In The Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
I am Omar, of Middle Eastern descend, 29 years old, and have lived all my life in Chicago. From an early age I wanted to be successful and different.
I started working when I was 15 years old. Before starting my own business in 2011, I have worked in various industries from oil & gas to financial institutions to chain of supermarkets. My first job title was “window cleaner” and last job title was “stock broker” before launching my own business in 2011.
Alhamdulillah that I was born a Muslim. A great gift to any human being is to be born into Islam. As long as I remember I was always attracted to Islam. I always felt peace, safe and happy doing something around Islam such as reading/learning Quran, Hadith, listening to lectures, and so forth. As a matter of fact in my early age, before my teen years, I used say that I will build my dream house where rivers will flow underneath my house and I will able to see river flow through my glass floor. After a decade later, I realised when I read the meaning of Quran that in Jannah there will be river flowing underneath.
After a while, I lost touch with Islam, between the age of 13 to 20. I became busy in life, work, study, worldly affairs where we value worldly education and work more than we value Islam. Due to environment and influence from home, I became more focused on studies, degree then knowledge of Islam and true value of life. There are 2 things that I never quit even when I went out of track. First, I never let go of Ramadan without fasting and enjoyed it very much. I always fasted steadfastly during Ramadan. I loved it. Second, I always talked to Allah and prayed to Him in my heart. I always remember Him every single day and talk to Him every single day. Thanks to Allah and I am in great debt to Him Alone.
My guidance day? It was 31 October 2003. You guess it – it was Ramadan. My guidance came to me from Allah on that blessed Friday. I was at Jum’ah and it was the first Jum’ah in Ramadan. During the Kutbah, the Imam “For eleven months we spend our lives however want to spend. Why not do something for Allah and give Him just 1 month.” This statement just hit me deep in my heart and Allah opened my chest for His deen. The very same day I clung to all my prayers, started analyzing myself for Islamic and un-Islamic actions and habits, I reflected on the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the ensuing image of Muslims, and so on so forth. The questions were raised in my mind and I searched for answer and Allah guided me. I have to say that there is huge pressure in the dunya if you try to pray, follow Islam, Quran and Sunnah. Its amazing the pressure is within your family and relatives.
I understand and totally agree it is hard to be on the way of deen and the world at the same time. There was pressure from outside and inside. Outside such as family, relatives, friends and inside such as shaytan and nafs. I totally agree that biggest threat to human beings is no other than their own nafs. The environment plays a role too but you have to literally fight yourself, your inner self. But as Prophet (pbuh) said, do your best and Allah knows our intention. Never give up or give in. This is life and this is our major test. We cannot ever fail or allow Allah’s deen fail. We just have to try best and have tawakul. There is so much peace in Islam and I hope that non-Muslims can see experience real Islam for the peaceful religion that it is.
I always wanted to work for myself. I don’t believe in working for someone else. As I was working as a broker, I really enjoyed it. It was quick money. Trading was fun and had I passion for it due to my degree in finance as well. But thanks to Allah, I realized that it is mere electronic money. There is nothing solid in it that I can feel or touch. So starting 2009 I looked around for a business to set up for myself. I began to take an interest in owning a gas/petrol station or a convenience store. I had worked many years so I knew the ins and out of business. There were 2 issues that were bothering me. First, I would have to sell alcohol and lottery tickets in order to bring more traffic to the store. Secondly, it would involve millions of dollars of investment so I would need a bank loan. I spoke with people and they said I would just need to take and sell lottery tickets and that’s how life and the whole system is. Go with the world or just sit home and do nothing. In other words, take it or leave it.
The ummah is facing hardships like never before. Return to Allah swt. And as long as we have Allah swt, we have everything.
By: Maulana Yunus Patel Saheb
There are many, many Muslim brothers and sisters throughout the world who due to various negative influences and bad elements, find themselves ‘de-railed’ from Deen. Many others sit on the fence, wanting to enjoy or benefit from both sides of the fence – engaging in sins as well as being practical on certain teachings of Deen. However, deep in their hearts is the desire to get back on track, and once again become good, practical Muslims; to jump off the fence and enjoy the green pastures of Islam. So they write, e-mail, phone, fax seeking guidance and direction.
The main weakness is indulgence in sins; sometimes many sins and excessive indulgence in those sins. A standard prescription that I give as a reply, is as follows. Alhamdulillah, many who followed through with the prescription have found a whole new life – of peace, happiness, blessings and mercy. On tasting the sweetness that comes with obedience, there is no desire to return to any form of disobedience.
- The ideal is that we abstain from sins, out of love for Allah Ta’ala. He has granted us so much – He has granted us everything and it is the nature of human beings that we love the person that is kind and generous to us. Then what of Allah Ta’ala who has provided us with plentiful – with everything? The sight, hearing, speech, the organs that are functioning in such an amazing manner, the limbs – all in our service – for eating, drinking, walking, sitting, etc. The gifts of wealth : the clothing, shelter, transport, food, drink, and so many other comforts. …We use them all, but do we keep in mind, the Generous Benefactor ? Do we give thanks for these bounties or show any appreciation to the Giver ?
- Developing the conscious awareness that Allah Ta’ala is with us : He is watching us, He is hearing us, He knows all and everything about us; We cannot hide from Him; We cannot conceal our actions from Him. Then should we not feel ashamed that in His Presence, we are disobeying Him? Are we not showing ingratitude to the Benefactor, when engaging in sins in His very Presence ?
- Keep in mind that the angels too are witness to all our actions; that the earth is recording our behaviour and that all of it is also noted in our books of deeds – that we are accountable to Allah Ta’ala on the Day of Judgement. Added to this, our actions are also presented to Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), so we should give thought to whether our actions are a source of joy or grief to him. …In this manner, we will develop that shame and modesty which will make it easy to restrain from Haraam.
- Muraqabah is meditating on the actions engaged in during the day : We should reflect over our deeds for the day and seek forgiveness for shortcomings and resolve not to return to those bad deeds. We should also express gratitude on good deeds and make dua for an increase in them.
- Ponder over the fact that the Angel of Death does not give respite. It must not be that whilst obeying the nafs in sinful pleasure, the Angel of death visits; and departure is in disgrace, and return to Allah Ta’ala is at a time when He is angry, and that death is an embarrassment to the person, family and community who find out that death came in sin. May Allah Ta’ala protect us all from death in a state of transgression, but this is very much a reality.…Death visits – more often, very unexpectedly, and no true Muslim would want to be seized by the Angel of death when Allah Ta’ala is displeased. I often say : We now have instant tea, and instant coffee, and instant cereal and instant pudding and so many other things on the market are instant – we are also living in times when death is just as instant. So any sin is too much of a risk in the face of the reality of death. …The Hadith is explicit : That we will be resurrected on the day of Judgement as we have died and we will die as we have lived. …Would any Muslim want to rise up on the Day of Judgement in sin, for all of mankind to witness what kind of life he led?
- Ponder over the fact that Allah Ta’ala has blessed us with the gift of sight, hearing, health, wealth, and so much else – and has also granted us the gift of respect. However, what He gives, He can also take away. He has explicitly stated that ingratitude for His Gifts will draw very severe punishment. So is sin not abuse and ingratitude for the gifts of sight, of heart, of mind, of limbs ?
A little contemplation on the consequences of such behaviour and a little bit of mujahada – which entails ‘not doing’ and Alhamdulillah, the sicknesses are cured.
Together with this :
- Attend the talks of the learned Scholars of Islam whenever possible, or listen to recordings of their talks and read their books to gain benefit of pious, righteous company. Join and participate in the Deeni activities with those who follow the Qur`aan and Sunnah. On will, Insha-Allah, find a great improvement in one’s condition by keeping the right company.
- Make the effort to read Salaah punctually. Men should make every effort to read their Salaah in Jamaat.
- Read good, Islamic literature. Abstain from magazines or books that have filthy and indecent contents and pictures.
- Give up television viewing. …90% of the content is Haraam. If a person offers a full glass of clean and pure water, and mentions that there is just one drop of urine, would any sensible person, drink it ?
- …Then when the major content of television is Haraam, what would we then say ? When the gaze, heart and mind are consuming and digesting so much of Haraam viewing, what else would be the end result except indulgence in the same Haraam.
- Lower the gaze from the opposite sex.
- Dress as a Muslim should – Wearing the pants above the ankle and keeping the beard, one fist in length must not be considered as insignificant actions. These are teachings of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) which he has emphasized. Although it is permissible to wear the shirt and pants, the dressing of the righteous (i.e. the kurta) has a speciality which benefits in different ways. A person with this appearance will think a hundred times before engaging in an open sin, when he is being recognized as someone who must be very pious. So this attire and appearance will offer a protection, Insha-Allah. Women too should dress modestly as is prescribed by Shariah.
- By doing these few things, you have won more than half the battle. And it is not as difficult as Shaytaan and nafs will whisper. A little courage, a little effort and a little sacrifice are all that is required.
Of course, these are just basic aspects of Deen, which everyone can implement immediately and easily. There is a need to fulfill the Obligatory Injunctions such as Salaah, Zakaat, Fasting in the month of Ramadaan, etc. and to fulfill the rights of family, neighbours and others. There is a need to read the Qur`aan Sharief regularly, together with some authentic commentary – a little at a time, as well as giving time to studying some book on Islamic Jurisprudence and reading the life and teachings of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) , etc. A reading of the books of virtues of actions such as Salaah, Fasting, Haj, Sadaqaat, Zikr, etc. by Shaykh Zakariyyah Saheb (Rahmatullah ‘alayh) will create enthusiasm in the heart for action.
May Allah Ta’ala grant us His Love and the Love of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) , such that it becomes easy to give up all sins and submit to His Obedience. May He protect us all from the mischief of nafs and Shaytaan. May He fill our hearts with Love for this beautiful Deen and inspire us in being a practical and good Muslims and be true role-models to our community.
By: Ibn al-Jawzi Rahimahullah
“I wonder at you! Allah draws near to you though He is in no need for you, whereas you are arrogant of Him though you are in need of Him. When you are far, He draws you near to Him and when you are negligent, He reminds you. He did not favor any other creation over you but nevertheless you still favor everything over Him. Lower the head of your regret before the commencement of the day at which you are blamed because then you will not have the face to answer any of that.”
Being happy doesn’t mean everything is perfect, it just means that you’ve decided to look beyond life & Trust Allah!
The Prophet (pbuh) said: “How wonderful is the situation of the believer, for all his affairs are good. If something good happens to him, he gives thanks for it and that is good for him; if something bad happens to him, he bears it with patience, and that is good for him. This does not apply to anyone but the believer.” (Narrated by Muslim, no. 2999).
Especially the lies about the Muslim world, Muslims are backbiting about their brothers based on news they heard on BBC, cut and paste jobs.
Verify the news, and its intricate details, there’s always two sides to a story so ultimately Follow Islam, because Allah says “But perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you; and perhaps you love a thing and it is bad for you. And Allah Knows, while you know not” 2:216; So zip your mouth because if you are wrong in a matter you will have to answer to your Lord. As for those who dont fear Allah, do as you like.
There is a spiritual dimension in everything. All of life has meaning and everything that you do in life is in preparation for your great meeting. This great meeting is your meeting with your Lord, which is absolutely inevitable.
By: Kathy Caprino
In my line of work, I hear from hundreds of people a month, and connect with professionals in a more public, open way than ever before. Through this experience, I’ve seen scores of toxic behaviors that push people away (including me). And I’ve witnessed the damage these behaviors cause to relationships, professional success, and to the well-being of both the individual behaving negatively, and to everyone around him or her.
Let’s be real – we’ve all acted in toxic, damaging ways at one time or another (none of us are immune to it), but many people are more evolved, balanced, and aware, and it happens only rarely in their lives.
Whether your toxic behavior is a common occurrence, or once in a blue moon, it’s critical for your happiness and success that you are able to recognize when you’re behaving badly, and shift it when it emerges.
There are no mistakes, when you treat everything as a lesson in becoming wiser at the art of living.
There are no mistakes, when you treat everything as a lesson in becoming wiser at the art of living.
No hay errores, cuando usted trata todo como una lección en ser más sabio en el arte de vivir.
Er zijn geen fouten, als je alles te behandelen als een les in steeds wijzer op de kunst van het leven.
Il n’ya pas d’erreurs, quand vous traitez tout comme une leçon de devenir plus sage à l’art de vivre.
Es gibt keine Fehler, wenn Sie sich als Lektion in klüger bei der Kunst des Lebens zu behandeln alles.
Méiyǒu cuòwù, dāng nǐ bǎ yīqiè dōu zài biàn de gèng cōngmíng zài shēnghuó de yìshù kè.
Det finns inga misstag, när du behandlar allt som en lektion i att bli klokare på konsten att leva.
Там нет ошибок, когда вы ко всему как урок в становлении мудрее в искусстве жизни.
Eğer yaşam sanatı akıllıca olmak bir ders olarak her şeyi tedavi sırasında herhangi bir hata vardır.
Non ci sono errori, quando si trattano tutto come una lezione a diventare più saggio l’arte di vivere.
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