Tag Archives: advice

Lets Get High

Sike!  I don’t get high…Anymore.  I used to smoke weed religiously.  Let’s just say for every time I stand up to pray(which is 5x a day), that’s how many joints I sparked up on a daily basis.  I proudly embraced this addiction for a good 7 years.  Talk about high times.  I’m not trying to encourage anyone to use drugs.  I actually would like to invite you all to a healthier habit.

Speaking from the heart of a woman who was once seriously committed to pot, no one could have ever convinced me that something better than marijuana existed.  I self medicated with weed.  Mary Jane was my knight in shining armor.  Always there to rescue me from the horrors of reality.  Of course I know better now.  While getting high relieves you of your stress temporarily, life will be right there, ready to slap you in the face when you come back down.  In reality you never escaped, you were just blissfully procrastinating.  If you would like something more concrete to soothe your soul, I have a suggestion.  Listen to Qur’an.

What a beautiful alternative to wasting your money and damaging your lungs.  I’m not a doctor or a psychiatrist, so follow my advice at your own risk.  All I can do is share what has been beneficial for me.  I mentioned earlier that I thought I would never find a substitute for weed.  I lied, because I never looked.  I was content with being a pothead.  I think, like so many others,  I associated getting high with being cool.  Let me tell you, there is nothing cool about being a smoked out, lazy-minded, nonchalant individual.  Nowadays I’m at ease with myself.  If  I’m in a funk I read or listen to Qur’an.  Qur’an gets me lifted like no narcotic known to man ever could.  Besides, there is no “coming down” or nasty side effect from listening to the word of God.  I love it.

I felt the need to share those thoughts with you all.  I had just finished enjoying a beautiful recitation of Surah (chapter) 

Photo courtesy of africa

“He Frowned.”  The coolness I felt was reminiscent of that “floating on cloud 9” feeling  I used to chase, only without the smoke and coughing.

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Hadith of the Day- On Patience During Calamity

Beauty through the Thorns Photo By: Tina Phillips

As Salaamu Alaikum,

I hope everyone is feeling refreshed, recharged, and ready to attack the week.  I’m not, but that’s ok.  Here are a few Ahadith to encourage you all and myself to practice sabr (patience).  These were taken from one of my all time favorite books “The Way to Patience and Gratitude, Uddat As-Sabirin Wa Thakhirat Ash-Shakirin,” by Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyya (pg 122).

Al-Zuhary said that ‘Urwa narrated that ‘Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said: “The Messenger of Allah (saw) said:

“Whenever a catastrophe happens to a Muslim,  Allah will expiate his sins by it, even if a thorn pricks him.” (Al-Bukhari 6059, Muslim 1062)

‘Aishah said: “The Prophet (saw) said:

“Whenever a thorn pricks a believer, Allah will raise him a grade and decrease one of his sins by it.” (Muslim 2572)

So when you find yourself in a thorny situation just be cool.  It may be that Allah wants to test you so that he can reward you for your patience.

The Real McCoy

As Salaamu Alaikum,

it’s so good to be back.  I hope I’ve been missed, if not that’s cool too.  It’s been maybe 3 or 4 days since my last posting.   I had an unsettling weekend which was only beneficial in inspiring the previous post.  It was great to use that negative energy to crank out my last rant.  But, when I tried to return to the regular “lemme tell you what I know” blogging mode, I got stuck.  My fingers refused to move, and my brain simply said, “forget you.” And that was that.

Alhamdulilah my brain fart has passed.  I’m stationed back in front of my monitor, ignorantly large cup of tea in my hand, ready to go. 

Since I’ve had a few days to reflect, I’ve come to a tremendous realization.  That is that the Qur’an is the real deal.  Not that I ever doubted it.  It’s just that every time I find myself in a rut, I open it up, start reading, and Wa La!  There, within its pages, lies a wealth of knowledge, a panacea.  There is no ailment known to mankind that Allah hasn’t provided a cure for.  The healing starts between the covers of His book. 

Now I’m going to assume that my Muslim readers already know this.  However if you aren’t Muslim and you happen to be reading, know that this is no hoax.  I don’t pussyfoot around on my blog.  I only speak from my own actualities.  In my last post I complained of small-fry annoyances that irked me over the weekend.  Let me inform you that I’ve been through hellish situations in comparison to those minor irritations.  The wisdom I’ve found in the Qur’an  has pulled me out of them all.  If you don’t believe me try it for yourself.  I challenge you to grab a copy of the Meaning of the Qur’an in your native language and read it.  Approach it with an open mind, and sincere intentions on seeking the truth.  I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.  You know what they say…”ain’t nothing like the real thing baby.”

On that note I’m going to end this.  I’ve challenged you all, and I’d love to see who actually takes me up on it.  Please do comment below or tweet me @UmmQamar and let me know your thoughts.  You don’t stand to lose anything from reading a book.

A Follow up to- “Don’t Judge a Book by it’s Cover”

 

Alhamdulilah.  This weekend was an epic fail for me.  The last couple of days I’ve been on edge, to say the least.  I’ve been tempted to unleash a wild torrent of emotions upon certain individuals.  They shall remain nameless. 

Some people can get under your skin if you allow them to.  This is where sabr (patience) is a vital tool in helping you keep your cool.  Never give a person  the power to get you out of your character.  More importantly don’t let Shaitan succeed in his mission.  If you become irate and act irrationally only you will be held accountable for your actions. 

Nevertheless, it is common knowledge that humans aren’t infallible.  We all make mistakes, and we all have character flaws, Muslims included.  Yes, that’s right, we Muslims are indeed humans.  I’ve come across plenty of Muslims that behave so treacherously you could not pay me to believe they were upon the Sunnah, even if it was stamped on their foreheads.  I say this to illustrate my point.  You cannot judge an entire group of people

Fair and Balanced Judgment- Photo courtesy of renjith krishnan

according to the actions of a few.  If the actions of a few bad apples spoke for us all, Islam wouldn’t be the fastest growing religion in the world to date. 

So back to the annoyances I was plagued with this past weekend.  I forgive them for their misdeeds.  However I’m having difficulty trying to convince myself that I should take naseeha (advice) from such people.  I’m only responsible for following the Qur’an and Sunnah to the best of my abilities.  I refuse to blind follow any man, especially one who sees absolutely no wrong in himself.  Brothers and sisters , let us remember to check ourselves and our families first, before we deal out advice to others.

The Beauty of Faith

“Mommy how do you build a house?”

There it was, the perfect opportunity for me to finally say something profound and memorable to my son.  Every parent wants to be thought of as wise and knowledgeable by ones children.  So I leaned my head thoughtfully to one side and said…”Well, I guess you have to pour the foundation first.”  Wonk, wonk, I know I should have come a lot harder than that, but the kid put me on the spot.  Although my answer wasn’t as meaningful as I wanted it to be, it sufficed.

Solid foundations are the essential building blocks of life.  There is no situation, structure, or system, that can withstand the blunt force blows dealt to us by life without a firm foundation.  Within our own family units we refer to the strongest member of the household as the “rock” of the family.  The rock is the individual that everyone leans on for support.  Without that individual the family is likely to crumble under the stress of today’s societal woes. If you’re having difficulty  distinguishing who the rock is in your home, don’t worry there is somewhere else you can turn to for solace.

You can look within yourself.  But be careful, introspection is only useful when you have Faith.  I don’t mean the kind of faith that you have in your favorite basketball team or American Idol contestant, I mean faith in God.  The one and only true God.  As far as the Muslim is concerned we should have a clear understanding of Tawheed(to single out Allah as the one and only God worthy of worship).  We attribute complete lordship to Allah.  We direct all acts of worship to Allah, and we recognize that Allah has the most beautiful and unique names and attributes.  When we have a firm grasp on all aspects of Tawheed and actually put those concepts into practice, then we can turn to ourselves for solutions.  A person who is well-rounded in their belief of Allah is better equipped to handle the curveballs that life pitches.

Now, of course I refrained from giving that whole synopsis to my four-year old son.  Something tells me he would have found more pleasure in playing with Thomas the Tank engine, than in listening to mommy babble about faith.  Needless to say I do talk to my son about God.  I try to explain in kid friendly language that God exists, he’s always watching us, and that he should be our only go to guy for supplications.  I’ll let Bob the Builder explain all the ins and outs of home construction, I’m sure he’d do a much better job.

I admit it…I’m an imposter

Devil's Pie (photo courtesy of graur codrin)

I know you all thought I was righteous.  What with all my naseeha, and Hadith of the Day posts you probably envisioned me to be a saint.  But guess what?  I have issues.

That’s right I said it, I have major character flaws.  You could even go as far as to say i’m a sinner.  Gasp!  My lord, shut the front door.  Umm Qamar is a sinner?  Yes I am, and so are you.  So hop off your righteous pedestals for a moment and hear me out.

Yesterday I finally did it.  I told my boyfriend of 3 years that it was over.  Finite.  Now, obviously I know that dating doesn’t exist in Islam.  You’re either married or you’re not.  That’s where my sin comes in.  Take note, I’m a still a wet behind the ears, fresh off the Jahiliyah boat, revert.  Islam is not entirely new to me, as I was raised as a Muslim.  However, I did go through a tumultuous , dark phase in my life,  where I strayed dangerously from the Siratul Mustaqueem.  It’s only through His unconditional mercy, that I was able to grasp a hold of the rope of Allah.  And this time around you’re going to have to hack my hands off this rope with a pick axe to detach me from Islam.

I’ve come too far and have been through too much, to let Shaitan hold my heart captive again.  That illicit relationship I spoke of, is the remnants of a life in bondage.  I was a slave to my own desires. In truth, having a boyfriend was a small slice of the devil’s pie I once feasted on.  Shaitan really did a number on me.  He made the dunya seem so appetizing to me. I wanted none other than t0 indulge in the ephemeral fantasies of this life.

That, my brothers and sisters is why I’m qualified to advise you as I do now.  Not because I’m so knowledgeable, but because I’ve delved deep into the ugly side of life.  I know from experience that nothing is more satisfying than worshipping Allah.  So when I come on here talking that talk of how we should  restrain ourselves from loving this world too much, you all should understand that I’m speaking sincerely from the depths of my heart.

Written with love,

By Umm Qamar, a humble servant of Allah

4 Simple Steps for Success

My Thoughts on Surah At-Taghabun, The Mutual Loss and gain

Bismillah

As Salaamu Alaikum everyone.  I have some great news.  I’ve  just discovered the secret to success.

Actually it’s not a discovery.  Allah (SWT) gives us the keys to a fruitful life and afterlife many times over in His book.  You all have read the Qur’an or the meaning of it at least a few times, so this knowledge is nothing new.  You see Allah speaks simultaneously in the Qur’an about winners and losers.  He says:

يَوۡمَ يَجۡمَعُكُمۡ لِيَوۡمِ ٱلۡجَمۡعِ‌ۖ ذَٲلِكَ يَوۡمُ ٱلتَّغَابُنِ‌ۗ وَمَن يُؤۡمِنۢ بِٱللَّهِ وَيَعۡمَلۡ صَـٰلِحً۬ا يُكَفِّرۡ عَنۡهُ سَيِّـَٔاتِهِۦ وَيُدۡخِلۡهُ جَنَّـٰتٍ۬ تَجۡرِى مِن تَحۡتِہَا ٱلۡأَنۡهَـٰرُ خَـٰلِدِينَ فِيہَآ أَبَدً۬ا‌ۚ ذَٲلِكَ ٱلۡفَوۡزُ ٱلۡعَظِيمُ

“(And remember) the Day when He will gather you (all) on the Day of Gathering, that will be the Day of mutual loss and gain (i.e. loss for the disbelievers as they will enter the Hell-fire and gain for the believers as they will enter Paradise). And whosoever believes in Allah and performs righteous good deeds, He will expiate from him his sins, and will admit him to Gardens under which rivers flow (Paradise) to dwell therein forever; that will be the great success.” (64:9)

Subhanallah, there clear as day, are the first two steps.

  1. Believe in Allah.  That is believe in the oneness of Allah; and know in your heart that only He is worthy of worship.
  2. Perform righteous  good deeds.  If you believe in Him wholeheartedly, you’ll want to please him with your actions, right?

Easy enough.  So what are the third and fourth steps? Don’t worry Allah never leaves his servants hanging.  He tells us:

فَٱتَّقُواْ ٱللَّهَ مَا ٱسۡتَطَعۡتُمۡ وَٱسۡمَعُواْ وَأَطِيعُواْ وَأَنفِقُواْ خَيۡرً۬ا لِّأَنفُسِڪُمۡ‌ۗ وَمَن يُوقَ شُحَّ نَفۡسِهِۦ فَأُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ هُمُ ٱلۡمُفۡلِحُونَ

“So keep your duty to Allah and fear Him as much as you can; listen and obey, and spend in charity; that is better for yourselves.  And whosoever is saved from his own covetousness, then they are the successful ones.” (64:16)

Look how merciful Allah is.  He advises us with precise language.  How could we fail with such guidance?

     3.  Fear Allah, meaning listen to and obey Him.

     4.  Spend your wealth wisely by giving charity. That’s a no brainer.  Allah (SWT) has blessed us with innumerable bounties.  The least we could do is give back.

There you have it, the dalil (proof) that Allah only wants the best for his slaves.  He gives us elementary, fool-proof directions on how to attain greatness.  The only question is… “Will we choose to be winners or losers?”

As Salaamu Alaikum and much love,

Umm Qamar

Haraam police or sincere advisors?

You're in trouble now

Photo by nixxphotography

Taneem ad-Dari (RA) said:

The Prophet (SAW) said (3x) “The religion is naseeha (sincerity and sincere advice).”

We said, “To whom?”

He said, “To Allah, His Book, His Messenger, and to the leaders of the Muslims and the general people.” (Saheeh Muslim No. 55)

So many times I find myself in the position of being advised. Let me be totally honest in saying that many of these times I did not graciously accept the advice.  In all actuality I took offense and tried to defend my actions, even when I was in the wrong.  You see we all have this little inner voice; you can call it your ego, or pride or what have you.  Whatever you call it we should(myself included) learn how to silence it.  Lest we find ourselves imitating Shaytan in his arrogant mannerisms.

I mean think about it.  In most situations the people who take the time out to advise us when they see us erring are the ones who truly care about us.  People like our parents, other family members, and our brothers and sisters in Islam.  These good people are only trying to guide us, as opposed to those who sit back and say nothing. These naysayers may even partake in our evil deeds. Ask yourself,  who really has your best interest?

In the spirit of enjoining the good and forbidding the evil we should all try to look out for each other.   It’s a highly effective concept, because while you gently remind others, you yourself are reminded to do good. That brings me to an ayah that I came across in the Qur’an.

   وَذَكِّرۡ فَإِنَّ ٱلذِّكۡرَىٰ تَنفَعُ ٱلۡمُؤۡمِنِينَ  

“And remind (by preaching the Qur’an O Muhammad(SAW)) for verily, the reminding profits the believers.” (Adh-Dhariyat:55)

Indeed the speech of Allah is the best speech, and he knows what is best for his servants.  So the next time you find yourself being prompted to remember Allah(SWT) by one of your peers, or a friend, or maybe by a complete stranger online, think twice before you put your dukes up!

“The religion is naseeha…”