When the Beauty of Creation convinces an Athiest

When the beauty of creation convinces an atheist…
Despite singing in the choir, Zahira from the UK, didn’t believe in God. But the more she looked at creation, the more it made sense that there had to be a creator. And when she discovered Islam, nothing could stop her.

Be inspired by Zahira’s short interview and share it to inspire others.

http://www.overcome.tv

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.

When eating introduces someone to Islam

When eating introduces someone to Islam…
Abraham’s interest in Islam took off when he saw the special way that his Muslim friend ate. But he worried what his family, teachers and friends would think if he embraced Islam. Maybe they’d think that he was crazy?

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

Diseases of the Hearts and their Cures part1

So currently I’m attending a weekly class on the diseases of the heart and their cures and I wanted to share what I learnt with you all so we can all benefit inshaAllah.

So why is it important to study the diseases of the heart?

1) Purification of the heart was one of the objectives of prophethood.

Ibrahim (as) made this dua: Our Lord, and send among them a messenger from themselves who will recite to them your verses and teach them the book and hikmah and purify them. Quran (2:129)

Allah responded by saying: Certainly did Allah confer (great) favour upon the believers when He sent among them a messenger from themselves reciting to them His verses and purifying them and teaching them the book and hikmah, although they had been before in manifest error. Quran (3:164)

In these ayahs we learn that Allah answered the dua of Ibrahim (as) but Allahs response was different in that He said ‘purify them’ before teaching the book and hikmah which shows that we need to purify ourselves first in order to learn what the Quran is teaching us and have hikmah.

2) The heart is the most important organ in the body.

Indeed in the body is a piece of flesh, if it is correct the whole body is correct and if it is corrupt then the whole body will be corrupt, verily this piece is the heart. (Bukhari)

If the heart is corrupt then this will dictate what the limbs will do. So we need to first fix our heart for our limbs to be fixed.

3) We often neglect studying the diseases of the heart but a lot of societal problems are a result of a corrupt heart. For example arguments are often caused by diseases such as envy, pride, arrogance etc. So in order to rectify these societal issues we must rectify our hearts.

4) Purification of the heart is the key to success in the dunya and the aakhirah.

The day when there will not benefit (anyone) wealth and children. But only those who comes to God with a sound heart. Quran (26:88-89)

If we want to be saved in the aakhirah and enter Jannah we need to purify our hearts of these diseases.

So how do we know that our heart is sick?

Ibn al-Qayyim discussed signs of a sick heart, some of these signs are:

1) The person doesn’t feel remorse when he commits a sin.

2) He finds pleasure in committing acts of disobedience.

3) When he hears the truth he has difficulty accepting or submitting to it.

4) He is not affected by any reminder, khutbah, Quran recitation etc.

Don’t look at the size of the sin, look at the greatness of the one who we disobeyed.

What effect does sinning have on the heart?

The prophet (saw) said: When a slave commits a sin, a black spot appears on his heart. If he gives up the sin, seeks forgiveness and repents, his heart will be cleansed, but if he repeats it, (the blackness) will increase until it overwhelms his heart. (Ibn Majah)

Some of the effects that sinning has on the heart that Ibn al-Qayyim discusses are:

1) Being deprived of knowledge, as knowledge is a light that Allah causes to reach the heart and sinning extinguishes that light.

2) Being deprived of provision. The prophet (saw) said: A man is deprived of provision because of the sins that he commits. (Ahmad)

3) Deprivation of worship and obedience. Sinning prevents a person from doing an act of worship and cuts off access to other acts of worship.

4) Sin leads to sin. The more this happens the harder it is to escape it. Eg. Being jealous of someone can lead to you gossipping and backbiting that person.

5) Sin weakens a persons willpower and makes him desensitised to sinning. The person will gradually find it easier to commit sins and harder to repent. Eventually he will not be bothered about sinning and it will become a habit.

So how do we protect our heart?

There are a number of ways to strengthen the heart. Some of which are:

1) Consistently fulfilling the obligatory actions. Not just the pillars of Islam but also all the obligations we have in regards to family, friends, neighbours etc.

2) Building a strong relationship with the Quran

3) Reciting the morning and evening adhkar

4) Increasing your dua. We should make dua for all things, both in regards to deen and dunya.

5) Repentance. Allah tells us again and again to seek forgiveness because it’s in our nature to sin.

I hope this has been helpful and now we know why we need to study the diseases of the heart and give importance to purifying our heart. I will discuss each disease that we go through in class inshaAllah. The next post will be about hasad (envy).

Even the disco can be a place of religious inspiration

Even the disco can be a place of religious inspiration…
Describing herself as an “air force brat”, Joann’s religious inspiration came one night while she was at a disco.

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

When Hollywood introduces you to Islam

When Hollywood introduces you to Islam…
Growing up in the South, Mujahid was introduced to Islam in the most unexpected of ways – a movie starring Charlton Heston.

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

The Benefits of Reading

So I recently shared my love for reading but many people just see it as something to do for enjoyment. But there are so many benefits from reading regularly. I will go through some of them here and maybe it will inspire some of you to read regularly inshaAllah.

So some of the many benefits are:

1) Mental stimulation

Studies have shown that reading slows the progress of alzheimer’s and dementia and can even prevent them from developing. This is because keeping the brain active prevents it from losing power and enables the brain to stay strong and healthy.

Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body. – Joseph Addison

2) Reduces stress

No matter how stressed you are, you can lose yourself in a great story which will distract you for a short time, letting you ease your tension. Even if you spend 10-15 minutes reading in the evening or before you go to bed, will mean you are much more relaxed when you go to sleep. This will allow you to have a more restful sleep leaving you refreshed for the next day.

3) Knowledge

Every time you read, you learn something new. It could be a new word or a literary technique or a new piece of information or even how people react to a situation. The more knowledge you have, the better equipped you will be to tackle the different situations you will face in your life. Gaining knowledge is very important to be able to progress in life and reading is one of the most effective ways to do it. Even the First word revealed in the Quran was ‘read’ this alone should indicate how important and beneficial reading is for us.

The book to read is not the one that thinks for you but the one that makes you think. – Harper Lee

4) Increased vocabulary

So carrying on from the last point, reading vastly improved your vocabulary. The more you read, the more words you’re exposed to which will give you a wider vocabulary to use for yourself. It will help you to become more articulate in your speech, which will be especially useful in a professional setting. Being able to speak more clearly and better explain yourself will help to increase your confidence and self esteem too.

The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read. – Mark Twain

5) Memory improvement

When you read, you have to remember a number of things to understand the story. From the characters backgrounds to subplots, so your brain creates new synapses for each new memory and will strengthen old ones.

A library is a hospital for the mind – Anonymous

6) Focus and concentration

We live in such a busy society that we often try to divide our attention between several things which increases stress levels and lowers our productivity. Reading is an activity that requires your full concentration so focusing on that one thing even for 10-15 minutes can improve your focus for the rest of the day.

7) Better writing skills

The more exposure you have to well written work, the better your own writing will be. One of the things authors say when trying to write is to read as much as you can. When you read you will pick up lots of literary techniques which will improve your own writing.

Libraries were full of ideas perhaps the most dangerous and powerful of all weapons. – Sarah J. Maas

8) Tranquility

Depending on what you read, it can help you find inner peace. So for us reading the Quran helps us to be more tranquil and calm. Reading self help books can help to improve certain areas in your life which help to also bring a sense of peace.

9) Improves empathy

Books can provide life changing perspective, reading the lives of characters can strengthen your ability to understand other people’s feelings and what others may be going through. For example many of us don’t really understand what someone who suffers from abuse goes through unless we experience it ourselves. But reading through the eyes of a character who may be suffering from abuse can help us to understand what real life victims may go through.

A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one. – George R.R. Martin

So these are just SOME of the many benefits of reading! I hope these inspire some of you to pick up a book! If any of you think of any more please do comment below!

If you don’t like to read you just haven’t found the right book – J.K Rowling