By: Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi
Indeed Allah is All-Powerful (Al-`Aziz) and He is able to do all things (Allahu ‘ala kuli shayin qadir). The Quran has mentioned this hundreds of times. It is also mentioned in the Quran that Allah is the Creator and He is the Best Creator. Glory be to Allah, the best Creator. (Al-Mu’minoon: 14)
But then the question comes why do pain and sufferings exist in the world. We find sickness, old age and death. We see things that are ugly, people who are insane and foolish. There are storms, earthquakes, floods, draught and famine. We also see people commit sins, show disloyalty, unfaithfulness, greed and insincerity. We see people commit rapes, murders; they fight and make wars. We know all these and many more problems. There are evils caused by human beings and there are natural disasters. There are suffering for individuals and there are those that involve a large number of people.
But we also know that this is not the whole story. Besides all these negative things, we also see beauty, health, prosperity, life, birth, wisdom, intelligence, growth and progress. We also see goodness among people, faith, sincerity, charity, love and the spirit of sacrifice. We also see a lot of virtue and piety. It is wrong to see one side of the coin and not to see the other side. Any philosophy that concentrates on one aspect of the creation and denies or ignores the other side is partially true and partial truths are no truth at all.
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How can I stop thinking about women? I try too fast but don’t have enough money to get married and I try to lower my gaze but it’s so difficult. Please advise.
Assalamu Alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh
Thank you for your question.
Allah says in the Quran:
“Tell the believing men to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things)…” [Surat al-Nur: 30]
Al-Junayd (rahimahullah) was asked: “With what do we seek help to lower our gaze?”
He replied: “Your knowledge that Him looking upon you precedes whatever you look at.”
In regard to these verses Ibn al-Qayyim (rahimahullah) says: “So He (Allah) put purity after lowering of the gaze and protecting of the private parts. For this reason lowering the gaze away from the prohibited things warrants three great benefits. The first of them is the sweetness of Imaan and the pleasure that comes from it, which is more sweet and pleasing than that which he diverted his eyes away from for Allah’s sake. Verily, whoever abandons a thing for Allah’s sake, He (Subhaanahu WaTa’ala) compensates him with better than it…The second benefit is a light in the heart and quality of intuition… and the third benefit is the strength of the heart and steadfastness and courage. So Allah (Subhaanahu WaTa’ala) would give him, by His strength, the ability of wisdom and substantiation, and the devil would flee from him as it has been mentioned in the saying, “Whoever fears his whims, the devil would race out of his shadow.”
So part of the answer dear brother is recognizing that Allah is watching you and that by looking at that which He has forbidden, you risk losing the opportunity to see Him on the Day of Judgment.
As far as practical tips are concerned:
1. Install a firewall on your computer/laptop that filters lewd material
2. Enroll in a program online to help you deal with pornography. Purify your gaze is one that I would recommend.
3. Try not to put yourself in a situation that will make it harder for you. So avoid places that will cause your gaze to wander and also being alone with your computer/laptop/TV.
4. Fasting controls ones desires and builds that consciousness in Allah needed to fight this disease.
5. Remind yourself frequently of the reward of paradise for lowering your gaze.
May Allah make it easy for you and grant you strength and firmness. Ameen
And Allah knows best.
Answered by Shaykh Omar Suleiman
Hadith of the Day Imam
Director – Islamic Learning Foundation
By: Wajih Ahmed
Most men have a hard time understanding women. Even a woman they’ve been married to for years. One minute she’s perfectly fine, the next, she’s crying like a baby. She complains about something but when we offer advice on how to fix it, she still isn’t satisfied. After several years of marriage (and counseling) I’ve learned to not worry so much about what my wife says. Instead, I should worry about what she doesn’t say.
By: Joe Martino
Start Spending Time With The “Right” People – Spend time with people you enjoy -who bring you up instead of push you down. Sure there are always lessons we can learn from others but you don’t need to continue hanging around with and associating with people who you know bring in an offsetting vibe. Learn what you need to from them about yourself and move on. I have found that the longer I let things linger with people simply because I feel I’m supposed to never let them bother me, the worse a situation gets as I’m not taking care of myself. You can’t change others, so focus on you and spend time with those who resonate with you the most.
Start Loving & Being Nicer To Yourself – Think about how you speak to yourself sometimes – how does it sound? What do you say? Unless you are already great at self talk and have a solid connection to the love that you are, it’s likely you say some nasty things to yourself. Whether it be about your appearance, performance on something or your ability to do something you want to do, it’s easy for us to tear ourselves down. Now imagine someone else was saying all those things to you instead. Would it be nice of that person? Of course not. So why do we choose to not be nice to ourselves? Learning to love ourselves and cut out the nasty talk is so important. Be sure to be aware of what you are saying to yourself. >
Start Being Fully Honest With Yourself – Being fully honest with yourself is so important as we can get caught up in convincing ourselves that various things don’t bother us or aren’t a challenge for us. We even be guilty to avoid admitting certain characteristics about the current version of ourselves. Honesty is needed in every aspect of our lives whether it’s with other people, ourselves, our work and so on. The more honest we are, the more we can grow from our experiences and keep things simple. You learn a lot about yourself when you are honest.
Start Facing Your Challenges Head On – We always want our problems or challenges to just go away. But most of the time it isn’t quite that simple. We need to take some sort of action steps. Choose to do something about the challenges you face as opposed to letting them linger and simply complaining about them. We have the choice and control, it’s time to embrace that power. If it helps, choose one problem or challenge you face right now, and write out some things you can do to get it moving forward.
Start Listening To Your Own Inner Voice – Whether you want to call it your inner voice, your heart, gut feelings, intuition, soul, higher self, higher perspective or any other name you give to the real YOU that is beyond your mind, listening to that voice a little more often makes a big difference in your life. It’s YOU! It’s there to guide you, show you your passions and what paths make the most sense for you at any given moment. The more you listen to it means the less you listen to the mind which can often over analyze or bring emotional patterns into your decisions. Listening to your inner voice is following your heart.
Start Living In The NOW – This was one of the most powerful things for me to implement in my life. I’m not saying I’m always in the now as certainly I get stuck thinking about the past or future in ways that cause suffering, but using this tool as much as possible is huge. Everything you have or are is all happening right now and you only have the now. Even in a future moment it is still the now. When you pay attention to what is happening now you give your whole self to what you are doing and that brings much peace and joy. The past or future can be used as a reference to make adjustments in the now, but avoid fretting or worrying about either. The dwelling will only cause suffering. There is much beauty happening now that you won’t want to miss.
Start Valuing What Your “Mistakes” Teach You – I don’t believe there are mistakes in life. Simply, we make choices and they play out experiences. Deep down we have an understanding of what is right and wrong and we live by that. When it comes to smaller choices where we make decisions and they end up in less favorable outcomes, there is a lot to learn from them. Taking risks sometimes results in a stumble or a fall, but this will teach you so much about yourself and the journey you make through each experience. We focus so much on the end goal and how it came to be defined rather than all we learned along the way. There are no mistakes. Value what you learn from every journey.
Start Being Yourself Completely – You are an awesome unique individual, no matter what anyone says. Embracing that is often so difficult because we have social pressures as well as ideas of ourselves (often based on social pressures) that get in the way of us being real. Deep down we all know who we are, what we love and how we want to be, it’s just a matter of getting used to being that when we have gotten used to putting something else “on” for so long. It can be scary for sure, we are putting ourselves out there and if people don’t accept us it can hurt. But the truth is, you will be amazed at how much people love you and are appreciative of what you resonate when you are truly being yourself. People can feel when others aren’t embracing their true selves and this is what usually creates interesting experiences.
Start Enjoying & Appreciating What You Already Have – Sometimes we get caught up in chasing things like money and other material possessions. While these things are not bad to experience or have, it’s important not to get stuck in the idea that “I will be happy once I get these things.” Too often we are waiting around for the “best” situation to play out for us, all the while missing out on the experiences that are right in front of us. Where we have food, shelter, friends, family and life. We also can get caught up in comparing ourselves to others and what they have. Before you go to bed, mid day or even when you wake up, remember all that you have and this will help to keep you out of the chase for more. After all, when you finally get the things you desire, won’t the mind just look for more if we let it?
Start Being Accountable & Creating Your Own Joy – When we look outside ourselves to create joy or peace in our lives we basically give up our own power in doing so. The truth is, you already have all it takes to feel great in your life and sometimes it’s about taking the action to make that the case. In our culture most of the time we assume that happiness will come from others and from things and when we get everything in line we will be OK -Let’s break this habit and start by finding the power inside each of us to begin creating joy now.
Start Helping People Around You – Regardless of what society may suggest is the case, we are all in this together and connected to one another. Caring about people and assisting them in their own journey, in whatever form that comes in, is a great way to connect with others and use your unique skills. On top of that you create a sharing relationship with those people so that exchanges can continue down the road. You aren’t doing it to get something in return, but rather to extend love outwards only to see it come back in whatever form it does.
Start Accepting Things Even If They Aren’t Perfect – Really, what is perfect? Sometimes we have a tough time accepting things when they aren’t perfect, but perfection is simply an idea your mind created. We can get caught up in things in our world not appearing exactly as we wish to see them, but much of it is us learning to be at peace with how things unfold. We can only take actions on things we have control over. This isn’t to say you need to settle for everything, but rather, don’t obsess over the small details and instead be at peace with where things are at in this moment.
Start Paying Attention to How You Feel About Things – Often times we might feel a particular way about something but we don’t take it seriously or voice it because we don’t understand it or don’t want to share it with others. How you feel deep down about something is important and we should certainly value that. Social pressures don’t outweigh how you feel inside about something so feel free to understand that feeling and own it versus burying it. Often we can hide these feelings inside only to later realize many others felt the same about something but didn’t say anything because they were all afraid as well. Your voice and heart can impact others. Don’t be afraid to speak.
Start Focusing On The Possibilities Of Things vs Them Not Working Out – Have you ever heard the idea that if you believe it, it will happen? Now of course this isn’t quite the full story, but believing in possibility has a big impact on not only your own effort and motivation around something but also how others will perceive it. If you want to do something in your life, believe you can do it and avoid thinking negatively about the outcome. “This would never happen to me.” Or “Good things never happen to me.” This type of self talk and lack of believing in self can quickly kill what you are trying to achieve in life. Focus on what you want to happen and how you want to go about it. Focusing on the “negative” won’t do much but make the whole situation feel “negative.”
Most of us would agree that there are few things harder than letting go of what we love. And yet, sometimes that’s exactly what we have to do. Sometimes we love things that we can’t have. Sometimes we want things that are not good for us. And sometimes we love what Allah does not love. To let go of these things is hard. Giving up something the heart adores is one of the hardest battles we ever have to fight. But what if it didn’t have to be such a battle? What if it didn’t have to be so hard? Could there ever be an easy way to let go of an attachment? Yes. There is. Find something better.
1. THIS STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN
2. THE AWKWARD DESK FIGHT OVER WHO SUPPORTS WHO
3. THIS HOMELESS TORTOISE IN HOMS
4. THIS SIGN…