Category Archives: Islam

My Syria!

Chess was my favourite game when I was in college and then I got busy with life and had no time for it. However I was amazed to see that it is not only played on the board. Nowadays I am watching a hideous game of chess that is being played on the land of my Brothers and Sisters. Although I am yet unable to percieve the difference between these two players. Their role appear similar, with apparently different names. Also I am terrified to see that the main objective of chess is altered here. I doubt it is not being played with the intention to checkmate the opponent but to capture the pawns. Poor pawns!

Do you know what death is? Lying there, hearing things and knowing that there is absolutely nothing that you can do, that is death. And I am dying everyday. I feel like we all will be killed in the same way someday, castrated and helpless!

I believe in the power of prayers but I don’t have the courage to sit in front of Allah. He can ask me what are you doing for them? You are a Munafiq. I am afraid to pray, yet there is a faint voice deep inside me who is continuously praying.

May Allah safe my people from the so-called peacemakers and let them see the beautiful colors of sunrise and dance to the songs of koel. Ameen.

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Help Syria!

I can not help them because the only help they need right now is rescue. I am ashamed to ask people to donate as if unconsciously I have accepted that they don’t have any way out now. It’s like giving them some more time so that they don’t die of hunger before the shelling starts again.

Just want to say that it could be us!

Help yourself.

Help.

Fly Like a Bird (Live Deen Event)

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Today I attended an event “Fly like a Bird” that was arranged by Live Deen. I got to know about this talk through Facebook and later I also got a text message. I was very excited about this event because of the topic. Everyone who knows me, knows my obsession with the birds. And that is not only limited to their beauty and colors, there is something about birds that fascinate me so much. So I really wanted to know how can I fly like a bird? This is not it. After getting the ticket, something happened between me and my friend that increased my interest even more. We were talking about the Panama leaks and my friend was certainly not happy with the results and especially the judiciary system of Pakistan. As we talked more, it came down to Pakistan and he told me that it hurts him to see our country in this condition. He also showed his concern for our people. Idk how but in the end, we found ourselves discussing each other. I won’t say that I am trying to be a practicing Muslim now that I have attended this conference but at that time I told him that I am very hopeful about my relationship with Allah. I am sure that He loves me and I can feel that. He, on the other hand, is very cautious in whatever he does and he says that he fears Allah. He is afraid to commit a sin and act bold. So he quoted one Hadith in his own words that Iman is a condition between fear and hope. After a few days, I got a promotional message from Live Deen on how to develop love for Allah by striving that perfect balance between hope and fear in Him. Bingo. That’s what I wanted to know.

So Instead of talking about me, let’s talk about the message of that event very briefly. Sheikh Abu Abdissalam was the speaker. He came from Makkah and he was not even feeling well today but he didn’t cancel his talk. The whole talk was based on the following saying;

“The heart on its journey towards Allah is like that of a bird. Love is its head and fear and hope are its two wings.”

-Ibn Al-Qayyim

He emphasized on the importance of all three, fear, hope and Love for Allah. According to him, if a person doesn’t have fear of Allah but he is very hopeful that Allah will forgive him anyway (like I do Astaghfirullah), that person might keep on doing the same mistakes and sins. Too much hope can also be a sign of arrogance. In fact true fear raises love and hope in Allah. He actually raised a very good point here that a true Muslim always has fear of Allah, even after doing good deeds. Fear is a guiding light in your heart. It shows you what is good and what is not.

Similarly, only hope is of no use. Hoping without action is deception and Ghuroor (pride). You can’t carry on with your bad actions and think that He is Al-Ghafoor and Ar-Rahim. Actions with hope is the key. True hope is doing, then hoping. Otherwise, it’s just wishing. If hope invites you to sins than it is foolishness, not hope.

To further emphasize on the importance of hope and fear, he quoted one verse from Quran;

And call upon Him out of fear and hope [A’raaf 7:56]

Then he talked about love which is like the head of a bird and said that without the head, a bird is dead and so does a believer. Love is the soul’s food. Excessive desires and love for dunya takes all the space in our heart. We first have to empty our hearts if we want Allah’s love. He mentioned Ibn al-Qayim (r) saying that:

“Loving Allah is the life of hearts and nourishment of souls without which a heart will not feel happiness, blessings, success or life. If the heart misses the
feeling of loving Allah, it will hurt more than losing one’s eyesight, hearing, smelling, or ability to speak? If one’s heart is void of loving His Creator, Lord and the Truth it will be greatly dangerous than losing one’s soul”

During his talk, he told us that he don’t like the term “practicing Muslim”. Everyone has got different level of struggles and weaknesses. Humans are made with the capacity to sin unlike angels. If a man has beard or a woman wears hijab that doesn’t necessarily make them a good Muslim or Muslimah or tell us anything about their status with Allah (that doesn’t mean that we can ignore hijab or beard). It’s about getting different exam questions in the exam and everyone will get marks on the basis of their papers. He gave the following ways to increase the love for Allah;

1) Recitation of Quran with reflection
2) Increase obligatory acts of worship
3) Constant Zikr
4) Preferring Allah’s love over your desires
5) Reflecting on the names of Allah and attributes of Allah
6) Witnessing His generosity
7) Stop humiliation (Don’t think no one is better than me)
8) Be alone at the time of Dua
9) Sitting with truthful lovers of Allah
10) Keep distance with anything that comes between you and Allah

He ended the talk with the following lines;

“In Jannah, there is no hope and fear. There is only love. You only worship Allah out of love. Thus, love is among the highest forms of worship.”

I had two questions that I wanted to ask but due to the shortage of time, he didn’t take any questions. My main question was about the verse in Surah Yunus 10;62 that says that the friends of Allah will have no fear upon them and they will not grive so what does Allah mean here by fear? Fortunately he covered that briefly in his talk but unfortunately that didn’t answer my question. Overall it was a pleasure attending the conference as always.

Your Words Hurt!

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I  am not what I was a year before. Year 2015 gave me many lessons and 2016 gave me a new direction. I am not not what I am trying to be, not yet and I accept that in a healthy way. I believe change comes in steps, not a big long jump. I was cool with my progress but two incidents happened that actually hurt me so much.

Two persons that are very close to me, I would say the closest, criticized me in a way that I didn’t anticipate, not from them at least. They both reacted in their weak moments and I understand but I also believe that we are most likely to say what we have in our mind during those weak moments (that is why its important to change, not pretend).

So I did something wrong and I confessed it that I know I can’t feel good but that is what I am, I won’t pretend. After some dialogues, our talk took a turn and she said,“Okay so you follow Rumi. Does Rumi teach you this?” And I could not say a word after that.

Then the other person he said, “So why are you going to sleep without offering morning prayer? Why you follow Islam for only those things that you like, and do the rest according to your will?” I accept that I am not following everything so I couldn’t argue.

But I want to say that I don’t follow Allah because I want to be religious or because I want others to take me as a pious person. I am following one thing because I have been succeeded in following that and I don’t follow the other thing because I am still fighting with it, not because I think it’s not convenient for me and I don’t even annouce that I am trying to change, it’s just that when I speak, my words reflect my thoughts.

There is a thing in psychiatry that is called reaction formation. When a person does something that is not acceptable to him, he tries to do the opposite. Like a person watches porn and he is guilty so he becomes a preacher to avoid that or if a person thinks that he is not a good person and it is not acceptable to him so he becomes a good person. This is all reaction formation when we are trying to do the opposite of what we really want. But is that a good thing? Yes it is, but it’s not permanent. Because in those weak moments, when we are upset, angry or tired, we will go back to what we really are and this will happen again and again. We are likely to watch porn again, we are going to do all those things that we were trying to escape and will be that bad person, thou for a short time, again because actually we have not changed, we have only learned to be what is acceptable to us. We have just got a way to divert our attention from ‘real us’ to the one ‘we want to become’ and that is why changing from the root is important. That is why it’s important to go in steps. That is why it’s important to love the good things and not merely make them your inspiration. I can never even come near to what Rumi was and what our beautiful Islam is all about. But I am a seeker and I want to die as a seeker. It’s good to seek and not find than to give up. I always get fascinated by the story of Moses and the shepherd. When Moses rejected one shepherd’s prayer, a revelation came from Allah to Moses:

You’ve torn My servant from My presence

Were you sent in order to unite

or to distinguish and divide?

(Rumi)

I love Allah a bit more every time I read this and I try to be what I am rather than pretending to do what I am not. I love everything that my religion says not because I am born with this religion but because I really love it. If some people have defamed my religion, I will blame that person and not my religion. If I am not a good person, blame me, don’t blame Islam or Rumi. They are trying to make me a better person, they gave me hope when I was in darkness. No matter what I do now or in future,  that will only reflect me. Yes I am failing to follow what Islam and Rumi says but I am trying and He knows that. I am sure He knows that. Don’t judge me because I confess that my roots are still damaged and rotten. Guide me, don’t judge me because your words can hurt.

It all Starts With Laa (No)

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I thank my friend Dur for sharing this picture of her Peacock.

When God wants you to know something, it starts to make sense on it’s own. Same words that you have read many times, start to show a different meaning. Kalma is one of the few things that I learned when I started to speak. The first part of Kalma says that “There is no God but Allah.” In Arabic, It starts with LAA which means NO. My whole life, it never made sense to me. Why Allah chose LAA to be the first word that one has to say to be a muslim? Because it all starts with LAA. Not only Kalma, but everything starts with a NO. When we say NO to all we have inside us, that starts with I, we find the truth.

Qalandar Baba Auliya says;

” The first step is LAA, that means one has to neglect his traditional information and knowledge.”

Rumi says;

“I honor those who try to rid themselves of any lying, who empty the self and have only clear being there.”

On the other side of LAA, He is waiting for me. In short, it all starts with LAA and it ends on ALLAH”.

                                                          لا إله إلا الله

But is LAA everything? When we focus on the second part of Kalma that is, “Muhammad is Allah’s prophet”, we will see that Allah comes between LAA and Muhammad Saw. Both will take us to the Light, An-Noor, Ya-Allah.

                                                          لآ اِلَهَ اِلّا اللّهُ مُحَمَّدٌ رَسُوُل اللّهِ

May Allah give you ease and help you to distribute it among others. Ameen.

Living with two Persons Within!

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I can see myself divided into two persons. I am sure now who that one person is, that person is not me, but I am what she is. Because she is not me, I can never find tranquillity in being what she is.

The second person is what I am but I am not, what she is. She is innocent and she is scared to show herself up. I suppressed her voice and dragged her into darkness years ago, she is not visible to anyone, not even me.

Something happened, I don’t know what, but she has now started to send me signals of her existence. She is telling me that she is still alive. I can’t recognise her. She is so weak and I can’t believe what I have done to her. Although I know she is alive but that doesn’t mean she has shown herself to me. NO. Not yet…

But now I know what is happening inside me. I am not doing what I want to do. I am doing what that other person is telling me to do. That person has taken over me completely.

I was not born like this. This second person is who I have adapted from outside. This is not me. That part is living inside me and eating me out. That person is responsible for keeping myself away from me. Although she is living inside me, I am her hostage. I am trying hard to get myself back, but she is strong. I feel like I am dying inside, I feel like my real self needs oxygen now. She wants to come out in the light otherwise she will die. And with her death, my death is definite. With her life, I will be immortal. I am living with my nafs, without my soul.

Where is my Shams?

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You attain to knowledge by argument.

You attain a craft or skill by practice.

If what you want is righteous poverty,

that’s won by sohbat (companionship), not by hand or tongue.

The knowledge of it passes soul to soul,

not by way of talk or reams of notes.

Although it’s signs are in the seeker’s heart,

the seeker does not learn to read those signs

until his heart becomes exposed to light.

Then God reveals: “Did We not expose? [Surah Ash-Sharh, 94:1]

for We have exposed the chambers of your breast

and placed that exposition in your heart.

-Rumi: Swallowing the Sun

The most Beautiful Evening!

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When I was in Saudi Arabia, we left to peform our second Umrah, on the first day of Eid. I don’t remember but I think I only slept for an hour or not at all that night so I was feeling a bit sleepy. When we were in between Madinah and Makkah, I saw the most beautiful sunset of my life. Now even though I was dizzy, that sunset invigorated all my senses. To offer maghrib prayer, our driver stopped the car in the nearby masjid. And I am not going to forget that place ever in my life. That place was near mountains and the sky was orangish-pink which than changed to blue, with first day moon. That scene was beautiful beyond words, even the picture failed to capture it. It was so mesmerising, that no one was willing to leave that place, but we had to. I don’t know but there was something about that scene that can’t be described in words. My heart aches to see that scene again. And I don’t know why but today, I wish to be in those mountains again.