Posts Tagged Self-Development

“Indeed I saw some 30 angels all scuffling to see which one of them could record it.”

One day we were praying behind the Messenger of Allah ﷺ and when he ﷺ raised his head from the position of ruku` (bowing position), he said: “Sami Allahu leman hamidah” – ‘Allah hears the one who praises Him’. A man from behind added: رَبَّنـا وَلَكَ الحَمْـدُ حَمْـداً كَثـيراً طَيِّـباً مُـبارَكاً فيه “Rabbanaa wa la kal hamd, hamdan katheeran tayyiban mubaarakan feeh” ‘Our Lord, all praise is due only to You, praise which is abundant, excellent and blessed.’ When we finished [the prayer] the Prophet ﷺ said: ‘Who spoke?’ The man said, ‘I did’. He ﷺ said, ‘Indeed I saw some 30 angels all scuffling to see which one of them could record it.’ [Muslim]

, , , , ,

Leave a comment

Two ‘extreme’ perspectives (Part 1)

Bismillah walhamdu lillah

While giving halaqaat or a short talk, I’ve come across many different sisters, but I noticed these two “extremes” (and I use the word “extreme” to describe their unhealthy thought processes).

Sister # 1

On the one hand there is the sister that, no matter how much you emphasize at the beginning of the talk: “Sisters, I caution you to look at your own faults and your own shortcomings first, before anyone else’s. This talk will benefit you most, if you hear it in light of your own mistakes. The burden of your sins on your shoulder should be greater than those of anyone else’s sins, because those are the sins that you are going to meet Allah s.w.t. with.

No matter how much you emphasize that, she still spends the majority of the talk thinking about how much her cousin/friend/neighbor needs to hear this. This sister is being deluded. She overlooks her own faults and places a magnifying glass over the faults of others. It’s difficult to get through to her with these subtle warnings, because she will always be thinking of someone else who needs to hear that warning.

Sister # 2

On the other hand, you have the sister who attends the halaqah/talk, and she thinks that you somehow spent the night meticulously fashioning your talk to be completely directed at her and her shortcomings… in order to humiliate her. Because she feels like it was done out of spite, this is something I would term paranoia. Every warning of yours is an arrow pointed straight at her. Now, for a sister to listen to a talk in this manner: thinking that it is directly linked to her and her well-being, would be great. However, she takes it too far if she leaves the talk feeling like you just executed a personal attack on her. She feels too humiliated to act upon the advice that was given. She may or may not approach you to confirm her suspicions, but if she does, that’s your chance to recognize and address the sister’s problems (whatever they may be), inshaa Allah.

Sister # 3

The middle path is a sister who, and alhamdu lillah I know sisters like this, when you caution them to focus on their own flaws, they do that. Then they take in every piece of advice, asking themselves “How can I apply this knowledge in order to improve my relationship with Allah swt?” This is the sister that benefits the most from the talk, and this is the attitude that I encourage myself to aim for. When you hear advice, don’t be like the first sister whose arrogance led her to brushing it off as something that is meant for someone else. And don’t be like the second sister who let her paranoia blind her from following the advice.

And Allah SWT knows Best.

Part 2 of this post will describe Sister # 3 in greater detail, and in a different context, inshaa Allah.

Leave a comment

HD 2: Rule #1 – Get a Teacher


From here-on HD stands for Hifdh Diaries (not High Definition)

Bismillah walhamdulillah

After attending an Islamic event or halaqah, I like to take the chance to ask the speaker to advise me regarding memorizing Qur’an.

After reading the question out loud, I noticed that, on more than one occassion, the very first piece of advice the speaker gives is: Get a teacher.

(Now, I know I’m calling this Rule #1, but just as a disclaimer: the real “rule#1” is sincerity, because if you lack sincerity in this matter, then your teacher will not avail you.)

After that, the next rule is to find yourself a Qur’an teacher with the following qualities:

  • You want someone who’s Belief System (i.e. Aqeedah) is correct. (Even though you’re not learning deen from them, there is a chance you may learn deen from them and you don’t want to put yourself in danger. If you are doubtful about their Aqeedah but still want to learn Tajweed from them, then be very, very careful. Wallahu Musta’aan).
  • Knowledgeable about the rules of recitation
  • Someone you respect and fear (someone you should be embarrassed to go in front of if you haven’t completed your homework)
  • Reliable and Consistent (You need someone like this because you will sometimes become lazy and inconsistent)
  • Easily accessible (So no Imam from a Masjid in the Middle East…unless you happen to already live nearby)

Some points to keep in mind:

  • Aim for the best teacher, and if you can’t have that one, have the second best, and so on.
  • For sisters, you want to try your hardest to have a sister-teacher. It will be more comfortable, and she can freely look at your face and correct errors that a male teacher might not catch (speaking from experience).
  • After you have a teacher, you need to tell him/her (with good manners) – I’m not always going to be motivated to do this. You have to push me sometimes. There will be days that I don’t want to come, I want you to force me to come.”

And keep in mind that you must meet your teacher half way. He/she shouldn’t have to play tug-of-war with you when trying to get you to memorize or come to the masjid. There needs to be self-motivation involved. If your teacher thinks you’re not a serious student, they can simply give their time and efforts to someone who is more serious.

A few quick tips:

  1. Be on time for your classes. Heck, be early! I know some of you are like “Early?…what’s that?” But trust me, being late for anything in life always leaves a bad impression. Unless it’s happens rarely, when people see that you are late, it sends them the simple message that you don’t care, no matter what flowery excuse you offer. On the other hand, being early shows dedication and seriousness.
  2. Always always complete your lesson. Shuffle your schedule around, run instead of walk, don’t chew your food, just swallow (just kidding). Do whatever you have to in order to make enough time to complete your entire lesson. At the same time, don’t bite off more than you can chew (I mean it figuratively this time.) Like don’t give yourself more work than you can handle.
  3. Do what your teacher says! This is the Golden Rule. When I first started with my teacher, she told me (1) I had to start with Surah Al Baqarah (a wonderful Surah, but one whose length had intimidated me) and (2) I had to write everything that I memorized. So what did I do? Of course, I argued… (not with her, with myself, in my mind, and with trusted individuals). I asked someone of knowledge for advice and this is basically how the conversation went (I’m oversimplifying it):

Me: Asalamu alaykum brother, my teacher wants me to memorize surah al baqarah, but I was memorizing from the back, and I really think I should continue with the Makki surahs, their topics are more in line with what I’m currently studying!

Brother: Do what your teacher says.

Me: …Okay, fine. But she also wants me to write everything I memorize. I heard that that is not helpful and that it just takes time.

Brother: Do what your teacher says.

(He also mentioned that writing aids your hifdh, which I will inshaAllah discuss in another post.)

So I think that drives the point home.




“And We have certainly made the Qur’an easy for remembrance, so is there any who will remember?”

Suratul Qamar, ayah 17


, , , , , , ,


The Friends of Allah

Leave a comment

When Will You Submit? Nouman Ali Khan

Leave a comment


19. Then as for him who will be given his Record in his right hand will say: “Take, read my Record!

20. “Surely, I did believe that I shall meet my Account!”

21. So he shall be in a life, well-pleasing.

22. In a lofty Paradise,

23. The fruits in bunches whereof will be low and near at hand.

24. Eat and drink at ease for that which you have sent on before you in days past!

25. But as for him who will be given his Record in his left hand, will say: “I wish that I had not been given my Record!

26. “And that I had never known, how my Account is!

27. “I wish, would that it had been my end (death)!

28. “My wealth has not availed me,

29. “My power and arguments (to defend myself) have gone from me!”

Surah al Haaqah ayaat 19-29

Leave a comment

Jihaad of the Shaytaan

Jihaadush Shaytaan
Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah (may Allaah have mercy upon him) stated:
“As for Jihaad of the Shaytaan, it consist of two levels:
1. Striving against him by repelling that which he presents to the servant from the affairs of evil doubts and conjecture to the faith (of the servant).
2. Striving against him by repelling that which he presents from the corrupt intentions and evil desires.
Therefore, the first category of striving takes place with having certainty. The second category of striving takes place with having patience. With the fulfillment of both categories, of striving (against the Shaytaan), the servant will become one who is an Imaam (leader) and a Haadi (guide) in the religion. 

Just as Allaah has stated (what is translated to mean):
“We have made from amongst them leaders guiding by our command when they were patient and certain about Our signs/verses.”
(Soorah As-Sajdah: 24)
Allaah, glory be to Him, the One far removed from any imperfection, has informed (us) that leadership in the religion is attained by way of having patience and certainty. The patience repels the evil desires and corrupt intentions. The certainty repels the doubts and (false) conjecture.”
Source:  Qutoof al-Jiyaad min Hikam wa Ahkaamil-Jihaad – Shaykh Abdur Razzaaq bin Abdil-Muhsin Al-Badr (may Allaah preserve them both) pg. 10

Leave a comment

The Two Wolves

One evening an old Sioux told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.
He said, “My son, the battle inside is between two ‘wolves’ inside us all.

One is Evil.
It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

The other is Good.
It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: “Which wolf wins?”

The old Sioux simply replied, “The one you feed.”

Leave a comment

Win them over with your manners…

Bismillah walhamdulillah

Win them over with your manners…

The other day I gave a nonMuslim woman a flier for a series of events for Islam Awareness Week. I wanted to give it to the person behind her, but she was there so I thought why not. I gave it to her, and said something along the lines of “…it’s about Islam” (Yeah, no duh lol) and she replied with, along the lines of, “Yeah, I already know what Islam is,” and she tried to shove the flier back at me. Usually that is enough for me to see them as a lost cause, and move on. (But taking back a flier, I rarely do that.) But something pushed me to ask her “So what is Islam then?” And she said “It’s a bunch of ‘do as I say and not as I do.'”

I’m completing this post days after this has happened and so I have fuzzy traces, but I know this much:

She continued to scream at me in public, on the campus, and the passers by did not say a thing, except for one who called out her name and said Hi to her. I considered walking away from her, but I don’t know what stopped me. She would speak, then I would speak. I knew her anger was from something psychological. Eventually she admitted to me on her own and her anger was due to a divorce she was going through, and she [incorrectly] blamed it on the religion of Islam. In the end she apologized to me and decided she wanted to hug me and did so. She kept the flier I gave her and I believe we discussed which event would be easiest for her to make. They were all difficult for her to attend but she gave me her email, and I told her I would email her. :)

May Allah swt guide her and us to that which is Most Pleasing to Him. Ameen

, , , ,

Leave a comment

Beware of the “Spiritual Void” by Nouman Ali Khan

NOTE: There is music in this video, so only put your volume on when you see Br. Nouman Ali Khan.

This is the first post under “MSA Advice” for a reason. Many times we get so caught up in running an amazing MSA and in helping this Muslim and that Muslimah, but we do it, at our own expense. Sometimes we become so engrossed in calling out to everyone else, that we fail to notice that our own hearts are deteriorating. That they are becoming hard, that our deeds are frighteningly insincere, and that our advice is only for others and never for ourselves. This video discusses this “spiritual void,” a gaping hole that sometimes appears inside of some “active” brothers and sisters, a condition that deserves our attention and acknowledgment.

As Allah swt says in Suratul Baqarah:

“Do you order righteousness of the people and forget yourselves while you recite the Scripture? Have you then no sense?”

, , , , ,

Leave a comment