Mind your own business 

Don’t you just hate it when people are so nosey they just have to know everything. From what you are doing to where you are going to what you plan to cook, to private life decisions like when are you going to have children! I just don’t get it, I’m so busy I don’t have time to worry about knowing every detail about what others are doing and I don’t understand how they have so much free time to worry about these things!

When we invade peoples privacy and insist on knowing every detail of their life we are doing nothing but damaging our relationship with that person. People start to avoid those who keep asking private and personal questions as it’s so difficult to stop them from asking questions. By doing this you will do nothing but cause family and friends to distance themselves from you. We need to learn how to mind our own business and not interfere in other people’s lives. Contrary to popular belief you do NOT have the right to know every detail of other people’s lives whether they are family or friends. If they choose not to tell you then you should respect their privacy. 
From the sunnah of the prophet (saw) we can learn so much about how he lived, good etiquettes and manners and there is never a time when he would be nosey and try to find out personal details. He in fact taught us to mind our own business.

He (saw) said: “part of the perfection of a believers faith is his leaving alone that which does not concern him”

There are plenty of things we can discuss in social situations aside from a persons private business. And if a personal matter is discussed then it should be kept a secret and you should never then go and discuss this with a third person. Once we start delving into people’s personal matters this can lead to a lot of other sins such as gossiping, backbiting, slander etc. we should instead seek to discuss something beneficial or keep things general and lighthearted. This will help to keep good relations with those in your life inshaAllah

What can you do in one minute?

This is something I found a few years ago and I’ve found it very beneficial especially as I’m so busy. Things that have huge reward but take only a minute to do.

  1. In one minute you can recite Soorat al-Faatihah 3 times, reciting rapidly and silently. Some scholars said that the reward for reading al-Faatihah is more than 600 hasanahs, so if you read it 3 times you will, by the permission of Allaah, gain more than 1800 hasanahs – all of that in one minute. 
2. In one minute you can recite Soorat al-Ikhlaas (Qul Huwa Allaahu Ahad) 20 times, reciting rapidly and silently. Reciting it once is equivalent to one-third of the Qur’aan. If you read it 20 times it is equivalent to reading the Qur’aan 7 times. If you read it 20 times in one minute each day, you will have read it 600 times in one month, and 7200 times in one year, which will be equal in reward to reading the Qur’aan 2400 times. 
3. You can read one page of the Book of Allaah in one minute. 
4. You can memorize a short aayah of the Book of Allaah in one minute. 
5. In one minute you can say Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah wahdahu laa shareeka lah, lahu’l-mulk wa lahu’l-hamd wa huwa ‘ala kulli shay’in qadeer (There is no god except Allaah alone with no partner; to Him be dominion and praise, and He is Able to do all things) – 20 times. The reward for saying this is like freeing 8 slaves for the sake of Allaah from among the sons of Ismaa’eel. 
6. In one minute you can say Subhaan Allaahi wa bi hamdihi (Glory and praise be to Allaah) 100 times. Whoever says that in one day will be forgiven for his sins even if they are like the foam of the sea. 
7. In one minute you can say Subhaan Allaahi wa bi hamdihi Subhaan Allaah il-‘Azeem (Glory and praise be to Allaah, glory be to Allaah the Almighty) 50 times. These are two phrases which are light on the lips, heavy in the balance and beloved to the Most Merciful, as was narrated by al-Bukhaari and Muslim. 
8. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “When I say ‘Subhaan Allaah, wa’l-hamdu Lillah, wa laa ilaah ill-Allaah, wa Allaahu akbar (Glory be to Allaah, praise be to Allaah, there is no god except Allaah, and Allaah is Most Great)’, this is more beloved to me than all that the sun rises upon.” (Narrated by Muslim). In one minute, you can say all of these words more than 18 times. These words are the most beloved words to Allaah, the best of words, and they weigh heavily in the balance of good deeds, as was narrated in the saheeh ahaadeeth. 
9. In one minute you can say, Laa hawla wa laa quwwata illa Billaah (there is no strength and no power except with Allaah) more than 40 times. This is one of the treasures of Paradise, as was narrated by al-Bukhaari and Muslim. They are a means of putting up with difficulties and of aiming to achieve great things. 
10. In one minute you can say Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah approximately 50 times. This is the greatest word, for it is the word of Tawheed, the good word, the word that stands firm. If these are the last words of a person, he will enter Paradise, and there are other reports which indicate how great these words are. 
11. In one minute you can say Subhaan Allaah wa bi hamdih, ‘adada khalqihi, wa ridaa nafsihi, wazinata ‘arshihi, wa midaada kalimaatihi (Glory and praise be to Allaah, as much as the number of His creation, as much as pleases Him, as much as the weight of His Throne and as much as the ink of His words) more than 15 times. This words bring many more times the reward for other forms of tasbeeh and dhikr, as was reported in saheeh ahaadeeth from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). 
12. In one minute you can seek the forgiveness of Allaah more than 100 times by saying “Astaghfir-Allaah (I seek the forgiveness of Allaah). The virtues of seeking forgiveness are no secret, for it is the means of attaining forgiveness and entering Paradise, and it is the means of being granted a good life, increasing one’s strength, warding off disasters, making things easier, bringing rain and increasing one’s wealth and children. 
13. You can say a few brief and concise words in one minute, and Allaah may bring about some good through them that you could never imagine. 
14. In one minute you can send blessings on the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) 50 times by saying Sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam (May Allaah bless him and grant him peace). In return Allaah will send blessings upon you 500 hundred times because one blessing brings ten like it. 
15. In one minute you can motivate your heart to give thanks to Allaah, to love Him, to fear Him, to put hope in Him, to long for Him, and thus travel through the stages of ‘uboodiyyah (total enslavement to Allaah). You could do this when you are lying on your bed or walking in the street. 
16. In one minute you can read more than two pages of a useful book that is easy to understand. 
17. In one minute you can uphold the ties of kinship by calling a relative on the phone. 
18. You can raise your hands and recite any du’aa’ you wish from the books of du’aa’, in one minute. 
19. You can say salaams to and shake hands with a number of people in one minute. 
20. You can forbid an evil action in one minute. 
21. You can enjoin something good in one minute. 
22. You can offer sincere advice to a brother in one minute. 

People of the Cave

…We turned them on their right and on their left sides…
Quran (18:18)

It doesn’t matter how many times you read a Surah you will always learn something new or reflect on an ayah in a way that you haven’t before. This happened to me as I read Surah Kahf. As I read ayah 18 where it says that while they slept Allah turned them to the right and left, I realised how significant it is. SubhanAllah it is amazing how even an ayah as simple as this on initial reading can teach you something profound and mke you appreciate the Quran and Allah even more. 
As a health professional it’s part of my job to ensure that my patients have the best quality of life we can possibly give them. Do you know what we do for patients who are bed bound? We provide carers who have to ensure that the patient is turned on their right and left every few hours to prevent pressure sores. Even we who are able to move ourselves, while we sleep we turn on our right and left to remain comfortable and prevent pressure areas. 
SubhanAllah it is only by the mercy of Allah that he ensured they turned regularly on their right and onto their left so they would not develop these pressure areas, which are so horrendously painful and can even cause a person to end up in hospital for months or even lead to their death. Especially as sleeping in a cave would have meant they slept on the hard floor making them even more susceptible to developing these pressure areas. 
I know this is just my reflection on the ayah but still for me it’s just amazing. Allah only tells us something if it is important and will benefit us, so this is clearly something that will benefit us, and today we actually use this to help many people. 

For the sake of Allah 

If you’re willing to go against your culture and its acceptable in Islam then its not going to be easy. It never was but you embarked on this journey so be prepared to be strong. Don’t expect them to accept it right away with kindness, persistance and good character they may just come along but it will take time – that’s just the way it is. And when they do you have a responsibility to show them they did the right thing, failing is not an option as others are hoping you pass.
When we have a choice between doing something in our culture or following the commands of Allah, in theory it seems it will be an easy choice, however in reality it may not be so easy. Whether we accept it or not but the culture of the place we live in and of our family background has big influences on our life, from the way we view life to the way we dress and the type of food we eat. So when we reach a point where the culture clashes with our religion it may not be such an easy choice to make. We will have influences from our family, friends and the society around us and they can lead us towards either option. 
For example, in some cultures it is okay for a woman to not wear hijab in front of her non-mahrem male relatives but Islam says that she must cover in front of them. What do you do in these situations? If you insist on keeping your hijab on then your relatives may become upset that you are implying that they have bad intentions towards you. Or that they don’t consider it necessary as you are family and keep insisting you take it off to be more comfortable. You may also want to take off your scarf as it might be hot and stuffy in the room or that no one else is wearing there’s. On the other hand you know that in taking it off you are disobeying Allah. 
Another situation may be that you are invited to a party but it will be mixed and there will be music and dancing. It may be that all your family and friends are going and you will feel left out. It may be work related and you feel you must go as all your colleagues are going. You do not want to upset the person who invited you by not going to the party. You also want to go because you know everyone will have a good time. On the other hand you know that this type of environment is not acceptable be in. These situations can be very difficult to deal with especially if you are young. But when I am faced with a situation where I have to choose between my culture and Islam I always remember

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever gives up something for the sake of Allah, Allah will compensate him with something better than it.” Ahmed

I know for sure that if I choose to do what Allah has commanded over what my desires are telling me then Allah will surely reward me for it. As long as my intentions are to please Allah. This reward can come in the dunya or the aakhirah. People may cause problems for you initially but if you stay firm then they will eventually accept it. Be firm with people but never rude, speak kindly and have good manners and ensure you explain to them why you are doing what you are doing, and they are more likely to accept your decision. Everyone now knows that if there are male relatives I will have my hijab on, they even tell me in advance if someone is about to walk in the room giving me time to put my hijab on if necessary. Allah does makes things easier for you but you have to be strong and remain firm on your belief. There is always difficulties initially as people are always resistant to change, especially from culture that dates back to their parents and grandparents.
To help us make the right decision and stay firm on it we need to seek help from Allah, we need to make dua and ensure we have the correct intention. We also need to study our religion and learn what it actually teaches us, a big problem is that a lot of the time we are unable to distinguish between culture and religion. The more we actually know about our religion the easier it is to stay firm on its belief. We may from time to time give in to that culture pressure but don’t despair, we are human and we make mistakes. We should turn back to Allah and seek forgiveness and surely Allah will forgive us if it is sincere.
Whenever we do something that clashes against the norm always remind yourself that whatever you give up for the sake of Allah, Allah will most definitely replace it with something better than you could even imagine. InshaAllah

Al Mustafa – The Chosen One part8

The last thing I will share with you about what we learnt at the course is this:

1. Send consistent, daily prayers on the prophet (saw).

Be habitual in mentioning him.
Make it a part of your life.

2. Let the mention of the prophet (saw) show in your actions.

Those who love him most will be closest to him (saw) in Jannah.
Just because we are sinners it doesn’t mean we can’t love him completely.
Your sin doesn’t keep you away from the prophet (saw).
Don’t think that because you have erred we are not worthy of his love.
These were the last two things taught you to us on the course. Alhamdulillah this course helped me to begin to see just how amazing he (saw) was and increase my love for him ten fold.

The biggest calamity for this ummah was the death of the prophet (saw) and after spending these few days learning about him, I can now see why. But the prophet (saw) only left us after he had perfected the religion, as it was never about us or him, he commanded us to worship Allah, alone. He had completed his mission and now it is upto us to continue doing what he has commanded. For how can we gain his love if we do not do what he has told us to do?

Al Mustafa – The Chosen One part7

One of the topics we discussed during the course was the battle of Badr and Uhud. I had heard these stories many times however this was the first time I had heard the discussion from this perspective. We didn’t focus on the actual events itself as most of us already knew this and it was in our resources but the focus was actually the lessons we can learn from the battles, and in learning these, they can give us the keys to success. We learnt twenty lessons for the keys to success and here they are:
1. Trust your fate and Allahs decision in your fate.
  • Solidify your relationship wit h Allah.
  • You put your effort in and then trust Allah.
  • Salat-Al-Istikharah – this is asking for Allahs divine help: you must first make a decision through proper research and then pray and ask Allah that if this is good make it happen and if it is bad for you then take you away from it.

2. Master the fundamentals – of salah, of ibadah, of the problem you’re in etc.

  • You need to know about everything you’re involved in.

3. Learn from the mistakes of others.
4. Practice Islam daily.

  • Practice makes perfect.

5. Do not let people influence your decision.
6. Gain knowledge – this is more important than ability and wealth.

  • There is nothing better than an increase in knowledge.
  • Knowledge is the criterion of justice and wisdom.
  • Allah didn’t command an increase in anything but u knowledge.
  • We also need to know how to apply it.

7. Respond to failure.

  • Don’t fear anyone but Allah.
  • Don’t ever give up hope.

8. Fear is an illusion, danger is real.

  • Don’t let your mind trick you into not trying.

9. Do the best you can and leave the rest to Allah.

  • Seek ihsan – always put your full effort in.

10. Recognise you need others help.

11. In life excellence speaks for itself.
12. Even when you are strong, make dua.

  • Even when Allah meets your needs, ask Allah to bless it.

13. If change is required then make a change.
14. Simple things matter most.

  • Don’t think any deed is insignificant.

15. Demand that other people give excellence too.

  • Mediocrity is not acceptable as a Muslim.
  • There is more than 100 Hadith that start with “the best of you…”
  • You display excellence and others will seek to model themselves like this.

16. Learn to use your emotions to push you to success.

  • Harness your emotions.

17. Love what you do.

  • Find something that makes you feel valued.

18. Forget the past.

19. Don’t try to control the future.

20.Invest in the present.

  • These last three are seen consistently in the life of the prophet (saw).
  • Don’t let your past keep you from success but at the same time don’t so meticulously plan your future and insist everything has to turn out a certain way. All you are required to do is work today, with the hope of obtaining success in the future.

I hope these are of benefit inshaAllah.   

Al Mustafa – The Chosen One part6

How do we know that we love the Prophet (saw)? It is not enough for us to just merely state this. So how can we truly know if we love the Prophet (saw)? There are many ways to show our love for the Prophet (saw). 
Your heart inclines to his deeds and decisions. 
Your heart accepts what he has told us to do.
The example of the prophet comes before the examples of others in your life.

  • Sometimes our culture, family etc are different from the sunnah and we have to learn the difference.
  • If culture leads dis too far from the prophetic model, this is a problem.

Your anger and emotions incline to what the prophet (saw) loved or hated.

  • We should express our emotions the way that the prophet (saw) would have.

Mention him (saw) abundantly.

  • It should be part of our life habit.

We should yearn to meet him.

We should show humility and deference to those who love the prophet (saw) and not rebel against those who love him (saw) more than us.

You love his household.

We seek to protect the prophet (saw) from those who don’t know him.

  • We are protective over him.

We use his guidance to guide others and seek to display his teachings.

You are merciful to his ummah.

You restrict yourself from things that may lead you away from his love.

  • There are things that the prophet (saw) hasn’t said that it is halal or haram but if we stay away from it then it can lead us closer to his love.

We should strive to do these to help us become closer to the prophet (saw). But we need to remember that we will be tested. Part of our love for him (saw) invites poverty. So we will be tested in different things; wealth, health, family etc. but the reward for our steadfastness and our love for him (saw) will be far greater than any test that is sent our way.