Archive for January, 2013

If Allah Knows Good of You, He Will Bring the Message to Your Ears

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته

My Hejab Is My Rescue – حجابي نجاتي ‎..

My name is Cassie, I am 23 years old. I graduated as a qualified nurse this year and was given my first position as a home nurse.

My patient was an English gentleman in his early 80s who suffered from Alzheimer’s. In the first meeting the patient was given his record and from it could see that he was a convert to the …religion of Islam, therefore he was a Muslim.

I knew from this that I would need to take into account some modes of treatment that my go against his faith, and therefore try to adapt my care to meet his needs. I brought in some ‘halal’ meat to cook for him and ensured that there was no pork or alcohol in the premises as I did some research which showed that these were forbidden in Islam.

My patient was a very advanced stage of his condition so a lot of my colleagues could not understand why I was going to so much effort for him, but I understood that a person who commits to a faith deserves that commitment to be respected, even if they are not in a position to understand.

Anyway after a few weeks with my patient I began to notice some patterns of movement.

At first I thought it was some copied motioned he’s seen someone due, but I saw him repeat the movement as particular time; morning, afternoon, evening.

The movements were to raise his hands, bow and then put his head to the ground. I could not understand it. He was also repeating sentences in another language, I couldn’t figure out what language it was as his speech was slurred but I know the same verses were repeated daily.

Also there was something strange, he didnt allow me to feed him with my left hand {I am lefthanded}

Somehow I knew this linked to his religion but didn’t know how.

One of my colleagues told me about paltalk as a place for debates and discussions and as I did not know any Muslims except for my patient I thought it would be good to speak to some live and ask questions. I went on the Islam section and entered the room ‘True Message.

Here I asked questioned regarding the repeated movements and was told that these were the actions of prayer, I did not really believe it until someone posted a link of the Islamic prayer on youtube.

I was shocked.

A man who has lost all memory of his children, of his occupation, and could barely eat and drink was able to remember not only actions of prayer but verses that were in another language.

This was nothing short of incredible and I knew that this man was devout in his faith, which made me want to learn more in order to care for him the best I could.

I came into the paltalk room as often as I could and was given a link to read the translation of the Quran and listen to it.

The chapter of the ‘Bee’ gave me chills and I repeated it several times a day.

I saved a recording of the Quran on my iPod and gave it to my patient to listen to, he was smiling and crying, and in reading the translation I could see why.

I applied what I gained from paltalk to my care for my patient but gradually found myself coming to the room to find answers for myself.

I never really took the time to look at my life; I never knew my father, my mother died when I was 3, me and my brother were raised by our grandparents who died 4 years ago, so now it’s just the two of us.

But despite all this loss, I always thought I was happy, content.

I was only after spending time with my patient that felt like I was missing something. I was missing that sense of peace and tranquility my patient, even through suffering felt.

I wanted that sense of belonging and a part of something that he felt, even with no one around him.

I was given a list of mosques in my area by a lady on paltalk and went down to visit one. I watched the prayer and could not hold back my tears.

I felt drawn to the mosque every day and the imam and his wife would give me books and tapes and welcome any questions I had.

Every question I asked at the mosque and on paltalk was answered with such clarity and depth that could do nothing but accept them.

I have never practiced a faith but Always believed that there was a God; I just did not know how to worship Him.

One evening I came on paltalk and one of the speakers on the mic addressed me. He asked me if I have any questions, I said no. He asked if I was happy with the answers I was given, I said yes.

He asked then what was stopping me accepting Islam, I could not answer.

I went to the mosque to watch the dawn prayer the imam asked me the same question, I could not answer.

I then went to tend to my patient, I was feeding him and as I looked in his eyes I just realized, he was brought to me for a reason and the only thing stopping me from accepting was fear…. not fear in the sense of something bad, but fear of accepting something good, and thinking that I was not worthy like this man.

That afternoon I went to the mosque and asked the imam if I could say my declaration of faith, the Shahadah.

He helped me through it was I was shown how to walk and guided through would I would need to do next.

I cannot explain the feeling I felt when I said it.

It was like someone woke me up from sleep and sees everything more clearly.

The feeling was overwhelming joy, clarity and most of all…. peace.

The first person I told was not my brother but my patient.

I went to him, and before I even opened my mouth he cried and smiled at me.

I broke down in front of him, I owed him so much.

I came home logged on to paltalk and repeated the shahadah for the room.

They all helped me so much and even though I had never seen a single one of them, they felt closer to me then my own brother.

I did eventually call my brother to tell him and although he was wasn’t happy, he supported me and said he would be there, I couldn’t ask for any more.

After my first week as a Muslim my patient passed away in his sleep while I was caring for him. Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raj3oon

He died a peaceful death and I was the only person with him.

He was like the father I never had and he was my doorway to Islam.

From the day of my Shahadah to this very day and for every day for as long as I live, I will pray that Allah shows mercy on him and grant him every good deed I perform in the tenfold.

I loved him for the sake of Allah and I pray each night to become an atoms weight of the Muslim he was.

Islam is a religion with an open door; it is there for those who want to enter it…. Verily Allah is the Most Merciful, Most Kind.

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HD 14: Released: How I Memorize

Bismillah walhamdulillah

Some may have found it strange that I am able to write so many posts on Hifdh and give so many different advices and tips, but not once mention how exactly I memorize Qur’an. I won’t say anymore about that, otherwise this is going to turn into a short story. So let’s get straight to the point:

I can’t tell you how I memorize, without telling you what my average day looks like. The problem here, however, is there isn’t really an “average” day. These are the categories of days that I have:

A. Campus-Classes-In-Session- WEEKDAY

B. Campus-Classes-In-Session-WEEKEND

C. Break-From-Campus-Classes-TAKBIR     (lol, no but seriously)

When I first started writing this post, I was in category C. Problem is, that “break” only lasted about 10 days. So that’s long gone. If I post this today, I am in category B. The main difference between A and B is that my mornings are shorter during A. Truth be told, I can still memorize in the mornings of A if I were to push myself, but with fajr, morning adhkar, and last minute things, I barely make it in time for class.

Another thing to keep in mind: my teacher splits my homework up into (1) New pages that I need to memorize – this can be anything from 2-5 depending on how she’s feeling, just kidding (lol), depending on how I’ve been doing, and (2) Review of older surahs – this can be anything from 10-40 pages, really depending on circumstances. I’ll write more on this later inshaAllah.

I also can’t give a step by step list this time, because I don’t really follow a rigid schedule in terms of my hifdh (and in this case, rigidity is a good thing, so it is what I aim for), but I can give you a general overview (things that I usually do, not always and not all at the same time, I do experiment, and I might have mentioned somethings that I’ve tried just a few times, but liked) and inshaAllah this will help push others and myself towards something better. So keep in mind that it differs according to the “category” of the days, but in general this is my hifdh:

1. The Beginning. Alhamdulillah I begin my days with fajr and morning adhkar. If your day doesn’t begin like this, what are you doing memorizing the Qur’an? Just kidding – wait, no, I’m not kidding actually.

2. Staying Awake. I have a cup of tea. Yes, I kind of “need” it at this point, it does keep me from falling asleep. I also just try to be very aware of what kinds of things hinder me from staying up after fajr and what kinds of things can help, and try to implement those as well. I agree that the best time to memorize Qur’an is after fajr, and if not then, then at least in the morning, and definitely before the house starts its hustle and bustle. So this is the reason I am mentioning all these different things I do in the morning, because this is my favorite time to memorize. I shall write another post on memorizing in the morning vs. night inshaAllah.

3. Just Whetting my Appetite. I pull out my mushaf and turn to the new page. I memorize page by page. More on this later inshaAllah. Anyway, I turn to the new page and recite it a few times, from start to beginning. About three times is good. I also read through the translation so I can see how the ayaat connect. Then I go on and to the “word to word” tab. I punch in the surah and ayah (which is the first ayah on my new page) and begin to go over each word one by one, stopping at any new words or unfamiliar conjugations. If I feel like there is a word I don’t quite know, I will write the translation on top of it, in pencil. I do this until I reach the end of the page. Then I’ll recite it a couple more times, paying attention to those words so I can see the ayaat connect more easily.

4. Pomodoro is the Way to Go. I set my alarm for 15 minutes. I sit alone in a quiet place. I put my phone on airplane mode or at least on silent.

5. Start With Review. The first thing I do is I actually go to the 1/2/3 or more pages that I’ve memorized previously. I review those until I can recite them by heart without mistakes. I often use the recorder on my phone to recite and check myself. Beginning this way (with a review) is a good way to make your hifdh very solid and increase your confidence before you go to the new portion.

6. Repitition, Repitition. Then I memorize the new page. Like I said, I memorize page by page. I recite the entire page as if it is a single ayah, and I do that until I’ve memorized it. I’ve been memorizing like this for over a year, and I don’t plan on returning to the ayah-by-ayah method that I used to use previously. In the beginning, it was difficult to do the page-by-page and I would split it into halves. Then I would do about 20 reps per page to memorize it. Pretty soon, it was cut down to more than half alhamdulillah. My memorization became more solid using this method, walillahil hamd. For more info, please watch this video.

Keep in mind my alarm is still set. Until it goes off, I am reviewing and memorizing non-stop. No breaks. As soon as it goes off, I complete the page (I don’t stop in the middle) and go on a break. Then I take a break for about 5 minutes and do something different like tasbeeh or read “Causes that Aid in Memorization of Qur’an,” or another quick imaan booster, use the rest room, or have a light snack, etc. Another thing I should mention is that I drink lots of water when I am memorizing. I keep a jug next to me and fill it up when it empties.

7. Review in Doha. This whole process is quite quick alhamdulillah. In total, it is about an hour I’d say from step 3 to 6. I keep repeating the page until I really feel like I’ve got it. Then I pray Doha. I recite the page in Doha.

8 Scheduled Review. Sometimes in the morning and sometimes throughout the day, I schedule portions of time for review of the older surahs that my teacher assigned.

9. Reciting the New. During the day, I take breaks from my work and recite Qur’an. If my teacher gives me 4 or 5 pages for that week, I make sure to just recite those pages as often as I can, so that when the day comes to memorize them, it is quicker and smoother on my tongue. I recite what I memorized as well as what I have yet to memorize. It makes for a very relaxing break from work.

10. Buddy System at Night. My whole day goes by, and I recite to a friend at night. This is excellent review of the page that I memorized that morning, which by then was hours and hours ago. I mostly just recite my new portion to her, and sometimes older portions.

11. The Small Moments That Count. When I am walking to school, I either review Qur’an from the mushaf or listen to audio of the Qur’an. During my breaks from class, which are about 10 minutes, I recite the pages that are assigned to me that week. And whenever I cannot really recite (like when I am working in the kitchen) I put the Quran on and listen to it.

12. The Gloves Come Off. I go to my shaykha on Saturdays. So Saturday morning, I lock myself up in my hifdh-room (for about 3 hours) and review that week’s portion and any remaining review I had left. Then I recite to my teacher, benefit immensely from her company alhamdulillah, and go home for another week.

Here are the ways in which I would like to improve my current schedule:

1. Divide More Evenly. Divide the review portions (of the older surahs) more evenly so that I am reviewing a little each day, and I can increase my capacity on days when I am more free, rather than reviewing the bulk of it on the “free days” and very little on the other days of the week (especially Category A days). Not sure if that made sense to anyone but me.

2. Time Management. Manage my time better so that I can memorize a new page every day inshaAllah, especially during Category A days, which so far have been most challenging.

3. Review in Salah. Definitely, definitely review more in my salah. This is one thing that its a bit ridiculous how much I am not doing it, considering I know full well how helpful it is. So I am glad I can see this in print, because I intend to do this more inshaAllah. I was thinking of having a one-page minimum for review in one rak’ah, and half a page minimum for when I am more pressed for time inshaAllah.

Again, my schedule is not where I would like for it to be, but alhamdulillah I am moving forward and I wanted to share it in case anyone else can benefit inshaAllah.

I will probably edit this as more things occur to me, and will definitely have more posts on hifdh inshaAllah. I never wrote about my own journey in such a detailed way before and it’s taking a lot of self-control to not mention everything all at once. So until next time, wasalamualaykum wrwb.

[Please make dua that Allah swt accept these efforts and that He swt bless all of those who are struggling to memorize His Book. May He swt make us Ahl ul Quran. Ameen]


“They will never know…”

August 14th 2012

“I’ve never felt so much before, that no one knows exactly what I’m going through except Allah. I can seek advice from anyone I want, explain my situation, convey my stress and worry, and they’ll still never know exactly what I’m going through…”

From my personal journal

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“Allah is Sufficient”

Every morning and evening, we say “Hasbiyallahu la ilaha illaa huwa, ‘alayhi tawakaltu, wa huwa rabbul ‘arshil ‘adheem.”

Allah is Sufficient for me, there is none worthy of worship but Him. I place my trust in Him; He is the Lord of the Majestic Throne.

“Hasbiyallah.” If Allah were truly sufficient for you, you would not change anything about yourself based on temporary surroudings, because the One you claim is sufficient for you is still there and that never changed – so why did you change?

-From the personal journal of ommalmuqarraboon


Gadgets – Time Savers or Wasters?

Bismillah walhamdulillah

I recently received a new gadget, a device that I’ve wanted for quite some time, thinking that it would help me in my studies and elsewhere.

These things are supposed to help us save time, right?

They have so many different features, it’s hard to keep up. But it does seem like they are all trying to help us save time, what with the Siri and everywhere-you-go Internet Access and reminder apps, etc.


I don’t remember the last time I wasted this much time trying to figure out how the device will help me save time. It got so bad, I brought it with me to my Qur’an class, just so that when my teacher asked me why I did not finish my homework – I could pull it out and show her why.


After a week, I realized I had to sign out of my email on the device. I am not a spend-all-day-on-emails type of person, but I had a feeling that email access at my fingertips was the main issue. Funny, because since signing out of my email, I don’t think the device has left its box lol.

Here is some advice I came up with for myself, and for others:

1. As soon as you can, sign out of your email (and anything else that you check compulsively).

Some devices force you to sign in in order to buy apps and the likes, but as soon as you can, sign out because you can check your email elsewhere. Emails were not originally designed to be responded to as soon as you read them. If someone needs to contact you for an emergency, they should send a text or call. The more you spend time responding to emails (as well as facebook comments, the twitter equivalent, etc.) the more time you will continue to spend on it because you will be feeding the beast (the more emails you respond to, the more emails you will be sent).

2. Don’t rush to figure out all of its features.

Within time, you will get to experience all the different features. For example, one day you will realize you would like to download a surah for listening purposes. That day you will figure out how to do that inshaAllah. If you rush to figure it all out, you will actually waste time doing something that would have happened on its own anyway.

3. Monitor your usage.

Anyone who cares about their time will monitor it in regards to everything (email, socializing, eating, breathing – just kidding). It might be a good idea, though, to set a timer for 20 minutes, do what you need to do, and then get off.

4. Ask the people who know if you do not.

Find some people who have had the gadget for longer than you, and ask them what they use it for. This will save you a lot of time on your own research.

5. Use it for good, not evil.

I didn’t want to assume that this goes without saying. With every blessing that Allah swt gives you, use it to enhance your worship of Him. This is your test.

6. If you don’t need it, don’t buy it.

If you are getting along just fine without a new device, don’t buy it and don’t crave it (and definitely don’t unnecessarily upgrade!). It may very well be that shaytan is using it to distract you and you will only be more distracted once you own it. Pause and wonder why the people of the past, who owned no devices, got 100x more work done than we do today with gadgets spilling out of our ears.

May Allah swt bless us in our time and increase us in himma. Ameen

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“My son, intend good.”

One day, ‘Abdullah, the son of al-Imam Ahmad, said to his father: “Advise me, father.” So, he said: “My son, intend good. As long as you intend good, you’ll always be in a state of good.

Ibn Muflih comments: “This is a great piece of advice – easy for the questioned, easy to understand & implement for the questioner. Whoever applies it will have constant & continuous reward due to its constant & continuous nature. This applies to all of the actions of the heart required by the Shari’ah, whether in relation to the Creator or the creation.”

[‘al-Adab ash-Shar’iyyah’; 1/102]

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“Awareness is the foundation of every good just as negligence is the foundation of every evil.”


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HD 13: Overcoming Hubut (Laziness) by Sr. Fajr

Bismillah walhamdulillah

I have posted this before, but I decided I would like to re-post it and add it to my hifdh diaries inshaAllah, so please read (or re-read) the following piece on overcoming Hubut by Sr. Fajr (taken from Fee Qalbee blog)

Overcoming Hubut

by Sister Fajr (may Allah preserve her)

Hubut (هبوط)

This Qur’an, as much as it is the Gift of Allah which He gives to whom He wishes, it is also the test of Allah for many of us. If we’ve made a sincere decision to memorise the Qur’an, this Book which took 23 years to come down to Earth… we also need to realize that it’s not really going to be one simple, easy, straightforward road from the moment of ‘Azm (resolve) to the day of khatm (completion). It is the case that we’ll face many obstacles on the way, and one obstacle which is not always spoken about is a particular one which I call: Hubut – هبوط (an Arabic term meaning ‘diminution, lack of motivation, laxity, mental blocks, laziness, weakness, slackness’ – you get the idea)

In the course of your Hifdh, watch out for the ‘Hubut’ moments. Those days when you can’t seem to memorise anything, you have a mental block & your motivation feels like it’s just faced the firing squad. Yep, you know what I’m talking about… it’s a strange phenomenon faced by everyone but for the student memorizing Qur’an these ‘down moments’ are public enemy no.1, they can really mess you up and throw you off-course if you don’t know how to deal with them. Some students face major moments of ‘futur’ (laxity) and as a result; they abandon memorisation entirely and never reach their goal of Hifdh al-Qur’an (even though they have memorised over half the Qur’an done). Yeah, it happens.

It’s a frustrating period of time which makes a person sad, disheartened and feel like they’ll never achieve anything. So the one who used to memorise 2 pages a day is reduced to memorizing only a few verses, the one who used to wake up earlier than crows finds himself in hibernation and the one who used to make time for Hifdh despite his busy schedule can no longer be bothered with things.

So why does it happen and when does it happen?

Well, I guess that’s one for the psychologists to answer but in general, these moments can occur randomly and for different reasons. As a student you’ll have always been told to steer clear of sins (the wise advice of Wakee’) and this is because sins bring about these moments of hubut faster and more frequently than anything else – and once you begin to suffer from it, it creates the perfect atmosphere for one to abandon and forget the Qur’an. It’s a major tool of Shaytan which he uses to mislead the slaves of Allah from becoming constant in good deeds (watch him enter hubut into all your ‘ibadat). But sometimes in a person’s attempts of avoiding sin, they fall into the other ‘less known’ causes of hubut:

Work overload
Long periods of not listening to or reciting Qur’an
Emotions running high or low/emotional instability (such as anger, over-excitement, depression, mood-swings, giddiness etc).
Thinking too much
Eating/sleeping too much
Not finding a companion to work with or a teacher to assist you
Too much empty time
Receiving too much criticism from others

For sisters, you may notice hubut near the times of your menstrual cycle and hence you face mental blocks either before, during or after your period.

So what do we do?

Good question, my friend!

But a better question is: ‘What would you do if you were on your way somewhere important and something blocked your road?’ Or ‘What if you were going home from university or work but as you come to the tube station, the Underground folks tell you that the Northern Line has been suspended’ (doesn’t that always happen?) and your route home has now been affected. What do you do?

Your answers would probably include things like:

– Avoid the blockage

– Get around it or move it out of your way somehow

– Find a different route

– Wait a while for things to clear

– Don’t rely on London’s Transport! J

Please, Fajr… something more detailed?

Ok, ok…

· First thing first: When you’ve hit your moment of ‘hubut’, it’s important that you do not end up doing the dreaded, which is: stopping your Hifdh altogether. You can decrease your portion if necessary, but never halt it. Instead, to make up for things, try to increase your listening of Qur’an so have your Surah playing in your iPod or cassette player, around the house, in the car, on your way to work etc. If you are familiar with your hubut and know that it’ll only last a few hours or a day, then maybe take a break from Hifdh for that time period and do something different until your laxity passes by.

· If your moment of hubut is due to something physical (e.g. you’re tired, hungry, or stressed etc) then you need to satisfy this first and overcome it. So sleep well, eat well, relax, and maybe get a massage and do some stretches if your menstrual cycle has made you feel like a hippo stuck in mud lol.

· Stay away from anything which will lower your spirits or demotivate you – be it junk food (this is crime I say), loneliness, laziness, boredom, lack of support, friends/family who may criticize your efforts (be kind and patient with them but take a break as well) basically whatever does not float your boat and gets you down.

· Having some organisation in your life is like having salt and vinegar in your fish and chips. Really, it does wonders to be tidy, neat and organised – and it actually leads you to become more organised and focused at mind. With Hifdh of Qur’an, you need space. That means physical space (periods of solitude to contemplate and memorise) as well as giving yourself mental ‘space’ – if you overwhelm your brain with a hundred ‘things to-do’ and stick-it notes that are scattered in your mind, you just won’t find the focus, motivation or time for Hifdh.

. Routines are the best! You may enjoy living in the fast lane and being like a spontaneous person, but sometimes you need those ‘mundane’ routines in life. Think of them as ‘Thawabit’ – constants that hold you down whenever you feel like you’re about to fall off the road. If for example, you have a regular routine of coming home from work, showering, eating and then sitting down for half an hour to memorise half a page, then when you’re hit by hubut one day, you will naturally still be composed and find it easier to continue with that routine compared to someone who has no routine for their Hifdh – and were you to miss that daily half an hour of Hifdh, you will actually feel weird like something is missing! (Well, it is.)

· Stay active. Have workout sessions where you physically exercise your body, and depending on how fit you are, I would recommend doing rigorous exercise at least two or three times a week – it’ll make you more alert, creates a sense of passion/ambition in life, keeps things like depression, laziness and tiredness at bay and guess what? It’s a sharp sword against hubut and futur.

· Have a deadline, always. Set one deadline for overall Hifdh (e.g. by July 2010) and have another deadline for every commencing week and month etc. Make sure you write these deadlines in different places – on your work desk, in kitchen, as a reminder on your phone, or if you’re a typical Londoner have it engraved on the front of your oyster card! This way, whenever you are faced with hubut, you still have a focus and something to work towards, no matter what.

And the list goes on… Seriously, books can be written on this topic.

A point to note: If you look back at the pre-mentioned causes of hubut, you’ll notice a common factor… they are mainly causes which preoccupy and affect one’s heart. Hence, to avoid hubut, avoid anything which affects the healthy state of your heart, e.g. having too much attachment to this world.

Realise that through the course of memorising Qur’an you will be undergoing a form of training whereby you attain characteristics of a believer insha’Allah – e.g. firm and correct belief, patience, zuhd, gratitude, contemplation, determination, courage, humbleness, you gain good judgement, sound mind, kindness & ease in character (riqqa), and so on bi’ithnillah.

So it’s a training period to see you through life… and naturally any form of training will consist of testing moments or obstacles and hence hubut (as much as it’s an annoying and frustrating occurrence) it actually serves a purpose in the long run – so don’t be disheartened and definitely do not give up J

I ask Allah to keep us and our resolves firm. May He protect us from the downfalls and pitfalls upon this path. Amin

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“Who am I?”

Muhammad informed us; he said: Abu Muhammad Yahya b. Muhammad Ibn Sa’id
narrated to us: al-Husayn b. al-Hasan al-Marwazi narrated to us: Ibn al-Mubarak
informed us: Salim al-Makki informed us: from al-Hasan [al-Basri], who said,

wishes to know who he is, let him present himself to the Qur’an.”

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