Striving for Excellence in Taqwa & Character

The Merry-Go-Round

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Do you like going on the merry-go-round? Lots and lots of fun or are you one of those people who gets dizzy and feels sick just at the thought of getting on one of those things? What happens when after getting on the ride you start feeling unwell? You can wave your hands or call onto the operator to stop the ride or you can wait until the ride stops and then get off.

We go through many ups and downs, few (mood) swings and a whole lot of cycles in our life. The cycle of birth and death; how many people are born and die every day around the world. Even within ourselves, Allah (swt) said:

 اللَّهُ الَّذِي خَلَقَكُم مِّن ضَعْفٍ ثُمَّ جَعَلَ مِن بَعْدِ ضَعْفٍ قُوَّةً ثُمَّ جَعَلَ مِن بَعْدِ قُوَّةٍ ضَعْفًا وَشَيْبَةً يَخْلُقُ مَا يَشَاء وَهُوَ الْعَلِيمُ الْقَدِيرُ  

 {Allah creates you weak; after weakness He gives you strength and after strength weakness and gray hairs. He creates whatever He will. He is the Knower, the Capable.} (30:54)

That is the nature of life: constant change. Alhamdulillah, we have one constant that keeps us stable and set: worshiping Allah alone and living life as He revealed. As if we are standing on a solid rock in the middle of a flood waiting for the storm to settle.  

So how can we reach for that steady rock when the whirl of our work, family, health etc take hold of us and we are spinning out of control? For others it’s a question of taking a respite and a moment to evaluate what past and check the map for the journey ahead. It would be perfect if it was something simple and does not need much preparation or effort and can give maximum result. But does such thing exist?

Something that’ll help in getting us into a positive and healthy mental and emotional state. A state where we’ll feel stronger and can keep going or make a decision to change direction. A simple action that could spark the beginning of even greater actions and deeds. A deed to pave the way to having a content and confidant voice emanating from a peaceful heart.   

The Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) said: “Do not belittle any good deed; even meeting your brother with a cheerful face is a good deed” reported by Muslim.

Have you considered the effect a good word could have on you. Iman (belief) increases with good deeds and decreases with bad deeds and what you utter is a deed of your tongue. Let’s build up our Iman with those small but effective actions of the tongue:

  1. Recite the Quran

The Prophet (pbuh) said: “Whoever reads a letter of the Book of Allah will have a good reward for that and ten more like it. I do not say that Alif-Lam-Mim is one letter, rather that Alif is a letter, Lam is a letter and Meem is a letter.” Repoterd by At-Tirmithee

  1. Remember Allah at all times

Prophet Jonah (Yunus) peace be upon him remembered Allah in the depths of the sea inside the whale:

 وَذَا النُّونِ إِذ ذَّهَبَ مُغَاضِبًا فَظَنَّ أَن لَّن نَّقْدِرَ عَلَيْهِ فَنَادَى فِي الظُّلُمَاتِ أَن لَّا إِلَهَ إِلَّا أَنتَ سُبْحَانَكَ إِنِّي كُنتُ مِنَ الظَّالِمِينَ فَاسْتَجَبْنَا لَهُ وَنَجَّيْنَاهُ مِنَ الْغَمِّ وَكَذَلِكَ نُنجِي الْمُؤْمِنِينَ  

And Thul-Nun (Prophet Yunus), he went away in anger thinking We had no power over him. But in the darkness he cried: ‘There is no god except You. Exaltations to You! I was among the wrongdoers.’ We heard his prayer and saved him from grief. As such We shall save the believers (21:87-88)

  1. Send peace and blessings upon the Prophet Mohammed

The Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) said: “Whoever supplicates Allah to exalt my mention (i.e., send peace & blessing), Allah will exalt his mention ten times and remove from him ten sins and raise him ten degrees.” Reported by Muslim

At times even these may seem hard. How about if you think about it like this? The effort required to do these is not as much as waking up in the middle of the night and praying. It not going to cost you as much as sponsoring an orphan would. It’s nowhere near giving up your free time and your energy to teach others the Quran. However, reciting few verses of the Quran, remembering Allah and his Prophet will, in-sha’allah, build up your Iman to do more good deeds and with time have the courage to wear the hijab; be confidant to do your prayers while at work and have the wisdom to forgive your pious husband’s humanly flaws for the sake of Allah.  

I look forward to reading your ideas and suggestions.

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