Friday, March 14, 2008

Remembering the Umma with Du'a

Ma`ruf al-Karkhi, one of the righteous imams of the early Muslims (salaf), said,

"Whoever says,

'Allahumma aslih Ummata Muhammad Allahumma farrij `an Ummati Muhammad Allahumma Rham Ummata Muhammad [salla Allahu `alayhi wa sallam]

(O Allah, improve the state of the Umma of Muhammad O Allah, grant ease to the Umma of Muhammad O Allah, have mercy on the Umma of Muhammad),'

ten times every day will be written down as one of the highest of elect believers (abdal)." [Abu Nu`aym, Hilyat al-Awliya , 8.366]

اللهم أصلح أمة محمد اللهم فرج عن أمة محمد أللهم ارحم أمة محمد

Why? The Prophet of Mercy (peace and blessings be upon him) said,

"Have mercy on those on earth, and the Lord of the Skies will have mercy on you." [Ahmad, Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi, and Bukhari in his al-Adab al-Mufrad from Abd Allah ibn Amr (Allah be pleased with him)]


No Excuse From Prayer (Scuba Diver Prays Under Water)

via by Amad on 3/4/08

So, what's your excuse?

The hardest time I have praying is when I have gone skiing (snow-skiing), wearing those boots that don't really flex at all, and you pretty much have to fall down into your sajdah. In fact, I was skiing this weekend and found a nice spot behind a cabin. Its an interesting feeling doing sajdah in a couple of feet of snow. By the way, I think I remember Sh. Waleed (who loves to scuba-dive) telling me that he too had prayed under water once.

What was your hardest or most interesting prayer occasion? Inspire us!

More pictures below the sleeve


19 Things Muslim Women Can Do For Islam

19 Things Sisters can do for Islam in America(or anywhere in the world really)

By: A SoundVision Staff Writer

Sisters, as much as brothers, are responsible for contributing to Islamic work in America. There are a number of things that can be done on a personal, family and community level.

Sound Vision talked to four Muslim sisters who are active in their communities for their ideas. They suggested the following:

1. Remember you are a khalifa on earth

Both men and women are appointed by Allah as His khalifa (trustees) on earth (Quran 33:72-73). We have been given this amana (trust) from Allah, and it is our responsibility to care for it. We must not forget that we will all be asked on the Day of Judgement what we did with our time. What did we do for the sake of Allah while we were alive? How did we spend our time, wealth, health, knowledge and other resources Allah has entrusted to us as a gift. How have we tried to make our ummah stronger? Will we make the grade?

2. Make your intention for the sake of Allah

Where does success really come from? It's from Allah. But without the correct intentions and methods, success at home and work won't happen.

"Actions are but by intentions," said Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said in a Hadith in Bukhari and Muslim. Make your intention to please Allah first and foremost. This is the first and most important thing no matter what type of activism you get involved in.

3. Make Dua (supplication)

Who can really answer your prayers and help you? Allah, of course. Ask only from Allah. Ask Him for Guidance, understanding, and a straight intention. Ask Him to accept your efforts for His cause.

Then watch as Insha Allah, He helps you throughout your work for His Cause.

4. Seek knowledge, a path to Paradise and power

Once your intention is clear, how do you know what the right method is to contribute to Islam in America? The key is knowledge. Specifically, knowledge of the Quran and Sunnah. This is not necessarily the knowledge you may have picked up in the Muslim country or community you grew up in. We're talking about knowledge based on original sources — the Quran and Sunnah.

"For him who follows a path for seeking knowledge, Allah will ease for him the path to Paradise" said the Prophet in a Hadith in Muslim.

For starters, one simple thing you can do is to read a translation of the Quran in a language you feel most comfortable with. This is not to say that translations will give you a complete understanding of the Quran. What it will provide though, is a basic overview.

Sincerely seek the truth. Remember that your goal as an ordinary Muslim at this point, is not to "reinterpret" the Quran. It is simply to expose yourself to Allah's Message in a way that you can understand.

5. Learn about your rights and duties and change who you are accordingly

Is knowledge meant to just fill our heads? Of course not. If we want to work for Islam in America or anywhere else, we've got to start with ourselves first.

This not only means to know but to practice what we know. We must work from the inside out. We must fix our character first, then work with our families, neighborhood and further out within the community.

6. Raise good Muslim sons and daughters

Who raised those brothers who won't let sisters come to the mosque? Mostly women. For all the talk of Muslim women going out to change the world, we tend to forget about the one place where women have the most control: as mothers. Use this power.

It's mothers who can perpetuate notions of what a woman's place is, and they also can perpetuate a lot of the misguided notions about the position of women in Islam. Think through what messages you are giving your children. For example, how many mothers spoil their sons by not insisting they clean up their own room, put away their own dishes after dinner, help clean up the house or fold the laundry? Mothers can and should challenge gender stereotypes in their own homes.

This may be considered a small step for moms, but it leads to big steps for Muslim brothers.

With regards to daughters, mothers must orient them in the right direction on a personal level as Muslims, then at the academic and career levels. Not to forget but mothers are their daughters first role model. Be an example for her of a solid, strong Muslim.

7. Speak out against injustice

Feeling powerless against the Muslim men who won't let you come to the mosque? At least speak out against it. Did a speaker say something insensitive about sisters? Speak out against it. Use your knowledge of the Quran and Sunnah to challenge gender-unfriendly spaces and positions in the Muslim community.

Too often, the status quo is maintained because Muslim women do not speak up.

And don't just speak out against the bad. Ask questions and comment with wisdom as well.

8. Don't underestimate the power of social activities

Do you think organizing social activities such as dinners for sisters is just a waste of time? Not if you know the reality of the Muslim community here in America.

While many sisters have families they can easily turn to for company and support, there are many who don't. Our communities have plenty of sisters who are new to Islam, or sisters who are students from abroad, or who recently immigrated here with their families but who are hungry for companionship.

What better companionship than that of Muslim sisters for the sake of Allah?

Organizing weekly dinners, teas, Halaqas are all small practical steps that Muslim sisters can take to help each other not only cope with loneliness, but more importantly become closer to Allah, if He wills. This creates a much-needed social network.

9. Go into professions that are needed in the community

Often, we encourage our children to go into professions that are seen as prestigious or that will ensure them financial security. These may not, however, be professions that are most needed by the Muslim community. Identify what the needs are and encourage young women to pursue careers in these fields.

For example, there is dire need for Muslim community advocates, social workers, therapists, family counselors, and other support resources. The shortage of such professional skills within the community forces Muslims to go to non-Muslims who are often insensitive to our religious values.

Another field where Muslim women are needed is law. Marriage, divorce, custody of children, and inheritance are all issues which directly affect Muslim women, and for which they will rarely find a Muslim advocate. There is a need for sisters who know Islamic law and the local law to help Muslim women deal with issues like these with sincere, sound advice, as well as sympathetic support.

Is there a Muslim woman doctor in the house? For the most part, the answer is no. It is no cliche to say that there is a crying need for women in the medical field. Sisters are especially needed in sensitive fields like obstetrics and gynecology, fertiltiy specialists, etc.

These are among many areas where women, especially Muslim ones, feel most comfortable discussing exclusively with other women who will understand where they are coming from.

10. Teach in Islamic weekend schools

Does getting an education degree sound too far-fetched? If so, consider helping Islam in America by teaching at the local Islamic weekend school. This is where a number of Muslim kids (most of whom attend public school) find their only Islamic environment throughout the whole week.

The presence Muslim sisters as mentioned above, is not just in imparting knowledge but it's also in being a positive role model.

As well, teaching in Islamic weekend schools provides you with the opportunity to clarify the position of women in Islam, to clear it of the cultural baggage so many Muslim parents tend to pass down to their kids.

11. Enjoin the good and forbid the evil

The Prophet said: If one of you sees something evil he should change it with his hand. If he cannot, he should speak out against it, and if he cannot do even that he should at least detest it in his heart, this being the weakest form of faith (Muslim).

Enjoining the good and forbidding the evil is not the domain of Muslim brothers alone. Sisters are also required to do this, whether it is on an individual or community level. Look for opportunities and build your strength to do this.

Not only will you be fulfilling a religious duty, but you will become stronger and Allah willing, gain the strength to speak out against wrong regardless who is doing the wrong.

12. Promote and appreciate sisters doing good work

How many of us spend time to appreciate the work Muslims sisters do to promote the cause of Islam?

Whether a sister has given an inspiring speech, written a useful article, established a fantastic program for the mosque, a number of sisters tend to beat each other down instead of trying to build each other up.

Promoting and appreciating sisters who are doing good work will not only serve as encouragement for them, it will also pinpoint acceptable role models for young Muslim women. This is important when many or our young girls look up to women who are models, actresses and singers, as opposed to those making a positive contribution to society.

13. Support other sisters in need or difficulty

Do you know a sister who takes care of her own kids, plus an ailing mother-in-law? Or a sister who needs a night out with her husband after a frustrating week juggling work and home responsibilities? Give her a break. Offer to babysit for a night, or take her kids to the park so she can have some free time to herself. These small gestures give a big boost to sisterhood and Muslim community support, not to mention support for a Muslim family.

14. Get sympathetic speakers and scholars invited to the community

Who are the top five speakers in your community? What is their understanding of Islam and especially the role of women? Do they speak out against injustice? Or do they promote the status quo?

Sisters can encourage community leaders to invite speakers to shed light on Muslim women's issues, and who can address problems from an Islamic perspective in a wise and sensitive way.

15. Teach sisters how to deal with discrimination

How many sisters know how to respond effectively to discrimination and harassment? It seems that most will tend to ignore it. Others may respond with a rude remark of their own. But neither of these approaches is usually appropriate.

Muslim women can help here by developing an effective strategy in consultation with Imams and community leaders. Informing and enabling Muslim women on how to seek legal recourse if they so choose is another needed service.

16. Become journalists and media professionals

Do you think the ability to write well and communicate effectively has no effect on others?

You're wrong. A knowledgeable, practicing Muslim woman who can write and speak well is a powerful weapon against those who say Islam oppresses women, or that women can't come to the mosque for instance.

The media is an unavoidable tool in the spread of Islam amongst Muslims and non-Muslims and sisters should not avoid this field of study.

17. Use what you have

If you're already a working Muslim woman, how can you contribute without necessarily changing careers? Use your professional skills for the community.

If you can write well, establish a well-written, organized and attractive community newsletter. If you're in business, establish a community fundraising project for the local mosque's expansion. Use what you've got. It'll take some thinking and planning, but you're almost bound to find a way you can contribute, if Allah wills.

18. Know and teach women's history

Do you think women's history means learning exclusively about American feminists? Think again. Muslim women have their own heroes. Aisha, Khadijah, Maryam, Asiya (may Allah be pleased with all of them) are our role models. Remember that Muslim women's history does not start and end with these four righteous women. Muslim history is full of women who have made positive contributions. We also need to recognize and know the efforts of the pioneering Muslim women who came to North America and worked in partnership with men to establish the various Muslim institutions now flourishing in North America.

Know the history of the first generation of Muslim women as well as those who established the Muslim community in North America.

Read to your daughters the stories of the great female companions of the Prophet in books like Abdul Wahid Hamid's Companions of the Prophet.

19. Understand the issues of the day

Do you know what your kids are learning in school? Is there a sex education class promoting unIslamic ideas? What are you going to do about it? Do you participate in your child's Earth Day activities at school?

Muslims sisters have to know the issues of the day in order to make an impact. Whether it's sex education, drunk driving or rape these and other issues should be of concern to us as well, and not just non-Muslims. Being vocal, and most importantly, knowing and advocating the Islamic position on issues of the day affords you the opportunity to stand up for justice and to make Dawa. Don't pass it up.

© Sound Vision Foundation website

The Way The Devil Works ( Hijab)

Pretty scary depiction of how the Devil whispers in our sisters' ears...

Shaitan The Way The Devil Works ( Hijab)

The Love of the Prophet peace and blessings be upon him

Assalamualaykum wa Rahmatullah

Rabi ul Awal Mubarak! May Allah make it a blessed month where we increase in our Love, obedience and knowledge of our Beloved Prophet (May the infinite peace and mercy be upon him and his family)

please remember us in your duas.

This is a transcript of a piece Shaykh Hamza did for the BBC World Service's In Praise of God programme back in 2006.

The Love of the Prophet peace and blessings be upon him
By Shaykh Hamza Yusuf

Twenty-six years ago I became a Muslim largely because I fell in love with a beautiful human being. "I was only sent to perfect noble character," said the man declared as a "mercy to all the worlds."

As time passed, this love grew as my knowledge of him increased. I painfully watched his religion hijacked by some for their own ends distorting his message and forgetting that he was indeed a mercy to all the worlds. I am troubled by the media's portrayal of him sometimes in the worst of lights. How could the man I came to know and love be so vilified and maligned by those who claim to represent him and also by those who aim to be unbiased interpreters?

Muhammad, peace be upon him, was a shy, reticent man who lived among his people with such high moral character they called him al-Amîn—the Trustworthy.
The Prophet of Islam was born in the city of Mecca, Arabia, into a poor but noble branch of an aristocratic clan known as Quraysh, a people who despised treachery, lies and stupidity, while honouring bravery in battle, generosity in partying, and cleverness in poetry.

Some families, were so ashamed of their baby girls, that they would bury them alive instead of suffering the possible indignity of future dishonour. The religion of the Arabs at the time was a hodge-podge of superstition, divination and idolatry. To them, man's life ended with his death and his afterlife was based on his military exploits might be immortalized by a poets tongue.

The Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, was born into this world on April 9th, 570, Christian era in the lunar month of Rabi'a al-Awwal. His father, Abdallah died during his mother's pregnancy. And for the first four years he was raised in the relative purity of the desert by a Bedouin woman named Halimah. After which he returned to his mother, Aminah. But in his seventh year, his mother died leaving him in the care of his grandfather.

At the age of twenty-five, he was employed as a commercial agent by Lady Khadijah, a successful widow from his own clan. She soon recognized his honesty and good nature and proposed marriage. Although fifteen years younger than she was, he accepted her proposal, and fathered six of his seven children with her.
At the age of forty, it had become his custom to escape the idolatry of Meccan society by seeking solitude in a cave on the mountain known as "the Mountain of Light." In the solitary confines of his small cave a voice pierced his consciousness declaring: "Recite!"

Alarmed and shivering he fled to his wife, begging her to wrap him in a cloak. He feared for his sanity, concerned that a desert spirit or poetic muse might be pursuing him. More revelations soon followed and Muhammad came to the understanding that he was not only a prophet in a long line of prophets, but that he was the last of them who was sent with a universal message.

As the days passed his revelations increased and they were powerfully rhythmic punctuated with intoxicating messages that challenged listeners to reflect on everyday miracles such as the alternation of the night and day

These revelations revealed to Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, came to be known as the Qur'an, the Muslim holy book. For thirteen years he invited his clan to worship one God, sit with slaves in spiritual solidarity, respect women as soul-full equals and the source of human mercy, care for the widow, the orphan, the weak and the oppressed.
At first people ridiculed his message and accused him of attempting "to make the gods one." His message threatened his people's financial control of the markets of Mecca where pilgrims from all over Arabia came to spend their wealth.

When his clan failed to stop his preaching they plotted to kill him in his sleep. But he was warned by the Angel Gabriel and told to flee in the cover of darkness to Madina with his beloved friend and lifelong companion Abu Bakr.

Setting out, the two sought refuge in a cave to escape the skilled trackers of Mecca hot on their trail. The bounty hunters quickly came upon the cave, but a spider's web had already covered the entrance and a dove with her young rested in a nest above it.

When the posse left and the two felt safe again, they continued their journey to the city of Yathrib. And as they entered it the young girls and children of Bani Najjar came out chanting lines of poetry which is still sung all over the world in remembrance of this auspicious occasion.

The name Yathrib was changed to Medina, city of hope. It became a city founded on the brotherhood of virtue. The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, enacted a treaty uniting the once warring groups. He secured the rights of the Jewish minority by granting them full citizenship and freedom to practice their religion without constraint.

Days after his arrival in Medina he began the construction of a mosque, a sanctuary of prayer and meditation, in the centre of the city. And he had his companions; the Muslims create their own marketplace in order to ensure economic strength.

The Meccans, sensing that a rising power was now emerging in the peninsula, plotted ways of subverting the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, and his growing community of believers. And the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, who had practiced a strict pacifism in Mecca for thirteen years and disliked the use of coercive force, was now given permission by God to defend against any attacks by his enemies. The Qur'an declared, "Fighting has been prescribed for you and you detest it, but perhaps you detest something and in it is much good. And perhaps you love something and in it is much harm, and God knows and you do not know." [Qur'an 2:216].
The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, "Never desire to meet your enemies, rather ask God for peace and well-being; but should you be forced to meet them, then act courageously." [Sahih al-Bukhari]

Muslims are not ashamed of their Prophet's teaching about war. On the contrary, for us it is a great source of pride. He was courageous as a great lion against the strong and oppressive yet gentle as a shepherd with the weak and the oppressed.

The true object of war fought for God should always be peace. What the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, taught is that Muslims fight for a just cause only. In this world, there are only two choices: two sides, truth and justice or falsehood and oppression. You don't have to be a Muslim to understand that.

After years of conflict between members of his clan and his followers, the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, had a revelation that he should visit the sacred mosque. In the eighth year after his migration to Medina the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, set out for Mecca but his adversaries refused to allow him in. They sent out an arbitrator to strike an agreement that would bring the stand-off to an end. And on every point of this treaty the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, compromised his own position in pursuit of peace.
On the journey back to Medina some of the companions were deeply troubled by what had just taken place and disappointed that they were thwarted from visiting the sanctuary. When asked to explain, the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, replied, "Did I say it was going to be this year?"

And so the following year, in accordance with the treaty, the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, and his followers performed a pilgrimage completely unmolested. But soon his clan the Quraysh broke their end of the deal, massacring another clan with alliance to the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, attacking them even in the sacred precinct. Abu Sufyan, the head of the Prophet's enemies, attempted to restore the truce but it was too late. News of the massacre enraged the believers and the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, summoned all of the Muslims capable of bearing arms to march on Mecca. When the nearly ten thousand Muslims arrived on the outskirts of the city, the Quraysh realized they did not stand a chance and people either fled or stayed in their homes.

And so it was, after years of persecution, the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, marched triumphant into the city of his birth at the head of the largest army ever assembled in Arabian history. With his head bowed in humility he declared a general amnesty and granted war criminals refuge.

His overwhelming magnanimity of character led to a mass conversion among the citizens of Mecca. Even Abu Sufyan, his archenemy, embraced the religion of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him. In the months that followed, almost all of Arabia dispatched representatives to swear allegiance to this Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, and to enter in the faith of Islam. In a period of twenty-three years Muhammad, peace be upon him, had succeeded in uniting a feuding people trapped in cycles of violence into one people with a sense of destiny and a mission that would transform the world.

He elevated the low, and he lowered the elevated that they might meet in that middle place known as brotherhood. He infused in them a love of learning unleashing a creative power that would lead to some of the most extraordinary scientific breakthroughs in human history.

He died on the same day he was born, in the same house he had lived in for ten years in Medina, on a small bed made of leather stuffed with palm fibres, in the arms of his beloved wife Aishah. His dying words were, "Treat your women well, and do not oppress your servants, the prayer, the prayer, don't be neglectful of the prayer. O God, my highest companion, O highest companion."

But the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, was more than just a great historical person, he was a father and friend, a husband, a companion and above all he was a human being. The Prophet's unique physical appearance, his high character and willingness to sacrifice for others, are often at the essence of any description of him. He was once described by a contemporary in the following words:

"The Messenger of God was imposing and majestic. His face was luminous like a full moon. He was taller than medium but not excessive in height. He had wavy hair, which he parted and it never went beyond his shoulders. He was light-skinned with a high brow. He had full eyebrows and a small space between them. He had a fine, aquiline nose. His beard was full, his eyes black. His physique was supple and lithe, with a full chest and broad shoulders. When he walked, he was determined and his pace was as if he was walking down hill.
When he spoke he was always brief and reflective. He spoke when he saw benefit and spent long periods in silent contemplation. His speech was comprehensive being neither wordy nor laconic. He had a mild temperament and was never harsh nor cruel, coarse nor rude. He expressed gratitude for everything given to him no matter how insignificant. When he spoke, his companions lowered their heads as if birds were perched upon them. When he was silent, they felt free to speak. He never criticized food or praised it excessively. He never swore, nor did he find fault in people. He did not flatter people but praised them when appropriate.

People entered his gatherings as seekers and left enlightened. He would ask about his companions when they were absent often making inquiries about people's needs. He never stood nor sat without mentioning the name of God. He never reserved a special place for himself in a gathering and sat where space provided. He gave each of those who sat with him such full attention that everyone felt that he was the most important person in that gathering. Voices were never raised in his presence. The aged were respected for their age and the young were shown compassion for their youth."

The Qur'an reminds Muslims that when they are slandered by those who reject them they should bear it patiently and be forgiving. I yearn for a deeper understanding of this man, his gentleness towards children, his love of animals, his concern for the weak and oppressed, his sense of justice tempered always with mercy.

I personally love his humour and his sense of tomfoolery. He said once, "I joke but always tell the truth." His wife Aishah said, "he was always making us laugh in the house." One of his names is ad-dahhak—the smiling one. His humour and cheerfulness even in the face of the most difficult of times is so needed today in our troubled world. I imagine him telling those of us who don't laugh enough to lighten up, to show more gratitude even in what appears to be difficulties. And as for those who laugh too much and do so inappropriately, I imagine that he would ask that they reflect deeper on the condition of humanity and nurture compassion in their hearts.

"Those who sin while laughing enter hell crying," he once said.

Once an old woman asked him if she would enter paradise and he replied, "Old people don't go to heaven!" The woman was crestfallen with the answer he had provided, to which he added with a smile, "You shall enter paradise in the prime of your youth."

The Arabs believed dates made eye infections worse. His companion Suhayb was eating dates one day while his left eye was infected. The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, "Suhayb do you eat dates and your eye is infected?" To which Suhayb said, "I am eating with my right eye only O Messenger of God." To which the Prophet, peace be and blessings
be upon him, laughed heartily.

And once a gruff desert Bedouin came into the mosque and prayed out loud saying, "O God forgive me and Muhammad and don't forgive anyone else." Hearing this the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, laughed and said to him, "You are limiting the vast mercy of God."

I feel so incredibly grateful and blessed to have come to know him and to learn from him. A day of my life has not gone by that I haven't felt indebted to him for the wisdom he has given me in making sense of my life and my world.

Every day my love for Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, increases. Like the vast majority of my fellow believers across the world and through times he is, indeed, the Beloved—the Praised One.

To the solace of his name, simply saying Muhammad, has an incredibly soothing effect on me.


by Mai El-Sadany

Remember the most respected man throughout the years,Who made the purpose of life blatantly clear,Remember the kind, gentle face that always held a smile,An amazing countenance, a handsome profile,Remember the modest life he led and apparel he wore,The fulfilling cause and religion he would willingly die for,Remember his perseverance no matter what,The torture, the pain, the bloody bruises and cuts,Remember the strength of mind after his tribe's rejection,But, later, the sincere hearts he would easily win,Remember the kindness to his neighbors and enemies alike,After being bombarded with trash, thorns, and spikes,Remember his Hijrah away from his beloved home,Through deserts and caves, he then had to roam,Remember the anger management he always displayed,The genuine light from his face would never fade,Remember the starvation he had to face,Displaced from his family, home, and place,Remember the year of sadness when he lost,His beloved wife and uncle, worth more than all meager costs,Remember his honest ways and fair dealings,His disregard for worldly pleasures and things,Remember his respect for people of all creeds,Seeing to every less fortunate man's needs,Remember his playful nature with children,His heart clean, not blemished with any dark sins,Remember the ways he treated all of his family,His pure tongue released sincere words, always said truthfully,Remember his promised intercession on the Day of Judgement,"Ummati, Ummati" beautiful words, so heartfelt,For you, my true love, Rasulullah,May peace and blessings always shower upon you, Ya Mostafa.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Tawakkul (Trust in God)

"If you had all relied on Allah (SWT) as you should rely on Him, then He would have provided for you as He provides for the birds, who wake up hungry in the morning and return with full stomachs at dusk."

Tawakkul (Trust in God)
By: Umm Thameenah * -

"If you had all relied on Allah (SWT) as you should rely on Him, then He would have provided for you as He provides for the birds, who wake up hungry in the morning and return with full stomachs at dusk."

Do you truly have full trust in Allah (SWT)? There are some of us who strive our utmost to prepare for things wherein no certainty exists, whilst others fail to prepare for certain things wherein lies no doubt. And let us not forget those that believe their destiny is completely in their own hands, whilst their counterparts hold, in what can only be described as 'bravery', that they have full trust in Allah (SWT), thus granting themselves the ticket to do nothing at all.

Tawakkul is a light for our hearts and a means for us to seek nearness towards Allah (SWT) in a manner that absolutely nothing else can achieve. The essence of this quality of the heart is built upon two very important pillars: dependence upon Allah and trust in Allah.

We may often trust a person, without necessarily depending upon them, and likewise we may depend upon a person without fully trusting them. However when it comes to Our Lord (SWT), both exist simultaneously in perfection.

So why are we so ready to trust others, but so quick to question Allah (SWT)? I'm sure we can all recall at least one incident in our lives when we experienced the rahma of Allah (SWT) in disguise. What did we do? What did we say? When one of the innumerable blessings we failed to count and thank our Lord for was unexpectedly taken from us, what thoughts rushed to our minds? What regrettable words came from our mouths? Why has this happened? What did I do wrong? Why has my blessing been taken away from me?

Such spur of the moment questions, tainted by our false comprehension that the blessings bestowed upon us belonged to us, in an instant, shakes our building of tawakkul, sometimes causing it to collapse, consequently opening up a door for our enemy -Shaytaan and closing a door for us to Our Beloved (SWT).

Sisters, why do we become so devastated at the onset of calamity? Why do we lose all hope? Why do we not simply trust in Allah (SWT)? For every goodness and blessing we own has only been by His Rahma (Mercy). The amaanah (trusts) within our possessions are only ours for a temporary period of time; they belong to Allah and one day we'll have to return them to Him (SWT). When something is taken away from us or we are faced with a calamity, always remember that Allah is testing our Eemaan (faith) and He (SWT) knows that we are strong enough to deal with it, otherwise it would never have come to us in the first place, for Allah (SWT) never burdens a soul with more than it can bear.

Have full Tawakkul (trust) in Allah (SWT) and never belittle that trust. For the trust we have in Allah is a path to success and a means to achieving victory. Never lose hope and always remember that the situation of a true believer is always one of goodness: For when they are granted a blessing from Allah (SWT) they praise Him and due to that they are rewarded and their blessings increase and when a calamity strikes they patiently persevere, and as a result of which they are rewarded and granted something better than what they lost.

Put your trust in Allah. Allah loves those that trust [in Him].
[Surah al-Imran 3: 159]

Know that Allah (SWT) is pleased with those servants who persevere and He (SWT) loves those that trust in Him. Build a strong foundation of trust and allow for it to accompany you in all that you do. For it is a quality that will remain sufficient for you in the matters of this world, your deen (religion) and in the Aakhira (hereafter) insha'Allah. A beautiful example that never fails to touch my heart is that of our mother: Umm Salamah (RA), when her husband Abu Salamah (RA) passed away and she remained steadfast, uttering the best statement at the time of any calamity: 'Inna Lillaahi wa inna ilayhi raaji'oon -Surely to Allah we belong and surely to Him we will return'. And she received exactly as Allah (SWT) promises: blessings and mercy:

'And give good news to those who persevere, those who say, when a misfortune strikes them, Surely to Allah we belong, and surely to Him we will return, these are the ones on whom blessings from their Lord descend, and mercy, and these are the ones who are rightly guided'.
[Surah Al-Baqarah 2: 155-157]

For who could be better as a husband than Rasoolullah (SAW) -A gift to our mother, Umm Salamah (RA) for her tawakkul in Allah (SWT).

It may seem difficult to imagine, and I don't make out that it's always the easiest of things to do. However, with complete conviction, as I too have witnessed such a great blessing from Allah (SWT) after a calamity had befallen me, that if you truly trust in your Lord, with every atom's weight of your heart, Allah will provide for you in ways you could never have imagined.

Let us take a moment to ponder over one ayah in the Qur'an, yes, just one ayah. If I asked you to guess which ayah it is, what would you say? Would it even cross your mind that you read this ayah without fail in every single rakat (standing) of your salah?

'You Alone we worship and You Alone we ask for help'
[Surah al-Faatihah: 5] "The Opening"

This ayah clearly establishes the tawakkul of the believer. Some of the Salaf (early believers) have said, "Al-Faatihah is the secret of the Qur'an, while these words are the secret of Al-Faatihah." So how can we stand before Allah day in and day out, uttering such perfect words of tawakkul, and yet not sincerely mean them?

For belief, undoubtedly, must be followed by action.

Our Lord (SWT) With His Hikmah, Love and Rahmah knows exactly what is good for us, so let us not be amongst the sinful servants of Allah (SWT) who suspect Him of wrongdoing. So the next time you stand before Allah (SWT) and consult Him in your affairs, don't think He'll give you what is good for you; know with certainty that He (SWT) will:

'Say: "Nothing will befall us except what Allah has ordained for us. He is our Protector. In Allah let the believers put their trust." [Surah At-Tawbah: 51]

Umm Thameenah is a contributing writer to Sisters Magazine