Masajid Allah

Bismillah…

Every masjid I’ve attended in my area for the last 20 some years has it’s own special place in my heart. With the number of options in our area alhumdulillah, I’ve always felt like I could go to any masjid and find my place. They each have their unique memories attached to them and I figured it would be nice to reflect on a few.. :) Continue reading

Al Hijr

Bismillah..

إِنَّ الْمُتَّقِينَ فِي جَنَّاتٍ وَعُيُونٍ
45. Indeed, the righteous will be in Gardens with springs.

ادْخُلُوهَا بِسَلاَمٍ آمِنِينَ

46. (They will be addressed) Enter in peace and safety.

وَنَزَعْنَا مَا فِي صُدُورِهِم مِّنْ غِلٍّ إِخْوَانًا عَلَى سُرُرٍ مُّتَقَابِلِينَ

47. And We shall remove any bitterness from their hearts: [they will be like] brothers, sitting on couches, face to face.

لاَ يَمَسُّهُمْ فِيهَا نَصَبٌ وَمَا هُم مِّنْهَا بِمُخْرَجِينَ

48. No weariness will ever touch them there, nor will they ever be expelled.

نَبِّىءْ عِبَادِي أَنِّي أَنَا الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ

49. Tell My servants that I am the Forgiving, the Merciful

وَ أَنَّ عَذَابِي هُوَ الْعَذَابُ الأَلِيمَ

50. But My torment is truly painful


One way to reflect on the ayaat where Allah describes His Jannah is by comparing it to the reality of dunya. Here, what’s beautiful is that Allah (swa) lists one blessing after another for the believers to enjoy, without any separation between each one. In dunya, it’s possible you might come across a garden or beautiful hidden spring, but you may not be in peace internally or it may not be safe. In dunya, sometimes people carry around all sorts of negative feelings and resentment that can prevent them from truly enjoying a moment of peace, even if they are surrounded by beauty. A process of detailed planning and weariness often precedes any kind of travel to a nice destination, because of the nature of travel and our own stamina. Once we arrive, the experience may be wonderful in every way, but you still have to leave at some point. In Jannah, Allah (swa) tells us the believers get it all .. health, peace, safety, gardens, springs, brotherhood, Allah’s mercy and forgiveness, and it never ends. :) May Allah make us from them, and help us to love and appreciate every hint of Jannah we experience on earth, ameen.

-Fi Amanillah-

Seeds IV

Bismillah…

  • Saying and internalizing Allahu Akbar is by far the greatest source of calmness. Breathe and say Allahu Akbar with full conviction.
  • Saturday School kiddos are doing awesome. MashaAllah. So proud of them. I’m noticing positive changes in them each week and really believe they are a promising group. We’ve almost covered our diseases of the heart series. So far, we’ve finished hubb-ad-dunya, hasad, bukhl, ghaflah, gheebah, riyaa, displeasure with qadr, anger, lack of haya, and antipathy towards death. With each, we’ve gone through causes, symptoms, cures / positive opposites. They did pretty well on their oral du’as test too. :) Definitely on their way to earning their Madden tournament.
  • I recently came across this incident and found many points of benefit in how Rasulullah (saw) responded to a young man who had tried to mock the adhaan. Given the seriousness of the man’s offense, one would imagine a strong or vocal response but instead, Rasulullah (saw) used this as an opportunity to respond in the most dignified and respectful manner: He, salallahu ‘alayhi wasallam:
    • Spoke to him individually
    • He was firm but gentle
    • Did not get angry with him
    • Verified who was responsible for the behavior
    • Gave him a gift
    • Taught him the words of the adhaan
    • Appointed him to the position of a muadhin, which made him value the very thing he once mocked.
    • Modeled the appropriate behavior by having him repeat the words after him.
  • I’m tempted to write a full post about the lessons from the narration and how to apply them with behavior change and classroom management.. inshaAllah another time.
  • I pray Allah is lenient in judging the wudhu made from automated water faucets.
  • Videos of Sumayyah are getting me through these long weeks. <3 “Kwinkle Kwinkle Wittle Star” lol
  • Happy distractions are an understated blessing. :)
  • 19 days!
  • This quote has been on my mind for a few weeks now since Abbu mentioned it: “Jamhooriat wo tarz-e-hakoomat ha k jis mein Bandon ko gina jata ha, tola nahin jata…” – Allama Iqbal. Imagine a society where the people of true intellect, taqwa, and guidance were given the honor and trust of selecting the leadership of their area; where the weight of someone’s vote and opinion mattered based on their wisdom and insights to help facilitate the best interest of society at large. Lots to think about with this concept.
  • Tea and conversations with the one and only Albani are always, always a good idea. I feel totally uplifted and illuminated every time we talk. MashaAllah, she embodies a type of sincerity and special kind of essence and wisdom that can only be a gift from Allah (swa). “Allah directing you to something greater, and instilling passion within you is indicative of special Tawfiq. Don’t let it burn out”. – Sarah <3
  • Debating whether to judge for MIST this year or not. yes? no? we’ll see. Glad it’s in April this year and a different campus.
  • Amazing how so much of our life takes place within our own minds..Picture taken in the Lake Chuzenji in Nikko (Japan). That place is very famous for Autumn leaves landscapes.:

-Fi Amanillah-

P.S.: I can’t believe it’s been 3 years since I last wrote a Seeds post. It was supposed to be a weekly or at least monthly compilation of random musings. Time flies..

Only the best

Bismillah…

the contrast. the depth.:

I love everything about this photo. The contrast, the depth, but mostly because it reminds me of Abbu.

Always on a mission
Gaze fixated on one clear path
Never shying away from hard work
Or from giving with love and generosity,
Putting forth his most sincere efforts with humble submission
Taking with him only the best, most beautiful and fragrant gifts of wisdom and inspiration.

Abbu.


It’s so quiet at home when Abbu and Ammi are away. Missing their stories and laughter .. their nostalgic jokes only made to be told in saraiki.. chai requests accompanied by timeless advice .. the creeking sound of the door opening and closing from trips to the masjid .. coming home from work to the the aroma of Ammi’s meals with spices I’m just now starting to learn .. hearing Abbu on the phone with friends speaking in lyrical metaphors .. waking up for Fajr to see their hands raised in du’a. The essence of sukoon and tranquility.. It’s beautiful how the the root letters of sukoon (س ك ن ) give the meaning of a dwelling, a home, a place of rest. May our homes always be places of rest, security, and mercy. Ameen.

May Allah (swa) protect our parents and raise their ranks, grant them only the best of this life and the next, increase their strength and health and make us a source of their continued happiness. Ameen.

-Fi Amanillah-

Time

Bismillah…

“Your time should not be without any structure, such that you occupy yourself arbitrarily with whatever comes along. Rather, you must take account of yourself and order your worship during the day and the night, assigning to each period of time an activity that must not be neglected nor replaced by another activity. By this ordering of time, the blessing in time will show itself. A person who leaves himself without a plan, not knowing what he is to do at any given moment, will spend most of his time fruitlessly.

Your time is your life, and your life is your capital: by it you make your trade, and by it you will reach the eternal bounties in the proximity of Allah. Every single breath of yours is a priceless jewel, because it is irreplaceable; once it is gone, there is no return for it. So do not be like fools who rejoice each day as their wealth increases while their lives decrease. What good is there in wealth that increases while one’s lifespan decreases?

Do not rejoice except in an increase of knowledge or an increase of good works. Truly they are your two friends who will accompany you in your grave, when your spouse, your wealth, your children, and your friends will remain behind.”

-Abu Hamid al-Ghazali (rahimahullah) | The Beginnings of Guidance

 Vintage alarm clocks.  I collect these.  My friend @Andrea Hoinka suggested I set them to the times my girls were born, I was married, etc.:
 -Fi Amanillah-

Feeling Whole

Bismillah..

The last months of the year can be thoroughly transformative if we are vigilant about how we utilize our time and structure our day. It’s somehow easier to distance ourselves from distractions, find our deeper truths, and really tune into our heart and mind without the regular hustle and bustle of work, school, etc. Alhumdulillah, we benefited from several great lessons and gatherings this past week to help us reconnect during our days off. A few points of benefit:

Surah Nuh: Ustadh Jamal presented the Story of Prophet Nuh to our community on Friday and in his delivery, one of the main areas of emphasis was on the importance of regular istighfar, seeking Allah’s forgiveness and mercy. He said that a lot of times, we seek abundance in rizq through apparent means such as increasing our experience, skills, accolades, etc., which is of course necessary on one level. But the way Allah tells us to seek abundance is through His forgiveness. Allah swa tells us:

فَقُلْتُ اسْتَغْفِرُوا رَبَّكُمْ إِنَّهُ كَانَ غَفَّارًا 

“Ask forgiveness of your Lord. Indeed, He is ever a Perpetual Forgiver.”

يُرْسِلِ السَّمَاء عَلَيْكُم مِّدْرَارًا 

“He will send [rain from] the sky upon you in [continuing] showers”.

وَيُمْدِدْكُمْ بِأَمْوَالٍ وَبَنِينَ وَيَجْعَل لَّكُمْ جَنَّاتٍ وَيَجْعَل لَّكُمْ أَنْهَارًا

“And give you increase in wealth and children and provide for you gardens and provide for you rivers.”

SubhanAllah :) What an amazing abode awaits the one who sincerely repents. Just look at the tremendous blessings that come from the act of humility and istighfar. Umar ibn Al Khattab (ra) once said, “Sit with those who consistently repent, for they have the softest of hearts”. May Allah make us from them.

Surah Nur:  My tafsir notes are too long to type here but every person should study this surah in depth and know more about it in addition to the famous ayah 35. It’s a strong surah that presents us with a foundation for morals in society. From the start of the Surah, Allah swa begins with a strong verse that foreshadows the ahkaam that are going to come ahead. Allah presents clear ahkaam with regards to zina, qadafli’aan, lowering the gaze, the issue of ifk is mentioned, and khimar. Then Allah presents us with preventative measures including isti’thaan, guarding oneself, and the etiquettes of eating and being a guest. Interestingly between these verses, Allah says in ayah 45 that “Allah has created every [living] creature from water. And of them are those that move on their bellies, and of them are those that walk on two legs, and of them are those that walk on four. Allah creates what He wills. Indeed, Allah is over all things competent.” Imam Yaseen mentioned one of the benefits of this ayah and its placement is that it helps us recognize that people and all creatures have different natures. When you are in a society, in a home, or in a community .. people will inevitably have differences in attitudes, personalities, temperaments. Having compassion towards people and understanding different people is central to the health and foundation of a family, a home, a community, and an overall society. Allah (swa) gives us such profound and perfect advice, and it is only in our benefit to listen attentively and find areas in our own lives to implement His counsel.

Shama’il: One of the most touching moments from our seerah session was hearing the description of Rasulullah (salallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) and what he looked like in preparation for battle. His blessed armor. His perfectly wrapped imama. His mubarak features and radiance .. اللّهُمّ صَلّ عَلَى مُحَمّدٍ

These gatherings and reminders allow us to feel whole again and patch up any parts of ourselves that started chipping away from the distractions of this life. May we be consistent in making istighfar, be conscious of Allah in our interactions with His creation, and return to Allah with a renewed sense of himmah. Ameen.

Wow! What a shot. #photography #perspective #trees | Via 500px, Flickr; photo credit SimonSun | pinned via @Arbor Day Foundation:

-Fi Amanillah-

Treasuring Moments

Bismillah…

Only when we see a changing future in front of our eyes do we stop to recognize that what once seemed to be the normal and mundane parts of our day will soon become a memory – The voices we grow accustomed to hearing, the conversations we get used to having, the places we frequent, the people and smiles that cross our paths, will all become a memory. Every moment will become a memory.

I wish this realization came sooner. Perhaps I would have been more appreciative, made more shukr, given more of myself. But that’s the thing about memories, and time, and wisdom – we learn through hindsight and reflection on the past. And still, reflection remains fruitless if we don’t internalize the lessons and truths we have become conscious of over time.

Memories also teach us that nothing is constant. Everything is bound to change sooner or later. Every creation of Allah points our attention to the nature of change such as within the qalb or in the alteration of days and nights. The only constant is Allah. Ar-Raqeeb – The watchful one. Our past, present, and future are all known to Him, subhanahu wata’ala, and in Him we place our trust and hope as we experience the life changes that come our way.

وَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللَّهِ وَكَفَى بِاللَّهِ وَكِيلًا
[33:3]

Winter Photography - Holiday Fairy Lights in Trees, Festive Winter Scene, Fine Art Landscape Photograph, Large Wall Art:

Takeaways from this late night reminiscing session:

  • A is for appreciation.
  • Treasure each moment.
  • Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, be fully there.
  • Increase in deliberate acts of kindness.
  • The clock will not stop ticking; make the most of your time in every area of life.
  • Make life about creating and cherishing awesome memories inshaAllah.
  • During any times of change, look back at the road you have traveled thus far and know that just as Allah guided your every step, He can and will help you take the next step forward inshaAllah.

-Fi Amanillah-