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.

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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

Quran Journal (4) : Flee

We may have set our intentions firm. And yet the design of the worldly life is such that it can bring us far away from His remembrance, if we’re not careful. And sometimes we aren’t. We don’t blame it on the dunya entirely, we too have our own issues to work on. We can get careless, we may not think long-term, we allow ourselves to get distracted, we may not give our priorities its deserving place. All in all, we’re human.

Yes we try to be better and improve on our skills so we minimise the slips and falls but at the end of the day we’re just normal human beings prone to err. While we want to improve, let’s remember to be kind to ourselves. Allah is Kind and He is ever waiting for us. His Door is always open, His Love, Mercy, Openings limitless. So don’t despair, flee to Allah. Face your physique and soul towards Him. He is as what we think of Him.

Quran Journal (3) : Eternal Refuge 

Hope the new year has been well for everyone (:

For Quran Journal this time round, I refer mainly to the 99 Names of Allah series by Sister Jinan Yousef of virtualmosque.com
The text below are from her writings. It’s an oft-repeated verse that we read and I found that I was able to better relate to this particular name of Allah when I read up on it, alhamdulillah. May it be of benefit.

Allah is the One who we turn to for both our needs and desires and who is our ultimate goal, because fundamentally He is the Master, the Eternal, the One who remains firm and unchanged – so who else can we turn to?

Surat al-Ikhlas was revealed when the people of Mecca asked the Prophet ﷺ (peace be upon him) to describe to them His Lord. This Surah answers their question and tells them (and us) about Allah. So when the people of Mecca were being told who Allah was, His being as-Samad was mentioned. Why would this be mentioned out of all His attributes? Because essentially what you need to know is that Allah is One and Unique (Ahad), and also that He is as-Samad, the Eternal Refuge, that One who is our means and our end. We go to Him for our desires but we should also ultimately desire Him—this is sincerity (ikhlas).

We need both dunya (this life) and akhirah (the hereafter), so we shouldn’t be ashamed when we feel we have worldly needs. The Prophet  ﷺmakes a beautiful du`a’ where he asks for both dunya and akhirah:

“O God, set right for me my religion which is the safeguard of my affairs. And set right for me the affairs of my world wherein is my living. And set right for me my Hereafter to which is my return. And make the life for me (a source) of abundance for every good and make my death a source of comfort for me protecting me against every evil.” [Muslim]

Love & Pray Conference 

Below will be just about a verse of the Quran that one of the speakers, Dr Halima Boukerracha touched on. Amazing how we can get so much just from this one verse on the story of Prophet Musa AS, Firaun and his wife Asiyah RA.

Al-Qasas 28:9

وَقَالَتِ ٱمْرَأَتُ فِرْعَوْنَ قُرَّتُ عَيْنٍ لِّى وَلَكَۖ لَا تَقْتُلُوهُ عَسَىٰٓ أَن يَنفَعَنَآ أَوْ نَتَّخِذَهُ‌و وَلَدًا وَهُمْ لَا يَشْعُرُونَ

And the wife of Pharaoh said, “[He will be] a comfort of the eye for me and for you. Do not kill him; perhaps he may benefit us, or we may adopt him as a son.” And they perceived not.

Based on the verse, we’re able to extract some lessons.
First, Firaun’s wife, Asiyah RA, understood Firaun’s personality. She didn’t plan to convince him that he is wrong- especially for someone who claims he is God. Second, she made use of positive language. She could’ve said “Are you mad? What in the world are you thinking? You can’t kill that baby!” you know, something along those lines. Just imagine Firaun’s response if she said that. But she didn’t. Third, she explained the benefit of her argument. Lastly, she understood the needs and weaknesses of her husband and she addressed it. Asiyah and Firaun didn’t have sons, only daughters. She is so intelligent masyaAllah. What do we learn from this? The importance of learning negotiation and conflict resolution skills. Also to understand the personalities of those around us. Not just for marriage but for our communication with others.

Plus, the faith of Asiyah didn’t budge despite how her husband is, well, Firaun. She didn’t see it as an excuse. Another woman might have just given up and saw no point in fulfilling her mission to Allah and think, “How can I and what’s the point if I’ve a husband like him?”. Makes me think back to all the married couples. Look no further, our parents aren’t perfect too. But their imperfections don’t stop them from doing their best in fulfilling their rights as spouses to one another and as a servant to Allah. For singletons including myself, I’m sure we want a good partner right but we cannot expect him or her to be perfect even though he or she seems perfect (ok maybe just early stages? haha). Because we will live with them and see through all their strengths and weaknesses. And we’re all just human. We ourselves aren’t perfect anyway.

Dr Halima also mentioned how a successful marriage survives because a couple invest in their similarities AND manage their differences well. This is an especially important reminder, time and time again, for myself first, because marriage extends wayyy beyond the beautiful insta-worthy pictures that makes it seem like a whole lot of sweet loving goodness that we’re missing out on. It’s really more than just the wedding. It’s a lifelong commitment. There’s plenty to learn prior to marriage, maybe on top of attending a marriage course, pre-marital counselling might be good too? To address certain issues. Even after marriage, the learning continues. What more with children and all. May we be always willing and stay committed to learn and improve on ourselves, married or not. Because at the end of the day, the only relationship that lasts is our relationship with Him.

Quran Journaling (QJ) #1: Gratitude

Bismillah. I’m starting on a new journey that is Quran journaling 📖 It is something I’ve been wanting do especially after being inspired by sister Ayesha Shahira‘s Quran tagging journey & sister Humairah of The Light Journal. Do check them out! Anyways, it made me think back on my relationship with the Quran. I mean, how can I forge a close relationship with Allah without living by His words? I feel bad for bookmarking multiple verses of the Quran in an app but never really got back to it. The journal will mostly be on my personal reflections of the verses. May it be of benefit, insyaAllah. And, please feel free to share your own thoughts on it if you do have. We’re all still learning and we can learn from one another. At the end of the day, what do His words mean to us?

~~~

To elaborate on the gratitude journal, this is something I’ve personally practiced since early this year and it has helped me greatly in terms of my mental health, my mood etc, alhamdulillah. I’ve been using this app Gratitude Journal for Android. I’m pretty sure there are more out there. I particularly like this one because we are required to enter things we are grateful for, for the day and then click on a button that says “Yes I am grateful”. So you can enter as many as you like. In a way, this is great as a positive reinforcement 🙂

Another point to mention is that it’s not just about the good or pleasant things that we should remember to be grateful for. In fact, it’s everything. You don’t have to list them all, maybe start with 3 things every day. Experiment with it and see what works best for you.

Practising gratitude will not solve all problems but it’s a great tool for growth and a way to earn Allah’s love, sometimes even leaving us overwhelmed with the countless bounties He’s blessed us with.

How can we express our gratitude? More than just words, it’s our actions. We can do so by taking advantage of them. Of our life, our health, our wealth, our free time and our youth.

Regarding the next verse, as mentioned in Tafsir ibn Kathir, Allah swt doesn’t need the gratitude of His servants, and He is worthy of all praise even if the disbelievers disbelieve in Him. For He is Al-Ghaniy. This reminds me of how very dependent we are on Him and that we must not be shy or arrogant in always turning to Him in our affairs, no matter big or small. Always make it a point to converse with Him.

Heart Therapy Talk @ Jamiyah ar-Rabitah Mosque

The past Sunday I attended the above talk with my dear A, alhamdulillah it was a beneficial afternoon. Can’t be more timely, to talk about the heart, especially since it’s been more than a month since Ramadhan left. These are some personal takeaways I managed to note down:

First part of the talk was by Ustazah Shameem Sultanah. The ABC model-

The ABC model-

  • A being Adversity, something that you cannot change yet this A is meant for you.
  • B stands for Beliefs, where they can either be positive or negative. We can choose between these 2, no matter the adversity. Positive beliefs stem from a strong connection/rope with Allah swt, that is to think well of Allah no matter what our circumstances are or whatever that happens to us. From that rope, we also have ropes and connections with people and things. These can be our attachments too, which we need to cut because they can hinder us from having a sole attachment to Allah.
  • C stands for consequences. This can also be positive or negative, as this is a result of our beliefs. So we can actually change our outcome(insyaAllah) if we just change our beliefs.

How to change our beliefs? It’s important to monitor our self-talk.

  1. Listen to our self-talk. Put away our phone at times and just don’t do anything.
  2. Be quiet, look around and monitor the things you tell yourself. Is it positive or negative?
  3. If it’s negative, redirect and change it to positive.

Think positively of people(creations), think positively of the Creator -> Peace & serenity


Second part of the talk was by Ustazah Halimah Alaydrus titled Berhati-hatilah dengan hati (this part will be in Malay).

  • Allah swt tidak lihat kepada rupa kita tetapi pada hati kita, di mana letaknya hati kita.
  • Hati adalah pemimpin, baiknya ia, baiklah diri kita. Buruknya ia, buruklah diri kita nauzubillah.
  • Hati adalah tempat Allah tetapkan untuk segala yang baik seperti cinta dan iman.
  • Kebahagiaan terletak bukan pada benda luaran seperti harta, kecantikan atau kuasa tetapi terletak pada hati.
  • Goal kita? Untuk mendapatkan hati yang bersih.1- Bersihkan hati dengan istighfar, dan taubat. 2- Istiqamah dengan sentiasa mengingati Allah, consistent dalam ibadah, jauhkan penyakit hati. 3-Dekati orang-orang yang baik.

Moga kita tergolong dalam golongan yang mempunyai nafsu mutmainnah di mana Allah akan berkata pada hari Kiamat:

“Kembalilah kepada Tuhanmu dengan keadaan engkau berpuas hati (dengan segala nikmat yang diberikan) lagi diredhai (di sisi Tuhanmu) ! –

“Serta masuklah engkau dalam kumpulan hamba-hambaku yang berbahagia 

“Dan masuklah ke dalam SyurgaKu!”

-Surah al-Fajar: 28-30