Monthly Archives: June 2010

Journey of Faith

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A Friend Once Said

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Friends have left different marks and effects on me. They do things, remind you of things, that you honestly thank Allah swt that He has blessed you and honestly it is a blessing.

For example;

Today, my friends and I were walking around, enjoying the summer breeze, when we passed an old lady. My friend smiled and said hi to the lady. The lady’s face lit up and subhanAllah, had a new look on her face.

We giggled at what she did but she subtley said:

“Honestly, that may be the only hello or smile they get all day. Why wouldn’t i be the one to give her it, and as a muslimah, and a hijabi, we got to do this stuff.”

*Silence* Even though she didn’t mean to shut us up like that, it really hit me. This certain friend of mine, has been there with me, through my ups and downs, and has taught me such lessons i will never forget.

Why would she smile at a random stranger, yeah i do that at times, in my neighborhood, where people know me, but that smile of hers, may have opened that lady’s heart.

The hadith of ‘a smile is a charity’, i felt it today. Sometimes we are need of a smile, its a gesture that means more than a smile movement of the lips, but can be weighed as a charity and when someone is given a charity, their happiness is at its utmost!

Another lesson i got today;

Life confuses us at times. We tend to hate and uff about everything that happens. After ranting off for a while, my friend said:

“so i just try to think that Allah doesnt test us with more than we can bear.”

Wow. Another moment of silence from my end. We tend to hate, and not realize the wisdom behind all the decree’s of Allah. I learnt from Surat Yusuf, that patience is the key. Honestly, its the key. But with patience you can complain, but to Allah! Its reward is so great, because it is the firs thing we *don’t* do. People wail and curse, then remember to have patience. But the key is to have patience, to accept and then you could *complain* in a certain manner.

Surat Yusuf 86. He said: “I only complain of my grief and sorrow to Allâh, and I know from Allâh that which you know not.

Look at what Yaqoob went through. He went blind out of all his grief of the loss of his son, but he had beautiful patience, and complained to Allah.

We forget Allah. We do. When we cry, we reach for a Kleenex and a cell phone to call a friend. What can your friend do. Yeah they can help you out, sort of, but why don’t we keep those tears and reach for the quran, the guidance sent from Allah.

I really want to start applying this myself inshaAllah.

But in the end, this post was to be about what friends say that may be a little quote or two words, but its the simplest of things that leave an affect on others lives. I ask Allah to allow me to keep all my great friends ❤

Tafseer Surat Yusuf (Part 2)

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Bismillah,

So here are the rest of my notes 🙂

Recap:

GEM from sis

This is the best of stories because:

1) Allah is the One telling us this story!! There is nothing false in this story…no make-belief!

2) This is the only story in the Qur’an told in one complete surah. The stories of the other Prophets are scattered throughout the Qur’an.

3) There are over 300 lessons that can be derived from this surah alone

4) The mold of stories fall into 2 categories. They either have one main character and the events in the story revolve around them or there is one main event and multiple characters surrounding that event. Surat Yusuf has BOTH!

-Verb via Almaghrib Forums

I left off talking about jealousy. Jealousy is one topic that is constantly mentioned in the Quran and Sunnah.

Quran

Surat al Falaq

1. Say: “I seek refuge with (Allâh) the Lord of the daybreak,

2. “From the evil of what He has created;

3. “And from the evil of the darkening (night) as it comes with its darkness; (or the moon as it sets or goes away).

4. “And from the evil of the witchcrafts when they blow in the knots,

5. “And from the evil of the envier when he envies.”

This surah is a protection we should read three times in the morning and at night, proctection from the envious and evil (witches).

Surat AlMaidah , discussing the first murder (sons of Adam):

27. And (O Muhammad SAW) recite to them (the Jews) the story of the two sons of Adam [Hâbil (Abel) and Qâbil (Cain)] in truth; when each offered a sacrifice (to Allâh), it was accepted from the one but not from the other. The latter said to the former: “I will surely kill you.” The former said: “Verily, Allâh accepts only from those who are Al-Muttaqûn.”

Sunnah:

The Prophet of Allah (SWT) said: Beware of envy because indeed envy destroys good deeds in the same manner as fire destroys wood. [Abu Dawood]


So we saw the brothers of Yusuf, threw him in the well, cut of ties of kinship, major sin. What left them jealous of Yusuf is because their father valued him and cherished him out of the most.

16. And they came to their father in the early part of the night weeping.

17. They said:”O our father! We went racing with one another, and left Yûsuf (Joseph) by our belongings and a wolf devoured him; but you will never believe us even when we speak the truth.”

Since there is no such thing as a perfect crime, the brothers came at night, appearing that they were weeping. Obviously this was because the tears were not real and so at night, back then we know there weren’t too many lights so who would know?

Ayah 17 says that they said “you will never believe us”, now who says that? SubhanAllah, first they came ‘weeping’ so they can toy with his emotions, and they weren’t honest and made him feel ‘sad’ that ..”even if” they were speaking the truth he would never believe them.

18. And they brought his shirt stained with false blood. He said: “Nay, but your ownselves have made up a tale. So (for me) patience is most fitting. And it is Allâh (Alone) Whose help can be sought against that which you assert.”

When a wolf (or any wild animal) attacks and ‘eats’ someone, does he properly take off the person’s shirts? Or tears is to pieces? So they thought it would be smart to come at night, so he wouldn’t totally examine the shirt, filled with goat blood or whatever it was, the shirt was not torn…*ding ding ding* Yaqoob alayhi asalam knew their lie.

The jealously they had, that horrid disease, blinded them from creating that ‘perfect crime’. Also, the blood was a ‘lie’, (damm katheb) as described in the quran, which is symbolical to the lie of the whole deal.

At this point, Yaqoob turned to Allah. Sabr Jameel (beautiful patience): patience where you only complain to Allah but not about Allah. Don’t turn your anger to what qadr has in store for you.

This is the beginning of lessons of patience. 3 types of patience:

1) in obidence to Allah
2) staying away from disobidence
3) when hit with a calamity

19. And there came a caravan of travellers; they sent their water-drawer, and he let down his bucket (into the well). He said: “What good news! Here is a boy.” So they hid him as merchandise (a slave). And Allâh was the All-Knower of what they did.

20. And they sold him for a low price, – for a few Dirhams (i.e. for a few silver coins). And they were of those who regarded him insignificant.

Think about Yusuf’s lineage. Son of Yaqoob, grandson of Ishaq, great grandson of Ibrahim. He was put in a well, and now a caravan was passing by. Now the people took him, this amazing child, with a power family line up, and sold him for a few darahem. A dirham is lower than a dinar! Thats just a few coins! and the reason to this is beacuse he was a stolen good, hence he was sold for a little amount of $$.

There is hikmah into why he was found though, it was a mercy to Allah he was sold to Aziz, as the story continues from that stage, and puts Yusuf in many tirals alayhi asalam.

2 opinions on who found/sold him:

1) weak opinion: brothers came back and sold him for crack change

2) strong opinion: caravan came by, found him, sold him

Wallahu ta’la ‘alam

And my notes end here 😦 sadly, i cannot wait till the next session inshaAllah!
If i made any mistakes please tell me inshaAllah :).

A Courtship, A Romance

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I think i know what my next post will be about.. 🙂

Good read:

http://www.suhaibwebb.com/relationships/musa-safurah-a-courtship-a-romance/

Musa & Safurah: a Courtship, a Romance

by Hena Zuberi

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I am from Generation X. Raised on ‘Pretty in Pink’ and Sweet Dreams romance novels, some of my friends read Mills and Boons, others raved about the unattainable love in the Thorn birds; but I preferred the grand passion of Wuthering Heights. That was my idea of a romance – filling each other completely, a religion of love.

It also came from Indian movies; rich girl falls for poor guy, they dance around trees in the rain, then drama ensues from the family, enter Prem Chopra character, the guy runs off with girl, the end. Sometimes, he would dash in with a monologue and take her away while she was getting married to someone else. How many girls are still waiting for their Sir Salman/Saif/Shahrukh Khan to take them away on a white horse in a red lehnga?

When in love, according to Freud, “against all the evidence of  her/his senses, a wo/man who is in love declares ‘I’ and ‘you’ are one, and is prepared to behave as if it were a fact.” This love is so destructive, so impossible. Based on these notions, I have nursed many a heartbroken friend: in ER after she burnt herself with a cigarette because she wasn’t allowed to see him, helping hide another’s bruises under makeup, where he punched her for talking to his buddy. My own quest was less for the pain, more for the eternal flutter in my heart. What were we thinking? Allah made us; He put these feelings in our heart, so why didn’t we ever think of turning to His book to see how ‘boy meets girl’ really works? It’s all in there.

I read of a great courtship, a love story that is so romantic it’s divine. The setting – Madyan, the land of frankincense, I can almost smell it lingering in the air. Historian Abdulla Al-Wohaibi writes that Madyan was “a flourishing ancient town with numerous wells and permanently flowing springs whose water had good taste. There were farms, gardens and groves of palm trees.”

Here we meet Safurah, the daughter of Shuyab `alayhi assalam (peace be upon him) at the side of a gushing spring, ‘keeping back, stopping her sheep from drinking with the sheep of the shepherds.’ And Musa (as), a fugitive on the run for eight days, crossing the burning desert sands from Egypt, feeding off nothing but tree leaves.

Their meeting is a beautiful example of chivalry; a perfect model of what it means to be a man and a woman. She didn’t need him; this was her daily routine and she waited out of her sense of modesty. She and her sister were strong women, after all herding their father’s flock wasn’t easy work. They were surrounded by rowdy men, reminding me of sceners from Liberty market in Lahore, Cairo’s Khan Khaleeli or the Westfield mall in Generic town, U.S.A. where rowdy boys hang out – men yelling, pushing, with little dignity or sense of composure. He, however, was a gentleman amongst the uncouth.

She didn’t need his help, she could have waited until all of the other men were done and then watered her flock, but that’s what makes it so special – that he still stood up to help her. Musa (as) was thirsty too but his sense of doing the right thing was stronger than his fatigue or his hunger. He was honorable – he could have ignored the sisters, could have said “I’m too tired, too important.” He had no relationship with these women. He didn’t know what family or religion they were from. All he saw was someone was being treated unfairly and for the sake of Allah, he was ready to help.

Sisters, a man like that will get you far in life. He will be just with your children, your parents and his parents. He will help you in your faith, your home and your life. As for the ones pushing each other to get the water from the well, they are the same brothers who will keep fighting for the dunya: keep working away for the next promotion, the next beamer, and you will be left on the side like the two sisters from Madyan.

When Musa (as) approached the water, he saw that the shepherds had put over the mouth of the spring an immense rock that could only be moved by ten men. ‘Musa embraced the rock and lifted it out of the spring’s mouth, the veins of his neck and hands standing out as he did so.’ He watered their sheep and put the rock back in its place.

After Musa (as) did this kind act, he went back in the shade of the tree and made du`a’. Unlike some MSA brothers who like to walk the sisters to their apartments and then ask them if they have food in the fridge, he didn’t ask the girls “Hey! I did you a favor, can you help me out now?”

No, he lies down on Allah’s green earth and makes this beautiful du`a’:

28:24

“So he watered (their flocks) for them, then he turned back to shade, and said: ‘My Lord! I am truly in need of whatever good that You bestow on me!’” (Qur’an, 28:24)

`Ata’ bin As-Sa’ib said in Tafsir ibn Kathir: “When Musa made that du`a’ the women heard him.”  What a beautiful du`a’ to make for all of us who are looking for a good partner or bliss in our married lives. This one du`a’ to Allah gave Musa (as) a job, a house and a family all at once. When you have nothing left except Allah, than you find that Allah is always enough for you.

The two sisters came home with the well-fed sheep, surprising their father Shuyab (as). He asked them what had happened, and they told him what Musa (as) had done. So he sent one of them to call him to meet her father.

She said: “My father is inviting you so that he may reward you for watering our sheep.” In Tafsir ibn Kathir it states
there came to him one of them, walking shyly, meaning she was walking like a free woman. Narrates `Umar ibn-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him: “She was covering herself from them (Musa) with the folds of her garment.”

Safurah is intelligent and intuitive. Abdullah bin Masud praised three people’s intuition:, Abu Bakr Siddiq (ra) about `Umar ibn-Khattab, Yousuf ‘s (as) companion, and Safurah’s when she asked her father to hire Musa (as). “Verily, the best of men for you to hire is the strong, the trustworthy.” Her father said to her, ”What do you know about that?” She said to him, “He lifted a rock which could only be lifted by ten men, and when I came back with him, I walked ahead of him, but he said to me, walk behind me, and if I get confused about the route, throw a pebble so that I will know which way to go.”

He didn’t follow her, looking at her from behind – subhan’Allah. Imagine the scenario: he was a prince who must have had women throwing themselves at him but he ‘lowers his gaze’, which is the hukum for all Muslim men, but how many really adhere to that? Here Musa (as) is not Safurah’s husband yet, so he asks her to walk behind him, knowing very well that he doesn’t know the way but she does. It wasn’t a matter of ego or superiority; he was concerned about her honor as she was alone, without her sister; this way he was protecting her. Look at their society too – if all the men were such boors, could you put it past those people to gossip about her walking with him?

I often wonder how Musa (as) grew up to be this way? He came from such privilege, so much corruption existed in the court of Pharoah; he could have had any woman he wanted. But he learnt how to honor women from his pious foster mother, `Aasiya (ra); and continued this respect even hundreds of miles from his mother’s eyes. Mothers can be shields for their sons – even if the fathers are Pharoah.

Back to our courtship: Musa (as) takes Safurah’s ‘lead’ by making her throw stones to direct the route. Brothers, there’s a lesson for you here: it’s ok to ask for directions and consulting with a woman. Such a man’s bravado would be insulted today; h would be considered crazy or sexist  asking a woman to walk in his shadow and then make her do all the work! Armed with our liberal arts education, we often undervalue a man’s masculinity. Such hoopla is made over where the husband walks, in front, side by side, behind you. My husband is a foot and some taller than me, so big deal if he sometimes walks faster than me, he’s got longer legs. Other times he walks behind me especially in crowds and he is often there by my side. It doesn’t define us. Shouldn’t it matter more whether he is ahead, behind or by my side spiritually?

Safurah then hired Musa (as) and chooses to marry him under her father’s guidance. There was no long engagement and no endless conversations – no promises of unending love. How many times do we pass up great partners because we haven’t clicked? What did she like about him in those short meetings? First of all, she sees he is not a wimp, he stood up for her when they were strangers, imagine what he would do for her when she becomes his wife.

He complements her life; she needs a man in her household, to help her run her business (we see the same theme in the blessed union of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and our mother, Khadijah (ra). This story reinforces in me the reason why my husband is always going to be the leader of my family. He leads well, so that I may willingly follow.

Musa (as) agrees to the terms Safurah’s family sets for their marriage. She admires his trust in Allah, his ability to problem solve, his strength and his manners. If women looked for his four characteristics in a man, instead of the countless other things we focus on, will we not find our own beautiful Musa?

Further, if we are consumed by the love we have for our spouse, will there be space in our hearts for Allah? Heathcliff and Catherine of Wuthering Heights had replaced God for each other. They needed to fuse their identities and thought they had attained heaven. Bronte’s mysticism notwithstanding, love like theirs is asocial, amoral and irresponsible. After reading Musa and Safurah’s love story though, I learned to love my husband for the right reasons: for his support, his strengths, and his sense of responsibility for the sake of Allah. After ten years, he still makes my heart flutter; but he doesn’t need to complete me. It’s enough that he complements me. And it is this evolving courtship that will inshaAllah knock the tunes out of every Indian movie.

References:

Abdulla Al-Wohabi, The Northern Hijaz In The Writings of The Arab Geographers 800-1150 B.C., p. 142

Something Terrifying…

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Bismilah,

A couple of hours ago, near my region, an earthquake with a 5.5 magnitude hit. SubhanAllah, when i read about it in the news, and its strength, i began to imagine the day of Judgment. Imagine the splitting of the earth? Now thats a big thing, and only Allah AlQahaar can do this.

AlQahar the ultimate conquer. This name of Allah is so great, because it leaves us to submit and surrender to Allah. The tsunami’s and hurricanes we see every now and then, are the works of AlQahar.

In the quran, we see the theme of *earthquake’s* mentioned throughout, there is a surah even speaking about the zalzalah of the day of judgment.

In surat al Hajj, Allah subhanahu wa ta’la says:

“O mankind! Fear your Lord and be dutiful to Him! Verily, the earthquake of the Hour (of Judgment) is a terrible thing. The Day you see it, every nursing mother will forget her nursing, and every pregnant one will drop her load, and you shall see mankind as in a drunken state, yet they will not be drunken, but severe will be the Torment of Allah.” [Surat Al-Hajj:1-2]

I read a sisters commentary about this ayah which really shook me, and let me look at it from a diff angle. As soon as the topic of the day of judgment came up, and an earthquake, one of the greatest disasters occur, the ‘nursing mother’ will forget her baby. Now a mother, in a time of calamity automatically thinks of her little one, thats just in her nature, to run him/her to safety, and we all know it subhanAllah. I remember as a child, our house got on fire, and the first thing my mother did, was run upstairs to grab my baby brother, before she even told my sister and i to leave the house.

Now if we fret and take shelter from a 5.5 magnitude earthquake now, on the day of judgment, the magnitude of the earthquakes, will leave a mother, to leave her nursing child. That’s how hard it will strike us all.. subhanAllah

The ayah also says, that the earthquake is something ‘atheem– great’. The word atheem, means magnificant, large and strong. It is terrifying, and it is mentioned to what degree it will leave us on that day. SubhanAllah…

Think of the power of Allah, think about it, its something really frightening, but at the same time, it allows our divine link to grow, and flourish. The works of AlQahar are to leave us with eager to worship and submit to Him.

Tafseer Surat Yusuf (Part 1)

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Bismilah,

(Weekly halaqah notes :))

Surat Yusuf, has three 3 dreams and 3 shirts;

Dreams:

1. Stars and Moon
2. in the prison
3. the king

Shirts:

1. Bloody shirt
2. Shirt given to Yaqoob alyahi asalam
3. Yusuf’s shirt ripped by the wife of al aziz

—-

13. He [Ya’qûb] said: “Truly, it saddens me that you should take him away. I fear lest a wolf should devour him, while you are careless of him.”

14. They said: “If a wolf devours him, while we are ‘Usbah (a strong group) (to guard him), then surely, we are the losers.”

So, the brothers of Yusuf alayhi asalaam, ask to take him to ‘play’ with him. Yaqoob was saddened and scared that he would miss Yusuf (which made them more jealous). He then put the idea of a wolf eating Yusuf while they are out.

Lesson:

Parent’s really need to watch what they say. The brothers of Yusuf weren’t master minds or these intelligent people who had a whole plan to kill Yusuf. Yaqoob alyahi asalam, put these ideas in their heads, he gave them the blue prints to what they could do.

15. So, when they took him away, they all agreed to throw him down to the bottom of the well, and We inspired in him:”Indeed, you shall (one day) inform them of this their affair, when they know (you) not.”

In arabic, well has two names; jub and bi’r.

In this surah, Yusuf is put in a jub, a well that is filled with water. Yusuf wasn’t put in a bi’r because out of the hikmah of Allah, no one passing by in the desert would come to the bi’r, and hence Yusuf would never be found.

The inspiration of Yusuf is amazing subhanAllah

He was inspired through his heart;

a) Allah said: ” you will tell them..” ie. Yusuf will indeed meet back up with his brothers

b) Allah says: “you will remind them..” ie. a person reminding another person about an incident usually means he is in the higher status. Yusuf will be in a higher status in order to remind them.

c) Allah says: “you will be able to recognize them, but they won’t be able to recognize you..” Yusuf was put in the well at a very young age, 7 or 8, obviously by the time he reunits he is in his 30’s or 40’s, he changed in the way he looks. But his brothers were older, and their physical appearence did not change much.

Yusuf being inspired is what scholars debate as the beginning of his prophecy. He was inspired through heart, wallahi a’lam how that is, but Allah did not speak to him directly telling him these matters.

So recap about why would his 10 brothers do this? Jealousy.

Jealousy: feeling resentment against someone because of that person’s rivalry, success, or advantages

This evil jealously the 10 brothers had blinded them from thinking of what they were doing, blinded them when they were putting Yusuf in the well. They did a major sin, cut the tie of kinship.

There are matters where we are allowed to be jealous, i like to call it the halal jealousy:

1) Someone has lots of $$ and continuously spends it fee sabeel Allah
2) Lots of knowledge, and teaches it

You can be jealous in the manner, you want to be like this person in respect to what Allah has blessed them with. It is really important that we try not to attach ourselves to means, means are what cause jealously, and jealously aint good.

And that is it for now inshaAllah i’ll put the rest of my notes up later =) If i said anything wrong please correct me, wallahu ta’la ‘alam.

“..Like a Tree..”

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“The year is like a tree, months are its branches, days are the branch sticks, hours are its leaves, and the breaths are its fruits. Therefore, if one’s breaths are in obedience [to Allah and His Messenger], the fruits of his tree are good. If they are in disobedience, his fruits are bitter… The harvest is on the Appointed Day, when one’s fruits are found out to be either good or bitter.” — Ibn al-Qayyim