Lamya's Corner

"There was for Saba, aforetime, a sign in their homeland [Yemen] two gardens to the right and to the left . . . be grateful to Him[Allah] . . .But they turned away, and We sent against them the flood released from the Dams [Maarib dam]" (Qur'an. Saba:15-16)

Reflection on 2nd ayah of Surat Al Hajj October 29, 2011

Filed under: Contemplations — lamyaalmas @ 9:25 pm

It is befitting for the 2nd ayah of Surat Al Hajj to further describe the magnitude of the horror of the convulsions/earthquake of the Final Hour through two analogies of two mothers—one nursing and the other pregnant. Allah (SWT) says:

The Day you shall see it, every nursing mother will forget her nursling, and every pregnant one will drop her load, and you shall see humankind as in a drunken state, yet they will not be drunken, but severe will be the Torment of Allah. [22:2]

Life in Makkah, and eventually pilgrimage to the Sacred House of Allah in Makkah, started with a mother struggling  for her nursing child’s life–that of Hajer (as) running up and down the two hills of Al Safa and Al Marwa in search for food and water for her dying child Ismail (as).  And life will end with a mother severing the powerful bond between herself and her precious child, and stop the struggle for providing its basic need nourishment.  Furthermore, the first pangs of the birth of the Prophetic mission began in Makkah. And the preliminary meetings for a transition to Al Madinah for a new phase in the history of Islam was initiated during Hajj. Then it was during the Farewell Pilgrimage on the Day of Arafah that Islam was perfected and completed: “This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.” [5:3] Hajj has been the time for the (re) births of nations, that of Ibrahim (as) and, later on, in its footsteps our Ummah–the Ummah of Muhammad (saw). Our religion isn’t new, but it is an extension of the old hence the last ayah in Surat Al Hajj reminds us of the fact: “. . . it is the cult of your father Abraham. It is He Who has named you Muslims, both before and in this (Revelation)” [22:78] Yet as old as it is, it has the ability to regenerate everyone it touches. And Hajj is one those opportunities when the refresh button of every believer is clicked back to default, the original state they were created in as newborns–an opportunity for rebirth after birth. One that propels a believer forward to new beginnings.

Yet, this ayah although it reminds us of the rejuvenating influence of Islam on a believer’s life in this world, it also reminds us of another (re)birth–resurrection. The mood won’t be the same as birth in this life, which is a moment of reunion between mother and newborn. In this one, the closest of bonds between mother and child, will be severed. Even a pregnant mother obsessed with protecting her unborn child still growing in her womb will drop it [miscarry]—regardless of whether it has reached term or not. To that extent will the terror of that day disrupt the very foundations of the most established and natural of bonds, as it will shake the very foundations of the earth that we have build our livelihood on. Everything as we know it will end. Our feet will find no firm ground to stand on. Our steps will be as uncertain as those of a drunkard, only we won’t be intoxicated. Contraire our senses will be so alert to the reality of the matter, but will not be able to withstand the weight of the reality that we are in.

If you look closely at the ayah, it’s not all gloom and doom. There is one glad tiding in it. It says “You will see . . .”  so some of us will be detached observers of this scene and not participants. Glad tidings are to those who weren’t distracted from this reality, for their senses were familiarized with this knowledge. Those of them who were conscious of Allah [SWT] all their lives, and shield themselves from transgressing His [SWT] limits through the guidance of a Qur’an gifted to them by the light of the heavens and the earth—Allah [SWT].   Touch the Qur’an often, so that it in turn touches you and guides you to safe shores on the Day of Resurrection.

For audio recording of halaqa.

 

Reflection on 1st Ayah of Surat Al Hajj October 28, 2011

Filed under: Contemplations — lamyaalmas @ 7:14 pm

O humankind! Fear your Lord and be dutiful to Him! Verily, the earthquake of the Hour (of Judgement) is a terrible thing. [22:1]

With the start of Hajj season the annual alarm has officially gone off, jolting us awake from our forgetfulness and distraction of things yet to come—the Hour that will start with a “Personal Hour” as the Prophet (saw) said, “Whoever Dies, Then His Hour Has Arrived.” Just as the earthquake of the Hour shakes the very foundations of the earth to change it from its state to that of another, this verse should shakes us to the core. Shake us so that we are beyond recognition to ourselves from the contemplation of the meanings behind it. With every day that passes we are closer to our personal Hour, one that we spend in a hole in the ground—the grave. Accordingly, Hajj for the Hujjaj [pilgrims] starts with them leaving behind their families, homes,, lands, wealth etc.  They even leave behind their clothing, for men don two pieces of white cloth [and in the case of women an item of clothing from the many in their closet]. It reminds us of the fact that we aren’t taking much with us when we leave this world, no more than a white cloth if we are lucky. During the coverage of Hajj on TV, white dots of thousands, if not millions, of people wearing Ihram is over powering and should remind us Muslms and the world at large that death is inevitable. It is as Steve Jobs said, “. . .  the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it.”  Remembrance of death is life-changing to a Muslim; it is rejuvenating; it’s a moment of rebirth. The wise is he who learns from death before he actually dies. The Prophet (saw) says:

Remember the destroyer of pleasures—death, for not a day passes upon the grave except that it says, ‘I am the house of remoteness; I am the house of loneliness; I am the house of soil; I am the house of worms. [Tirmidhi]

Death is the vehicle that you will travel in to transition you to the Day of Resurrection? There will be a transit in the middle in an airport called the grave! The airport is remote, lonely, full of soil and worms not comfortable at all. It is so certain that every single human being will stop at this airport, this airport that is called “The Grave” and it will say, “welcome to your first stop to the Hereafter”! Hajj season annually reminds us of the reality of the matter, the reality of life, that there is an end that starts with every Muslim being washed, wrapped and buried in a hole in the ground. Let me push this further. Allah (SWT) does not in the ayah address just Muslims, but addresses  humankind to come back to Him. Hajj is an event that is witnessed by the whole world, whether on TV, Internet or in person. Islam is a universal religion and has found acceptance in the hearts of people from every nation, so accordingly Hajj is an event that is witnessed by the whole of humankind and is a wake-up call for all without exception. Abu Darda (raa) said that the Messenger of Allah (saw) addressed them on a Friday saying:

O people! Repent before you die. And embark upon good deeds before you become occupied. And connect what is between you and your Lord by remembering Him all the time, and indeed, you will be happy. Give much charity so you will be endowed by Allah. And bid good to others so you protect yourselves, and forbid evil unto others so you will be victorious. O People! The smartest among you is the one who remembers death the most, and the wisest among you is the one who is best ready for it. Indeed, among the signs of wisdom are shunning the falsehood of this life, turning toward eternal life, being fully equipped to live in the grave and being ready for the resurrection.  

The questions that every single one of us needs to ask themselves on the days of Dhul Hijjah are: Are we ready for death? Are we fully equipped to live in the grave? Are we ready for the resurrection? Are we ready for a day whose beginning earthquake is “terrible” as Allah (SWT) describes it?  Second wake-up call! He out of His Mercy is slapping you into reality and telling you, that it will be ‘terrible’ and asks you to hold yourself accountable before you are held accountable. To reckon with yourself, because you will not be able to withstand Allah’s (SWT) ultimate justice that day—the Day of Resurrection.

Ask any Haaj [person who has performed pilgrimage] what their experience in Hajj reminded them of, and they will tell you the Day of Resurrection. The intense thirst in the heat of Makkah while walking from one site to another to perform the rites of Hajj, the long hours of standing, the masses from all nations around the world and all walks gathering in the Sacred House of Allah in Makkah responding to His call.  The fear in their faces, and the quivering of their voices as they invoke Allah to cleanse them—wipe them clean—on their spiritual journey. Thirst? Heat? Sweaty masses of people? Doesn’t that remind you of the Day of Resurrection?  As you follow the live broadcast of pilgrims remember that you too will return to Him [SWT] whether you get the chance to physically experience Hajj during your lifetime or not. So let’s all chase away any doubt about the fact that we will return to the origin we came from—that it is as certain as the fact that Hajj will take place every year at the same time and at the same place until Allah [SWT] inherits the earth and everything in it.

The first verse of Surat Al Hajj is taking you by the scruff of the neck and shaking you awake to a journey that you will take with absolute certainty—no maybes. So are you all packed and ready to go? If not then it’s time to plan ahead and start packing. The ticket has been issued and you won’t know until you are on the plane called “Death Airlines” and in transit at “Grave Airport” on your way to the final destination, the Final Hour!

Audio of Halaqa.

 

Reflections on Surat Al Hajj October 27, 2011

Filed under: Contemplations — lamyaalmas @ 9:14 pm

It’s Hajj season! Tomorrow October the 28th, 2011  officially marks the first day of the Islamic month of Dhul Hijjah  .  I wasn’t invited to Allah’s Sacred House this year, yet I am not disheartened. Rather I am determined to be on next year’s guest list. I am sad for myself because I know I don’t deserve it yet, and need to work harder on my relationship with Allah [SWT]. Tears stream down my face on seeing thousands of Muslims all over the world heading for Makkah—I wish I were a  piece of clothing in their luggage. The sight of the Ka’bah broadcast on TV shakes me to the core, and brings my heart to its knees. Even on TV, it is a sight so majestic just as the Prophet (saw) described it to us in a hadith when he (saw) looked at the Ka’bah and said, “How beautiful you are, how aromatic your scent is, and how great is your sacredness. . . “  I often ask myself this question during Hajj season, maybe because I want to be part of it every season. This question is:

We have five pillars in Islam as the Prophet (saw) taught us in a hadith narrated by Ibn Umar: “Islam is based on (the following) five (principles):

  1. To testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and Muhammad is Allah’s apostle.

  2. To offer the prayers dutifully and perfectly.

  3. To pay Zakat (i.e. obligatory charity).

  4. To perform Hajj (i.e. Pilgrimage to Mecca).

  5. To observe fast during the month of Ramadan.”

(Sahih al-Bukhari)

Why was Hajj placed on this list of five principles / foundations/ pillars on which a Muslim’s Islam is built on despite the fact that millions of Muslims, since the advent of Islam, did not perform Hajj during their lifetime? Even today, many Muslims can’t afford Hajj. Does that mean that the foundation of their Islam is lacking? Does it mean that those not financially able cannot afford a strong foundation for their Islam? Impossible! It’s not characteristic of Islam that the financially able have a spiritual advantage over others because of wealth. So there must be something about Hajj that we all collectively benefit from–those  of us who actually go on the spiritual journey, and those of us who for various can’t.  Else why is it a pillar of Islam that is included as a principle for the foundation of the Islam of every Muslim?

Of all the pillars of Islam none have a Surah in the Qur’an by their name except for Hajj. We don’t for instance have one titled “Salah [prayer]” or “Zakat [obligatory charity]” or “Siyam [fasting]” etc. But we do have an entire Surah [the 22nd] in the Qur’an that is named Surat Al Hajj. Accordingly, scholars say that the name given by Allah [SWT] to a Surah—yes even the names of the Surahs are revelations—indicates the main idea of the Surah? Well, let’s see if this is apparent in this Surah as well. At first glance, Surat Al Hajj discusses an array of topics such as:

1)    Al Qiyyamah meaning the Day of Judgment/Day of Resurrection

2)    Al Ba’ath wa Al Nushoor meaning resurrection and judgment

3)    Jihad in the way of Allah meaningstruggling in the way of Allah [SWT]

4)    Worshiping Allah (SWT) with all ones strength and might

So, where are the rites for Hajj  [pilgrimage]? Those appear in other Surahs like Surat Al Baqara for instance [2:189. 2:197. 2:203 etc]. Why not in the Surah entitled Al Hajj, where it is most likely for those off on pilgrimage to look into? It isn’t the case, it’s audience is broader than just those going for Hajj. It’s audience is the whole Ummah, and even more it’s message is for the whole of humankind. So we really need to contemplate on the meanings of this Surah that Allah [SWT] has revealed to us. I am sure the answer to my question is in Surat Al Hajj and I will only find it through contemplation of it.

So, let’s reflect on them together and see what we, those of us who aren’t going this year, find in response to the question above. What is in Hajj for us?  Those of us whose hearts are following the pilgrims on TV; for those of us whose souls are so attracted to the Sacred House of Allah that their souls want to escape the confines of their physical bodies and head to Makkah and join the pilgrims. Let me push this idea even further! These upcoming Ten Days of Dhul Hijjah, should be a time not just for Muslims to contemplate but Non-Muslims as well. Yeah I am pushing it! My blog, my say 🙂 ! Every year Hajj becomes an event witnessed by the world. Although Islamic channels broadcast the performance of the rites of pilgrimage live, Non-Muslim news channels include news segments on Hajj in their news programs. Nothing is random! Nothing is by chance! If these days are witnessed by the world today, then there’s a message to the world.

So, insha Allah join us as we contemplate on an ayah or two a day this Dhul Hijjah. Share your thoughts/ reflections /contemplations. We would love to hear from you !

 

Trust in Allah [SWT] Circle of Light Halaqa on You Tube October 25, 2011

Filed under: Recommended Lectures — lamyaalmas @ 10:33 pm

Trust in Allah Part 1 , Part 2, Part 3

 

Library of Circle of Light Halaqas

Filed under: Recommended Lectures — lamyaalmas @ 12:55 pm

Audio 1 : 

Da’wah [calling/inviting to Allah (SWT)] Part 1Part 2 [correction 16 yrs after revelation that the prohibition of alcohol was revealed in Islam].

Audio 2:

Less of the Iblisicist “I” & more of the “We” : The Islamic Ummah Part 1Part 2.

Audio 3:

Love for the Sake of Allah (SWT) Part 1Part 2.

Audio 4:

Family of the Qur’an Part 1Part 2.

Audio 5:

Hajj and Umrah Part 1Part 2Part 3.

Audio 6:

Praise and Gratitude to Allah Part 1Part 2

Subscribe to Circle of Light You Tube Channel for video/audio updates.

 

 

Circle of Light Halaqa Online

Filed under: halaqas in town or online — lamyaalmas @ 12:52 pm

Assalaam Alaikium Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuhu:

Circle of Light Halaqa is now  online on Skype Thursdays 6-8pm CST at Circleoflighthalaqa. If you need to get a hold of us, or have questions, suggestions, recommendations, feedback please feel free to email us at circleoflighthalaqa@yahoo.com. We are still exploring ways to included a larger audience, since Skype is limited–so if you have any suggestions please let us know. You can also follow us on twitter at @circleoflightha

Halaqaat [lectures] are posed on You Tube, so subcribe to channel for video/audio updates. Here are some of the previous recorded lectures. Please forward on to your fellow Muslims and make dua for us:

Audio 1 : 

Da’wah [calling/inviting to Allah (SWT)] Part 1 Part 2 [correction 16 yrs after revelation that the prohibition of alcohol was revealed in Islam].

Audio 2:

Less of the Iblisicist “I” & more of the “We” : The Islamic Ummah Part 1, Part 2.

Audio 3:

Love for the Sake of Allah (SWT) Part 1, Part 2.

Audio 4: 

Family of the Qur’an Part 1, Part 2.

Audio 5:

Hajj and Umrah Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

Audio 6:

Praise and Gratitude to Allah Part 1, Part 2  For a complete library of Halaqas by Circle of Light please click here.

 

 

 

 

 

Say “Alhamdullilah” and Broadcast it to the World ! October 9, 2011

Filed under: Halaqa Notes — lamyaalmas @ 7:35 pm

To listen to the Halaqa instead click here Part 1 and Part 2.

I have always wondered what it would be like to know Allah [SWT] for the first time? What would my first knowledge of Him be? What would be that first impression? If you ask me to try and remember my first encounter of Allah, I would say that it is the same as what my culture endorses among kids growing up in Yemen. It was a culture in which parents introduced Allah for disciplinary purposes. I am not saying that that is wrong, it has had its advantages—the hellfire is a reality. But it was wrong to show Him [SWT] as just one faceted. In my mind as a child I always associated Allah with “punishment” for my shortcomings. The phrase, “Stop it or Allah will burn you in the hellfire” would jerk me away from whatever mischief I had my hand in.  No one talked about Allah’s love for me or His Creation for that matter. At some point I had to get to know Him through what He says about Himself, and not what others say about Him.

So, let’s today imagine that we have no knowledge of Allah [SWT]. We don’t know  who He [SWT] is and we want to know Him [SWT]. We want to know what He loves and what He hates. Where is the best place to search for what Allah says about himself? Scholars say that if you want to talk to Allah [SWT] then establish that Divine Link, Salaah [or send knee-mails as Sheikh Yasir Birjas called it in the Fiqh of Salaah class] and if you want Allah [SWT] to speak to you then read the Qur’an.  Logical right? We want to go organic today, we don’t want processed information about Allah [SWT], so let’s head to the Qur’an.

So, let’s open Allah’s book the Qur’an—for where best to start to know Him but through His own words.  So, we open the Qur’an and read after, “Bismillah Arrahman Arraheem” [in the Name of Allah the Most Gracious the Most Compassionate] “Alhamdullilah Rab Al Alameen” [All Praise to Allah, Lord of the worlds]. We continue reading the Quran, and Allah [SWT] tells us about the worlds He is the Lord of. He tells us that He is the Lord of this world [dunya] and another we are yet to witness in the future after our deaths called the “Hereafter” [Al Akhira]. We stumble upon a snapshot of the Hereafter, when we are all in Jannah Insha Allah and it’s the end. Final statements are made on the closing of the chapter of Judgment Day; everyone is where they should be—those who deserved to go to Jannah have settled in and those who are in the hellfire are suffering therein. The closing statement is made by Allah [SWT] who says: “And you will see the angels surrounding the Throne, exalting [Allah] with praise of their Lord. And it will be judged between them in truth, and it will be said, “[All] praise to Allah , Lord of the worlds.” [39:75] In the same vein, in the words of those in Jannah Allah [SWT] says in the Qur’an: “And the last of their call will be, ‘Praise to Allah , Lord of the worlds!” [10:10] So, it is with “Al Hamdullilah” that His book Al Qur’an started , Al Hamdullilah that this world will end, and with Al Hamdullilah that Insha Allah those of the Jannah will settle in their final abode.

When we contemplate some more, we find that the most beloved person to walk on the face of this earth was named “Muhammad” a name derived from the word “Hamd” [meaning praise and gratitude].  Furthermore, when Allah [SWT] who loves praise and gratitude–that is due to Him alone– broke the news to the angels about His creation of Adam (as) the angels wondered if they did not praise and give gratitude enough. They wondered if they had neglected or lacked in their praise and gratitude to Allah [SWT], “They said, ‘Will You place upon it one who causes corruption therein and sheds blood, while we declare Your praise and sanctify You?’” [2:30]  And furthermore Allah [SWT] says, “The seven heavens and the earth and whatever is in them exalt Him. And there is not a thing except that it exalts [Allah ] by His praise, but you do not understand their [way of] exalting. Indeed, He is ever Forbearing and Forgiving.” [17:44]

Every atom and every cell praises its Creator, Allah [SWT]. “Alhamdullilah” is the best word—it’s in vogue since the beginning of our creation. It never gets old. It’s in. It’s the word to have on your lips day in and day out. Say, it “Alhamdullilah” “Alhamdullilah” Alhamdullilah.”   Abu Dharr (raa) reported that the Prophet (saw) said, “Shall I tell you the words that Allah loves the most?” I said: “Yes, tell me, O Messenger of Allah.” He said: “The words dearest to Allah are: subhan Allah wa bihamdihi. [Glory be to Allah and Praise Him].”

And if I were to ask you, what was the first word uttered by a human being ever? Allah [SWT] said, “And He taught Adam the names of all things”—so the first thing Allah [SWT] taught Adam after creating him was language. So, out of all of the words Allah taught Adam (as) which one was the first he uttered. It is said, that when Allah created Adam from water, dirt, and clay and so on, He then blew the soul into Adam. The soul entered Adam (as) in different stages, and when it arrived at his nose he sneezed and the angels told him, “Say Alhamdulilah” and he did. Imagine that “Alhamdullilah” was the first word.

Why does Allah [SWT] love this word “Alhamdullilah”? Loves to see our hearts content with Allah [SWT] being our Lord? Because it is evidence of the health of our Iman [belief in Allah]. We all believe in the existence of Allah [SWT], but what comes to mind when you think of Allah [SWT]. You know for some people their god is symbolized by a stone, a rat, a cow etc. Their symbol is the meaning that comes to their minds when they think about their god. What is the meaning that comes to your mind when you think of Allah [SWT]?  It is that “meaning” that makes you content and happy that Allah is your Lord; that meaning that makes you say “Alhamdullilah.” These three meanings should settle firmly in your heart when you think of Allah. That He [SWT] is:

1)      The Creator [Al Khaleq]—“He is the one who has Created, and His Creation is nothing short of a masterpiece: “Then fashioned We the drop a clot, then fashioned We the clot a little lump, then fashioned We the little lump bones, then clothed the bones with flesh, and then produced it as another creation. So blessed be Allah, the Best of creators!” [23:14]

2)      In His hand is the dominion of the heavens and the earth and all that is in it: “Blessed is He in Whose Hand is the dominion, and He is Able to do all things.” [67:1]

3)      He is the regulator of all affairs: “Allah is He Who raised the heavens without any pillars that ye can see; is firmly established on the throne (of authority); He has subjected the sun and the moon (to his Law)! Each one runs (its course) for a term appointed. He doth regulate all affairs, explaining the signs in detail, that ye may believe with certainty in the meeting with your Lord.” [13:2]

Let’s revisit our father Adam (as). What was he (as) praising Allah [SWT] for?  For creating him from nothing; for his very existence! Do you know what it means to be blessed with existence from nothing? Do you know what it means to be once zero? We were all zero by the way as Allah says in Surat Al Insan: “There surely came over man a period of time when he was a thing not worth mentioning.” [1]

Why did Allah [SWT] create us? So we may enjoy ourselves. I know some of you have raised eyebrows now, and probably wondering, “What on earth is she talking about?” Yeah to ‘enjoy’ ourselves! If you have a righteous friend in this life, your companionship with them is full of enjoyment. Right? Now imagine how much you would enjoy life if you knew Allah [SWT], and led your life in His companionship? How much will you enjoy your life when you know Allah who asks: “Do you feel Me who gave life to you? Who created you in your mother’s womb, and provided for you?  Do you feel me in your everyday life as I provide for you? Do you know how much I love you, and have incurred My wrath and decreed punishment on those who wrong you? Do you feel My presence with your during times of misfortune? Do you feel know how shy I am to let you go empty handed when you have raised your hands calling Me in dua? Do you know how much I love you, and ask for your affection through My blessings? Knowing this, feeling it, being certain of is the true pursuit of happiness. Ibn Taymiyyah said: “There is in this world a Jannah, and the only way to enter the Jannah of the hereafter is to enter the Jannah of this world. And he who does not enter the Jannah of this world will not enter the Jannah of the hereafter. And that Jannah of this world is the worship of Allah (SWT).” This is called “Jannat Al Ma’rifa”, A Jannah/A Paradise of Knowledge and Awareness of Allah]. A different Jannah than the one in the Hereafter, where you get to eat, sleep, play, and do whatever you want—it’s a different kind of enjoyment than the one we are talking about. If you experience this one, then you will the other.

No doubt, we find so much enjoyment in this life knowing Allah [SWT], being aware of Him [SWT], living according to His instructions. So much enjoyment in this life, that is less than a drop in the ocean of the Jannah in the Hereafter. I mean look around you at the beautiful colors of the leaves this fall; the flowers of all colors, shapes and sizes; the shades of blue and gray of the sky; the softness of the clouds; the fresh air. Taste the—variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts, spices, herbs and meats that Allah [SWT] has blessed us with. There’s so much to be content with, and Allah loves to see you content in this life and show gratitude and praise to Him. Seriously, what does Allah gain from blessing you with Jannah in the Akhirah, in the Hereafter? It will simpley make Him happy to see you happy.  In this world, Allah [swt] wants you to enjoy yourself through your awareness of Him even though you do not see Him, and in the Jannah of Al Akhirah He wants you to enjoy seeing Him and being close to Him in Jannah.

Who forced Allah [SWT] to Create you from nothing? No one! Who forced Him to make Himself known to you? No on! Who Him to bless you day in and day out—to literally drown you in His blessings [Allah [SWT] says: “And if you were to count Allah’s favors, you would not be able to number them; most surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.” (Sūrah Al-Nahl: 18) ]? No one! Who forced Allah to choose you from the millions of people to be a follower of Muhammad (saw)? No on! He chose you out of His own will to create you from nothing, so that you might enjoy yourself in His realm. You enjoy life through the knowledge that you benefit from obedience to Him, and do no from disobeying Him. So, know that your creation is a blessing, and the continuous supply of blessings is another a blessing.

Our journeys in this life are full of divine gifts—every second we are opening a gift from Allah. Why aren’t we content when we have done all that is necessary on our part to achieve a ‘good’ life, and once we realize that Allah [SWT] has chosen a good life for us [although different from what we had in mind]?  Why can’t we say “Alhamdullilah” this is what Allah wants for me; what He has decreed for me? Allah [SWT] does not life after you have done your part and the results of your hard work have come out, to see a revolution in your heart against Allah’s system in your life. Oftentimes we shrug our shoulders while we utter a contradictory, “Alhamdullilah.”

What does a content heart mean? It means a heart that has accepted the blessings Allah [SWT] has gifted you. Those gifts that Allah has tried to come close to you through—through which He seeks your your affection. Do you even know that Allah tries to win your affection through His blessings: “And Allah brought you forth from the wombs of your mothers knowing nothing, and gave you hearing and sight and hearts that haply ye might give thanks.”[16:78]   He has made that apple taste so good to you, asking you whether you love Him?” He has made your heart yearn to see Him when you listen to the beauty of the recitation of the Qur’an, asking whether you miss Him?  He has taught you certain words to say so that He may forgive your sins no matter how big or small they are, asking you whether He is enough for you?”  He has made you love gatherings of His remembrance.

Do you come back home after a long days work to find your family and home safe and sound? Do you come back to a home just as you left it? Untouched?  You could have sinned that day, yet Allah [SWT] did not punish you in your health, home, family or property even though you deserved to be. Look around you at the world, where people are living in homes with no roofs. They live with the suns beating on their heads during hot summer days, feet digging into muddy floors during the rainy season, and shivering with cold during cold winter nights. All this while we complain about where we live; with the homes that Allah [SWT] has blessed us with.  How many of us are not content with the food we eat? All this while 100’s are dying in Somalia; while we choose what to eat, a Somali mother chooses which child of hers lives.

 What if you have lost your rights—does that mean that you just have to be content with the fact? No, that is different. You have struggle in Allah’s way and fight for your rights, but within the means and tools that are in obedience to Allah—the end does not justify the means, the means has to be equally in obedience to Allah as the end.  Do what you can, and leave the rest to Allah [SWT], and whatever Allah decrees after you have done your best be content with the results. Do from A to B, and leave B to Z to Allah [SWT] so to speak.

Before we end this today,  I want to warn you of that organ that can cause you to show discontent with and even refusal of Allah’s gifts ; one that can convey a bad image of Allah [SWT]. That organ is the tongue.  May be you have said, “Life sucks!” and forgotten that life is Allah’s decree. Life is a gift we have been blessed with; an experience which we benefit from by saying and doing the right things. Use the blessing of life to fulfill the will of Allah, and don’t let Shaytan distract you from that focus. Don’t allow him to cause you to focus on a part of your life that is not working out the way you want it to, and make you forget everything else that is perfect Subhan Allah. Realize that life is the greatest gift from Allah. It is not meant to be cursed and refused. So, say “Alhamdullilah”—a word that you inherited from the Prophet (saw)—with a sweet tongue and a content heart.

So, let’s have tongues that scoop up the word “Alhamdullilah” continuously from our hearts and broadcast it to the world at large.