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Category Archives: Faith

Day 11 to 17 #Ramadan #Quran #GoldenVerses #FormulaForSuccess

قَدْ أَفْلَحَ ٱلْمُؤْمِنُونَ
Certainly will the believers have succeeded
ٱلَّذِينَ هُمْ فِى صَلَاتِهِمْ خَٰشِعُونَ
They who are during their prayer humbly submissive
وَٱلَّذِينَ هُمْ عَنِ ٱللَّغْوِ مُعْرِضُونَ
And they who turn away from ill speech
وَٱلَّذِينَ هُمْ لِلزَّكَوٰةِ فَٰعِلُونَ
And they who are observant of zakah (obligatory charity)
وَٱلَّذِينَ هُمْ لِفُرُوجِهِمْ حَٰفِظُونَ
And they who guard their private parts
إِلَّا عَلَىٰٓ أَزْوَٰجِهِمْ أَوْ مَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَٰنُهُمْ فَإِنَّهُمْ غَيْرُ مَلُومِينَ
Except from their wives or those their right hands possess, for indeed, they will not be blamed
فَمَنِ ٱبْتَغَىٰ وَرَآءَ ذَٰلِكَ فَأُو۟لَٰٓئِكَ هُمُ ٱلْعَادُونَ
But whoever seeks beyond that, then those are the transgressors
وَٱلَّذِينَ هُمْ لِأَمَٰنَٰتِهِمْ وَعَهْدِهِمْ رَٰعُونَ
And they who are to their trusts and their promises attentive
وَٱلَّذِينَ هُمْ عَلَىٰ صَلَوَٰتِهِمْ يُحَافِظُونَ
And they who carefully maintain their prayers
أُو۟لَٰٓئِكَ هُمُ ٱلْوَٰرِثُونَ
Those are the inheritors
ٱلَّذِينَ يَرِثُونَ ٱلْفِرْدَوْسَ هُمْ فِيهَا خَٰلِدُونَ
Who will inherit al-Firdaus. They will abide therein eternally.
Beautiful, self-explanatory. Some of my personal favourite verses form the Quran. Ideal for those who want to do some hifz (memorization) and recite these verses in their namaz  after reflecting on their meaning.
These initial 11 verses from Surah al-Mu’minoon, Chapter 23, of the Quran, are one of those portions where a cluster, or a list as we may call it, of dos and don’ts, give us a short cap up of the basics. An example of similar clusters of these gems in the Quran are verses 63 to 76 of Chapter 25, Surah al-Furqan.
What is always unique in such certain key words in each verse.
The first 11 verses of this Surah have so many profound themes in them. The inter-relation of spiritual connection with Allah (swt) through ‘ibaadah (worship), and then social ethics, as well as inner purification and relationships with humans – what a complete eco-system of a good life!
The translations are pretty simple. I will just be going over some key terms.
Verse 1: The word “Aflah” from the root “fa-la-ha” denotes success that is complete, holistic and lasting. It is interesting to note that many words in Arabic that start with the sound “fa” give the meaning of something that is broken or split. “Fallah” in Arabic is a farmer – one who plants a seed, works on nurturing it, and the seed then splits, giving way to sapling and then a plant and then a crop, the benefits of which the farmer harvests. Likewise, a momin (believer), when working hard at pleasing good, avoids what Allah wants him/her to void, and does what Allah wants him/her to do, is traveling on a path that will ultimately lead to complete Falaah – success in both dunya and the Hereafter.
Verse 2: “Khaashi’oon” – The verse is not merely asking us to establish prayers, but goes a step further, and talks about what really makes an act of worship we perform 5 times a day worthy of Allah’s pleasure. To have Khushoo’ is to submit to God in complete humility, with acceptance of His Power, His Majesty and His Mercy. Thus, namaz (salaat) is not to be just a physical exercise but the heart must be involved.
Verse 3: “Laghw” – Speech that is useless, non-productive, evil (against one’s self or against another person), dirty – in short, all kinds of words and speech which Allah would disapprove of. Simply put, it displeases Allah (swt) when we misuse the beautiful gift of speech we have been given – cursing, profanity and expletives, backbiting, rumour mongering, verbal abuse, lying, and callous loose talk just for what everyone today calls shughal or fun. Not ok. Have to avoid consciously.
Verse 4: “Zakat” – Simply means purification. Notice how the verse literally says that the successful one’s are doers of purification. Obligatory charity is called Zakat because it purifies not just our wealth (from spending on wrong things, from over spending or from being stingy), but also purifies our heart from greed and selfishness. Tazkiyah – a word from the same root – is used for purification of the inner self from diseases of the soul like hate, jealousy, malice etc. This is a constant process Islam wants us to do till we are alive.
Verse 5:”Haafizoon” – Those who guard; here, guarding their chastity. A recurrent theme in the Quran is to not give in to physical lust or temptation. The pleasure one derives from that is temporary, but the guilt and consequences (in both this world and the next) are lasting.
Verse 6: “Ghaira Maloomeen” – Not blameworthy. The same act, in a relationship (marriage) prescribed by Allah, becomes an act of worship, for when a person fulfills one’s inherent physical desires in a relationship permitted by Allah, it becomes an act of obedience. Fidelity in marriage is important for a Muslim. Married or not, certain sins need to be kept at bay – “love” does not make it ok.
Verse 7: “‘Aadoon” – Those who transgress. Those who seek sexual fulfillment beyond the permissible, and insist on their sins, even though they have understood that this is forbidden, and feel no remorse, and have no intention of doing taubah (repenting).
Verse 8:”Raa’oon” – Beautiful word. Those who attentively guard. Two things to guard mentioned here: Amaanaat (trusts) – whatever Allah has entrusted you with (all the blessings and everything in your control which you could use or misuse to please or displease Him) and ‘Ahad – commitments, promises, pledges, whether you made these commitments to Allah or His creations. Islam does not take breaking of commitments lightly.
Verse 9:”Yuhafizoon” – Those who guard – here, referring to guarding their prayers. The daily obligatory prayers in particular are our constant connection with Allah. We may become wonderful human beings in other ways, but that does not make up for the required connection with Allah. Inner cleansing and spiritual connection with the Creator is not possible without regularity in namaz (salaat).
Verse 10: “Waarithoon”, some may pronounce it “Waarisoon” – the inheritors. Implying that they are deserving of what they will inherit in the Herefter – Paradise.
Verse 11: “Khaalidoon” – eternal. Jannah is worth struggling for because in this world, no pleasure is forever. Everything in this temporary world withers, changes and eventually ends, whether it is physical beauty or the joy of love or a moment of enjoyment. Imagine a world where joy, love, satisfaction, peace and happiness does not wither, change or end. That is what we should strive for.

Day 8, Day 9 & Day 10 #Ramadan #Quran #Verseoftheday #Paradise #Charity #AngerManagement #Forgive #Chastity

– Day 8, Day 9 & Day 10
Forgive and be Forgiven  

And hasten to forgiveness from your Lord and a garden as wide as the heavens and earth, prepared for the righteous.

Those who spend [in the cause of Allah] during ease and hardship and who restrain anger and who pardon the people – and Allah loves the doers of good.

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And those who, when they commit immorality or wrong themselves, remember Allah and seek forgiveness for their sins – and who can forgive sins except Allah? and (who) do not persist in what they have done knowingly.

How beautiful is Islam, full of hope, for the door to forgiveness is always open till the last breath.

These verses from Surah Aal-e-Imran have multiple inter-related themes. Here I am, marveling at each verse and each word and each letter that is meaningful beyond comprehension. With gentle love and care, our Merciful Rabb shows us the path towards salvation, guiding us each step of the way, motivating us, telling us what to do.

The surface of the key subjects in these 3 verses can be at best barely touched upon as under:

  • Verse 133: Allah (swt) is using the word “Saa-ri-‘oo” – rush, hasten, run, compete towards Allah’s forgiveness. The word implies that we must not delay, for each moment is precious. Allah’s forgiveness is the only thing that can lead us to the unimaginable Paradise that He has lovingly prepared for the God-conscious. What fascinates me is the fact that the Quran recognizes that even the God-conscious or “Muttaqeen” who may eventually end up in Jannah with His Mercy, will make mistakes, but with effort and sincere intention to improve, they may attract Allah’s forgiveness. The people of Jannah are not perfect. But they accept their faults and strive to improve, and do good deeds that may wash away their sins. #Hope
  • Verse 134: SPEND – One of the sure shot ways to wash away your mistakes. And spending not conditionally only when you have lots to give, but spending in times of difficulty and financial restrain. Spending what we love. Spending even when we do not have a lot of “extra” to spend. Spend on those who live on earth, and He will forgive you and shower blessings on you from the heavens.
  • Verse 134: CONTROL ANGER – Anger in all its forms. Both inner and outer. Outer anger manifests itself as abuse, violence, taunts, sarcasm and harming the other. Inner anger manifests as grudges and ill feelings. The word “kaazimeen” is so apt – to suppress. Meaning the anger IS there, and in all probability is justified, and the person we are angry with may have hurt us or wronged us. Yet, true strength lies in controlling this negative emotion.
  • Verse 134: FORGIVE: Wow! So if we want Allah (swt) to forgive us, we have to forgive those who have harmed us. So many times, even if we are somehow able to suppress anger, the seething pain and the grudges towards those who have hurt us remain. They do not harm that person, mostly. These ill feelings damage the heart that is housing these ill feelings. Allah (swt) is telling us to let go of whatever it was. After all, if it is Allah (swt) on whom we have tawakkul (reliance), we have to trust that He Knows who hurt us and harmed us and scarred us. If we want to heal, this is the only path – forgetting may not be possible but forgiving (with a lot of hard work) is a possibility. So let go of that anger…..forgive…for inner peace. For Paradise will be home to those who have found inner peace 🙂
  • Verse 135: BEGGING FOR FORGIVENESS: Yes, even those who will eventually, InshaAllah, enter Paradise, make major mistakes and commit major sins….sins that come under immorality, indecency, and go against the command to guard their chastity. When they do so, they have wronged no one but themselves. The inner impressions such sins leave harm our soul, bit by bit. The verse addresses those who have harmed themselves. Recognizing that one has erred and accepting that it is we who harm ourselves is the first step towards forgiveness. When they ask Allah (swt) for forgiveness, Allah (swt) showers His forgiveness on His slaves. But the one condition this verse puts forth is this: Do not insist on repeating a sin when you realize it is a mistake. Strive and aim to ward it off, and ask Allah (swt) for the strength to be able to resist the temptations. And its beautiful when the verse says who can forgive but Allah (swt)? The piles and mountains of our sins can only find forgiveness in our Rabb, the Magnanimous and ever Merciful.

As the beautiful Hadeeth-e-Qudsi says:

On the authority of Anas, who said: I heard the messenger of Allah say:Allah the Almighty has said: “O son of Adam, so long as you call upon Me and ask of Me, I shall forgive you for what you have done, and I shall not mind. O son of Adam, were your sins to reach the clouds of the sky and were you then to ask forgiveness of Me, I would forgive you. O son of Adam, were you to come to Me with sins nearly as great as the earth and were you then to face Me, ascribing no partner to Me, I would bring you forgiveness nearly as great as its.” (Tirmidhi)

In this most special of months, let us forgive and beg Allah for forgiveness.

Ramazan shows are like a slice of Pakistan: A bit of religion followed by a lot of gossip

Published: June 15, 2016

These shows are a reflection of what is going on in our society. These Ramazan shows are a slice of Pakistan today. A bit of religion followed by a bit of gossip and a bit of extravagance and a bit of unethical humiliation of someone who cannot stop us from doing so and a bit of retail therapy – all in a single breath.

For those of us who grew up watching PTV, religious shows were an integral and beneficial part of the daily routine. Anything that came on PTV, we watched. As a member of the PTV generation, I grew up watching the daily afternoon show where the recitation of the Holy Quran was taught, and I don’t recall missing Majlis-e-Shaam-e-Gharibaan on any tenth ofMuharram, even as a Sunni.

Religion, as presented on TV back then, was something to be respected and honoured on the media. I recall care being taken even about the kind of advertisements that were run between religious shows, if they were any at all.

But then the Aalim Online era begun. Make no mistake; as an objective bystander I appreciate the fact that Aalim Online was the first show that brought Islamic scholars of different schools of thought on the same podium, and acted as an interfaith forum of sorts. Many similar shows followed, providing useful information.

But then something dangerous happened. These shows started bringing in ratings. And advertisements. And money. Ramazan, followed by Eid is of course heyday for marketeers and consumerists. Therefore, religious shows were morphed into Ramazan religious shows – all in one type – with the azaan, religious scholars and verses of the Holy Quran in one hour and full throttle live entertainment show the next.

Every one followed this trend. Money kept rolling in. Ramazan’s spirit of giving was abused into marketing gimmickry. Thousands of motorbikes are given away to people who are willing to sacrifice their self-respect and let their humiliation be broadcasted for it. Karachi’s legendary killer motorbiker boys keep increasing on the streets of a city where 23 million or more reside, but there is no dependable public transport system.

Sadly enough, these shows are a reflection of what is going on in our society. These Ramazan shows are a slice of Pakistan today. A bit of religion followed by a bit of gossip and a bit of extravagance and a bit of unethical humiliation of someone who cannot stop us from doing so and a bit of retail therapy – all in a single breath. It may be very easy for the affluent upper tier Pakistanis to judge the people coming on these shows for that motorbike and say,

In kee koi izzat e nafs nahin?”

(Don’t they have any self-respect?)

But the reality is that in a society with such drastic socio-economic disparity, we often cannot relate to what winning a motorbike or a mobile-phone means to the masses. They struggle every day and pretend to be carrying on a comfortable life, but in reality are exhausted by financial crunches.

Here we are, witnessing the beautiful spirit of this month being hijacked by money making machines. These shows, for instance, Pak Ramzan Amir Liaquat Show and Jeeto Pakistanwith Fahad Mustafa, in the long run, will have disastrous and sustained effects on our social fabric. Some are beginning to show already. Thanks to the fact that gifts are given even if the person does not know the answer to “which are Pakistan’s neighbouring countries?” the bar for intelligent general knowledge quizzes is not just being lowered but has been smashed. Levels are also being lowered with regards to collective entertainment. Publicly ridiculing others is considered funny, or people pretend that it is funny because the host is often being praised collectively, so that s/he is happy with the audience and gives away a gift.

There is certain decorum – call it adab, if you may – that is required for religious and spiritual messages to permeate a heart. When that is absent, the soul does not absorb the beautiful messages Ramazan is transmitting to it. When a large part of our post-iftar eve is spent watching these shows even though we criticise them, something inside us dies.

What’s worse is that the few genuinely informative and interesting religious shows that are on television in Ramazan, such as Baran e Rehmat with Hamza Ali Abbasi, also lose their credibility due to the blanket assumption of viewers that all Ramazan special shows are just the same sub-standard offering. The genuine scholars are respected less due to those who have not yet embodied the beautiful spirit of Ramazan, and in fact of Islam. Thus, some genuinely good shows no longer get the recognition they deserve.

Do the hosts and producers of these shows realise what a powerful medium they have in their hands, and how productively this could be used to propagate the real ideals of Ramazan like charity, hospitality, simplicity, love and compassion?

Maybe it’s time to make it a regular dua in Ramazan that may Allah (SWT) guide those who have been given this power to use it responsibly.

Day 6 & Day 7 #Ramadan #Quran #Verseoftheday #Friends #Impact #HoldingOn #Letting Go

Day 6 & Day 7 – THE PATHS YOU CHOSE, THE FRIENDS YOU KEEP
25:27
And the Day the wrongdoer will bite on his hands [in regret] he will say, “Oh, I wish I had taken with the Messenger a way.
25:28

Oh, woe to me! I wish I had not taken that one as a friend.

He led me away from the remembrance after it had come to me. And ever is Satan, to man, a deserter.”

25:30
And the Messenger has said, “O my Lord, indeed my people have taken this Qur’an as [a thing] abandoned.”
These four verses hit hard. From the poignant and thought-provoking Chapter 25, Surah al-Furqan (Furqan meaning the Criterion), these verses are drawing a scenario of the Day of Judgment. The first three verses (27, 28 and 29) embody the themes of regret and the foreboding sense of loss a person condemned to hell for eternity will feel. On that Day when bare truth will be in front of our eyes and nothing shall be hidden or ambiguous, each one of us will know where they are headed for eternity. That is when each one of us will reflect upon why they landed in Paradise or Hell, and what they did to deserve it.
The character uttering these words in remorse is realizing where he/she went wrong. So severe is his sense of regret that he bites his hands owing to the grief of never ending torment that is to follow.
The first regret is that he let himself be misled from the path of the Prophet (saw). It, in essence, means the path of any of Allah’s Prophets sent on earth with guidance. Every day of our lives, as Allah’s supreme creations, we have hundreds of choices we make….to be kind or unkind, forgiving or malicious, generous or stingy, thankful or thankless….to be selfish and one who just “takes” or someone selfless who also “gives”….how to react to situations, which thoughts to act upon, which words to utter….hundreds of choices. And intrinsic to all these choices is choosing which path we take as our life’s direction, for that determines the following choices.
Imagine being at a point of no return, and not being able to undo what one has done.
In verse 28, he gets to the details and realize that bad company, the wrong friends, and moving around in the wrong circles was the core reason. That is true for all of us – we are known by the friends we keep and we become the friends we have. Inch by inch, moment by moment, we absorb unknowingly the beliefs and lifestyles of those around us. Friendships, companionships, and even partnerships for life, have to be carefully thought out choices, for they lead or mislead us. He regrets in verse 29 how his friend distracted him from the remembrance of Allah. And this is how it is, isn’t it? The friend could be a metaphor for what we stay busy with or spend time with or are focused on – friends, money, entertainment. love – they can either make you a better Muslim, a better human, or make you a distorted version of who you were or could have been. If we look inward closely, we can see what anyone’s company does to us….but for that we have to stay in touch with ourselves, and with Allah, otherwise we don’t even realize how we are altered forever, sometimes for the better and at other times not.
Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم ) said: “A good friend and a bad friend are like a perfume-seller and a blacksmith: The perfume-seller might give you some perfume as a gift, or you might buy some from him, or at least you might smell its fragrance. As for the blacksmith, he might singe your clothes, and at the very least you will breathe in the fumes of the furnace.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 3, Hadith 314)
Verse 30 is an expression of deep grief and is the words of the Prophet (saw) on that Day. The Prophet (saw) when he sees his people being punished will feel pain and sadness, and will cite the reason: these people let go of the Quran, migrated from it, gave up on holding on to the Quran. Once the source of guidance was taken away, nothing could be done.
These verses of the Quran are extremely hitting and deep, and that depth is of course somewhat lost in translation. But we get the point, hopefully.
May Allah (swt) not make us feel regret on the Day of Judgment, and may we follow the path of our Prophet (saw).

Day 5 #Ramadan #Quran #Verseoftheday #DoNotSayUffToThem

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Day 5 – DO NOT EVEN SAY UGH OR UFF TO YOUR PARENTS

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And your Lord has decreed that you not worship except Him, and to parents, good treatment. Whether one or both of them reach old age [while] with you, say not to them [so much as], “uff,” and do not repel them but speak to them a noble word.

Today, I was speaking to a friend who has been undergoing the same issues as so many of us, and as myself. Elderly parents growing weaker every day pose more challenges than we acknowledge. We looked up to them all our lives. Now they look up to us and are dependent on us. They are no longer financially or physically supporting us. They no longer have that control over us which made us lower our voices in front of them. And herein lies our test. This beautiful ayat from Surah Bani Israel (17:23) starts with the very basic belief – belief in the oneness of Allah. And in the same verse, Allah (swt) reminds us of who is most deserving of our good behaviour, patience and kindness.

But the key here is the old age bit. Not only are they no longer dependent on us, but at the twilight of their lives they see their lives as downhill, and they have achieved every goal they had, and this realization often makes them cranky and unreasonable.

At this stage of life, children need to exercise patience. Even the smallest of reactions like rolling eyes or saying Ugh or Uff or speaking to them harshly may wash away our good deeds.

Read this: Abdullah Ibn ‘Umar saw a Yemeni man performing Tawāf (circumambulating the Ka’bah) while carrying his mother on his back. This man said to Abdullah Ibn ‘Umar, “I am like a tame camel for her! I have carried her more than she carried me. Do you think I have paid her back, O Ibn ‘Umar?” Abdullah Ibn ‘Umar replied, “No, not even one contraction!” [Al-Adab al-Mufrad Bukhārī 1/62]

And in a hadith, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said :

“A father’s pleasure is Allah’s pleasure, a father’s displeasure is Allah’s displeasure.” (Tirmidhi)

The following verse (17:24) even specifies our body language with parents, advising us that our shoulders must be lowered, and teaches us to make dua for them.

Parents are not saints or angels and are not without faults. But they are the most sincere and selfless in their love for their children, and no other love compares with that, though in Islam each relationship has its own distinct place. So, despite their shortcomings and the age related weaknesses, one must continue treating them with honour, love and affection.

Also, as spouses, one must never restrict one’s wife or husband from serving their parents.

May Allah (swt) enable us to act on these verses, and shower upon our parents His Mercy. Ameen.

Day 4 #Ramadan #Quran #Verseoftheday #DontTurnAwayYourFace

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He frowned and turned away

Day 4 – DON’T LOOK AWAY, DON’T TURN YOUR FACE AWAY

This one scares me…The first ten verses actually.

So this is what happened: This surah was revealed in the Meccan era. Muslims were facing the oppression of the powerful Quraish. The Prophet of Allah Muhammad (saw) wanted to get the message of Allah across to the leaders of Mecca so that the oppression would stop and Islam would gain foothold, though the message was in no way exclusive only to the rich and famous, and the fact that so many earliest Muslims were from the underprivileged strata of Meccan society.

The background of the revelation of this and the following verses is that once the Prophet (saw) was deeply engaged in trying to explain the Holy Qur’an to some pagan Quraish leaders such as ‘Atabat‑ibn‑i‑Rabi ‘ah, Abu‑Jahl, ‘Abbas‑ibn‑’Abdul‑Mutallib and some others. He was hopeful that it would attract them to Islam, and in so doing, surely a lot of others would come to Islam, too. But, suddenly, he was interrupted by a blind man, ‘Abdullah‑ibn‑Ummi‑Maktum, who was apparently poor, so that no one took notice of him. He wanted to learn the Qur’an and asked the Prophet (saw) to teach him. He repeated his statement again and again, because he did not know exactly whom he was talking to.

The Holy Prophet (saw) in that moment did not like the frequent interruptions and this was seen on his face.

He turned away from ‘Abdullah and continued the work at preaching Allah’s Message to them.

At that moment he received the verses stated above.

The translation of the first ten verses of this Surah from the 30th Juz are as under:

1. He frowned and turned away
2. Because there came to him the blind man
3. And what would make you know that he might (spiritually) purify himself
4 Or become reminded so that the reminder might profit him?
5. As to one who regards himself self‑sufficient
6. To him do you address yourself!
7. Though it is no blame on you if he would not (spiritually) purify himself.
8. But as to him who comes to you striving hard
9. And he fears (Allah in his heart)
10. Of him you were unmindful.

So in this verse 80:1 of the Quran, and the verses that follow, Allah (swt) is admonishing the best of the best in the sight of Allah, Muhammad (saw). No one is closer to perfection than the last Prophet (saw). Yet, look how he is being reminded. So high is the honour and stature of a sincere person in the sight of Allah, even though he is poor and blind.

How many times, may Allah forgive us, have we judged someone on the basis of their financial status or their physical appearance? How many times have we been dismissive or demeaning to someone who is not influential or rich or powerful? How many times we punish people by our indifference and silence? Our body language suddenly becomes respectful and our choice of words becomes careful when we address someone who has a position. But with a poorer person we could care less.

It reminds me of that beautiful hadith:

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَنْظُرُ إِلَى صُوَرِكُمْ وَأَمْوَالِكُمْ وَلَكِنْ يَنْظُرُ إِلَى قُلُوبِكُمْ وَأَعْمَالِكُمْ

(2564 صحيح مسلم كتاب البر والصلة والآداب باب تحريم ظلم المسلم وخذله واحتقاره ودمه وعرضه وماله)

Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said,

Verily, Allah does not look at your appearance or wealth, but rather he looks at your hearts and actions.” (Sahih Muslim 2564)

Tremendous lesson here.

Also, I feel enormous love for the Prophet of Allah (saw) when I read this and similar verses. To be humanity’s ultimate role model, his every action was checked more strictly than anyone else on earth. What a heavy responsibility he carried all his life, and what all he went through, to be our role model.

The Quran is indeed the words…. Allah’s final message to humanity, pure and unadulterated. If it were, God forbids, authored by our beloved Prophet (saw), verses admonishing him would not have been part of it.

As for ‘Abdullah, after this revelation, the Prophet (saw) always held ‘Abdullah in high honor, and whenever he saw him he used to tell him

“Hail to the one for whom Allah admonished me.”

And, then, he questioned the man:

“Is there anything that I can do for you?”

The blind man became a true and sincere Muslim and as a direct appointment by the Prophet, himself, become a governor of Medina on two occasions when the Prophet (saw) went to battle.

May peace and blessings of Allah be upon Muhammad (saw), the final messenger, and may Allah enable us to follow his beautiful path.

Day 3 #Ramadan #Quran #Verseoftheday #PerfectImperfections

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Day 3 – WHEN WE SAY “I DON’T LIKE HER NOSE” or “HE IS SO DARK”

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It is Allah who made for you the earth a place of settlement and the sky a ceiling and formed you and perfected your forms and provided you with good things. That is Allah , your Lord; then blessed is Allah , Lord of the worlds.

So imagine this: You look at someone and say something like “Her nose is so broad” or “such small eyes!” or “poor thing is so dark” or “what a good looking woman but what bad looking feet”. Often, the person saying this has no idea what a serious offence he/she has committed. And Who it is they have offended.

Let’s see the verse again. What a beautiful, majestic ayah this is from Surah Ghafir, also known as Surah al-Mumin. Allah, the Exalted, is reminding us of His place in our lives. The Master Creator mentions the creation of the planet we call home, and the mighty sky over our heads, and then goes on to mention His supreme creation – mankind. You. Me. Us.

First the ayah mentions that He created us and then says he created us beautifully in an “ahsan” (most beautiful) manner….in a design that is perfect in the sight of Allah.

When we criticize or think less of or ridicule someone’s physical attributes, we actually question Allah’s (swt) creation. Social conditioning has a lot to do with it. We come to believe only a certain kind of physical appearance is beautiful. In most cultures, a lighter complexion is considered beautiful. The millions and billions of dollars that globally go into whitening products are a testimony to that. Supremacy of the “white” is a part of this collective complex. More than 1400 years ago, the Prophet Muhammad (saw) elevated the ranks of the Abyssinian slave, Bilal (ra). Yet here we are, centuries later, commenting on people’s complexions. Have we really come of age?

In the upper tiers of urban societies, thin is beautiful. To other cultural sensibilities, a fuller body is beautiful. To some, coloured eyes are beautiful. To others they are not. Thinner or thicker lips, sharper or upturned noses, long fingers, small waistlines, taller statures…..are we talking about Allah’s creation or are we picking and choosing items in a shopping mall?

If you have true love of Allah, every creation of Allah is beautiful in a unique, unparalleled fashion. This is how he wanted you to look. This is who you are. Yes, our bodies are Allah’s amanah (trust) and we must take care of them and maintain them, but not to appease people’s ideas of beauty, but to feel good and healthy.

Here’s praying that our human pettiness, and the hurtful comments that we may have unconsciously uttered about someone’s physicality, are forgiven.

Allah is Beautiful, and loves the beautiful, and all that He created in His divine wisdom is beautiful.

Time to grow up and start thinking differently.

To every one out there, the thing to say is “hey, beautiful”!