The Cycle of Mercy in Islam

ALLAH SAYS: “O SON OF ADAM, SO LONG AS YOU CALL UPON ME AND ASK OF ME, I SHALL FORGIVE YOU FOR WHAT YOU HAVE DONE, AND I SHALL NOT MIND. O SON OF ADAM, WERE YOUR SINS TO REACH THE CLOUDS OF THE SKY AND WERE YOU THEN TO ASK FORGIVENESS OF ME, I WOULD FORGIVE YOU. O SON OF ADAM, WERE YOU TO COME TO ME WITH SINS NEARLY AS GREAT AS THE EARTH AND WERE YOU THEN TO FACE ME, ASCRIBING NO PARTNER TO ME, I WOULD BRING YOU FORGIVENESS NEARLY AS GREAT AS IT.” [TIMIDHI]

One of the biggest mistakes that many of us make is believing that repentance is unobtainable. We may find ourselves doused in sins and scared to simply ask for forgiveness. However, one of the ninety-nine attributes of Allah (God) is being Ar-Rahman (The Merciful). Human-beings were created with free-will, thus having the ability to choose their decisions. And in these decisions, human-beings will sometimes sin because they are weak in the flesh. The Qur’an tells us that:

“God wants to lighten your burdens: for man has been created weak”-an-Nisa 4:28

As being individuals created in weakness, Allah has granted us his mercy. It was said by the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) that ” Allah divided mercy into one-hundred parts and He kept its ninety-nine parts with Him and sent down its one part on the earth, and because of that, its one single part, His creations are Merciful to each other, so that even the mare lifts up its hoofs away from its baby animal, lest it should trample on it.”

In many ways, we are granted mercy from the Most Divine and granted mercy by each other in this world. In Islam, rights are designated for everything and everyone within the world. Islam have guided the people in understanding the importance of being thankful and merciful to individuals and animals. The prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said “Allah will not be merciful to those who are not merciful to the people”. So, in the brief time that we have on this Earth, we should spend our time with a lowered wing for others. Additionally, animals must be treated with the same kind of mercy that is directed towards human-beings. The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Do not use anything in which there is a soul as a target” (Narrated by Muslim).

Islam offers individuals with endless mercy from the Creator, but the Creator also directs human-beings to treat all living-things with mercy. This beautiful concept of mercy is all-encompassing. One must remember that mercy should be extended to all beings upon the Earth in order to receive mercy from the Creator of all that is created.

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A Dedication to My Friends

Assalamu alaykom ,

I absolutely love my friends and can say they are all unique. I think I underestimated the diversity of my friends. I never knew how beautiful they all are in their own ways. I think sometimes we overlook people and never really see what makes them special. This may be apart of how Allah always tell us that he will take away the most dearest of things away from us in order to test us. When he takes away these things, I begin to truly appreciate the things we are given. However, is His taking away of these things another reason for us to truly find beauty in whatever we are given?

I know many parents with children, but they never really spend time with them. They work very hard, alhumdulilah but they aren’t there. They never take out time to know their child(ren). However, a parent will mostly likely say that they are just working so that their children can have what they didn’t have. Unfortunately, many children don’t understand that concept. All that most children know is that their parents aren’t there. And most parents would be saddened if anything was to happen to their baby girl and boy. I guess this just makes us recognize how important time is. Allah calls himself time. Allah is time. He is the controller of time. And at anytime He can take away things and people from us.

And by realizing this, I appreciate my friends. They are my supporters and helpers. They strengthen me and give me guidance. They provide me with laughter when I am sad and reality when I am stuck in romanticism. They connect me to a deeper-me. They make me see realities that I may not be aware of. And being around friends like this is just a blessing. It make you realize that the world is not just about you. It make you appreciate the diversity that is definitely apparent…or maybe not so apparent. I am very happy to have the friends that I have. I love them so much. And I appreciate them. I have learnt so much from them. It’s my only hope that I am a good of a friend to them as they are to me. They are just truly beautiful inside and out.

Motivating the World:  Inspiration from the Sunnah of the Beloved Prophet Muhammad

Assalamu alaykom everyone,

It is known in Islamic-history during the time of the prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) that he went from Makkah to the mosque in Jerusalem and ascended through the heavens on the buraq. In his ascenscion (Al-Mi’raj), he met the different prophets (peace be upon them all) and from this ascension the daily prayers were established. After detailing this account to the people, nobody believed him except for his bestfriend, Abu Bakr as-Sadiqque (May Allah be pleased with him). Abu Bakr as-Sadiqque told the people to believe in what the messenger had said because he know that the messenger would only speak the truth. In hearing this from Abu Bakr as-Sadiqque, the prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was confident and reassured in his mission. However, this was not the first time that the prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) received motivation from others. One of the first incidents in Islamic-history in which this happened was at the beginning of his prophet-hood. Upon becoming a prophet, Muhammad (peace be upon him) would feel frightened by the Angel Gabriel and had ran to his wife Khadijah bint Khuwaylid (May Allah be pleased with her) for comfort and support. Khadijah comforted, supported and believed in her husband and the messenger. She told him that Allah wouldn’t do this to him and that he should go forth in what Allah had given him. In hearing this, Muhammad rose from his terrified state and delivered a message that is still being heard today. Furthermore, his motivation continously reaches from the grave because from his example we can learn how to strive despite our own obstacles and problems.

In dealing with our own problems in life, we can find solace in knowing that our own beloved prophet was just like us. He was like you and I. He underwent trials and tribulations. He went through phases in which he needed that gentle hand and that reassuring voice. This example should create warmth in our hearts. It should penetrate beneath the deep depths of our own woes and sorrows. We should build strength from his life. Additionally, this man was not just a man but a prophet. So, in knowing that a prophet can experience these most human-experiences just allows us to see that being a human isn’t without its own struggles and strife. However, we can help one another and be that Khadijah or Abu Bakr. We can be that to our mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, grandparents, spouses, children and etc. Never believe you can’t be that confidant because you can.
As we encounter the world on a daily-basis, I would simply say to be a source of motivation for others. We all need that. The world is a scary, confusing and frightening place to live. In understanding this reality, we have to cling to one another like limbs on a tree. We can only be our own enemies. Our enemies are not the other, but ourselves. We have to conquer our ownselves and strive against our lower-desires. Just love. Take the hand of your neighbor and strive. Rise against oppression. Struggle against injustices. When you find yourself reading the newspaper, a newsletter, an email, or watching the news about war, strife and oppression just remember that you can be that motivation for the wounded, the voiceless, and the oppressed. Wet your tongue with sweet words of motivation and strength.

Remember what Allah says in the interpretation of the meaning:

“And no one will be granted such goodness except those who exercise patience and self-restraint, – none but persons of the greatest good fortune.” (Quran 41:35).

Allah is telling us to remain patient and to remember that goodness will come, inshALLAH. In the prophet-hood of the messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) he had to remain patient and to trust in Allah. He had to struggle and have self-restraint, but he didn’t give up. He found motivation from others and he became a man of great influence upon a whole society and then the whole world, alhumdulilah. Islam has provided great examples for us to look towards in our times of loneliness, doubt, uncertainty, and distress. Never believe that being a human-being means being perfect, but realize that one must remain patient and seek Allah in all his or her affairs.
Our lives will continue to unfold in various directions with various events. So, cling to what is true. Find motivation from others or be a source of motivation. Turn to the Qur’an and turn to the example of the prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). See the prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) as not only a messenger, but as a human-being that experienced the ups and downs of life just like you and I. He underwent the ups and downs of life and still delivered a mighty message for those that came before and those now. So, remember that we can only be our own enemies. Never give up on yourself and never give up on others.

Muslim Youth, Dating, Sexuality, Taboos and Marriage

Assalamu Alaykom,

One of the biggest issues that are occurring throughout many Muslim communities are Muslim-teenagers and young adults getting involved in ‘haraam’ relationships. These relationships develop out of a young man’s or a young woman’s desire in wanting to be with a companion. In being an American Muslim, it is quite troublesome to see the mass amount of sexuality throughout the media and on top of that there are imams, parents, and shuyookh that has disconnected with the realities of many Muslim-youths and adults. The remedy to a young man’s or young woman’s desire in being with a companion is not to tell them that talking to the opposite sex is haraam. No, this is not realistic in the least bit. In most Western societies, men and women communicate on a daily basis for a variety of reasons. Also, we must realize that Islam is a realistic way of life that has given guidance on everything. A Muslim is not in the dark when it comes to most topics because they are guided by the book of Allah and the example of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), so why are many Muslims indulging in dating?

First, we have to look at the Qur’an and the Sunnah when we are questioning such an issue.

Allah tells us in the Qur’an that he has created a mate for every one of us, thus leading us to acknowledge that the want of being with a companion is a natural feeling:

“And Allah has made for you your mates of your own nature, and made for you, out of them, sons and daughters and grandchildren, and provided for you sustenance of the best.” [Noble Quran 16:72]

However, this want or need is only restricted within the context of marriage to preserve morality within a society. So, how does one move from knowing that marriage is the only lawful option in being with the opposite sex? They proceed in the process of marriage, right? Of course. Furthermore, the prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) even encouraged those that can get married to do so to prevent fitna(trouble, corruption) from arising throughout the lands. What are these issues? Fornication and dating. Why is it a problem to date?

Allah says in the interpretation of the meaning:

“And come not near to unlawful sexual intercourse. Verily, it is a faahishah (a great sin) and an evil way.” (Sura Al-Israa # 17 ayah # 32)

So, in Islam it is known that steps that leads to fornication should be cut off for one to preserve their religion. So, if we understand this notion that fornication is a major sin and dating is a step towards fornication then why are people still dating when it is wrong? Great question.

The prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said to the ummah (community):

“O you young men! Whoever is able to marry should marry, for that will help him to lower his gaze and guard his modesty.” [Al-Bukhari]

The prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is telling us the multiple reasons of why a person should get married. One of the many reasons that a person may date is because they are usually desirous of an individual, thus unable to lower their gaze. Also, it helps a person from going forth in engaging in sexual activity that would otherwise be reserved for marriage.

Also, It is narrated by Anas that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said,

“When a man marries, he has fulfilled half of his religion, so let him fear Allah regarding the remaining half.”

This hadith is apart of a bigger hadith that is in Sahih-Bukhari. The hadith in Sahih-Bukhari expounds on the meaning of “the other half”. The “other half” means to protect one’s tongue. The prophet Muhammad said: “If you can protect what is between your lips (your tongue) and your legs( your private parts) then you will be given paradise”.

So, once a person fulfills the act of getting married they are keeping themselves from engaging in illegal sexual activity because their mate have become lawful for them in having sexual intercourse. So, once a person protects one of the two things that the prophet Muhamamd told us of then it becomes important to go forth in protecting the tongue from slander, gossip, backbiting an etc.

Additionally, the prophet Muhammad continued to warn his nation about this issue of marriage by stating that:

Al-Tirmidhi #3090, Narrated Abu Hurairah, r.a.
Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said, ‘When someone with whose religion and character you are satisfied asks your daughter in marriage, accede to his request. If you do not do so, there will be temptation on Earth and extensive corruption.’ [Tirmidhi, Nasa’i and Ibn Majah transmitted it.]

The prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) has not forgotten anything. Islam is so detailed in regards to this issue that the issues we are seeing today are the direct effects of what we aren’t doing throughout our Muslim communities. Islam doesnt deny any person the right to experiencing the natural feeling of wanting to be with another person of the opposite sex. This is not even the issue. However, the issue is when an individual do experience these feelings and feel like going forth in fulfilling their sexuality through unlawful means. It is very easy to tell someone to fear Allah, which is great advice, but if the dialogue about marriage isnt opened up and spoken about then it will remain a taboo among many Muslim families.

This taboo about sexuality and marriage for many families have led many Muslims, especially the young to indulge in unislamic relationships. The only way to mend these problems is to open up the dialogue. Anytime a male or female states they are seeking to get married then this issue is quite serious, especially if they are in their mid-teens, twenties and thirties. The dialogue must be honest, expansive and open. The topic of marriage is serious and important. All of those seeking to get married and those seeking to help in the marriage process should lay out the responsibilities, advantages, Islamic rulings, possible problems that would arise, and etc. The dialogue about marriage isn’t supposed to be sugar-coated or made to seem easy, but to simply inform the uninformed. If there are more open conversations about marriage then there will be less accounts of dating and unislamic relations between men and women.

So, open the conversation up in your local masjid, in your home, at your school and in your social-circles. Listen to those that wanting to fulfill half of their religion and wanting to seek out the lawful option in being with a companion. Make the conversation beneficial, realistic and worthwhile. Atleast the one thing that any person can do is to simply plant the seed of knowledge and allow it to blossom from there. Islam is a simple and beautiful way of life. So, allow Islam to be the guide and put your faith in Allah.

“Don’t Plant Anything But Love”

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As I experience life, I must admit that love is a powerful emotion and state of being. Love penetrates every person in every way of life and culture. The need in wanting to be with someone or to be loved is something familiar all across the board. We all understand that as human-beings that love can be exciting, but also painful. 

It stirs something up within us. It makes us reach for peaks and dreams. It drives us to the edge of something or sometimes nothing. It makes us frustrated and sometimes ecstatic. And it makes us hopeful for tomorrow. 

I can honestly say that love is something powerful and beautiful. And it would be a fallacy to say that love is anything but beautiful. Once it becomes something other than beautiful then can we truly call it love? Love can’t be placed in a box or classified according to a dictionary, but its abstract. We can’t define what love is or should be. The only thing that we are quite certain of is that its beautiful and it makes us spring from the lowest of places. 

And we shouldn’t plant anything but love in this quick and fast-paced world. Allah says in the Qur’an that he made different tribes and nations so that they can know one another, not despise each other. And I believe this is beautiful. Sometimes we forget that we are all here trying to do the same thing. Just survive and make the most out of our lives and our circumstances. 

So, the next time you encounter a person try to plant love and not hate. 

Ya Mohamed, Keep Straight Upon Al-Siratul Mustaqueem

His name is Mohamed

Age 18

A young man that is told that the world is his 

Right there in his hands

A promising future if he could just remove a little bit of this and that

Telling him to strip away his beard

To remove the kufi that lies upon his head

To become Mo instead of Mohamed

To slowly de-Musli-fy himself

Ya Mohamed, Keep straight upon al-siratul mustaqueem

They are only beckoning you away from the straight path

Ya Mohamed, keep yourself protected

For Allah has blessed you with Al-Haqq

Promised you gardens in which rivers flow

Ya Habibity, you’re so much more than the words in which they may flatter you

The gifts in which may appeal to you

The promises that they may make to you

Stand strong Mohamed

For with Allah is true success

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A Muslimah’s Worth

20090705-125850 Muslim family in King William ...

Image by DruhScoff via Flickr

Priceless.

Without a need for an introduction.

These are the women of our nation.

Dressed in their outergarments.

Prostrating upon the ground to worship their Lord.

Teaching the muslimeens of the next generation.

Volunteering their time to their mesjids.

Undergoing struggles in their everyday lives for the sake of ALLAH.

Teaching their daughters to be strong, to be bold, to be knowledgeable about their deen

Teaching their sons how to be leaders, to lead a community, to worship in the mesjid next to the brothers and in front of his Lord

Everyday she is sure to strive and to struggle.

She is sure to know her purpose

To understand that her purpose in life is to worship her Lord.

Knowing that one day her children, her husband, her friends, her wealth may be a test to her.

So she pushes

She pushes forth in this deen

Conquering all

Fighting to see the face of her Lord.

She Walks Alone

Her heart is filled with joy

With certainty

with purpose

As she travels she walks alone

Her fight with inner desires is overcome with the remembrance of her Lord

She watches as they fill their 7 intestines

As they drink from the cup of sin

As they prostrate to the world in front of them

As they take this world for play and amusement

She watches from afar at a people who spends their lives in this world as if it was eternal paradise

She wreckons that they are truly misled

They turn to her in utter remiss

They laugh at her

Point fingers

Smirk

and comment

But surely, she understands that this world is nothing but a test

A test of our loyalty

A test of our faith

A test of how we live with desires and wants

Carefully, she walks amongst this earth as a stranger

Understanding that one day her time will come

In which the angel of death will come to take her soul