Your Addiction To Music & How It Affects Your Salaah

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Many of us grew up listening to music. It is the norm in society. If you didn’t listen to it, you were looked at as weird. Some people call it their life. Some people can’t live without it. It needs to be in their ear wherever they go. You can’t even avoid it in the shopping malls because each store you enter, there is music playing to keep us from being “bored” with just walking around. Music has become such a fundamental part of our lives, we feel we can’t exist without it. But, what happens when music itself is affecting your salaah? Your connection with Allah subhana wata’ala? You stand in front of your prayer mat, raising your hands to say Allah Hu Akbar (Allah is the greatest) then within a few seconds, your favourite song that you’ve had on repeat several times this past week keeps popping up. While you are reciting the fatiha, that song keeps popping up in your head. You seem frustrated, aggravated and just wanted to fulfill your obligation to Allah subhana wata’ala without any interruptions but it can’t be done with peace, happiness and calmness. Want to know why?

You are addicted! You can’t let it go! 

You want a connection with Allah subhana wata’ala. You want to be at peace while praying but you’ve allowed music to control your life. Your addiction doesn’t allow you to have the connection you need to feel at peace during and after praying.

I’ve had a music addiction, just like you. I took it every where I went. I wouldn’t let it go. I let it be a part of my life! I thought it was everything I was missing in my life. I wanted to be a rapper, that’s how much I loved music. But whenever I stood to pray salaah, to speak to Allah subhana wata’ala, I couldn’t do it properly because the songs that were on repeat, were overpowering the connection. I would finish salaah unsatisfied, moody and within a few minutes, I’d go back to listening to those songs.

Music addiction is real and it is something dangerous as Muslims. I know many people will tell you that music is not haraam and if the songs have meaning, then it is good for you but wallahi, it is not. Only the people of desires, people who refuse to follow the truth will say that. The Prophet Muhammad (peace & blessings be upon him) said: “Among my ummah (nation) there will certainly be people who permit zinaa, silk, alcohol and musical instruments. [Bukhari] He also said in another hadith, music grows hypocrisy in the heart[Bayhaqi]. Ask yourself, really and truly, has music been of any benefit to you Islamically? We all know, music benefits you in the dunya, in the world because it can help us relate to things but Islamically, has it elevated your Islam? Has it helped you pick up the Qur’an? Has it helped you remember Allah subhana wata’ala?. There is no “halal music” that does this either. Music is the calling of the shaytaan and shaytaan will do its best to keep you away from Allah subhana wata’ala. To prevent you from being a better Muslim.

If you truly want peace, happiness, and calmness in your salaah, let music go and see how much better you feel after you pray. It is not an overnight transformation but it can be done.  If you do things for the sake of Allah subhana wata’ala, He will replace music or whatever it be with something better. That something better, is peace, happiness and calmness that comes with salaah. No more standing on your prayer mat, in the congregation, having songs stuck in your head. Just the words of the Qur’an, a mercy from Allah subhana wata’ala allowing you to understand it, feel peace, happiness and calmness.

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Letter To My Children

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All praise is due to Allah, we praise Him, we seek His help and we ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides, there is none that can misguide him and whoever Allah misguides, there is none that can guide him. There is no God worthy of worship except Allah alone, there is no partner and that Muhammad (Peace & Blessings Be Upon Him) is His slave and final Messenger.

1) I start with these words to let my children know, my family know, that there is none, nobody, not a single living thing or single dead thing in this world that has the right to be worshipped except Allah. There is NONE other than Allah that can guide you and there is none other that can misguide you. There is NONE other that can help you in this world other than Allah. I start with the words of tawheed, I start with the words of oneness in Allah because there is only Allah. No other deity in this world can help you except Allah and only He has the right to be worshipped and asked for help.

2) Allah has set commands upon us in this life to help us become successful in the hereafter. The first command is to believe in Allah alone. The second one is to establish your salah. Why your salah? It is what you will be asked about first when you die and stand in front of Allah on the day of judgement. If you want to be successful in this life, be regular with your salah, hold onto it, and do not waver by the illusions of this world. If you want to be successful in this life and the hereafter, establish your salah even if you are amongst a crowd who will make fun of you for it or look at you strangely. The Prophet Muhammad (peace & blessings be upon him) said: “Islam began as something strange and will return to as being strange.” [Muslim]

3) It is your manners that people will look at and not your beard, thobe, abaya, or hijab. Your exterior is just an image, but it is your actions that people will remember. You will see many Muslims today, who wear the Islamic attire but have very bad manners, whether it is online or in person. Improve your manners and work on them. People will remember you by them and come closer to you because of them. If you wish to run people away, be rude to them, speak about their secrets they entrusted you with, and betray others. These actions, I tell you, are not the actions of a believer.

4) Not everyone will be kind to you because you are kind to them. That’s just how some people are. They will use you for your intelligence, for your skills, for your hard work. But don’t ever look for a reward from them, for the reward lies only with Allah. Do things for the sake of Allah alone and you will be rewarded handsomely! The Prophet Muhammad (peace & blessings be upon him) was mocked and hit with stones. His companions were tortured by the disbelievers and yet, they still kept faith in Allah. Patience does good as Allah says in the Qur’an:  “Allah is with the As-Sabiroon (the patient).” [2:153]

5) If you want to feel good, serve others. The Prophet Muhammad (peace & blessings be upon him) spent his life worshipping Allah alone and served others. He helped resolved issues, he built communities, he protected people, and continously preached what Allah had revealed to him, so they in return were better people. He didn’t do it for recognition nor to be praised. He did it for Allah first and then to benefit the ummah (nation) today.

6) To my son. Treat women with respect. They are not your servants even though they are commanded to obey you. The Prophet Muhammad (peace & blessings be upon him) was the best of examples. The best of examples is his treatment of women, his wives. The messenger of Allah said: “The best of you are the best to his wives and I am the best to my wives.” [Tirmidhi] He said this as example to follow him in his treatment to his wives. He never hit them, so don’t raise your hand to your wife. Resolve your issues with communication, not with brute and physicality. Be kind, generous, loving, help her with the house chores, spend time together, be as a child with her and love her as I do this with your mother everyday, insha’Allah.

7) To my daughter. Just because you are a Muslim woman doesn’t make you any less of a person. The mothers of the believers, the mothers of this ummah, were strong, intelligent and brave women! Khadija (may Allah be pleased with her) was a wealthy merchant who owned her own business. Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) was teaching the companions about the life of the Prophet. She was an advisor to even the most strongest of companions and she also narrated over thousands of ahadith. Being a woman elevates you in Islam and doesn’t degrade you. Go out and pursue knowledge, get an education, learn and teach just as the Prophet wives educated the companions. Your beauty doesn’t lie in your make up or your clothing but it belongs in your ability to be BEST Muslim woman you can be and your inner faith. Allah says: “The most honourable among you in the sight of Allah is the pious one.” [49:13]

8) Life will be hard. It is not meant to be easy for anybody. The messenger of Allah had many hardships and the prophets before him had many hardships. Each and every single one of them turned to Allah and sought help. They prayed and made supplication to Allah. Each and every single time, Allah had answered, so be patient for the answer. Each answer may not be as you like but will be the BEST for you as Allah is the best of planners. You may not understand why you’ve been “rejected” but know Allah loves you more than your own mother and it is for your own good. One of the salaf used to say: “I make du’aa to Allah for something I want and if He gives it to me, then I am happy once and if he doesn’t, then I am happy ten times because the first was my choice and the second was Allah’s choice.”

9) When you make mistakes, which you will, turn to Allah and ask for forgiveness. Allah is the ONLY one that can forgive your sins. Turn in repentance for every sin you commit, He is forgiving and no matter the type of sin you commit, He will forgive you insha’Allah.

10) Take everyday one day at a time. Don’t stress about things that are not in your control. Go with the flow of life and follow your passion. Don’t worry about money because that is not in your control either. Allah is Ar-Razzaq, the giver of sustenance. Work for it and let it come how Allah has intended for it to come. Not everyone will support you, people will doubt you, but there is no need to give up! Keep your income halal, as it is means for your supplications to get answered. As long as you turn to Allah in every single one of your affairs, you will be tested, guided and rewarded, insha’Allah. This life is temporary so work on both.

11) Lastly and finally, be confident in everything you do. Set your goals and no matter what happens, Allah is always with you. Your mother and I will support you in the things you set out to do as long as it is permissible in Islam. Earning the displeasure of Allah will not guarantee you success. We love you and can’t wait to meet you all, insha’Allah.

Be The Director Of Your Movie, Your life

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One of the biggest mistakes of my life has been realized too late. I do believe, I’ve taken a very long time to realize this. It’s been 28 years where I’ve only wanted people to rejoice in my happiness with me. To jump for joy with me when things went right and when things went wrong, I wanted them to share a shoulder. As we all know, life isn’t this way. People you think are close to you, wont rejoice in your happiness with you and those who you think would give you a shoulder when things went wrong are only bringing you down. That is far too unrealistic in this time, especially these days. It shows how far we are from Al-Islam and the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (peace & blessings be upon him).

When you get people too involved in your personal life and matters, they feel the need to have a say in everything. They feel they have to direct your life according to their imagination. It is not their beliefs but imagination because they are not living as you. They end up draining life out of you because somethings you do are just not enough. As a matter of a fact, nothing you do will be enough. We all think certain individuals are there to bring us up, encourage us, and help us be grateful with the good things that come forth in our lives. But that doesn’t always happen. They always find a hole where they can hammer their nail of negativity in and kill your happiness, as this is from the whispers of shaytaan, and lack of faith and trust in Allah subhanawata’ala.

This is why, I keep my circle of friends, family, very small. Even then, people who are really close to you, if you notice, are destroying the goodness in your life. When a calamity happens, they worsen the situation by adding their own negativity to it. It’s very important to keep your personal matters and life to only those who you truly trust. Those individuals who emulate the lives of the companions of the Messenger of Allah. They are there for you in the time of need and bring positivity when something good happens for you and help you celebrate it. Not everyone needs to know the goodness that is happening in your life and what trial you are going through today. Keep your circle as small as possible. The smaller it is, the easier it is to toss out the ones that drag your life into a hole. The better your life remains and the happier you are. It will allow you to be the director of your movie, your life, instead of others attempting to direct it for you, only for them to potentially screw it up.

Dream Killers

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How often in our lives do we come across people who are dream killers? You are over joyed, optimistic, positive about the future, explaining the good things you dream of accomplishing then a person or people say, that’s not possible. Your skills are not good enough. You are not cut out for the work. How could you possibly do it? Then negativity sets in and it sails through the currents that are strong enough to drown your dreams. Eventually, you give up! You throw everything away. Sometimes, even throwing away years of work and progress because someone would rather you be average. A C level player, when you know in your heart, in every breath you take, you are one of a kind, last of a dying breed, who just wants to succeed.

Dream killers come from every aspect of our lives. Sometimes, it is ourselves but many times, it is the people you surround yourself with. Can be your parents, your siblings or your “friends.” Who have aimed low all their life and cannot fathom you ever being able to accomplish your dreams. They’ve never seen such hard work nor have they seen someone who is not able to give up. They lack patience and they would rather results now, instead of them coming to fruition. They wish and I do mean, they wish, they had the same work ethic and drive as you. Soon enough, their envy, their hatred, negativity, failures in life, dreams set so low that it could be stepped over, crush yours.

One thing I’ve learned in life and Islam also teaches is to keep things to yourself. If you have a gift, don’t tell others about it. Don’t speak too highly about it. Keep your success and your goals to yourself. The Prophet Muhammad (peace & blessings be upon him) said: “Resort to secrecy for the fulfillment and success of your needs for, verily, everyone who has a blessing is envied.” [Tabaraani]

Not everyone is going to be overjoyed at your success or your dreams. Sadly, some people have two things these days. Sick hearts because they can’t bare the shine of your optimistic drive and positivity. And two, envy, thus leading to your dreams crashing when you don’t know why. The Prophet Muhammad (peace & blessings be upon him) warned us about envy and how it could it destroy someone and even kill someone, he said: “Don’t be envious of one another.”[Muslim] in another hadith a companion was afflicted with envy by another companion due to admiration and the companion fell to the floor. He did not know what happened and brought over the Messenger of Allah. In order to revive the man, he was told to do wudhu (ablution) and with that water, pour it over him.  Amir bin Rabi’ah passed by Sahl bin Hunaif when he was having a bath, and said, “I have never seen such a beautiful skin.” Straight away he (Sahl) fell to the ground. He was brought to the Messenger of Allah and it was said, “Sahl has had a fit.” He said, “Whom do you accuse with regard to him?” They said, “Amir bin Rabi’ah.” He said, “Why would anyone of you kill his brother? If he sees something that he likes, then let him pray for blessing for him.” Then he called for water and told Amir to perform ablution, then he washed his face and his arms up to the elbows, his knees and inside his lower garment, then he told him to pour the water over him (Sahl). [Ibn Majah]

It’s best to keep dreams, success and goals to yourself. Share them with only those whom you trust and are very close to you. Those who have been there for you through thick and thin. Who advise you with sincerity and goodness. Who want you to see you further yourself in life and when it is achieved they celebrate and become overjoyed with you and when failure occurs, they become sad with you and encourage you to keep going. This is what a true friend is and this is what someone who is not a dream killer.

Ibn Al-Qayyim – Don’t Be Sad

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Ibn Al-Qayyim (may Allah have mercy upon him) said that the word sadness does not appear in the Qur’an except, in the form of forbidding it or form of negating it and the reason for this because there is no benefit for having sadness in the heart. The most beloved thing to shaytaan is to make the believing slave sad by taking him off track. The Prophet Muhammad (peace & blessings be upon him) sought refuge in Allah from sadness.

Ibn Al-Qayyim (may Allah be have mercy upon him) said, sadness weakens the heart and diminishes determination and wanting to go forward. And there is nothing more beloved to the shaytaan than the sadness of a believer. For this reason, be happy, optimistic and think good about Allah. Have trust in what Allah is able to do and depend on him. You will find happiness and pleasure in all situations. Ibn Al-Qayyim (may Allah have mercy upon him) also said, don’t ruin your happiness with worry and don’t ruin your mind with pessimism. Don’t ruin your success with deception and don’t ruin the optimism of others by destroying it. Don’t ruin your day by looking back at yesterday.

If you think about your situation, you’ll find that Allah has given you things without asking, so have trust in Allah that he doesn’t prevent anything you want except there is goodness for you. You could be sleeping and the doors of the heavens are being opened with du’aas (supplications) being made on your behalf, subhana’Allah, perhaps from someone poor whom you’ve helped or someone sad whom you brought joy or someone passing by and you smiled at them or someone in distress and you removed it, so don’t ever underestimate any good deeds.

One of the righteous predecessors said, I make du’aa to Allah for something I want and if He gives it to me, then I am happy once and if he doesn’t, then I am happy ten times because the first was my choice and the second was Allah’s choice. As-Sadee (may Allah have mercy upon him) said, life is short, so don’t shorten it with worries, grief and sadness, so be the owner of a heart that breathes happiness and satisfaction.

Be Not Stationary But Be Progressive

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Lately, everyone has been sick due to the change in weather here in Toronto. We’ve had a really odd winter where the first half was pretty warm compared to last year. When I mean pretty warm, I mean really warm. Last year was insane! We had -45 degrees celsius weather. When you stepped outside even for a few minutes, if you had nose hair, it would freeze. This year, it’s been a breeze. You could wear a light jacket and walk around. Then the weather started being funny again these past couple of weeks. Warm, then cold, then very cold, then everyone gets sick. I am still currently stick with a throat infection. But, this isn’t about my sickness and the weather here in Toronto. It’s about something else.

My routine even though I’ve been sick, has been going to the gym and spending at least 2 hours almost every single day. Today, I met an individual who I see almost every time I am there. We talk for a few minutes, spot each other when there is a need and just talk about random things. He approached me as he entered the weight area and I seen that he had a very long face. It was really unusual for him to approach me without a smile and a “hey what’s up? What you doing today?” I read his face and I thought he was sick. I asked him and he replied, “I have cerebral palsy.” It really caught me off guard. He’s a really healthy looking person and even younger than me. He’s in his early 20’s so it did catch me by surprise how it ended happening to him. He said “the entire right side of my face is paralyzed, I can’t move it. I can’t even feel it.” I did feel bad for him but there isn’t much I could do.

I went closer to him and I told him, don’t worry about it. This is nothing. Look at you, every single one of your limbs work. You are able to come to the gym still and do what you love doing. To relieve stress, to relieve tension and to let go of this world and be in your own. Don’t let it hold you back. Keep doing what you love. Others have it worse than you, who have no limbs and still make use of themselves and still see the positive in it.

It was in that moment, he looked at me and said, “you’re right.” I seen the look of encouragement on his face. The look of disappointment was fading and I seen the confidence he once had, rise up again, as he loaded the bar for his squat routine.

What had happened to him, also gave me a reality check. There is no “too young” for anything. It could happen to any one of us. Our health is important but once we start getting sick or getting an illness, we start to remember how healthy we once were. The Prophet Muhammad (peace & blessings be upon him) said: “Take advantage of five before five. Your health before your sickness. Your youth before your old age. Your wealth before your poverty. Your time before you are preoccupied and your life before your death.” [Al-Hakim]

And even if we are sick, it should not hold us back from anything we want to do with our lives. Sickness is real and it could burden us and prevent us from a lot but it’s how we want it to actually paralyze us. If you think of any sickness and you think how bad you have it and you do nothing, it will actually destroy you. That’s why, in every moment of our lives, we need to take advantage of the things we have before us. Life is going to be an obstacle course. No one said it’s going to be easy. Your life isn’t going to be paved out a smooth road for you because eventually, that road needs to be paved against due cracks and breaks. It shouldn’t prevent us. Obstacles are a part of life and each and every single of us today is dealing with something. Some with money issues. Some with family problems. Some with depression. None of these things make us look down and hold us back.

Life is written in many various and mysterious ways. We don’t know what type of situation or life event will happen before us. No matter the obstacle, no matter the trials that befall us, we shouldn’t fall victim to these things. It’s all but a test for a major reward in life, if we want that reward. If we want to past that test and overcome these trials and tribulations, we must first remember our blessings. When we begin to remember our blessings, we remember less of what is taken away and what is actually before our eyes. Secondly, we continously progress with our lives. Not everything is going to go as planned. You may not get the car you wanted. You may not get into the university or college you dreamed of. This shouldn’t be a reason for you to stop progressing in life. Continue to progress with your life. If you continue to push yourself. If you continue to see yourself in a better position in life, you will be insha’Allah because you have a positive mindset. Persistence is a key to success. No one becomes a millionaire over night. Even lottery winners were persistent in winning  by paying money almost every single day to win the big one.

Whatever is going on in your life. Continue to push yourself in a better direction. You may not see the results now. Next week, in a few weeks, in a few months but you’re creating something with continued progression. You are actually fulfilling your dreams because you want it so bad by pushing towards it. Don’t ever let a sickness, depression, your skin colour, hijab, niqab or whatever it may be hold you back in life. You are the biggest obstacle and only you can overcome it with a positive mindset about tomorrow and what is to come.

 

Better Than Anything In The World

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This particular matter that I am going to write about is an issue that most of the ummah (nation) think only is a speciality of ramadan. Yet, it’s such an important issue of ibadah (worship) that it will tell you if you love Allah and if Allah loves you. It is the matter of qiyam and tahajud (night prayer), also in ramadan called, taraweeh. It is the school of the richest people. Night prayer, qiyam, tahajud, is the tranquility of the believers. Night prayer and qiyam is the solution to your problems when you have a problem.

Many times you see those who claim to love Allah and the Prophet Muhammad (peace & blessings be upon him) and Islam. They’ll put it on their websites. They’ll click like on a Facebook. They’ll probably have a bumper sticker. But this will determine if they truly love Allah because Allah in the Quran says: “Is the one who is obedient to Allah, prostrating himself during the night time, fearing the hereafter and hoping for the mercy of his Lord, is he like those who don’t do that? Disbelievers or whoever doesn’t do that. Is he who knows like he doesn’t know?”

Allah is saying basically, don’t ever compare one who makes tahajud and qiyam with one doesn’t. Night prayer and qiyam is the best prayer after the five daily prayers. Night prayer and qiyam is the honour of the believer. Night prayer and qiyam is brightness on the day of judgement. Night prayer and qiyam is the characteristic of a believer, like Allah says in Surah Furqan:” And those who spent the night hours worshipping their Lord, bowing and prostrating to Allah, and standing.” Night prayer is the golden moments of the night time for those who long to be close to Allah to spend that time in privacy with Allah the AlMighty.

In Musnad Ahmad and Abu Dawud, Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) said that, the Prophet Muhammad (peace & blessings be upon him) said: “May Allah be pleased with a man who gets up at night and prays and then wakes up his wife, but if she refuses to wake up, he sprinkles water in her face.” And look at the other one. He says:” And may Allah bless a woman who gets up at night and prays, and then wakes up her husband, and if he refuses, she sprinkles water in his face.” Amazing hadith, Such a unique hadith, that encourages a family to worship Allah together and encourages each other. A family, a romantic family. She’s not waking him by forcing him nor is he, their consensus is that we both want to wake up. I dare a husband and a wife who does this consistently and faithfully for the sake of Allah and not have the happiest marriage ever! Prove me wrong and I am going to say, wallahi to it! If you are having marital problems, night prayer is your solution, get up, you and your wife. What affect will it on children in the future? Many times, children go astray even if you raise them well. However, one of the most memorable things a child takes with him, even years later and I can tell you this from my experience in dawah, they’ll say, ahh, wallahi you’re right. I used to always see my mother and father get up at the end of the night in prayer. It’s something that sticks to their mind that usually gets them back on the right track if they go astray.

The Prophet Muhammad (peace & blessings be upon him) said: “If a man gets up at night and prays (even two rakat), they will be amongst the zakireen.” [Abu Dawud]

Who are the zakireen? Flip the pages of the Quran to Surah Ahzab and you are going to see. “And those men who remember Allah and those women who remember Allah, Allah has prepared for them forgiveness and a great reward (high ranks in paradise).”

How beautiful is it to spend the night with Allah?

There are those who love to spend the nights flipping through the channels on their T.Vs. There are others who like to spend their nights browsing through the internet, hours and hours go by while they’re doing it. Some with girls and others with alcohol. And some with vain matters that are probably not haram or halal. Then there are those of the few of the few of the very few who truly love Allah and choose to spend their nights with Allah, the AlMighty. And rest assured, let me tell you this, the biggest indicator and hint to see if Allah loves you and if he’s pleased with you, see if you consistently pray the night prayer. If you consistently wake up for the night prayers, know you are in good status with Allah. Let me repeat because this is important. The biggest indicator of how pleased Allah is with you, is if you pray consistently the night prayers. It is only the special people who are allowed by Allah to spend those precious moments during the dark nights with Him.

A man told Ibrahim Ibn Adham, he said, “I cannot get up at night to pray. Why? I want to do qiyam (night prayer).” He said, “you commit the sins during the day, you will never be able to get up at night and pray.” Standing before Allah during the night time is an honour sinners are unworthy of. Sufyan At-Thawri (may Allah have mercy upon him) said, “for five months I couldn’t get up for the night prayer because of a sin I committed.” And if you look at the life of Sufyan At-Thawri, what could he have possibly done? A man, who is amazing in his character, in his ibdah, in his knowledge. A man came to Hasan Al-Basri and he said, “I sleep well, I rest well, I have no illness, I prepare the water by my mattress so I can get up for the prayer of qiyam but I never get up for qiyam.” So Hasan Al-Basri said, “your sins have shackled you. Your sins during the day, restrain you during the night time.” The rule is the sins of the day restrain a muslim from the honour of praying during the night time. Abu Jaffar said, “I went to visit Ahmad Ibn Yahya”, so he said, “I went and I’ve seen Ahmed crying.” Abu Jaffar said, “why are you crying?” Ahmed said, “I missed the night prayer.” He said, “that’s okay, Allah wanted you to rest.” Abu Jaffar said, “the more I tell you him and comfort him, the more he cries.” He said no, “it’s because of the sin I committed.”

Qiyam is responding to the call of Allah. How can you not respond to the call of Allah when Allah calls you? It was collected by Bukrahi, that the The Prophet Muhammad (peace & blessings be upon him) said: “The Lord descends every night to the lowest point of heaven, when the one third of the night remains. Is there anyone who calls upon me? Anyone who calls upon me so I can answer?” Allah is calling you as if He needs you and you’re the one who needs Allah? The hadith continues with Allah saying, “is there anyone who will ask me that I may give him?” People snore away as Allah is asking them if they need anything. The hadith continues with Allah still saying, “who may seek my forgiveness so that I may forgive him.” Qiyam must be an essential part of your life my brothers and sisters. It must be essential.

When Allah was preparing the Prophet Muhammad (peace & blessings be upon him) for the ultimate task ever, the guidance of humanity, what did he prep him with? He prepared him with the task of making tahajud fard (obligatory) upon him. This was fard in the early stages of the Prophet Muhammad (peace & blessings be upon him).

In order to be successful in any job, in any task, in any situation, you need to succeed during the night with your spiritual communication with Allah, that’s why Allah ordered the Prophet Muhammad (peace & blessings be upon him) to do that. You give parts of your life to yourself, to your family, to your work, we all give parts of our life, to school, to social events, we give parts of our life to leisure events, we give parts of our life to rest and comfort. Doesn’t Allah AlMighty deserve to be given a part of our life? And he should be given precedent and priority over everything!

Make the decision now. I say make the decision now. Make the oath now, make the pledge. From now on, I am going to pray qiyam to Allah the AlMighty.

Do it now!

By: Shaykh Ahmad Musa Jibreel

My Anchor

myachorThere are days where the world feels like it is crushing me. I feel extremely exhausted and I just want to give up. Sometimes tears form in my eyes because of all the pressure and burden in my life. I constantly look for ways to relieve this stress in my life. Some people recommend drugs. Some recommend alcohol. Some recommend music. I know none of these things have a resolution for my problems, instead, they’ll just cause more problems. Gaining a form of addiction, a high, an escape that leads to more sadness and becomes unforgiving and relentless. It destroys your life in every possible way, so I avoid every type of haram (forbidden) Allah has commanded. There is salah and it’s something irreplaceable. It relieves this tension and lets everything you feel on your shoulders, pushing you down into sujood (prostration) to your creator. Alhamdulilah, it could never be replaced. It’ll always be number one. Some people will eat their misery away, indulging in their favourite foods. Ice cream, cakes, cookies but me…..
 
I cloud my thoughts with only one thing. I await the journey everyday, as I lace up my sneakers, thinking of what to do today once I enter the arena. This arena is not for everyone. People come and people go. This for those who have heart. Who are disciplined. Who are able to be consistent and push their limits. They look at themselves in the mirror and constantly want to improve. Some have “new years resolutions” that become unresolved, while others don’t have a resolution and just embed it into their lifestyle. It helps them breathe. Break the chains of the mind. Give them one more chance to improve themselves. It builds character and an unforgettable experience that only those that can bare the patience of it all. There is no end result because it becomes a part of you. Everyday, you enter the arena, you strive to improve. You sculpt and build a masterpiece that only your genetics allow. As I enter this arena, everything in my life becomes forgotten. It becomes an after thought. It is as though, nothing exists anymore. My mind becomes set on what I’m about to engage in. I block everything and everyone out. It’s just myself and this iron. Sometimes you’ll conquer it and sometimes it’ll conquer you. It can be unforgiving at times, making you doubt yourself but you want to prove yourself and prove to it, you’re the boss.
 
The gym, these weights, this iron, is my anchor. It is my drug. These weights, make me stronger but more so, allow me to escape from the harsh realities of this world. It allows me to free myself of the negative people and the thoughts that could bury me. It allows me to let go of these tears and anger built up from the burdens in my life. The anger is no longer suppressed. I free myself. Just as I free myself from the shaytaan 5 times a day praying salah, I free myself from negativity by lifting my pain away. It is my anchor, my drug. My pain reliever. I turn it to it several times a week, almost everyday. I come out pumped full of blood, goto sleep and wake up in pain. My body hates it but I love it. It’s a love and hate relationship but the love is more. They say, Im wasting my time but I say, I wouldn’t waste my time anywhere else. I love these weights and people don’t understand how much it means to me but I keep going. I’ll never stop building myself. Breaking free in a halal (permissible) way. No drugs. Just weights, sweat, pain and fibres ripping and stretching. This is where I come to escape. This is my anchor.
 
What’s yours?
(Inspired by: Dwayne Johnson)

Do Not Say If

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Whenever you make du’aa (supplication), do not say “if” such and such happens. “if” such and such is given, please let it happen Allah. Do you ever study for a test or exam and think through out the entire test, if you pass? Some may but if you’ve dedicated hours of studying, you go into the test or exam full of confidence, full of positive thoughts. Just as you prepare for that exam and beam of confidence, knowing you’ll do well, when you make du’aa have confidence and be positive that Allah will answer your du’aas with success.

When you do feel like you’ve done well enough at work. You feel like you’ve excelled in your position and you feel you deserve a raise, you don’t doubt you’ll get that raise. You don’t doubt you’ll be compensated for your work but you feel confident enough knowing you’ll get it. You feel confident asking your boss because of your abilities and the skills have proven themselves.

Allah is Al-Alim, All-Knowing , All-Hearing, Al-Bashir and capable of anything in this world. When you make duaa, you are engaging in a conversation with the creator of the heavens and the earth. The one who controls everything in front of you. The one who is able to relieve your hardships and ease the burdens in your life. Don’t ask with “IF” and don’t ask with doubt but ask with confidence, positivity and ask knowing they’ll be answered to benefit your life.

I know it takes long and sometimes, a lot of times you feel like your du’aa isn’t being answered but, you are doing an act of worship and turning to Allah that will change the condition of your life. One du’aa, will change the course of your life. Don’t ever stop asking and the next time you make du’aa, don’t say if. Ask with confidence. Have a clear mind and leave everything to Allah. It’ll happen when it’s meant to happen and know that every time you go and make du’aa, you are doing an act of worship and getting rewarded for it. You either are being turned away from something, which your du’aa has been answered or you are being led towards something and your du’aa has been answered. Allah is the best of planners.

Life In 2015 & Progressing To A Better Life

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It’s been a while since I’ve updated my blog. Have I been busy? Yes, I have but that is no excuse to not post content on my blog regularly. People alhamdulilah (thanks to Allah) have benefited from my blog through out these years it has been here. Sometimes, I do want to write but, I have nothing to offer so I don’t want to force myself. Last year, 2015, was a really crazy year. A lot of things happened, things in my life changed, I set goals for myself and accomplished many of them. One of them was my book “The Strongest Version Of Yourself.” It was downloaded alhamdulilah, over 175 times by people around the world. Reviews came in and it was unbelievable how Allah allowed me to write these words to help people change their lives and benefit from them. Did the book exceed my expectations in terms of people reading it? I think it did. I’m just a regular individual. Not a professor, a english major, psychologist, just a regular person who wants to change the world through words. I continuously strive to do that everyday. No matter who it is, whether it is my nephews, cousins, new person at the gym, I want to be able to inspire them, motivate them to change their lives for the better.

2015, was a year where Allah did test me a lot and as of right now, 2016, Allah is still testing me. Imagine being tested for over a year or more, try 3 years, how many of you would have given up? I know many people who would blame Allah for all the problems in their life. They wouldn’t think back to the sins they’ve committed through out the years and perhaps those sins, the ones you thought were minor and you thought to yourself that Allah is forgiving, which He is, and you ended up doing it anyway, then Allah punishes you or tests you, in order to remove your sins, in order for you to turn back to Him. What is beautiful about being tested and turning back to Allah in trials and tribulations, you are doing what every single Prophet of Allah has done. You are being tested, just as Allah tested Musa (peace be upon him) with Pharaoh. Just as the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was tested with the people of Quraysh. It’s hard to fathom sometimes that Allah has chosen you out of all the people within your family or friends to try you with such trials, in order to remove your sins and elevate your status. When we are being tested by Allah, we don’t think of the positive outcome. We always ask ourselves, why me? What have I done to deserve this? Instead, we need to think, Allah is removing the sins I’ve committed and elevating my status as a Muslim.

When Allah does ever test you, don’t think it’s because Allah doesn’t love you. Allah loved the Prophets so much, he tested them with things we could never imagine. Sometimes, tests are not only hardships. Don’t be mistaken because your life is easy, Allah is not testing you. What about Pharaoh? Didn’t Allah give him so much wealth, control and yet, he never turned to the creator of the heavens and the earth? Didn’t he rule over his people and bragged about everything was from him? Then, when he was drowning and he knew death was coming, he turned to Allah in those moments and it was too late. Now, Allah has preserved his body as a sign for the believers and non-believers, to remind us to turn to Allah and that His signs are true. We have people in this world, who ask for so much in the times of hardship, when it is received, they turn away from the one they turned to, then the blessings they’ve received turns a test for them. Don’t be the one who turns to Allah in uneasiness and when it is removed, you turn away but constantly turn to Him and give thanks.

Life is about walking through fire, through obstacles and still coming out on top with your head high and who knows when these tests will ever end but know, in these times, Allah is sculpting a person that is being prepared for a better future. For a better hereafter. Not everything you want in this life will be given but the rewards in the hereafter, are something the eyes have never seen. This doesn’t mean you quit, you give up and stop being able to progress but you keep striving for a better life. One day, it wont be about yourself anymore. You’ll have a family, a wife, husband, kids and you’ll need to provide for them. Not only financially but with your mind. With your character, personality, your knowledge which you have attained by the grace of Allah. Always look to achieve your goals. Write them down and look at them often. See where you are in life and see what you are doing to attain them. It’s not going to be easy and some goals wont be accomplished, not because of your hard work and persistence but because Allah is the best of planners and whatever is good for you will happen, even if you think its good for yourself. Don’t put a negative thought in your mind. Keep going for it. You might be 60 one day and that goal you wanted to accomplish finally does.

Look at the lives of some successful people like Stan Lee, Henry Ford and Chris Gardner. These individuals were well into their 40’s and continued to try everyday to bring their dreams into reality. Your time will eventually come. You just always need to be the hardest worker in the room. Many times, people wont see the hard work you are putting in but every fruit eventually unearths and reveals itself to the world. You will eventually have that opportunity and that only depends on your drive and determination to change yourself. Always be determined and look forward to a promising future ahead. You never know what may come if you give up now. Your goals, dreams and accomplishments are waiting to be completed. Eventually, it’ll take place but for now, work hard, make duaa, pray your salah, wake up for tahajjud and even after you achieve what you set out to do, rinse and repeat to be successful in the hereafter too. Life isn’t only about now but it is also about being prepared to meet Allah.