Transformed by the Quran

This is a piece I wrote which I submitted to the Productive Muslim, Transformed by the Quran, competition, which ran during Ramadan. Alhamdulillah I was lucky enough to be chosen among the top entries! I thought I would share it here with all of you.

This is the link to all the top entries, I would definitely recommend reading them as they are all so inspiring!

The Best of #TransformedByTheQuran Competition Stories

I was reminded of this ayah when my husband left, what we call love notes, for me before he left for university.

They are clothing for you and you are clothing for them. Quran (2:187)

This ayah is so famous. Everyone knows it. We may not know where in the Quran it is but we have most likely heard it before.

But you know what I never realised that this is part of the ayah about being with your spouse in Ramadan. It actually is part of a long ayah but it never really hit me, the significance of it being in this particular place.

It comes in the section of ayah that speak about fasting during Ramadan. Before this ayah, Allah speaks about those who are exempt from fasting and then Allah tells us how He will answer us if we call Him. It speaks about dua and that He is near.

Straight after this Allah tells us He has made marital relations permissible in the night. Then says “they are clothing for you and you are clothing for them.”

This made me realise that there has to be a connection between increasing our taqwa and having a good husband and wife relationship.

As we spend this monthfasting and in dhikr, praying and reading Quran we should see that reflect in our marriage. Our God consciousness should make us more conscious of how we treat our spouse. These acts of worship should help us improve our character and this should be most prevalent in how we speak and behave with our spouse.

These acts of worship shouldn’t be just a ritual we do but we should put it into action in our daily lives. So as we read the Quran and it tells us the characteristics of the believers implement them. It tells us about diseases of the heart try and remove it from within yourself.

Reflecting on this ayah alone tells us so much about how to be with our spouse. We should look for the good in them. We should cover their faults from others so that means we shouldn’t go round telling others things that annoy you about your spouse. Beautify your spouse.

It is such a blessed time to work on your marriage. There are shayateen to whisper in your ear to cause disunity between you. As we are more God conscious, we are more aware that Allah is watching us, we should behave in such a way that we will happy to know that Allah is watching.

So use this month to also work on your marriage. As you improve your relationship with Allah also improve your relationship with your spouse.

Children at the Masjid

I hear people (mainly men) complain about children playing in the masjid and that it is distracting. The kids are being loud and the mothers should just stay at home with them.
I’ve heard announcements on the speaker telling the women, in the other room, to stop the children from playing.
I’ve seen people tell children off for playing at the back of the masjid. They tell them to go home.
But why should they stay at home? They have the right to come to the masjid, just like you.
Maybe you should focus more on your salah and less on the kid whos playing in the other room.
Maybe if you made the masjid more accessible to women and children and provided facilities for the kids to play then they won’t “distract” you in the masjid.
Maybe you should follow the example of the Prophet (saw) who loved that children came to the masjid. His own grandchildren would jump on his back and he would prolong his sujood just to let them play. He would shorten the prayer if he heard a baby cry so that it would be easier for the mothers. He NEVER complained about children being in the masjid.
Maybe you should change how things work in the masjid instead of just preventing women and especially mothers, from coming to the masjid.
And remember that if you don’t build the love for coming to the masjid in your children when they’re young, they will refuse to come when they’re older. Then you will be the one crying that they don’t want to come and pray at the masjid.

Ramadan Reflection – Reflecting on the Quran

Then do they not reflect upon the Quran? Quran (4:82)

This are just one of the many times that Allah asks us if we have reflected on the Quran. Allah wants us to think about and reflect on what we are reading. He gives us so much to reflect on. He tells us so many signs. From the heavens and the earth to our children and spouses and so much more.
But how many of us take the time to reflect on the Quran. During this month we all want to finish reading the Quran. Yes there is much reward in reading the Quran in Arabic. But many of us don’t understand Arabic so we don’t know what Allah is telling us. So we don’t fully benefit from reading it.
We need to take the time to read the translation in a language we understand. They are easily available both as books and apps. This will help us understand the ayah we are reading. But don’t just read the translation like you read other books. Read and reflect on what you understood from these ayah. Make a note of ayah that stood out for you. Jot down what you think the ayah is speaking about. This way you can look back on what you reflected on.
Alongside this also read or listen to the tafsir of the Quran. There are many books that we can read, I like reading Tafsir ibn Kathir. If you’re not a reader there are many lecture series that are available that explain the Quran in an easy to understand way. I like listening to Ustadh Nouman Ali Khans tafsir series. By doing this we will gain a deeper understanding of what Allah is teaching us in the Quran.
As we learn more about what the Quran is teaching us, it will become easier for you to reflect and your reflections and critical thinking skills will improve over time. Your reflections will become deeper and you will be able to connect things you read in other parts of the Quran.
Another thing I find helps me to reflect is discussing an ayah with family or friends. Me and my husband sometimes discuss an ayah we read together and it’s really helpful to hear what someone else thinks about an ayah. You get different perspectives, things that you may not have thought about.
It’s so important for us to reflect on the Quran, by reflecting on the Quran we can truly benefit from reading the Quran. 

Ramadan Reflection – Allah never forgets

And never is your Lord forgetful. Quran (19:64)

Seriously this ayah is as pleasing as it is terrifying.

It simultaneously tells me that all the injustices done to me, Allah knows. But it also tells me that all injustices done by me, He also knows. It tells me that even if no one on this earth sees or remembers the good that I’ve done, Allah does. But it also tells me that even if no one sees or remembers the sins I’ve committed, Allah does.

This ayah is so powerful. Its such a strong reminder that we will never be left without our justice being given or rewarded for the good that we’ve done. But we will also be held accountable for the injustices we did and the sins we committed.

It reminds us to strive to be the best we can be and seek forgiveness daily. It reminds us that no matter how much we hurt, Allah will be there for us.

So we can seek solace in this knowledge that if we’ve been oppressed, slandered, beaten, or abused; Allah will never allow it to go unnoticed and He will give us our justice. Whether its in this life or the next.

But this ayah should also make us want to make amends and seek forgiveness from those we’ve oppressed, slandered or abused. We should not be too proud to say we’re sorry. We should turn to Allah and repent and then strive to become better people. Don’t leave it until it’s too late.

Know that even if your efforts aren’t appreciated by people it doesn’t go unnoticed by Allah.

And know that even if you think you have gotten away with it in this life, you won’t in the next.

Allah never forgets anything that we have done, the good and the bad.

Ramadan Reflection – They are a Clothing for you

They are clothing for you and you are clothing for them. Quran (2:187)

This ayah is so famous. Everyone knows it. We may not know where in the Quran it is but we have most likely heard it before.

But you know what I never realised that this is part of the ayah about being with your spouse in Ramadan. It actually is part of a long ayah but it never really hit me, the significance of it being in this particular place.

It comes in the section of ayah that speak about fasting during Ramadan. Before this ayah, Allah speaks about those who are exempt from fasting and then Allah tells us how He will answer us if we call Him. It speaks about dua and that He is near.

Straight after this Allah tells us He has made marital relations permissible in the night. Then says “they are clothing for you and you are clothing for them.”

This made me realise that there has to be a connection between increasing our taqwa and having a good husband and wife relationship.

As we spend this month fasting and in dhikr, praying and reading Quran we should see that reflect in our marriage. Our God consciousness should make us more conscious of how we treat our spouse. These acts of worship should help us improve our character and this should be most prevalent in how we speak and behave with our spouse.

These acts of worship shouldn’t be just a ritual we do but we should put it into action in our daily lives. So as we read the Quran and it tells us the characteristics of the believers implement them. It tells us about diseases of the heart try and remove it from within yourself.

Reflecting on this ayah alone tells us so much about how to be with our spouse. We should look for the good in them. We should cover their faults from others so that means we shouldn’t go round telling others things that annoy you about your spouse. Beautify your spouse.

It is such a blessed time to work on your marriage. There are no shayateen to whisper in your ear to cause disunity between you. As we are more God conscious, we are more aware that Allah is watching us, we should behave in such a way that we will happy to know that Allah is watching.

So use this month to also work on your marriage. As you improve your relationship with Allah also improve your relationship with your spouse.

Ramadan Reflection РAllah knows everything 

Sometimes me and my husband open the translation of the Quran on a random page and reflect on the ayah we come across. Last night we read this ayah;
Unquestionably, to God belongs whatever is in the heavens and earth. Already He knows that upon which you (stand) and (knows) the day when they will be returned to Him and He will inform them of what they have done. And God is Knowing of all things. Quran (24:64)
We discussed how in this ayah, Allah tells us that He knows where we stand. As in He knows what is in our hearts, the basis for our actions and what condition our souls are in. He knows whether we do something out of sincere faith or if theres hypocrisy in our hearts. So we can’t hide anything from Him.
Then Allah says when we will return to Him. Not if, when. So we will with certainty go back to Him. With whatever deeds we did, good or bad. And that Allah will tell us what we did in our lives. Every single thing we did.
He knows what is done sincerely, what we did to show off, what we did publically and what we did in private. For example someone could be diligent in their prayers when they are out in public and always tell people that they must pray on time. But in private they delay or miss their prayers. Even though no one else would know this about them. Allah will know. This person cannot hide it from Allah.
Just like someone in public may not seem practicing but in private they pray all their prayers sincerely and read Quran etc. No one knows this about them but Allah knows.
When we return to Allah, He will then tell us exactly what we did and whether we were sincere or not. Because as Allah says at the end of the ayah, He is knowing of all things.
He knows us better than anyone else in our lives, even better than we know our own selves. We cannot hide anything from Him. Like He says in another ayah, He is closer to us than our jugular vein. So how can we ever possibly imagine that we could hide anything from Him.
So we should take this as a warning and use our time to become better people and to try to be sincere in everything that we do.

Ramadan Reflection – Eat from the Good

O you who have believed, eat from the good (i.e. lawful) things which We have provided for you and be grateful to God if it is (indeed) Him you worship. Quran (2:172)
As I was reading this ayah, it made me reflect on so many things. Especially as I came across it during Ramadan a time in which we tend to feast daily.
Allah here tells us to eat from that which is good. But the arabic here isnt halal but tayub. We all know we can only eat halal but how many of us eat the “good” food within the halal? Eating deep fried food all the time is not eating good. Neither is eating junk or fast food. All of these however are halal to eat.
So not only is it important for us to eat halal food we should be eating good (tayub) food. But what is good food? Most people think of salad and fruit but I think its much deeper than that. We should eat ethical, organic food. So our fruit and veg and even our meat should be ethically sourced and organic as much as possibly. We should eat everything in moderation so having a samosa once in a while is okay! But having several daily is not good for us.
Then Allah says which We have provided for you. This again made me think. We all think that we earn the money, we buy and cook the food so we provided it to our family. But no, Allah is reminding us that He provides the food. We need to change our mindset even with what we eat and how we get this food.
Then Allah tells us to be grateful. Something that I’ve noticed that we generally are not good at. We criticize the food, we complain about whats been cooked. We hardly ever thank the person who probably spent hours making the food for us. Especially if its a family member thats made it for us. If we can’t be grateful to the people who have given us the food how will we be able to be grateful to Allah?
Allah connects being grateful to Him to worshipping Him. So if we aren’t grateful for what He has provided us then will we be able to truly worship Him in the way that He deserves?
I learnt so much from one ayah. That we should eat the good halal food that Allah has provided for us. That we should be grateful to Him and that gratitude is connected to worshipping Allah.