Searching for Conversation

Image courtesy of Chris Weigand

As  living souls, we are all looking for a connection, a bond, something to get attached to, to seek comfort in.

This is how we are and that is how Allah has made us.  He has formed us this way in order for us to turn to Him and seek His guidance, help, and comfort.

But people lead different paths to find this connection and this sort of conversation to another higher power.

People may not think about it or intentionally seek this type of connection out but we all do in some way.

We have to whether we like it or not, no matter how we try to avoid it…or turn away.

Every single soul needs a connection and something to worship in order for it to survive and thrive in this dunya.

This is true because it is in our fitrah to seek something to fill the void of worship.

Everyone worships something but a lot of times people worship things without  realizing it or the wrong/superficial/fickle things.

Our bodies and our minds have been created to worship but to whom and where to direct this necessity is where people differ.

For some it may celebrities.

Others, money and fame temporarily takes over their being.

Many of our souls have stumbled and sucked into worshipping our work, our children, our spouses, our homes, our cars.

People worship their hobbies and interests.

But we have been created to supplicate and prostrate to Allah only.

“I created man and jinn for no other purpose than to worship Me only.” (Dhariyat 51:56)

He does not need anything from us but we need Him.

All the praying, fasting, and the accumulation of good deeds we try to hoard in our baskets, well, we do it for His sake but it helps us in the end.  It is for us.

Why would a Creator need anything from us?

It is the servants actually serving themselves when they embrace Allah and His commands.

When observing this photograph at  the Western Wall, a prayer, a request, or a personal wish stuffed into crevices, Jews desperately searching and trying to have a continual conversation with God, an eagerness, a heightened fervor to reach the ultimate Power…

As Muslims, we are always conversing with our Creator.

For us, there is a sense of calm and serenity because we know He is listening.  We are confident that He is there for us, even if at times our emaan is low, we know He is not far off.

The souls stuffing notes in the walls- they are seeking.  It is not confirmed as to whether or not it has been reached to God.

For us, it has been reached and there is never a hesitation that He did not hear us, He is As-Sami.

He heard us before we even formed the feelings and words in our hearts.

Our conversation and worship of Allah comes in all sorts of forms but what is amazing is we can essentially talk to Him at any time.

He is always there, ever watchful, and the best of listeners.

We do not have to go out of our way to have this continual communication.

Allah does not want to burden his servants so He creates worship in an effortless way.

“Allah intends for you ease, and does not want to make things difficult for you” (2:185).

As a Muslim, Allah makes it accessible to reach Him.

Whether it is through our daily prayers, du’ah, or just simply uttering words of praise in His favor, this is all considered our version of having this dialogue between the servant and His Creator.

Just the beating of our heart is enough to communicate our worldly fears and concerns to Him.

It is as simple as closing our eyes and listening to our heart and unshackling our words from the walls…

Allah is there.   He is listening.

When and where do you converse with your Creator?  Who and what do you worship?  Why?

Monday’s Surprise

Monday’s surprise!  Can you guess what it is?

Feta: chickpeas and yogurt (recipe)

Ingredients:

Cooked chickpeas

Toasted pita bread

Yogurt

Tahini

Salt

Smashed! Garlic

Few drops of vinegar

Cumin

Paprika

Toasted slivered almonds

Extra virgin olive oil

Pomegranate seeds (optional)

  1. Layer the toasted pita bread on a nice, presentable serving dish so that the bottom of the dish is covered into bite size pieces of bread.
  2. Mix yogurt, some tahini (enough to taste the tahini but not completely overwhelming the yogurt), vinegar, smashed! garlic (enough to get a garlic breath, ha…eat a bunch of parsley after and you will banish the bad breath), and salt in a bowl.
  3. Add chickpeas over the bread with some of the water left over from cooking the chickpeas (if they came from a can, rinse them and boil in some water, just to make them warm, and then use some of that liquid for the bread so it can get moist but not too mushy).
  4. Spread the yogurt mixture over the chickpeas.
  5. Drizzle e.v.o.o., sprinkle cumin and paprika over the dish.  Then the slivered almonds on top and pom seeds if you have any.

It is a dish eaten warm or at room temperature.

If we have any leftover, we do eat it cold…told you it was easy!

Say Bismillah and share the goodness!

Feta (chickpeas and yogurt)

Watch out for this recipe on Friday!

It is a healthy and fast meal/side dish that is really easy to make…

I promise.

Friday will be all about chickpeas, yogurt, and pita bread…

Warning: Be prepared for your stomach to expand when eating this dish.  Elastic waistband is highly recommended.

Also check out my new article here about Da’wah and how every single one of us is doing it everyday…

Have a great one!

Allah Owns the World (finale)

Image courtesy of Nora Elgalad

Allah Owns the World (part I)

Allah Owns the World (part III)

Why do we forget that Allah is our Master, our Higher authority, our Creator?  Because as man, we are weak and we forget or get consumed with our daily activities and trials.

Our inabilities are as fragile and powerless, as though we are ants trying to carry a mountain on its shoulders.

But again we fall into the trap that we are self-relying and tougher than the shield of a knight.

As Muslims, we need to remember Allah.

Whatever emotions and events play out in our lives, we need to remember how small we are in front of Allah.

The parts we play in this life are given to us from the Creator and no matter how lost and astray we go from the path, all of us must return to Him on the Last Day.

There we will fully comprehend how insignificant we are in comparison to Allah and His attributes and there we will be judged as to how much we acknowledged this inevitable truth.

Learning from Children’s Books

Children’s books are not only for children: they carry a deeper message for some of us.

Some message that we may have missed growing up.  A moral, a tale, a story that enlightens the child’s mind, ignites an awakening of understanding…

As readers and knowledge seekers, it is a good idea to take a break from the adult books we engage in and reach for a children’s book.  There may have been ideas and thoughts lost along the way as we aged, matured, and grew away from the small things embedded in those pages for the young.

We should pick one up and be reminded of things that we need to remember.  Appreciate the simple concepts that go deep into our identity.  We have steered clear of children’s books because, well, they are for children, unless we have some kids of our own.

But we need to rethink this because we can be reminded, be enlightened with something new, or read lines in a different way we have never thought of, or just purely reminisce of the past before.

What are some of your favorite books growing up?  Why?  Why do you think it is beneficial to read it now as an adult?

Allah Owns the World (part II)

Image courtesy of Nora Elgalad

Allah Owns the World (part I)

Knowing our place and our deficiency in perfection humbles us.

Allah is the one in control and it is He who commands; He is the one who has enabled us to read, write, and teach humans what they did not know.

Our abilities manifest inside our heads as we contemplate that we are self-sufficient.

We are the makers of this dunya: not by physically creating it with our bare hands but how we run and shape it.

It is whether or not our Ummah adheres to Allah’s laws and rules.

In the eighth ayah, Allah states that with all our actions and our work by living in this world, we will eventually return to Him.

Everything will collapse one day and all that we have ever done will fade and Allah will take us back.

Detachment does not exist as we are Allah’s creations.

We are attached and so much so that our Creator has described it in this way in the second ayah, “Created man from a clinging substance” (Al-Alaq).

Our nature is to be clinging, to be attached, to be dependent, to be inferior in the eyes of Allah.  But we place this attachment in the wrong place.

Dunya is the priority lost among us.

It is that lack in faith and remembrance of Allah that makes us humans forget who truly brings out the sun in the day and issue the moon to present itself at night.

When we forget, when we got so lost in the forests of the dunya, do we stray into the path of self-sufficiency and arrogance.

Again and again we see throughout the Qu’ran how much we are dependent on Allah.  In Surah Al-Baqarah, ayah 156, Allah states that we will return to Him,

“Who, when disaster strikes them, say, “Indeed we belong to Allah, and indeed to Him we will return.”