baby from the wreck". She was quite sure, due to his caring nature he was so worried as she did not answer her mobile and came to see if she was indeed ok.

She shrieked and wailed, "Oh Allah what have I done?"…her mouth smelling of wine and her body stained in blood she gasped and breathed her last…

The lessons to be learned are so many but most important of all is, to live in this world as if you are going to die today!

It's better to be tagged "anti-social" and "nerd" than allow our colleagues, ambitions and careers to sway us into such deeds that will destroy and harm us and our families both in this temporary world and the everlasting life of the hereafter.

The Fear of Allah and good conduct leads to Endless Hope…                                                   

Sin and vice leads to a Hopeless End!


My Mother's Day

My Mother's Day!

Abdur Rahmaan Umar

"I love you, mom," whispered Yusuf as he wrapped the soft pashmina shawl around his mother's shoulders. The vibrant peach contrasted with the dark rings that had grown under her eyes lately, but their brightness had not faded.

Her eyes lit up as she stroked the delicate embroidery on the edge of the shawl, "And this…Yusuf?"

Yusuf looked at her with the excitement of a young boy unpacking his first bicycle, "Wait ma…there's more," he cried, as he removed a burgundy jewellery box. Presenting it in front of his mother, like they were the crown jewels, he gingerly lifted the lid to reveal a string of exquisite cultured pearls, delicately strung together with small black pearls breaking the shimmer of the white pearls.

"Yusuf!" exclaimed his mother, her eyes brimming, "What's all this?"

Yusuf stepped back and looked at his mother holding the pearl necklace close to her chest, admiring it, "Mom, always wanted a pearl necklace…."

"But it must have cost you a small fortune," said Saffiyah as she held the pearls up to the light, studying the delicate changes of colour as she turned the necklace, "Why now…what's special?"

"It's my mother's day!" he beamed.

"Er..," began Saffiyah as she craned her neck to look at the calendar behind her, "But it's not mother's day. Not for a while, yet?" a puzzled look settling on her face.

"I didn't say it was Mother's day," replied Yusuf, "I said it was MY mother's day. But let me explain…."

"You remember I told you about Nasser who recently moved here from the coast?"

Saffiyah nodded in acknowledgement.

"Last night I met him at Sheikh's program and asked him why he always begged sheikh for duas. I just found it strange that he would always insist that Sheikh make dua for him. He gave me an odd reply – he asked me if my mother was alive, and if I had fifteen minutes. I confirmed that I had both. We sat at the back of the masjid and he told me his story."

Yusuf paused to pour some tea, adding a sugar to each cup, handing one to his mother he continued, "Nasser told me that since his door of dua (supplication) had closed a long time ago, he had to seek another door for dua. Not understanding, I asked him what he meant. He was silent for a long time, and I thought perhaps I said something wrong, but he just looked at me and smiled. Wiping a tear from his eye he told me that his mother passed away when he was only five years old. He said that he could still remember the smell of her hair after she washed it, but remembered little else."

Yusuf watched his mother sipping her tea and noticed just how wrinkled her hands had become, the gold wedding ring still sat gracefully on her ring finger. She always took pride in grooming her nails, buffing them to a perfect shine.

"After Nasser's mother passed away he lived in the care of his aunties. They were good to him and cared for him as one of their own. They bought him what he needed and he had much of what he needed. Then he told me "You know, Joe, no one can replace the embrace of a mother. And no one can replace the dua (prayer) of a mother. I lost that dua a long time ago." Then I thought of all the duas you make for me - how often when I rush out of the house you always say, "Yusuf, slow down, Allah Ta'ala be with you!" "Allah Hafiz." "Yusuf, may Allah Ta'ala make your children the coolness of your eye."

"Ma…I never really cherished those duas until I heard Nasser's story," said Yusuf, dabbing his eye with a tissue, "I never knew that those were treasures beyond measure. And then it made some sense to me of what Sheikh said when he quoted Abdulla Ibn 'Abbas (RA), "If any Muslim obeys Allah regarding his parents, Allah will open two gates of the Garden for him. If there is only one parent, then one gate will be opened. If one of them is angry, then Allah will not be pleased with him until that parent is pleased with him."

"And when Nasser told me – 'Joe (as Yusuf was referred to by his friends), you know, I will never be able to call anyone in this world Mum, and I will never know the embrace of a mother. You still have it, Joe, value it, treasure it,' I realised that what Allah had favoured me with was something so special that I couldn't just celebrate it once a year and call it mother's day. I decided that from now MY Mother's day will be Every Day! - Yesterday, today and tomorrow will all be mother's day. I can never repay you, but I know the heart of a mother asks for no repayment. And…if I can do nothing else for my mother's day then I will at least thank Allah that he allowed my door of dua to be open for one more day."

"Forgive me ma….." Yusuf choked, "I need to do so much more for you…."

Saffiyah clasped his hands and stroked his face, "You are a good son, Yusuf, Allah Ta'ala will grant you lots of goodness in this world and the next."


The Dirty Laundry…(motivational)

The Dirty Laundry…

By Abu Muhammad Yusuf
 

In life we often tend to be judgmental and very often look down upon others without exploring deeper as to why the person is behaving in such a way. The Beloved Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) is reported to have said "It is enough of evil for a person to hold his brother Muslim in contempt. All of a Muslim is sacred to another Muslim: his blood, his wealth and his honour." (Hadith- Muslim)

A young couple moves into a new neighborhood. The next morning while they are eating breakfast, the young woman sees her neighbour hanging the laundry outside. "That laundry is not very clean", she said. "She doesn't know how to wash correctly. Perhaps she needs better laundry soap. "Her husband looked on, but remained silent. Every time her neighbour would hang her washing to dry, the young woman would make the same comments.

About one month later, the woman was surprised to see a nice clean laundry on the line and said to her husband: "Look, she has learned how to wash correctly. I wonder who taught her this."

"The husband said, "I got up early this morning and cleaned our windows"

Lesson: If our windows are dirty so will we see others as dirty too. What we see in others is indeed a reflection of our inner-selves! So it is with life that what we see when watching others depends on the purity of the window through which we look. It is easy for us to discuss other people, their lives & things that really doesn't even concern us and we tend to forget - our windows may not be that clean after all! If we good we will see good…

The Beloved Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) is reported to have said:
"A Muslim is a mirror to another Muslim"(Hadith_Abu Dawud)