Musings of a Muslimah

Allah Loves

Recently I attended an evening talk and iftar at my local masjid on the Day of Arafah and the Imam spoke about the different qualities that Allah (swt) shares with us that make us amongst those that He (swt) loves. He only spoke about 5 different qualities but there is lots of others too.

So I wanted to share them with you all to so that we can all benefit from them.

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But before I share the 5 qualities he spoke about, he spoke about how the first and foremost way to gain the love of Allah (swt) is to follow the sunnah of the Prophet (saw).

Say, [O Muhammad], “If you should love Allah , then follow me, [so] Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” Quran (3:31)

This doesn’t just mean the way you dress, but also, in your character and how you treat others. The Prophet (saw) was someone who had great concern for humanity and always treated others with kindness and respect, no matter who they were.

His sunnah was broad and encompassed all aspects of life so it is important for us to learn about his life and implement the way he was in our lives.

So the 5 qualities that the Imam spoke about:

1 Sabiroon – The Patient Ones

The people who are patient in the different circumstances in life gain the love of Allah. This doesn’t mean you don’t feel upset or stressed but that you don’t despair and complain about your circumstance to everyone.

When we are going through something difficult we show patience by only complaining to Allah (swt). When we are doing good deeds like fasting or praying etc, we show patience when doing it. We persevere even though we may find it difficult. For example, getting up to pray fajr even though you’re tired and fasting when it’s hot.

2 Muhsineen – The People of Ihsan

These are the people who strive to perfection by being their best possible self and in all that they do.

The Prophet (saw) told us what ihsan is, he said: “It is to worship Allah as though you see Him, and though you do not see Him, you know that He sees you.” (Bukhari)

There are some characteristics of the people of muhsineen:

• They are those who spend from their wealth in times of ease AND in times of difficulty.
• They restrain their anger.
• They pardon people, they forgive others and let things go.

3 Tawabeen – The People of Repentance

They are people who are constantly seeking forgiveness. We are human so we will commit sin, knowingly and unknowingly and these are the people who everyday think about what they did that day and seek forgiveness for their mistakes and transgressions. It is not just blindly and robotically seeking forgiveness. They realise and acknowledge that they committed a sin and then seek forgiveness for that.

4 Mutatahireen – The People of Taqwa

Taqwa is a state of consciousness of Allah (swt) so they are the people who are always aware that Allah (swt) is watching them

Ali (ra) who was one of the four rightly guided caliphs said taqwa is:

• The fear of Allah.
• Acting upon the Quran. This would mean acting upon the laws of the Quran and the hadith. So living life according to the sunnah and shariah.
• Being content with whatever Allah (swt) has given you, even though it may seem like it is not much.
• Preparing for death and the journey of the Hereafter. We should live life with the hereafter in mind.

So these people are conscious of things that will hurt or impact them and others and are conscious of doing the good deeds to the best of their ability.

5 Mutawakkaleen – The people who have tawakkal in Allah

These are people who have complete faith and trust in Allah (swt). This doesn’t mean that they don’t work for themselves and just say Allah (swt) will provide. These are people who do their best in what they do but they leave the outcome in the hands of Allah (swt). That we can plan things for ourselves and a future we envision for ourselves but the result is in the hands of Allah (swt).

The Prophet (saw) said: “Rely on Allah but tie your camel.” (Tirmidhi)

This was in response to someone asking the Prophet (saw) if he should leave his camel without tying it to the tree and just trust that Allah (swt) will keep it there. But what we learn is that even though we should trust in Allah (swt) we still need to do the work ourselves. So for example, we have to study and revise before taking an exam, not just do no work and expect Allah to give us a good grade.

When we truly rely on Allah (swt) then He will find a way out for you in any situation you find yourself in.

So these are the 5 qualities we were discussed in the class but he also mentioned a few others and that we should learn the others.

Some of the most beloved to Allah (swt) are those who bring benefit to other people.

Some of the best deeds:

• Bring joy and happiness to someone
• To help relieve a difficulty that someone is going through
• To forgive someone’s debt
• To feed a person who is hungry

For some further reading I highly recommend reading Muhammad: How He can make you Extraordinary by Hesham Al-Awadi.

And watching this short video series by Imam Omar Suleiman called Allah Loves here

Musings of a Muslimah

People Of The Cave (Surah Kahf) – Quranic Reflections

One of the things I do is to open the translation of the Quran on a random page and read the surah (chapter) that it ends up on and try to reflect and gain some insight into those verse I have read.

I often find that although I open the page randomly, I end up reading exactly what I needed to read at that moment in my life. Allah truly knows what we need to hear and it never fails to amaze me!

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The most recent one I opened up to chapter 18 of the Quran. Surah Kahf which is a surah that I read every Friday and is filled with so much wisdom. I started reading and one ayah struck me, it talks about the youth who slept for 300 years in the cave, which is where they sought refuge when they were being persecuted.

The ayah is:

“And We turned them to the right and to the left” Quran (18:18)

As both me and my husband are physiotherapists we deal with people with different levels of mobility, some who are even bed bound. And one thing that a bed bound patient needs on a regular basis is to be turned on their right and left, to ensure they don’t get pressure sores. Exactly the way the ayah describes that Allah turned them while they slept. And even though this is something that is part of modern medicine, it was written in the Quran over 1400 years ago.

Every time I read something like this in the Quran, things that we have only recently discovered, it blows my mind. That something as simple as that ayah can cause so much reflection and be so awe-inspiring. It reminds me of the magnificence of Allah, that only He knows all things and that the Quran is filled with so much wisdom and truly will teach us so much, if only we would pay attention.

I am hoping to write more of these as it’s something I do regularly and I wasn’t to share my reflections with you all. And please so share your reflections with me too!

Book Events, Muslim Shelf Space, Reflections

Meeting Yasmin Mogahed

Recently I attended a class by Yasmin Mogahed. She has come to the UK and has been teaching classes on various topics.

For those that don’t know who she is, she is an Islamic teacher and author, she has a degree in psychology and a masters in journalism. And she has been one of the most influential role models in my life for the past 10 years.

Her book is one that helped me through some really difficult times in my life and I try to attend her classes whenever she comes to the UK.

And for those who want to read her books, her first book is called Reclaim Your Heart and her more recent one is called Love and Happiness and I highly recommend them both!

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So I wanted to share what she spoke about in her class, and I know this isn’t like my usual posts but it’s an important part of my life and I want to share it with you all.

The topic was about dealing with hardships and difficulties in our life and the Islamic perspective of getting through them and healing and recovering from them. It’s a topic that we can all relate to so I was looking forward to listening.

This will be an extremely condensed version of her class because there is no way to actually write everything here, it would far too long!

Her class was based on this verse from the Quran:

“And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient” Quran (2:155)

She spoke about how Allah tells us he will test us. He will test in different things. The types of challenges we will be tested with are anxiety/fear, hunger and loss.

All of this is not to say that we should hate this world but that we should not be completely attached to it.

This world is not supposed to be perfect and if you expect perfection then you will inevitably be disappointed. That if we expect perfection from the creation, we will continue to suffer until we realise that perfection is only in Allah. One of the easiest ways to understand this is to think about the happiest moments of our life and even then, you can see that not everything was perfect.

She spoke about how we put such high standards on ourselves and those around us that we don’t allow ourselves to be human. To be human, is to be imperfect.

This can lead us to despair and hopelessness and this what the shaytan uses to get to us. But the design of Allah is to keep going even when we make mistakes.

In times of difficulty we should be patient but that doesn’t mean we bottle up all our feelings. We can feel sad that we are going through a difficult time. It’s a human emotion and even the prophet’s felt sadness. Like Prophet Yaqub (as) when he thought he lost his son forever and Prophet Muhammad (saw) when his wife, Khadijah (ra), passed away.

In today’s society we use the word sabr to tell people to be patient but what we are really saying, is be numb, do not show your emotions, act like everything is fine. But this means the person is unable to heal and move on with their life. They will continue to suffer.

She spoke about how we need to be real and honest with ourselves and address the wounds. So that we don’t despair in the mercy of Allah. That we need to acknowledge it, address it, treat it and we have to have hope in the mercy of Allah.

Grief needs to be processed and that does not mean we are not patient. Sabr isn’t to supress your emotions. Emotions don’t just disappear and if we supress it, then it can become bigger. Not only that but our whole body is connected so emotional distress, when not properly addressed, can manifest into physical illnesses.

She spoke about how we can’t always control what happens in our lives but we can control our response. We need to think about whether we view the events that occur as something that has happened to us or for us.

She reminded us of this hadith:

The Prophet (saw) said: “Strange is the affair of the Mu’min (the believer), verily all his affairs are good for him. If something pleasing befalls him he thanks (Allah) and it becomes better for him. And if something harmful befalls him he is patient (Sabr) and it becomes better for him. And this is only for the Mu’min.” [Muslim]

She reminded us how any difficulty we go through in life is never forgotten by Allah. He rewards us for our patience and our sins are forgiven for every moment we are in difficulty. That whatever comes our way. We a stronger and wiser from it.

Sometimes Allah gives us something painful in life to force us to change, we don’t like change and often, the only time we will change will be when the pain forces us to.

She told us how what we focus on grows and if we focus on the problem we will see problems everywhere.

“For indeed, with hardship [will be] ease.” Quran (94:5)

This means that no matter what difficult situation you are in, there will be good in your life too.

Being patient, or having sabr, doesn’t mean you are passive. It’s an active word, it means we need to take action and change a bad situation, to persevere.

The last thing she told us was a “prescription” for the heart. Things that are so important for us to do so that we will be able to face any difficulty in life and not despair. So this is what she told us:

1 Salah – This is like oxygen, if we don’t get any oxygen we will die. Just like our prayers keep our heart alive.

2 Adhkar – Reading the supplications for the morning and evenings and any others we can incorporate into our routine. They are a protection and will help us be stronger spiritually.

3 Quran – Make it a daily part of your life. Be consistent with it, so even if it is 10 minutes a day that is better than once a month.

So this is in a nutshell what she taught us in this class. I highly recommend listening to her lectures on youtube and reading her books. They are amazing!