I heart Muslim Matters! :) I finally got a chance to catch up with all the articles I missed and SubhanAllah, the writers tackled some really important topics, a lot of which were on my mind. Here are some excerpts from the various pieces that stood out to me:
The scholars and students of the past sought knowledge as a means to Jannah because beneficial knowledge leads to righteous actions. Sufyan Ath-Thawri (rahimahullah) said: “The excellence of knowledge is due only to the fact that it causes a person to fear and obey Allah, otherwise it is just like anything else.” Our predecessors did not seek knowledge for the sake of seeking knowledge, rather it was so they could act upon what they learned. It should be clear in our hearts and minds that knowledge is action; and without action, knowledge will not benefit us in the least. The Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) narrated to us that, “The two feet of the servant will not cease (from standing before Allah) on the Day of Judgment until he is asked about four things: about his life and how he spent it; about his knowledge and what he did with it; about his wealth and where he earned it and how he spent it; and about his body and in what way he utilized it.” [Saheeh, reported by At-Tirmidhi] Shaykh Husayn Al-Awaa’ishah said in regards to this hadeeth, “Check yourself before you try to seek increase through reading and listening to lectures and convert the knowledge that you already have into actions that accompany you as you live.” Imam ibnul Jawzi (rahimahullah) stated, “And the miskeen (poor person), the true miskeen is the one who wasted his life learning what he does not practice, thus he loses the pleasures of the dunya and the goods of the aakhirah. (In addition to) coming forth bankrupt (on the Day of Judgment) with strong evidences against himself.”– Bringing Sunnah Back
I tend to rant about this a lot when I’m with other people. After we attend a class, or go to halaqa, whatever it may be…we should be conscious of what we learned from that event and determine what action items we actually applied in our daily lives after having learned their importance. A common trend I’ve noticed among some youth is that we always want something exciting, something intense to get us all emotional and have an eman explosion lol. And that’s fine. We should always want that; but as a result of always wanting to be on that “high” we sometimes overlook the smaller details of this deen that will be our key to Jannah InshaAllah–the Sunnah and consistency in following the Sunnah! Wallahi if I hear one more sister say that Allah only speaks about hijab ‘this many times’ in the Qur’an, and that’s why I don’t wear it, I will just get up and leave that circle. I know, I should be nice and tolerant and whatnot, but quite frankly, I’ve heard it too many times and it’s just annoying now. May Allah guide us all and grant us ‘ilm so it can be an evidence for on Qiyamah and not and evidence against us. Ameen thumma Ameen.
It’s sounds selfish, but at the end of the day, ya gotta be you. There are so many causes out there, and there’s no way you’ll get involved in all of them. You might not even get involved in any of them – a stay-at-homeschooling mom’s cause might just be raising her kids to be the best, well-balanced Muslims on the block. Forget all the guilt-tripping, the khateeb fingerpointing, and the moaning and groaning. Tune it all out and ask yourself, what matters the most to me? Where can I contribute and make the biggest impact? With all due respect to our younger da’ees, you’re nowhere near a prophet, nor have most of you spent enough time establishing a rep of any sort. You’re also not addressing Abu Jahl or Abu Lahab, you’re addressing other Muslims whose work has enriched your lives, whether you agree with all their decisions or not. Earn their trust. Volunteer to do something non-threatening, like cleaning the masjid. Serve the community, perhaps in relative obscurity, and then take advantage of whatever opportunity presents itself to participate meaningfully. Don’t expect to simply get the keys to masjid because you have a great idea. Give of yourself relentlessly, and the rest will follow, insha’Allah. And if it doesn’t, who really cares – you were doing it for the sake of Allah anyway, right? Right? — Beating Down Inaction
I loved his example of the home-schooling mother. :) SubhanAllah, I’m getting more and more motivation wherever I look. About volunteering: I think it’s great. It gives you the opportunity to learn how to work with others, gives you the feeling that you’re doing something, and you can learn many skills over time. But sometimes I’ve noticed that volunteers like to act overly busy or important, as though they don’t have the time of day for anything else except what they’re doing. They’re constantly in the limelight, and it’s just something that makes me uncomfortable. If you’re a volunteer, do your job and be humble about it, no need to show everyone how busy you are. I also don’t like name tags too much. The first time I got a pretty volunteer name tag for heart serene, I was all excited and I put it near my shoulder where it belonged. During the break, I went to fix my hijab and the first thing I saw in the mirror was my name tag. It was weird. You know that story about Umar ibn Al Khattab (ra) where he was given some really nice clothes to where before meeting non-Muslim leaders. He got this feeling in his heart telling him that he looked really nice in the clothes. What he had on before was dirty and ripped up but as soon as he got that feeling from the new clothes, he got extremely upset with the person who gave them to him, so he changed back into what he was wearing previously because he knew that Allah gave victory to the Muslims and to Islam because of what was in their hearts, not because of what they wore. SubhanAllah, such a humbling story. So after I realized how prominent my name tag looked, I decided to put it on the bottom of my sweater where it wasn’t so noticeable. That made me feel better. :)
So while for me the dream of serving the ummah was academic in nature, I got tripped up. Learning Arabic? Way behind schedule. Memorizing Qur’an? Same story. Age? Getting up there. Time? Diminishing exponentially.
It was time to reassess what my contribution to the ummah is/was going to be. While I think I might be on the right track of doing what I can try to do best for the ummah [still a long way to go], another series of tests has popped up. How do you balance your time between projects and family? How do you maintain a balance between service and personal development? These are all issues I struggle with, and I’m quite sure the struggle will continue, as I know I haven’t always made the correct calls in regard to these issues.
2) Keep priorities in order. I’m quite certain that my hadith scholar dream fell apart because of lack of prioritization. Worry about the 5 pillars. Worry about memorizing Qur’an, worry about pronouncing that Qur’an correctly. Worry about being good to your parents, your spouse, your children. Worry about staying away from looking at what displeases Allah, listening to what displeases Allah, and taking part in what displeases Allah. Then worry about the finer issues of academic Islam. We have a long way to go, and we sometimes lose the ‘forest for the trees’. — Finding My Purpose
This is something I’m sure we can all relate to. I go through this dilemma practically every day. I have so much to do and so much more that I want to do and sometimes, it just gets really confusing and overbearing. Like right now for example, as I sit here typing this, I have my Al Huda lesson open, my bayyinah lesson open, AM forums, 2 articles, lecture notes for class, my tajweed lesson, and two bio powerpoints–all open and running at the same time. Apparently I think I have the ability to do all this at once, hahaha. In addition to that, I have 4 books by my side, two for school and two other ones that I plan on reading as well lol. There’s just too much to do and I seriously need to learn how to prioritize. Al Huda takes precedence over most other ‘ilm right now because it’s what I have to dedicate myself to for the next 3 years inshaAllah. But other than that, am I supposed to leave all else and just focus on that? Or is there a way to do all the things I want but still give just as much attention to Al Huda? I don’t know. I think I need a life coach. :p