Tag Archives: January 2014

This Year I’m going full out, a post every single day inshaAllah. The motto this month is “being thankful”. Only those posts under this theme will be shown here.

Thank the People

Our society is very consumer oriented, what I mean by that is when we pay for a laptop we’re not supposed to get a phone. We paid good money after all, no matter how one might try to sugar coat it  it’s not going to suddenly become a laptop, at least not yet. The power of money is known to everyone, the customer is king. No matter how horrible the customer is, the customer is “always” right.

However within all this capitalist market thinking, we’ve lost the value of a simple “Thank you”. “Thank you for your work today.” “Your presentation was great.” “Thank You for the cup of tea.” We’ve got loads to be thankful for, that people don’t have to do for us but still do, whether it’s part of their company profile or not. No matter how big or small.

I think we’re taking a lot of things for granted, yes granted we paid for the service but still it would all just go smoother with a please and thank you. We’ve become quite arrogant about it too, “I don’t need to thank him/her, they’re just doing their job!”. They are but you could also just be a nice person and make your and his/her day better by being the only one all day to thank him/her for the service provided.

Abu Hurairah ra. narrated that the Messenger of Allah said :
“Whoever is not grateful to the people, he is not grateful to Allah.”

[Sahih Tirmidhi]

It is manifest in Islam in words that every Muslim knows knowledgeable or not even many non-Muslims I’m sure have heard them wondering what it meant.

Usama Ibnu Zaid ra. reports: The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said:

“Whoever some good was done to him, and he says: ‘May Allah reward you in goodness’ (Jazakallahu Khairan) then he has done the most that he can of praise.

[Hasan Tirmidhi]

To not be grateful for the things that the people around you do for you, may be a sign of you not going to be grateful for the things that God has given you in abundance. The Prophet saw. is our role model he was sent to us to perfect our character. So let us whenever someone does something for us, be it small or big,  thank him or make a small dua’ (supplication) for him or her.

Exchange little gifts to show your appreciation and love for certain people. Tell them you appreciate what they’re doing for you and lighten up their and your day.

I understand it’s hard, I know especially for us males. I remember during Ramadan listening to Dr. Tariq Ramadan’s podcast, he used to always end it with “and don’t forget to tell the people you love that you love them”. It’s sad, I realised then how rarely I’ve told my parents or my siblings that I love them. So this is a reminder for myself and for you to do so often, to do so as long as you can.

#January – Being Thankful

Also read this post and this.

PS: Can’t believe I forgot Dr. Ramadan’s podcast (Ramadan Chronicles) that was like one of the ones on the top of my list. I’m going to have to add it as soon as possible.

Unsere Schäflein

Salam Alaikum,

wir als Menschen nehmen vieles als selbstverständlich an. Wir vergessen oft diejenigen die weniger als wir haben. Unsere Gesellschaft wird immer egoistischer, wir sind so sehr in unsere iPhones und iPads versunken, dass wir alles um uns herum vergessen. Das Motto, dass viele von uns heute adoptieren ist ” looking out for number I”, wir kümmern uns nur darum unsere Schäflein ins Trockene zu bringen, das der Wolf die wenigen Schafe des neuen Nachbarns fressen würde, wenn wir nicht aushelfen  ist uns total egal.

Ich frage mich was dies mit uns macht, wir wissen mehr den jeher über die Probleme die unsere Gesellschaften plagen, ob Armut oder Kriminalität. Tuen wir selber aber aktiv etwas dagegen, statt immer nur Geld gegen ein Problem zu schmeißen? Versteht mich nicht falsch, in vielen Fällen fehlt gerade da wo es ansatzweise Lösungen zur Milderung eines Problemes gibt, das Geld. Zu spenden ist also immer notwendig, aber uns für eine Sache aktiv einzusetzen ist genauso wichtig, wenn nicht wichtiger.

Auf einer Seite sind wir auch undankbar für dass was wir haben, wollen aber mehr und auf der anderen geben wir nicht mehr, sind aber auch nicht dankbar darüber dass wir es nicht so schlimm haben.

Wir sind Konsumenten geworden, gefangen im Work, Watch, Spend treadmill ( der arbeiten, anschauen, ausgeben Tretmühle). Wie es in einem Hadith heißt,

Überliefert von Anas bin Malik:

Allah’s Gesandter (ﷺ) sagte, ” Wenn der Sohn Adams ein Tal voller Gold hätte, würde er zwei Täler haben wollen, denn nichts füllt seinen Mund außer Staub. Und Allah vergibt denjenigen der ihn um Vergebung bittet.

[Sahih al-Bukhari]

Dies zeigt uns, dass es in einem bestimmten Maße in unserer Natur ist. Das Allah uns so erschaffen hat und er uns Reichtum gibt. Es gab reiche Sahabi und Muslime im Generellen, die wohlhabend waren ,für die ihre Geschäfte erfolgreich waren. Ein Muslim gibt nicht diese Welt für das des nächsten auf, sondern schöpft von beiden.

Im Quran heißt es aber auch:

“Unter euch gibt es diejenigen die den Gewinn dieser Welt begehren, und andere die das Jenseits begehren.” [ Ali Imran Das Haus Imran 3:152 ]

Dieser Vers ist eine Nach-Kriegs Kommentation des Verlusts in der Schlacht von Uhud.. Der Prophet saw. hatte einigen Bogenschützen befohlen nicht von ihrem Platz zu weichen, selbst wenn sich Geier von ihrem Fleisch verzehrten. Als aber das Gegenteil eintraf und die Muslime gewannen, waren sie uneins über der Forderung des Propheten saw. und schließlich wichen von ihrem Posten. Es ist möglich, dass sie auch einen Anteil an der Kriegsbeute haben wollten, denn nach den Gesetzen die in der damaligen vor-islamischen Zeit herrschten, hieß es wer zuerst kommt mahlt zu erst. (Wa Allahu Alam, so viel ich weiß haben einige Mufassirin dies berichtet, ist aber Hypothese Allah swt. weiß es besser)

Khalid ibn Al-Walid ra. der damals noch nicht Muslim war, sah die Öffnung die sich durch die Bogenschützen öffnete und nutzte diese um diese Schlacht zu gewinnen.

Wir sehen also obwohl Reichtum und der Arbeiten, Fernseher, Ausgaben Kreis uns als Muslimen nicht verboten ist, sollte es uns nicht konsumieren. Was uns wichtig ist, unsere Werte und Ethik sollte dadurch nicht kompromittiert werden. Dass was wir in dieser Welt mit unserem Gewinn machen ist ein Test für uns, wir begehren letztendlich nicht den Gewinn in dieser Welt sondern den im Jenseits, wir benutzen unser Vermögen um Allah swt. Willen.

Wenn wir uns immer nur mit uns selber beschäftigen, mit dem was uns weiter voranbringt, was uns reicher macht, dann wird es leicht sein andere auszubeuten. Als Gesellschaft haben wir diese Obsession mit den berühmten und reichen dieser Welt, wir wollen alles über sie und ihren Erfolg wissen. Dass die auch nur Menschen sind vergessen wir schnell.

Wenn wir erkennen das diese Welt ein einziger Test ist, ein Test in dem wir nicht wissen wann unsere Zeit um ist, vielleicht schon in der nächsten Sekunde. Wenn wir endlich okay mit wenigerem sind, als dass was wir haben. Dass wir nie, wie in dem Hadith oben erwähnt wurde,  komplett zufrieden sind. (Dass ist das Paradies) Wenn wir die Liebe zu Allah an erster Stelle stellen. Wenn wir all dass tuen, dann wird es leichter sein uns einzusetzen und von dem was wir haben aufzugeben. Ich glaube daran dass wir Armut vollständig auslöschen können, wenn wir nur alle etwas dafür tun.

Die IF Enough Food For Everyone Kampagne im letzten Jahr hat erfolgreich die Stärke von Menschen die sich für die Eradikation von Armut einsetzen gezeigt. Die Anzahl an Events quer durch Großbritannien und Irland war massiv. Hören wir also auf unseren Kopf in den Sand zustecken und tuen etwas wenn auch klein.

In der Al-Fatiha die wir jeden Tag mindestens 17 mal rezitieren, fragen wir um die Hilfe Allahs um uns zu rechtleiten. Im Vers Iyaka nabudu wa iyaka nastain, wird unsere Anbetung Allahs zuerst erwähnt und dann die Bitte um Hilfe. Unsere Anstrengung, unser Jihad ist Requisite dafür dass Allah swt. uns hilft. Wir können nicht Allah swt. bitten uns in die Schule zu transportieren, während wir im Bett unter unserer Decke liegen oder um eine gute Note in einem Test bitten ohne dafür geübt zu haben. So funktioniert es nicht.

Möge Allah swt. uns dabei helfen dies in die Tat umzusetzen, uns für die Probleme in unserer Gesellschaft einzusetzen und nicht dem Egoismus zu verfallen. Möge Allah swt. unsere Anstrengung belohnen und unsere Absicht rein halten. Amin.

Lasst uns mehr dankbar sein für das was wir haben und uns für die einsetzen, die wenig haben. InshaAllah.

Dies ist an erster Stelle eine Erinnerung an mich selber.

Wa Allahu Alam,

Wa Salam,

Abdur-Rahman

 #January – Being Thankful

Appreciation – Malcolm X

I believe that it would be almost impossible to find anywhere in America a black man who has lived further in the mud of human society than I have; or a black man who has been more ignorant than I have been; or a black man who has suffered more anguish during his life than I have. But it is only after the deepest darkness that the greatest light can come; it is only after extreme grief that the greatest joy can come; it is only after slavery and prison that the sweetest appreciation of freedom can come

[Malcolm X]

#January – Being Thankful

Observations of Ramadan past

Salam Alaykum,

it’s been a while since I visited my 2nd tumblr Blog. I kinda forgot about it, I didn’t do too much with it, to be honest. It’s purpose was for me to get comfortable with writing, I guess this Blog has taken over on that front. Some of the post however brought a smile to my face, especially those on my observations in Ramadan (1433, almost 2 years ago).

I’d like to share this one with you.

Observation #2
Hmm that last observation was a bit strange, here is a better one inshaAllah 🙂
“Hayya ‘alas-salāh, Hayya ‘alas-salāh…” Oh no, the prayer is starting already, I could see the brothers through the lit window. I speeded up a bit, but at the same time being careful not to get run over as I crossed the last few roads. Finally, I entered the mosque, checking if there weren’t any spaces in the main prayer room. No, I could see there weren’t, an elderly man about 70ish years old was standing on the step in the doorway. I turned away, wait what. I froze, what can I do, I thought, it looked to be painful for him. Where’s a chair? I found a chair near the stairs to the 2nd and 3rd floor and carried it to him. Hmm, I can’t put it behind him, the doorway is too small. My heart pumping and bleeding at that point, I put it near him leaning against the shoe rack and went to join the prayer.

I have a lot of respect for that man, I see him almost every time I’m at the masjid. His house is almost next to the masjid, but no one could discredit the effort that he exerts every single step towards the masjid. I’ve met him on the way to the masjid, refusing any help, instead shooing us towards the masjid. Making sure to thank everyone who helps him whether that is by giving him his cane or giving him a chair to sit on for Salah.
I feel ashamed seeing the effort that he exerts every single day for Allah alone, and comparing it to mine, the mosque not 5 minutes away but still I can’t make 5 prayers a day at the mosque.
He is not the only example in my community, and I’m fortunate to have these examples, to strive to being better than I am. Another just recently lost his wife, another strong man a grandfather type who treats everyone as his child. I ask you to make dua’ for them and other examples like them in my and your community.
May Allah grant them Jannah, may Allah give them strength in Iman and health.
Amin.

#January – Being Thankful

Wa Salam,

Abdur-Rahman

Journal writing or Muhasabah

My Journals

Salam Alaykum,

this post is derived from an aspect of the first ZeroToHero challenge, the question was why I’m writing a blog instead of writing a personal diary or journal. I actually do keep journals, in plural, for different purposes.

The Art of Manliness has put together a few articles on why and how to keep a journal turning it into a habit and generally habits young men should adopt. Art of Manliness is very American centric in their great men list who kept a journal.

I just read part of a paper (some Notes) by Goerge Makdisi on The Diary in Islamic Historiography. He notes that while the earliest existent diary (in the form we have it now) in the West is the anonymous French Journal d’un bourgeois de Paris de 1405 a 1449 in the Islamic world, that has been developed earlier Ibn Banna Al-Hanbali wrote one in the 11th Century.  He also remarked that he does not think that he was unique in doing so and believes it goes back further based on hadith literature and criticism from the scholars from the time, referencing to handwritten records. For example “Ibn Rajab said:” he recorded extensively in his own handwriting, acquired beautiful authorized works of hadiths, but he transmitted only a few hadiths because he died before the time was ripe for him to become an authorized transmitter.””

Whether it is a Rihla a travel journal, travellers such as Ibn Batuta or Ibn Jubayr wrote or part of Muhasabah, Muslims have written and kept journals.

For me it all started with a talk by Abdel Rahman Murphy I posted on this blog once before. It’s called Project transformation if you want to search it on Youtube. He was talking about constantly having a revolution within yourself, transforming yourself. Watching that I immediately started a “journal”, having had a diary before.

On the 5th of February 2013 at 02:40am, I started my first entry with a list of practical things things to do to revive ones Iman. (faith)

  1. Being honest with yourself, getting over your denials
  2. Be practical, start a journal/diary
  3. Assess and evaluate ones lifestyle
  4. Look at your companions/friends
  5. Be the friend you wish to have

Over time I’ve written in it more and more but also having periods where I get so caught up in life that I forget to write anything. Today, a month to go before the “anniversary” I’ve filled 2 journals (almost), and started a few for different purposes. One dedicated to organising my writings on this blog, as well as recording the improvement of my skills especially in learning CSS and HTML. Another is the actual journal and another is to note down interesting quotes and generally notes from lectures I’ve been to, noting down my progress as wannabe student of knowledge.

So why should we as Muslims especially start a journal?

Essentially because of Muhasabah, you might ask yourself now what that is, since I’ve used it in the title and above without explaining it. This also actually ties back with my theme this month on “Being Thankful”.

Muhasabah is derived from the word hisab meaning bill or invoice, it can be translated as retrospection or self-criticism. In an article on Suhaib Webb this saying by Umar ibn al-Khattab is mentioned.

Umar ibn al-Khattab (radi Allahu `anhu – may Allah be pleased with him) said, “Criticize and appraise yourselves before you are criticized and appraised on the Day of Judgment, and weigh out your deeds, before they are weighed out for you.”

This is essentially what we should do daily, taking time to go over what you have done today in terms of good and bad and a way we can do this is by keeping a diary.

Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyya rah. writes about Muhasabah in Madarij as-Salikeen, defining it as:

“Al-Muhasabah is to look and compare between what you have done right and what you have done wrong, so you thank Allah swt. for what you have done right, and you try to correct and fix what you have done wrong.”

With each turn of the page, with each page you fill you realise that the days have passed  and will not come back. Hassan Al-Basri rah. said: “O son of Adam! You are but a bundle of days. As each day passes away, a portion of you vanishes away!” So with each day, we need to make the best out of it, thanking Allah swt. for it and repenting from the sins that we may have done that day. On the Day of Judgement it will be to late to do so.

Look at the favours bestowed on you by Allah swt. and compare it to your sins, reflect on your life, on your actions and your attitude. Constantly try and do more to please Allah swt. and set yourself goals every day. This is a reminder for me first and foremost before it is to any of you.

Wa Allahu ‘Alam,

Wa Salam,

Abdur-Rahman

PS: I’m not advertising MOLESKINE even though I click with those notebooks!

 

#January – Being Thankful

Water

The hot sun rises

Thanking God for the rain clouds

Wait we’re in England

Somewhere someone dies

No clean water can be found

We complain daily

 Don’t  you think about
The Colourless sip of Gold
Favours of your lord

Children are laughing

The splashing sound of water

A smile on your face

So which of the favours of your Lord would you deny?
[Quran 55:38]

#January – Being Thankful