Healing, forgiveness and rising after you fall

Assalaamu alaykum dear readers :)

So, every once in a while I sit down, open my FB pages and collate all the recent ‘ponderings’ and reflections I’ve had over the past several months. I’ve noticed a recurring theme this time, and it is that of healing, forgiveness and rising after your falls. I pray they are of benefit!

May Allah accept from us all.

~*~*~*~

And just as she was about to be dragged away with the stormy winds, the devils whispers, she paused. “…And those who, when they commit an immorality or wrong themselves [by transgression], remember Allah.” The storm subsided, the light appeared between the grey clouds and inside her heart till she felt a sense of tranquility seep into her heart. The clouds grew duller, the pain of restraint surfaced till the rain began to fall, the tears began to flow. But she knew they were a mercy. Weren’t tears better than being sucked into the darkness of a storm she would forever regret walking into? Weren’t the beautiful gardens under which the rivers flow worth the sacrifice?

Even in sins there is a hidden blessing, subhanAllah. This brought tears to my eyes. Such is the mercy of Ar-Rahmaan.

heart emoticon

“A scholar once said that Allah prefers that slaves do sins *and* good deeds rather than just sins or good deeds. For how many good deeds lead one to feel proud and haughty, but the sins lead them to become more soft, humble and weak before Allah.” — Tawfique Chowdhury

Allah placed us in this world not to experience a paradise, but to experience the prison, and then enjoy the never-ending Jannah. To get to know who our Lord is, and then to see His beautiful Face. To worship Him, and then join all the worshippers in a place of eternal happiness. To struggle and strive and toil, and then taste the sweetness of rest and relaxation in the next life.

This world was designed to break us. But each time it does, Al Jabbar is there to fix our hearts so we can continue working for a place where our hearts will only feel feelings of peace and joy. For in Jannah, nobody or no thing, breaks the heart of another.

“Peace be upon you for what you patiently endured. And excellent is the final home.” (13:24)

I had a realisation today. Sometimes Allah places you in unique situations, or makes you go through certain struggles or experiences, not only to strengthen you, but to teach you lessons and answers to questions so many around you are seeking or need reminding of. Then He takes you to the people or brings the people to you so you can convey the reminder. “For indeed the reminder benefits the believers.”

“Vision without action is merely a dream. Action without vision just passes time. Vision with action can change the world.” — Joel A. Barker

The rainbow will follow. ❤

heart emotico”Allah is the Protecting Friend of those who believe. He brings them out from darknesses into the light…” (2:257)

“The past is lost forever, and that which is hoped for is from the unseen, so all that you have is the present hour.”
~ Arab poet

It’s amazing how kind, reassuring words or actions can melt a heart that has been frozen shut. Don’t underestimate the power of gentle words and sincere advice. You never know for which heart He will make you a source of hope.

Allah promises two eases after every hardship, so don’t drown in an ocean of sorrow, but fight the waves. Nor lose yourself in grief, talk out your feelings. There is a deeper wisdom behind your pain, your sadness and your suffering.

Its painful and healing takes time, but be assured that the heart will be soothed by His rememberance.

Anticipate His reward and anticipate His ease, and know that Allah will never leave you to suffer alone.

He will always be by your side. He will always send a rainbow amidst the storm. But the rainbow must be sought. Seek it through Du’aa, seek it through action, seek it through taking that first step. No matter how small the step may be, take it. And even if the Du’aa is but a whisper, make it.

He is more Merciful to you than a mother is to her child. His Mercy overcomes His anger. He has prescribed Mercy for Himself. An entire Surah is titled Ar-Rahman. Wherein the Name ‘Ar Rahman’ is repeated 31x. We acknowledge and remind ourselves of His Mercy at least 17 times a day in our prayers. He has a special Mercy that is exclusive for you and I — for the believers. 99 parts of His Mercy have been reserved for the Day of Judgment and only 1 part was sent down to this earth.

With such a Merciful Lord, how possibly could we ever completely lose hope?

‪#‎AllahsMercy‬

We have two choices when we err or fall.
Either we choose to remain on the floor, broken, with the weight of our weaknesses holding us down.
Or, we lift the weight off our shoulders and rise with a stronger resolve and remorse.
It’s so easy to do the former, so difficult to do that latter.
But it’s in doing the latter that we gain our strength. It’s there we rekindle our hope. It’s there that we acknowledge His vast Mercy. 
It is there our faith is restored; through repentance, redemption and transformation.
Remember, no sin, failure or mistake is too big for Allah to forgive.
His Mercy will forever overcome His anger.
And He is more Merciful to you than your mother.
So rise.
Lift the weights.
You can do this.

Sometimes all it takes is one sincere, powerful Du’aa.

“You disobey your Beloved whilst you claim to love them? But the one who loves someone is towards the One they love, obedient.” — Arabic poetry verse

There is no better cure for our numbness, no better way to soften our hearts when they turn to stone, and no tears as valuable as those shed when reciting and connecting with the words of Allah.

“…For indeed, there are stones from which rivers burst forth, and there are some of them that split open and water comes out, and there are some of them that fall down for fear of Allah. And Allah is not unaware of what you do.” (2:74)

There are some places where memories still live fresh. You can still smell, taste, feel them. Alhamdulilah for those beautiful memories that make your heart smile. ❤

Its amazing what a few moments of focused reflection without any distractions can do for the mind, body and soul. That time for us is, Salaah. It is a time to break away from this world, the sorrows, the stresses, the exhaustion and to simply bask in the beauty of being present before our Lord. Not once, not twice but five times a day. Sometimes, I spend so much time thinking about ways I can ‘reconnect’ or ‘transform’ my daily routine so it includes more mindfulness and productivity, forgetting that, if only I spent time ‘fixing’ and ‘establishing’ my Salaah, then that would not only assist in the betterment of my days but my life, my mind and my heart itself. The key is to go back to the basics, and to plan our day around our prayers, not our prayers around our day.

The pain that is felt after committing a sin is far more exruciatingly painful than the pain that is felt when striving to restrain from it. But there is always a medicine to help you heal from both types of pain. Istighfaar. In both obedience and in transgression, you have a choice to either cling to the rope of despair or the rope of hope. Always choose hope. Hold onto repentance. It is your saviour. Don’t let it go.

A powerful take-home message from today’s Khutbah…

‘Don’t just walk through life. Interact with life.’

“Indeed, in the creation of the heavens and the earth and the alternation of the night and the day are signs for those of understanding.” (3:190)

It is logically correct to say that for every action there is an equal reaction. Except when an action is showered with barakah. The reaction is no long equal, but more. Barakah is beautiful, because with it, the goodness that stems from our actions, words and affairs grows and flourish, leaps and bounds.

Ask Allah for good, but also ask for barakah, for He will give you more than you ever hoped for and results better than you ever imagined.

Sometimes it may take a few short failures, mistakes and falls to achieve a long term success.

Her insecurity is a blessing, because it pushes her to trust in Allah’s plan, where she expereinces the true sweetness of security and certainty.

Her anxious nature is a blessing, because it pushes her to make more Du’aa, a place where she can pour out every worry, big or small, leaving her affairs in the Hands of the One who is more merciful than a mother is to her child.

Her sensitive nature is a blessing, because although she is easily broken, and although the pain is much more painful, so is the happiness much more happy. So is the love, care and concern much more deep. And so is the feeling of healing much more sweet.

Alhamdulilah for those strengths, weakness, struggles and gifts that are all a means for us to draw closer to Him. heart emoticon

“Introverts thrive on stillness. Within stillness ideas bubble up and our inner voice whispers vital messages we can hear. These vital messages need expression. They are the basis of our creativity. Withdrawal leads to self-awareness and ultimately our creativity.” — Brenda Knowles

Alhamdulilah for those who remind you to never forget to love who you are whilst loving and caring for others, and to remember to give to yourself so you can give more to others. heart emoticon

If our acts of Ibaadah were merely based on how we feel when we perform them, we would always feel like we’re failing.

Some days, we may not *feel* anything. We may pray, but the khushu’ may not be 100% there, we may recite a page of Qur’an, but complete our recitation without shedding a tear. It’s these moments that awaken our conscious. That cause us to question our hearts. Why isn’t my heart moved? Why is my Khushu’ lacking? How can I revive the connection with the book of Allah?

If you are still asking these questions then know you are seeking a solution. And that’s what matters. The effort. The struggle. The desire for improvement. The longing to reconnect. The moment you stop questioning your heart, is the moment you stop seeking to become better. Always find time to look within, always find time to contemplate and reflect.

The height of patience is at the heat of the test. When the stab peirces through. When the branch snaps. When the fragile glass meets with the ground and then shatters. It was in these moments that Yaqub (as)’s patience shone through. When he was at the peak of his test he endured — with tears, with grief, with a heavy heart, yet only with words of faith, trust and hope..

“..So patience is most fitting. Perhaps Allah will bring them to me all together. Indeed it is He who is the Knowing, the Wise. And he turned away from them and said, “Oh, my sorrow over Joseph…” (12:84)

‪#‎SurahYusuf‬

Strength is not in willingly giving up on a dream, an ambition or a deep longing to achieve something for His sake, in order to live more comfortably. It is to continue the journey *despite* the limitations, the worries, the obstacles. It is to keep chasing that dream, despite the many times life has knocked you back or you have failed on the way. Strength is struggling to choose certainty and contentment over the worry, uncertainty and sadness buried deep inside. It’s easy to want to stay settled in our comfort zones, but to come out of our cocoons and choose to take the risk with tawakkul and ihsaan, that takes courage and strength.

Broken before God…

“To be a spiritual warrior, one must have a broken heart. Without a broken heart and the sense of tenderness and vulnerability that is in one’s self and all others, your warriorship is untrustworthy.” ~ Chogyam Trungpa

“Patience is of two types: enduring what you hate and abstaining from what you love. “ — Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib

“It’s like she had a soul that was much too big for her; it filled her to the brim till there was no more space, so it flowed out through her eyes.” — Nick Lake, In Darkness

Whenever you can’t seek out a light in the darkness, remember An-Nur. The One whose light never extinguishes.

“Oh Allah for You is the praise and You are the Light of the Heavens and the Earth and all therein…” [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]

We’re all hurting. Every one of us. We all have struggles, unhealed wounds that tear open from time to time, we’re all battling with something. Never dismiss or underestimate someone else’s heartache or pain. Put yourself in their shoes and at the very least do not make light what is heavy upon their hearts. Acknowledge it and sympathise. Sometimes that’s all we need. A shoulder to cry on and someone to talk to. What really can be more beautiful than for Allah to make you a means of solace for someone who is experiencing the storms of life? And really, is there any medicine like receiving sincere compassion, comfort and gentleness?

Beautiful realisations will happen when you begin to see beyond the surface of what is apparant and when you are able to dig deep and extract the positives though they may be buried under layers of negativity and struggle.

Some feelings cannot possibly be expressed in words. Yet, it’s those same feelings, emotions, thoughts and worries that push us towards our Creator. Because we don’t need to utter anything. We can sit on our prayer mats in silence, place our forehead to the ground whilst tears flood our eyes, raise our hands to the sky whilst no sound escapes our lips, yet still be understood. Still be responded to. Still be reassured that we will receive an answer. Because Allah knows and acknowledges every single call, even those our hearts make in silence. ‪#‎Duaa‬

Push on forward, despite the fears, the worries, the turbulence. It’s so easy to remain stagnant, or to shrink your dreams and settle for less. What’s difficult is to continue aiming high, continue dreaming big, continue believing, continue praying. That takes effort, it takes strength. So if you feel like you’ve taken too many steps back, it’s time to take that step forward, and even if you’ve only moved an inch, or not yet made a move, or feel like your vision seems too farfetched, then remember, faith and trust makes all the difference. As a wise man once said, “faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.

Even the most eloquent of writers/speakers will run out of words when it comes to expressing gratitude to the One worthy of all thanks and praise. Yet, we are taught that the sincere utterance of one simple word, ‘Alhamdulilah’ suffices and encompasses all possible gratitude and praise we may be feeling in a moment.

‪#‎TheBeautyOfHamd‬

No prose, poetry, song, nasheed or rhyme can match the perfect beauty of the words of Allah. Its recitation brings peace to every unsettled heart. It increases ones faith and hope, it reminds one of the true pupose of life, it soothes the soul, and opens the door of attaining the Mercy of Ar-Rahmaan.

“So when the Qur’an is recited, then listen to it and pay attention that you may receive mercy.” (7:204)

‪#‎Quran‬

Write down the moments your heart smiled, you felt happiness, you received a gift, you felt at ease, you enjoyed warm food, clothing and shelter. Write it down. For good times and beautiful memories will be a solace for you amidst the inevitable storms. Storing and remembering your moments of ease and being thankful for them will only help you appreciate life more, will only rekindle your hope and understanding, that nothing is permanent, no pain, no happiness. Some days it will rain, other days the sun will shine bright, yet even in rain there is mercy and in every dark cloud, a silver lining. So seek the good whatever the weather and humble yourself to Al-Wahhab, the giver of gifts and of these beautiful moments.
‪#‎Shukr‬

“A woman is a school, if you teach her you teach an entire generation.” ❤

heart emoticonI was feeling so down today, when suddenly I looked too see a chubby, adorable baby smiling right at me whilst he simultaneously drooled all over his smart shirt. I smiled back, and my heart smiled too and suddenly everything felt better.

A smile itself is contagious, but a smile from a child… priceless. smile emoticon

‪#‎BabySmiles‬

Imām Malik (r) said, “My mother would wrap the Imāma around me and put a thobe on me (and garments of scholars). She would tell me go to Rabiah to learn from him adhab and his manners before his knowledge.” He says: “She used to dress me up and would ask me what I learned that day and narrate all the hadith and stories she would sit me down.”

heart emoticon

‪#‎GreatestMumsOfAllTimes‬

Where would we be, how would we cope, and how rusted would our hearts be with sin, if it wasn’t for His limitless Mercy. ‪#‎ArRaheem‬

And sometimes, the stitches of old wounds become undone and begin to bleed to teach us that no matter how many times we hurt ourselves or are hurt, or how many times we fall or break, Al Jabbar is always there to heal us, mend us and fix us every single time.

We will make mistakes. We will falter. We will fail. We will forget. For this is the nature of insaan. We rise, we soar but we also dip and fall. We wilt, we wither but we also have the ability to blossom and bloom thereafter.

No matter how far you’ve wandered or how deep you’ve fallen, rise, reconnect and restablish your connection with the One whose Mercy overcomes His anger.

One day, your story will come together and one day, it will all begin to make sense. ‪#‎TheBestOfPlanners‬

Perhaps all the disappointments, hurt and heartbreak in life occur to teach you one thing: to depend solely on Allah. He is the only constant and your ultimate source of comfort and strength.

A believer never runs out of hope. Even when the hope you’re holding onto is but a faint, fragile rope, don’t let it go. Hope is like a seed, water it and it will increase, leave it as it is and it will remain buried under the soil.

Sometimes, you may continue to be placed in impossible circumstances or situations over which you have no control, just to experience one thing; the true beauty and essence of tawakkul.

heart emoticon

‪#‎LetGod‬

Isn’t it strange how the same eyes that shed tears in hardship, struggle to release tears in ease? Hardships may move our hearts, but so too should the appreciation of his many gifts, so too should times of ease. For they remind us of how blessed we are to be in the light whilst so many still live in shades of darkness.

Just like the roots of a tree dry out, so too can our faith begin to dry up. We may no longer feel the sweetness of imaan, our salaah may begin to lack concentration, we may not even have the same passion towards our goals and Du’aas. But there is always a way out. Sometimes, it’s simply by going back to the basics. By revising and studying the roots of our faith; the pillars of Islam and Imaan. Revisiting Aqeedah revives our faith and hearts, reminding us that the pillars that hold our religion together, can too hold us up after a dip in our faith or an unexpected fall.

‪#‎Aqeedah‬

“If Allah intends to make a way out, He will open a door. If there’s no door, He will break down the wall — for nothing averts the command of Allah.”

- Abdul ‘Aziz al-Tarefe

Sometimes Allah will answer Du’aas you didn’t even utter, and those Du’aas, you forgot you ever made. For your Lord is All-Knowing and He never forgets.

You can give all your heart, you can sacrifice so much, you can give an entire ocean to the Creation.

Yet, only receive a drop or nothing in return.

But when you make your giving for Allah, then He will repay you.

Every tear, every bead of sweat, every small token of kindness will be rewarded. For “Allah does not waste the reward of the doers of good.” (Surah Yusuf: 90)

The healing affects of the Qur’an upon our hearts is proportional to the strength of our intention whilst reciting it. The more attention you give to it, the more you will gain from it. Approach the Qur’an *seeking* comfort, guidance, serenity… and it will give you that and more.

Allah loves us exactly the way we need to be loved. And through this love, He gives gifts that are truly unique. Something that is suitable for person and that person only. Its a reflection of how well He knows us and what we need. Sometimes that gift is something we have longed for, sometimes that gift is an unexpected favour. At other times, Allah shows us His love by giving us problems and hard times which instill in us discipline and forces us to grow better and stronger.

Sometimes, I feel He continously allows me to break so I can taste the sweetness of my hearts remaking. Because each time, the process of healing leaves me in awe of Al Jabbar. How a fragile vessel could shatter into peices, yet still, by His permission be fixed together again. If that is not miracle each time. If that is not an ayah pointing to His greatness. What is it?

The thing you love the most, you will fear losing the most. Make Allah your ultimate love, because He can never be lost. “Everything will perish, save His Face.” (28:88)

To be extremely sensitivity is a strangely beautiful quality to have. At times extremely bitter, at times extremely sweet, at times deeply frustrating and painful, and at other times deeply pleasing — but nevertheless a rare gift one wouldn’t trade for the world. ‪#‎EmbraceYourSensitivity‬

The best gift you can give someone whose kindness and care you cannot possibly repay in another way, is a sincere Du’aa in the depth of the darkness of night. ‪#‎Duaa‬

There is nothing like pouring your concerns in Du’aa to settle an unsettled heart.

Nothing is more painful than being distant from your Creator. Nothing is more humiliating than allowing your own whims and desires to own you instead of you owning them.

Human beings are capable of missing people they’ve never met or loving things of the future before they become part of the present. That’s why a mother is attached to her child before it even enters the world. And that’s why a slave of Allah continues to worship and love its Lord without having seen Him. This embedded love, this longing to be attached to our Creator, the testimony we took before our souls even entered this world is truly a reflection of the Mercy and perfect justice of Allah. ‪#‎AlhamdulilahForThisGift‬

The more Allah is remembered within your heart, the more light will be placed in your heart. And on that Day, nothing else will matter besides this light.

“On the Day you see the believing men and believing women, their light proceeding before them and on their right, [it will be said], “Your good tidings today are [of] gardens beneath which rivers flow, wherein you will abide eternally.” That is what is the great attainment.” (57:12)

You are changing the world each time you rise from your fall, each time you choose hope over despair, each time you smile at someone else, each time you reach out your hand to the one in need. Even if it’s one person’s life you are impacting or influencing positively, you are changing the world. Not all at once. Subtly. Gracefully. One step at a time.

~*~*~

[collected via Madiyah Rana]