Ramadan Reflection Day 5, 2019

The news will keep coming and going.  Havoc will reap and some good things will shine their light, but Ramadan only comes once a year.  Friendships can be sustained as rizq decrees, but Ramadan only comes once a year. Just as it’s mentioned only once in the Quran, it is a special blessing that arrives for a small amount of time: a single month solely to fortify your iman and relationship with Allah swt.

Tawba

Let go of the things that keep your life tied with yusra and usra. Set it aside for those few hours you have with yourself from your day to day schedule and let yourself be cleansed with the remembrance and glory of Allah swt. Our hearts need cleansing with seeking forgiveness because really, there’s no way knowing what sins have been committed and what sins Allah has omitted.

Taqwa

Become aware of Allah swt as if you see Him watching over you.  Let your hunger pangs be witness to Allah’s mercy- the iftar you are anticipating at every moment of fatigue experienced.   Now fast forward to your very own passing.  The pangs of mawt squeezing each breath of life out of you.  Al hamdulillah, as Muslims, we anticipate al Jannah. Belief in this great anticipation is the true  end of sorrow in this world, and evolves sabr into ihsan- content that brings joy even through all the sad suffering experienced, not only is it content, it is control and hilm.  The kind that Prophet Ibrahim As had when he was getting thrown into the fire.

Now what is it that gets into our way when striving for such sakeenah?  What corrupts our hearts and distracts our minds from deep belief in al Akhira?  What takes us far away from Allah swt, The Creator of everything?

You are Responsible for your Iman and its cultivation.

The mindless complications of life, of course!  It’s not just sin that hurts us.  It’s leisure and irresponsibility in handling our circumstances.  Fight your hearts from becoming lazy and giving into to easy joys of life.  These things cloud our vision and make us settle for less!  And I’m talking about worldly things here.  There’s a difference between being thankful (shukr) for what we have vs settling for less out of laziness.  

I think I should write more but I need to help my mom in the kitchen 🙂

JazakAllahukhairan

May Allah strengthen our sanity with hilm, rushd, and ihsan ^_^

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There’s a story behind those eyes.

There’s a story behind those eyes.

The sun sets differently,

and the moon shines in the other

Secret gardens blooming in each alcove

with underground troves of words and memories

too deep to rediscover.

Be generous, oh eyes,

cry and cleanse the treasure beneath them

the treachery witnessed has flooded your ponds

wrecking havoc and drowning your gardens.

Weep away the dirt you forgot to sweep away

before they fossilize and erode the wisdom

you’ve been polishing over the

silent, exhausting, and broken years.

Beneath those eyes there lies a hero

fighting the mirage of a ghostly, ghastly, phantom devil

always watching and peering through

at all the scenes you see and do

collecting all the reasons for you to falter

digging ditches and setting traps for you to fall for

These are your nightmares, mirages that don’t exist

But the hero within, is real and persists

waging a war, a single warrior waving a flag

and waiting for your order

as You are the commander

and the phantom awaits your surrender

But the hero- the warrior, remains ever standing

for the call to finish your battle

every night.

ready to gift you

your due victory

and rewrite the pages

of your story.

 

Patience in the past 

Sabr is knowing your value

And not giving up or giving in

It’s to believe that Allah is there for you

Regardless of what others claim your sin

Perhaps you have no control in this world

But you have the universe to call your friend

And those who have already reached their end

because although they are memories,  you remember them.

So remember their efforts in turbulence

And how they waited for droughts to sprout the sea

Or for shackles to be removed only to become king on a throne

You are witness to their stories and you are witness to your own

you have paths to follow from the past

And knowledge to understand your own

So be patient and be free

And keep climbing until you reach the other side

Because your real treasure lies in the shadows, beyond what any human can see

How to be a good Imam

Bismillah

Man the things that Allah swt teaches me with amazes me.  I’m thankful for all the sour people that come in my life.  It teaches me to stick up for myself, it teaches me morals, and it teaches me how to grow.

Based on a strange encounter I had with whom I had no idea was an Imam because of his lack of ethics, I decided to list out things I wish I was able to be treated with as a girl seeking help from a leader.

1) Take some counseling/ psych courses

Please learn how to approach a broken person.  Learn how to talk to someone, especially if they refuse to discuss confidential information with you.  If you want to help them, RESPECT THEIR BOUNDARIES and keep it HALAL.

If you are an Imam, learn to be professional in social work rather than to start abusing a victim and forcing them into your advice.

2)  Never insult your client

First thing they told me is that I’m bitter. Why? Because I wasn’t giggling or sweet-talking. I wasn’t smiling. I’m a survivor and trying to get my work done.  As a woman, I prefer to be straight-to-the point when talking to someone.

You don’t know your client.  You don’t know what they went through.  You don’t tell them they’re messed up for sticking to the rules and sharing their opinion

3) Never use religion as a weapon against them

This shows your lack of understanding of Islam.  Are you advising someone by threatening them?  That’s a form of abuse in itself. It’s messed up and doesn’t ever help someone.

4) Listen to what your client is saying

Truly listen to them. Emphasize with them.  Imagine what their context is. Understand them. Open your heart to them.  Be kind to them.  Look at what they’re going through.  Look at their struggles, their circumstances, give them credit for the effort they’ve put into.

5)  Believe in them.

When they tell you their crisis, don’t take it for granted.  It’s not something to be taken lightly.  Don’t slap them in their face and tell them their crisis is nothing, that people are going through worse things.  Believe in what they’re saying.  Help them get better, help them heal.

6) Allow them their freedom and options

Allow them to choose their path.  After-all, they’re the ones who are struggling, let them choose their struggles. Let them take their time in things.  There’s no time-limit or deadline on how they should progress.

DO NOT FORCE your advice on someone. YOU COULD BE WRONG.  You could be misunderstanding something. LET ALLAH CATER THEIR PATHS AND DESTINY.  NOT YOU.  YOU ARE NOT GOD.

 

HasbiyAllahu wa ni’mal wakil.

In the end, Allah swt is everyone’s Wali. Allah is everyone’s protector. Allah is the one who provides refuge. Let Allah be Allah and let you be the Imam.

JazakAllahukhairan.

 

 

Motto for Living in a Trump Era

nothing better than getting a healthy dose of the Masjid at times like this( Trump Era) This is what I have to share after listening to a lecture by some really awesome learned scholar phD dude, a brilliant educator of our young Imam.  This isnt all what the lecturer said, rather it’s my reflection and way of relating it to myself.
1) change our focus from falling for our desires, trying to get more of everything we want. more of our distractions, more of the shiny things, more of excess -basically anything -that signifies wealth for you.  the excess. the  extravagance.  the greed.   Be real with yourself and what matters
2) dont let circumstances make you take away your consideration for others. care for others, help others, ponder about others and their pains and how you can be there for them, expand unity beyond your personal borders.


3) bare through it patiently. it’s gonna be hard, scary, and ugly but we have to be our best especially in this time. no matter how much you wanna go off on someone, you gotta play it cool bc that’s what will hit the hardest if you wanna win. cuz the point of this all is that you wanna win and you cant win without controlling yourself and being humble

Jug of Milk

Adjacent vulnerability welling up my throat.

I saw in a full  clear jug of milk

fresh grass pile up and float

It was the mourning of my past

and my heart’s ill hope

that something for his future might just slope

This was the fresh grass, like a fresh cut

that polluted my jug

for my mourning and my cut would always rise up fresh

and ruin my morning drink

my afternoon drink

and my evening drink

and my night drink

to the point- that I would not think.

the sadness in my desires

for wholesome love to light my fires

spoiled my every drink

depriving me of pure happiness

and the pure willingness

to focus on God

thus leaving me flawed

 

Just like the grass in my milk