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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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.

Qamarun

An unforgettable night
To see the moon red, then crescent with visible black shadow to a bright, bright full moon
How is it for a mind to comprehend a spectacle this beautiful
For the Creator to have set such a rare occurrence
Nothing short of subhanAllah
The beauty that is the moon
Then you remember your Prophet ﷺ
Imagine seeing his beautiful face
Just for a while
May the heart be always yearning and loving
Reset and renew
Intentions to have Allah swt and Rasulullah ﷺ centre
To love His Beloved more than any other creation
To follow his sunnah to the best of your ability

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 Journal (QJ) 2: Sufficient 

One theme I get from this verse is centrality. We have many things going on in our lives but I feel it’s very important to always ask ourselves these 2 main questions. Amidst our wants, aspirations and needs, what is our main goal in life? Who do we put as centre? Is it a celebrity, a particular someone, a spouse or children? Or is it Allah swt and Rasulullah ﷺ ?

The other way I think of it is such that if our world were to crumble into pieces will we also fall apart or will we still be strong? And if we are strong what is it that gives us the strength to hold on? Thus for me the only answer is the handhold that never breaks and that is Allah swt. It scares me the possibility of us having everything that we desire of this world but we don’t have Allah swt.. may Allah protect us. This verse reminds me that it is absolutely okay to not have everything or to understand everything that happens because we have Allah swt. Because when we have Him, this brings me to the next point that..

Allah’s knowledge suffices us. Our knowledge and understanding as humans is only limited as compared to that of Allah swt, our Creator, who knows us best. And it brings a sort of comfort and humility to realise that I don’t know everything and I don’t really understand everything right now but in due time He will make me understand. In a way I figure it teaches us patience and forbearance. Also, it is a reminder on trusting Allah’s perfect timing. No matter what people say, that’s just that. When you do get caught up with social comparison and the likes, remind yourself that His timing is always, always in your favour and thus, is perfect.

To elaborate, we should care less about the people and care more about how Allah sees us. This is a personally crucial point for me as I tend to get worked up with people’s perceptions which are basically, at the end of the day, just perceptions and assumptions which may not be true. Here I believe it takes courage to do me and to live by what I believe is right as aligned with the Deen. And this is where I believe renewing many good intentions help, with whatever that you do. Intentions for posting that picture, writing a new entry on the blog, sharing something with friends etc. If you do it for the people and their pleasure, it’s usually a set-up for disappointment but if you do it for His sake, nothing will go to waste, even if you don’t see the immediate rewards, insyaAllah.

Building this mentality of “They don’t know and it’s ok, Allah know and that’s enough” when you pray for someone. How you wish they only knew? Perhaps that’s the wisdom behind praying for someone in their absence. To keep it sincere and a way of manifesting our love for them for His sake.

Actionable (for myself first): to recognise and make time for moments when it’s just me and my Creator. Make it quality time. When does it last feel that nothing else mattered but you and Him?

Little Victories 

Yesterday night was the last lesson for the term before exams and we had the choice to either turn up and prepare for a group presentation or do an individual assignment as a replacement. Earlier I told myself I’d come and when a friend said she didn’t want to because she said she hated presenting, stage fright and all that I managed to motivate to come. For the record I never liked speaking in front of a group and I’d avoid it at all costs. But deep down I knew I had to learn to face my fears and this was one aspect of myself that I wanted to improve on.

And so earlier today when I got to know through an email by our lecturer that the groups were gonna be randomly assigned, I shrinked. Not only would I have to deal with the presentation but the thought of working with other classmates with whom I might have never spoken to spells the word dread in caps in my mind. Shucks. Then I told my friend I suddenly felt like doing the individual assignment. I expected her response afterwards of course haha. What irony is this Syiidah. I can imagine her saying “You were the one who motivated me and now you’re chickening out”. And then she reminded me of our main intention which is to overcome our fear by purposely choosing and putting ourselves through such situations so we can learn. We won’t be perfect of course but that’s not the purpose. The purpose is to choose to be brave when we can sit comfortably by the sidelines. The purpose is to learn through the process and grow. I’ve none to impress but rather to do my best. And she also reminded me that once I’ve set on a decision, I should put my trust in Allah. Ahh I’m so grateful for her alhamdulillah.

Another thing is that this episode reminded me to keep reminding myself to always work towards the person I envision myself to be. I love watching and observing confident, poised and eloquent people and I kinda want to be like them too. In my own kind of way biidhnillah.

And so the night ended and I did present. I’m glad I did. There’s definitely more that I can work on but I take comfort in the fact that I chose growth and progress for myself today. I will get what I intend for insyaAllah one day but I gotta take steps towards it. I was reminded of the fact that a week ago I actually did a group presentation too at another place so if I could do it then I definitely can do this one. So don’t belittle yourself, ever. Don’t bother about others, you know yourself better and this is your own journey. Whatever little progress IS a progress. At the end of the day, the choice is ours. So may we keep on choosing courage, keep on choosing growth, keep on choosing progress.