Why people lie

We live in times where lying and deceit has become a habit because people assume that it is easy to get away with it. I’ve been thinking about why people lie, and while on the outside it may be due to various superficial reasons, at the very core of it, there’s only one reason and that is: our faith has become so weak that we don’t believe that God can take care of our affairs and so we take the matter in to our own hands and lie to (temporarily) get what we want.

Allaah says in the Qur’an, verse 70-71 in surah al-Ahzab:

“O you who have believed, fear Allaah and speak the truth (words of justice). He will [then] amend for you your deeds and forgive you your sins. And whoever obeys Allaah and His Messenger has certainly attained a great attainment.”

The word “يصلح” used in verse 71 comes from the root ص ل ح which means not only will He “amend” but set your affairs right. In other words, if you speak the truth, Allaah will take care of the rest. He will fix what’s broken. That’s a promise from a God who is al-‘Adl (the Most Just), al-Khabir (the All-Aware), al-Muhaymin (the Preserver of Safety), al-Fattah (the Reliever, One who will open closed doors for you), al-Razzaq (the Provider from unimaginable sources). He is Allaah, al-Wakil, the Universal Trustee, the only One you can rely on, no matter what it is that you’re going through, no matter what it is that you desire.

Instead of seeking a temporary means (lying, deceiving) to get what you want that you know will undoubtedly backfire soon enough, speak the truth and Allaah will surprise you with His Justice and reward.

Grieving with Ihsan

Writing about loss is always difficult because no matter what words you use, no matter how you wrap it up, no phrase can give voice to your grief. When I recently lost my baby due to a miscarriage, I was shaken to my core. My heart ached in places I never knew existed. I had initially put up a strong front, but when the reality sank in, I didn’t know how to cope. With each passing day, my grief only seemed to grow stronger and I had a constant lump in my throat. I yo-yoed between strength and despair until I crashed completely and let myself grieve fully.
It was then that I realized how much loss can affect someone. One can fall to either extreme, neither of which have a good ending. You can put up a facade, but only for a while; you’re bound to crash. You can also give in and let yourself wallow in your pain, but that’s also a risk because it often leads to despair, and despair leads to loss of focus and identity; if left unattended, that will further lead to loss of sanity or even life. So how do we find that balance? How do we maintain our sanity and grieve at the same time?Although this matter is very personal and one very close to my heart, I know that just like me, there might be someone out there journeying through a dark period and feeling helpless. Below is a humble attempt at putting a few pointers together that helped me deal with my own pain at a time when the light at the end of the tunnel seemed like a far-off, unreachable thing.
It’s OK to Cry
We tend to think that if we cry, we are seen as weak. But that could not be further from the truth. I believe that when we cry, it’s because we are facing a certain pain, we are addressing an ache deep within us. Crying means we are acknowledging that loss, and acknowledgment is the first step to finding relief. But I personally find that whenever I cry to Allaah, I share my sorrow with someone who understands me like no one else does. Someone who knows my strengths and my weaknesses, someone who has promised that with every pang of pain, there is also relief. Someone who has seen me at my worst and has put up with me regardless. That someone, for me, has always been and always will be Allaah, because with Him I have high expectations and I have never been let down. With people though, that’s certainly different as we are almost always disappointed whenever we attach expectations to them.
So my suggestion would be to get up and pray, even if just two rak’ahs, concentrating on every word you recite, and every bow and prostration, and once you’re done, cry your heart out, but don’t let your tears go to waste. Beg Allaah for Mercy, ask Him to give you strength, ask Him to increase your patience, ask Him to keep you guided and not let you stray, ask Him to make you content with His Decree, ask Him to heal your heart. I promise you, you will feel much, much lighter.
Renew your Focus
When we get married, most of us start thinking about having children, whether it is soon or somewhere down the road. As Muslim women, our role in society is very crucial for the same reason: We are bearers of a future generation whom we hope will carry on our legacy. And so begins our journey of child bearing. Conceiving requires a dedicated topic of its own, but for the sake of maintaining uniformity, to cut the journey short, it is sometimes an excruciatingly painful process both physically and most importantly mentally. I know of some women who have tried to conceive for years, going through the tedious processes of charting their temperatures, extensive treatments, and more, and in the end have been greeted with a Big Fat Negative pregnancy test. An experience like that is traumatic on its own, but when you finally do conceive only to lose the baby, it can really send you on an emotional roller coaster. When that happens, it is vital to remember that even though we may have spent the past few months focusing on this unborn child, preparing for its arrival, making life-altering decisions, etc., we have to shift our focus back to ourselves.
We have been created for one and only one purpose in this world: to worship Allaah.
وَمَا خَلَقْتُ الْجِنَّ وَالْإِنسَ إِلَّا لِيَعْبُدُونِ
And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me. [adh-Dhariyat; 56]

Marriage, children and wealth, are only our means to attain Allaah’s Pleasure. They are not to be confused with our goals. Often what happens is we lose focus once we get married, we slack off in our ‘ibadah (worship), and once pregnancy comes into the picture, we tend to put ourselves on the back burner and forget our true goal. If Allaah decreed that for now we are not meant to have children, then that means He is asking us to renew our focus. We need to start thinking of loss not as something or someone we are being deprived of, but rather as an opportunity to secure ourselves a close spot next to the Prophets (may peace and blessings of Allaah be upon them all), their Companions and those closest to Allaah. So although it may be hard right now, push yourself to find something to do that will bring you closer to Allaah. Use your pain to initiate a project or any deed that will benefit your akhirah (afterlife) and the community.
Nothing belongs to Us
If we considered every single thing that we have as a loan from Allaah, it would be a little easier for us to cope when we suffer a loss. It’s part of our nature as humans to form an attachment to what we have. But remind yourself that in reality, nothing really belongs to us, that everything is from Allaah and He can take them away from us whenever He wishes, out of His Knowledge and Perfect Wisdom. Only He knows how having a certain thing or someone might alter our lives and have a negative impact on us. So if you lost your baby, remember that as impossibly hard as it may be, it was for the best. And understand that loss is temporary. He might have taken it from you right now, but He is reserving it for you in a place far, far better than this transient world. It’s being kept for you in a world where death and sorrow have no place.
Build a Strong Fortress
Dhikr (remembrance of Allaah) is our sanctuary. When we slip into depression, we fall into shaytan’s trap. He is, as we know, forever our enemy and is always hard at work against us. But when we keep ourselves occupied with dhikr, we build a spiritual fortress which acts as a shield against shaytan. Make it a habit to recite the morning and evening du’as (invocations) as prescribed in the sunnah and in addition to that, remember to include ones that have been recommended to us during times like these:
وَلَنَبْلُوَنَّكُم بِشَيْءٍ مِّنَ الْخَوْفِ وَالْجُوعِ وَنَقْصٍ مِّنَ الْأَمْوَالِ وَالْأَنفُسِ وَالثَّمَرَاتِ ۗ وَبَشِّرِ الصَّابِرِينَ
الَّذِينَ إِذَا أَصَابَتْهُم مُّصِيبَةٌ قَالُوا إِنَّا لِلَّهِ وَإِنَّا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُونَ
“And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient,
Who, when disaster strikes them, say, “Indeed we belong to Allah , and indeed to Him we will return.” [al-Baqarah:155-156]

Umm Salamah (may Allaah be pleased with her) said: I heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: “There is no person who is afflicted with a calamity and says, ‘Verily to Allaah we belong and unto Him is our return. O Allaah, reward me for my affliction and compensate me with something better’ – but Allaah will reward him for his affliction and compensate him with something better.” She said: When Abu Salamah died, I said: Who is better than Abu Salamah, the companion of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)? Then Allaah caused me to say it and I said it. She said: Then I married the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). [Saheeh Muslim]
Remembrance of Allaah also comes in the form of praying and other acts that are done solely for attaining Allaah’s pleasure. One of the stories that has never failed to inspire me during my down moments is that of Ayyub ‘alayhissalaam. Yazid bin Maysarah said: “When Allah tested Ayyub, upon him be peace, with the loss of his family, wealth and children, and he had nothing left, he started to focus upon the remembrance of Allaah, and he said:
‘I praise You, the Lord of lords, Who bestowed His kindness upon me and gave me wealth and children, and there was no corner of my heart that was not filled with attachment to these worldly things, then You took all of that away from me and You emptied my heart, and there is nothing to stand between me and You. If my enemy Iblees knew of this, he would be jealous of me.’”
Ayyub ‘alayhissalaam said:
وَأَيُّوبَ إِذْ نَادَىٰ رَبَّهُ أَنِّي مَسَّنِيَ الضُّرُّ وَأَنتَ أَرْحَمُ الرَّاحِمِينَ
“And (remember) Ayyub, when he cried to his Lord: ‘Verily, distress has seized me, and You are the Most Merciful of all those who show mercy.’” [al-Anbiya: 83]
Allaah replied:
فَاسْتَجَبْنَا لَهُ فَكَشَفْنَا مَا بِهِ مِن ضُرٍّ ۖ وَآتَيْنَاهُ أَهْلَهُ وَمِثْلَهُم مَّعَهُمْ رَحْمَةً مِّنْ عِندِنَا وَذِكْرَىٰ لِلْعَابِدِينَ
“So We answered his call, and We removed the distress that was on him, and We restored his family to him, and the like thereof along with them as a mercy from Ourselves and a Reminder for all those who worship Us.” [al-Anbiya: 84]
How beautiful was his patience. Just like Ayyub ‘alayhissalaam, occupy your day with various acts of ‘ibadah, and that in turn will perfect your patience and bring your heart peace and contentment.
No one can tell you to not grieve, no one has the right to minimize your pain, but how you react to your loss does define you and it is what will shape your future, both temporary and eternal. If there’s anything I have learned from my personal experience with miscarriage, it is that no matter how difficult it was, I had to force my mind out of a web of defeatism and self-pity. It was a battle I fought every day and continue to fight. I will always feel an ache in my heart but it will always be followed by contentment with His Decree and the hope that Allaah will reunite me with it in a place that is far more precious, that is eternal, where all dreams come true, where pain is non-existent and where joy knows no bounds: Paradise.


Write, as much as you can, as much as you want to, write. But writing only helps when you’re honest. So write, when you’re prepared to face your fears, when you’re willing to be disturbed by your reality, when you’re ready to be shaken up inside out, when you can face the real you. That’s when your writing can make a difference.

What do you see?

Henry David Thoreau once said: “Its not what you look at that matters, its what you see.”

A trend that most of us fall victim to is that we interpret our surroundings based on our moods. So if we’re angry, we find people annoying. If we’re hurt,  the world seems to be a mean place. But how about making a conscious effort to see the good in everything? Surely then, the world would seem less mean and a happier place?

Valuable reminders for Eid

Eid Mubarak everyone!

TaqabbAllaahu minna wa minkum.

Just a couple of short thoughts and reminders:

1. We went out one Eid with Sufyan Al-Thawri and he said, “The first thing we will do on this day of ours is to lower our gaze.” [Ibn Abi Al-Dunya, Kitab Al-Wara’ article 66]

It is reported that Hassan bin Abi Sinan rahimahullaah went out one Eid and when he returned home his wife said, “How many beautiful women have you looked at today?” After she kept asking him, he said, “Woe to you! I have looked at nothing but my toe from when I went out to when I returned to you.” [Ibn Abi al-Dunya, Kitab Al-Wara’ article 68]

So sisters, dress appropriately. I know its Eid and we all like to dress up, but make sure to stay well within your boundaries. And brothers.. follow the above sunnah and lower your gaze.

2. Ibn Rajab rahimahullaah: “Eid is not for the one who wears new clothes. Eid is for the one whose obedience rises. Eid is not for the one with beautiful clothes and fine means of transport, Eid is for the one whose sins are forgiven.” [al-Lata’if, p. 371]

One has to wonder.. how many of us have come out of Ramadan with a clean or even a partially clean slate? How many of us have bettered our `ibaadah? How many of us have purified our hearts? How many of us have been written from amongst the Siddiqeen, and to be from amongst those to enter Jannah? How many of us have been saved from Hell?

You have to ask yourself:

Have I been forgiven?

Can we find a better Master other than Him?

ضَرَبَ اللَّهُ مَثَلًا رَّجُلًا فِيهِ شُرَكَاءُ مُتَشَاكِسُونَ وَرَجُلًا سَلَمًا لِّرَجُلٍ هَلْ يَسْتَوِيَانِ مَثَلًا ۚ الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ ۚ بَلْ أَكْثَرُهُمْ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ

Allaah presents an example: a slave owned by quarreling partners and another belonging exclusively to one man – are they equal in comparison? Praise be to Allaah ! But most of them do not know.

[Soorat az-Zumar; 29]

Belonging exclusively to Allaah – What an honor subhan’Allaah!  For Allaah subhanahu wa ta`ala Himself to say this, this is a great, no its the greatest honor and blessing He so generously and lovingly bestowed upon us. To belong to the One Who is so full of Love, full of Mercy, Compassion, the One Who never sleeps or tires from watching over His slaves, the One Who descends to the lowest Heaven asking His slaves if they need anything, and that if they are in need of forgiveness He will forgive them. And that if they are in need of any wish, He will fulfill them – Subhaanaka ya Rabb! Can we find a better Master than the Him?

Have you ever tried to stay up in the middle of the night when everyone else is asleep and the only company you have is of your mus-haf, the moon, and silence. You beseech Him, imploring Him for relief and right then and there, you are enveloped in peace, your heart is filled with certainty and tranquility. Can you find a better Master than Him?

La wAllaah there’s not a single being on the face of this earth or anywhere else in the universe who can compare to Him in His Love, Care and Compassion for His slaves.

In Fi Dhilaal al-Qur’aan Sayyid Qutb sums it up beautifully:

The one who has one master enjoys consistency and knows what is expected of him. His energy is spent in a consistent way and the road ahead of him is clear. The other, who has several masters, is always suffering anxiety and worry. He does not feel settled. He is unable to satisfy even one of his masters, let alone them all.

This comparison accurately describes the nature of believing in God’s oneness as opposed to the nature of idolatry. The one who believes in God’s oneness goes along his earth’s journey equipped with clear guidance, because his eyes are looking up to one guiding star in the sky. Thus his way is straight. He knows one source for life, strength and sustenance; harm and benefit; grace and deprivation. He sets on his straight way to this source, strengthening his ties with it. He is assured of his single goal and does not lose sight of it. Thus, his energy is streamlined, assured of his work’s objective. His feet are set firm on the ground while his gaze looks to God in heaven.

A few verses later, Allaah says:

أَلَيْسَ اللَّهُ بِكَافٍ عَبْدَهُ

Is not Allah sufficient for His Servant?

[Verse 36]

Although this ayah was revealed in relation to the scare tactics the disbelievers were using against RasoolAllaah sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam, warning him against their false deities; its also a reminder to the believers in whatever hardship they may face.

Sayyid Qutb rahimahullaah says:

So, what can scare him when God is with him? What can generate any feeling of fear in him after he has taken the position of a servant of God and fulfilled the responsibilities that such aposition confers? Who can doubt God’s sufficiency for His servants when He is the Almighty who holds sway over all His creation?

So the lesson we take from here is that no matter what others may try to do in order to deter you from your goal, whether they slander you or even think of you as a no-match or inferior to them, there’s no reason to be disheartened because you have Allaah as your Master. Thus you become invincible and their petty games and threats are easy for you to shrug off.

When the heart grieves..

I was looking for an email and came across a recent one which I sent to a dear friend. Its a piece of advice that I desperately needed to remind myself with and I thought I’d share it with others, perhaps those who read it might benefit as well.

…1. Just know that Allaah’s Mercy is infinite and it encompasses EVERYTHING, every single being, every creature on this earth. I’ll share with you something extremely beautiful and touching that I read just last night.

Ibn al-Qayyim rahimahullaah says: “…the hearts of man can be divided into two kinds, the first of which is the heart of those, who incline to the Beneficent, which is the source of brightness, life, happieness, pleasure, delight and blessings. The second one is the throne of the devil where narrowness, darkness, death, sorrow, distress and grief are settled therein. This heart is obsessed by sorrow for the past, and grief and distress for the present.

at-Tirmidhi and others narrated: “The Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam said: ‘If the heart is overwhelmed by the brightness (of faith), surely it will be opened and delighted.’ They said: ‘O Messenger of Allaah [sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam]! What is the sign for that?’ He replied: ‘Resorting to the eternal dwelling [Jannah], being averted from the dwelling of deceit [worldly life], and being prepared for death before its arrival.’“”

So my dearest sis, imagine how content and bright you heart will be if you were to continue working on keeping it close to Allaah? These feelings of brightness, delight, contentment, serenity, etc only come about from knowing Allaah. And really truly knowing Him, is to know that whatever comes our way we know that it is from His Mercy and Wisdom. No matter how ugly and difficult it may seem on the outside, to a believer his/her affairs are always good. Remember that hadeeth? And how would you know Allaah? By reading and pondering over His Words. We’ve got the Book right there on our shelves, yet it sits there covered in dust waiting for us to reach out. Try to, no not try, MAKE this a habit: whenever you feel lonely or feel sadness overcoming you, open the mus-haf to any random page. Just open it up and I make Allaah as a witness to this sis, whatever your eyes fall upon [in that page] will give you comfort. All you have to do is not just read it with your eyes, but read it with your heart and wAllaah your heart will open up.

2. Allaah created us in pairs and in numbers for a reason and thats because humans are by nature social beings. We need company especially in times of distress. Its natural to want to talk to a friend, its not an act of laziness. Even the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam had a best friend [Abu Bakr] whom he relied on at times.

But that doesn’t mean we’re dividing our reliance between Allaah and the creation. Our reliance on Allaah is different or rather should be different from that of the creation. Because we ought to trust and rely on Allaah completely and wholly. We belong to Allaah primarily, not to the creation. And so our complete love and reliance is directed to Allaah, as in He is the ultimate object of our Love and trust and that we don’t put another person/object above or before Him.

See, you’ll be able to tell the difference when at times of loneliness you don’t have a friend you can talk to, your heart still feels at ease because you know you’ve got the Ultimate Friend [Allaah]! That way you won’t feel overwhelmed by depression or sadness because you’re turning to the One who is really the best kind of Friend: He not only listens and understands our pain, He knows us inside out and He can actually deliever us from hardship. People don’t have the power or ability to do that.

I came across a beautiful verse from soorat an-Nahl a couple of weeks ago when I randomly opened my mus-haf.  I’ll share my reflections on it in the next post, insha’Allaah.