Diseases of the Heart part 3

So in this post I’m going to share what we learnt about the next disease of the heart: kibr.

Kibr is the Arabic word for pride or arrogance, when someone considers themselves superior to others.

The prophet (saw) defined kibr in this narration: “No one will enter paradise who has an atoms of pride in his heart.” A man said: “What if a man likes his clothes to look good and his shoes to look good?” He said, “Allah is beautiful and loves beauty. Pride means denying the truth and looking down on people.” [Muslim]

Allah describes in many places in the Quran how much Allah detests pride and the consequences of having pride in your heart.

“I will turn away from my signs those who are arrogant upon the earth…” Quran (7:146)

“…Thus does God seal over every heart (belonging to) an arrogant tyrant. Quran” (40:35)

“Indeed He, does not love the arrogant.” Quran (16:25)

These are just some of the places that Allah speaks about how displeased he is with those who have pride in their hearts. These ayahs show that Allah will not allow someone with pride to have understanding of the Quran and He will seal their hearts from the light of emaan.

The types of Pride

There are 2 types of pride:

1) Having pride and arrogance in accepting the truth in the oneness of Allah and Islam. So this person rejects Allah, the one who created him.

2) This is the pride people have towards other people. They think they are better than others and look down on them, whether it’s in regards to deen or dunya.

The causes of Pride

There are many reasons why someone may have pride some of which are:

1) Knowledge: People of knowledge can fall into this sin as they may be admired for their knowledge and start looking down on those who don’t have as much knowledge as them.

2) Practice and Worship: When people look down on those who may not be practicing their faith. They also look down on those who sin and feel like they are better than them.

3) Lineage: People who come from a noble lineage/tribe look at those who come from a lower tribe with scorn and behave as if these people are here to serve them.

4)Wealth: Allah describes wealth as a fitna in the Quran. So it can be used for good or it can cause harm. Someone who is wealthy may start to look down at those who have less.

Qualities of a person who has Pride

1) Likes people to stand up for him

2) Wants others to walk behind him

3) Believes that he doesn’t need to visit people only that people should visit him

4) Doesn’t want others to be on his level

5) Does not help in chores

The opposite of pride is humility. The prophet (saw) was always humble.

Cures of Pride

1) Realising the greatness of Allah and realising the weakness of man.

2) Contemplate and reflect over the ayah and Hadith which speak about pride.

3) Think of others as better than you, it doesn’t matter who they are.

4) Increase in ibadah and seek refuge in Allah from this disease.

5) Surround yourself with people who remind you of Allah and of your place.

6) Engaging in chores

When you see someone who is older than you; think they’re better than you because they’ve had more time to do good.

When you see someone who is younger than you; think they’re better than you because they’ve had less time to commit sins.

Hope this has been of benefit, my next post will cover backbiting.

Diseases of the heart Part2

In my last post I discussed why it’s important to study the diseases of the heart. So this post will be about the first disease, hasad (envy).

First we need to know what hasad is, according to Ibn al-Qayyim, hasad is defined as: “disliking a blessing that another had received and wishing that the other person would lose that blessing.”

There are several degrees of hasad:

1) When a person wants a blessing to be taken away from someone else. They don’t want the blessing for themselves just that it’s taken away from the other person.

2) When a person wants the blessing to be taken away from someone else because he wants it for himself.

3) When a person wants a blessing that someone else has without wanting it to be taken from the other person. This is permissible and known as ghibtah. The prophet (saw) said: “There is no permissible envy except in two cases; (towards) a person to whom Allah has granted wealth and property from which he gives charity by night and day, and a person to whom Allah has given the Quran and who recites it night and day.” (Agreed upon)

There are many examples of hasad in the Quran from the story of Habil and Qabil to Yusuf (as)  and his brothers to even Iblees and Adam (as). They all showed how hasad caused them to commit evil acts and corrupted them.

So what causes hasad?

1) Hatred

This often leads to envy, when you feel happy when the person you envy goes through some difficulty. You also feel unhappy when the person you envy is given a blessing from Allah.

2) Arrogance

Pride and arrogance can make a person feel envious towards someone who has a blessing that they don’t have. They can’t understand why someone who they perceive as below them has been given a blessing that they don’t have.

3) Desire for fame

When the desire to be the best in something leads the person to become obsessed with getting praise and recognition and thinks they are more special than others. If someone else receives praise they feel envious towards them.

The consequences of hasad

1) It makes a person unhappy and discontent with what they have. This can be a punishment from Allah if the person doesn’t want to cure hasad from their heart, that they will never be happy with what Allah has given them.

2) It wipes out good deeds. The prophet (saw) said: “Beware of envy, because it consumes good deeds just like a fire consumes wood.” [Abu Dawud]

3) It causes disunity in the community and between family and friends. The prophet (saw) said: “Do not envy one another; do not hate one another; do not turn your back on one another (in discontent); but be slaves of Allah as brothers.” [Bukhari]

4) Being envious of someone will lead to other sins such as backbiting, slander, spreading lies etc.

So how do we cure ourselves of hasad?

1) Force yourself to behave in the opposite way that the envy makes you feel. So if you feel like putting the person down out of your own pride then you should praise the person instead.

2) We often assume that something good that someone else has is a blessing for that person but Allah tests us with blessings as well as hardship. This blessing you desperately want, that the other person has, may not be a blessing for you. It could lead you away from Allah.

3) Look to those who have less than you and be grateful for what Allah has already blessed you with. A good way of doing this is to have a gratitude journal where you write a few things in there daily that you are thankful for having.

4) As Muslims we should understand that nothing happens without the decree of Allah. So when Allah blesses someone we will know that it is due to His divine decree and we cannot do anything to change that.

It is important to constantly reflect on the state of our heart as it is easy to fall into any of these diseases of the heart. In my next post I will discuss kibr (pride).

What about the bad actions of Muslims and what does that have to do with Islam?

What about the bad actions of Muslims and what does that have to do with Islam?

By the age of 15, Khadija started questioning Christianity and decided to join a Bible study group to find answers. Unable to, she later met Muslims and her interest in Islam began. But she wondered about the bad Muslims she came across.

Watch on to see how God guided her and helped her overcome…

Everlasting Marriage part 1

Recently I attended a seminar run by Ustadha Yasmin Mogahed called Everlasting Marriage. I wanted to share some of the things I learnt with you all.

And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquility in them; and He placed between you love and mercy. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought.
Quran (30:21)

Before she explained this ayah to us, one which we all probably know, she spoke to us about signs. We often confuse the signs Allah sends us with our destination. But the purpose of the sign is to direct us to our destination. A sign is only a means to the end. It is not our destination. We need to be aware of this as we live so we don’t confuse a sign with our destination. Our destination is Jannah. It is not a job, or home, or marriage.

As we discussed this ayah we not only talked about what this ayah is telling us but how we can practically implement these into our lives.

Allah created us to live in sukoon with each other. Our home is meant to be a place of serenity and tranquility. Inside the home it is supposed to be sukoon, it is meant to be a shelter, a refuge from the storm outside. Yet for many of us it the opposite. The storm is inside the home so people go outside to seek serenity. We need to make our refuge inside the home.

The ayah speaks about love (muwadda), in Arabic there are many words which mean love yet Allah chose to use this specific word for love. This is because muwadda means an expressed love. This is a love that you not only say but actively show by the things that you do. It is not a love where all you do is say I love you. It is a love that you show in the things that you do. This shows it is important for a spouse to show their love, it isn’t enough to just say I love you and not show it in any way.

However it is important to note that not everyone expresses love in the same way. The way in which we feel loved, so how we wish to receive it, is often the way in which we express love. However our spouse may not feel loved in the same way as us so it can lead to a miscommunication.

We learnt that there are 5 love languages. So there are 5 different ways in which we can feel loved and express it. It is important to know the way in which we feel loved and the way in which our spouse feels loved so that we can express our love in the way that our spouse understands.

In the next post I will discuss the love languages in more detail inshaAllah.

The Blessing of Sleep 

Sleep. Something that many people take for granted. I mean it comes naturally to us. We get tired and we go to sleep. Right? 

But what about us who lay there every night wishing they could just fall asleep? Tossing and turning all night. There are people, like me, who just don’t know what a good night sleep is anymore. We don’t wake up refreshed and ready to take on the days tasks. We struggle to get up, dragging ourselves and every morning is a battle. I have chronic back pain resulting from a prolapse disc, which is getting worse over time. I haven’t had a good night sleep in years. I don’t even remember what it feels like anymore. I sleep for 3-4hours a night if I’m lucky and even that is disturbed. It’s because lying down is painful for me. It takes me hours to fall asleep and I can’t lie in one position for more than an hour. So I wake up every hour because I’m in pain and have to change position. Now I’m not saying this because I want people to feel sorry for me but I want you to appreciate this blessing of sleep. Trust me when I say that a good night sleep is so important to how we function in the day.
Ibn Uthaymin rahimullah said sleep is a blessing of Allah because it renews energy and heals fatigue 
We can tell the difference between the days when we’ve had a good night sleep and when we haven’t. There are books and classes out there telling us how to make the most of our sleep so we can be more productive and make the most of our day. 
And it is He who has made the night for you as clothing and sleep (a means for) rest and has made the day a resurrection. Quran (25:4)
Even Allah has stated in the Quran that the night is for resting so we can spend the day doing our work. 
We should thank Allah for giving us this blessing,without it we wouldn’t be able to function. We wouldn’t be able to study, work, exercise and all the other countless things we do. Most importantly we wouldn’t be able to worship Allah and that is what we’ve been created for. Allah could have created us to do nothing but stand day and night in his worship but he didn’t he allowed us rest. We should thank Allah every day that we were given a good night sleep to be able to fulfill our purpose. Even our sleep can become a good deed if we sleep with the intention to rest so we can worship Him better. 
Don’t take sleep for granted, take it from someone who is unable to have a good night sleep. It truly is a blessing.

Boys will be Boys. Right?

“She was asking for it”
“Why was she dressed like that then?”
“Well she shouldn’t have been out that late.”

Phrases people say when they try to justify why it wasn’t really the mans fault that he assaulted or raped a woman.

And I just can’t believe people actually think like this!

And in thinking like this we actually oppress the women. We stop them from getting an education, having a job, having a social life where she can go out and meet other sisters etc They think by doing this it’s enough. They neglect what’s even more important. Teaching men how to treat women well.

So if the woman had worn full niqab she would never get assaulted? If she didn’t go out or have a job she would never be a victim of abuse? Wrong! They still have.

About 85,000 women a year who are raped in England and Wales alone. And that’s the women who actually report it. But why does this happen to so many women?

Women are held more accountable than men. And often women are actually blamed for being raped. It’s the mindset that it’s the womans fault anyways, or that she was asking for it, that needs to change. No woman wants to be assaulted or raped. Ever.

This attitude is put within while we’re kids. When we’re told that a boy likes us if hes mean to us. Or if we tell someone he’s making fun of us etc. we’re told that, boys will be boys. We actually teach boys this behaviour is okay. That girls will be held more accountable than they will.

So just like we teach girls to be safe and not go out too late etc. We may even prevent them from going out, instead, keeping them in the home. We don’t allow them to get an education or build a career because something may happen to them. How about we also focus on the men.

We need to teach men how to treat a woman, how to be respectful and polite. How to control themselves if they see a woman they’re attracted to. That they are not superior to women and teach them to hold themselves accountable for their actions. Especially when they are kids and teenagers do not say that they’re “just being boys” because the greatest of men would never accept this behaviour and mindset.

The greatest of men to live, the greatest examples who we should make role models for men treated women in the best manner. They would never assault a woman and then behave as if it wasn’t really his fault.

Musa (as) when speaking to the women at the well did not stare at them, he even walked in front of them to be more respectful. The prophet (saw) has so many examples in which women, including his wives testify to how well he treated them. In fact every prophet is known to have treated women in the best manner.

So then why is it that we don’t teach this to our sons? Why do they think they can get away with assaulting or raping a woman? Why is it that when a woman comes forward and says she has been raped shes made to feel as if shes responsible for being raped? Why do we allow the rapist to get away with little or no punishment?

So change this mindset, don’t stop women from living their lives, teach the men how to behave.

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.