The hypocrites will call to the believers, “Were we not with you?” They will say, “Yes, but you led yourselves into temptations, you looked forward for our destruction; you doubted (in Faith); and you were deceived by false desires, till the Command of Allah came to pass. And the chief deceiver (Satan) deceived you about of Allah.
Surah Al-Hadid | Verse 14
Next door lives a dragon
Next door lives the batman
Next door lives the police
Next door, Next door, Next door
Next door lives a teacher, preparing for his lecture
leaving 7am in the morning
returning late, stressed and underpaid
Next door lives a 5-headed family
with a sick father, a working mother and 3 little children
living on the brink
Next door lives my best friend
known him for ages, through thick and thin
I treasure him.
Next door, Next door, Next door
Next door is a world away
Next door is another reality
Next door is a life lived
Next door, Next door, Next door
A man is not a believer
who fills his stomach while his neighbour
On the Contrary let him who believes in Allah and the last Day
be generous, be kind to his neighbour, who lays
forty houses in front of him, forty houses behind him
forty houses on the right and forty houses on the left.
A breath of mind
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)
- Being honest with yourself, getting over your denials
- Be practical, start a journal/diary
- Assess and evaluate ones lifestyle
- Look at your companions/friends
- 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,
PS: I’m not advertising MOLESKINE even though I click with those notebooks!
#January – Being Thankful
Inspired by Muhammad ﷺ | Day 7/7
May Allah prevent us from the wastage of resources/food and make us understand the value of what we have been blessed with. Remember Allah dislikes ‘Israaf’
Love the environment and do not harm it. Let’s take a lesson from our beloved Prophet Muhammad ﷺ
With this insha Allah we bring an end to this short but beautiful series – Inspired by Muhammad ﷺ
Stay Tuned for an update regarding this series – Inspired by Muhammad ﷺ
Insha’Allah. We’ve got something really amazing to announce Insha’Allah.
“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson
Do you mind if I smoke? Ehm no. Looking at the open window and his position next to it. I continue asking him about his day. Pertaining in some small talk, as some of my other room mates enter the kitchen.
A box filled with beer, a vodka bottle, and a bottle of Pepsi, enters with them.
More conversations spring up, about random stuff, as they gradually begin to drink.
My room mates now laughing loudly. Can of beer in one hand, as he makes a joke about some girl. Another voices his opinion, that most girls just use you. I shake my head. Thanking God, he saved me from this.
How am I going to, as politely as possible, excuse myself from this? I ask myself…
Hoping the water cooker hurries up and the eggs fry themselves quicker, so I can get out of there, I’ve got an essay to write, don’t I? Inconspicuously trying to smell my T-shirt, I sigh as my nose detects the stench of cigarettes on it. I hate cigarettes.
The guys now talking about some party in the past few weeks, where one of them was so drunk he started a fight with someone else, he lost.
Tea and egg finished cooking, I give my excuses, saying I’ll see them later.
Suddenly waking up, I look at my alarm clock, 3am. Someone was screaming, was I still dreaming? There it is again, this time coupled with laughter. I stand up, walk over to my basin I sprinkle water in my face, trying to clear my head. I step out of my room, one of my room mates and a girl are in front of the fire door, opposite of my room. “You guys are crazy”, I say and carry on to the toilet. Back in my room, I make ablution (wudhu), taking out my Quran and pray Tahajjud (voluntary night prayer) till Fajr (dawn prayer).
Sometimes, sometimes I just feel totally out of place. Mostly it’s when I’m among people of my age. I do not take part in the “dating scene” for obvious reasons. Often though that and similar things is quite prevalent in the minds of those my age, “Which gal is hot?”.
Whereas the injunction from the Quran is:
“Tell believing men to lower their eyes and guard their private parts: that is purer for them. God is well aware of everything they do.”
I’ve taken to not leaving my room, except when absolutely necessary, on Friday or Wednesday nights. I feel out of place on a weekly occurrence at least.
Thank You Daily Post.