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.

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Psychology Of Gratitude In Journey Of Faith: Newton’s Inertia


Its natural and human to feel numb when the much awaited breakthrough happens, after what seemed like a never ending period of slump- full of doubts, confusion, fear and despairing depression. You think that okay when this thing happens I will be so motivated and I will kick the blanket the next day and get to being postitive, working hard for my pursuit, etc. Sometimes it happens, you become so elated you jump out of seat with glee, but other times, you just feel numb. And numb not out of shock, but you just dont feel anything. Of course you feel the relief, it trickles down those same veins through which the beads of perspiration of the fear of the numerous “what if’s” ran down just a moment ago. But thats about it. You dont feel the instant dancing with joy feeling. It has happened to me and to many around me. I would like to think its natural.

Newton has a law of inertia. In easy English, it says that an object will continue to stay the way it is long after an external force is applied to change its course. So if you twirl around for 15 circles, and suddenly stop, you feel everything around you still spinning, albeit you stopped moving a minute ago. You feel like that because your body needs time to adjust from the sudden cease in twirls.

Similarly the human psychology, after being exposed to prolonged abyss of despair, doubts, negative self talks, all the  worst possible outcomes that we talk ourselves INTO, just to prepare ourselves “in case”- puts our mind at an inertia. From experience, inertia of negativity is unfathomably more rigid that that of positivity. Needless to say, it takes our mind a bit of time to fully get used to the goodness. As I always say, everything is a muscle. Gratitude- acknowledging, accepting, embracing and letting it to be part of your life, being able to rise above the fear- takes time to build. One incident might be powerful enough to leapfrog through the process; or sometimes it goes the traditional way of taking time to fuse into this new change. Even then, there will be gravity- pulling you down to the slump of despair by creating doubts inside you, which are nothing but white noise. So just like a missile you have to work against the force and keep the chin up, till your muscles are strong enough so you can sit back and turn the autopilot on.


Either way, the reaction is okay. As long as you are not declining what has been given to you, as long as you are taking small, subtle steps to increase those muscles- you are a work on progress. You are not stuck in slump anymore. Thats the beginning.

But I Have Promises To Keep, And Miles To Go Before I Sleep: Reflections On Ramadan 2017


Despite my phobia of Ramadan, despite dreading its arrival, despite not being mentally ready to walk down that same time of the year that took everything away from me, it happened. Ramadan happened, it came and it left. 

It was a roller coaster ride, perhaps with more lows than highs.The lows were brutal, much akin to the monstrous events of last year. I was hurt, bruised, torn, yet again. Most of the Ramadan I did very little worship, because my health couldnt take the difficulties than kept coming, the bruises kept hurting and the heartache kept consuming me like a fire burning everything inside of me. Guilty as charged, at my lowest, I even pondered if death would rid me of this pain (may Allah forgive me).

Sounds like a total replica of last year horrific Ramadan memories, doesnt it?

But it wasnt so. This Ramadan was anything but that of last year. The good things Allah sent to me this Ramadan, most definitely never happened to me ever. From being saved from a near death experience absolutely untouched, to some of the most beautiful serendipities- ones I never knew existed, happened. And I finally did what I could never do- accept the mistakes I made last Ramadan in terms of worship. Accept that even though I thought I did all I could, I was not doing them the right way. My mindset wasnt right, and perhaps my maturity wasnt upto the level of being able to have the things I wanted out of last year’s Ramadan. Allah knows best. 

I wont forget how this year Allah let me carry on with my low energy, low enthusiastic,D graded worship for the first 20 days. I wasnt doing physically well, so alhamdulillah Allah gave me lots of leeways. But He knew better that in order for me to NOT have the Ramadan like last hear,I needed to do things that I did NOT do last year. Allah always knows better. So in ways I still cant comprehend, I literally felt Allah gently holding my hand and guiding me through the last ten nights to worship Him, regardless of the external circumstances- however much I could.He sent me support and assistance I needed in terms of spiritual motivation, through some very special people. People who were not there last year. He ordained for me to witness some of miraculous ways He saves us, as I witnessed it in my own life as well as in the life of my friend- the miraculous and unimaginable ways He helps against every odds, bending every rules, every laws. Against everything that always goes wrong, when we ask Allah, He doesnt hesitate to go the unusual way. One of the verses that I witnessed this month was: 


Despite everything, as Ramadan is leaving I feel little unsafe. I feel little unprotected. I feel like no matter what I was being protected under the shade of Ramadan. And this is when I remind myself that I worship Allah, not Ramadan. Its the same Allah with His Unimaginable Mercy and Power that will always be there, because unlike Ramadan, He is not seasonal. That the doors to duas remain open throughout the year as long as I live, because Allah will continue to come down in the last one third of everynight to ask me what I want, regardless of the time of the year.

Because Allah protects me, not Ramadan. 

Thank you Allah. 

Alhamdulillah.


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. 

If No One Understands You, Chances Are You Are Right

Stories in the Quran are not mere stories. They are real life incidents that have happened. The people are not just characters. They are human beings,with emotions and weaknesses like you and me.

Imagine being in the shoes of Musa’s mother,right after she went through the trauma of throwing her newborn in the deadly Nile, amidst crocs and gators passing by.Did she have any support? Could she have gone to anyone and talk about what she did? Would anyone believe her if she said that Allah inspired her to throw her baby?Afterall she was not a prophet. She was just an everyday believer like you and me.She had no one to counsel her,to tell her she was right.She even doubted her decision and was about to run after her baby.But then the soldiers would find him and kill him.

So Allah intervened and gave her every support that she needed.From giving her the firmness of heart to the ability to plan logically as to what to do next-everything was orchestrated by Him. Against every self-doubt and logic,she blindly held onto Allah-knowing that even if her logic and rationality fails, as long as she would cling on to Allah,He would look after everything for her.Allah became every support, every help, every means she would have needed to survive that challenging moment of her life.

So We restored him to his mother that she might be content and not grieve and that she would know that the promise of Allah is true. But most of the people do not know. (Quran 28:13)

When you feel there is no one who understands you, chances are you are right, because Allah already says that most people would not know about His promise. When others think that your decision to hold onto your faith is absurd, when you yourself do not know how to explain your faith, then understand that it is a legacy of this great woman Allah has bestowed you with. Allah does not describe her as anything other than a “Mumin”-a true believer. So follow her footsteps and let Allah be your support.Allow Him guide you through the gators of life, and be of the few to witness the truth of His promise.

Sometimes its okay if you are the lone soldier in your fight.

Faith Corner: Hope Can Be Paralysing

One of the most profound stories of hope and belief in the Quran is Surah Yusuf. Allah narrates the journey of a father’s unwavering hope and trust in His Divine Ability, which changed the course of history.

For years Yaqoob AS held onto the belief of his missing son returning back to him. It is his unshakable belief in Allah that sustained him through this insurmountable loss. He lost his eye sight due to shedding incessant tears for his lost child.However,despite his full faith,instead of getting his son back,he lost two more of his sons. So as if one was not enough, now three of his sons were missing.

But his reaction was remarkable. Let alone sink in an abyss of doubt and despair, he actually hoped that even though they went missing years apart, Allah would perhaps bring them back together. As things kept getting worse,his expectations kept going up.He never thought Allah’s help was far.Even though things went downhill one by one, he didn’t expect them to get better likewise. On the contrary, he actually believed that Allah would give him everything back at once. Consequently, Allah did not disappoint him. All three of his sons came back together, his eyesight was restored and entire Egypt was saved.

Hope or depair-both can be paralysing. Choose wisely.Choose hope. Choose faith.  And allow it to cripple you, leave you incapable of feeling anything else.And then watch miracles unfold,right in front of your eyes.

 

Patience Does Not Forbid You From Grieving

Patience does not forbid you from grieving. Prophet Yaqoob AS is described in the Quran as the epitome of someone who shows patience. Yet He grieved to a point where he lost his eyesight. Did Allah condemn him for his emotions?On the contrary Allah honors his grief.Allah immortalized his grief for centuries to come because we are entitled to our emotions. You are allowed to grieve for your loss, and that does not make you less of a believer. When his own people started mocking his unshakable belief in Allah, that Allah will return his son, Yaqoob AS actually turned to Allah to complain. He cried to a point where he lost his eye sight. Yet He turned only to Allah-a heart full of sorrow yet with profound hope;belief that Allah will return his son. He turned only to Allah because the people around failed him.

When if you go through a crisis and find yourself unable to behave according to everyone’s expectations, if you find others being uncomfortable with your emotions, feel everyone abandoning you for your grief, then know that Allah has honored you with a sunnah(tradition) of this great Prophet. There is a much greater wisdom behind Allah allowing you to be left alone. So hold onto that Beautiful Patience (Sabrun Jameel) of this great Prophet (may peace be upon him)- a patience full of hope radiating from an unfaltering certainty (yaqeen) in the mercy of Allah.

“I only complain of my grief to Allah. I know from Allah that which you do not know. And never give up hope of Allah’s Mercy. Certainly, no one despairs of Allah’s Mercy, except the people who disbelieve.” (Surah Yusuf 12:86-87).