Monday, May 30, 2011

Ten Comments You Will Hear Before Pursuing Your Deen

FANTASTIC post I read on:

For anyone who ever thought of growing a full fist-length beard, observing proper hijab and/or niqab, or dressing in an Islamic manner but have not been able to do so, this is a must read for you. Insha Allah, it may serve to be a source of inspiration for those who wish to pursue Islamic education. But most importantly, it serves to be a reminder for me and Insha Allah, a means of earning Allah’s pleasure by getting people to practice the Deen in its entirety.

Unfortunately, just before you take your first step on the righteous journey to pursue your Deen, your nafs and shaytaan be it your own shaytaan or people around you, even the ones who deeply care for you, will give you awful “advice” and sincere “nasihah”. Perhaps it may not be because they have evil intentions. It is because they do not understand the big picture—what your Deen means to you. They do not understand that, to you, the reward is worth the risk. In other words, a life of hell in this world or a jail as the hadith says is worth more than a temporal “paradise” for an unknown amount of torment the actual hellfire.

So they try to protect you by shielding you from the possibility of failure, which, as a result, also shields you from the possibility of making a Deeni life for yourself a reality.

Our time here in this world is limited, so let us not waste it trying to live someone else’s life. Do not be trapped by lack of faith and Iman others have regarding themselves and you. Do not let the noise of other people’s opinions drown out the sound of your soul yearning to live a righteous and pious life.

Here are ten tips (lies) people will likely tell you when you decide to pursue your Deen and the reasons why they are dreadfully mistaken:

1. You can follow your Deen someday, but right now you need to calm down and be responsible.

Someday?! When is “someday”? “Someday” is not a day at all. “Someday” never comes. It is not even on the calendar. It is not on the lunar calendar, the Islamic calendar, and ISNA does not even know when “Someday” is going to be based off calculations because it cannot be calculated! It is a foggy generalization of a time that will likely never come. Today is the only day guaranteed to you. Today is the only day you can begin to make a difference in your life. And pursuing your Deen is what life is all about. So do not be irresponsible. Do not wait until “someday.” Make today the first day of the rest of your new life, and fulfill the purpose of your life.

2. You are totally at a loss if it does not work out.

Wrong! This is a giant, lame load of whispers and snares in the form of wasawis. You are not even close to being at a loss. In fact, the worst case scenario is that things do not work out and you go back to doing exactly what you are doing right now. Well you can always make Tawbah, and return to Allah. If the sun has risen from the west for these pessimists, then let them have their judgment, but in reality, this event has not yet occurred. So make use of the time at hand. The door for returning to Allah is still open and everyone has a free pass to go in, even those who were in and went out can return back in. Remember that the Qur’an says mankind is in loss and those who practice the Deen are an exception to that.

3. It is safer to maintain your job.

Sure, I suppose. But you know what is even safer than that? Going home, locking yourself in your bedroom, and never, ever coming out. And just like that, your entire life and your Deen would go down the drain. Remember, safer doesn’t always mean better. Allah is our Provider, and our Sustainer. Allah provides so much sustenance to those who reject Him, to those who associate partners and ascribe children to Him, and to those who have unusual beliefs about Him. Yet, He never abandons them! Are we worse than those people that Allah will not tend to at least our basic needs?! Is this world not a testing center for us?!

4. Fully practicing Deen is impossible!

It is only impossible if you never do anything about it. The reason certain things seem impossible is simply because these people are not aware of anyone who has achieved them yet. But this does not mean that with your help these things won’t become possible in the future. If you truly dedicate yourself to an end result, almost anything is possible. You just have to want it bad enough. The examples of our pious predecessors and the examples of the righteous people of today are in front of us. Resolutions only become available to people of firm resolve!

5. Only a lucky few “make it.”

That is because those lucky few got off their rear ends and did something about it! They had the drive, determination, and willpower that you have right now. You can be one of them. It is up to you, and only you. Keep in mind the lives of the pious people. They had to deal with the taunts of people also. In fact it was said that the recitation (Qira’ah) of Imam ‘Asim (the teacher of Imam Hafs) and the jurisprudence (Fiqh) of Imam Abu Hanifah would not reach outside Kufa….Look who gets the last laugh now!

6. You might fail and sin. And sinning is bad.

Failures which lead to sinning are simply stepping stones to repentance. No matter how it turns out, it always ends up just the way it should be. Either you succeed or you learn something: win–win. The biggest mistake you can make is doing nothing because you’re too scared to make a mistake. If you can’t handle failure, then you can’t handle success either. In the end, you will have attained the love of Allah. How you ask? Allah mentions in the Qur’an that He loves the pious and the righteous. But Allah also mentions that He loves those who frequently repent. One will only frequently repent when one frequently fails and sins.

7. You do not have access to the right resources.

It is not about having the right resources; it’s about using the resources available to you. Imam Abu Yusuf was a poor person. He did not have the luxury to give everything up and sit and learn. What he did have though, was his eyes on the prize and sincere yearning for learning. That resulted in the great Imam Abu Hanifah noticing this and resolving to look after the financial needs of Imam Abu Yusuf. Get it? Got it? GOOD!

8. You need more money saved before you can take the first step.

You do not need more money. You need a plan. You need a budget. Eliminate ALL the nonessential costs in your life. If pursuing your dream requires you to leave your day job, figure out the absolute minimum amount of income that you realistically require. Studying the lives of those who have succeeded with similar ventures helps a great deal. But above all, take baby steps. Do not be foolish and assume that you must have a certain amount of money saved right now, or that you must quit your day job today in order to pursue your Deen. Instead, ask yourself this question, “What actions can I take right now with the money and resources I have right now that will bring me closer to the desired goal of practicing Deen properly?”

9. You do not need any help. It is smarter and better to learn and practice on your own.

You are the sum of the people you spend the most time with. If you socialize with the wrong people, they will negatively affect you. But if you socialize with the right people, you will be far more capable and powerful than you ever could have been alone. Find pious people who you click with and work together to make a difference in all of your lives.

10. That sounds like a lot of hard work.

You are darn right it does! But that does not mean it is not worth it. I think success in life hinges on one key point: finding work you love doing and knowing that Allah also loves that work. As long as you do not do anything to incur the wrath of Allah, remain true to yourself and follow your own interests, values, and dreams, you can find success through passion. Perhaps most importantly, you won’t wake up a few years from now in a situation you and Allah despise, wondering, “How the heck am I going to be like this for the rest of my life? What is Allah going to do to me if I were to die?” So if you are not breaking the laws of Allah, nor going against the Sunnah, and you catch yourself working hard and loving every minute of it, do not stop. You are onto something big. Deen is not hard when you concentrate on it and make Deen your passion.

Disregard these misguided bits of nonsense and Insha Allah, you will be on your way to fulfilling your Deen. Now get up and go earn Allah’s pleasure!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

sirat-al-mustaqeem sistas

who's the first one the Prophet (pbuh) went to? Khadijah.
yeah, they laid this track down proper :)

insh'Allah I'll start updating more often.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

It's Tough Being a Girl - Khalid Latif

so your solution does not rely on have to develop a sense of self-entitlement by empowering yourself with a certain base of knowledge and going out and learning your deen. so that if somebody who is deemed to be authoritative in your community justifies through scripture of poor treatment of you, you can say, "no, I know what I know and you can't tell me that his is religiously correct." ...but until you go out and learn it for yourself, you're just going to have to deal with this.

If a person does not wear it does that mean that they are immodest? and it doens't meant that. and we have to understand that. because if one does not have that qualifying term of what you associate it to be it doesn't necessarily mean that they have to be the extreme opposite of it. our rhetoric around it is so disenchanting that no one's really going to wanna do it because of the way we talk about it.

there has to be gentleness, sense of compassion and mercy in the ways in which we engage with eachother. It's not easy to go out there right now and wear your religion on your sleeve...we have to let people explore and grow and be a means of positive reinforcment not be a people who discourage them from this deen. And we have to start to think about it in this way.

Yes it's important, yes the way we are perceived by society, yes the way we carry ourselves, but this is something that is important for men and women. most of us as men are only identified as being muslim because we are walking next to a women who's wearing a headscarf. most of us as men don't even realize what our hijab actually entails. we don't even know how to dress...

no matter how many sins or mistakes that you have committed in the course of your life can it exceed the mercy of Allah (swt)? but contingent for us to be recipient of that Divine mercy is that we exert an air of compassion and mercy amongst ourselves. and we don't do that. and we have to start doing it.

ameen to creating solid women's education initiatives.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Batman's Muslim Sidekick

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Struggle to Fight the Oppression of the Self

Khutbah: "Understanding Desire" by Imam Mustafa Umar. from Islamic Institute of Orange Cty on Vimeo.

This is a khutbah by Imam Mustafa Umar (more here: that I felt was very fitting for Valentines Day. and just a great reminder in general. Here are notes I took that you can follow along with:

"Whoever fears the position of his Lord and forbids his inner-self from following it's destructive desires, Paradise will be that person's destination." Our self/nafs/ego is something which pushes us towards action - the human being is composed of many aspects: intellect and rationalization; ability to reflect and choose drives us to do certain things.

There is also a spiritual aspect: self / ego that drives the mind to make certain decisions. this is where free will is. That self needs to resist temptations and pleasure because of one simple fact that no one can deny: the self and ego becomes addicted to the pleasures of this world.

Allah (swt) has created these appetites within us (hunger, thirst, desire) they are here not only to give us pleasure but rather to prolong the human race. However, He has not given the permission to let that desire / inclination run unchecked. When it runs unchecked is when we lose our lofty position and get down to the level of animals. When their desires overcome them, they are no longer in the position to choose what is right and wrong.

Econ principal: "diminishing marginal utility" directly has an effect on how we understand desires. People use it to see how they determine supply and demand - your amount of desire in one specific sitting will decrease based upon the amount of desire you indulge in. some people may mistakenly think that if you indulge in your desires then they're going to get out of your system. MISTAKE. Infact, the more you fulfill and indulge in your desires the more your desires go further. The more you begin to crave it. It doesn't get out of your system. it stays and becomes a part of you.

Allah (swt) has told us that we must resist our inner desires and fight back against ourselves. if we do not fight and control our temptations it will get out of hand. We live in a society that doesn't mind promoting things such as dating, sex, etc. We as Muslims must understand what society we're living in and we need to decide consciously how we're going to react to that society.

America has the highest rate of rape in the world. why? It's because we live in a society that does not check the inner self. It not only allows you to follow your desires but it promotes the following of desires. it's a high pressure society, how are we going to act and react when we are put in those situations? We need to be among those people that are willing to participate in the struggle against ourselves. We must have the discipline, ability, intellect and the insight to lower our gaze, to say no. The only way we can do this is if we are prepared. If we think all we have to do is say "There is no God but the One" and then sit back and be admitted into Heaven, then we're WAY mistaken.

Remember that each and every single one of us is going to be tested, "Or think you that you will enter Paradise without such (trials) as came to those who passed away before you? They were afflicted with severe poverty and ailments and were so shaken that even the Messenger and those who believed along with him said, ‘When (will come) the Help of Allah?’ Yes! Certainly, the Help of Allah is near!" Quran 2:214. The test may be difficult but it is never impossible. Because Allah (swt) promises "On no soul does Allah place a burden greater than it can bear." Quran 2:286. And that is a sign of reassurance for each and every one of us. You can never make the excuse and cop out saying that this is too difficult for you to handle. There's already a selection process thats been made before you've been given the exam; its already in-line with what you can handle.

So Islam has taught us that we must resist for our own good. Of course, for the sake of Allah (swt), but all of these things are in essence for our own good at the end of the day. If you make the decision that you're going to fight and resist then one of the difficulties that you're going to face is that you've been so accustomed to doing something over and over again that its difficult for you to get out of it. There will be some withdrawal symptoms; you're going to find a sense of boredom and you'll think that nothing is fun around you. Adjusting is difficult but it's something that you wll get used to and it is something very plausible. There's going to be a hill you need to cross over if you want to fight your self - remember Allah swt's promise: "As for those who strive hard in Us (Our Cause), We will surely guide them to Our Paths. And verily, Allah is with the Muhsinun (good doers)." Quran 26:69 if you do it for the sake of Allah, you resist and fight your self for the sake of Allah, He will guide you and He will help you.

May Allah (swt) allow us to pass these tests. May He give us the strength and insight to see thorugh the deceptions in our society and allow us to make the right choices. Oh Allah guide us ON the straight path. Ameen.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Wasted is the goodly advice which is ignored.

So for those of us who are sometimes questioning the purpose of our life or just need a refresher or a point to start from, THIS is amazing to start your day off with:

  1. Wasted is a scholar who is not asked about what he knows.
  2. Wasted is the wealth which is not used in good.
  3. Wasted is the knowledge which is not acted upon.
  4. Wasted is the goodly advice which is ignored.
  5. Wasted is the mus'haf (copy of the Qur'an) which is not recited from.
  6. Wasted is the heart which is firmly planted in the mud of dunya.
  7. Wasted is the life which has made no provision for the ultimate journey.
  8. Put your hopes in no one except your Lord, have fear of nothing other than your sins.
  9. The extent to which one understands the nature of dunya measures the degree of his attachment from it.
  10. O son of Adam! Allah has nourishingly created you for Him alone, yet you so desire to belong to others.

[Above quotes by Othman radi Allah anhu]

(taken from

The last three especially get to me. may Allah (swt) make it easy for all of us to fulfill our purpose here on this earth. Allahuakbar.