Living by It. One lesson a day…

… from Quran. Changing slowly, but surely.

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

Filed under: Uncategorized — Saima @ 11:39 am
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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!

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Lesson 3 – Graphic February 9, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Saima @ 1:28 am
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“O you people who believe! Avoid suspicion in a majority of cases. In fact suspicion in some cases can be sin. And do not pry (or spy), and do not gossip about others behind their backs. Will any of you like that one eats his dead brother’s flesh? But you will detest that. And fear Allah. Indeed Allah Accepts repentance (of remorse), He is Merciful.”

Surah Al-Hijarat (Surah 49), verse 12

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Okay, so there are so many things to pick up from here… I’m going to keep this concise hopefully.

  • First of all, you are ordered of this, IF you believe. If you don’t, well you have less of an obligation, right? 😉
  • Then, notice the use of the words “majority of cases”… so fundos and self-righteous people who claim suspicion is just wrong and that you have to trust Him in all matters without using the neurons constituting your brain, well go ahead and smack them, if you like… because they are clearly misguiding you and they are encouraging you to retard/ restrict yourself to a place you know you’re uncomfortable with. I mean sure you want to say you want to have faith but you need a sense of slight command over your decisions (even though ultimately He is the Decider, but I digress…), and Allah HAS given you that leverage. So say, if you think the shopkeeper is giving you a refurbished product, if you think your kid is lying to you about something, if you think your spouse is upto no good, then you DO have the right to check things for yourself and be suspicious!
  • Then the next part is obvious. We’ve seen enough movies and we’ve experienced enough on our own to understand that excessive or unnecessary suspicion leads to chaos, feelings of worthlessness and paranaoia… You’re being unfair to the person when you’re suspecting wrong, right? Isn’t it great that it’s considered a sin then? So when you are not being suspicious, you are not hurting anybody and you’re not sinning… sounds like a good deal to me!
  • “Do not pry or spy”… Well FB, Twitter, myspace, Google all kinda put an end to that, right? I don’t know how to live my life without stalking people anymore! So the only way I find myself trying to apply this, is to not spy outside the virtual world. Kinda dumb, I know.
  • Ugh, gossiping behind backs? How do you even stop that? So many times it seems like it’s normal talk, or that you’re helping somebody out by letting them know what you know about the subject (one of shaitaan’s many, many ploys). Only thing I’ve figured out is I have to reduce the amount of talk that I think is enough to what is enough. This is a constant struggle, almost as if I feel I can never achieve it… but I’m not losing hope, ‘kay??
  • I find the next part so interesting. Allah presents a rhetoric and then He Answers it Himself! He Asks me if I’d like to eat my (a) DEAD – a thought I never have and I choose it to be that way (b) BROTHER’S – the same person who protects me or pretends to, or whatever, the one who bought snacks for me from his measly pocket money when we were younger, the one who makes me feel important around here (in his own weird ways, admittedly) (c) FLESH – okay ewww! Then He Says I will hate it if I had to eat it, I mean I know, but He is still telling me how I’d feel. I think it’s because with these two phrases, you get a more distinct picture about how badly it’s considered. The take home lesson for me is to shut it when I blurt it!
  • He is asking me to fear Him – because I don’t completely understand yet what He’s about. He is much much much more than I think I know. On a sidenote, fear isn’t a bad thing; an example you’ll be able to relate to is that of your strict teacher who helped you become what you are today, in some way or the other. Ms Fikree from St Joseph’s Convent was apparently that, and you all still love her, don’t you?
  • He is telling me repentance is the way out… Okay so that looks easy: Clean heart, ask for forgiveness, don’t do it again. Piece of cake! Really. The best part is you can perform this act more than once, in case you fall into shaitaan’s trap, and it’ll produce the same results with Him.
  • … and He is stating His quality of being Merciful… to drive home the point about repentance!