Friday, April 29, 2016

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 Pillar of Society!

The Pillar of Society!

By Abu Muhammad Yusuf

 

 

The foundation of the tallest tower in the world is hidden, yet it is the most important part of the building. A mother is indeed an important part of our society, yet her role and contribution is seldom acknowledged!

A man came asked the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) " Who from amongst mankind warrants the best companionship from me? He replied: "Your mother." The man asked: Then who? So he replied: "Your mother." The man then asked: Then who? So the Prophet replied again: "Your mother." The man then asked: Then who? So he replied: "Then your father." (Hadith- Bukhârî )

The secret of her importance lies in the tremendous burden and responsibility that is placed upon her and the difficulties that she has to shoulder - responsibilities and difficulties some of which not even a man bears. This is why from the most important obligations upon a person is to show gratitude, kindness and good companionship with her.

Quite often and mainly due to our social environment, the importance of mothers is seriously downplayed and demoted to a menial job.

There was once an officer at the driving license counter who asked the lady, "what is your occupation ?" the woman seeking renewal of her license seemed to be puzzled.

So the officer said, "ma'am, are you employed....have your own business or...."

The woman replied, "oh, yes !! I have a full time occupation. I am a mother"

Officer : "we don't have 'mother' as an option for occupation. I will write it down as 'housewife'. That takes care of all questions."

This had happened long ago, and was forgotten.

Years later when the same lady went to get her license, the public relations officer was a somewhat pompous woman.

"Your occupation?" she asked in a rather authoritative tone.

The lady just had an inspiration and replied, "I am a researcher in the field of child development, nutrition and inter-personal relationships."

The lady officer stared at her in amazement. She calmly repeated her statement, and the lady officer wrote it down verbatim.

Then, unable to conceal her curiosity, she politely asked, "what exactly do you do in your profession, ma'am ?"

She was feeling good about having described her occupation so calmly and confidently. She replied, "my research projects have been going on for a number of years (mothers never retire !!). My research is conducted in the laboratory as well as in the field. I have a CEO and a senior Director (CEO is Allah of course and the Director is my entire family). Have received two honours in this field (a son and a daughter). My topic is considered to be the most difficult part of sociology (all moms will agree!!). I have to work more than 14 hours every day. Sometimes even 24 hours might not be enough and the challenges are tougher than many other professions. My compensation is in terms of mental satisfaction rather than money."

After this brief introduction she could see that the officer was thoroughly impressed. After completing the licensing formalities, she came to the door to see her off.

This new viewpoint about her occupation made her feel much better on her way back home. She was welcomed by her 5 year old research assistant at the door. Her new project (6 month old baby) was enthusiastically waiting to meet her.

She had earned a small victory over the governmental red tape and society stereotyping. She was no longer 'merely a mother'. Instead she was now a highly placed functionary in a service vital for humanity - motherhood !!!

'Mother' - isn't it a great title. Fit to be added to the nameplate on the door or even on your sporty car numberplate!!!

By this standard, grandmothers deserve to be called senior research officers, and great grandmothers qualify as 'research directors'. Aunts and other ladies of that age group can be called 'research facilitators'.

Mothers are indeed of noble stature in society and their position is elevated to the highest position in Islam. The Noble Messenger of Allah(peace be upon him) emphatically proclaimed;

" Jannah (paradise) lies under the feet of your Mother!" (Hadith Ahmed,Sunan Ibn Mâjah).

Allah Ta'ala, The Most Wise says;

"Your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him and that you be kind to parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honour. And out of kindness, lower to them the wing of humility and say, "My Lord! Bestow on them Your Mercy even as they cherished me in childhood."(Noble Quran 17:23-24)

We don't need to wait once a year and be commercially exploited on Mother's Day to recognize this great personality, celebrate her today, tomorrow and everyday!



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The Smoke Signal...

The Smoke Signal

By Abu Muhammad Yusuf

 

 Image result for smoke signal

 

The journey of life can be like a roller coaster. We often experience extreme conditions which create despondency and hopelessness. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) is reported to have said: "Verily, if Allah loves a people, He makes them go through trials. Whoever is satisfied, for him is contentment, and whoever is angry upon him is wrath." (Hadith-Tirmidhi)

 

We have to try hard to embrace the struggles of life and Trust in Allah. There's no development without pain. Life's difficulties are necessary for our own development, so when they come along, accept them, embrace them and never ever lose hope and always place complete Reliance and Trust in Allah. Problems are to the mind what exercise is to the muscles; they toughen and make you strong.

 

The only survivor of a shipwreck was washed up on a small, uninhabited island. He prayed feverishly for Allah to rescue him, and every day he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed forthcoming. He nevertheless remained hopeful of Allah's help and continued his praying every day.

Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a little hut out of driftwood to protect him from the elements and to store his few possessions. But then one day, after scavenging for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames, the smoke rolling up to the sky.

 

The "worst" had happened; everything was lost. He was stunned with grief. "Allah, how could this happen to me!" he cried. Early the next day, just before Fajr Salaah (early morning prayer) he was awakened by the sound of a ship that was approaching the island. It had come to rescue him. "How did you know I was here?" the man asked the sailors on the ship. "We saw your smoke signal," they replied.

 

Allah says "...Bear with patience whatever befalls you...." (Qur'an 31:17) and "Be not sad, surely Allah is with us." (Qur'an 9:40)

 

It is easy to get discouraged when things are going badly. But we shouldn't lose heart, because Allah is at work in our lives, even in the midst of pain and suffering.  Allah Ta'ala says "Verily, with hardship there is relief" (Qur'an 94:6) and "And whosoever puts his trust in Allah, then He will suffice him". ( Qur'an 65:3)

 

Remember, next time your little hut is burning to the ground--it just may be a smoke signal that summons The Grace and help of Allah!

 


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Friday, February 12, 2016

Valentines Day

Valentine's Day

 

The Ummah is Bleeding,can We be Celebrating???

Roses are Red, Violets are Blue

 

Valentines Day is definitely not for YOU!!!

 

 

"And whoever seeks a religion (a way of life) other than Islam, it will never be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers" (Quran-Aal 'Imraan 3:85)

 

The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) told us that groups of his ummah would follow the enemies of Allah in some of their rituals and customs. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: "You will certainly follow the ways of those who came before you, span by span, cubit by cubit, until even if they were to enter a lizard's hole, you would follow them." We said, "O Messenger of Allah(pbuh), (do you mean) the Jews and Christians?" He said, "Who else? !" (Hadith-al-Bukhaari )

 

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: "Whoever imitates a people is one of them." (narrated by Ahmad)

 

History: Who was Valentine? Why is this day observed? Valentine's Day began as a pagan ritual started by Romans in the 4th century BCE to celebrate "Feast of the Wolf" on February 15, also known as the Feast of Lupercalius to honor the god Lupercus.The main attraction of this ritual was a lottery held to distribute young women to young men for "entertainment & pleasure"-until the next year's lottery. Christianity tried, without success, to stop the evil celebration of Lupercalia. The only success it had was in changing the name from Lupercalia to St. Valentine's Day. It was done in CE 496 by Pope Gelasius, in honor of some Saint Valentine. There are as many as 50 different Valentines in Christian legends.

 

How can anyone in the Ummah really enjoy this occasion when there is so much brutality and suffering going on in the world today. The rivers of blood flow freely from the veins of our brothers and sisters from across the Muslim world. Celebrating unislamic occassions like Valentines Day , New year, Christmas and shouting the names of musical heroes and watching Bollywood & Hollywood Movies drown out the screams coming from the dungeons of Uzbekistan where brothers and sisters are boiled alive in vats of water. How many will take out valuable time and spend it for the upliftment of Islam? How many will sacrifice for our kin in Gaza , Syria,Kashmir, Afghanistan, Chechnya, Palestine, and Iraq? There are many more killing fields as well across the Asian and Arab world. Will you climb on theatre chairs and express your rage over Guantanamo Bay and other gulags where our brothers and sisters are being tortured, raped, sodomized, beaten, and burned? Or will you just switch off and enjoy with the Kuffar in celebrating this evil custom?

 

Oh,Muslims,wake up! The Ummah is not bleeding; it is haemorrhaging.

 

Anas Bin Malik (ra) said; "When the Messenger of Allah Muhammad(pbuh) came to Medina, the people had two holidays from the days of Jahiliyyah(ignorance). He (pbuh) said, "When I came to you, you had two holidays you used to celebrate in jahiliyyah. Allah has replaced them for you with better days, the day of Fitr and the day of slaughter (Adha)."

 

VALENTINES DAY IS AN UNILSAMIC CUSTOM THAT HAS NO BASIS IN ISLAM AND IS PRESENTLY BEING PROMOTED BY CAPITALIST FOR COMMERCIAL REASONS....Listen to the pain of your global family! The enemies of Allah are destroying Islam and we are following in their footsteps!

Be pro active and DO NOT- ENGAGE, SUPPORT OR ENCOURAGE THIS EVIL....!!!

 

If you were intending to engage in this haraam practice and Now changed your mind, then do a noble deed by donating the money to an ISLAMIC CHARITABLE CAUSE which will make you the BELOVED of ALLAH and will earn you an immense reward in the everlasting life of the hereafter!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Fwd: Back to School

Back to School

By Umme Ammarah



Schools are about to open and you're probably feeling excited and maybe a little sad that holidays are just about over.

Back to School comes with a barrage of projects, homework, sports practice and of course a day filled with pickups and drop offs. In life all achievements come with some sacrifice.

"The roots of education may be bitter, but the fruit is sweet"

Back to school time also means adjustments for children and families; the first day of grade one, new schools, new classrooms, new teachers and for adults sometimes new jobs.

Change is sometimes exciting and sometimes frightening, but this can also be an opportunity to set new goals. It's is a new year, 1437 of the Hijri Calendar and each year goes so fast like a quick turn of a page. This is why planning and setting goals is so important. As Muslims all our plans should be aimed at achieving our final goal which is to please our Creator Allah Ta'ala. We need to plan ahead.

"He who fails to plan, plans to fail!"

Here are a few points to keep in mind when planning for this year.

· Niyyah (intention): Our intention before doing anything is very important. The Messenger of Allah(peace be upon Him) has said "Every deed is judged by its intention."(Hadith-Bukhari) Plan and do lots…but it must be ONLY to please our Creator.

 

· Dua (Prayer): Everyone of us needs to ask and pray to Allah Ta'ala daily for all our needs as He is indeed in control of our destiny . A very beautiful dua that The Beloved Messenger of Allah(Peace be upon Him) made whenever he left his home " In the name of Allah,I trust in Allah, oh Allah I seek refuge in You from straying or being led astray or against slipping or being caused to slip or doing injustice or injustice being done on me or doing wrong or having wrong done to me." (Hadith-Abu Dawud)

 

· Make mashwera/shura (mutual consultation): To consult with your family is important as it unites the heart on a common purpose. All activities whether big or small should be discussed. Sit with the family daily at a mutually convenient time and plan our activities. See where we are and where we want to reach in this coming year. Check our level of Deen and plan to improve upon it. Discuss our day to day affairs. We may even discuss and allocate turns for household chores, or even who sits where in car, etc…this can save a lot of time and arguments early in the morning. To make Mashwera is a sunnah and will bring great barakah(blessings) in our home. It will also grant us an opportunity to plan our lives productively and Islamically. 

 

· Make attainable goals: Sets goals realistically and intelligently. Set goals that are attainable. Most important Make Deen the priority in our lives. Monitor your progress and place reminders and back your resolutions with planning.

 

· Family time: Set aside quality time for the family. Be interactive, listen and pay attention to them especially when they call on you. Engage them in Taleem (Educational programs), for the smaller ones also read Islamic stories and even make it a practice to discuss the day's events with them. There is NO SUBSTITUTE for parental guidance and supervision.

"Your children need your presence more than your presents"

 

· Homework: Turn off the T.V, BBM, WhatsApp, Facebook and other social networks…put away your concerns and concentrate on being a parent. Look through your child's homework diary as your child's teacher uses this as a main connection between you and the school.

"Don't do homework for them, Do it with them!"

 

· Daily routines: Let your child be involved in the small things like packing lunch, laying out clothes(uniforms) etc this teaches them responsibility. Start bed time routines a week before school starts. Ensure punctuality in Salaah(prayers). Read your duas together in the morning and evening. Make going to and from school educational by reciting duas collectively in the car. In a short time they will memorize the duas of travelling.

 

· Educational goals: Plan big! Enrol your kids for the best available education…enrol your kids for Hifdh (memorisation of the Qur'an).You may have also realised how weak your Islamic knowledge is. Make time to attend some Islamic classes, or sit for Taleem Halqa at the Masjid. Ladies can join the weekly taleem (educational) programs in their area. Consult with your local Islamic Scholars regarding suitable Islamic educational programs.

 

· Identify your career goals: Choose your curriculum carefully and wisely. Maybe you always talked about making the career switch to a more Halaal(Pure) source of income or adjusting your work times for salaat with jamaat (congregation). You may need to adjust your times so as to spend some quality time with your family. Whatever your reasons maybe, identify a career that will benefit your family both in this world and the akhirah(hereafter).

 

· Wake up every day with a purpose: We wake up often knowing we should be doing something important today, but have failed to plan! Prepare for our higher purpose otherwise our day will become less productive.

 

· Uniforms and Stationery: Make sure uniforms are purchased timeously and that it conforms to Islamic requirements. If your kids encounter any resistance from the educational institution regarding their Islamic attire or other Islamic practices then be diplomatic and discuss and resolve the matter with management respectfully. Also ensure that you obtained a list of stationery required early so that it could be budgeted for and purchased well before hand.

 

· Lunch boxes, breakfasts and diets: Research shows that breakfast eaters have better concentration and muscle co-ordination. Kids need healthy lunch box snacks that maintain blood glucose levels which help concentration, so keep away from fuzzy drinks, chips and chocolates for lunch. A good idea is to plan a lunch box menu for the week.

 

· Take account of yourself daily: We need to be alert of our development so that we progress. Therefore we need to daily reflect on our progress or a lack of it.


The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) has said" the feet of the son of Adam will not move on the Day of Judgement until he is asked about five things: how he spent his life, how he spent his youth, from where he acquired his wealth and how he spent it, and what he did with his knowledge." So we need to be conscious on how profitably we use every second of our lives.

 

Remember that a Muslim sets goals that are in harmony with our accountability in the Aakhirah (Hereafter)... so take pen to paper and plan for a better life, seeking Allah Ta'ala's Guidance, Help and Forgiveness. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) has encouraged us to make the following du'a "Oh our Lord, give us good in this world and good in the Hereafter, and save us from the torment of the fire."

Back to School may be demanding and at times stressful but keep in mind that an investment in knowledge always pays the best interest!

 


Ummah in Crises???

Ummah in Crises???

All you need to do is…….Nothing !

Unity of Muslim Ummah is so important and it cannot be emphasised enough and likewise disunity amongst the Ummah can be disastrous.

 

Allah, the Most Wise, says: "And hold fast, all together, by the rope of Allah, and be not divided among yourselves..." (Quran-3:103)

While we are living and enjoying the comforts and luxuries of this world, our brothers and sisters are suffering and being oppressed all around us. Has it become such that we have become immune and insensitive to such afflictions and find so hard to assist the Ummah let alone shed even one tear.

Allah Ta'ala says in the Noble Qur'aan: " Indeed, Muslims are brothers."(Qur'an: Al Hujurat:10)

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) has emphatically stated that "No one of you becomes a true believer until he likes for his brother what he likes for himself".(Hadith-Bukhari & Muslims)

We are ONE UMMAH, if the finger feels a pain the whole body feels the pain. It is our duty to share the pain, responsibilities, burdens and needs of our fellow brothers and sisters. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "The example of Muslims in their mutual love, mercy and sympathy is like that of a body; if one of the organs is afflicted, the whole body responds with sleeplessness and fever."(Hadith-Muslim)

The enemies of Islam are attempting to destroy this Ummah, piece by piece and for this to happen all we got to do is….NOTHING!

Once upon a time three bulls lived in the forest. One white, one brown and one black. They were brothers and lived together in harmony. In that forest also lived a lion that had his eye on the bulls. But every time he attacked one of them the others came to his aid and together they drove the lion away.

The lion decided that he needed to change his strategy. So one day when the Black Bull was away, he went to the other two and said, "You know, the Black Bull is black and dirty and evil. Why do you keep him with you? His is a disgrace to you. You are beautiful and noble. If the Black Bull is no longer there, you will have all the grazing to yourself. He takes away your food and adds no value to you." The two bulls listened to the lion's spiel and said, "Well, you know, he is our brother. What can we do?"

"You need to do
nothing
at all," said the lion. "I am your friend. I will do what needs to be done. Just don't come to the aid of the Black Bull when he calls you." The others agreed.

The next day, they heard the voice of the Black Bull calling for help in anguish and fear. They listened to him and went back to their grazing. Gradually the calls stopped. The two brothers could not look each other in the eye but then, nice green grass wipes away memories and after a little while it was as if the Black Bull never existed.

Then one day the lion came to the White Bull when he was alone and said, "So are you happy with the advice I gave you? Didn't I advise you well? Now here is another advice. You are the real king of the forest. You are White and clean and pure and holy and beautiful. You are wise and good. You deserve to live in solitary splendour like a king. Not with some dirty brown trash who you have to share your food with. Why do you need him? He is a liability and an embarrassment to you."

"Well, what should I do?"

"You know the score.
Nothing
at all. I am there to take care of everything for you. Just relax."

Next day, the White Bull heard the dying screams of the Brown Bull and closed his ears and went back to his grazing.

The White Bull lived for a few days all by himself, grazing where he wanted and drinking from the clean streams of the forest. Then one morning the lion came again. From the look in his eyes, the White Bull knew that this visit was different. All his life flashed before his eyes. He recalled the time when the three brothers stood together, shoulder to shoulder. Then he recalled all the incidents since then. As the lion sat before him, not in any hurry, knowing that the result was pre-determined, the White Bull said to him, "I have one last wish. Will you grant it to me?"

"Anything at all my friend", said the lion.

The White Bull then climbed a hill and when he got to the top of it, he called out to the people of the forest, "O! People, I do not die today. I died the day the Black Bull died."

Afghanistan, Iraq and list goes on….So dear brothers and sisters in Islam pay heed to the above story for in it lies a deep and important lesson for the Ummah. In Unity there is strength!

 

Let us be firm of the Quran and Sunnah, united as a Ummah and be not divided amongst ourselves. When fellow Muslims are being attacked by the Munafiqeen(Hypocrates) and enemies of Islam, be sure to be of some help and not to just sit back and do….NOTHING!

 

Allaah Ta'ala says:"O believers, if you help Allaah's cause, He will help you and make your feet firm (against your enemies) and those who disbelieved woe unto them and their actions are in vain." (Quran-47:7,8)


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.