The wonderful gift from a wonderful sister.
Alhamdulillah. I am still alive and breathing so that I can continue my searching for the almighty the most merciful Ya Rabb. And again, I am more than grateful that I have just achieved more than a quarter century of living. It is not an achievement as my life is completely depending on the almighty. I might not be able to be here today if He decided to do so before. Alhamdulillah.
Of the birthday and celebration, well it was not a celebration though. But I choose to make it a happy moment to be remembered, I have received a beautiful gift from my dear sister Mya Akmal. We attended a wonderful, thought provoking, self reflecting and mind wandering talk by Yasmin Mogahed.
So, here, let me share some of the things that I got during the talk. I divided it into few parts to make it easier for you to read and digest. Mind you, I might quoted, paraphrased or adding my own thoughts through out the sharing of Yasmin Mogahed's talk.
Returning home: Yasmin Mogahed
The Beauty: What lies behind it?
Some people not even noticed the beauty ahead them. Many of us take things for granted. We might passing through the beautiful sun, the magnificent forest but we did not realized it. Beauty has its own purpose. That is to remind us to Allah. We must look beyond and behind the beauty because what we see is just the surface. Thus, we must study the beauty of the creation and reflect the beauty to the most merciful. That He did not create anything without purpose. No happiness, sadness nor other things are created without meaning. And, nothing happened without a reason. We need to always look and find for its purposes to get nearer to Him. If we have unsolvable problem, do not despair. Do not let it drunk us down.
Fear and Struggle: Have Faith!
Believe to the Al-Fattah. When we are having hard times, always ask these questions: Who else can mend your heart? Who else can cure your heart? And, the answer is Only Him. When we are going through hardship, we will be or feel in isolation. Do not feel alone. Do not feel afraid as Allah is there for us.
Is the fear in this life can be compared to the fear in the later life?
If the fear paralyze us here, what about in later life?
Even the fear of hunger cannot be compared to any of it. We are going to lose people we love so much. We are losing things that we care the most. We are all losing in this life. It is a part and parcel of life. You may work so hard to make people happy but they do not appreciate you. You may work hard to study but the result is not the desired one. You might put extra effort to please others but they could not accept it. At the end of the day, all that you feel is just a waste of time and energy. But, remember, that we might not get whatever we think or plan what is good for us. Indeed, He is the best planner.
Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji'un: Remember this!
Inna lillahi- we belong to Allah (be it in terms of our health, family, money, things etc) THUS
wa inna ilayhi raji'un- and to Him we shall return. To those who persevere, to those who are consistent in going through the hardship, remember that we are all belong to Him. Bear in mind that hardships can become something priceless just like a blessing in disguise. It is the blessing of Allah, the mercy of Allah to those who persevere, who have patient and have come to the concept of inna lillahi. Do we realize the utmost reason Allah give us hardship? It is because when we are in despair, we can reach the state of needing Him the most. So that we can turn to Him, hope for Him and pray our heart to the fullest.
Sahih International (Al-Baqarah 2:214)
Or do you think that you will enter Paradise while such [trial] has not yet come to you as came to those who passed on before you? They were touched by poverty and hardship and were shaken until [even their] messenger and those who believed with him said,"When is the help of Allah ?" Unquestionably, the help of Allah is near.
Happiness: Is it a test?
We always think that Allah tests us on difficulties solely. But tests can also be on prosperity and adversity. Often times in life, when we are being tested on happiness, we tend to get away from Allah. We love our life, we love our youth, more than we love Allah. For example when Allah gives us children, we tend to overlook the gift instead of the giver. We love our kids but we forget Allah who give us the kids. We forgot to be grateful. We thought that we deserve happiness, money, fame, wealth and many more because we work on our sweat for it. We forgot that the energy and health are belong to Him. We forgot to give help. We forgot to donate. We forgot to spend some time. Because we are being too comfortable as things are being easy on us. This is also a kind of test that Allah put on us to see whether we are getting nearer or not. But when Allah tests us on hardship, we struggle and despair and quickly we then tend to get near to Allah. Allahu Akbar. Allah tests us on ease and hardship as Allah wants us to come back to Him. So raise our hands and ask from Allah. Ask him regularly as we cannot get through the test, the storm on our own. It will get harder without asking help from Him.
The Way Out: To Purify Our Soul
Whenever we feel stuck, turn to Allah. Allah is enough for us. Allah is the one who we should rely on the most. Not other people. By no means, indeed He is with us. He will open the way out that we cannot see or expect. But it is not to say that we cannot ask help from others ie When we are sick, we need to see the doctor. When we have problems, we need to talk to the counsellor or friends. BUT the utmost dependency should be on ALLAH. Those people or those things are just the medium. But the cure, the one who actually help or change or ease us is the only god, the most merciful Allah. As we are just the slave of Him. So remember that the one who are the slave to money, things or own self (listen to desire and obey) is the most astray. As we need to be the slave to the only one.
We are full of impurities. We make mistakes. We commit sins. Thus, the hardships are to purify the believer. So when Allah tests us, it does not mean that Allah wants to watch us suffer but rather to purify us from our impurities. As Allah is Al-Wahhab. The Giver of gifts. Sometimes we need to be taken away from things so that we can re-focus. But whatever Allah takes it will never a lost. Because it will be replaced with something better. When things are being taken away, Allah is giving us the greatest gift which is being closer to Allah.
Jannah: In Life and Hereafter
Looking for Jannah does not have to wait for the Day of Judgment. There is Jannah in this life. Allah lets us find the happiness in this life. Allah is the greater the most merciful Al-Wahhab. That is, in the remembrance of Allah, we will get the Jannah. Once we get the Jannah in this life by being closer to Allah InsyaAllah we will get Jannah in the hereafter. If we forgot Allah, Allah will be easily forgotten us as well in the hereafter. So be near to Allah and we will be near to Him in the hereafter. To make Him the ultimate goal, love, life, happiness then that is the Jannah in life. The more we remember Allah the more we love Allah. Zikir. Zikir. Zikir. And Solat. The first thing to be asked in the hereafter is our Solat. If it is okay then we passed, InsyaAllah. 5 times daily prayers then add those extra efforts until we think it is enough which it would not be enough as we do not know whether our obligation is perfectly done or not. So what should we do is by doing more and more. Remember more and more. If we pray when we feel like doing it, it is not proper and would not be sufficient.
Food for the Soul
Like when we are ill and going to see the doctor. The doctor will prescribe us with medicines. And if we were not religiously consume the meds, we are going to recover at slow rate. Same goes to all our obligations as prescribed by Allah. It will not be working if we only perform our obligation when we feel like doing so. It is not from the heart but just the body. Actions without soul and it would not work that way.
Just like we need to eat and shower to be healthy. Same goes to the heart. We need constant food to feed our heart. Cleanse it with Taubah regularly and constantly. By remembering Allah. By reading Al-Quran. Every time we sinned our heart gets one black spot. So if we do not clean it, it gets darker. Cleanse and feed it by remembering Allah consistently. Our Iman is going up and down most f the time because that is our fitrah. So this is the time to fight against the shaitan as they are making us feeling low and despair. Thus, we need to remember Allah all the time. Do not lose hope and despair in the mercy of Allah. And, do not compromise Allah with anything at all.
Allah is All Enough for Us
The key to have a happier heart is to keep on remember that nothing will be the same. If you are down today, make sure it will not be the same tomorrow. Do something to change it and do not lose faith. And keep solat. As it will protect us even when we are off track once a while. By understanding life in perspective we will feel at ease. There is not ultimate justice in this life. So look at it from the correct perspective. Bear in mind that the hardship is just for temporary to test us in this short life. As well as prosperity. Get a grip on the ropes of faith and work on it to achieve the Jannah in life and hereafter. Life is short to be wasted on unnecessary things, so we need to start doing something to lift up our Iman before it is too late. Allah knows all intentions.
On the other note, nowadays most of us are using the wrong approach of teaching kids. Instead of instilling the love towards Allah, we tend to scare them with the hellfire. Let's start to talk nicely to kids by sharing with the them the love of Allah, the beauty of Islam so that they will be or feel nearer and love Allah the most. Start attaching their heart with the beauty of Islam rather than emphasizing on this is haram, this is wrong, you cannot do this etc. .
So, that's all that I can share for now. I hope that by sharing this will at least help us to remind each other on the purpose of our life. I am still trying to be a better khalifah. It will not be enough for me to digest all these alone. So, let's do this together. And, if there is any misleading information or wrong interpretation, please let me know. I am blessed to have the chance to listen to Yasmin Mogahed, and I am honoured to share this with others.
May Allah bless her and us all.
Weep for Syria by Kamal Saleh
Jazakumullahu Khairan Kathira.