Question: “I Am Struggling To Practice”

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Someone had emailed me in regards to them struggling to consistently being a practicing Muslim. This is my advice to them and everyone else but more importantly, a reminder to myself first. 

 

Assalamu Alaikum Warahmutallahi Wabarakatu,

My name is ——-, and I just randomly came across your blog Think & Be Positive, and I just want to say May Allah swt reward you for the kind words and the reminder on how important hijab is.

I wanted to ask you if you had any advice for me. You see, I grew up in America and into a big family alhamdulilah and Islam has always been taught in my home our whole lives; however the more I get older and now that I’m 19 the less I put my focus on this deen. It’s harder for me to pray all my salats and it’s even harder for me to be the person I want to be. Alhamdulillah this Ramadan has taught me a lot and I have become better. However I want to stay like this after Ramadan and only grow better to be the best muslimah. My question to you is what should I do or can I do to be “religious” or pious I should say. I think what I lack is motivation even though entering Jannah should be motivation enough.

If you read this, Jazakallah Khair

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Walikhumsalam, ———-.

JazakAllah khair for your kind words. It has put a smile on my face. Thank you for that. It really means a lot.
I had written two topics about the question you are asking. I will give you the links to them and you can read them whenever you like. I will also, insha’Allah, do my best to advise you.
Firstly, I also live in North America. Toronto that is and I also have a big family alhumdulilah. Just as you have been taught through out your life, I have been taught the same way. I’ve been through ups and downs, hills and mountains just to get where I am and it’s not easy. Even today, my eman goes up and down and so will everyone else’s eman too, so don’t worry about it. Even the companions one day, one by the name of Hanzullah (may Allah be pleased with him) thought he was a hypocrite because when he is with the Messenger of Allah, he feels as if he is in paradise and he is reminded of Allah but when he is with his family, his mind goes else where. So he had approached the Prophet Muhammad (Peace & Blessings Be Upon Him) with this issue and the messenger of Allah told him, if you are the way you are with me all the time, the angels would come down from the heavens and give you salam. Then he said, there is a time for this and there is a time for that. This hadith can be found in Shahih Muslim.
You just have to keep striving every single day. Knowing your end goal is jannah and knowing you are pleasing the creator of the heavens and the earth and nobody else. When you feel down or out of touch with wanting to pray salah, just try to push yourself to pray it. Even if you pray just the obligatory ones, you are making a great deal of effort because you are battling the whispers of the shaytaan and also laziness. Im not perfect and Im just giving you my 26 years of experience on this earth.
Also, surround yourself with the right people. Surround yourself with people who will help you become a better muslim as well. If you listen to music, replace with the Quran and lectures of scholars or sheikhs or imams who are knowledgable in this deen. Ill give you two channels on youtube that has helped me a great deal, alhumdulilah. Cutting off music is difficult but it takes time. I battled with that too.
Just keep making progress everyday. Just as you want to be successful in school or in your work field, the same thought should be in mind. We know with school and work there is a physical prize. A physical accomplishment. You graduate from school and it makes you feel great because the end goal is either 4 or 5 years away. With work, the better you do, the higher your pay becomes and you get promoted. That end goal is there, embedded into your mind. With Islam, the end goal could come anytime and since we don’t see things happen to us physically, we become lazy or we forget about it but it’s beautiful when you think about it. Your family is a blessing but we don’t see it as that often. Our clothes, a warm home, friends, food, intelligence, beauty but we them as very minor things in our lives, so we don’t appreciate them. These are all blessings which many don’t have and many lack appreciation for.
Appreciate what you have. Strive every single day. Know that Allah is bountiful and make duaa for whatever it is you want. It is either answered in three ways. To avert an evil from you, so it protects you. Answered in this life or answered in the hereafter.
I hope this helps, insha’Allah. If you have any other questions or another question that relates to this, please feel free to message me anytime. I always check my inbox, so I will do my best to reply as soon as possible.
Oh yeah, the youtube channels.
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Choosing The Right Partner – Part 2 – Compatibility

In this video I discuss how it is important to find someone that is compatible with you and not just someone who is simply based on looks. I also explain how a woman who had contacted me was considering marrying an individual just to protect her parents reputation even though she was not interested.

Advice: Regarding Your Post on Solutions For a Heartbreak

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(She had allowed me to share her story)

 

Assalamu alaykum Malik Shabazz,

My name is ——- and I would like to thank you for writing “Solutions For a Heartbreak”. Jazakallah khair. It has helped put some things into perspective for me. I was still left with one question however. I’ve tried moving on for about a year now and every time I was able to get back on my feet, he would come into my life and bring me down again. The mistake I made was allowing us to be “friends” after. He would treat me like a friend one day, and more than that on others that it would give me hope. When I saw him pursuing someone else, it hurt me so much that I had to cut off all contact with him for the sake of my sanity. But even now that I’ve done that, I still can’t avoid him. He comes to my university to see her and they hang out at the places where I go to for either class or studying. And if not at university, I see him in downtown with her. I’ve tried to mend the rifts, realize that what we had in the first place was haraam, and let go of everything but I still feel so hurt when I see him. We’ve been together for about three years and I sincerely believed I loved him and I still do. I keep having thoughts like “he’s doing the exact same things with her as he did with me” or “what’s wrong with me that he doesn’t want to marry me?”. I try so hard to be thankful to Allah and seek His forgiveness and accept that this is what was written for me. And every time I feel like I’ve come to terms with it, I see him and these thoughts come back into my mind. I feel so lost and everything in my minds seems so blurry and I don’t know who to turn to after Allah for advice. We have so many mutual friends it’s difficult for me to not run into him. Do you have any advice on how I can avoid him? Or how I can pick myself up more quickly after I see him? If you have time, your advice is very much appreciated.
Thank you so much for sharing your writing. It has helped me in many ways. May Allah reward you and give you the best in this life and the hereafter.
Wa salaam,
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Walikhum salam, ——-. I clicked on your google+ profile and it says you are from Toronto! WOOHOO! A Torontonian like myself! That’s awesome!!

It’s really good that you let him go and let him stop hurting you. That’ was a huge step and you seen what he was doing to you. You’ve realized the value of yourself and you’ve believed you should not be treated like this anymore and you obviously deserve better. That is huge progress and many women do not do this. Instead, they continue to be treated badly but still pursue the man, hurting themselves over and over again. Be proud of yourself as you overcome a huge obstacle that many fail to see and realize.
In this situation you are going through, you have two options. Only two options. You either leave the university you are going to, avoid downtown and cut off all the mutual friends you have with each other and let him know he controls your affairs. He controls your heart. He controls your mind. He controls the way you live and he is basically in control of everything you do. Basically, he owns you.
Option number two is. You are strong and no matter how many times you see him with that other woman. No matter how many times you see him downtown. No matter how many times you mix with your mutual friends, you are strong because you are in control of how you feel. He does not control of how you feel and he has never have. He may have for that temporary moment in your lives together but he no longer does. People only have a such minor effect on us that we let them control the major parts of our body. That is our brain and our heart. He doesn’t own neither of those things. You can run away from him but running away never solves anyone’s problems. It’s obviously difficult to see him with someone else because you obviously saw a future with him. You planned a lot together and spent a lot of time together but after that, it never progressed. When facing anything in your life, you must face it standing tall and never be afraid of that moment. You are in control of who you are and will always be. The people on the outside, the people that were temporarily there, never controlled you but you allowed them to be this huge, massive, important person who was able to do as they pleased. If they wanted you to be unhappy, you became unhappy. If you wanted to be happy, you became happy. When giving people control of you, this is what happens. You control whether you should be happy or whether you should be sad and not any other individual. You tie your camel and leave the rest to Allah, that’s how life works.
Heartbreak is tough. It’s one of the toughest things I’ve ever dealt with but it builds so much character. It makes you understand the value of yourself. It makes you understand the value of your friends. It makes you love who you are. It makes you see your flaws that you work on them and you love them because it makes you who you are. People take heartbreak as such a terrible thing but it has built so many great people and made them value themselves even more. After this, value yourself like you’ve NEVER valued yourself in your life because you deserve it. Not from anyone else but from yourself. We are in control of minor things in our lives but the major things is in Allah’s hand and will always be. Whatever was meant to come your way was going to come and you would never avoid it. Whatever wasn’t was going to, is going to miss you. This should build you up to be the woman you want to become. The strongest version of yourself. This is what trials do. They build up superior characters from weak individuals that we once thought we were but we never were, we believed that we needed a crutch from someone else to see that value of ourselves when all we needed to do was realize who we were and what Allah SWT has blessed us with.
Insha’Allah, this helps. You are more than welcome to email me back whenever you like with more questions about anything.
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Assalamu alaykum,

Jazakallah khair for your response. You have raised many points that have given me strength and optimism when I think about moving forward now. I know it won’t be easy and it will take patience and Insha’Allah I will remember them and apply them to my daily life. I really appreciate the time and effort you took in replying back. I pray Allah will continue to shower His blessings on you in this life and the next. Ameen.

Wa salaam,
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Solutions For A Heartbreak can be read here

Interested In A Man For 2 Years, We Keep In Touch But (Advice) Pt 3

I have to repeat my sentence: You are totally right, Malik. And yes, it would be odd. I think I just got used to it, talking to him on weekends.
He has a cellphone, but no internet on his cellphone. So no whatsapp..
But I´m really naive,  I think  everybody acts and thinks the way I do,that people always have good intentions and are honest.
I´ve never been in such a situation, and if someone asked me I always immediately rejected in a friendly and honest way (well,to my mind). What´s so difficult in speaking truth?
The quote “ you shouldn´t wait for me, ..” is meant a bit different, as I told him that I would never reject, if my parents want me to get married to someone…to him this was not traceable.Taht´s why, I think he said that to me.
I have to forget him..sounds so easy…
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You are doing your best to defend this relationship which has gone south and decreased. You are still holding onto hope and nothing but hope. When it ends, you will be crushed because he had said from his mouth, it is not working or I am not ready to get married. There is no doubt, you are hurt now but wouldn’t it be better to at least to go while you aren’t hurt really bad?

Ask him, really, ask him, do you want to marry me? If he says, not yet or I don’t know. Then you know the answer is clear once again. Those words he told you, “you shouldn’t wait for me” are by far the most clearest words ever! It clearly states, It doesn’t matter whether I get married to you or not. If I do, then im happy, If I don’t then I am happy. A man will not say that nor a woman. They will say, we will get married, insha’Allah. Lets work it out and be patient.
Nothing is easy but it is better for your heart and better for you psychologically.
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No, I won´t ask him to marry me..in that case I´m old fashioned, I know what you mean.He will never say “yes”.
It sounds like I´m still defending the relationship. But after reading your mails (thank you, thank you thank you) I realised, that I have to change something. I deleted all of his mails and skype of my computer and i have to say it felt really good..don´t know how long this feeling will last. I want to do something to delet everything that reminds me of him. Still thinking about delet my facebook account.. but secretly I´m hoping that he will regret it one day! That won´t happen..
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Don’t delete your facebook because of him. Keep your social networks going but be careful with it. Don’t get sucked into it because a guy may speak really nice, sweet and sound genuine. Those are only words you are hearing/ready but not actions you are physically seeing, coming to see. Anyone can put words together but not everyone can live within those words and perform them.

Just do your best to stay clear of him and be occupied in other things, that will take your mind off of him. I really doubt, he will contact you because if you didn’t speak to him for 2 months and then, you contacted him 2 months later but he didn’t, then his interest wasn’t entirely there.
You are welcome 🙂 Glad, I could help.

Interested In A Man For 2 Years, We Keep In Touch But (Advice) Pt 2

Thank you so much for your mail! You are right, i know that..it´s just that I can´t see it objectiv like you:)
First of all: Yes you can use my mail on your page, but I would like to change some details, as i´m a bit paranoid:).
But what I don´t understand is: Why does he invest his time, if he is not interested? When I write him a mail just like that , he answers me. He asks me about everything I told him (job, interviews, my sisters and brothers), he remembers all details which I tell him.
BUT he is never the first who writes (exept it´s my birthday) but answers immediately, when i write him. And when I didn´t have the time to skype he tells me next time, that he was online waiting for me…
He himself told me the last time i asked him, if he is still interested, that he wouldn´t come online, if he wasn´t interested..
Besides, he is a little bit strange..or I would say very shy and not very selfconfident ( I suppose it´s because he´s not tall;) ).
He once told me about girls, that he really liked. One girl, which he knew from school ( thats about 10 years ago), was a good friend and he secretly really liked her, than she moved away and he didn´t even tell her about his feeling.- I told him, that this is really strange, but he said he didn´t want to. The seconde girl he liked was also a good friend, he knew her for some years and than one day she told him, that she met a boy in her hometown (she is engaged now). .. besides he once told me, that he doesn´t know why men should always do first steps in relationships…
SO I wrote him my mobile number, that he can contact  me ..but he just replied, that we will talk at the weekend on skype (or on weekdays on FB), when he is home. ( Calling someones mobile is more expensive here than a normal landline phone)
When I asked him about our relation, he told me, that he doesn´t want to marry unless he can offer me something, as he has got a fixed job now (for about 5 month) but still wants to move back to his hometown to work, but cant find a job there. That´s why he doesn´t have his own furniture in his apparment or a landline phone or internet.- I told him, that this doesn´t matter, but he said to him it does.
Look how I´m trying to denfend him 😀
I know, if I would now stop to skype with him and write him on fb, he would never write or ask me why…but when in write him in 2 months, he would immediately answer and say..”hey, how are you? Where have you been?…”
I feel like sitting on a couch and talking to a psychologist 🙂
Once again, thanks!
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One thing people who really care for another, always contact that individual first. A lot of times what I used to do was see if that individual would message me, that is after I’ve messaged them several times. To see if I cross their mind or not.
If you’ve messaged him two months later and he did not contact you within those two months, what does that tell you? Why is that you have to contact him first and then only he contacts you thereafter? Does that make any sense? What I’d say is don’t contact him at all and see when he decides to speak to you but that would not put your heart at ease or at rest. You would only become paranoid and fearful. Maybe he doesn’t like me anymore? Maybe I am doing the wrong thing? And so many more things.
The brother is correct though in looking for his benefits and your benefits in regards to being prepared for marriage. If he is not able to provide for you, there is a fear of that but does he know that is Allah SWT that provides rizq for everyone? Does he know that marriage would increase the blessings in his life and Allah SWT will give more?
The more you try to convince someone that you are good enough for them, the more you realize how much you value that person and how much you’ve devalued yourself. You are throwing yourself at him and he doesn’t seem to want to take the offer but only become fearful or make excuses, you know?
When someone is really interested in you, they wont say, I’ll only speak to you when I am home etc. They will speak to you whenever and whatever way they can because you mean a lot to that individual. Perhaps I don’t know the brothers circumstance and maybe he doesn’t have data on his phone or he doesn’t have WhatsApp but in reality, everyone has a phone with data correct? So if he has data, being able to communicate with you over WhatsApp would be the most easiest thing? Again, I don’t know the brothers situation. Maybe he doesn’t own a cellphone.
Be honest with me okay? If your friend said to you, I really enjoy your company and I really enjoy speaking to you but, I will only talk to you only on the weekends. How would that make you feel? Would you not be confused that you can only make time for me on the weekends but I make time for you all the time? No individual is alike but wouldn’t it be odd? I think it would be.
You really need to think of this situation and really come to a decision because what it seems like, is that you are really interested in him and he lacks interest in you despite what he says. You only contacting him and him only saying things like “I was waiting for you to come online but you never came” is only to make you feel guilty. Trust me.
Sister, you are worth more than this. Why continue to chase him, while he distances himself and continues to make “excuses” for being interested in you. Maybe he is but myself being a guy and knowing the situations and being in several situations in my life that are similar to what you are going through, I know what it is. I’ve been through what you are going through and I’ve come to a point in my life where I do not waste my time anymore with people who don’t want to invest time in me or is not confident in being with me. If that person wants to be with me, they will. I don’t chase anyone, I don’t try to convince them. I don’t even say, we get along great, etc; because the truth of the matter is, if you see it and they don’t, you are wasting your time. Relationships are based on mutual agreements, compromise and most important of all, sacrifice. He is not sacrificing what you are sacrificing for him. He continues to say “woah, woah, yeah, I got a job but………………………” you see, how everything he has said was but? There is no clear answer he has given you. When the brother had said to you, “you shouldn’t wait for me, If you know someone to marry, you should marry him.” That is the most clearest answer ever given to anyone and that shows the lack of interest and he doesn’t care whether you two get married or not.
Right now, what you are doing is holding on, hoping he changes his mind. Hoping he agrees and you have a dream marriage and everything just fits perfectly together but from what you’ve told me, It doesn’t seem to go that way. Sister, don’t sit there waiting for someone to change. People are as they are. If the brother really wanted to marry you, him having a job, he would marry you and not say, “if you know someone to marry, you should marry him.” If a woman had said that to me, I’d know she doesn’t want a future with me and her interest in me isn’t there and she isn’t confident in this working.

Interested In A Man For 2 Years, We Keep In Touch But (Advice) Pt 1

One of the rights of a Muslim, upon another Muslim is when he/she seeks your advice, advise them. [Shahih Muslim]

His statement, “And when he seeks your advice, advise him.” This means that if he seeks consultation with you regarding some action, as to whether he should do it or not, then advise him with that which you would like for yourself. Thus, if the action is something that is beneficial in all aspects, then encourage him to do that, and if it is something harmful, then warn him against it. And if the action contains both benefit and harm, then explain that to him and weigh the benefits against the harms. Likewise, if he consults with you concerning some dealing with someone among the people, or whether he should marry a woman off to someone, or whether he should marry someone, then extend your pure and sincere advice to him, and deal with him from the view point of what you would do for you own self. And avoid deceiving him in any matter of these things. For verily whoever deceives the Muslims, then he is not of them, and indeed he has left off the obligation of being sincere and advising. And this sincerity and advising is absolutely obligatory, however it becomes more emphasized when the person seeks your advice and he requests from you that you give him a beneficial opinion. For this reason the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) specifically mentioned it in this important situation. The explanation of the hadeeth, “The religion is sincerity.”

I read your post about marriage and i´m really impressed about the work that you do here. May Allah bless you for that!
I´m still not sure if it´s necessary to write you my problem/ question, but as I read your articles it came to my mind.
So , where do I start? I´m a muslim, not married woman. And I know a man for almost 2 years. I´m confused about this relationship(?) and I don´t know what to do, as it is making me sick and sad thinking about it. I don´t know if I´m doing something wrong.
Well, although we know each other for 2 years, we have never meet each other. We know each other from the internet (a social network) and at the beginning we chatted almost every day on msn about everything in life (Deen, family, studies, work..) I got to know him better and liked his closeness to religion, which is also very important to me. I feel like having a male friend , which I never had ,exept my brother and dad.  After 3 or 4months our chatting decreased. We chatted twice a month, when he visited his parents. (He lives alone, about 4hours away from his parents because of his job and his internet is very slow). After a while i asked him about this relation. He said, that he is not sure, he cant say “yes” or “no”, he needs time and his job is really hard and important to him. After a some months we started talking on skype. I asked him again, and he still couln´t answer me. He needs time and i got angry. He said, that he is not that kind of guy who meets girls and has bad intentions. He is sure, that we would match, but if we meet (in real life :D) it would be hard to handle for him, because of the distance (as he also lives about 3 hours away from me).He also said, that I shouldn´t wait for him, if I know someone to marry, I should do it. He would never force me to stay in contact with him. Because of my anger i didn´t write him for about 3 weeks..until i realised that i miss his friendship. So i apologized to him and after a while he forgave me and we talked again on skype.. as he hasn´t got a car now, he visits his parents only once a month and so we talk only once a month. Sometimes I think, that this relation leads to nothing. I invest more in this relation than he does…as I asked him the questions about the sense of this relation and wait for him on skype to come online… but on the other hand he is a really special person, who is interested in my life and always listens.
Am I doing something wrong in keeping this relationship? Am I naive? Don´t know what to do..cant stay positive in this situation.
Oh my god, my message is reallly long.I´m sorrryy:) Hope you don´t mind reading it.  Thanks for your time.
Wa salam

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Walikhum salam. Firstly, don’t ever apologize for writing an email, no matter how long it is. It takes a lot to tell someone their issues, so you should be proud of yourself for that. Smile.
I’ am going to be extremely blunt with you and you seem to know the answer yourself but you just need confirmation on what exactly to do. Your mind wants something but your heart is contradicting your mind, your intention.
When a man is interested in a woman, no job, no calamity, no nothing prevents him from wanting to be with her. No matter the distance between the two of you. Whether it is a 3 hour drive or a 25 hour flight. I had known a couple who knew each other for four years, I think. He lived in Toronto and she lived in Australia. They got married last year. They both wanted something to happen and they worked towards it, despite the problems they had. Despite the distance between each other, they made it work, alhumdulilah.
Also, when an individual says “you shouldn’t wait for me, If you know someone to marry, you should marry him.” That itself is an answer that there is a lack of interest within the relationship. There is also him limiting his contact with you as well.
Never run back to a man unless he is your father or someone that is a tie of kinship, to keep relations going. When you miss him, he knows you need him but the reality is, he doesn’t need you. Harsh but it is the truth. When someone does not invest the same amount of time or close to what is given in, it is better to let go because you are returning with emptiness. Just like if you were to work for a company, you worked your butt off and you never got paid, the end result was not worth it. You invested your time, your hours and whatever else to be excellent for this position but you never got paid. You invested but they never invested nothing back.
He may be special to you but ask yourself, are you special to him? You know that answer by all the telling signs within the relationship over this period of time. You are not naive, you are just someone following your heart and feeling what is right. There is nothing wrong with that. Protect your heart because it is very precious and no one deserves it by stepping all over it and taking advantage of your kindness.
Don’t beat yourself over this, as you are not in wrong over this. He is in fact is losing someone special because he cannot appreciate what is given. What is valuable and that is time and your heart. Don’t give it to anyone who doesn’t seek interest in it fully. Guard your heart, protect your heart as possible. As I, myself is also single but no matter what has happened, I guard my feelings, I guard my heart and I don’t give it to anyone who doesn’t deserve it nor invest in it with the right intentions. Don’t change yourself, no matter what has happened over the period of 2 years. You will be appreciated for who you are. You will be loved for given what is best and that is yourself. Mature from this, grow from this but never regret. Life is not about regret but is about overcoming the trials in our lives and becoming better.
Insha’Allah, this helps. Feel free to write back whenever you like. As much as you like. It can be 3 pages and I’d read and respond, insha’Allah.
Keep in touch. Write back. I look forward to helping you and reading what you have to tell me.