Falling in love with Muhammad SAW 

It happens to all of us at some point… We fall in love. 💞

And it happens to me still… Every single day. 💞

The more I learn about him, the more I fall in love with him SAW 💞

Falling in love with Muhammad SAW… #DebutBook2012 

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Hope…Muslims Are People of Hope 

The reality of life is that we all feel overwhelmed or weary at times; we feel that our challenges or tests are insurmountable; and we feel like we’re fighting on so many fronts yet we feel alone in this fight, that we have no helpers. At times our passion drains away and we feel like we’re just going through the motions. This is a part of being human, of human emotion. 
In these moments that feel more like months, shaytaan tries to push us into despair. Despair is one of his greatest weapons. If we are in debt, shaytaan tries to get us to despair that we will never get out of this debt. If we are ill, he tries to convince us to despair that we will never recover or find aafiah and ease in these circumstances. If we have committed sins, he whispers to us to despair of ALLAH’S mercy and that we are not worthy of ALLAH’s forgiveness. He tries to make us despair of our future, despair of our salvation, and infiltrates our thoughts so much that we fail to see the beauty in our lives; we fail to recognize our blessings and we falter to hope. 

We, as Muslims need to resist shaytan’s waswasa whisperings. For Muslims must be people of hope, and must see the world through eyes of hope. Muslims, people of faith make life choices that are rooted in hope.

Shaytaan threatens you with poverty and orders you to immorality, while ALLAH promises you forgiveness from Him and bounty. And ALLAH is all-Encompassing and Knowing.” (Al Quraan, 2:186)


Each day as we face the gauntlet of life, we have two different summoning calls echoing in our ears. Shaytaan calls us to fear and to have a clinging love and attachment to this material world.  ALLAH the Almighty, on the other hand, summons us to Hope, Reward, Forgiveness and true blessings. When ALLAH offers us hope, it is not wishing on a star, or having a false sense of unrealistic expectations. Hope is as real as the sun we witness rise every day and the stars and moon that we observe emerge each night, because it’s a part of trusting ALLAH. After all, prayer and du’a is truly about hope.

Al Quraanul Kareem promises us that with every difficulty comes ease. Hope is an acknowledgment of that reality, that things will get better, and a time of ease will come.  When life becomes unbearable and too hard, we need to see through eyes of hope, not the eyes of despair. For hasn’t it being proven that, “if we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change?”

Ibn Al Qayyim ra said, “

Had ALLAH lifted the veil for His slave and shown him how He handles his affairs for him, and how ALLAH is more keen for the benefit of the slave than His own self, his heart would have melted out of the love for ALLAH and would have been torn to pieces out of thankfulness to ALLAH. Therefore if the pains of this world tire you do not grieve. For it may be that ALLAH wishes to hear your voice by way of du’a. So pour out your desires in prostration and forget about it and know that verily ALLAH does not forget it.” 


Losing hope is something that Shaytaan instigates in us, which leads us away from ALLAH. We also need to  know that despair and losing hope in ALLAH are amongst the major sins. On the authority of Ibn Abbas RA, that a man said, “O Messenger of ALLAH! What are the major sins?”

The Prophet SAW replied, “Committing shirk, that is ascribing partners to ALLAH, giving up hope of ALLAH’s mercy and despairing of receiving the mercy of ALLAH. (Saheeh) 

We, Muslims, are not a people of despair. We are a people of hope and people of faith; we are people of repentance and people of invocation; we are people of action and effort. 

One deed of the heart is to have constant hope in the kindness, generosity and favours of ALLAH SWT. We should be optimistic and never lose hope in the bounty of ALLAH which He bestows on whom He wills. However, this hope should be coupled with a reason, or means, for one to feel that it will be realised. Thus, one should keep performing good deeds that give one the opportunity to harbour hope in the generosity and kindness of ALLAH. For if these means are not present, then it is mere wishful thinking on one’s part.

Hope is not for a person who is lazy and does not endeavor to remain upon the path of those who strive and exert great efforts. Such a person is just like someone who wants to grow plants and see them bearing fruit, without bothering to cultivate or water the seeds. Is this person equal to another, who digs the soil, plants the seeds and waters them carefully and regularly? Only the latter can realistically hope that his plants will grow fruitful. This is also the case regarding hope for the bestowal of the mercy and bounty of ALLAH. 

It has been said that, “Faith is not wishful thinking, but rather, it is what is instilled in the heart and proven by good deeds.”

Hope is necessary for those who are heading towards ALLAH’s Pleasure, because if a devout worshiper loses hope, then he is heading for ruin. A sincere Muslim hopes that ALLAH will forgive his sins and that He will enable him to rectify a fault in himself. He hopes that ALLAH will accepts his good deeds and hopes to draw closer to  ALLAH. Thus, hope is one of the most important means that one must possess in order to continue one’s journey towards Jannah and ALLAH’s pleasure with steadfastness, especially during the age of trials and tribulations that we now live in. 


Hope is a means of steadfastness. It is the complete opposite of despair, and to feel despair is to give up on the mercy and kindness of ALLAH SWT, which is a sin in itself, as ALLAH tells us in the Glorious Quraan: “

And despair not of relief from ALLAH. Indeed, no one despairs of relief from ALLAH except the disbelieving people.” (Al Quraan, 12: 87). This was the advice of Prophet Ya’qoob AS to his sons

.

How does one achieve hope?

• By remembering the past favors of ALLAH on us.

• By remembering the promise of great rewards from ALLAH, and remembering His generosity and kindness towards His slaves, especially when His slaves do not even ask Him for them and are unworthy of receiving them. The slave will continue receiving all these blessings and favours as long as he remains upon the straight path.

• By remembering the bounties of ALLAH with regards to our faith, our bodies, our sustenance, our families and life in general.

• By remembering the great mercy of ALLAH SWT and that His mercy precedes His wrath, and that He is the entirely Merciful, the especially Merciful; that He is Kind and Compassionate. Thus, acquiring hope in ALLAH can be achieved by knowing His Names and Attributes.

Those whose hearts are alive and whose faith is being renewed and strengthened each day recognize the fallacy of this world, and realise that this life is like a field in which they plant seeds for the Hereafter. The similitude of the heart is like that of the earth. Just as the earth must have seeds sown in it for it to yield fruits, the heart requires acts of obedience to make it flourish and remain alive. Just as the earth requires continuous attention, watering, digging, and so on, the heart and our Eemaan requires continuous attention; it is enlivened by its obedience of ALLAH. Just as the earth needs maintenance like the removal of harmful weeds from around the plants, the heart needs to be purified from doubts and desires, in order not to ruin the fruits of one’s acts of obedience, which have been irrigated with the water of servitude.

Indeed the higher our hopes are in ALLAH, the higher level of success He gives us. For as Ibn Al Qayyim said, “The heart on its journey to ALLAH is like that of a bird: Love is its head and fear and hope are its two wings.” 

Our beloved Nabi SAW taught us this most beautiful du’a, enshrined in maintaining and having expectations and trust in ALLAH, “

O ALLAH all praise be to You with gratitude and all gratitude be to You with grace. We ask You for the ability and inspiration to do those deeds which are pleasing to You, to have genuine trust and hope in You and to have good expectations from You.”… Aameen 

{This Article appeared in the January 2018 Edition of The Muslim Woman Magazine} 

Stay Inspired 

Envision your purpose and your paradise 💞

~RSB ~Author, Journalist, International Motivational Speaker, Islamic Studies Educator,  Quraan&Master’s Student, Ladies workshop facilitator

 “Enough of a boast that He is my Lord;enough of an honour that I am His slave.”


Happily Ever After… (The Marriage Aspiration) 

Once upon a time, throughout the world there lived many little girls who grew up longing for the same thing… their very own prince charming, love and a happily ever after. You see, these little girls grew up believing the fairytales that they were told.  In their young imaginations they had formed acquaintances with Cinderella, Rapunzel, Sleeping Beauty and Snow White. Hearing these classic stories over and over again, the little girls felt their pain; they felt their joy and they learnt to believe in and expect a… Happily Ever After.

However, what these classic fairytales forgot to include were what happens after the dream wedding day and those little things that make up the realities of married life.  Ahem, you know, life with the in laws; how to bring up the children; how and where will Prince Charming work and the fact that Cinderella will probably continue doing the household chores till she becomes old and grey.  So for many of these young girls the ‘happily ever after’ became the ‘unhappily ever after.’  Their dreams were shattered; their expectations destroyed for the simple reason that these very dreams and expectations were based on fairytales.

Sadly many marriages today end up in separation or divorce.  Sometimes the marital problem was a serious issue and sometimes it was simply a case of the fairytale expectation syndrome.  Perhaps it is time that the little girl in each of us do a bit of reframing of our perceptions and expectations; perhaps it is time that we correct our ideas on love, romance, the ideal marriage and happily ever after.


LOVE

Every person man or woman; child or adult, would you believe it even animals, seek, need and desire love and affection.  It’s a part of our emotional make-up. Because of this innate desire within us, we believe that it is up to us to find our dream partners and fall in love.  However, we don’t fully comprehend that the hearts of insaan are between the fingers of Rahmaan and that love for one another  is ONLY and TRULY placed into our hearts when the nikah/marriage vows are read. As ALLAH SWT states in Al Quran, “And out of His signs is that He creates mates for you from yourselves, that you may find peace and tranquility in them and He puts between your hearts love and affection.  Surely these are signs for a people who reflect.” (33:21)  

    

Romance

By definition romance is “that what appeals to the emotions in its picturesque ideas in a love relationship.”  There is no place in any dictionary or thesaurus that defines romance as candlelight dinners, bouquets of flowers, chocolates, or having someone write “I Love You” in the sand or sky.  All of that was what appealed to someone else’s emotions.  So when we, as Muslims, bemoan the fact that there is no romance in our marriages and use this as a reason to dissolve this sacred agreement, we are measuring ourselves and our marriages according to another’s requirements and standards.  Perhaps it is time for us to redefine what constitutes romance in our marriages? Perhaps it is time that we discover what truly, “appeals to our emotions”? Wouldn’t you agree that friendship, loyalty, affection, attraction, showing love not merely through words but through actions of consistency like providing and seeing to the needs of the husband or wife or children…wouldn’t you agree that all of the above would greatly “appeal to the emotions”? So if we have any, most or all of the above in our marriages, then don’t we have a good dose of romance?


Sometimes… Agree to Disagree

“Hmmm…he says potatoe, I say patatoe; he says tamatoe, I say tomatoe…potatoe, patatoe, tamatoe, tomatoe, let’s call the whole thing off!”  For many of us if we cannot agree on something, we inevitably end up having arguments, which sometimes results in ending the marriage.  The sad reality is that some marriages break up because no agreement or compromise can be reached on the very simple things in life: what colour to paint the house or where to send the kids to school.

Yes, marriage is about give and take; not he gives and I take or vice versa, but rather each of us give a little and take a little.  Sometimes we need to simply agree to disagree and not to allow ourselves to become embroiled in arguments as it is stated that that quality which our beloved Nabi SAW detested more than anything else was, to argue.

Have you ever heard about the meeting of the shayateen and their report back to their head Shaytaan? When each of them are asked concerning what mischief they had spread among mankind and they reply, “theft, murder, zina” etc, they are all just merely congratulated.  However, the shaytaan who replies, “sowing discord and causing arguments between a husband and wife,” not only does he get congratulated but to such an extent that he gets to sit on the head Shaytaan’s throne.  That, really leaves us with something to think about…


Take the Time To Remember and To Try Again

To illustrate this point, I would like to share with you a true life story.  I have come to refer to it as “The Lumpy Bed”. A young couple got married and like most couples starting off in life, they weren’t well off.   Their very first bed consisted of a second hand mattress that had all these lumps and inevitably every night they would find themselves both squashed together in the centre of the bed. In the beginning of their marriage, they found it perfect and even when they had arguments, they would find it resolved quickly because, well, they didn’t have a choice, they would be thrown together each night. In this very bed, they shared their dreams, hopes and aspirations for a better life for themselves and their kids.  As time went, the husband worked harder to provide for his wife and children.  They replaced that bed with a better bed; replaced that house with a better house.  And when they had arguments now, they would each cling to the sides of their spacious beds.  Till, the time came when they now had prospered so much in life, that in the event of an argument, they could each afford to sleep in separate rooms.  They forgot about the love that brought them together in the first place; they forgot about the dreams that they shared together and the good times that now seemed so few and far apart. They made the decision to divorce and began to sort and divide their possessions; the wife packed her bags and got ready to leave.  Then the husband called her one last time to their once shared bedroom.  When she entered, she saw the lumpy old bed that he had hauled out of their attic and with tears in his eyes, he asked her to remember, to try again and to go back to sleeping in that lumpy bed.


       

  

The Ideal Marriage

The western world shares its very beautiful promise of marital love in its marriage vows, ‘To love and to honour, for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, till death do us part.’ Yet we find that the promise remains elusive in the realities of the hardships of life. What does it mean to truly love? What would it take to have a spouse who loves you unconditionally, who stands with you while the whole world stands against you, who gives up all that he/she has to help with your cause, who loves you through the good and the bad, the happy and sad.  What would it take to have such a partner…what would it take to be such a partner? The world has encountered Romeo and Juliet, Anthony and Cleopatra, Shah Jehan’s display of his love for Mumtaz in his building of the magnificent Taj Mahal. But never before have they encountered such a generous love, such an extraordinary marriage like that of Muhammad and his Khadija, who expressed her love for Muhammad SAW as, “I love thee for my kinship with thee, and for that thou art ever in the centre; and I love thee for thy trustworthiness and I love thee for the beauty of thy character and I love thee for the truth of thy speech.” (Martin Lings: Muhammmad SAW). As ideal marriages go, theirs would be the perfect example to emulate.


Happily Ever After?!!!

In the real world that we live in, happily ever after doesn’t mean no issues to wade through; no compromises to be made and no tears to be shed.  Happily Ever After can be reframed as the opportunity to work at our marriages; to remember and be grateful for the good in one another; to understand that because our hearts are in the control of ALLAH SWT, it is HE who can fill it with love for one another. And to realise that we can attain our newly understood Happily Ever After, through our duas as our Beloved Nabi SAW taught us, “Our Lord let our spouses and children be the coolness of our eyes and make us leaders of the God fearing persons.” (Forty Rabbanas)

Remember and reflect that “A husband and wife that PRAYS together and PLAYS together, STAYS together”…and in reality, isn’t that Happily Ever After?!!! 


{This Article appeared in the April  Edition 2011 of The Muslim Woman Magazine} 

Stay Inspired 

Envision your purpose and your paradise 💞

~RSB ~Author, Journalist, International Motivational Speaker, Islamic Studies Educator,  Quraan&Master’s Student, Ladies workshop facilitator

 “Enough of a boast that He is my Lord;enough of an honour that I am His slave.”

SANMWF 3rd Annual Empowerment Conference:Bring It On… Empowered Women empower women 

Like a shot of adrenaline pulsing through the veins, words of wisdom shared between women provides us with a serious dose of motivation and inspiration to be the heroines of our own stories; believe it or not, but the reality is ‘Empowered women empower women.’ 

Every year I eagerly await and anticipate the annual SANMWF Empowerment conference for Women and Youth for two reasons specifically: Firstly, to get this amazing adrenaline dose of motivation, inspiration, enlightenment and empowerment which this conference, true to its promise of dynamic and varied lineup of speakers, provides each year; and secondly, to share some of this awesome empowering inspiration with the you, the dear readers of The Muslim Woman Magazine. 

Good days and bad days, in fact just about any day, a good dose of motivation always makes us feel good: positive and renewed; ready and raring; inspired and focused. We may not always need it, but it sure does energize us. Taking my sixteen year old teenage daughter Zinneerah along with me, I was hoping she would find the same especially as the intimidating exam period looms… The conference and the day did not disappoint us, Alhumdulillah. 

This year, the 3rd annual SANMWF Conference was held at yet another beautiful venue, the Palm Continental Hotel in Mayfair, catering comfortably to the hundreds of women gathered there for the day. The program commenced with the sweet rendition of Qiraat, excerpts of Al Quraanul Kareem by the two well known Haafidhas, Juwairiyya Patel and Razina Omar. 

The dynamic power packed one day conference was all that it promised to be and more. Programme Director and MC, the well known Shamshad Sayed, PRO of SANMWF kept us entertained and informed as she shared some interesting information about the amazing legacies of Muslim women throughout the world, during the course of the day. With a hearty welcome from Sister Hawa Patel, one of the chairpersons of the SANMWF, the conference began with our keynote speaker, Magistrate Farhana Ismail. She is a practicing attorney since 2003 with fourteen years of exceptional legal experience, appointed to the bench as MAGISTRATE In 2017.  Her specialities include divorce and family law, immigration and commercial law.  She is the founding and Executive Member of the Muslim Lawyers Association; Treasurer and Board Member of the Islamic Careline; Accredited Divorce and Family law mediator.

She spoke on a Muslim woman’s recourse within the Framework of the South African Law, touching on Nikah,divorce, children and domestic violence. She enlightened us on quite a few dimensions of the law system in SA and how we can use it to benefit us as Muslim women. Her introduction was quite touching as she spoke about her parents and parents in general. Affirming that the best university are our parents; that we need to pay heed to their advices and afford them and our elders the respect they deserve. 

She afforded us some insight into her personal life and abit about her brother Zubayr who was born with cerebral palsy and lived for only 24 years and how she would assist her dear mum in taking care of this precious soul. Moving onto some of the intricacies of the law, she discussed the Muslim Marriage bill as well as the Terms Children Act in SA, sharing with us our rights as parents, that we are co holders and joint holders of parental rights, whether living together or not living together.  That, children cannot get passport, marry or travel without consent of both parents. And she also shared the breakdown of rights upon children after divorce. 

Her discussion on domestic violence and the laws an abused woman can use were very enlightening. She shared that restraining orders can be placed even whilst you are sharing a home, against the perpetrator, that they cannot enter your room and your space, to assault or abuse you or steal your possessions, this being the Protection harassment act. After her talk we were left feeling emotionally empowered and enlightened, Alhumdulillah. 

In this dynamic line up our next speaker Rahmah Ndamase, a business woman, da’ee and Muslim revert for the past seven years passionately unpacked with us why and where we need to serve humanity.  Her sentiments were that in order to make an impact we always need to serve humanity from the heart with kindness and compassion as did the Messenger of ALLAH SAW and as did the lady who won her heart over to Islam which resulted in her reversion, Alhumdulillah. 

As the lineup of speakers covered a diversity of enlightening topics, Aalimah Mahira Barbosa Ibrahim who hails from Mozambique and has attained a higher Qualification in: Arabic Grammar, Etymology,Linguistics, Qur’an Tajwid, Islamic Inheritance, Commentary and Translation of the Qur’an , Commentary and Translation of Hadith,Jurisprudenceand Legal Maxims,Etiquettes and Morals and is currently teaching at Madressah Muneeratul Banaat(Girls College for Higher Islamic Studies, discussed the wisdom of women’s inheritance in Islam, unpacking the intricacies of inheritance in such an eloquent and witty manner. 

Aalimah Mahira conveyed the undeniable truth that  women gained a high status in every aspect of Islam, as a mother, a daughter and a wife.  How can we not bear testimony to this: The first person to accept Islam was a female, Khadija RA; the first martyr in Islam was a female, Sumaya RA; the first great scholar was a female, Aysha RA. In fact her  beacon of knowledge was  uninterrupted for 48 years and she was documented as being the third or fourth greatest narrator of ahaadith. She emphasised that we women are half of society and we raise the other of half, SubhanAllah! 

Asserting the value of women which ALLAH SWT has decreed and destined for us, whilst modern day man regards and uses women as mere merchandise, a tool of business, Aalimah Mahira shared the amazing Surah and Chapter from Al Quraanul Kareem, Surah Nisaa, just dedicated to women and the laws ALLAH has placed to protect us, our lives, honour and property. She very beautifully expounded the various verses on meerath/inheritance. Again we were left feeling empowered and enlightened, spiritually so, Alhumdulillah. 

Our final speaker for the day was the internationally acclaimed British journalist and author, revert to Islam Sister Yvonne Ridley who was also a chair of the National Council of the RESPECT Party.  She was captured by the Taliban in 2001 and two years later reverted to Islam after giving her captors an understanding that she would study Islam if they agreed to release her. She shared her riveting story in the bestselling book, In the Hands of the Taliban. She is a vocal supporter of Palestine and outspoken against oppression worldwide and has undertaken speaking tours throughout the Muslim world as well as America, Europe and Australia. She is currently working on her new book, to be launched early next year, DON’T KILL THE MESSENGER which is being edited and endorsed by Jurist Mufti Taqi Uthmani.

Yvonne began telling us a little bit about her life now as she resides on a farm on the Scottish border. Her discourse on Muslim women empowerment began with the story of the most amazing empowered Muslim woman of all time Khadija RA. Her proposal and marriage to Nabi SAW and how he never forgot nor did he stop loving her even after her demise. She too reiterated that women are half  of society and give birth to the other half.  She shared stories on other inspirational Muslim women like Al Shafah bint Abdullah, the Women put in charge of the market and economy in Madinah during the khilafat of Umar RA. What she pointed out  was that the position of women in Islam was that they were already running the markets from the seventh century whilst Britain’s first ever Woman, Hilda, to be appointed was only in 1958.  Yvonne Ridley left us feeling intellectually empowered and enlightened. 

After this lineup of dynamic speakers, our day of empowerment was nowhere neardone,  Seido Tasneem a 3rd Degree Black Belt who has trained in Martial Arts and Self Defence under her father locally and internationally for over thirty years specialising in classes for ladies where she teaches extensive self defense for women and girls, demonstrated and taught us some very invaluable self defense moves, that had us itching to try it out…quite physically empowered and enlightened did she leave us too. 

Before the conference concluded with its delicious as always, luncheon, we participated in an interesting discussion and Q & A session with a dynamic panel, consisting of the prolific speakers as well as more panelists who continued to inspire and motivate us.  Here we heard the wise sentiments of Dr Fátima Bhabha, Co-Founder of Beauty and Curves, a Cancer surviver and motivational speaker.  She was followed by Farzana Mayet, the CEO of Panache Promotions and Events, who empowered us through her awesome positive affirmations, my favorite being, ‘Let your passion be your paycheck’, and enlightened us how to become successful business entrepreneurs.  She is also the initiator of the renowned WOMEN OF WONDER Awards. After Farzana, we encountered the young and passionate Naeema Hussein Al Kout is who an Honours Graduate in Physiotherapy and currently completing her community service at Helen Joseph hospital. She was born into a multicultural family wherein she was exposed to diverse societies where Islam was a common factor. Her many passions include Qiraat ,football and community development.  She was infact the only female footballer to play with her hijab on at various prestigious  club championships and has served on various committees and NGO’S. She  shared her belief on how we can excel in all spheres of life without compromising our Islamic faith and identity. The final panelist was Advocate Shubnum Mayet, an advocate by profession  but a humanitarian   by choice;she is the co founder of PROTECT THE Rohingya, where she uses her vast legal knowledge and expertise to ADVOCATE THE CAUSE OF THE ROHINGYA PEOPLE. She passionately unpacked the depth of genocide and our role as fellow Muslims, humans and humanitarians.  The entire team of prolific speakers and inspirational panelists left us feeling, yeah you guessed it… enlightened and empowered. 

Other personalities from Islamic and Muslim Media gracing the 3rd Annual SANMWF Conference were: Safeera Kaka of Cii, who introduced the internationally acclaimed Yvonne Ridley; Faaiza Munshi of RI, who introduced the keynote speaker Magistrate Farhana Ismail; Faheema Patel of RI; Nafeess Dangor Sayed of Global Media; Hawa Meyer of Salaamedia; Nina Bambeni from PROUDLY MUSLIMS;Yesmien Khota Touffie of the Covered Magazine; Khudeja Pochee and myself, Rehana Shah-Bulbulia of the Muslim Woman Magazine as well as a host of profound SANMWF Chairs, Apa Ayesha Hathurani and Sister Faeeza and the chairs of the  forums from around the Province and Country. Other leading personalities present included Suraiya Nawab, Dr Attiyya Rawat Adam, Apa Fatima TTlf,  Melodious Nashid singer Bibi Ayesha Sayed Khan and Apa Farida Mokone. 

As always many will attest to leaving the SANMWF 3rd Annual Conference empowered and enlightened. And for me, what resonated within were the words that truly ‘empowered women empower women, empower others’; and a message that we as women not be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. We need to unfold ours, ourselves; not to search for a hero to safeguard our interests, but to become the heroine of our own story, In sha Allah.

{This Article appears in the November Edition 2017 of The Muslim Woman Magazine} 

Stay Inspired 

Envision your purpose and your paradise 💞

RSB ~Author, Journalist, International Motivational Speaker, Teacher & Student “Enough of a boast that He is my Lord;enough of an honour that I am His slave.” 

​A Little LOVE Goes A Long Way

She marched into the Ancient Herbalist’s Clinic…ANGRY, SEETHING, FURIOUS!  She would not, she could not spend another moment under the same roof as her dictatorial mother in law.  Her mind turned; her eyes bulged; her cheeks puffed.  The Chinese herbalist was renowned for his potions and poisons.  She believed that nothing and no one could alter her mother in law’s intense dislike for her and well, now she had no wish to either.  She ordered the poison and took heed of the Chinese apothecary’s strict instructions, “Put a teaspoon of this poison in your mother in law’s tea for six weeks, before the desired result will be achieved. But ALWAYS REMEMBER that for this period of time, you have to be extra kind and loving to her, in order for this poison to work and also so that no blame will be placed on you.”

Day after day, week after week, the young lady did as she was instructed.  However, as the days and weeks passed, she found, much to her amazement, that her mother in law became her friend.  She had grown to love her and now she didn’t want the poison to work at all.  So before the final week had lapsed, she hurried off to the Chinese apothecary…panting and praying.  She would not, she could not watch this woman that she had come to love die.  When the Chinese herbalist heard her new request, he simply smiled and said, “That was not poison that I had given you, it was only fine sugar.  It was your love and kindness that changed her reaction and relationship with you.  Ah…a little love goes a long way.”


Whilst the aforementioned Chinese fable may be just that…a fable, the message and lesson is simple and sincere. If in every difficult and challenging situation, we would just take a moment and ask ourselves, “How could LOVE change this?” Indeed LOVE has proven itself to be a tangible emotion that has perpetually had the power, capacity and ability to change ways of thinking, circumstance and people.

Can there exist a single being who does not desire to receive or give it? It has the ability to tame the savage and the capacity to enlighten the ignorant. It is enshrouded in the silks of kindness, compassion and mercy. And that’s where he(sallallahu ‘alaihiwasallam)  steps in, for he was rahmatullilaalimeen-the mercy unto mankind.  We witness how our beloved Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihiwasallam)  successfully changed people’s perceptions and beliefs because of his beautiful qualities of conveying compassion, kindness and love to all who encountered him…friend and foe.


Abu Hurairah ra reported that the messenger of ALLAH SAW said, “You shall not enter paradise until you believe and you shall not believe until you LOVE one another.  Shall I not guide you to a thing when you will do it, you will LOVE one another.  Spread the salaam, the peace amongst you.” (Muslim)


As we endeavour to attain the goodness of this world/Ad dunya as well as the next/Al Aakhirah, we need to consciously comprehend that we primarily require beautiful and great sifaat/qualities to be the foundation of our lives. Just as we have found the same in the lives and examples of our beloved Nabi SAW. Ambiyaa AS, Sahabah e Kiraam RA and pious predecessors and let us understand that LOVE is a wondrous thing, with the ability and capacity to change ways of thinking, circumstance and people.  


As Mother Theresa once said, “LOVE is patient; LOVE is Kind.  It does not envy; it does not boast; it is not proud; it is not rude.”


Finally, we recognise that peace is the dominating principle amongst the believers and that with peace, we will, Insha ALLAH, enter Paradise. 


 “True peace begets a desire for mutual love and true love leads to true belief and belief, of course, leads to Paradise.” (Dr Fazlul Karim) And as Muadh bin Jabal ra reported that Nabi SAW shared that ALLAH says, 
 My L
OVE becomes compulsory for those who LOVE one another for my sake and for those who sit together for my sake and for those who spend lavishly on one another for my sake.  Those who LOVE one another for My Magnificence will have pulpits of light for which the prophets and the martyrs will envy them.”


Yes, Alhamdulillah, a little LOVE does indeed go along way. 

Eidul Fitr…A Celestial Celebration


Even though the brrr and icy cold winds of the winter season may taunt us, we find that the warm embrace of the resplendent month of Ramadhaan doesn’t abruptly depart.  It lingers as we are engulfed in its comforting presence a little longer, a little tighter and it departs with such a momentous gift, that the sorrow of parting becomes sweet…for it gifts us with the night and day of ‘Eid…a celestial celebration and the momentous prize giving.

When the sun sets on the last day of Ramadhaan, it is with mixed emotions that our gazes search the star studded sky for the moon of Shawaal, the moon signifying ‘Eid.  Like those savouries coated in batter enjoyed in Ramadhaan, so too is our excitement and happiness for ‘Eid coated and tinged with the sadness of Al Widaa Ramadhaan…farewell honoured guest.  Yet when it is certified that the moon has indeed been sighted, the excitement of ‘Eid takes the lead and every soul in every household begins all their preparations for ‘Eid…physical and spiritual. And as the celebrations begin here in this transitory world on the night of ‘Eid- Laylatul Jaaizah, so too do the celestial celebrations begin in the Heavens.  For our Generous Lord had spent the entire year perfuming and adorning the Gardens of Jannah for the month of Ramadhaan for the faithful servants from amongst the Ummah of His Muhammad SAW and when the striving servants, the faithful believers reach the end of this annual Ramadhaan race of worship and obedience as they had persevered and exerted themselves…what awaits beyond the physical realm as a reward for all that their souls had earned is unfathomable, has not been imagined.  Yet the exhortations of a truthful Messenger describing the promises of a Most Generous Lord deeply captivate and majestically beckon the aspiring souls…   
    

And then the night of ‘Eidul Fitr, the night that is called Laylatul Jaa’izah, the night of prize giving, comes along.  On the morning of ‘Eid ALLAH sends down the Malaa’ikah to all the lands of the earth where they take their positions at access points of roads, calling out with a voice that is heard by all except man and jinn:

‘O Ummah of Muhammad sallallahu’alaihiwasallam, come forth from your houses towards a Lord that is Noble and Gracious, who grants much and pardons major sins.’  When they proceed towards the places for their ‘Eid Salaah, ALLAH says to the Malaa’ikah: ‘What is the reward of that employee who had rendered his services?’

The Malaa’ikah replies, ‘O Lord and Master, it is only right that he should receive his reward in full for his services.’

ALLAH then says, ‘I call you to witness, O My Malaa’ikah, that for their having fasted during the month of Ramadhaan and for their having stood before Me in prayer by night, I have granted to them as reward My Pleasure and have granted them forgiveness.  O My servants ask now of Me, for I swear by My Honour and My Greatness, that whatever you shall beg of Me this day in this assembly of yours for the needs of the Hereafter, I shall grant you; and whatsover you shall ask for wordly needs, I shall look at you favourably.  By My Honour I swear, as long as you shall obey My commands, I shall cover your faults.  By My Honour and My Greatness do I swear that I shall never disgrace you among the evil doing ones and disbelievers.  Depart now from here, you are forgiven.  You have pleased Me and I am pleased with you.’

The Malaa’ikah on seeing this great reward bestowed by ALLAH on the Ummah of Muhammad sallallahu’alaihiwasallam on the day of ‘Eidul Fitr become greatly pleased and happy.” (At Targheeb)   


Whilst our spiritual sight is still unable to witness and participate in the celestial celebrations that each ‘Eid heralds…on the Day of ‘Eid take the timeout to envision, to reflect and imagine this beautiful moment which our Most Merciful, Most Generous ALLAH has shared and described to us through His Noble Messenger SAW.  This reality which will one day soon be enjoyed by every striving faithful servant of ALLAH…in a Better Place, on a Better Day.  The Ultimate ‘Eid, day of Happiness and Celestial Celebration will be that day when we will be told to enter into the peace of the Eternal Gardens of Paradise…to finally enter into that Jannah which our souls yearned to return to, which our souls painstakingly envisioned as it traipsed and trudged its way through winding paths of Ad Dunya.  This day will be for us the Ultimate Celestial Celebration…And as it has been so beautifully encouraged, “If we live our lives like Ramadhaan, indeed our death and all that follows will be like ‘Eid.”

Stay Inspired 
Envision your purpose and your paradise 
RSB 
Author, Journalist, International Motivational Speaker, Teacher & Student “Enough of a boast that He is my Lord;enough of an honour that I am His slave.”