B-r-o-k-e-n

Timeless article by Yasmin Mogahed. She’s like my emotional twin.

“Once let down, I never fully recovered. I could never forget, and the break never mended. Like a glass vase that you place on the edge of a table, once broken, the pieces never quite fit again.

But the problem wasn’t with the vase. Or even that the vases kept breaking. The problem was that I kept putting them on the edge of tables. Through my attachments, I was dependent on my relationships to fulfill my needs. I allowed those relationships to define my happiness or my sadness, my fulfillment or my emptiness, my security, and even my self-worth. And so, like the vase placed where it will inevitably fall, through those dependencies I set myself up for disappointment. I set myself up to be broken. And that’s exactly what I found: one disappointment, one break after another.

But the people who broke me were not to blame any more than gravity can be blamed for breaking the vase. We can’t blame the laws of physics when a twig snaps because we leaned on it for support. The twig was never created to carry us.

Our weight was only meant to be carried by God. We are told in the Quran: “…whoever rejects evil and believes in God hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks. And God hears and knows all things.” (Qur’an 2: 256)

There is a crucial lesson in this verse: that there is only one handhold that never breaks. There is only one place where we can lay our dependencies. There is only one relationship that should define our self-worth and only one source from which to seek our ultimate happiness, fulfillment, and security. That place is God.”

“Ultimately, the question was about the nature of the dunya as a place of fleeting moments and temporary attachments. As a place where people are with you today, and leave or die tomorrow. But this reality hurts our very being because it goes against our nature. We, as humans, are made to seek, love, and strive for what is perfect and what is permanent. We are made to seek what’s eternal. We seek this because we were not made for this life. Our first and true home was Paradise: a land that is both perfect and eternal. So the yearning for that type of life is a part of our being. The problem is that we try to find that here. And so we create ageless creams and cosmetic surgery in a desperate attempt to hold on—in an attempt to mold this world into what it is not, and will never be.

And that’s why if we live in dunya with our hearts, it breaks us. That’s why this dunya hurts. It is because the definition of dunya, as something temporary and imperfect, goes against everything we are made to yearn for. Allah put a yearning in us that can only be fulfilled by what is eternal and perfect. By trying to find fulfillment in what is fleeting, we are running after a hologram…a mirage. We are digging into concrete with our bare hands. Seeking to turn what is by its very nature temporary into something eternal is like trying to extract from fire, water.  You just get burned. Only when we stop putting our hopes in dunya, only when we stop trying to make the dunya into what it is not—and was never meant to be (jannah)—will this life finally stop breaking our hearts.

We must also realize that nothing happens without a purpose. Nothing. Not even broken hearts. Not even pain. That broken heart and that pain are lessons and signs for us. They are warnings that something is wrong. They are warnings that we need to make a change. Just like the pain of being burned is what warns us to remove our hand from the fire, emotional pain warns us that we need to make an internal change. That we need to detach. Pain is a form of forced detachment. Like the loved one who hurts you again and again and again, the more dunya hurts us, the more we inevitably detach from it. The more we inevitably stop loving it.

And pain is a pointer to our attachments. That which makes us cry, that which causes us most pain is where our false attachments lie. And it is those things which we are attached to as we should only be attached to Allah which become barriers on our path to God. But the pain itself is what makes the false attachment evident. The pain creates a condition in our life that we seek to change, and if there is anything about our condition that we don’t like, there is a divine formula to change it. God says: “Verily never will God change the condition of a people until they change what is within themselves.” (Qur’an, 13:11)

After years of falling into the same pattern of disappointments and heartbreak, I finally began to realize something profound. I had always thought that love of dunya meant being attached to material things. And I was not attached to material things. I was attached to people. I was attached to moments. I was attached to emotions. So I thought that the love of dunya just did not apply to me. What I didn’t realize was that people, moments, emotions are all a part of dunya. What I didn’t realize is that all the pain I had experienced in life was due to one thing, and one thing only: love of dunya.”
…”The problem was in *where* I was placing those expectations and that hope. At the end of the day, my hope and expectations were not being placed in God. My hope and expectations were in people, relationships, means. Ultimately, my hope was in this dunya rather than Allah.

And so I came to realize a very deep Truth. An ayah began to cross my mind. It was an ayah I had heard before, but for the first time I realized that it was actually describing me: Those who rest not their hope on their meeting with Us, but are pleased and satisfied with the life of the present, and those who heed not Our Signs.”(Qur’an, 10:7)”

By thinking that I can have everything here, my hope was not in my meeting with God. My hope was in dunya. But what does it mean to place your hope in dunya? How can this be avoided? It means when you have friends, don’t expect your friends to fill your emptiness. When you get married, don’t expect your spouse to fulfill your every need. When you’re an activist, don’t put your hope in the results. When you’re in trouble don’t depend on yourself. Don’t depend on people. Depend on God.

Seek the help of people—but realize that it is not the people (or even your own self) that can save you. Only Allah can do these things. The people are only tools, a means used by God. But they are not the source of help, aid, or salvation of any kind. Only God is. The people cannot even create the wing of a fly (22:73).  And so, even while you interact with people externally, turn your heart towards God. Face Him alone, as Prophet Ibrahim (as) said so beautifully: “For me, I have set my face, firmly and truly, towards Him Who created the heavens and the earth, and never shall I give partners to Allah.” (Qur’an, 6:79)”

…”one moment we’re happy, but as soon as that which our happiness depended upon changes, our happiness also changes. And we become sad. We remain always swinging from one extreme to another and not realizing why. We experience this emotional roller coaster because we can never find stability and lasting peace until our attachment and dependency is on what is stable and lasting. How can we hope to find constancy if what we hold on to is inconstant and perishing?

To attain that state, don’t let your source of fulfillment be anything other than your relationship with God. Don’t let your definition of success, failure, or self-worth be anything other than your position with Him (Qur’an, 49:13). And if you do this, you become unbreakable, because your handhold is unbreakable. You become unconquerable, because your supporter can never be conquered. And you will never become empty, because your source of fulfillment is unending and never diminishes.”

http://www.suhaibwebb.com/personaldvlpt/character/why-do-people-have-to-leave-each-other/

Got the blues? *S-u-b-h-a-n-A-l-l-a-h*

Five reasons why Allah uses problems

by Shaykh Salih al-Fawzaan

The problems you face will either defeat you or develop you – depending on how you respond to them. Unfortunately, most people fail to see how Allah wants to use problems for good in their lives. They react foolishly and resent their problems rather than pausing to consider what benefit they might bring.

Here are five ways Allah wants to use the problems in your life:

1. Allah uses problems to DIRECT you.
Sometimes God must light a fire under you to get you moving. Problems often point us in a new direction and motivate us to change. Is God trying to get your attention? “Sometimes it takes a painful situation to make us change our ways.”

2. Allah uses problems to INSPECT you.
People are like tea bags…if you want to know what’s inside them, just drop them into hot ever water! Has God tested your faith with a problem What do problems reveal about you? “When you have many kinds of troubles, you should be full of joy, because you know that these troubles test your faith, and this will give you patience.”

3. Allah uses problems to CORRECT you.
Some lessons we learn only through pain and failure. It’s likely that as a child your parents told you not to touch a hot stove…. But you probably learned by being burned. Sometimes we only learn the value of something… health, money, a relationship. .. by losing it. “It was the best thing that could have happened to me, for it taught me to pay attention to your laws.”

4. Allah uses problems to PROTECT you.
A problem can be a blessing in disguise if it prevents you from being harmed by something more serious. Last year a friend was fired for refusing to do something unethical that his boss had asked him to do. His unemployment was a problem – but it saved him from being convicted and sent to prison a year later when management’s actions were eventually discovered. “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good…

5. Allah uses problems to PERFECT you.
Problems, when responded to correctly, are character builders. God is far more interested in your character than your comfort. Your relationship to God and your character are the only two things you’re going to take with you into eternity. “We can rejoice when we run into problems…they help us learn to be patient. And patience develops strength of character in us and helps us trust God more each time we use it until finally our hope and faith are strong and steady.”

Here’s the point:

God is at work in your life – even when you do not recognize it or understand it.

But it’s much easier and profitable when you cooperate with Him.

“Success can be measured not only in achievements, but in lessons learned, lives touched and moments shared along the way”

Allah Knows Best…

Wal ‘Asr…

Story about the man in the hospital waiting room…

Since last night my young son has been unwell. When I got back from Work this evening I decided to take him to hospital despite my exhaustion.

There were many waiting; perhaps we will be delayed by more than an hour. I took my number and sat down in the waiting room. There were many faces, young and old, but all silent. Some brothers  made use of the many booklets available in the waiting room. Some of those waiting had their eyes closed, while others were looking around. Most were bored. Once in a while the long silence was broken by a nurse calling out a number. Happiness appears on the one whose turn it is, and he gets up quickly; then silence returns.

A young man grabbed my attention. Continue reading

marhaban ramadan

Fasting Establishes Supremacy of The Soul

By Muhaddith Shah Waliyullâh


The preponderance of animality in man is an obstacle in the path of the manifestation of angelic and celestial attributes. Therefore, it has become necessary to subjugate this attribute of animality in man.

Since the dominance and power of bestial attributes are caused by eating, drinking and excessive indulgence in lowly desires – the latter playing the dominant role in the assertion of bestial attributes – it is essential to curtail and curb the onslaught of the flesh by a reduction in these factors (eating, drinking and indulgence in desire). Precisely for this reason do we find unanimity among all those who desire the supremacy of the soul and the subjugation of the flesh. All such men are unanimous in their assertion that the method of establishing the supremacy of the soul over the body is to reduce indulgence in eating, drinking and lowly desire. A remarkable fact is that this unanimity exists despite the different religions and lands of these men (i.e. those who desire the supremacy of the soul).

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conscripted soldiers

Imâm al-Bukhârî (may Allâh have mercy on him) reported in his Sahîh that ‘Ā’ishah (May Allâh be pleased with her) said: “I heard the Prophet saying: ‘Spirits are like conscripted soldiers; those whom they recognize, they get along with, and those whom they do not recognize, they will not get along with.’(Sahîh al-Bukhârî, Kitâb Ahâdîth al-Anbiyâ’, Bâb al-Arwâh junûd mujannadah).

http://www.angelfire.com/al/islamicpsychology/introduction/spirits.html

Incredible article

Bomb Threat At My School – A Striking Similarity

Accounting 350 this week was the same as usual, slow and unexciting. There I was stuck in a three hour night class, slightly bored and fiddling with my phone. All of that changed 48 minutes into the class when I received the following text message from a Muslim brother in another building on campus also in a night class.

         From: Mofees
         Bomb threat, my class
         was just evacuated. Tell
         ur teacher
         6:48pm 4/21/08

At around 6:40pm, DePaul University began to evacuate its two downtown Chicago Loop campus buildings after receiving a phone call of a bomb threat. The building I was in was not amongst those officially evacuated, but people like myself began receiving text messages from friends with classes in the evacuated buildings about the bomb threat. All the while, my class was in the middle of presentations and there I was unsure of what to do.

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