Capture a good idea right when it occurs or it will disappear, for a few days, weeks, months or even years, if it comes back at all. – Umair Salam
I love to write and have loved to do so ever since I was a child. But writing is a skill that you have to keep fit by reading and writing a lot or you’ll lose it. Therefore, it is one of my personal goals this year to try and write 300 words daily in an effort to make my writing flow more easily. I used to be able to write easily but since I haven’t been writing as much over the last few years, my writing prowess seems to have dwindled somewhat, but Alhamdulillah not completely deteriorated.
Writing is not for everyone. But I feel that writing works for me. Alhamdulillah. I find that I like writing a lot specially when I use freestyle (like my blog entries). I think this is the same way with everything, not just work.
I have been able to write the required 300 words daily (and sometimes more) by writing about what I have learned and know enough to talk about. I use a couple of tools to help with the writing process. Firstly, I use Workflowy to brainstorm and come up with topics to write. Sometimes I’m very inspired to write, so I’ll write down all the topics I want to write about it in bullet form. Workflowy makes this super easy and non-distracting so I can quickly add a bunch of ideas as fast as I can type without having to open a word document or some other software. Secondly, I use Writer, which is a browser based online writing environment that has a customizable type-writer like interface (complete with the type writer sounds, if you like that) which is very conducive to writing. It maximizes so all the rest of the clutter on my laptop is faded out and out of the way. This way I can focus on the writing without having to get distracted by gazillions of web pages, notifications etc.
There was a baker in Baghdad who used to sell bread that was so good people used to come from all over to buy his bread. Some people would give him fake and unacceptable coins to buy the bread. He would take those coins and put them in a separate box and still give them the bread. He would never complain or call them fakers or go after them and always sold his bread with the same love.
When the baker was about to die, he made Du’aa to Allah saying: O Allah you know very well that i used to accept fake unacceptable coins from anyone and still gave them my good smelling good tasting heathy bread. Please accept my fake and unacceptable worship not the quality of worship that you wanted. O Allah my request to you is as I used to forgive your creatures, please forgive me also.
The wise old men say that after he’d died someone in their dream saw him in a high place (in jannah) as he’d been hopeful.
A wise old man was sitting at the river bank when he saw a cat that had fallen into the water, flailing around, trying to save itself from drowning. The man decided to save the cat. He stretched his hand out but was scratched by the cat. He pulled his hand back in pain. However, a minute later he stretched his hand out again to save the cat, but it scratched him again, and again he pulled his hand back in pain. Another minute later he was yet again trying for the third time!
A man, who was nearby watching what was happening, yelled out: “O wise man, you have not learned your lesson the first time, nor the second time, and now you are trying to save the cat a third time?”
The wise man paid no heed to that man’s scolding, and kept on trying until he managed to save the cat. He then walked over to the man, and patted his shoulder saying: “My son.. it is in the cat’s nature to scratch, and it is in my nature to love and have sympathy. Why do you want me to let the cat’s nature overcome mine!?!!
My son: Treat people according to your nature, not according to theirs, no matter what they are like and no matter how numerous are their actions that harm you and cause you hurt sometimes.
And do not pay heed to all the voices that loudly call out to you to leave behind your good qualities merely because the other party is not deserving of your noble actions.
When you live to give happiness to others, Allah will send you those who will live to give happiness to you.
“Is the reward for good anything but good?” -Qur’an 55:60
Be beautiful in character and hearts will like you. So never regret the moments you gave happiness to someone, even if that person did not deserve it. And suffice in the fact that you have a Lord Who will reward you for good with good.
“The entire Deen is (about) good character, so whoever exceeds you in good character, has exceeded you in the Deen.” – Ibn al Qayyum
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said “Nothing will be heavier on the Day of Resurrection in the scale of the believer than good manners. Allah hates one who utters foul or coarse language.” [Tirmidhi]
اللهم أنت حسنت خلقي فحسن ﺧﻠﻘﻲ
O Allah you’ve beautified my outward appearance, so beautify my character.
1 x 8 + 1 = 9
12 x 8 + 2 = 98
123 x 8 + 3 = 987
1234 x 8 + 4 = 9876
12345 x 8 + 5 = 98765
123456 x 8 + 6 = 987654
1234567 x 8 + 7 = 9876543
12345678 x 8 + 8 = 98765432
123456789 x 8 + 9 = 987654321
1 x 9 + 2 = 11
12 x 9 + 3 = 111
123 x 9 + 4 = 1111
1234 x 9 + 5 = 11111
12345 x 9 + 6 = 111111
123456 x 9 + 7 = 1111111
1234567 x 9 + 8 = 11111111
12345678 x 9 + 9 = 111111111
123456789 x 9 +10= 1111111111
9 x 9 + 7 = 88
98 x 9 + 6 = 888
987 x 9 + 5 = 8888
9876 x 9 + 4 = 88888
98765 x 9 + 3 = 888888
987654 x 9 + 2 = 8888888
9876543 x 9 + 1 = 88888888
98765432 x 9 + 0 = 888888888
Brilliant, isn’t it?
And look at this symmetry:
1 x 1 = 1
11 x 11 = 121
111 x 111 = 12321
1111 x 1111 = 1234321
11111 x 11111 = 123454321
111111 x 111111 = 12345654321
1111111 x 1111111 = 1234567654321
11111111 x 11111111 = 123456787654321
111111111 x 111111111 = 12345678987654321
Now, take a look at this…
From a strictly mathematical viewpoint:
What Equals 100%?
What does it mean to give MORE than 100%?
Ever wonder about those people who say they are giving more than 100%?
We have all been in situations where someone wants you to
GIVE OVER 100%.
How about ACHIEVING 101%?
What equals 100% in life?
Here’s a little mathematical formula that might help
answer these questions:
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Is represented as:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26.
H-A-R-D-W-O- R- K
8+1+18+4+23+ 15+18+11 = 98%
11+14+15+23+ 12+5+4+7+ 5 = 96%
1+20+20+9+20+ 21+4+5 = 100%
THEN, look how far the love of God will take you:
12+15+22+5+15+ 6+7+15+4 = 101%
Therefore, one can conclude with mathematical certainty that:
While Hard Work and Knowledge will get you close, and Attitude will
get you there, It’s the Love of God that will put you over the top!
The Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi wasallam) [Peace be upon him] said…
“ There is NOTHING heavier in the Scales [On the Day Of Judgement] than GOOD CHARACTER ” !
And the Prophet [peace be upon him] was our role model and the premier example of a man who displayed the finest possible character.
ALLAH [Aza Wa Jall] said: “Verily, in the Messenger of Allaah you have a fine role model.” [Source:- ‘Quran’ ~ Surat al-Ahzaab 33: A # 21]
Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have Mercy on him) summarized the extent of his noble manners by saying:-
The Prophet [peace be upon him] used to greet the children when he passed by them. Sometimes, a little girl would take him by the hand and he would allow her to lead him wherever she wanted.
Prophet [peace be upon him] used to lick his fingers after eating.
He [peace be upon him] would be in the service of his family when at home.
Never would he become angry because of something personal.
He [peace be upon him] used to repair his own sandals and mend his own torn clothes.
He would milk his goat himself for his own family…& would feed his own camel.
He used to eat with his servants, sit in the company of the poor people,
He would personally take care of the needs of widows and orphans.
He would be the one to initiate the greeting when meeting people.
He would respond to the humblest of invitations.
He [peace be upon him] lived a very modest lifestyle, a man of soft manners, naturally kind, easy to get along with, having a pleasant smile on his face, gracefully humble, extremely generous but not wasteful, soft-hearted and gentle in his dealings with each and every Muslim, lowering the wings of humility to the believers, bearing their companionship in such a gentle way.
It is imperative that we as Muslims realize the completeness of the guidance of the Messenger of Allaah (may Allaah raise his rank and grant him peace’) and know that our true honor and distinction among the nations, as well as our success in the Hereafter, lies in embracing his guidance, in all affairs of belief and action.
Life is nothing but an accumulation of many breaths. So every breath is just a precious Diamond which cannot be purchased with anything in the world! It is a priceless jewel which has got no substitute in value. So in movements and talks, and in sorrows and happiness, such a priceless breath should not be spent in vain. To destroy it is to court destruction. An intelligent man cannot lose it.
When a man gets up at dawn, he should enter into an agreement with himself just as a tradesman contracts with his partner. At that time, he should address his mind thus:-
O mind you have been given no other property as precious as life. When it will end, the principal will end, and despondency will come in seeking profit in business. Today is a new day. ALLAH has given you time, that is HE has delayed your Death. HE has bestowed upon you innumerable gifts. Think that you are already dead. So don’t waste time. Every breath is a precious jewel.
Man has got for each day and night twenty-four treasure houses in twenty-four hours. Fill up these then find them filled up with divine sights in the world. If they are not filled up with good work they will be filled up with intense darkness where from a bad stench will come out and envelop them all around.
Another treasure house will neither give him happiness nor sorrow. That is an hour in which he slept, or was careless, or was engaged in any lawful work of this world. He will feel grieved for its remaining vacant.
[Source:-Taken from al-Ghazali: Meditation and Introspection…]
[The Book of Constructive Virtues, Ihya Ulum-id-din.]
Two teenagers asked their father if they could go to the theater to watch a movie that all their friends had seen. After reading some reviews about the movie on the Internet, he denied their request.
“Ah dad, why not?” they complained. “It’s rated PG-13, and we’re both older than thirteen!” Dad replied: “Because that movie contains nudity and portrays immorality as being normal and acceptable behavior.” “But dad, those are just very small parts of the movie! That’s what our friends who’ve seen it have told us. The movie is two hours long and those scenes are just a few minutes of the total film! It’s based on a true story and good triumphs over evil, and there are other redeeming themes like courage and self-sacrifice. Even the movie review websites say that!” “My answer is ‘no,’ and that is my final answer. You are welcome to stay home tonight, invite some of your friends over, and watch one of the good videos we have in our home collection. But you will not go and watch that film. End of discussion.” The two teenagers walked dejectedly into the family room and slumped down on the couch. As they sulked, they were surprised to hear the sounds of their father preparing something in the kitchen.
They soon recognized the wonderful aroma of brownies baking in the oven, and one of the teenagers said to the other, “Dad must be feeling guilty, and now he’s going to try to make it up to us with some fresh brownies. Maybe we can soften him with lots of praise when he brings them out to us and persuade him to let us go to that movie after all.” The teens were not disappointed. Soon their father appeared with a plate of warm brownies, which he offered to his kids. They each took one.
Then their father said, “before you eat, I want to tell you something: I love you both so much.”
The teenagers smiled at each other with knowing glances. Dad was softening.
“That is why I’ve made these brownies with the very best ingredients. I’ve made them from scratch. Most of the ingredients are even organic; the best organic flour, the best free-range eggs, the best organic sugar, premium vanilla and chocolate.”
The brownies looked mouth-watering, and the teens began to become a little impatient with their dad’s long speech.
“But I want to be perfectly honest with you. There is one ingredient I added that is not usually found in brownies. I got that ingredient from our own back yard. But you needn’t worry, because I only added the tiniest bit of that ingredient to your brownies. The amount of the portion is practically insignificant. So go ahead, take a bite and let me know what you think?
“Dad, would you mind telling us what that mystery ingredient is before we eat?”
“Why? The portion I added was so small, just a teaspoonful. You won’t even taste it.”
“Come on, dad; just tell us what that ingredient is?”
“Don’t worry! It is organic, just like the other ingredients.”
“Well, OK, if you insist. That secret ingredient is organic … dog poop.”
Both teens instantly dropped their brownies back on the plate and began inspecting their fingers with horror.
“Dad! Why did you do that? You’ve tortured us by making us smell those brownies cooking for the last half hour, and now you tell us that you
added dog poop! We can’t eat these brownies!”
“Why not? The amount of dog poop is very small compared to the rest of the ingredients. It won’t hurt you. It’s been cooked right along with the other ingredients. You won’t even taste it. It has the same consistency as the brownies. Go ahead and eat!”
“No, Dad … Never!”
“And that is the same reason I won’t allow you to go watch that movie.
You won’t tolerate a little dog poop in your brownies, so why should you tolerate a little immorality in your movies? We pray that God will not lead us unto temptation, so how can we in good
conscience entertain ourselves with something that will imprint a sinful image in our minds that will lead us into temptation long after we first see it?”
Remember, we become de-sensitized a little bit at a time; it is the small and minimal sins that we forget the most.
Although this Hadith specifies voluntary prayer but our every act of obedience of Allah (subhana wa ta’ala)is an act of workmanship towards the properties we are preparing for ourselves in Jannah.
A highly skilled carpenter who had grown old was ready to retire. He told his employer-contractor of his plans to leave the house building business and live a more leisurely life with his family. He would miss the paycheck, but he needed to retire.
The employer was sorry to see his good worker go and asked if he could build just one more house as a personal favor. The carpenter agreed to this proposal but made sure that this would be his last project. Being in a mood to retire, the carpenter was not paying much attention to building this house. His heart was not in his work. He resorted to poor workmanship and used inferior materials. It was an unfortunate way to end his career.
When the job was done, the carpenter called his employer and showed him the house. The employer handed over some papers and the front door key to the carpenter and said “This is your house, my gift to you.”
The carpenter was in shock! What a shame! If he had only known that he was building his own house, he would have made it better than any other house that he had ever built!
Our situation can be compared to this carpenter. Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) has sent us to this world to build our homes in Paradise by obeying His commands. Now, we have to decide how well we wish to build the homes in which we will live forever.
The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Three (things) accompany a dead body: members of his family, his belongings and his deeds. Two of them leave him, and only one remains with him. Indeed, his family members and his belongings leave him but his deeds remain with him.” [Bukhari]
Commentary: In Shadharat adh-Dhahab it is related that one of the kings of the Buwaih Dynasty, Fakhr ad-Daulah, said: “I collected enough wealth for my children and their army to suffice them for fifteen years.”
But when he died, the keys to his treasures were with his sons who ignored his funeral. Consequently, the people searched for an appropriate cover for him. They eventually bought one from the caretaker of the mosque. All the while his sons and soldiers bickered among themselves until his corpse rotted.
When the disputing was over, the people had to lasso his corpse and pull it from a distance because of its horrid smell. As they pulled his corpse, it fell apart on the stairway of his castle.
Here was a king who owned a great portion of worldly life, a legacy of two million dinars, eight hundred and fifty six thousand dirhams, and a sensational amount of 14,000 pieces of jewels, gems, pearls, diamonds, and gold. This is not to mention incredible amounts of silverware, furniture, weapons and carpets.
But when he died no one attended to him, with nothing to cover him except what they could scavenge from the caretaker of the mosque. This is the reality of this life. We come to this world empty handed and we leave this world empty handed. Only our deeds enter our graves alongside us. Indeed, the wisest person is he who prepares himself for the afterlife by obeying Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) in the best of ways.