Monday, 17 September 2012

Reflect and Ponder (24)

In however many problems you may find yourself in, although you may think that no one has the amount of problems you do, always remember that there will always be people in the world, infact in your vicinity, your own town or suburb, who are in a much worse condition than you are. So, what do we learn from this fact? Always make shukr, show gratitude to Allah for what he has given you, for the condition in which he has kept you. If we show ungratefulness, we might never know that tomorrow may hold something which will make today look like a walk in paradise. May Allah save us, and make us from the Shaakireen - the thankful ones.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

CHOOSING FRIENDS

    
    Allah has awarded us this short, temporary worldly life as a priceless opportunity to attain His pleasure for eternity. Every second that we have in our hands is like an expensive pearl in need of our utmost protection so that it can be spent in the most profitable of actions. One of the most important choices in life, and undoubtedly one of the most delicate, is who to spend some of these limited and precious moments with.


       Our choice of company is such a crucial one that it has a sizeable effect on the worldly life as well as the eternal life of Aakhirah. Choosing a good friend will result in a pleasant and fruitful worldly life and eternal peace in the Aakhirah, while the choice of bad company will result in a miserable worldly life and eternal regret in the Aakhirah. Nabi Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam said, "A man is on the creed of his friend, so each of you should ponder over who he befriends." (Abu Dawud) This means that a man will adopt those qualities which he finds in his friends. A Persian poet conveys this meaning in simple words - "a pious companion will make you pious whilst and evil companion will make you evil." Considering the above sentence, each of us should ponder over who he/she befriends. The Muhadditheen infer two injunctions - to seek pious company and to refrain from evil company. These injunctions can be found in clear, unambiguous words in a number of Ahaadith. Rasulullah Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam said, "The similitude of good company and that of bad company is that of the owner of musk and of the blacksmith blowing bellows. The owner of musk would either give the musk to you as a gift, or you would buy it from him, or you would atleast get from him a pleasant fragrance. The blower of bellows would either burn your clothes, or you would get from him a repugnant odour." (Bukhari) In another hadith, Nabi Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam said, "Do not befriend anyone except a believer, and let only a pious person eat your food." (Tirmidhi) Mufti Muhammad Shafi (RA) writes that we learn from this hadith that a man should associate only with a pious person.


          A question might arise in the reader's mind as to which qualities should one look for in a friend. Allah says in the Qur'an, "Friends will be enemies on that day except for those with taqwa." (Surah Zukhruf V 67) Hafiz Ibn Kathir (RA) has mentioned in the commentary of this verse a narration of Ali (RA) in which he says that there were two friends who were believers and two friends who were disbelievers. From the two friends who were believers, one of them died and was given the glad tidings of Jannah. He remembered his friend and made dua to Allah, "Oh Allah, I had such and such a friend who used to encourage me to obey You and Your Messenger Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam, he used to enjoin upon me good and forbid me from evil, and he used to remind me that one day I will have to meet You. O Allah, don't lead him astray after me so that he may see those scenes (of Jannah) which you have shown me, and be pleased with him as You have been pleased with me." In reply to this dua, Allah will say, "If you were to know what rewards I have kept for your friend, you would laugh more and cry less." After that the second friend will die and both their souls will come together. Then Allah will command them to praise each other, so one will say to the other, "What a good brother, what a good companion, what a good friend." The narration continues to explain the case of the two disbelievers as being the total opposite. (Ibn Abi Hatim) From this we learn that a friend should have four qualities: 1) He encourages you to obey Allah and His Messenger (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) 2) He enjoines upon you good 3) He forbids you from evil. 4) He reminds you that one day you have to meet Allah. Ibn Abbaas (RA) says that Nabi ?" He replied, "When you see him you remember Allah, by his speech your knowledge increases, and his actions remind you of the hereafter." (Qurtubi)

        Finally, we should keep in mind two important points. Firstly, we should be moderate about expressing our friendship and love. Nabi Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam said, "Make friends after deliberation (i,e exercise restraint) because your friend might become your foe tomorrow." (Tirmidhi)
Secondly, we should remember that true love and friendship is only for Allah. Nabi Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam said "Had I taken a friend, it would have been Abu Bakr (RA)."

May Allah grant us the wisdom to make the right choices, Ameen.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Reflect and Ponder (23)

Never fight fire with fire, because, even logically, that will just increase the original fire. Rather, fight it with water. In just the same way, never fight anger with anger, you'll only make things worse. Always keep your cool and make sabr - have patience. That is the only way to make the other person's anger subside. Your anger is going to be fuel for his, and vice versa.

Saturday, 8 September 2012

DECEPTION IN DISGUISE

This story is a very brief outline of my youth, and it is the crux of what most youth face today. It is the sincere hope of this sinful writer that this piece, in being an inspiration and eye opener, will be a means of the expiation of his sins.


He stooped in front of the tunnel entrance and took a deep breath. A sweet smell lazily wafted out. He bent his head down and could hear faint, soft chimes - the different sounds mingling into each other, producing a beautiful rhythm. Oh, so enticing!! He was tempted to venture into the yawning mouth of the tunnel to investigate the source of these wonderful fragrances and sounds. As he got on to all fours and proceeded to crawl through, his conscience screamed at him, "Hey, don't you remember - curiousity killed the cat!" He stopped - unwary - indecisively unsure of what to do. Just then, he again felt a cool breeze softly caressing his face, carrying with it that same sweet smell. He couldn't hold himself back and chose to ignore the clear warning. He crawled on, his head brushing the low roof.


    Suddenly, everything went pitch dark. He frantically turned his head around and realised to his utter dismay that the mouth had been sealed shut. He fumbled in his pocket for his torch, and flicked the switch on. The dim, weak glow could hardly filter through the layers of gloomy darkness - wave upon wave upon wave. The breeze stopped just as suddenly as it had started. Now he could feel increasing warmth which developed into searing heat. The sweet chimes were replaced by a deafening silence that blanketed and enshrouded him. He started trembling and shivering. A feeling of utter fear and paranoia gripped his every vein and nerve.


      He sensed a light ahead. He raised his head to look, and saw two glowing figures. His fright lifted off and a hypnotic calmness enveloped and engulfed him. As they neared, he could discern their features, and he was left breathless. The one on the right was a golden blonde in a silver catsuit, with a killer figure. The one on the left - a brunette, dressed to kill, a real head turner. They beckoned to him tantalisingly. As if in a hypnotic trance, he crawled towards them, his eyes watermelons. Saliva dripping from his mouth, he reached out, almost about to make hand contact.


     All of a sudden, an unseen hand seemingly pulled out the outer skin of the two beauties - as if removing their costumes - revealing the hidden identity of the two figures. He flinched violently at the revolting, horrifying sight. The one on the right was the devil in his proverbial appearance - a body of flame, horns, blood shot eyes, and fangs dripping with blood. The one on the left proved to be the inner carnal self - slimy, sluggish, and dripping with green goo.


    He felt something pulling at his collar. Then, a blinding flash of light flickered, and he felt himself being rocketed upwards, and then landing on a soft surface. He slowly opened his eyes, his heart still thumping wildly. A comforting sight met his eyes. He was in a long spacious room, fully lighted, sitting on a plush Belgian carpet. Relief swept through his body as he realized that he had been saved from impending doom and destruction by the sheer mercy of Allah the Almighty. He saw ahead of him a clear, straight path cut out for him, and he advanced forward, well aware that he was heading towards eternal success.


     As he walked on, he noticed sinister shadows appearing on both sides of the path. In those shadows he saw the same two girls beckoning to him. A chill pulsed down his spine, and he quickly averted his gaze, increasing his walking pace. He knew they were phony. It was just another trap. The shadows continued to appear, and his gaze kept sneaking off towards them. A seemingly unseen force made him change his direction, and he approached the shadows. His conscience's screams of rebuke went unheeded once again. Just as he stepped into the shadow, he realized that it wasn't a shadow at all, but a huge dark gaping hole, leading back to the same tunnel he had been saved from!! He fell, but caught hold of the sides of the opening with his fingers. There he hung, his legs swinging to and fro. His fingers spasmed with pain, but he held on for dear life. Just as he thought that his fingers would break, he heard someone call out to him, "Arif! Here, hold on to my hand - I'll pull you out!" The voice - firm, yet calming, soothing, and reassuring - reverberated and echoed from the sides of the hole. He readily and thankfully placed his hand in the firm grip. An indescribable feeling of pure ecstasy washed over him as he thought to himself, "It isn't all over, there is still hope."





Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Reflect and Ponder (22)

The Dalai Lama says that without the human community one single human being cannot survive.

FALSE

Without the human community, one single human being CAN survive if Allah wants him to survive, and if he has Allah in his life.

There are countless examples of this that have been preserved in the pages of history.

One doesn't need other people to survive. The only thing needed is Allah's help, and to have firm Iman and trust in Allah, and in the power and might of Allah.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Reflect and Ponder (21)

Don't ever put your hopes and expectations on anyone, no matter how close that person is to you.

If you do, then sooner or later, you will definitely be forced to regret.

Because, after all, a human is a human, and a human can only go so far, and do so much. Our capabalities are extremely limited.

Unfortunately today, we love to magnify our abilities to the maximum, pretending to be what we aren't, bragging that we can do what we can't.

So then what do we do? We depend for everything on such people, erroneously imagining that they can do alot for us.

It isn't too long after that that reality hits us hard, towing along with it alot of sadness, heart pain, and regret.

Why put ourselves through this suffering in the first place??
Why don't we place all our hopes on The only Being Who is Limitless, who can fulfill our every expectation, who will never give us any grief in return??

Indeed, only those are successful and lead happy, satisfied lives who put all their hopes and expectations on Allah Ta'ala.

Reflect and Ponder (20)

Some people love to show off the fact that they have a PHD, and they brag about it in every gathering, at every opportunity they get.

The reason for this is, in fact, that they consider it to be a sign of success.
But, is it??

In front of Allah, on the day of Qiyaamah, will our PHD be of any value, of any use??

These people should know what PHD stands for -
P - Permanent
H- Head
D- Damage

Or, if you want to say it in Urdu,
P - Phira
H- Hua
D- Dimagh

Something to think about isn't it??