Tag Archives: Post

Entry IX

Salam Alaykum,

it has been a while since I’ve done a simple entry. I’ll try to do that more often inshaAllah. Summer holidays have started for me, my exams are over and the stress is giving away to a slight boredom or restlessness. Now that I’m thinking about it,  it has almost been a month since my last exam. Time does fly, though I’m somewhat disappointed now in how I’ve spent it.

I want to be more productive in general, but especially in Ramadan. During my Exam time I started to make lists on post-it notes to remind me of the things that I need to do. I split them up into categories, such as Revision, Reading, Writing etc. In Get Things Done style I added little circles next to each point and fill them when I’ve completed a task, or fill half if I’ve done at least half of what I wanted. It’s been working great during Exam season and since I’ve started to implement it again a week ago.  I don’t always get everything done, but I get more done than before. For anyone who may want to do something similar I’d advise to be ambitious, but don’t burn yourself out.

Until the last few  days, with the morning prayer very early, (around 3:30am ) I’ve given up on sleeping until I’ve prayed. It is perpetuating, my normal sleeping cycle broken. As I tend to write, read, surf until 1am it would be impossible for me to wake up at the right time. Falling asleep at around 4:30am it was not unusual for me to wake up at 2pm, with half the day over by the time I got myself properly awake. Not particularly good for productivity and in effect I stopped the post-its.

The solution would probably be to take a Qaylulah, that is to take an afternoon nap after the afternoon prayer (Asr) and get to bed straight after the night prayer (Isha) but to do that and everything else I want to do I need planning and ridding myself of the lethargy that has gripped me the past days; and so I’ve done another post-it for tomorrow, with Allah swt. help, I hope that I get to do at least half, if not all of the things on there, inshaAllah.

Plan 3rd May

Wa Salam,

Abdur-Rahman

 

Heroic

Salam Alaykum,

I don’t have much time at the moment to write a lot, or take the time to plan this post out so it might be all over the place. Today’s post is prompted by the dailypost .

When you were five years old, who was your hero? What do you think of that person today?

The short answer would be to say my parents, especially my mother and to say I appreciate them a lot more now than then. 

They taught me to be okay with who I am, and to always strive to be better. They taught me through their actions what  it means to be a Muslim. I’ve always looked up to them, was and still am proud to have them as my parents. At the same time I realise that I do not thank Allah swt. enough for them. Through Him they’ve been able to send me to school, I could read at an early age, and loved to read and they encouraged me to do so. I think even a bit too much, my father told me that I deleted a small part of his PhD thesis. I should feel guilty about this, he mentioned the welcome distraction that we were in the dedication part of the final published version, if I remember it right.

From kindergarten I skipped pre-school right into school life. Through Allah swt. Will, they sheltered me, and educated me, from becoming susceptible to a lot of the things I’ve seen some of my classmates get into. While also giving me the space to develop as a Muslim, and as a person  in my own right.

While I don’t think I was a difficult child as such, I was a loud and very active kid from what has been told to me from friends. I’ve calmed down a lot according to them, and according to my parents I’ll have to learn again to be a bit louder, to speak up. Something my father tells me, he too had to learn.

Other heroes in my life include the close friends of my family, they strengthened my identity as a Muslim in German society. Every Friday after the evening talk at our mosque everyone would sit together and talk about anything and everything. I got to learn a bit about how they grew up in the DDR as Muslims, I could identify with them, these were my  role models.

As a child I tended to, I don’t want to say hero worship, but be in awe of the adults around me I guess. As one grows older one realises that everyone is human, that everyone makes mistakes, that that is our nature. The only perfect role models are the Prophets they are ma’sum, (sinless) everyone else is fallible.

This doesn’t mean that I don’t love them as much as I did then, it just means that that love matured with me. So to conclude my heroes are my parents first and foremost, then my uncles and aunts biologically or in Islam.

I’m extremely grateful to all them, especially my parents, may Allah swt. accept their good deeds and forgive them all of their sins and grant them Janatul Firdaws.

Amin.

Also see my first post on this blog, on Heroes specifically Heroines. Also while we are on the topic of heroes; yesterday a Pakistani school boy named Aitzaz Hassan Bangesh saved hundreds of his classmates, when a suicide bomber tried to set of the bomb on school grounds. Aitzaz was late to school and made to wait outside,  when he confronted the bomber at the school gates,  he panicked and subsequently detonated the bomb killing him and Aitzaz.

He is a true hero. In the Qur’an it says ,

We decreed to the Children of Israel that if anyone kills a person -unless in retribution for murder or spreading corruption in the land – it is as if he kills all mankind, while if any saves a life it is as if he saves the lives of all mankind.

[Quran The Feast 5:32]

In an article I read yesterday, the author writes that we don’t need to have a #millionaitzaz, but should ask ourselves are we are worthy of Aitzaz Hassan Bangash.

May Allah swt. forgives us our weaknesses and strengthen us towards this Deen and towards the betterment of society. May Allah grant him entrance to Jannat ul Firdaws as a matyr.

Wa Salam,

Abdur-Rahman

New Year 2014

Salam Alaikum,

2014 is almost upon us, I’ve taken it upon myself to blog everyday of this new Year of 2014 insha Allah. The past two months I’ve tried myself at it and found I didn’t do too shabby, I did miss a few days especially towards the last few days. I think however that with a plan in place, and being ready for any unforeseen circumstances by preparing posts in advance as well as having a few emergency posts on my laptop, Online and on my phone, I might survive this, just.

But first things first. I’ve read a few articles on New Years Resolutions, the Metro for example has an alternative list, that suggests to invent a new language than learn a new language which would according to them save time. Mashable suggests keeping in touch with your parents and giving to charity more and TED, has a list of TED-inspired New Years Resolution, the first of which is to “Make time to make art”.

While as Muslims  we do not celebrate New Years as such, having resolutions for a new year I think is something to be encouraged. As Muslims we should constantly strive to be better everyday. While turning a new leaf isn’t as simple as making resolutions that we don’t keep more than a few days, we should work towards it.

Indeed, your Lord knows, [O Muhammad], that you stand [in prayer] almost two thirds of the night or half of it or a third of it, and [so do] a group of those with you. And Allah determines [the extent of] the night and the day. He has known that you [Muslims] will not be able to do it and has turned to you in forgiveness, so recite what is easy [for you] of the Qur’an. He has known that there will be among you those who are ill and others traveling throughout the land seeking [something] of the bounty of Allah and others fighting for the cause of Allah . So recite what is easy from it and establish prayer and give zakah and loan Allah a goodly loan. And whatever good you put forward for yourselves – you will find it with Allah . It is better and greater in reward. And seek forgiveness of Allah . Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.

[Quran 73:20]

Repentance is the ingredient to turning a new leaf, to ask God for forgiveness, turning back towards Him and then doing everything possible not to fall in sin again. We will continue to slip up from time to time, but every time we do so we should return back to Him. We should always be concious of Him, aware that He watches us, that He witnesses what we do. In Islam with everything that we do we should say Bismillah (with the Name of Allah swt.) before doing that thing. There are many prayers that are recommended to be said upon doing a certain act. So whether we are waking up or going to sleep, we are eating or entering the toilet, having sexual relations with our spouse or leaving the house we mention the name of God, the Most High.

We need to constantly remind us that He is the Most Merciful the Most forgiving, so if we sincerely do turn to Him then we are assured that He will forgive us, even if our sins amount to a mountain.

The Hijra, the migration to Madinah was marked as the first year of the Muslim Calender, it was a change in the Status Quo of the Muslims being tortured and oppressed to a status of being welcomed and the Prophet saw. being the head of state.

The Prophet saw. said “Take benefit of 5 before 5, your youth, before your old age, your health before your sickness, your wealth before your poverty, your free time before your preoccupation and your life before your death.”

Islam is geared towards action, knowledge is gained so that we may act on it, so that we may teach it, so that we may be role-models.

5 of my Resolutions this year were:

  1. Complete memorisation of Juz Amma’
  2. Taking a Surah each Month, reading its Tafsir and act on what I can.
  3. Reading more books (My Goal is a fifty over the year)
  4. Deal with my obsessions and addictions better (this incl. fasting every Monday and Thursday at least)
  5. Volunteering for a Charity

 

Wa Salam,

Abdur-Rahman

 

Cherish life

Cherish life, forget the strife

leave sadness be, leave anger be

let the moment live, free from all restraints

let the soul rejoice

Cherish it.

Let it hoist you to heights unknown

A moment with your loved ones

the warmth, the peace, the bonds kept

The green leaves, the trees, the hot sun

The sights to see. The things to learn. The Links you make.

The friends with you. Cherished forever.

With a single breath,   Alhamdulillah.

(All praise and gratitude is for Allah)

Random Act of Kindness

Today’s daily prompt at the dailypost is Random Act of KindnessTell us about the time when you performed a secret random act of kindness — where the recipient of your kindness never found out about your good deed. How did the deed go down?

This is actually something we are discouraged from doing in Islam, to tell people about something that you did in secret. First we try to do everything we do for the sake of God, to please Him. Islam can, according to some scholars, be reduced to two essential things, which is recurring in all Abrahamic faiths, that is to worship God and to serve humanity.

We always try to live by these maxims, everything we do should first have the right intention. We’re not doing this to please someone else, or please ourselves. This removes from us a degree of subjectivity, it doesn’t matter who the receiver of this random act of kindness is. It might be my mother or my sworn enemy. We do it because we try to earn God’s pleasure above all.

Secondly, because we do it for the sake of God, it should stay between us and Him. We’re not trying to look good in front of other people, saying we did this or that, gave this amount of money to a charity etc. No one else needs to know, especially the recipient of that act. Why  would you tell the recipient of an anonymous £1000 check that you were the one that sent it? No such things in my opinion should stay secret.

So rather than telling you about some random act of kindness I may have done, I’d like to tell you about something I’ve been following over the past few days. The Project for Awesome (P4A), a project to decrease world suck, which takes place on December 17-18 every year.

How it works, is that Online Creators create videos about their favourite charity which are then promoted and money is raised for these charities. The top ten of these videos as voted by the viewers will then receive the money. Currently  $794,601 has been raised and money is still trickling in 2 days after the live event.

Last year Aiman Azlan did a video which I found cool.

As Muslims we should continuously do good, and encourage goodness. I just received a Press release by the Islamic Education and Research Academy (iERA) titled “Help Britain get through this winter!” 

Reminding us that the prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) instructed Muslims: “Whoever believes in Almighty God and the Last Day let him treat his neighbour well.” He further explained that “He is not a believer, he who eats to his fill, whilst his neighbour besides him goes hungry.” Encouraging Muslims across the UK to serve their communities this winter and giving practical tips on how to do that.

Practical things you can do to help this winter:
  1. Support the Age UK ‘Spread the Warmth’ campaign.
  2. Keep checking on your neighbours, particularly the elderly and vulnerable – offer to do their shopping for them if need be.
  3. Give out food (especially hot food) or invite your neighbours to your house.
  4. Come together and contact your local council for materials (snow shovels, grit) and help clear the snow if and when it arrives

Wa Allahu ‘Alam,

wa Alaikum Salam,

Abdur-Rahman

PS: Saying that we’re  not doing it for ourselves, also implies we’re not doing something so we can feel good about having done it.

Also there might be situations where you’re telling you did something, to encourage other people to do the same, that is fine.

Postscript: Fernsehen

Salam,

Ich habe vergessen zu erwähnen, dass in der Bambule Sendung so weit ich das noch in Erinnerung habe erwähnt wurde, dass immer mehr Menschen zu TV-Magazinen greifen um zu planen was sie sich anschauen. Ich finde das ne gute Idee und erinnere mich das früher auch manchmal gemacht zu haben.

Dazu wollte ich die TV-Tipps des Bruder Muadh aus Berlin empfehlen. Diese beinhalten TV-Sendungen die für uns als Muslime interessant sein könnten, die den Islam oder generell Religiöses behandeln. So gibt es z.B für heute den ersten Dezember diese Empfehlungen:

+++So. 01.12.2013+++
04.30h..05.15h    Phoenix
*Der Garten Eden*
Die Suche nach dem biblischen Paradies
05.15h..06.00h    Phoenix
*Die großen biblischen Rätsel*
Teil 1: Sodom und Gomorrha
06.00h..06.45h    Phoenix
*Die großen biblischen Rätsel*
Teil 2: Die verborgenen Evangelien
13.00h..13.25h    Arte
*Philosophie*
Kultursendung, heute zum Thema Mord
15.30h..16.00h    NDR
*7 Tage unter Muslimen*
Eine Reporterin lebt eine Woche in einer muslimischen Familie, als Test der Lebensart!
16.00h..16.30h    WDR
*Cosmo TV*
Magazin zum Thema Migration
17.00h..18.00h    Phoenix
*Tacheles, Talk am roten Tisch*
Thema: Soll Deutschland sich Flüchtlingen öffnen oder sich abschotten?
18.50h..19.45h    History Channel
*Der Heilige Krieg*
Dschihad für den Kaiser, Geschichtsdoku
19.15h..19.30h    BR Alpha
*Den Religionen auf der Spur*
Reihe
19.20h..20.00h    Das Erste
*Weltspiegel*
Reportagen aus dem Ausland
23.20h..00.00h    Tagesschau24
*Weltspiegel*
Reportagen aus dem Ausland
18.50h..19.45h    History Channel
*Der Heilige Krieg*
Dschihad für den Kaiser, Geschichtsdoku
22.00h..22.45h    Spiegel TV Wissen*
*Die investigative Reportage*
Missionare des Hasses – über Glaubensfanatiker

Bruder Muadh sendet diese jede Woche per Email, durch den Verteiler von amana-news, direkt durch seine Email-Adresse (gebe ich auf Anfrage) und auch auf Facebook.

Wa Salam,

Abdur-Rahman

Land of Confusion –
Daily Post

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.”

Quran [24:30]

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.

Wa Salam,

Abdur-Rahman