A Secret Good

We don’t know people’s amal
The good that they do, unknown to many or none
Yet earning His Pleasure
For one it might be his words of da’wah explaining Islam to his non Muslim friends
For another it is his setting aside of some money every month to sponsor an orphan
Or sadaqah to the uncles or aunties selling tissues when he sees them
For another it is in his sincere trying to be a good Muslim
Within which he struggles as he’s trying to make sense of the dichotomy in his mind between the effects of grief and being a good Muslim as he’s not trying to defy His will but he’s so, so distraught
For a sister it is her disciplining herself to refrain from posting photos of herself on her social media account despite the desire to do so, she just knew deep down she’s mainly doing it for her own good, her own heart
For a brother it is him controlling himself from second glances
Some write, some talk or share, some teach,
Yet essentially, they serve
For some others it’s their silence that speaks the loudest as through that you get to see their character and mannerisms
Another sister makes it a point to smile to the people she sees
A couple is remaining patient and hopeful awaiting for the rizq of a child
A brother keeping his jemaah prayers at the mosque consistent while another maintains them at home with his family
The point is
Just because you don’t see people doing the same “good” as you doesn’t mean they’re any “less”
Coz goodness is widely varied and it doesn’t have to be seen/told to be counted
Never underestimate any value of goodness
See the good in people
And to race to all that is good

What about you, what’s your secret good?

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Dhikr Marathon

Title of this post was inspired by a sister who mentioned “istighfar marathon” on the last day of Rejab a few days ago, that got kinda stuck on me hehe.

So I was inspired by some sisters in a book club who were working towards their goal of 70k istighfar for the previous month of Rejab which had just left and now in this month of Syaaban the aim is also 70k, of selawat.

Not sure about you but I tend to turn the other way seeing huge numbers like that, it seems impossible at first glance. I mean it’s like thousands guys.. But when she broke it down it’s actually 2k per day, which is still a huge number but what really got me was how she explained that the numbers are just goals. It’s good if you can reach it but what really matters is the effort! The effort to incorporate dhikr into your everyday and the fact that you don’t need to wait for a specific time to do it, makes it doable! So you can do it before starting work/study, after every fard prayer, while cooking, while waiting and so on. And she said that it has had a positive effect on her and she feels the difference.

Personally I’m not aiming for 2k per day(not yet at least) because I know myself. I can’t push myself towards lofty goals if I don’t start small and gradually and consistently build the habit. So I invite myself first, and invite you to build this daily habit of dhikr so insyaAllah it’ll strengthen with the dawn of Ramadhan and that it will continue even after. 30, 50, 100, 200? Bismillah!

Takeaways from Isra’ & Mi’raj talk @ MYI

I was just sitting and waiting for the talk to begin and my sight fell upon this makcik who looks like she’s around her late 60s walking and giving out the mosque newsletter. And when she walked she has this slight hunch. Ya Allah, I can’t help but think to myself. Khidmah at such an age? As a matter of fact, despite her age, she looked so youthful as she kept smiling at everyone. Amazing masyaAllah. Makes me feel like I should pull up my socks and strive to be like her and be of service, starting now.

Main takeaways.

When looking back and reflecting on the occurrence of isra’ & mi’raj, we should also pay attention to the incidences before that took place. It was when Rasulullah ﷺ had experienced the loss of his beloved wife Khadijah RA and uncle Abu Talib RA and the discouraging and unwelcoming responses from the people of Taif. What made the Prophet strong in the face of all these? His main purpose and goal which is Allah. Allah’s Pleasure with him, no matter what people think of him, say about him. The same should be for us, where we ought to have clear purposes and goals in all our life’s pursuits and responsibilities. I believe that that too becomes our intentions and insyaAllah it’ll be our strong handhold.

The speakers, Mufti Ustaz Fatris & Ustaz Hannan, also touched on the prayer. Specifically, just like how it is so, so special as it’s a commandment given to Rasulullah ﷺ when he ascended to the skies, our state of mind when performing the prayers should be ideally, akin to that too. Our prayer, that is like our mi’raj to Allah. We should keep striving to improve on the quality of our prayers and not be satisfied with having just ‘done prayers’. Having khusyuk is hard because we’re humans. But we have to keep trying.

Also, the concept of utilising our mind by thinking and reflecting is very critical too. Ustaz Hannan mentioned about how there’s no mention of the word akal(mind) or fikir(think) in the Quran BUT these words are mentioned in the action/verb form, that is, berakal and berfikir. This implies that it’s not sufficient to just be content with the state of us humans being honored with a mind but we don’t think. There is surely hikmah behind every commandment like prayers, fasting and so on. Have we given a good thought about what it truly means to perform these acts of worship?

May He make us among those steadfast and sincere in performing our prayers and in all that we do, amin.

On a personal note, I just love listening to mufti speak. And just how he is. Gentle giant masyaAllah. May Allah preserve him and all our teachers and guides.

Quran Journal (5): Arrogance

“I am better than him” says Shaytan.
Yet how many times have we ever had the same monologue whether or not we’re aware of it. Our perceptions may fail us, we may pass of judgements so quickly and easily.

Below is an explanation of the verse from Tafsir ibn Kathir which I found to be mind-blowing subhanAllah.

His(shaytan) claim that the fire is more honored than mud was also false, because mud has the qualities of wisdom, forbearance, patience and assurance, mud is where plants grow, flourish, increase, and provide good. To the contrary, fire has the qualities of burning, recklessness and hastiness. Therefore, the origin of creation directed Shaytan to failure, while the origin of Adam led him to return to Allah with repentance, humbleness, obedience and submission to His command, admitting his error and seeking Allah’s forgiveness and pardon for it.

What are some ways to rid ourselves of arrogance?
– Awareness. Interrupt the thought if it comes.
– Daily dhikr
– Make du’a for yourself and for others(especially when they receive good such that Allah increase them in goodness bonus is that the angels will say amin for you too)
– Always remind yourself that everyone you meet have something good that you can learn from, young or old
– Make du’a to be cleansed of all kinds of diseases, physical and spiritual
– Be open to receive feedback

Just thought I’d share a lil story, may it benefit. It was after maghrib prayer yesterday. After making du’a I would usually pray the sunnah prayer. But for some reason I felt a little dread. I felt tired. Heard a voice saying “Don’t need to pray la. It’s not like you’re gonna be khusyuk anyway.”

Ya Allah. Thankfully I recognised where that came from and I refused to listen, stood up and just prayed. The struggle of many things are real, and concentration in prayer is one of them. But I remind myself first to never ever despair and give up no matter how hard it gets and never lose hope in Him. We should all listen to our own advice, and mine is that the reward is in the struggle insyaAllah.

Also, to be more mindful next time of why I do what I do. So in the case of sunnah prayer, to do it not simply because I’ve been doing it rather more so towards doing it because I want to follow the Prophet (peace be upon him) because I love him and I hope that by performing it, it covers up the flaws in the fard prayer. May He grant us all sabr and steadfastness, amin.

An early Rejab reminder

Photo taken at a stopover while en route to Mecca

Travelling to Mecca and Medina didn’t feel too long ago
Hours of journey over the air and on land
Reciting the talbiah, renewing our intentions
Everything was about Allah swt and Rasulullah ﷺ

A reminder, that we are in this world, as travellers
Here is not our resting, eternal place
Now is the time to toil and plant our seeds

A reminder, that death is always near
And time waits for none
Life is short, a passing wind
May we take heed and start working
And now is always a good time to start afresh
May Allah guide us all and grant us the strength and love towards and of Him and His Rasul ﷺ

May Allah swt have mercy upon Allahyarham Ustaz Abu Bakar, the ustaz who passed away in a bus accident in Mecca yesterday and grant him the highest level of Jannah and pour upon his loved ones patience, strength and healing. Amin.

Because His signs are all around.

As you continue to traverse in life,
Hope you will keep this in mind
Remember that humbling moment when you were travelling by sea.

Looking up to the vastness of the skies Always be in awe, never despair of yourself, your life and His Mercy

Remember the strong waves that caused the ferry to trudge and then stall for a while
Instilling a sudden fear in you, reminding you of those mentioned in the Quran who only remembered Him in danger but then forget and commit injustice when they are safe (10:22)

Remember too the turbulence while in the air, thousands of metres above ground level
The sea, the winds, the waves not forgetting the bumpy roads and the unpredictable traffic and motorists
The transport is only the means

You’ll never know for sure if you will reach your destination safely
Make us among the grateful ones, who remembers You and are grateful to You, be it on the seas, in the air or on land.