Tag Archives: journey

Ramadan has landed

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As Salamu Alaykum!

God, the most glorified, the most High, says in the Holy Qur’an:

“So have they not travelled through the earth, and have hearts by which to reason, and ears by which to hear? For indeed, it is not the eyes that are blinded, but blinded are the hearts which are within the breast.” [22:46] 

As I begin to make preparations for a journey a certain amount of excitement and nervousness always builds up. I love to travel, and if I had the means and opportunity would love to travel more extensively than I have been able to as of yet. There is something about travelling that puts my heart and mind at ease. For me travelling is a journey to myself, a roadmap in essence, I get to know myself better, as well as those who I travel with. As Umar (ra.) once asked a man who wanted to vouch for another, whether he really knew him, including asking whether he had travelled with him saying:

“For travelling and being away from home reveals a man’s true essence”

Ramadan landed this year on the 18th of June, I find that I share the feelings that I have for travelling with Ramadan approaching. I am thrilled every year for it to arrive, but I feel kinda nervous too. The shayateen are chained up in this month, the sins I commit during this month is mostly all me and my  nafs. This month is the opportunity to change our lives around, to come closer to God, leave bad habits and make new good ones, to improve ourselves in all aspects of our lives. Ramadan is like a training camp for the rest of the year. The Prophet (saw.) used to do more in Ramadan than in the other months of the year.

Aisha (ra.) narrated:

“The Messenger of Allah (saw.) used to strive more in worship during Ramadan than he strove in any other time of the year…” [Muslim]

The reward of worship in this month of the Quran and of fasting is multifold, as Az-Zuhri said concerning Tasbih in Ramadan: “A tasbih in Ramadan is better than a thousand Tasbihah in other than it” [At-Tirmidhi]

There are ahadith saying that if one fasts during Ramadan and in another one prays during the night (in Qiyam) out of sincerity hoping for reward from Allah, will have their sins forgiven. Ramadan is a wonderful time, but also one of hardship and strive, we are giving up food and drink and are to try to be as productive as we are outside of Ramadan if not more so, as well as the long Taraweeh prayer and especially now when the days are long and the nights so short, it can be difficult to keep a good countenance throughout the month.

Similarly travelling is full of hardships,

“When the Prophet (saw.) travelled, he would seek refuge with Allah from the hardships of travel, and the sorrows of return, from loss after plenty, from the supplication of the one who has been wronged, and from seeing some calamity befall.” [Sahih Bukhari]

In another hadith travel is described as Jihad.

“Travel for my people is Jihad in the Cause of Allah, glory be to Him.” [Abu Dawud]

No wonder Umar (ra.) said that the true essence of a person would shine through when you are travelling with them. It puts you through stress situations, sometimes you lose food and sleep and especially during the time of the Prophet (saw.), he said in a report narrated by Abu Huraira (ra.):

“Travelling is a kind of torture, as it prevents one from sleeping and eating! So when one has finished his job, he should return quickly to his family.”
[Sahih Al-Bukhari]

 What helps overcoming these hardships is being clear of the goals and intentions of your travelling and your fasting. In first line we should remember that we do everything for the sake of Allah. Even when travelling for leisure, you could make your intention to relax and rejuvenate yourself, so you can toil harder once done with your vacation. Fasting and the long Qiyam are for the sake of Allah and that is something we should constantly remind ourselves of. We’re not doing it because it is expected of us by our family or community but because we want to please Allah and gain nearness to Him with it.
It helps to remember your goals and intentions when things get particularly hard. It also helps to keep yourself focused. If you are travelling for work solely, and you need to do this or that but get distracted by the sights, refocusing on your goals and making plans of how exactly you can achieve your goal help in keeping you productive. If your goal is to read the whole Quran in Ramadan, constantly reminding yourself of it and preparing yourself and planning ahead of time helps in making that Goal a reality.
 Wa salam!
Abdur-Rahman

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PS: We’re over ten days into Ramadan now, Ramadan Mubarak! I have had the idea for this post for a while now, but essentially procrastinated too much. I wanted to upload this now, even though we are so far into the month already, because if I didn’t, I don’t know when I would be posting next, as I would continue to just procrastinate. So with the fear of this post not making any sense at all, I’ll send it off into the world anyway.

PPS: In this post I wanted to compare Ramadan with travelling, there are ahadith mentioning both and I often feel the same emotions when they come about, of course there is no real comparison to Ramadan but there are some similarities. I’m praying that I’ll be able to travel a bit during next Ramadan and get to experience it in different settings inshaAllah.

May Allah make this Ramadan a productive one for all of us, and accept all of our worship! Amin.

 

 

 

 

Being Patient with People

Salam Alaykum,

today’s post is about having forbearance (Hilm). Forbearance, according to Merriam-Webster is “the quality of someone who is patient and able to deal with a difficult person or situation without becoming angry.” It is difficult to have patience generally, but it is more agonizing quite often when dealing with people who can’t get a move on, are rude, obnoxious and/or infuriating to swallow that anger and frustration that one feels and be patient. It is another step up to that challenge, to not just ignore such people but deal with them in a way that does not end in hating and killing each other.

It is however important to show patience in face of a difficult person or situation that raise ire, but also in situations where you are disappointed. It is of essence to deal with such a situation masterfully to not put yourself or another down. For you to not get depressed and sunk into a hole and for you to not unintentionally emotionally scar the other. This goes for every single situation that you find yourself in, you have to find ways to deal with people.

In the Muslim Community we have a problem with giving Advice. (Nasiha) It is important to give it, I would go as far as saying it is an obligation. As Allah (swt.) said in Surah Al-Asr:

“By time, Indeed mankind is in loss, Except for those who believe and do good deeds and urge one another to truth and urge one another to patience.“

[Surah Al-‘Asr]

However giving advise is constrained to time and etiquette (Adab). When giving Nasiha we have to find a time that is suitable to the one we are wanting to give advice to. We have to do it on their schedule not on ours, otherwise they won’t listen. Advice is also given with proper etiquette, it isn’t given in anger or self-righteousness. It is given because we care and not to satisfy our ego. We have an example in Luqman who gave advice to his son, pre-emptively addressing him with words of love.

We have to show patience when urging one another to the truth. Again realising that everyone is on a journey one may seem to be further ahead but be careful not to let another crash and burn with your harshness.  We should be helping each other along and that can only be done when we care, with Adab and with patience. On the other hand we have to be patient with those that deal in being rude and harsh.

As the Prophet (saw.) said in a hadith related by Ibn Umar (ra.):

“The believer who mixes with people and bears their annoyance with patience will have a greater reward than the believer who does not mix with people and does not put up with their annoyance.”

[Sahih | Sunan Ibn Majah]

This doesn’t mean that one should get steam-rolled by people, if there is abuse in a relationship for example the authorities need to be called. That in itself is patience, patience does not mean to suffer in silence as the origin of the word from latin infers. Abuse is abuse, is abuse. At the very least an independent arbiter should be involved.

I’m iterating, Patience is not to suffer in silence, firstly realise that God is always with you and He is the most excellent Partner to have. Secondly, “there is strength in numbers”. We are an Ummah (a community) you are not alone. If it is the case that your local community left you alone then get authorities involved. Go to the “Kafir” and get help, no matter what your family says.

Finally, learn to forgive people, to let things slide it will help you and the people around you. Don’t be serious all the time, there is a place and time to be so. We realise the End is coming, but if the Prophet (saw.) still laughed and smiled, raced and joked, so can and should you. Islam came to make things easier, not for us to breathe down everyone’s neck to make sure they do everything, as we think they should. Yes Islam came with clear rules and guidelines but showing forbearance and Patience in advising can  go a long way in helping to guide someone.

In the end Allah (swt.) is the One who guides and forgives may He forgive us abundantly on account of every discomfort, every illness, anxiety and grief, worry, prick of a thorn and any other pain that we may have experienced. May He make us people of patience. Amin

“Never a believer is stricken with a discomfort, an illness, an anxiety, a grief or mental worry or even the pricking of a thorn but Allah will expiate his sins on account of his patience”. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Wa Salam,
Abdur-Rahman