Why we remember Allah more when sick

Naturally, human beings tend to remember Allah more when we are sick or distressed somehow. Depending on what’s going on, we may have varying degrees of feelings of sadness, helplessness, loss, despair and the like. These feelings make cause us pain that is in addition to any physical due to sickness. And when these feelings overwhelm us somewhat, we usually can’t help but call unto Allah more. It is a natural response. We know instinctively that we are not in control of anything, but Allah is in control of everything including our lives including our health and sickness.

When we are sick, our prayers are more deep, more sincere and more hopeful. This is the reason why we should regard times of sickness as times of cleansing and getting closer to Allah. We should never ask for times of sickness and always pray to Allah for blessing of good health until the day we die. But when we do get sick, we should not despair. We should instead get busy with prayers and seeking forgiveness for our sins. We should also remember Allah and be busy engaged in doing good deeds when we are healthy. Whatever we are used to doing on a daily basis when we are healthy, we would get reward for even when we are not able to do them when we are sick and unable.

What we should never do if we are sick or feel sad or distressed for whatever reason is to start to despair. We should remind ourselves that life is a test. Allah is in control. As part of our faith, we know that we should put our hope in Allah, do everything that He has commanded and avoid everything that He has forbidden. Do our best and leave the rest to Allah. We should treat the time of sickness as a time to get all of our sins forgiven, accumulate good deeds and pray for ourselves, our families, our relatives and friends and the rest of humanity.

And Allah knows best.

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Left behind!

The chief of a nomadic desert tribe asked his wife to ready the luggage for the next journey. He instructed his wife to leave behind his Alzheimer prone mother who lately mocked him in front of his followers and caused him great embarrassment.

“Leave her behind..” the chief said “she is now sick and has caused us a great deal of hurt and pain and we are not able to take care of her anymore”.. “let’s leave her here in the open perhaps other nomads will take her along when they pass by”… “or simply the desert heat will cause her hastened death!!”

The wife, prepared the luggage, and hoisted all the necessities atop the camels for the journey ahead. She put as much food and rations by the chief’s mother as she could before they left the elderly mother behind.

But the chief’s wife left her one year old son with the chief’s Mother. The child was the chief’s only son and the love of his adult life. Every time the chief rested under his tent he asked his wife to for bring his son for playful quality time with him.

As the caravan moved all morning, they rested midday and setup camp. The chief asked his wife to bring his son over as usual. The chief’s wife told him that she left his son with his mother… “we don’t need him” she said!

The chief shouted “why?” .. “why, are you crazy?”, he madly yelled.. The chief’s wife replied “am afraid your son will leave you in the open desert in your old age, as you did with your mother”.

His wife’s words landed on the chief like ton of bricks. He realized what he has done and remorse filled his heart. The chief then grappled his rifle and rode his horse as fast as he could towards his mother and child before desert beasts devoured them as prey.

The chief arrived at his mother’s site and found her surrounded by desert wild dogs. She held the child tightly to her chest in a protective grab while throwing rocks at the beasts as they run circles around her to snatch the child from her grip. The elderly mother held the child in one hand and and threw rocks with other and crying loudly “stay away … Shooo shooo!”

The chief fired multiple rounds from his rifle killing a few desert wild dogs and sending the rest fleeing into the desert’s mirage. The chief then ran towards his protective mother kissing her head and hands and penitently crying tears of remorse seeking his mother’s forgiveness.

The chief returned with his mother and child safely to his tribe.

It was said that the chief never left his mother’s site or sight and was forever dutiful to her. Whenever the tribe migrated anywhere, the chief always made sure his mother was on the best camel and rode behind her on his horse, guarding her from all harm.

When the umbilical cord is cut by the deliverer’s hands, a part of our mothers’ remains with us. Touch your bellybutton, your navel… see?.. she remains with you. Now make a prayer for your mom!

“وَقَضَىٰ رَبُّكَ أَلَّا تَعْبُدُوا إِلَّا إِيَّاهُ وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا إِمَّا يَبْلُغَنَّ عِندَكَ الْكِبَرَ أَحَدُهُمَا أَوْ كِلَاهُمَا فَلَا تَقُل لَّهُمَا أُفٍّ وَلَا تَنْهَرْهُمَا وَقُل لَّهُمَا قَوْلًا كَرِيمًا” الإسراء :٢٣

And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of disrespect, nor shout at them but address them in terms of honour. Quraan 17:23

 

Text of an email sent by a friend.

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How to Get Our Hearts at Peaceful Rest

We all cherish peace of mind. Indeed we all need it. And when we are not at peace with whatever, we crave that peace of mind with all of our body and soul. We have such a big need for it as human beings. So it is only natural that our Creator, Sustainer God has given us precise instructions of how to get this peace and tranquility that our hearts desire so much. We find these instructions in the Quran and the Sunnah.

The Quran tells us that the real peace that our hearts desire is found in the remembrance of Allah. Not meaningless utterances of remembrance but conscious, meaningful remembrance of Allah. Our hearts do indeed find peaceful rest in Allah’s remembrance. Allah explains this in the Quran in this famous verse:

الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَتَطْمَئِنُّ قُلُوبُهُم بِذِكْرِ اللَّهِ ۗ أَلَا بِذِكْرِ اللَّهِ تَطْمَئِنُّ الْقُلُوبُ

Saheeh International Translation: Those who have believed and whose hearts are assured by the remembrance of Allah. Unquestionably, by the remembrance of Allah hearts are assured.

Obviously, a pre-requisite to all this is to have full faith in Allah alone. In order to have proper faith in Allah, learn about Allah and remember Allah with the proper etiquette. The remembrance of Allah is in the five daily prayers, the recitation of the Quran with meaning, the many duaa and zikr that have been related to us by the Prophet (ﷺ) during his life and recorded by his companions. These remembrances are readily available in authentic books of Azkaar and Duaa. Read them after learning their meanings. Read them daily during the mornings and during the evenings. Pray the five daily prayers on time. Recite the Quran daily even if just a little bit, with understanding. Once we establish a connection with our Lord, we will definitely have discovered the peace that our hearts so desire.

Without this peace of mind, peace of heart, peace in general, we feel that queasy feeling of being disturbed to our core. This feeling has nothing to do with material possessions, health or even family. This is much deeper than that. We could have all the wealth in the world, be healthy and have a loving family around us, we would still not be at peace in our core if we don’t have the guidance to have faith in Allah. This might be hard to imagine for some but it is the God honest truth.

And Allah knows best.

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Learning the Quran & Teaching Others

Learning the Quran should be a priority for every Muslim. Not only is the Quran a source of knowledge, it is also a source of countless blessings. It is the word of Allah. The Quran speaks to us to inform us of what Allah requires from us. Imagine that. The Creator of everything telling us why He has created us and what He wants us to do and what He wants us not to do! All of this because He wants us to succeed. It is therefore upon us to do our utmost to find out what Allah says in the Quran.

Since the Quran is in the Arabic language, it is important that we acquire as much Arabic language as necessary to understand the Quran in its original Arabic. It is not an impossible task for anyone. There are tons of resources available online these days to learn it ourselves or enroll in a class and learn it locally in our own city/country. If we put our minds to it, we can all do it relatively easily inshaaAllah!

خيركم من تعلم القرأن وعلمه

From the meaning of this well known Hadith, we learn that the best of people are those who learn the Quran and teach it to others. It should be the goal of all Muslims to try to achieve the status of the best of people by striving hard to learn the Quran properly, to read it with Tajweed, to learn the Arabic necessary to understand the meanings in the original Arabic.

Furthermore, it should be our goal to put what we learn into practice in our daily lives. The first step after understanding is to internalize the teachings of the Quran by implementing them into our lives to the best of our ability.

Finally, it should be our aim to teach what we learn to others. With the help of Allah we can become the best of people by learning the Quran and then teaching it to others.

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I am who I am because of my surroundings

Our family and society largely determine who we are. We are born to our parents that none of us can choose. We grow up in a country, culture, religion that none of us can pick. We seem to have some ability to choose some of our education, our profession and spouses, but that too is determined by what’s acceptable to our family and available in the society.

The fact of the matter is, we hardly have a choice in these matters. What we have are choices to make between doing the right things (not lying, not cheating, not overcharging, not underpaying, not hurting others etc.) which are universally regarded as the right things by every human society no matter where we find ourselves living.

Therefore, to think of others as inferior based upon their cultural background, economic status, color of their skin, level of their education or some such arbitrary measure is arrogant and insane.

In Islam, we are taught that no one is better than the other except those that are closest to Allah, our Creator. And no human being can claim to know who is closer to Allah and who is not. Therefore it makes no sense to discriminate. It also makes no sense to be boastful about ones own self, our abilities, our social status, our financial standing, our educational level, cultural background or the color of our skin. Largely because we didn’t acquire these things on our own, but also because we are not qualified to determine who is better.

We should therefore, embrace our differences, come together as one humanity and make this world a better place for everyone. If we don’t, then we only have ourselves to blame. We cannot individually solve world hunger, but we can each do our small part and contribute to the common goal and together we can solve it with the help of Allah!

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Start with my own example

We all want to see improvements in the society around us. We all want clean water, fresh air, beautiful vegetation, garbage free surroundings and a pleasant safe and secure environment. We all want to live in a better world. We all want our families to feel safe and sound. We all want the good things in life. In an ideal world, people would come together and resolve societal issues together as a loving community. There would be systems in place to safeguard the environment, fresh water and clean air would be the norm and garbage would be recycled responsibly. And the whole world would be safe and secure for everyone.

However, since we don’t live in an ideal world, it is on our shoulders to come up with ways to fix the problems one by one. We could try to get everyone to do the right thing but fail miserably because we can’t tell people what to do or what not to do. We should be the change that we want to see in the world. If we ourselves change for the better and everyday live our life with the goal of making the world a better place for everyone to live, we would inspire individuals, one by one, slowly but surely to also do the same. First make the intention and a concerted effort to do the right thing ourselves and do it often and in plain sight for others to see and learn from. Good habits can also be contagious if they are done with this mindset. Infect others with the desire to make our environment better in every way we possibly can. Do not be disheartened by people who don’t wish to change and have no concern for the environment. Keep at it sincerely and it will catch on. InshaaAllah!

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How do I become a better version of myself?

We should all be asking this question to ourselves regularly, daily, weekly, monthly and annually. Take account of our past selves and strive to enhance it in any way possible. One thing is for sure, we as human beings don’t remain stagnant. If we are not improving, know that we maybe becoming worse off. If nothing else, we are losing the time we have on earth with the passing of every second. So let’s ask ourselves this regularly: how can I become a better version of myself.

Analyze, but don’t over analyze, our lives to determine areas of improvements and work on them regularly so they become second nature to us. Our habits define us. Make those habits really the best possible daily things we do really well. Research and find the best way to do them, learn from someone who can coach us well if needed. It’s like posture, if we sit in an awkward way most of the day, everyday for a long time, our bodies will get accustomed to that bad posture. We want to get that fixed from day one if possible.

Our lives on this plant are finite. But we are created for eternity. Even after we die, we will never cease to exist. In fact, our belief is that the real life will begin after death. That life is eternal where there will be no death. And that life will depend upon our faith and deeds in this world. If we are smart, we will focus more on the next life, while not at all neglecting this life. For now, this life is the most important commodity we have for it determines the outcome in the next life. But our goal is not to achieve all that this life has to offer, because we see daily that nobody takes a single penny with them when they depart. So the smart ones are those that make the best of this life in order to get the best outcome of the real life that is to come after death, the eternal life. So the habits I spoke of earlier, should really be carefully crafted to ensure that we are not doing ANYTHING to jeopardize our well being in the next life.

In summary, regularly seek to enhance ourselves in every way we possibly can, craft good habits so that good deeds become second nature to us and focus on the real goal: the next life.

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