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. 

A Grace Extraordinary: Ar Razzaq (The Provider)

Allah sustains us by means  in ways we sometimes fail to understand.

Commonly misunderstood, rizq (provision/sustenance) does not only include jobs or wealth. Our families, friends, health etc are our provision.
I would argue that the love and support, hope and faith, that we receive during hardship are provisions too. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said about his wife Khadija RA that “ruziqtu hubaha”, i.e “I was sustained through her love”. It was her love that Allah chose to sustain the Prophet (peace be upon him) when they both underwent the transition into his prophethood.

Its a different blessing when love becomes a provision. Together or apart, you learnt to love through dua. Every prayer, every act of worship you perform, you have a hidden wish that perhaps this will be another addition to the witness of your love, another testimony to its truth. You reach a point where you love only through your worship, through your prayers, through your duas. It becomes such that loving the person becomes worshipping Allah. The joy you get out of those prayers becomes your sustenance. That nourishes you, cherishes you, keeps you alive, keeps you going.

It does not end here though. Prophet Yaqoob(Jacob) was sustained in his grief with his hope and profound faith in God, when reality and people failed him left and right.

More often that not, our provisions are found in the earth. They are found in wealth and prosperity (which is very important. There is no belittling of any of that).But sometimes though, even for some extremely ordinary people, extraordinary provisions come down, that is not from this world. Not because they are special, but because The One who sends them down is. You might not even be aware of it, but its there. It comes especially from the heavens, from right under The Throne. From Ar Razzaq-The Provider.

And if you were to count God’s favors, you would not be able to number them (Nahl :18)

Easy, Not Hard, Please!

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Make things easy for the people, and do not make it difficult for them…”(Bukhari).

Once a non muslim came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and said that he was willing to embrace Islam but he could only pray twice a day, instead of five. Our Prophet (peace be upon him) agreed and the man took shahadah. Once he was gone, his companions asked the Prophet (peace be upon him) why he allowed him so. He (peace be upon him) said once the man would enjoy the sweetness of prayer, he himself would willingly pray all five.

Often while trying to help people to come closer to Islam, especially new muslims or those who are trying to just take step through the door, we overwhelm them by introducing a bunch of instructions they might not be ready to undertake at that point of time. Our job is to help them do what they can and make things easy. As far as ensuring their guidance is concerned, Allah already made it clear that He provides guidance. He is Al-Hadi (The One Who Guides). 

We just need to be companions. Often times we make Islam harder than it actually is, and portray Allah to be more strict than He really is.


Support Corner:You Are Not Noone, You Are Someone

But you are not no one. You are someone.

To the world you might be another voice, another of the eight billion lives. To the street you might be another passerby. To the tree you might be another lonely traveller taking in its shade. To the sky you might be another lonely soul staring at. To the vicinity you might be another…another noone.

But you are someone.To the mat on which you pray, you are someone. To the ground which quietly absorbs your tears when you are in sujood, you are someone. To the pillow which gently muffles your incessant hiccups and stiffles your sobs every night, you are  someone. Above the skies, up in the heavens, in the gathering of the angels, you are someone.To the angels you are someone.

And to your Lord, you are someone.

Everytime you call upon Him when feel like you cant take it anymore, when the pain becomes too much and you beg Him for relief, you are not noone, you are someone. Every morning when He gently helps you get through one more day, to push through one more time, you are not noone. Everytime you call Allah you are not noone. You are someone. To the One who owns everything in the heavens and the earth, Who controls every matter, and yet loves you more than anyone ever can,you are not noone. You are someone.

You are someone. Above the heavens you are someone. And in the earth too.




New Muslim Reflections: One Day

Moving on from a tragedy does not necessarily have to involve shrugging off your emotions and desensitize yourself. Emotions are what makes us human. If something traumatising has happened to you and you can’t forget it, its okay. People will tell you to stop. May be because they love you and do not want to be in a state where they can not do anything to ease your pain. But don’t worry about it. They will be alright. Focus on yourself.Take a retreat if you need. Embrace the loss,live in the memories,feel the pain. Grief in its greyish hues is beautiful too.Take all the time you need to understand yourself. Your potential. You will be surprised to see how much pain you can take. How unbelievably strong Allah made you.

Then slowly you will get accustomed to the pain. The ache will  eventually eat away lesser and lesser portion of you. Over time it will hurt less and less. Then one day you will feel joy again. You will stand in front of the mirror and gaze at the person you have grown to be. Stand in front of Allah in prayer in the middle of the night-but this time is out of overflowing gratitude and awe; as you present yourself in front of Him. As you recollect how He changed the course of events for you, took you to the world of relief and joy that you never knew existed. Gave you everything of which you had written yourself off.

Allah will teach you to love again,to experience joy again,to laugh again. One Day.