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Abdul Hakim Abd Jalil

O Allah, gather us with our families in Jannah.

There is no single family in this world that is perfectly without any problems. Husband and wife, siblings, parents and children, all of them must have their ups and downs from time to time. They argue and they fight. They even stop talking to each other at times. 

But, hold on. 

In the end, family is family. The love will almost always be there. Let’s make du’a so that we can all  gather again in the eternal life, in Jannah. Ameen.

Make Du’a. Allah understands our prayers, even when we can’t find the words to say them.

Never underestimate the power of a du’a. It is indeed the strongest weapon of the believers. Continue calling.out to Him.  Repeat your du’a again and again. 

Allah is All-Knowing, He is aware of everything and He wants us to know that. when Prophet Musa and Prophet Harun were told to speak to Pharoah, they were understandably afraid. They said to Allah:

Our Lord, indeed we are afraid that he will hasten [punishment] against us or that he will transgress.”

And look how Allah responded  to reassure them:

Fear not. Indeed, I am with you both; I hear and I see

(Qur’an, 20:45-46).

So when you are feeling lonely or in difficulty, make prayers to the One who hears everything and sees everything. He is so close to you that He listens to your words when they are spoken or when you just keep them in your heart. Rest assured that the difficulty  you are going through has not gone unnoticed.

He understands our prayers, even when we can’t find the right words to express them. So make your Du’a.

Smile, it’s a charity!

Want to spread good vibes to those around you and making others feel at ease just by looking at you? Smile. It’s simple, it’s easy and it’s free! 

It is distressing to note that some of our scholars have been depicted as angry, unsmiling men who often scold and frown when Islam is known to put much emphasis on friendliness, peace, serenity and kindness. Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) had set the example of always smiling in his interactions with his Companions to the extent that Abdullah ibn Al-Harith ibn Hazm said,

“I have never seen anyone who smiles more than the Prophet does.”

(At-Tirmidhi)

So, let’s  follow the Prophet’s tradition – don’t forget to smile!

Looking beyond the Smiles: Understanding the emotional needs of the Muslim reverts

Upon saying the shahadah, many of their born Muslim brethren would ritually come to them to give their sweetest smiles, their biggest hugs and kisses while saying “MasyaAllah, you have chosen Islam. You are now our brother (or sister)!”. They will even give their contact numbers and invite the new reverts to their homes, offering help, advice, counseling etc.

That seems like a very memorable and nice moment for the revert, right?

But most of the time, it will just end there!

The reverts will most likely end up walking to their new life practically alone, to a new world, a new way of seeing things and a new journey of self discovery. Not knowing what to do and who to trust, they are just like a child wandering around in a big city, alone.

They probably will never go to the homes of other fellow Muslim, and will never get any calls from them.

For all the many people who claimed  to be their brothers and sisters, they probably end up  celebrating their eids and breaking their fast alone. Some people in the Muslim community might even consider them strangers, leaving them with  the pain of rejection. 

They have made a big decision to become a Muslim, yet many of us are unaware of their  predicament. You may sense this when you look beyond their smiles, what can you see? Think about it!

And remind, for indeed, reminders may benefit believers

Have you ever suddenly come across reminders on social media, by the sidewalk, or anywhere, which you feel are exactly what you need at the moment?

Be grateful! Because those reminders you receive may actually come from Allah. 

O Allah, give us the chance to perform Hajj! Ameen.

As Allah is the Most Merciful, He has always given reminders to His servants through any medium including YOU! We, humans are always forgetful. Thus, it’s our obligation to constantly remind each other about the deen, using whatever medium we can access.

Allah has charged believers with the task of enjoining the good, forbidding the wrong and reminding of the truth. Therefore, each reminder a believer receives is important. The Qur’an advises people to enjoin good and forbid evil and to remind one another of their responsibilities.

Enjoining what is good and forbidding what is evil is a communal obligation; if some people do it, the rest are absolved of blame; but if all of them fail to do it, then each one who was able to do it but did not, with no reasonable excuse or fear, is guilty of sin! 

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Allah, His angels, and the inhabitants of heaven and earth, even the ant in its hole and even the fish, send blessings – i.e., pray for good – upon the one who teaches the people good.”

(Tirmidhi).

Giving a good reminder is a great gift we can give to others. Yet, we sometimes run into trouble because of the way we offer it. Not all people are born with the ability to give advice tactfully, or offer constructive criticism effectively. Most people forget that the point of giving advice is to help others be successful and not to demean or belittle their worth or abilities.

Dispensing advice improperly, particularly to a close family member or friend, may jeopardise a valued relationship. The ability to give advice in a positive and beneficial way is an art. Avoid being judgmental. Do not attack the other party’s character. An advice that is perceived as being harsh or judgmental is likely to offend the person hearing it.

And for those who are lucky enough to receive good reminders from someone, take it seriously into your heart. As reminders may benefit the believers, try to make ourselves as part of those who take reminders from others as a gift. 

“Who could do greater wrong than someone who is reminded of the Signs of his Lord and then turns away from them, forgetting all that he has done before? We have placed covers on their hearts, preventing them from understanding it, and heaviness in their ears. Though you call them to guidance, they will, nonetheless, never be guided.”

(Surat al-Kahf: 57)

Still, remind others, as reminders may benefit the believers!


Be Grateful for Everything

If you are grateful, I will give you more

(Ibrahim: 7)

That seems like a very memorable and nice moment for the revert, right?

When we are given favors by someone, we always show our appreciation for them. And the one who is most deserving of thanks and praise from people is Allah S.W.T because of the great favours and blessings that He has bestowed upon His servants in both spiritual and worldly terms. Allah has commanded us to give thanks to Him for those blessings.

As we open the Quran, the very first chapter (Surah al-Fatihah) starts with ‘Alhamdulillah’ which is generally translated as “all praise is for God.” In reality, the word Alhamdulillah signifies gratitude and thankfulness in our daily life. Hence, when someone asks how we are, Muslims often respond with, “Alhamdulillah.”

Gratitude is going beyond words into actions. We can see this in the example of our beloved prophet. It was narrated that Aishah said:

 “When the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) performed the solats, he would stand for so long that his feet would become swollen. ‘Aishah said: O Messenger of Allah, Why are you doing this when Allah has forgiven your past and future sins? He said: “O ‘Aishah, should I not be a thankful servant?”

(Bukhari and Muslim) 

The immutable fact is we were created from nothing, and then given everything that we have today such that there is no way we can calculate all the blessings Allah has given us:

“Is, then, He Who creates comparable to any that cannot create? Will you not, then, take heed? For, should you try to count Allah’s blessings, you could never compute them”

(An-Nahl 16:17-19).

Everything that happens to us – including those negative ones such as natural disasters or even events that we may consider to be personal afflictions – are from Allah. They may yet bring some good for us if we know how to perceive and respond to it appropriately. 

The Prophet said:

 “How wonderful is the case of a Believer! There is good for him in whatever happens to him – and none, apart from him, enjoys this blessing. If he receives some bounty, he is grateful to Allah and this bounty brings good to him. And if some adversity befalls him, he is patient, and this affliction, too, brings good to him”

(Muslim).

Being grateful to Allah may do wonders, even if you may not discern them readily. For instance, you may be in the middle of a problem and not having the least bit of knowledge about what to do about it, and what would happen next; then suddenly the solution dawns upon you.

Thankfulness liberates the heart from greed, conceit, jealousy and envy. When we are thankful to Allah, we remain mindful of Him and His continuous Mercy on us, and this in turn humbles us and improves our characters.

May Allah allow us to truly acknowledge His constant blessings and favours, so that we could forever be conscious of expressing gratitude and thankfulness to Him.

Be Kind

We often forget that we are all connected. That is to say the joy you spread will eventually find its way back to you. Life is a chain reaction. Everyone has the potential to help eradicate poverty, hunger, disease and wars by causing a ripple effect with one small and selfless deed. Which simply means, if each one of us can be a little kind and spread love to one another, many grave problems in this world may start to diminish.

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Be Humble.

When we find ourselves in a position where we are more fortunate than others, sometimes it is easy to lose sight of our humility. Learn from the mistakes of Iblis. It was this same trap that he fell into. Iblis was once so pious that he was allowed to worship with the angels. But due to his arrogance he openly disobeyed Allah’s order to bow to Adam. He was cast out and became the accursed.

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