Archive for August, 2010

Day 21 – Ramadan and Deeds

I’m sleepy. Why is it that even though I know there are only 9 days left and I have so much Quran reading left and that these 9 days are so precious in terms of importance and blessings, that I am so sleepy!!! I really need to persevere and the hadith below is the perfect motivation.

Anas b. Malik reported Allah’s Messenger (way peace be upon him) as saying: Three things follow the bier of a dead man. two of them come back and one is left with him: the members of his family. wealth and his-good deeds. The members of his family and wealth come back and the deeds alone are left with him. [Muslim Book 42, Number 7064]

I’ve talked at length about doing good this Ramadan and this hadith really brings home why. Our purpose in this life is solely to garner and ready ourselves to be worthy of a place in heaven the eternal life. As a a result Ralph Waldo Emerson is correct when he said, ‘Fate is nothing but the deeds committed in a prior state of existence’.  It’s very important (and hard) to remember that it’s not the destination but the journey that is more important. As Jesse Jackson said, ‘A man must be willing to die for justice. Death is an inescapable reality and men die daily, but good deeds live forever.’ I finalised the collections for the Pakistan flood relief yesterday and we raised over 5000 dollars in the Deloitte Sydney office alone. That kind of ‘good deed’ leaves a lasting feeling of satisfaction and a lasting impression of hope for humanity on both the giver and reciever of charity.

It’s not really important what you do or how you garner your good deeds, what is important is that you do it with the right intention and whole heartedly so that you leave behind an impression. Not to show off your good deed but to give a feeling of satisfaction to yourself and others. In the words of Saint Basil, ‘A tree is known by its fruit; a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love.’

Ramadan Dua: DAY 21 –  ALLAH, on this day, show me the way to win Your pleasure, do not let Shaytan have a means over me, make Paradise an abode and a resting place for me, O the One who fulfils the requests of the needy.


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The last ten days of Ramadan are here and so quickly too. These ten days for earnest supplication for freedom from Hell for believers. Ten days may seem like a long time but it will be over in a flash and with it will be gone the great blessings that we can attain.

Narrated Abu Salama: I asked Abu Sa’id, and he was a friend of mine, (about the Night of Qadr) and he said, “We practiced Itikaf (seclusion in the mosque) in the middle third of the month of Ramadan with the Prophet . In the morning of the 20th of Ramadan, the Prophet came and addressed us and said, ‘I was informed of (the date of the Night of Qadr) but I was caused to forget it; so search for it in the odd nights of the last ten nights of the month of Ramadan. (In the dream) I saw myself prostrating in mud and water (as a sign). So, whoever was in l’tikaf with me should return to it with me (for another 10-day’s period)’, and we returned. At that time there was no sign of clouds in the sky but suddenly a cloud came and it rained till rain-water started leaking through the roof of the mosque which was made of date-palm leaf stalks. Then the prayer was established and I saw Allah’s Apostle prostrating in mud and water and I saw the traces of mud on his forehead.” [Bukhari Volume 3, Book 32, Number 233]

I plan to maximise my supplications and minimise procrastination … at least for ten days. I can manage that right?

Ramadan Dua: DAY 20  – ALLAH, on this day, open for me the doors of the heavens, and lock the doors of Hell from me, help me to recite the Qur’an, O the One who sends down tranquillity into the hearts of believers.

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There is so much beauty to be seen and found in this world that it really is overwhelming. There is beauty in a baby’s smile, in a scenic road, in the shape of a bugatti veyron, in a sequinned dress, in a painted mess. In spite of all of this we love to focus on the sad, the bleak, the meek and the weak and we whine and moan and complain and groan.

There are blessings to be earned in the remaining days of Ramadan so do not waste your time on idle chit chat or music or movies or shopping or what not. There is time enough for all of that. Feed the fasting, control your tongue, spend time on qiraat, pray sunnah and nafl… reflect on the magnitude of Allah’s creations and be grateful.. for the roof over your head, the clothes on  your back, the food that you eat and even the computer on which you are reading this. Be grateful for the blessings of Allah swt and pray that they remain.

Zaid bin Khalid Al-Juhani (RadhiAllaho anho) reported: The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, “He who provides a fasting person something with which to break his fast, will earn the same reward as the one who was observing the fast, without diminishing in any way the reward of the latter.” [At-Tirmidhi].

The sawab we earn in this life will serve us well in the hereafter so don’t delay in accumulating them! Pray to Allah swt to grant us the tawfiq to earn his blessings and accept our good deeds and stay on siratul mustaqeem inshallah

Ramadan Dua: DAY 19 – ALLAH, on this day, multiply for me its blessings, and ease my path towards its bounties, do not deprive me of the acceptance of its good deeds, O the Guide towards the clear truth.

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Day 18 – Ramadan and Goodness

I love working at Deloitte. We have a Foundation called The Deloitte Foundation of which I am a member and we have partnered with Oxfam to raise donations for the Pakistan Flood Relief.

We had a mufti day gold coin donation at Deloitte’s Sydney offices yesterday. I was having a stressful time organising people, collections, deposits, replying to everyone’s queries.. etc etc.. but at the end of the day when the awesome coin counter at the bank counted how much we had collected I felt the most elated high that I have felt in a long long time. I had done something worthwhile!

The Prophet(peace be upon him) also said: “Every act of goodness is charity.” – Sahih Muslim, Hadith 496. There is no end to temptation in this world, temptation for the mind, mouth or body. But in Ramadan we abstain and we regulate and we pray that we can love what Allah swt loves and dislike and stay away from what He dislikes and this help that we seek should be not just for Ramadan but for always.

Today’s entry is short because I have a massive headache that won’t go away but the message is simple. Temptation is a part of one’s life as is breathing, learn to live with it, to deny it and to do goodness and you will be rewarded not only in the hereafter inshallah but also in this world with the joy of having done good! 🙂

Ramadan Dua: DAY 18 – ALLAH, on this day, make me love goodness, and dislike corruption and disobedience, bar me from anger and the fire [of Hell], by Your help, O the helper of those who seek help.

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“As Ye Sow, So Shall Ye Reap” taken from the old testament Jeremiah 1 – 19, this quote  is defined by Cambridge online dictionary as a ‘saying’ which “used to mean that the way you behave in life will affect the treatment you will receive from others” … used to mean? What does it mean now? Cambridge Online Dictionary doesn’t say, but I have a few ideas.

On the 17th day of Ramadan I realise that my entries have been quite ‘Islamful’ as K quite unequivocally pointed out. And yet you will notice that I have been putting in snippets of my life in there as a periscope into daily reality. This entry however will delve more into the reality of today than previous entries because of certain events that have transpired which are listed below in no particular order of occurance, relevance or importance:

  1. The floods in Pakistan
  2. My cousin F breaking his ankle
  3. Iran testing a missile called Fateh
  4. My friend Z feeling down
  5. S telling me Eid is most likely to fall on 11th September
  6. My cousin T losing her phone
  7. My project managing the Pakistan flood relief charity drive at work

All of these events have transpired with the protagonist being somewhat responsible for the outcome of their situation, but in its entireity the predicament could not have been avoided nor is it outside of the scope of Allah swt’s knowledge. The floods in Pakistan could be seen as a wake up call from Allah swt to the people of Pakistan, a warning for them to come back to the siratul mustaqeem or the right path, but I also think its His way of pulling us altogether. I don’t care about the silly pakistani fashion designer in the UAE who said in an article, I am adamant this Fashion show will go on, Religion or Floods will not stop us, and I don’t care about the stupid rumours that the Taliban are out to get foriegn aid workers. I am frankly sick of these stupid attempts by politicians and the media to incite fear and catalyse segregation within humanity through such underhanded tactics. At work we’ve all pulled together to organise a charity drive with Oxfam and its heartwarming to see people devote their time and effort regardless of race and religion and gender. Humanity does and will previal despite all attempts to malnourish it with hegemonic politixxx.

Iran’s testing a missle they’ve called the Fateh (which as the SBS news lady pointed out means conqueror) and I’m sitting there thinking lady.. you really had to put that line in didn’t you? Why is it always about highlighting that Iran or some other muslim country is about to ‘conquer the world’ and yet when the US military set up bases in every major muslim and non muslim country in the world no one dares to report it, comment on it or  much less criticise it. This again is a fault of the muslim countries for letting the US into their spaces but also not outside of the realms of Allah swts control. Whatever happens happens for a reason, a reason which Allah swt knows better than us.

My cousins and friends in their relative predicaments and our major day of celebration falling on a day of mourning for others, all of this is from Allah swt. It’s so hard to remember that despite being the leading lady in the story my life, I have very very little control over it. If I am the heroine, then I am dictated by the director, the producer, the choerographer, the screenplay writer, the cameraman and even the damn spot boy will have his say about what I am doing. The role of a heroine is not to act but to react as Priyanka Chopra once said and I think its very important to remember on Day 17 of Ramadan that we are here in this ephemeral life to react to the life Allah swt has given us.

We have been placed on this Earth and given life in the knowledge that we will make mistakes. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “By the One in Whose Hand my soul is, were you not to commit sins, Allah would replace you with a people who would commit sins and then seek forgiveness from Allah; and Allah would forgive them”. [Muslim]. Allah has a profound liking for such people who are penitent and seek pardon for their sins from Him. So much so that if such people cease to exist who neither commit sins nor seek pardon from Him, He will create people who will do so. It does not, however, mean that He likes sins or the sinful persons. What it really means is that He likes penitence and the penitents. This is the true purport of this Hadith. This life is not about the end destiantion of Heaven or Hell, it is about always keeping in mind the omnipresence of Allah swt and his love and concern for us and the fact that our lives are in His hands… the best place they can be. So why do we try to take control and solve things that Allah swt will solve for us in His own good time?

Ramadan Dua: DAY 17 – ALLAH, on this day, guide me towards righteous actions, fulfill my needs and hopes, O One who does not need explanations nor questions, O One who knows what is in the chests of the (people of the) world. Bless Muhammad and his family, the Pure.

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Day 16 – Ramadan and Practice

I woke up to a saying from Ali RA this morning. Ali (RA) said, “Amongst deeds there are four that are most difficult: forgiveness when angry, generosity in hard times, chastity when alone and speaking the truth to the one that fears it”.

I can count the number of times I have truly been angry on the fingers of one hand. I am not the type to get angry and when I do its usually over pretty quickly. I get irritated quickly though and oh boy do people hear about it. I think I am also the forgive but not quite forget type of person which sucks cuz dragging around emotional baggage is no fun. I’ve been told I am generous but have never been in times hard enough to test that theory.. Alhamdulillah. Chastity when alone? I find it hard to be chaste and modest all the time, my mind and tongue running a million miles ahead of each other always. There is one thing out of the four that I do well though and that’s telling people what they don’t want to hear. Sometimes tactfully, sometimes tactless, I always make sure I’m getting a clear and honest message across, whether people like it – or not.

But one out of four is pretty shoddy hey? Allah (swt) mentions those people in the Quran who hold their anger, forgive the people and Allah loves the good doers. I read an article yesterday that shows scientists have found doing good alienates people. Being a goody two shoes makes other people feel bad so they stay away from you… uh really? You wanna tell me who these ‘scientists’ are and whose money they are wasting on such pitiful ‘research’ when people are dying in floods in Pakistan and China? I have been brought up from a very early age to do good and make friends with people that enjoin the good and forbid the evil. It’s a concept that’s encouraged in all the main religions, advice given by parents to their children and common sense really. So research that you bunch of shoddy ‘scientists.

When I was younger, I used to love being alone. I would concoct wild imaginary situations in which I was a dragon slayer or a famous journalist on the warfront. These days when I am alone, I end up thinking about what I shouldn’t have done more than what I could be doing. I waste a lot of time on thoughts which are better relegated to not being thought of at all. What ifs, could haves, should haves, if onlys. But as Mason Cooley said, “Regret for wasted time is more wasted time”.

The reason all four of these things are so hard to do is because they are all very emotional and emotions have a way of overtaking reason in the best of us, but as Mark Twain (1835 – 1910) says, “Time cools, time clarifies; no mood can be maintained quite unaltered through the course of hours.” Being angry, unforgiving, stingy, unchaste or untruthful is only a matter of moments, being the opposite, or even striving to be so takes time. Max Frisch said, “Time does not change us. It just unfolds us.” And so being forgiving, generous, honest and chaste when one is alone comes, from a clear conscience and a clean mind. Inshallah Allah swt grants us all the ability to cleanse our conscience and our minds this Ramadan. So today I shall practice controlling my irritations, forgiving when I feel slighted, being generous, being chaste and clean in my conscience and speaking the truth.

Ramadan Dua: DAY 16 – ALLAH, on this day, grant me compatibility with the good, keep me away from patching up with the evil, lead me in it, by Your mercy, to the permanent abode, by Your Godship, O the God of the worlds.

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The halfway juncture is here, and much sooner than I or anyone anticipated. Seems as if Ramadan started only yesterday and here we are with suddenly a 15 day countdown before the month of blessings takes its leave for another year. Suddenly everything I’ve written about for the past 15 days takes on a new meaning. I have only 15 days left to exercise the purity, chastity, charity, forgiveness and other merits I have been expostulating on at length.

But it’s not as easy as writing it. I am tired and sleepy and thirsty. I am struggling to keep up my Quran reading and while having the best of intentions to get ahead and finish 30 chapters in 20 days.. I am at the 15th chapter on the 15th day. Better than being behind I know, but somehow with the lack of sleep and the dehydration I would have thought I would be much farther along. It seems time does indeed wait for none. I somehow manage to get home, have iftaar and have a seat with a cup of tea and all of a sudden its 10pm whereupon I get up to pray taraweeh and only manage to sit down to read Quran Sharif till midnight. Four hours later I am up again and sehri, namaaz, getting ready for work.. the day begins again.

I thought I was doing something wrong, mismanaging my time, losing some hours, till I read this, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said, “O people, spread the salaam (greetings), feed the hungry, and pray while the people are asleep, you will enter Jannah in peace.” [Tirmidhi]. It ain’t meant to be easy yo! This life is a test! Not some slide at a kids playground which takes you on a smooth trip and deposits you safely at the end. Abstinence is Hard. Staying up is Hard. Controlling your nafs is Bloody Hard.

And so on day 15 I am not making any pretence. I am sleepy and thirsty. Ramadan is awesome yes but I am worse for wear. So today I am praying to Allah swt to grant me shifa. To allow me the strength of mind and body to repent humbly from the deepest core of my heart, for surely Allah swt is ever merciful and all knowing and surely He does not turn away those that ask in earnest inshalallah.

Ramadan Dua: DAY 15 – O Allah, on this day, grant me the obedience of the humble, expand my chest through the repentance of the humble, by Your security, O the shelter of the fearful.

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