Monday, July 27, 2020

A touch of care and love!

A touch of care and love!
By Umm Muhammad Yusuf



Out of sight, does not need to be out of mind.

During this trying and testing time of the Covid 19 pandemic, we can still make an effort to strengthen our community bonds.

With many families in isolation, unwell and in quarantine, sending family and friends a gift or touch of care and love during these difficult times can be a meaningful expression of kindness.Indeed small and unexpected surprises can go a long way.

Remember to always mindfully focus on the pleasure of Allah, and to renew and purify our intentions. It comes in a hadith, "Every deed is judged by its intention." 

Here is a short list of some ideas:

*#1 Keep in touch*

Make a call or send a small message to at least one different person from your friends, family or contacts lists every day, especially the elderly, and don't forget your neighbours!

*#2 Reach out*

Reach out to people in isolation, those that are sick and those in quarantine, in a safe way, through phone calls, WhatsApp, etc.
It is said in a Hadith, "Whoever relieves a Muslim in distress in this world, Allah will remove his difficulties in the Hereafter."

*#3 Volunteer time*

Volunteer to do a friend's shopping errands or their buying of milk and bread.

*#4 Meals and snacks* 

Try making some extra soup or prepare a special meal if you can and let the sick person know you will be dropping it off 
Don't ask "Can I cook for you?" as people will feel shy to ask for help.Try cooking or preparing something at least once a week for the next month or two to share with others. Remember to send it in disposable containers, making it easier for yourself, as well as the sick.

*#5 Snack packs and gifts*

Send a small snack pack, a little gift with a small note of encouragement, an uplifting Hadith or inspirational aayah of the Quraan. Small and unexpected surprises can go a long way.

*#7 Cheer people up* 

Make people happy. Be a means of a smile on someone's face.

*#8 Inspire*

Share positive news or some inspirational one liners that will uplift the person and make them feel better. Be careful not to be negative.

*#9 Dawah and uplifting Imaan*

Remind them and ourselves about the beautiful rewards that Allah has in store in exchange for patience during difficulty, and encourage them to make zikr and read duas etc.

_Soul food is just as important as is food for the body_

*#10 Self care*

Selfcare is of utmost importance. Take care of yourself so that you are able to help others too. 

*#11 Dua*

Make special dua for yourself and all the family and friends, especially for those that are ill or have lost loved ones. Take people's names when they do not know that you are making dua for them, then it is more likely to get accepted by Allah. It comes in a Hadith, "When a person makes dua for a Muslim, an Angel is appointed to say aameen to his dua, and to make dua for him in return by saying may you be granted the same." (Muslim)

It comes in a Hadith that the best people are those that benefit others the most.

If you would like to join in this touch of love initiative, take out your diaries and save the weekly dates that you would like to prepare a meal or gift something. Also make a list of the people you would like to enquire about or drop a call or message to. Send out weekly reminders and together we can make a difference! 

Remember the most important thing is to make the correct intention.

_www.eislam.co.za_

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

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!

 


Virus-free. www.avast.com

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.

 


THE COVER GIRL

THE COVER GIRL

 
Walking down the road, sporting the latest handbag , designer shoes and the trendiest figure hugging abayah….Wow is she turning heads around here! Is this our new cover girl?
 The Beloved Messenger of Allah( S.A.W ) said: There are two types of people who will be punished in hell and whom I've not seen:(the second type)Women will be dressed but appear to be naked, they will attract others to themselves, and they themselves will be  attracted to others. Their heads will appear like the humps of the camels, they will not enter Paradise and they will not smell its fragrance which can be smelt from such and such a distance.
Shaytaan's ambition is to mislead. When a muslimah makes a niyyah to wear the hijaab he jumps into action.
Plot 1: He tries to stop her. If he fails…
Plot 2:Misleads her in donning hijaab. She thinks she is covering,but chooses a figure hugging abayah or she lifts the jalabeeb instead of lowering….
So lets ask ourselves,are we really covered girls or do we want to be "cover girls?"
There is a parable of a flower and a pearl both striking in their beauty, lets ponder and take a lesson, which one do we want to be?
Suddenly, a tinge of distress appeared on the flower. "Nothing accounts for sorrow in your talk; so why are u depressed?" The pearl asked."Human beings deal with us carelessly; they slight us. They don't grow us for our sake but to get pleasure from our fragrance and beautiful appearance. They throw us on the street or in the garbage can after we are dispossessed of the most valuable properties; brilliance and fragrance"
The flower sighed. And then  the flower said to the pearl: "Speak to me about your life! How do you live? How do you feel it? You are buried in the bottom of the sea. "
The pearl answered: "Although I have none of your distinctive colours and sweet scents, humans think I am precious. They do the impossible to procure me. They go on long journeys, dive deep in the seas searching for me. You might be astounded to know that the further I lay, the more beautiful and brilliant I become. That's what upraises my value in their thought. I live in a thick shell isolated in the dark seas. However, I'm happy and proud to be in a safe zone far from wanton and mischievous hands and still the humans consider me highly valuable" Do you know what the flower and the pearl symbolize?
 Think ..Think..
You will find that The flower is the woman who shows her charms and the pearl is the veiled woman who conceals her beauties.
Ponder  about it!
"O Prophet(pbuh)! Say to your wives and your daughters and the women of the faithful to draw their outer garments (jilbabs) close around themselves; that is better that they will be recognized and not annoyed. And Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful.(Al Quran Al-Ahzab:59)



Saturday, January 5, 2019

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!

 


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)




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!