Never curse a fall. The ground is where humility lives.
Break in the hands of God, He'll unbreak you. Break in the hands of people, you'll remain forever broken. Break to no one, your heart will remain hard.
We often wonder why God gives and takes, constricts and expands. What we forget is that human beings understand things by their opposites. Without dark, we can't understand light. Without hardship, we wouldn't *experience* ease. Without the existence of deprivation and loss, we couldn't grasp the need for gratitude or the virtue of patience. And without separation, we wouldn't taste the sweetness of reunion. Glory be to the one who gives--even when He takes.
Sometimes we make duaa for a door of dunya. When it doesn't open, we cry. Not realizing that Allah has instead opened a door of jennah for us.
When talking about marriage, Allah says your spouses are garments for you. A garment may or may not fit perfectly-but either way, it covers imperfections, protects, and beautifies.
When you Rectify your Relationship with the Creator, He Rectifies your relationship with All of the Creation.
So often we think that Allah only tests us with hardships, but this isn't true. Allah also tests with ease. He tests us with na'im (blessings) and with the things we love, and it is often in these tests that so many of us fail. We fail because when Allah gives us these blessings, we unwittingly turn them into false idols in the heart.
I tell you to keep going, not because it's easy. Not because it doesn't hurt. I tell you to keep going because there's no other way. To stop is to die. Life is in motion. In growth. In change. Life is in seeking and in finding. Life is in redemption. Each moment is a new birth. A new chance to come back, to get it right.
A new chance to make it better.
Try not to confuse attachment with love. Attachment is about fear and dependency, and has more to do with love of self than love of another. Love without attachment is the purest love because it isn't about what others can give you because your empty. It is about what you can give others because you're already full.
Don't you think there's a problem when we live in a society that considers a woman's greatest accomplishment being pretty for a man?
We cannot tolerate one mistake from others, and yet God tolerates a planet covered with His own creation that live their entire lives sinning and denying Him, and yet continues to feed, clothe and protect them.
This pain in your heart was created to make you yearn less for this life. And to yearn more for jennah. Allahu akbar.
The people will come and go. Sometimes they'll be there for you. Sometimes they wont. Some will love you, some will not. This tide was never meant to be still. Step away from time to time. And know that only a heart fixed on the unmoving spot can ride the waves of this ever-changing, ever-fading life.
If you think you're too far from Allah to return, and your 'past' continues to own you, just remember that Malik ibn Dinar (RA) was an alcoholic, and Omar (RA) was on his way to assassinate the Prophet (pbuh) before they became two of the greatest souls to walk the earth!
God tells me to cover myself, to hide my beauty and to tell the world that I'm not here to please men with my body; I'm here to please God. God elevates the dignity of a woman's body by commanding that it be respected and covered, shown only to the deserving -- only to the man I marry.
Yes, the heart breaks. But, it also heals.
The Dunya is like the ocean and our heart is like the ship. If a ship allows the water to enter, it will sink. Just like when we allow the Dunya to enter our heart.
If you want to kill something, neglect it. It happens in both good and bad. Neglect a relationship, it dies. Neglect your iman, it dies. But the same principal applies when you want to kill something like a thought or a desire. Neglect it, it dies.
Ya Allah, envelop our hearts with a shield of your light and mercy, so the pain doesn't penetrate.
I have so much respect for the emotionally brave. The ones who put in the emotional work and take the real risks of being vulnerable and removing masks. It's easy to make chitchat, but it's hard to speak about what's really under the surface. It's easy to joke, but difficult to cry. It's easy to numb, but hard to feel.
Ironically the real victims of emotional laziness are the people themselves. They end up choosing their emotional comfort zones over happiness. So in the end, they may not be 'uncomfortable' anymore; but they are also miserable.
But, this dark place is not the end. Remember that the darkness of night precedes the dawn. And as long as your heart still beats, this is not the death of it. You don't have to die here. Sometimes, the ocean floor is only a stop on the journey. And it is when you are at this lowest point, that you are faced with a choice. You can stay there at the bottom, until you drown. Or you can gather pearls and rise back up--stronger from the swim, and richer from the jewels.
Everything in this life is only a glimpse of the real thing. Love, beauty, pleasure, even pain in its true essence is only in the next.
The fastest way to heal a broken heart is to find someone better to love, and love more. Know that sometimes heartbreak happens just to push you to God.
When we can't marry the person we had in mind, our inability to look beyond may even blind sight us from someone who is in fact better for us. When we don't get hired, or we lose something dear to us, it's hard to take a step back and notice the bigger picture. Often Allah takes things away from us, only to replace them with something greater.
How could you feel worthless when God has honoured you by creating you and choosing you to be with Him, in this life and the next? You are worthy. You are worthy of love. You are worthy of respect. You haven't failed. You're beautiful. Only the beautiful can see beauty. Never doubt your beauty. Never doubt your worth. It's not about how much you make, your grades, what people say or think. It's about you and God. It's about your heart. The blinding beauty of your heart.
My dear sisters in humanity: Your beauty-both internal and external-is priceless. Only the man who marries you has a right to see it. Never forget, if he doesn't want to marry you, he doesn't deserve you.
Never lose hope. Stay close to Allah and when you mess up, go back to Him. Never, ever stop going back to Him. Repent often. Cry to Allah. And hold on tight-with your life-to His remembrance and to prayer. If you do this, you may get wet, but insha Allah never drown in this ocean of dunya.
There are internal chains and external chains. All the external chains in the world won't enslave you, if you are free inside. And all the external 'freedom' in the world won't liberate you, if you are chained inside.
Let go. And you'll know Freedom.
Your life is nothing more than a love story. Between you and God. Nothing more. Every person, every experience, every gift, every loss, every pain is sent to your path for one reason and one reason only: to bring you back to Him.
And while it's nice of you to want to call us ‘modern' or ‘moderate,' we'll do without the redundancy. Islam is by definition moderate, so the more strictly we adhere to its fundamentals -- the more moderate we'll be. And Islam is by nature timeless and universal, so if we're truly Islamic -- we'll always be modern.
We're not ‘Progressives'; we're not ‘Conservatives'. We're not ‘neo-Salafi'; we're not ‘Islamists'. We're not ‘Traditionalists'; we're not ‘Wahabis'. We're not ‘Immigrants' and we're not ‘Indigenous'. Thanks, but we'll do without your prefix. We're just Muslim.
Allah is al-Kareem, so if He withholds from you it is not on account of stinginess. It is on account of His generosity. He withholds to give.
It's never easy to stand when the storm hits. And that's exactly the point. By sending the wind, He brings us to our knees: the perfect position to pray.
Leaving the people and places you love, is a reminder of the impermanence of this life. And the permanence of the next.
What's given to dunya is lost forever. What's given to Allah is never lost. If you give what you love, for the sake of what He loves, you'll have what you love forever.
Holding on to hope when everything is dark, is the greatest test of faith.
Beware of what you let enter your heart. There will come a day when you'd give anything to remove it.
Your beauty is in your sensitivity. Don't let anyone take it from you.
So often it hurts us that we are not able to focus in our prayers. Remember, the more you focus on Allah outside your salah, the easier it will be to focus on Him inside your salah. What occupies you in salah, is what occupies you outside of salah. Try to fill your mind and heart with Allah as much as you can throughout your day. Talk to Him, make duaa to Him constantly. This will build your personal relationship with Him. Then, going to salah will be like coming home to an old friend.
When you suffer, don't speak. Look inside and listen for the duaa He inspires in you. and then ask Him. Again and again. Don't stop.
As a Muslim woman, I've been liberated from a silent kind of bondage. I don't answer to the slaves of God on earth. I answer to their King.
You've been given status today, but never forget where you came from. You came from dirt and will return to dirt. You will be on that day as you began: just you and Him.
There will come a day when a person would be willing to give everything they ever loved, everything they ever owned, everything they ever chased in this life, everything between the heavens and earth...just for the chance to come back here and make just one sajdah (prostration). Just one.
Do you struggle with confusion? Not knowing which way to go? Here's why: We turn to means (help of creation, our own mind) before turning to God.
Compassion is to look beyond your own pain, to see the pain of others.
Don't ever be afraid of giving. Give. Give of your time, your forgiveness, your understanding, your love. Give of your money. Give to the creation, and you'll be given by the Creator. Be generous, and the Most Generous will be generous with you.
As Muslim women, we have been liberated from this silent bondage. We don't need society's standard of beauty or fashion, to define our worth. We don't need to become just like men to be honored, and we don't need to wait for a prince to save or complete us. Our worth, our honor, our salvation, and our completion lie not in the slave. But, in the Lord of the slave.
Salah is the first thing we will be asked about on the Day of Judgment, and yet it is the last thing that is on our mind.
Do not say that every day you spend on this earth is a day closer to dying. Every day you spend on this earth is a day closer to finally living.
Many of us rely on our own illusion of control. But when God makes it known to you that you're not the one steering the ship, be thankful. He has removed the illusion, and forced you to rely only on Him.
With the withering of the rose, and with each fallen petal, Allah is reminding us that everything here is passing away. He is reminding us that nothing in this world will remain, except for Allah.
Resilience is very different than being numb. Resilience means you experience, you feel, you fail, you hurt. You fall. But, you keep going.
The poison leaves bit by bit, not all at once. Be patient. You are healing.
Tawwakul is not an act of the limbs-it is an act of the heart. And so while the limbs are striving hard, the heart is completely reliant on Allah. This means whatever the outcome of the limbs' striving, the heart will be completely satisfied, knowing that it is the flawless decision of Allah. But in order to reach this level, one must hold on to hope, strive with the limbs, and let go with the heart.
Allah does not withhold to withhold. Remaking the heart was the objective. To remake it, He sometimes breaks it first.
To me, jennah is the place where you get to be with the people you love, including those you can't always be with in this life. And being with them forever.
Oh external worshiper, know that worship without heart is motions. Oh seeker of knowledge, know that knowledge without purification is a dangerous weapon of the ego. Oh activist, know that work without orientation of heart is fruitless. Oh lover, know that love without God is pain.
When you fall in love with a work of art, you'd die to meet the artist. I am a student of the galleries of Pacific sunsets, full moon rises on the ocean, the clouds from an airplane, autumn forests in Raleigh, first fallen snows.
And I'm dying to meet the artist.
In His infinite mercy, Allah has
sent the light of Ramadan to erase the night. He has sent the month of the Qur'an so that He might elevate us and bring us from our isolation to His nearness.
Ignoring a Reality doesn't make it less Real. It's still going to happen. Being unprepared for something doesn't stop it from happening.
Stop trying to make this life into what it cannot and never was intended to be: jennah. Only then will it stop breaking your heart.
If you allow dunya to own your heart, like the ocean that owns the boat, it will take over. You will sink down to the depths of the sea. You will touch the ocean floor.
When the pain overtakes you, reach inside. Gather the broken pieces, and hand them to God. Ask Him to remake your heart. Different, this time. Stronger. More beautiful. This is how we are made, and remade by the Maker.
If you want to know what's Real, of love, of life, of loyalty, put it through the greatest test: Time.
I'm not here to be on display. And my body is not for public consumption. I will not be reduced to an object, or a pair of legs to sell shoes. I'm a soul, a mind, a servant of God. My worth is defined by the beauty of my soul, my heart, my moral character. So I won't worship your beauty standards, and I don't submit to your fashion sense. My submission is to something higher.
Don't let this Ramadan be just a holiday of rituals. Don't finish reading the Quran without it transforming you. Don't feed your body at suhoor, but starve your heart of Qiyam. Don't reduce this downpour of mercy to just a month of sweets and lavish iftars. Seek Him, you will find. Take a sincere step towards change, transformation, redemption. If you do, you will find Him in front of you. Find Him this month. He's been there all along. Closer than your jugular vein. Look and you'll find. Walk and you'll arrive.
Study the hurtful patterns of your life.
Then don't repeat them.
Sometimes this world comes between us and what we love. But if we are patient, when this world passes away, there will be no more separation.
Be careful about wanting what others have. There is always a price. Perhaps God didn't give it to you, because He knew you wouldn't be able to pay it.
My laughter won't last forever but neither will my tears. We say this life isn't perfect. And it isn't. It isn't perfectly good. But, it also isn't perfectly bad, either.
When your failures surround you, and all the open doors have closed, look up. There's a door that never closes, a way, when all the other ways have failed you.
Many years ago, our father Ibrahim (AS) made a choice. He loved his son. But He loved God more. The commandment came to sacrifice his son. But it wasn't his son that was slaughtered. It was his attachment to anything that could compete with his love for God. So let us ask ourselves in these beautiful days of sacrifice, which attachments do we need to slaughter?
If you want this life to stop breaking your heart, stop giving your heart to this life.
What would happen to a body that was starved, suffocated and then forced to drink poison? It would first suffer and then die an agonizing death. We willingly starve and suffocate our hearts by turning away form the remembrance of God. And then we poison our hearts through the bad company we keep, the garbage that goes into our eyes and ears, and emanates from our tongue...
And then we wonder why our heart feels dead.
Some people may complicate it for you, but the formula is simple: Love God more than anything else. More than your ego. More than your money. More than your desires...More than your sleep at dawn. Love God more than anything else, and submission comes natural.
Love God more than anything else, and all goodness will follow.
To all those broken or hopeless, I have learned this: Be grateful for every single person who was part of your story. The ones that hurt you. The ones that helped you. The ones that came, and the ones that left. They all taught you. Don't think for a moment that any of it was random. There are no oversights with God. Only perfectly crafted chapters in each unique journey.
Times of hardship can act as both an indicator, as well as a cure, for our broken relationship with our Creator.
When you love something so much, protect what you love, and the bond between you, by making the love about Allah.
Just as storms change the landscape of the earth, our hardships change the landscape of the heart.
You never have to be scared of the trials but of standing alone in the trials without shelter.
Sometimes people have nothing to say because they're too empty and sometimes people have nothing to say because they're too full.
Don't expect your spouse to be perfect. He she is only the dunya version of themselves. Their 'perfect' version is saved for jennah.
Oh my heart, there is another way to love. Do not love the gift for what the gift is. Love the gift for Who it came from.
You cried when He took away your drop of water, not knowing He'd saved for you, the sea.
This world cannot break you--unless you give it permission. And it cannot own you unless you hand it the keys--unless you give it your heart. And so, if you have handed those keys to dunya for a while--take them back. This isn't the End. You don't have to die here. Reclaim your heart and place it with its rightful owner:
Our first and true home was Paradise: a land that is both perfect and eternal. So the yearning for that type of life is a part of our being. The problem is that we try to find that here. And so we create ageless creams and cosmetic surgery in a desperate attempt to hold on-in an attempt to mold this world into what it is not, and will never be.
Sometimes the gifts of God aren't wrapped as we expect.
When someone hurts you, your first thought may be to wish you had never met them at all. But remember that even those who've hurt you, came into your life for a reason, and left for a reason. It's for the best and healing starts with acceptance.
In his mercy, He sent the storm itself to make us seek help. And then knowing that we're likely to get the wrong answer, He gives us a multiple choice exam with only one option to choose from: the correct answer. The hardship itself is ease. By taking away all other hand-holds, all other multiple choice options, He has made the test simple.It's never easy to stand when the storm hits. And that's exactly the point. By sending the wind, He brings us to our knees: the perfect position to pray.
Embrace life and all that God gives you-but never let it contain you. This world is too small to contain you.