A Million Ways To Live: Al Muhyi (The One Who Gives Life)


The dreams that you have sketched in your duas, the visuals that you have created in your mind about how that “moment” would look like, the imaginary rehearsal sessions in your washroom where you prepare for the “feeling” lest you dont feel silly- we all have these dreams. Getting that degree or that job, that dream marriage, that dream family, driving your dream car or unpacking at your dream home; all of us have so many things we want, wish for, ask for. 
The wishes and duas we voice out to Allah are like the statues made of clay. In our limited capacities, thats the closest we can be to the reality we want to have. So we need Al Muhyi to give life to those statue like dreams, by making them real in flesh and blood. So ask Al Muhyi to give life to your duas by manifesting them in reality.

What else? 

That moment when you see something good happening, either a little flicker of hope or a huge milestone altogether.You finally have some light, some good is happening in your life may be? Even if nothing changes externally, you just feel motivated, you feel grateful, you feel lighter, may be from pouring your heart out to Allah. That feeling is also Al Muhyi giving life to your dead heart. You thought your heart will never feel anything except for the stress, the despair, the gloom and doom. You thought your heart was just a flesh of muscles which pumps blood, it has no other jobs as far feeling is concerned, because thats how dead you feel. Al Muhyi gives life to that dead heart by making it alive again. You suddenly want to live not survive,  feel like you are alive, not only be alive- thats all Al Muhyi.

Reflections On Istighfar (To Have Duas Answered)

We have all pretty much heard about the above saying of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). A lot of us engage in daily dhikr (counting beads) through istighfar to have our duas answered. Even the Quran has numerous verses which talk about the benefits of asking for forgiveness- both worldly and for the hereafter.Benefits of istighfar are widespread all over the internet, alhamdulillah, in case you want to know more about it.
The idea is basically to have our sins forgiven. Most definitely the first way to do so is to do istighfar, verbally asking Allah to overlook our shortcomings. But thats not the only way. There are plenty of other deeds which forgive our sins as well. For eg, dua after eating, doing wudu, dua after leaving washroom, saying subhanAllah, alhamdulillah and allahu akbar 33 times each followed by la ilala illallahu…shayin qadeer once. ( I am skipping details because this post is really not about knowledge, please refer to more scholarly platforms for in depth knowledge of duas and dhikrs with their virtues.) 

So when we are tying our intention to do as much istighfar as possible so to have our doors opened, we should focus on all those things which forgive our sins, along with doing the istighfar per se. We will notice so many mundane things we do already contain the virtue of having sins forgiven, we just need to have the intention and presence of mind. Every good that we do, we can make the intention to have some of our sins forgiven for that. 

Therefore, if you are looking to do lots of istighfar, look out for all the deeds which have the reward of having sins forgiven. You should get them in the books of hadith or other scholarly resources, inshaAllah.

This post is actually inspired from a lecture of Mufti Menk. 

Take the good that you get, and leave the rest to collect dust.

Day 15: Ramadan DUAries (DUA+Stories)-No Strings Attached

Disclaimer: The title does NOT refer to the literal meaning of having no strings attached. I have attempted to use it in a different context.


About 10mins ago I was making dua after Asr prayer for someone- she wants to come close to Allah and His book, and wants to know Allah better by His names. Again, it wasnt one of those bawling or crying my eyes out dua- but yes I knew what I was asking for her and the importance of that. 

Just as I finished my prayer, she texted me. Goes without saying, I told her that I was just making dua for her about 10mins back. Her reply? “About 10 mins ago I was reading the Quran, and came across this verse that really touched my heart”.

SubhanAllah, Glory is to The Lord of the Skies and the Earth. When I was making dua for her, I wasnt even thinking about her- in the sense what is she doing now, is she eating, basically at that moment she only existed in my “dua world” to Allah. At the same time, she was reading the Book of Allah, listening to what He has to say, not remembering (that exact moment) that she asked someone to make dua for her Quran journey. We both were vested in our own relationship with Allah that moment, and Allah was busy using one of us to benefit the other. 

I dont know if I could explain the chorewheel as simply as I hoped I would. Because its not simple. I sometimes really cant fathom the multitude of strings Allah pulls to make an event, as mundane as this to happen. Somehow He connects people He wants to connect, without attaching any visible strings. You know there is a string but you cant put your fingers on it. And that baffles me, because countless of such things happen to us everyday, and we let go of them without contemplating about the scenes in the background. 

Day 12: Ramadan DUAries(Dua+Stories)-Faith Is A Funny Thing


This morning I was making dua for my friend. Among other things I threw in a casual dua for her- I wanted Allah to give her some peace and time so she can spend quality time with herself, contemplating and thinking about what she wants to do for her ownself. Her domestic affairs always keep her on her toes 24×7. I want her to do something constructive with her life, which, given her present circumstances is not usually possible. She didnt ask me to make this dua and I didnt tell her either. It was more like something I personally asked for her, because I knew she wants it deep down.

About less than 2 hours later, i texted her asking how is her day going, only to hear that she is looking through the applications of the courses she wishes to do. 

I was baffled at that moment. I had absolutely no clue she was toying with this idea. I just truly wanted her to have some time off for herself to atleast be able to think properly, let alone look through courses. The dua that I made for her, albeit heartfelt, wasnt something I was “begging for” either. It was a pretty casual dua, in fact I was just sitting on my bed when I made it. But Allah already started the chorewheel for her before makind dua for it even came to my mind. Allah just wanted someone to perhaps “lobby” for her, because He loved being called for her. Because He loves her.

The same way He loves you.



Ramadan DUAries= (DUA+Stories):Day4- “Definitely, Maybe”!

My cousin had an interview today for a govt job which honestly no matter how much I encouraged her i wasnt sure she would be getting… I made dua for her last couple days even yesterday in tahajjud… just a while ago in sujood during dhuhr i dont know why i just made a sincere heartfelt dua for her i really wanted this job for her… that very moment she texted me that she got that job… 
Even for her marriage i remember I made this really heartfelt dua and her marriage was fixed within a month or two. I wanted for her exactly what I would want for myself . The prophet (peace be upon him) said a true believer is one who wishes for his brother/sister what s/he would want for themselves. Its not that I am particularly good or worthy, I am no saint or angel. Rather its about the promise of messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) that the dua of a muslim in absence of his brother is surely accepted. Its about truly wanting for someone what you would want for yourself, stepping in their shoes and feeling that emotion as you make dua. Dua is an art.


I think the reason its easy to make dua for others because we are less attached to the outcome. For ourselves we worry a lot about the outcome but for others we just make dua, not wondering if it will get answered or not. We dont obsess on the result as much. That truely affects the answer.

I think the reason it is easy to make dua for others is even though we feel the emotion, we are less attached to the outcome or obsess less on the result when the dua is for someone else. Whereas for ourselves, there is too much “Definitely, Maybe” involved. That is understandable, because we are humans and its part of our how we are created. We can’t defy or deny that. We worry a lot on the outcome when it is about ourselves and that affects the outcome.

So go ahead and trade dua this Ramadan. Make dua for others and ask them to make for you (of course you must make dua too you cant rely solely on others).Ask Allah to send you people who will sincerely ask for you, and not do a lip service with some fancy words. 

If you still find noone, well then you know the drill- make dua sincerely for others because angels are saying “ameen may you be granted the same” after every dua everytime you make. You cant make a human being make dua for you so many times but most definitely the angels appointed at your service by Allah are programed to do so. So use it to your advantage. Be smart!!!

That Faith Muscle

So my friend and I were discussing the topic of certainty and belief in the prayers that we make. Discovering that we both suffer from that hollow in the pit of the stomach or the sinking of the heart that is felt when we are to take a leap of faith, was an eye opening experience, much to our chagrin. We both felt it is something we need to help each other with, and I just wanted to share some of the realisations we had in the process.

So let’s start with an example. You are ravenously famished and you still are en route to home from work, so you call home to your mother and ask her to have the food ready. Would it ever occur to you in the fragment of your imagination that your mother might NOT keep the food ready for you? Would you ever have that feeling of “What if I go home and she doesnt make food for me so I have to spend the night hungry?” The thoughts wouldnt even cross your mind. Because you are certain and you have that trust in her that she will.

But unfortunately this equation gets horribly messed up when we are put in a position to place that same unwavering certainty in Allah. No matter how much we know and learn, the human psychology defies them. May be some very highly spiritual scholars have that level of certainty, but I believe I am speaking for the everyday Jane/John Does like you and me. 

So my friend and I have decided to take the following actions and monitor our progress on a weekly basis:

1) We ask Allah to give us our wishes despite our lack of sufficient, unfaltering faith. He is Al Wasie (The all Encompassing)- so His love and generosity encompasses our shortcomings. 

2) Even Prophet Ibrahim asked Allah to fulfil his dua and use that as a means to firm his faith. So realise that weakness of the heart is a human phenomenon which Allah actually acknowledges in the Quran. Allah teaches us from the example of this great Prophet that we can ask Allah to increase our faith by actualising our prayers and desires.

3) Positive affirmations dont work. If any, the closest it can get to is by talking to Allah. Now what to do I mean by that? For eg, you want to be married. So you call upon Al Wali (The Guardian) in a manner where you explain to Him the significance of His name. Its not that Allah doesnt know the significance of that particular name; but it is through explaining to Allah that you basically strengthen your own faith muscle. For eg you tell Allah that ” You are my guardian, so You are responsible for finding a spouse for me. You have assigned Yourself as my guardian so You have to find someone who You trust me with, who will be my guardian in this world. You have to find this person for me because no one else will do a better job than You.”

As you will keep talking like this to Allah you will feel a sense of power inside you- that is the power from having trust on Allah. The power that you are aided, helped, assisted. This will grow your faith muscle. But just like any workout, you got to be diligent and focussed. Its no less than a workout trust me.

4) Make little duas everyday and as they manifest write them down- details of the experience and what you learnt.

I just wanted to say that everything I have written above is from first hand experience. I don’t if these doubts and self talks ever completely go away, but for what its worth, it most definitely gets better and lesser. Take it from someone who was a paranoid in asking something from Allah because of the ill thoughts and expectations, courtesy to the voice of the devil pretending to be God and telling you that you wont get your prayers.