By Madiha Nabeel
Like every mother I go to bed tired or exhausted or sometimes a bit of both. After serving dinner, doing dishes, preparing lunches, feeding kids, changing kids, putting kids to bed and praying `Ishaa etc., I reach for the bed to end the day. My body needs rest and my mind runs through a list of tasks and tries to organize, prioritize and sort them for the day ahead. But I make it, day in and day out, through school days and weekends, sick days and celebrations, I try to make it. Taking one day at a time. But once the dust of tasks and duties settles and the kids are fast asleep, I can finally hear nothing but my conscious and the self checklist begins (provided that I didn’t pass out by then). The list is long for us mothers because we check whether we did the necessary tasks and whether we did them right? And then did our kids do the right things and did they do them right?
It is when I can see the flaws and take notes for self like I am not serving enough iron rich food nowadays, for example, and from now on I will try to let my kid dress herself etc.
Having painted a regular day ending to you let me share two more pictures from the Quran with you:
قُلْ هَلْ نُنَبِّئُكُم بِٱلْأَخْسَرِينَ أَعْمَٰلًا
Say, [O Muhammad], “Shall we [believers] inform you of the greatest losers as to [their] deeds?
ٱلَّذِينَ ضَلَّ سَعْيُهُمْ فِى ٱلْحَيَوٰةِ ٱلدُّنْيَا وَهُمْ يَحْسَبُونَ أَنَّهُمْ يُحْسِنُونَ صُنْعًا
[They are] those whose effort is lost in worldly life, while they think that they are doing well in work.”
أُولَٰٓئِكَ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا بِئَايَٰتِ رَبِّهِمْ وَلِقَآئِهِۧ فَحَبِطَتْ أَعْمَٰلُهُمْ فَلَا نُقِيمُ لَهُمْ يَوْمَ ٱلْقِيَٰمَةِ وَزْنًا
Those are the ones who disbelieve in the verses of their Lord and in [their] meeting Him, so their deeds have become worthless; and We will not assign to them on the Day of Resurrection any importance.
And the second picture from Al-Ghashiyah
وُجُوهٌ يَوْمَيِذٍ خَـشِعَةٌ
تَصْلَى نَاراً حَامِيَةً
Some faces, that Day will be humiliated. Laboring, weary. They will enter in the hot blazing Fire. (88:2-4)
So on the day of judgement there will be some groups of people who will be waiting for the result of the worldly test and they will be tired and exhausted. The effort and struggle they did will be evident on their faces but the result will not something expected. They will not be rejoicing rather they will be overcome with regret and guilt. Imagine them like a champion on a losing team who made all the right efforts but targeted the wrong goal. Looking at their effort weighing nothing, looking at hell screaming in rage in front of them, they will realize they did terribly wrong.
So let’s do one thing when we go to bed. Let’s check whether we have made at least some effort in the right direction. This is the thought that changed my Duas. Now I pray, ‘oh Allah make me tired on the right path’. Because the older you get the more you accept the fact that this world is a test and not paradise. Also it is not meant to be paradise but like a test center it presents you with situations to test and record your answers. So you seriously start working out the solution to the test.
Continuing where we left off from Kitaab-ul-Manaaqib [Book of Virtues and Merits of the Prophet (pbuh) and his Companions] of Sahih al-Bukhari (Volume 4, Book 56, Hadith No. 710).
(4) Chapter: The descent of Yemenites from Isma’il (Ishmael)
Volume 4, Book 56, Number 710:
Narrated by Salama (radiallaahu `anhu)
Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) passed by some people from the tribe of Aslam practicing archery. He said, “O children of Ishmael! Throw (arrows), for your father was an archer. I am on the side of Bani so-and-so,” meaning one of the two teams. The other team stopped throwing, whereupon the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “What has happened to them?” They replied, “How shall we throw while you are with Bani so-and-so?” He said, “Throw for I am with all of you.”
Once the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) picked a side, how could the other team continue to compete? They knew they would surely lose for the other side had major advantage over them. Also, I think, they might have felt left out.. like how children feel when parents prefer one child over the other. So to quickly put an end to the matter, the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) opted out of choosing sides altogether and said, “I’m with all of you”. No arguments. Very wise.
There’s a lesson here for all of us. There’s always someone who looks up to us, whether it’s our children, younger siblings, friends, colleagues, subordinates or anyone else in our lives who favors our attentions. Sometimes there are situations where picking sides might lead to unpleasant circumstances so at that time, following this example of the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) would be the way to go. :)
Note, staying neutral isn’t always recommended. Wisdom requires acting/reacting according to time, place and circumstance.
The month of Ramadan, as for most, has been a time of reflection and contemplation for me. Allah (SWT) shows us our true capabilities and weaknesses during this month. When Shaytan gets locked away, we’re able to do so much more in terms of good and avoid all (most?) that is bad. Similarly, we see how Shaytan uses the other eleven months to train us in bad habits, so much so that they become second nature. It takes Ramadan’s intervention to make us realize the degree of damage done. Alhamdulillah for Ramadan!
I have always found it easy to train myself in Ramadan. I like to pick at least one thing that I want to improve in myself and work on it the entire month. The first few days are difficult but slowly the habit does start to develop. By the end of Ramadan, it’s just that – a habit, something I’ll actually find hard to not do anymore because it’s become a part of my daily routine. And with the help of dua of consistency, I’m able to continue the habit for the entire year.
This year I had made a list of things that I needed to work on, e.g. some daily sunnahs that I wanted to incorporate into my daily routine etc. The list also included the word “blog???”, just like that – with three (or maybe more) question marks. This blog has seen a few ups and down in its life (amiright). I used to be quite regular in the beginning, posting from Sahih Bukhari everyday. Then it slowly reduced to once a week and then.. a long pause. The last Bukhari post I wrote was in August 2017. A huge factor of the said pause, aside from my laziness, was a downtrend in the quality of the content. In the end, I was literally just posting ahadith without any explanations or comments of my own. So I decided to take a break and find my motivation again.
Alhamdulillah for Ramadan! It really is a month of opportunities and second chances. I have decided to post actively on the blog again inshaAllah. I will not commit to a frequency yet, but my plan and hope for now is to post once a week or so. Just felt like informing my readership about this little update. :)
I hope this Ramadan has helped you improve in some way as well. I would love for you to share your story of how you set your goals and work on them during this month. May Allah accept all our ibaadah and efforts and help us against Shaytan once this beautiful month is over. Last but not least, Eid Mubarak! <3
This life is like a journey
With stops along the way
Some leave us before we reach our stop
We leave some on their way
You get on the train of life
Because you don’t have a choice
You get off on your stop
Because you don’t have a choice
“What can I do then” he asks
“I feel like I’m trapped”
So he decides to ignore the reality and has fun
Until his body is wrapped
Every stop seems like the final one
I’ve never seen them come back
Some leave while they’re happy
Some leave while they’re sad
He thinks this train came by itself
That there’s no intelligent design
That he can be on this journey and take what he wants
He defines for himself reward for a crime
It doesn’t make sense to him
“How could there be a life after ours?
You know I’ve even been to the edges of this train
I’ve even explored the Moon and Mars”
He thinks his rebellion makes him strong
It makes him feel proud
He writes lengthy equations of math
He gathers a huge crowd
Then one day he too is forced to leave
But they’re always worried before they go
It makes me wonder if this is all there is to life
Or is there something more?
(2) Chapter: Virtues of Quraish
Volume 4, Book 56, Number 701 :
Narrated by Tawus
Ibn ‘Abbas (radiallaahu `anhu) recited the Quranic Verse: ‘Except to be kind to me for my kin-ship to you” (42.23)
Said bin Jubair said, “(The Verse implies) the kinship of Muhammad.”
Ibn ‘Abbas said, “There was not a single house (i.e. sub-tribe) of Quraish but had a kinship to the Prophet and so the above Verse was revealed in this connection, and its interpretation is: ‘O Quraish! You should keep good relation between me (i.e. Muhammad) and you.”
Volume 4, Book 56, Number 702 :
Narrated by Abu Mas’ud (radiallaahu `anhu)
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “From this side from the east, afflictions will appear. Rudeness and lack of mercy are characteristics of the rural bedouins who are busy with their camels and cows (and pay no attention to religion). Such are the tribes of Rabi’a and Mudar.”
Volume 4, Book 56, Number 703 :
Narrated by Abu Huraira (radiallaahu `anhu)
I heard Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) saying, “Pride and arrogance are characteristics of the rural bedouins while calmness is found among the owners of sheep. Belief is Yemenite, and wisdom is also Yemenite (i.e. the Yemenites are well-known for their true belief and wisdom).”
Abu ‘Abdullah (Al-Bukhari) said, “Yemen was called so because it is situated to the right of the Ka’ba, and Sham was called so because it is situated to the left of the Ka’ba.”
Volume 4, Book 56, Number 704 :
Narrated by Muhammad bin Jubair bin Mut’im
That while he was with a delegation from Quraish to Muawiya, the latter heard the news that ‘Abdullah bin ‘Amr bin Al-‘As said that there would be a king from the tribe of Qahtan. On that Muawiya became angry, got up and then praised Allah as He deserved, and said, “Now then, I have heard that some men amongst you narrate things which are neither in the Holy Book, nor have been told by Allah’s Apostle. Those men are the ignorant amongst you. Beware of such hopes as make the people go astray, for I heard Allah’s Apostle saying, ‘Authority of ruling will remain with Quraish, and whoever bears hostility to them, Allah will destroy him as long as they abide by the laws of the religion.'”
Volume 4, Book 56, Number 705 :
Narrated by Ibn Umar (radiallaahu `anhu)
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “Authority of ruling will remain with Quraish, even if only two of them remained.”
Volume 4, Book 56, Number 706 :
Narrated by Jubair bin Mut’im
‘Uthman bin Affan went (to the Prophet) and said, “O Allah’s Apostle! You gave property to Bani Al-Muttalib and did not give us, although we and they are of the same degree of relationship to you.” The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “Only Bani Hashim and Bani Al Muttalib are one thing (as regards family status).”
Narrated Urwa bin Az-Zubair: ‘Abdullah bin Az-Zubair went with some women of the tribe of Bani Zuhra to ‘Aisha who used to treat them nicely because of their relation to Allah’s Apostle.
Volume 4, Book 56, Number 707 :
Narrated by Abu Huraira (radiallaahu `anhu)
Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “The tribe of Quraish, the Ansar, the (people of the tribe of) Julhaina, Muzaina, Aslam, Ashja’, and Ghifar are my disciples and have no protectors except Allah and His Apostle.”
Volume 4, Book 56, Number 708 :
Narrated by ‘Urwa bin Az-Zubair
‘Abdullah bin Az-Zubair was the most beloved person to ‘Aisha excluding the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) and Abu Bakr, and he in his turn, was the most devoted to her, ‘Aisha used not to withhold the money given to her by Allah, but she used to spend it in charity. (‘Abdullah) bin AzZubair said, ” ‘Aisha should be stopped from doing so.” (When ‘Aisha heard this), she said protestingly, “Shall I be stopped from doing so? I vow that I will never talk to ‘Abdullah bin Az-Zubair.” On that, Ibn Az-Zubair asked some people from Quraish and particularly the two uncles of Allah’s Apostle to intercede with her, but she refused (to talk to him). Az-Zuhriyun, the uncles of the Prophet, including ‘Abdur-Rahman bin Al-Aswad bin ‘Abd Yaghuth and Al-Miswar bin Makhrama said to him, “When we ask for the permission to visit her, enter her house along with us (without taking her leave).” He did accordingly (and she accepted their intercession). He sent her ten slaves whom she manumitted as an expiation for (not keeping) her vow. ‘Aisha manumitted more slaves for the same purpose till she manumitted forty slaves. She said, “I wish I had specified what I would have done in case of not fulfilling my vow when I made the vow, so that I might have done it easily.”
(3) Chapter: The Qur’an was revealed in the language of Quraish
Volume 4, Book 56, Number 709 :
Narrated by Anas (radiallaahu `anhu)
Uthman called Zaid bin Thabit, Abdullah bin Az-Zubair, Said bin Al-‘As and ‘AbdurRahman bin Al-Harith bin Hisham, and then they wrote the manuscripts of the Holy Qur’an in the form of book in several copies. ‘Uthman said to the three Quraishi persons. ” If you differ with Zaid bin Thabit on any point of the Quran, then write it in the language of Quraish, as the Quran was revealed in their language.” So they acted accordingly. (Said bin Thabit was an Ansari and not from Quraish ).