Striving for Excellence in Taqwa & Character

Posts tagged ‘learn’

An invitation to closeness

Invitation card and roses

I came to revisit the topic of ‘waliul Allah’, translated to a close friend or ally of Allah, and thought it would be nice to have company… Welcome.

Allah tells us about his close friends or allies in verses 62-63 of surah Yunus:

Indeed, the allies of Allah there will be no fear concerning them, nor will they grieve. Those who believed and were conscious of Allah

Usually, the discussion quickly moves on to who isn’t a wali. It begins with explaining that ‘saint’ isn’t a suitable translation of ‘wali’ because it carries connotations inappropriate to the Islamic context. These include holiness, guarantee of heaven for the wali and their performance of miracles. The discussion rightly continues on to warn against those who “perform miracles” to take advantage of others who are spiritually, mentally and/or emotionally vulnerable.

How about considering this topic of walihood from a different angle? Grasp the matter from a different side and check how it feels.

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The Battle of Badr

dunes

Here we are in September and the beginning of the academic year. This term I am taking a module on Seerah (a study of the life of the Prophet Muhammed peace be upon him) as part of my diploma in Islamic studies with the Islamic Online University.

This module covers the period after the migration of the Prophet Muhammed to the city of Medina where many other Muslims had joined him or travelled there before him after the Muslims of Medina invited them and affirmed their support to Islam and its Prophet.

Listening to the audio on the battle of Badr, that took place in the 2nd year of Hijra (migration), I could not help but swim deeply in the sea of my thoughts.

If you are unfamiliar with what happened in the battle of Badr, you may like to check this Youtube clip.

Qualities of a leader

The Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) was approachable and that’s why when he decided on a camping place, one of the companions did not hesitate to check about the source of that decision, was it a personal choice of the Prophet or a direction from Allah. When the Prophet replied that it was a personal decision, the companion explained that another site, one that places the water well behind them would be strategically better. The Prophet listened, accepted and they moved forwards.

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Sparks of Knowledge

Book_of_life (2)

While having lunch at work we were talking about maternity leave and cover. One of my colleagues mentioned that for a suitable cover to be found for me I would need to become pregnant by April this year. I exclaimed that I would need to find the father first which may push the deadline a bit! This colleague is new to our team and didn’t know that I wasn’t married and she was so embarrassed. In reality, nothing is too great for Allah (the exalted). So it may work that way anyway!

What I am trying to point out is the advice I’ve heard on the preparation for parenthood. It begins with choosing a suitable spouse. One who is faithful and has good character then compatibility in other aspects important to you including life goals and aspirations. I found Alkahuthar’s Home Sweet Home a comprehensive course for those seeking to get married. Other courses are also available.

Marriage and parenthood, like all aspects of life, are enhanced with knowledge. Knowledge of the rights and responsibilities; etiquettes; best practices and lessons from other people’s experiences (laymen or experts). With that in mind, around 300 people attended Alkauthar’s Parenting Matters to seek knowledge on how to raise one’s children. Knowledge that is much needed in these in challenging times.

My take away key messages:

  1. Work on Developing Yourself

One of the most effective ways children learn is by example and emulating the adults around them. They pick up what you do so much more than what you say. So, if you want to instil in them good manners, truthfulness and modesty, begin with adopting them yourself.

Having self-confidence and a healthy self-image does a lot of good to your outlook on life and your decisions. This in turn would enable you to react in a balanced way to your children’s ever changing needs and “peculiar” choices. The catch, though, is that it takes work and review to build your character; work that should really start sooner than later.

Part of knowing who we are is to know what our priorities are and take action accordingly. Way before marriage and kids come on to the scene, did you ask yourself if your actions are aligned with what is truly important to you? Are you engaged with and committed to the words you utter? Are your actions leading you to achieve your goals in life? Do you have life goals that are specific and measurable? All these matter because when you become a parent, you’ll be in a better position to strike a work-family-life balance.  Many of the parents I know speak of the precious family moments they missed or would’ve missed because of other less important engagements getting in the way.

  1. Your Spouse is Your Supporter

At the course, one of the students mentioned how they wanted to raise their children to have good manners, however, some family members undermine that and even have a bad influence on the children because those adults use foul language and are disrespectful. The teacher responded that family ties should not be severed but parents’ first priority is the child’s wellbeing and upbringing. So if they live with those family members they should move out and even limit their interaction with the children if moving out wasn’t enough. This maybe also be a solution for parents who want to raise their children in a different manner to the way they were raised and aspire to instil in them different values.

In situations like these and all other situations, the husband and wife need to be on the same page. It is unfortunate when you see couples who are not just on different pages, their books are of different genres!

Your choice of spouse should take in consideration the kind of father or mother you think they are going to make. Spouses should complement each other, are each other’s adviser, aid and clemency. Enjoy the good times and support each other during the tough ones.

  1. Wisdom is the Lost Property of the Believer

Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him) reported: the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Wisdom is the lost property of the Believer, let him claim it wherever he finds it” Sunan At-Tirmidhi 2687

There were many principles taught in this course which actually makes a lot of sense. The solution for the various situations parents go through could differ because of a particular issue. Also, an expert or knowledgeable person may not be available for consultation. However, if the parents learn the general principles, they could make their own informed decisions taking into consideration other points particular to that specific situation and lessons learned from previous experiences.

In addition, there was much mention of opinions and advice from experts in the field of family and education. Being a Muslim does not go against making use of beneficial knowledge and is in line with the Quranic teaching {So ask the people of remembrance (the scholars) if you do not know} 16:43.   In fact, when Muslims adhered to their faith and religious practice they became interested in the world around them and sought to understand its phenomena.  They excelled in the fields of medicine, geography, and mathematics among others.

Blog posts

Many other students attended the weekend course. A group of them decided to share what they learned. They decided to write brief articles including summaries and thoughts. These in no way are a substitute to attending the course and learning directly from the teacher. I hope these articles will highlight important points for consideration when raising children and that there is a whole world out there of feasible solutions to problems parents are facing. I will be posting these articles at Muslimah etc. over the next couple of weeks.

Abu Masood Uqbah bin Amr Al-Ansari Al-Badri (may Allah be pleased with him) reported: the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said “Whoever guides someone to virtue will be rewarded equivalent to him who practices that good action”. Muslim