Before the Sun Rises and Before it Sleeps (finale)

Before the Sun Rises and Before it Sleeps (part I)

This should encourage us to perform them because they differentiate us from the hypocrites and prove we are truly believers; to forgo our sleep and worldly affairs to press our heads on the floor in thanks is beneficial and loved by Allah (swt).

How lazy and unthankful we are if we think about it: we complain about cold water dripping from our faces, the sleepiness that blinds our eyes, and the aches in our body yearning to lie and rest, and we, as believers, need to be ashamed of ourselves.

Allah (swt) has all authority and power. 

He is the One that knows us the best. 

Yet, He has made things accessible and easy for us to accomplish and yet we still cry and moan about it.

He could have made Fajr prayer four and not two but that is not enough for the sons of Adam (pbuh).

We are willing to rush to our jobs at the crack of dawn, comfort our babies at all hours of darkness, stay up late to study but when it comes to prostrate to the One who has provided everything for us slaves, we are an ungrateful bunch of creations.

Allah is Ar-Rahim and Al-Ghaffur; we sometimes oversleep, or are too sick to make it on time and there are exceptions and Allah’s (swt) ultimate mercy.  But we overstep the bounds when we step all over our deen and regard our prayers as something to do when we have time.

How do we feel when we have appointments with others and people do not appear at their appointed time?  We feel that they are rude, lazy, or think that they did not take the meeting seriously. 

Sometimes we are stubborn enough to not forgive for this behavior.

Who are we to behave like this to Allah (swt), miss our appointed times to pray and disrespect Allah (swt) and His Messenger?

But we are lucky enough that Allah (swt) knows us, what is in our hearts, and forgives those He wants.

The irony of it all as believers is that Allah (swt) does need not anything and surely nothing from us.  We are reluctant and slow to praying and this act only benefits us and no one else.  Allah (swt) has ordered us to do good for our own benefit but we sometimes look the other way.

We are humans and we are weak, and Allah (swt) knows this.

Let us forsake our beds, sleep, and work and seek Allah’s (swt) pleasure into the gardens of Jannah.

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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.

The Tongue Sins (finale)

Image courtesy of Nora Elgalad

The Tongue Sins (part I)

The Tongue Sins (part II)

Islam encompasses both how we behave towards Allah (swt) and His creations.

The idea of worship is that every act can be worship if it is done for the sake of Allah (swt). 

We should ask ourselves some questions when it comes to speaking:

Is this going to benefit the situation?

Can it potentially hurt someone else’s feelings?

Is it possible that it may make someone jealous or ungrateful?

Is it for the sake of Allah?

Would Allah love me for what I am about to say?

Can I possibly regret what I am about to say?

Is it vulgar or idle talk?

It has been widespread to make jokes, brag, and exaggerate but Muslims need to remember that every single thing we do and say is held accountable for us.

Allah (swt) knows everything that we do so we should not waste our time in believing some sentences here won’t harm us or few words there will not matter-it does matter.

“Surely Allah is Ever-Knowing of everything” (8:75).

Beneath the Leaves (part III)

Beneath the Leaves (part I)

Beneath the Leaves (part II)

Our actions are worthless to Allah (swt) if we do not intend it for His sake.  We may gain some worldly benefit, feel happy, make some profit, or make a name for ourselves but with Allah (swt), the actions are only valid if it is purely serving and obeying Him.

As the hadeeth mentions, we will be exposed for our intentions when we are resurrected even if the acts are golden but the niyyah is tainted with a lust for admiration.

But Muslims have a habit of saying that “it’s in the heart” whenever they lack a duty in Islam.  Whether it may be their excuses for not wearing the hijab, missing the salah for Fajr, or not attending Jumaa, they say that Allah knows what’s in the hearts and that they intend, inshAllah, to do whatever they lack in their deen.

It is true that Allah knows what’s in their hearts and Allah is the ultimate judge for this but intentions are followed by their actions.  If it were “all in the heart,” Allah (swt) would not command us to pray or fast and do things that He loves.  The proof is in the actions; intentions and actions are married to one another and one cannot flourish without the other.

A bad deed does not make it a good deed because of the intention.  Once it is forbidden from Allah (swt) it will never be accepted as a good deed whether the niyyah was to create good.  We cannot expect to sell alcohol and make the intention that we are collecting money to help fund the masjid.  What we are doing from the beginning is unacceptable to Allah no matter the niyyah.

Beneath the Leaves (part II)

Image courtesy of Greg Russell

Beneath the Leaves (part I)

To rest our heads, close our eyes and drift into an almost death is to rest our bodies from the physical duties of worshipping Him.

Every other moment we have been blessed with and every action should be in adherence to worshipping Allah (swt).

Allah’s Messenger said, “Verily, all actions are but driven by intention and for everyone is what he intended.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

The Prophet is telling us that actions are defined through intentions and this is what Allah (swt) will judge us upon.

The Prophet said, “He, who seriously considered doing a good deed but did not do it, will have one good deed recorded for him” (Muslim). 

Allah is Al-Latif and will reward us for just contemplating wanting to do a good deed as well as giving us credit when we fulfill it.  And yet again He is Ar Rahman when He rewards us even when we want to commit a sin but refrain from doing it in fear of His all-powerful wrath.

“But if he intends to do an evil act and has not done it, then Allah writes it down with Him as a full good deed, but if he intends it and has done it, Allah writes it down as one bad deed” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim).

Allah (swt) says in the Qu’ran, “I did not create the jinns and the humans except to worship Me alone” (51:56).  It is clear that our goals in this dunya are to serve: not to serve our desires, or our families wants, or what society hammers us to do.  We have come into existence to serve Allah (swt) and disregard all other goals that go against the Qu’ran and Sunnah.

The Prophet said, “He who lets the people hear of his good deeds intentionally, to win their praise, Allah will let the people know his real intention (on the Day of Resurrection), and he who does good things in public to show off and win the praise of the people, Allah will disclose his real intention (and humiliate him). (Al-Bukhari)