The Heart

The heart is thrilled as it engages with people but it longs for solitude with its Creator.

The heart smiles at family, friends and strangers but it cries during the depths of the night in front of its King.

The heart is driven by the reward that awaits in the afterlife but it bears in mind the punishment of its Judge.

The heart, the heart, the heart.

It is the very essence of a person. All your feelings and innermost thoughts are huddled in your heart. Sometimes everything within may erupt or it may remain untouched like a fortress. In any case, the heart is the king of the body.

The Prophet Muhammad صلي الله عليه و سلم (Peace and Blessings be upon him) said;

“… There lies within the body a piece of flesh. If it is sound, the whole body is sound; and if it is corrupted, the whole body is corrupted. Verily this piece is the heart.” {Bukhari & Muslim}

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Mercy

Mercy is a beautiful trait. Those who are merciful draw in the love of God and the people that surround them. All of us possess some level of mercy but there are those who don’t show it, such people are truly deprived of goodness. They lack compassion and the ability to be kind. Mercy isn’t a an occasional display of kindness, rather it’s a habit. A lifestyle even. Here are a few practical examples; 

When the elderly make you repeat your words, when young children cry for no apparent reason, when a friend takes a loan and isn’t able to pay you back, when your spouse doesn’t listen to you, when your parents take out their anger on you, when your employee doesn’t make it to work on time and the list goes on. In all these cases, it’s incumbent upon us to be merciful and gentle in such situations. 

 

Dua Can Change Everything

She stared blankly into space. The environment around her seemed irrelevant, her thoughts consumed every sensory cell in her body. Nothing made sense. Nothing mattered. She was over this. God was the only being she relied on at this point, no family member or friend could relate to the electricity of loneliness that zinged in her blood. It was painful. Pain. Raw. Suffocative. Unadulterated. Just Pain. 

Her mind flicks to the man who went through every type of pain. A man who knew pain like the back of his noble palm. A man who was tested in every aspect of his life; physically (when people stoned him), mentally (when people insulted him and called him all kinds of names), emotionally (when he lost the love of his life and all of his children during his lifetime except Fatimah) and spiritually (when he had to convey this religion forward no matter what). A man who didn’t let his problems affect his mood, attitude and dealings with people. Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW). 

Dua

Instantly her eyes fill with tears, her heart bleeds with grief and remorse as she realises that no matter how tough her life seemed, nothing she went through could possibly be worse than the Prophet (SAW). She pats her wet cheeks and wipes her drippy nose as she thinks of the mountain of challenges he must’ve faced and yet… He kept smiling. So much so that no one smiled more than him. She chastises herself, rises from her seat and makes her way to do the one thing that can change everything. 

Dua.

A Believer’s Duty

One of the greatest acts of worship is to gain knowledge. To learn the Divine Book of Allah and the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) is such a virtuous deed. In another Hadith we learn that this knowledge is in fact the inheritance of the Prophets’ as they don’t leave behind any type of currency or land. Their duty was to convey and reform the state of the people by directing them to the worship of One God.

Abu Darda reported: The Messenger of Allah (SAW), said, “The scholars are the successors of the prophets. Verily, the prophets do not pass on gold and silver coins, but rather they only impart knowledge.” {Musnad al-Bazzar} Sahih according to al-Bazzar. 

All of us have a phase of ignorance that we once went through and to get out of it we need to know the reality of this life. We need knowledge. Even if you’re not the wealthiest or the biggest socialite on the face of this earth, if you recognize Allah and know your purpose (which is to please Him at all times) then you have everything you need. Even if people think low of you and see no value in you, it’s fine because your duty is to Allah not them.

Wallahi learning, implementing and enjoining most of what I know to people around me is priority of mine that I try my best to take seriously. There’s so much to do in so little time and we need to call others to this Light. Again, to understand the gravity of this message, we need knowledge and mind you this isn’t an option- it’s an obligation. So where do we start? With the Taleem of the Qur’an. Learn the meaning of Allah’s Speech and everything will fall into place. This is a promise.

Friendship

Ever had that rush of meeting someone and the two of you just “click?” You have similar interests, likings and preferences. Perhaps you share similar childhood stories and future plans. Whatever it may be, you both see eye to eye and get each other so well only after meeting once. On the other side of the spectrum, there might be someone you can’t stand. If you meet them, you mutter the Salam and disappear before more words can be shared. You force a smile around them and try your best to be pleasant. You find yourself mentally prepping you heart and soul for their presence because in simple words, you can’t stand them. Do you want to to know why you feel like this? The answer is in the Hadith mentioned above. 

Before our souls were dipped into the vessel we call our bodies, they were in a place where all the souls- yes every single one- were gathered together. Some souls stuck together and some didn’t. Thus when we were released into this world, we traverse the earth in our different ways at various times and as fate would have it, our paths cross with those we got along with before (in the gathering of the souls) as well as those we don’t want to be around. By Allah this explains so much, sometimes we can’t describe in words how much we’re fond of someone or how much we detest someone (note, we shouldn’t backbite but this is a point of self reflection) but the fact that Allah inspired the Prophet (SAW) regarding this matter is amazing. 

The youth should really internalise this point. Sure, sometimes you’re inclined to certain people but this isn’t an excuse for us to prefer or choose the company of people who are detrimental to our Imaan (Faith). The believer is wise, he or she doesn’t fall prey to peer pressure or external influences (no matter how negative) rather he or she takes on the lead role of being one who influences others to good.

Introspective

Life is tough. People are thrown into different situations every single day and those without any Imaan (Faith) are uprooted from their island of positivity almost instantly. The believer however is content no matter what. The sky could fall, the sea could spill over and buildings’ could be set ablaze but the believer will remain composed and rational not because it’s unnatural to do so but because he or she has utmost trust in Allah and understands that everything happens for a reason. The following Hadith is proof of it;

Mus’ab ibn Sa’eed reported: His father asked, “O Messenger of Allah, which people are tested most severely?” The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “They are the prophets, then the next best, then the next best. A man is tried according to his religion. If he is firm in his religion, then his trials will be more severe. If he is weak in his religion, then he is tried according to his strength in religion. The servant will continue to be tried until he is left walking upon the earth without any sin.” {Tirmidhi} 

These are the words of the Chosen One, the man who was tested the most in his life time. Need I say more? Be introspective, each time something doesn’t go the way you wanted or the way you thought was best, reflect and accept that there is a greater good to everything. Our real home is Paradise. 

The Bigger Picture

{The above Dua is called, Al Istiftah which is to be recited the moment we tie the Takbiratul Ihram in prayer, just before Surah Al Fatiha. It is not obligatory but it’s good to do so} 

Every single one of us wants to live a happy life. There’s no doubt about it. Believer or not, we all want to smile, laugh, taste, travel, meditate and be as free as the wind. In short, we want to keep moving forward in the best way possible. We want to improve and progress in the easiest and most convenient way. Want to succeed! 
But what if everything we want is not in the places we’re looking? What if we’re chasing a mirage? What if we’re tangled in a web of dreams and hopes that can never be fulfilled because we don’t know the source of success? Yes, now we’re thoughtful and slightly curious. The fact is it all lies in- prayer. 

Our connection with God and how strong it is will determine our position in this life. Our ability to humble yourself and actually talk to our Creator without shame or shyness is what really makes us worthy of every type of goodness in this life and the next. 

Now let’s turn that frown upside down and form an unbreakable bond with Allah. He’s always listening to us no matter what. 

Future Plans

Are you studying? What are you studying? Why aren’t you studying? You took a break? What do you want in life? Don’t you want a good future? What are your future plans? Do you have any to begin with? 

A whirlwind of endless questions about someone’s future plans and goals but the questioner doesn’t realise that a Bachelors, Masters or PhD isn’t going to be the talk of the town once the one being questioned is dead and gone. Yes, dear reader, I deliberately took my time with that sentence because I wanted the message to be long and deep so you could internalise it all.

Ultimately everyone wants a place in this world and they’ll do anything to get to the top. What about the afterlife? What about eternity and immortality? What about our real future? What about our real life? Ever reflected over that? Keep the answer to yourself. The best amongst mankind in the Eyes of God, isn’t someone who wrote and published 30 books or travelled far and wide purposelessly or tasted every cuisine that existed or served the army for a decade or threw the most lavish wedding of the century or earned degree after degree or qualification after qualification or has the most amount of twitter followers and likes…

Rather, it is someone who learned the Qur’an (lived by it too) and taught it.

Sincerity

People often fall under the spell of stereotyping + categorising others for no reason whatsoever. They assume that a believer cannot be intelligent yet pious or stylish yet modest or outspoken yet conscious. A practicing Muslim can certainly be all of those wonderful things so long as he or she is sincere to their Lord first.

Being undoubtedly involved in our faith, taking it seriously, obeying, complying + struggling for control over our desires is what this life is for. It’s a… Wait for it… TEST. Thus, take out a copy of the Noble Quran, daintily thumb through the pages + read the verses of what God says. Develop + instil in yourself sincerity by making Dua. It’s really that simple, now just reform your intention before every deed you do. Ex. O Allah, I’m giving this dollar for Your sake, I’m eating to energise my body for Your worship, I’m studying this degree to better serve the community for You, I’m travelling to reflect on Your creation. 

“Actions are according to intentions, and everyone will get what was intended. Whoever migrates with an intention for Allah and His messenger, the migration will be for the sake of Allah and his Messenger. And whoever migrates for worldly gain or to marry a woman, then his migration will be for the sake of whatever he migrated for.” {Bukhari + Muslim}

 

Do It Right.

If you’re going to make a lifestyle change, learn a new skill, maintain a relationship, pursue a degree, write a thesis, start a business, travel to a foreign land or initiate a soup kitchen, then for the Love of Allah, do it right. Put your heart + soul into everything you do (assuming that it’s good of course, ‘cos no one wants to direct energy into sin) and induce Ihsan into it.

There’s a long Hadith where the Angel Jibril approached the Prophet (PBUH) in the form of a man before his fellow companions and inquired about Ihsan. The Prophet (PBUH) replied by saying,“It is that you should serve Allah as though you could see Him, for though you cannot see Him yet (know that) He sees you.” {Sahih Muslim} 

In a nutshell, doing what we do because Allah sees us and this is motivation enough for a person to keep going. Thus an action point to derive for yourself from everything you just read is,

I should do everything to the level of excellence + benevolence. I will go the extra mile not because people see but He Sees. 

Reference: 40hadithnawawi.com