I am forever engaged in an internal struggle
I’ve enlisted my thoughts to join the battle
To serve as soldiers against the ones that have gone astray
To eliminate the fray
It may be that I am guaranteed victory
Because my Lord says he is with me
The Diamond Mine
By Umm Qamar
If only you knew,
How I cherish you,
Place you on a pedestal
Above the rest
May you be blessed
As time goes by,
I’m going to try,
To reveal what’s hidden in me,
I want you to see
Your loves labor was not lost,
By Allah, like delicate green moss
I reach towards the light
To gaze upon the visage of my Lord, in all his might
I praise him for the gift of you,
And hold this word to be true,
That paradise lies at your feet,
By the will of Allah, amidst gardens we’ll meet
This poem was published by the Muslim Matters Blog. You can click here to read it.
Ihsan, otherwise known as “perfection or “excellence. In terms of worship this is a lofty goal for the believer. To worship Allah (SWT) as though He is right in front of you. Of course the Muslim knows that indeed, Allah is always present by means of his knowledge. After pondering the Hadith of Jibril, it becomes clear that to obtain this religious perfection, one needs to have a solid foundation in all aspects faith and worship.
I can only imagine the sweetness.
It’s painfully ironic how we boast of being perfectionists in matters of the dunya. As mothers or trustees of a household we beam when someone mentions how immaculate our homes are. As students we find ourselves sacrificing warm beds and fluffy pillows so that we can, ‘blow our exams out the water.’ As working class citizens we’ll do whatever it takes to make it to the top, and bring home the big cheese. Where is this sense of dedication and urgency in our religious affairs?
I shouldn’t speak. Prioritizing islamically is something that I continue to struggle with on a daily basis. I’m guilty of wanting the best of both worlds. I want to have my dunya cake and eat it too. But insha Allah I’m changing.
Now I yearn to dip my fingers in the honey pot of true Iman. In order to do so, I need to get this worldly monkey off my back. I need to focus on my final destination and put the distractions of this life on the back burner. Brothers and sisters the us become the strangers that our Prophet (SAW) spoke of; letting the dunya choke on our dust as we race towards the eternal abode of the Muhsinun.
As Salaamu Alaikum
As Salaamu Alaikum. Honey let me tell you, I’ve got some heavy stuff on my mind tonight. I mean the kind of thoughts that weigh down your steps when you walk, and burden your eyelids forcing you to retreat when you know you aren’t sleepy. What is it you might ask that’s got me feeling some kind of way? I’ll give you a hint… it affects us all.
You guessed it! Death. Passing on. Expiration. The end of the road. Allah (SWT) says in the Qur’an:
كُلُّ نَفۡسٍ۬ ذَآٮِٕقَةُ ٱلۡمَوۡتِۖ ثُمَّ إِلَيۡنَا تُرۡجَعُونَ (٥٧)
“Everyone shall taste death. then unto Us you shall be returned.” (Al-‘Ankabut:57)
The word death itself is mentioned over 200 times in the Qur’an. It’s quite clear that there will be no bypassing that stage of our life. I know you probably think I’m terribly pessimistic. I’m sorry but I’m only bringing up this topic as a reminder to myself, and Insha Allah this will benefit you too.
You see I constantly find myself dwelling on the shortcomings of my life. I’m forever re-evaluating the significance of my achievements or the lack thereof. I do this so much that I tend to get worked up. I sometimes feel like a failure because I’ve “wasted time” and haven’t gotten as far ahead as I would have liked to by now. The Kufar have a saying and that is “Life is short.” They’re absolutely right. As Muslims we should be fully aware of the brevity of life. We should also know that our time here is pre-determined by Allah (SWT). We have absolutely no say so about when we come or go. Due to the supreme knowledge of our Lord this has already been decided for us. So what’s the point of living, you might ask?
I’ll tell you. The common goal we should all share is to see the face of our Lord, to reach Jannah-Al-Firdaus wherein Insha Allah we’ll rest in eternal bliss and serenity. Allah (azza wa jal) reminds us of this goal when he says:
وَمَا هَـٰذِهِ ٱلۡحَيَوٰةُ ٱلدُّنۡيَآ إِلَّا لَهۡوٌ۬ وَلَعِبٌ۬ۚ وَإِنَّ ٱلدَّارَ ٱلۡأَخِرَةَ لَهِىَ ٱلۡحَيَوَانُۚ لَوۡ ڪَانُواْ يَعۡلَمُونَ (٦٤)
“And the life of this world is only an amusement and a play! Verily, the home of the Hereafter- that is life indeed (i.e. the eternal life that will never end), if they but knew.” (29:64)
That pretty much sums it up for me. I know that I need to be patient upon my hardships and focus on worshipping Allah (SWT). True success will not be determined by a degree, or a fancy ride, or by whether or not you’ve started a Fortune 5oo company. No my friends, true success will be determined when we stand in front Allah the Almighty. Then we’ll know if we’ve served our purpose in life.
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…”