Living by It. One lesson a day…

… from Quran. Changing slowly, but surely.

Lesson 35 – I Will Pray For You April 15, 2010

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“(Father said): I will (pray to) my Rabb for forgiveness for you. Indeed He it is Who is Oft Forgiving, the Merciful.”

Surah Yousuf (Surah 12), verse 98

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I’ve had the understanding that praying for disbelievers, for the sinners is fruitless because it is Allah Who Guides them if He Wills, Who Lets them stray if He Wills.

I’ve also had the understanding that praying for good things, be it forgiveness for loved ones or anything else for that matter, is a way to tell Allah that you Fear Him and will ask only from Him because you admit that He is the Provider, the Merciful Provider, the Entity Who Knows your weaknesses and of those whom you want to salvage in a way that’s possible for you.

That He is to be Feared, to be expected to be Merciful is not a contradiction. I lack the wisdom to elaborate on this and I’ll find that one article I once read that explained this superbly and put it up soon InshaAllah.

Coming back to the verse, I think it’s safe to say that we should ask for forgiveness all the time (not just for ourselves! For everybody!). In these times (actually not really! It has always existed) when immorality is so rampant, I sometimes feel like just living is a sin. I feel like if I stayed in my room all day, I won’t sin… which kind of explains my hermit behavior every once in a while, but that’s going away from the topic at hand. I’ll just stop talking now.

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Lesson 24 – Salat | Forgiveness | Repentance | Reward March 18, 2010

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Confused about the date. Help?

“Of course your Rabb knows that you certainly stand (for salaat) for less than two-thirds (2/3) of the night.

And for half of it (at times), and a third of it (at other times).

And also a group from among people who are your companions.

And Allah has decreed that the duration of night and daylight hours (must decrease and increase).

He Knows that you are unable to count of it (your time of devotion).

So He has turned to you (in acceptance of your repentance).

Therefore read as much of the Quran as you easily can.

He is Aware that some of you may be ill and others will be traveling in land seeking of His bounty.

And yet others fighting (or preparing for) war in Allah’s cause.

Therefore read as much of it as you easily can.

And stand regularly for salaat and give zakat. And give an interest free loan to Allah, a beautiful loan.

And whatever you send ahead of you, the good for yourself, you will find that what Allah has with Him is better and a great recompense. And keep asking Allah to (provide the cover of) forgiveness for you.

Indeed Allah Forgives, He is Merciful.”

Surah Muzammil (Surah 73), verse 20

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Wow. *blink*blink*

Okay.

  • So two thirds of about an average 8 hours of night is actually 5.3 hours. I don’t think I stand even one eighth of the night! Either I’m not following this… or I’m a poor Muslim. A half would be 4 hours, a third 2.6. Somebody help and explain me this!

From what I understand, night is the time to ask for forgiveness because He has turned to us at that time. Makes sense because nights are when the distractions are minimal, when the day has ended and so have the energy levels, when we realize we haven’t thought about ourselves all day and need to, when the misery of the day comes crashing back to infuriate us and we’re looking for a pure vent out. So Allah Knows all that and He Chose that time to turn to us… although to be fair, I think He’s always available, if we just bothered to check.

  • For the last few years, I’ve been having conversations with myself about what Allah Wants from me. Surely, He Knows how I spend my time, the duties I have and the chores I have to do. He can See how I don’t have time for myself sometimes and admittedly so, the movies and blogs took much of it… but if I were to eliminate those wastes from my routine, I think it’s still understandable I don’t have time for everything everyday. But guess what! I don’t even have to fret about it! Because He had already given me the leverage that I was just beginning to contemplate on… and He didn’t Say it just one time! He has Said it twice here: Read as much as you easily can. The problem arises when I de-prioritise reading Quran and loosen the definition of what is easily readable, on a day to day basis, to according to just my terms. That’s just being clever. I think we all look for ways to excuse ourselves from whatever that limits our number of roads; I mean I think we enjoy entertaining the idea that opportunities are unlimited and that we have so many roads to go down on. The road that leads to Allah is what we sideline because we read He’s Merciful and we think, “Oh well, I’ll get to it… Someday, but I will.” The next time we think about WHEN that day will come, it’s already a few years for some, a few decades for others. By that time, the vices, the sins, the selfishness, the miseries, the hopelessness have all accumulated and we attempt to direct ourselves with a whole new perspective, a seemingly wise one (because we equate years to wisdom) until a point is reached when we rue on our laziness to rush to His promises and His guidance.

I may not be reading as much as I, truly, easily can everyday… but writing it all down has the very evident advantages of helping me remember the verses more and it’s helping me to uncover the different angles of a seemingly small verse, that by the end of the post reveals its profundity albeit to what I can decipher alone. I like the idea of questioning things, it’s definitely the best way to let ideas sink and stay anchored.

  • Zakat and loans. Okay, so those are lessons for another day InshaAllah.
  • I know a few people, as of now, who are going through tough times. Not surprising because times are really tough for most! The thing is, almost all of them fit the bill for upright-and-maintaining-integrity types… and honestly, that shocks me. And fascinates me. I’m at that point in time where things are Alhumdolillah great, nothing to complain about and I seriously doubt if I would maintain my integrity if circumstances were less than favorable for me… but I digress. This last bit of verse about recompense and forgiveness? I think people should read this regularly and thank Allah for His Kindness in that He is basically Calling out to them (and to people who’re working to improve lives, making waves, helping humanity) to stand where they are and just trust Him. HE WILL GIVE THEM BACK WHAT THEY SENT. AT A BETTER PRICE!!!!!! That’s like I give you a Cadbury bar and a few years later, you give me a Lindt bar. I just wrote that to drive home the point better; no disrespect or trivialization was intended during the construction of that statement…. Along with that, He Asks you to keep asking for forgiveness. Either that means the tough times are a payback for the sins (which seems highly unlikely to me because of the distortion that thought process is capable of) or that continuously asking for forgiveness will keep you busy and humbled during your tough times and indirectly remind you of Who is truly in control or that the prayers during the tough times are adhered to more (again a highly likely situation to me). Or it could simply be because man is liable to sins and Allah is just Asking us to watch out! Whichever one of those that it is, He ends the verse by reassuring us that He will Forgive a truly repenting soul.

SubhanAllah!

 

Lesson 1 – Say good, Yo! February 7, 2010

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“A kind word equitably spoken, and forgiving (the slights), is better than charity which is followed by causing hurt (to the receiver). And Allah is Free from want, is Forbearing.”

Surah Al-Baqarah (Surah 2), verse 263

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While this is self-explanatory, we need to still reflect more and realize that it is SUCH an easily applicable and overrated deed we think of it as something obvious… and we lose lessons in life by undermining their importance in whichever way we deem it to be. I, for one, miss out on things because I regard them as SO obvious.

So, four literal things are here:

  • Saying kind things – don’t lie, don’t be clever and circumlocute, SAY kind things. Find things to say that’ll make somebody feel good/ worthwhile, but make sure it’s specific to their lives. Nothing’s nicer than noticing somebody’s slight effort and complimenting them on it. So often we hold back on good things to say because society tells us how uncool that is. Forget society, it’s too contradictory anyway, which means more mental strength cope with… I’d rather not deal with its quirks, and just SAY nice things. The feel-good-energy blogs all recommend the same, so this one’s easy to apply and earn points with Him.
  • Forgiving – things like somebody’s mean comments. So this is doubly rewarding ;). Seriously though, I think when you’ve resolved on your own how you’re NOT going to let things bug you, that no one’s going to matter except Him, that He is your friend (I’ll put this lesson up soon), I think it gets easier to forgive people and circumstances and luck. Forgive people’s clevernesses (let them feel good about themselves, who cares?), forgive your mom for not giving you more money, forgive dad for spoiling your weekends with his ideas of “fun” trips to barren lands, forgive brothers for making fun of you, forgive your sister for spoiling your shoes… Nothing’s going to last, you’re going to Him and most of all, do you even realize how much of your mind you can use to do things that are otherwise cluttered by the grudges you keep?
  • Charity – is a great thing! I haven’t quite experienced the feeling of giving away charity (or maybe my definition differs from most people’s) but Allah is saying here that it’s useless to give charity (such a beautiful thing I’ve heard) if you’re going to tell the receiver in a way that it hurts him… So either give it with a clean heart OR don’t… AT ALL! Both will give plus points!
  • Allah is Free from want – DON’T DO THINGS BECAUSE ALLAH WANTS IT. Do it because it’s good for you. Allah is Too Great to want something from you. He just Loves you and Wants good FOR YOU. Get it? Read this again. Thank you.

I lack enough knowledge to derive more knowledge out of this, so any other viewpoints are welcome!