Tag Archives: year

*2015 Resolution*

Salam Alaykum,
2015 is here, yay! I realise I’m twelve days late, but I do have what I hope is a valid excuse.

Over the holidays I’ve been to Nigeria for the first time in ten years. The weeks of hassle, travelling to London and back multiple times to renew my German Passport and apply for a Nigerian Passport paid off, it was absolutely amazing. All praise is due to God! That is despite the fact that due to security reasons we couldn’t just leave the complex whether we were at my dad’s or at my grandmother’s. A driver would drive us wherever we wanted to while that was cool, the downside was that you’d spend hours in the Lagos traffic. Due to the same reasons I’m short on photos as well, I left my camera at home just to be safe.

For some reason the heat surprised me, I expected it, I mean I was in Egypt a year and half ago. Coming back to the UK last Friday we almost froze to death, okay okay I almost froze to death my family were cyborgs. I however just couldn’t stop shivering.
Well, that Monday I had my first exam and yeah that was fun. Having revised next to nothing in Nigeria, I was surprised how well I (felt I) actually did in 3 of the 4 exams I’ve already sat. I’ve got one exam to go and then the new semester starts on the 19th.

There is a lot I want to do and change this year, some impacting the Blog and some my self, God willing. Over the last year I’ve posted a lot on virtues in the “Be more…” series. These were a reminder for myself, and whoever else benefited of them, to instil these virtues such as gratitude, humbleness or patience in our lives.

My biggest Goal this year is to work on and instil in myself one of the virtues Benjamin Franklin set himself to become a “self-made man”. He used to carry a book with 13 charts for 13 virtues and next to each day mark down whenever he went against one of these. He basically does, as Shaykh Suhaib Webb remarks, Muhasabah daily.

Over the last few years I have been becoming lazier and lazier. I’ve delayed so many things, not even talking about how much coursework I’ve delayed doing over the year. I’ve put off things friends have requested of me, or getting back into contact with others, posting on here, with no excuse other than my chronic procrastination.
I’ve been involved in so many great things over the years that I’m absolutely grateful to have been part of. The one thing that overshadowed these experiences in some cases was not being able to do good work fast.

Industry.
Lose no time
Be always employ’d in something useful
Cut off all unnecessary actions

Industriousness is therefore my biggest goal and resolution for this year of 2015.

Dictionary Definition :

obsolete skillful, ingenious

constantly, regularly, or habitually active or occupieddiligent industrious worker

This incorporates a lot of things that I will have to take myself to task for. It is a deeply Islamic concept to not be idle and to not waste your time on earth.

Ibn ‘Abbas narrated that the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) said:

“Two favours that many of the people squander are health and free time.” [Al-Tirmidhi | Sahih]
In the Qur’an, Allah (swt.) tells us about a man unto whom death comes he says:
“”My Lord, send me back That I might do righteousness in that which I left behind.” No! It is only a word he is saying; and behind them is a barrier until the Day they are resurrected.”  [Surat Al-Mu’minūn 99-100]

So using my time as best as I can, to plan ahead of time and make time for certain things in life that just have to be done, is my resolution so to say for this year. I pray that this year will be a good one for all of us, for humanity, for banu Adam.

Peace,

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

 

1435 a.H

A new year is upon us. New opportunities, new chances to do good, to change myself and my community to the better.

Every so often I try to keep track of the Islamic date. Allah swt. tells us :

“God decrees that there are twelve months – ordained in God’s Book on the Day when He created the heavens and earth – four months of which are sacred…” [9:36]

Still, I failed to take notice that we had entered the month of Muharram, the first month of the Islamic Year. One of the 4 months mentioned in the verse above as Abu Bakr ra. relates from the Prophet saw. :

“The year is of twelve months, out of which four months are sacred: Three are in succession Dhul-Qa’ da, Dhul-Hijja and Muharram, and (the fourth is) Rajab of (the tribe of) Mudar which comes between Jumadi-ath-Thaniyah and Sha ban” [Bukhari Vol 004, Book 054, Hadith 419]

A holy month in which both good deeds and sins are greater in their value than in other months. As the Ayah carries on saying:

“…this is the correct calculation(deen). Do not wrong yourselves in these months…”  [9:36]

Knowing this I feel guilty, guilty for sinning continuously. Sometimes I feel as if I could drown in my own sins.

It ultimately is myself that I am wronging. Allah swt. is not affected by it, it is I who is harming myself. Whether that be physically, mentally or spiritually. I know, that  whatever Allah swt. has forbidden He has done so to test me, to protect me, to save me from succumbing to my own self.

As I sit here reflecting over the past year, I see holes that need filling. Mortar has fallen of my foundations, a renovation is needed.

I cannot afford for my foundations to crumble. I’d be lost without it. Lost, wandering from place to place. Homeless. Unsheltered. Taking what I can to stay alive in this society. Just surviving.

The cards are stacked against me.

Negative influences get stronger, his whispers shaking the ground on which my house of cards is built.

Can it withstand that single rain drop falling on top of this collapsing structure?

I’m scared. The wind blowing, a storm is brewing. The cards silently lifting off the ground, up into the sky, into freedom. Or what I perceived of it. The clouds growing thicker, darker, bigger robbing me of my sight, thunder robbing my hearing. My screaming echoing in my throat, not allowed to leave its confines.

A strong gust leaves me hanging, in the unknown. Although… its getting  warmer now, the darkness lifting slowly. Branches… I’m stuck in a tree. “Don’t worry” it tells me, “you’re safe for now. Look around you, you’ll find that many are experiencing the same thing as you do”

Indeed, this tree with its roots buried deep into the ground was of a different kind. It’s foliage all kinds of cards. Its branches decked in spades, hearts, diamonds and clubs as if growing out of the tree.

A community is born in the branches of this new World, different than any other, strange even, very strange.

I thank Allah swt. for granting me another year. With each year passing and my birthday only 2 days ago, I remind myself that I also passed my death-day. So the question I ask myself is, what have I prepared for it? What was my struggle? Have I done enough to die happy on my next breath?

Or did the status I have and my own arrogance, that I have in spades, deter me from lowering my head, from dirtying my head on the ground, from being humble towards my Lord? It is He who decides true nobility, for He is the King of all Kings.

Have I become a clergy of this world, enslaving myself to it? Has the world filled up my heart, instead of being filled up with the One that created it? The world should be in my hands, be like a traveller in this world. Benefit from its shade and move on.

Has my trade distracted me? Have I become a bankrupt merchant, selling my Religion for a small temporary win. All the diamonds and treasures in the world do not amount to the worth of this Deen.

Have I become a peasant? Being used day and night, gaining nothing, but spending Friday nights in clubs forgetting all about it? I’m as slave indeed, my name does say so. I am the slave of the Almighty, the Lord of all the Worlds, the Most Merciful to all of His creation.

I am Abdur-Rahman.

Have I forgotten my purpose?

Kul am wa antum bikheir

Wa Salam,

Abdur-Rahman