A Glimpse of Jannah

I love that in the Quran, Allah gives us a glimpse of what Jannah will be like. He tells us about gardens, rivers, food; things that we can see on the earth. And because we can see these things, we can imagine, to our best ability, what Jannah will be like. So because we can see the beauty on the earth, it makes us long for Jannah. We know that no matter how beautiful earth is, Jannah will be so much better. If we could not understand what was being described about Jannah we wouldn’t long for it like we do. This longing helps us to strive for Jannah.

When I’m struggling, when a hardship comes my way, when I’m hurt or afraid, Allah has put these beautiful descriptions of Jannah in the Quran to help us through. Not only describing what Jannah will be like but also telling us that we won’t experience any hardship or sadness or pain or fear in Jannah. That’s one of the most amazing things that Allah could have shared with us. We can live happy and in peace for all of eternity.

That sometimes I want something but I can’t have it but in Jannah we can have whatever we want. We just have to think it and we will get it, whether it’s food, books, clothes, anything!

Knowing these things about Jannah helps us to keep going when we feel like we can’t continue. When we feel like the pain won’t ever go away, knowing that we can live pain free for an eternity can push us to keep going.

So I know that no matter what happens in the dunya, whatever difficulties I may face, as long as I do my best to worship Allah and stay on the straight path, Jannah will be my reward, where I can live peacefully for all of eternity and that the biggest blessing of being in Jannah will be to finally meet our Lord.

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Live like a traveller in the Dunya

So I’m moving houses once again, this will be my third move in under a year subhanAllah. As I’m packing once again I have been thinking about how we get so attached to the place we live. We become accustomed to having things a certain way and we don’t like change. One of the most stressful life events is moving homes! Me and my husband are not just moving homes but we’re also moving far away from our family and friends. So I’m feeling really emotional. I’m excited and sad, I’m happy and stressed, I’m looking forward to it but also thinking I don’t want to move so far. I’m feeling everything at once.

But as I sat here thinking about how annoying it is to have to move again and again especially as I had just started to get used to where we live it reminded me of a hadith.

The prophet (saw) said: Be in this world as if you were a stranger or a traveller. (Bukhari)

Moving home a lot actually helps us to realise that this isn’t our permanent home. That no matter how much we love to live in a specific place we will eventually have to leave it. So we should always keep that in mind and not allow ourselves to love our homes so much that we can’t bear to leave it if we need to. But that is really hard. We want to find a house where we can live long term, where we can build our home with our family, raise our children. We want to decorate our homes and make it look nice and beautiful. We spend lots of money in making a house our home. So then we don’t want to leave.

But it’s halal for us to have a nice home so shouldn’t we want to make it look nice? How can we balance between loving where we live and not being so attached to it that we can’t bear to leave? We want to have the things from the dunya but how can we stop ourselves from becoming materialistic?

Ali ibn Abi Talib said: Asceticism (Zuhd) is not that you should not own anything, but that nothing should own you.

So we learn from this that it’s okay to have a nice home but in wanting a nice home we shouldn’t allow it to control what we do, especially if it causes us to commit haram, like taking a riba based loan. Everyone wants a place that they can call their own and make how they want but it’s not worth using haram means as it will only cause us misery in the hereafter.

Being grateful for what we have is also important especially if what you want may be out of your reach. I had never imagined living in a studio apartment when I got married and going from a 3 bedroom home to that was really difficult initially but alhamdulillah I got used to it and enjoy living here now which is why I feel sad about leaving.

If we have to leave our home we should keep in mind our permanent home in Jannah is waiting for us and that always brings me comfort because I know that even if my home in the dunya may not be how I would like, my home in Jannah will be better than anything I could ever imagine!

Al-Hasan Al-Basri said: The dunya distracts and preoccupies the heart and body, but al-zuhd (asceticism, not giving importance to worldly things) gives rest to the heart and body. Verily, Allah will ask us about the halal things we enjoyed, so what about the haram!

I Want More!

Competition in (worldly) increase diverts you.
Until you visit the graveyards.
No! You are going to know.
Then no! You are going to know.
No! If you only knew with knowledge of certainty
You will surely see the hellfire.
Then you will surely see it with the eye of certainty.
Then you will surely be asked that day about pleasure.
Surah At-Takāthur
Spending our lives competing for the next best thing. We are all guilty of this. We spend so much of our time and effort on trying to get the next best thing. We always want more, we’re never satisfied with what we have. For some it’s clothes, others it’s shoes, some want a better paid job, others want a bigger house and some want lavish weddings. Some compete with our children, who’s child can be more successful. What we fail to realise is that none of these things last, they’re temporary. And why do we want these things? To show others that what you have is better than theirs? To be proud that you have things other people don’t? Because you just desire to have more, that what you haven’t can never be enough?
In Surah At-Takathur, Allah tells us that we are all so preoccupied by the love of the world, we are so attracted to its ornaments that it distracts us so much that we actually forget the dunya is temporary and we delay in seeking the aakhirah and limiting our desire for it.  The love of the dunya distracts us so much that death comes to us and it’s too late. In a hadith narrated in Bukhari, the prophet (saw) told us that At-Takathur actually means the piling up of wealth and children. In essence we just want more and more and more. We collect all these material things as if it will last forever. We fool ourselves into thinking that if we just had this one last thing we will be satisfied, but when our nafs is so strong it won’t ever be enough.
The prophet (saw) said: If the son of Adam were to possess two valleys of riches. he would long for the third one. And the stomach of the son of Adam is not filled but with dust. And Allaah returns to him who repents. (Muslim)
This hadith shows us that humans are never satisfied with what they have. We always want more and the only thing that stops us from wanting more is death. Our desires take over and we become so busy in competing with each other that it keeps us from our true purpose in life. It stops us from pondering over what our purpose in life is and pondering over the Quran. 
Allah tells us here that it is only when we go to the graveyard and are buried will we realise what we were so distracted from. Its at that time we will beg for a second chance to go back and do what we should’ve done instead of getting distracted. Allah knows that the majority of us will do this so He gives us warning after warning to emphasise how important it is that we don’t get distracted. 
Allah tells us that if we had solid conviction in the knowledge of the Quran we would have seen what we are being distracted from. Then on the day of judgement we will see the hellfire with our own eyes and we will again be certain of what Allah had taught us about in the Quran. Then once we have seen what out fate is we will be asked about every single blessing we had in the dunya. From our eyesight to our house to our children. Every single blessing that we have Allah will question is about it. We’re we grateful? The more blessing we have in the dunya the more we will be questioned. SubhanAllah 
So we should try and be as grateful as we can for every single blessing Allah has given us. To remember that this dunya is temporary and constantly re-focus our minds when we start to get distracted by the dunya. It doesn’t mean we can’t have things, it just means we shouldn’t let these things distract us from our real purpose in life. Look to those less fortunate than us so we can realise just how much we have been blessed with so that our desire for more will decrease. Every single one us desires something and it’s not actually a bad thing to desire things but we need to keep it in control and not allow it to become so important that we forget that we are headed for the aakhirah and we want Jannah. Make Jannah our ultimate desire.