Glistening stars

Bismillah..

New page in my ever-growing art journal.
Watercolor is turning out to be my medium of choice. :)
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‘The night is darkest just before the dawn. And I promise you, the dawn is coming.’
– The Dark Knight

-Fi Amanillah-

Surah Muhammad

Bismillah…

This surah is absolutely perfect for the times we are in. It fortifies one’s Iman and reorients our hearts and minds towards that which is most important – supporting Allah’s deen and firmly adhering to it times of difficulty and fitan.

During times of fitna, you will find that most people want to stay out of it but yet they also want to know 103% of the details lol. In our class with Sh. Muhammad Zidan, he explained that one of the best things a believer can do in difficult times is to stay consistent / have istiqamah with regards to their ‘ibadah. The reward of doing this will be multiplied for them because such few people will be doing this. Instead, many people will be engrossed in the fitna itself (excessive discussions, wasting time online, taking pictures/posts, etc), which further perpetuates the fitna rather than curtailing it.

Imagine a glacier coming down with incredibly high speed. The cold, chilling ice water is rushing down a massive mountain and you are standing right at the bottom on flat land. This fitna is sweeping everything along that comes comes in it’s path, but you are standing firmly and holding on to the only pole in sight as tightly as you possibly can. You know this glacier will pass but you have to exert every ounce of Iman and willpower to withstand the rushing ice water until the glacier passes. This pole is our deen and it is our choice as to how strongly we hold on to it when we find ourselves surrounded by challenges. May Allah (swa) help us plant our feet firmly and hold on to the most precious gift He has blessed us with until our last breath, ameen.

وَالَّذِينَ اهْتَدَوْا زَادَهُمْ هُدًى وَآتَاهُمْ تَقْوَاهُمْ

And those who are guided – He increases them in guidance and gives them their righteousness. [47:17]
-Fi Amanillah-

[3:30]

Bismillah..

In Surah ‘Ali Imran, Allah (swa) says:

يَوْمَ تَجِدُ كُلُّ نَفْسٍ مَّا عَمِلَتْ مِنْ خَيْرٍ مُّحْضَرًا وَمَا عَمِلَتْ مِن سُوَءٍ تَوَدُّ لَوْ أَنَّ بَيْنَهَا وَبَيْنَهُ أَمَدًا بَعِيدًا وَيُحَذِّرُكُمُ اللّهُ نَفْسَهُ وَاللّهُ

رَؤُوفُ بِالْعِبَادِ

The Day every soul will find what it has done of good present [before it] and what it has done of evil, it will wish that between itself and that [evil] was a great distance. And Allah warns you of Himself, and Allah is Kind to [His] servants.” [3:30]

The use of Allah’s name – Ar-Rauf mentioned in this ayah, right after the statement that Allah warns us of Himself, requires much pondering and reflection.

This name of Allah comes from the root, rā hamza fā (ر أ ف), meaning to be compassionate/kind/merciful. It gives the meaning of having pity, tenderness, of being clement and mild. This is one of those names that makes you love Allah so much.

Allah (swa) sees our situations when we engage in good deeds and sins, and he realizes our state. Compassion is to feel what the other feels and understand their experience at a deep level. Our closest friends are those who understand us and get what we’re going through. Only then do we open up to them and feel like we can be vulnerable. Even at a basic level, when we ourselves see someone suffering and have the urge to help them .. that is ra’fa. Allah is extremely compassionate and wants to help us knowing what we are going through. Allah knows what we miss, what we want, what we’d really like to have.

This beautiful name of Allah (swa) indicates that He not only knows our struggles but he is compassionate towards us because of his knowledge and understanding. In this life, we are bound to make mistakes and sin. Keeping in mind that Allah warns us of himself, we should be alert and conscious of our every action and thought, exhibiting as much control as we can knowing that our deeds will be presented to us one day. Allah even foreshadows how people will express their regret, wishing there was a vast and timeless distance between them and their bad deeds when it is time for judgement. So if and when we fall into a mistake, remember that Allah is Ar-Rauf, especially towards His ‘ibaad. He understands us and knows us in ways that no one else can. If this isn’t heartwarming, I don’t know what is.

Looking at this ayah from a literary perspective, only Allah (swa) has such unique speech where such clear statements that elicit fear and hope are mentioned so closely together.

Top 10 Wonderful Flower Photos! #extremeBeauty #photography

-Fi Amanillah-

Gems from Umrah

Bismillah…

Alhumdulillah Umrah was such a personal and introspective experience at all levels. I thought to myself that it would be so neat to share what it was like through a detailed post but I quickly realized that no form of expression could truly capture what it felt like to revisit Madinah al Munawwarah, see the Ka’ba, and just have the opportunity to exist for a few days on the lands that changed the course of history. I could write an endless post and it wouldn’t do justice. Nevertheless, a few gems are still beneficial to share :)

  • There are so many Muslims who wait their entire lives to make Hajj and visit the two most blessed cities in the eyes of Allah, so when Allah (swa) chooses you and provides the means/opportunity to go .. GO! No vacation spot, resort, etc. can come close to being in the presence of believers in the city of the Prophet (salallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) and the Haramain. Wallahi nothing comes close.
  • I will never forgot the absolutely impeccable adab / manners, generosity, and humility of all the people who helped us throughout our journey .. from the airport, to the hotels, the bazars, streets. May Allah (swa) envelop them in his mercy and grant them ease in this life and the next.
  • I thought long and hard about the du’a to make upon seeing the Ka’ba, and I eventually decided to make as sincere of a du’a as possible for Allah (swa) to make me one of His chosen people, and among those who truly thanks Allah (swa) because of the many mentions in the Qur’an of how few people thank Allah. May Allah accept the du’a and make us all among His chosen creation, whom He uses in the path of good works. Ameen. In the words of Farooq bhai, “Allah apney bando mey sey chunai karte hain, aur hamari sabsi barri khaysh ho ni chahi ye key Allah hame apney chunne ve bandon mey sey banaa ley.” (sorry, don’t have an urdu keyboard)
  • Being in Madina, the realization that every part of Madina has shifa’ .. the water of Madina has shifa’, the dirt of Madina has shifa’, the air of Madinah has shifa’. <3
  • One’s love for the Messenger of Allah (salallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) skyrockets in his city. The seerah comes to life :)
  • Hearing Sh. Budair (hafidhahullah) recite these exact ayaat in salah in Madina was quite possibly the most memorable salah I have prayed to date! The ayaat + the significance of where I was standing and the meanings of each word he recited.. Allahu Akbar. 
  • When we are extra cautious about our gaze, Allah (swa) provides a special type of halawah / sweetness in one’s ‘ibadah that is felt and experienced deeply.
  • Seeing the mountains and dry lands in Saudi, one develops a visceral connection with the challenges our Messenger (salallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) faced and the Sahaba. Leaving their homes, traveling long distances over some of the most difficult terrain, it’s as though they were not made for this world and only had their eyes set on Allah’s promise and pleasure. On the way to Makkah, I thought to myself .. “wow, there is really no other reason a person would visit here except to for the sake of Allah!”
  • We had the opportunity to see the well ‘Uthman (radhiallahu ‘anh) bought for the Muslims. It’s really incredible to think of how many times ‘Uthman (ra) had the tawfiq and opportunity to be told that he was guaranteed Jannah. The number of times he used his wealth in the path of Allah without hesitation and his overwhelming mahabba for Allah and His Messenger (saw).
  • We also passed by the exact location where Rasulullah (salallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) planted the palm trees to free Salman al Farisi. Reflecting upon his boundless love and energy to support the believers in times of difficulty..
  • Seeing so many believers making intense du’as at every moment, every hour of the day, seeking only from their Creator and putting their trust in Him, renews one’s Iman immediately. We had a lovely opportunity to make du’a in Madinah while it started raining and just seeing everyone raise their hands for du’a standing anywhere outside.. you can’t help but feel strong. When we know Allah exists and He answers the call of His believers, we should never feel weak.
  • Almost everywhere you go, you hear people making dhikr, sending salwat/peace and blessings upon the Prophet. This is something you miss so much upon returning home, but remembering that experience of being in a constant state of dhikr can help us stay connected to it.
  • One of the new reciters I heard in the streets of Madina has now been on autoplay since returning .. Sh. Khalid Al Jalil 

Left part of my heart in Madina, may Allah make it so we can make Umrah every year without fail, ameen. <3

– Fi Amanillah-

P.S.: When packing for Umrah, pack LOTS of sabr. :) (corny but important)

Findings

Bismillah..

“We wanted to leave our sins, so we found it in Salat-ul-Duha.We wanted the light in our graves, so we found it in recitations of Qur’an. We wanted to cross the Siraat, so we found it in fasting and sadaqah. We wanted the shade of the ‘Arsh, so we found it in salih (good) friends.”

-Imam as-Shafa’ee

frosty forests.

-Fi Amanillah-