When Problems have no solutions

When Problems have no solutions

Life is hard. It is a testing ground in which we all face multiple trials. Some trials are easier to manage than others. Knowing that a trial has an end, that there is hope for solution, and that it will all be over soon, makes it easier to get through the difficult times. We remind ourselves that with hardship comes ease, and that victory comes with patience. When an end is in sight, we have more courage and hope which fuels our patience, and gets us through the trial.

But what about those trials that seem to have no end? How do we deal with a test that might last a lifetime? How do we make peace with the fact that sometimes there is no ease coming, there is no victory coming, and the test will not end until we leave this world? Whether it is a chronic illness, a tragic loss of a loved one, or an unjust lifetime imprisonment, many people are tested with trials that seem to have no end in sight. How do we deal with these trials?

Accepting One’s Qadar

And know that what has missed you was not meant for you, and what has befallen you was not going to miss you.

Hadith 19, 40 Hadith an-Nawawi

Destiny is a mystery that most human minds will fail to comprehend. We have limited free will and are responsible for our choices, but at the end of the day, nothing occurs unless Allah’s wills it. Allah already knows everything and has written all of our destinies for us. When we are faced with a trial that does not end and which we cannot comprehend, the best thing we can do at that point is to accept our destiny. This is what Allah has willed for us.

Nobody gets through life without facing some kind of trial. We all have to deal with tragedies and trauma that is beyond our control. Yet we find solace in the concept of destiny. Accepting that it was already written for us and that what has hit us was never meant to miss us brings some peace to the mind. It prevents from wishing if only I did something different, I could have changed my fate. What is done is done, we must accept that our current circumstance is our destiny and find a way to continue moving forward with our trials and pain.

Focusing on the Afterlife

One of the blessings of hardship is that they remind us to return to Allah and to focus on what truly matters. Our life in this world is short and soon we will all leave. When that happens, only our deeds and sincere intentions will go with us and benefit us in the Afterlife. A tragedy is a chance to realign our thinking. It is an opportunity to turn back to Allah and make preparation for the Afterlife our number one priority.

It is too easy to get distracted by our worldly goals, forgetting that the real victory is success on the Last Day. Our tragedies bring everything into perspective. They humble us, allowing us to see what really matters. No matter how difficult life gets in this world, if we continue to live in a way that is pleasing to Allah, the end result is Paradise and that is worth all the pain. So channel your energy into working for Paradise, and your trials will become blessings in the process.

Trusting Allah’s Plan

Allah is Most Wise, and whatever He wills is best for us. We must trust the plan of Allah. Like Yusuf in the prison, Ayub during his illness, and Yunus in the belly of the whale, our trust in Allah and connection with Allah should remain strong. “Allah knows best” should be our guiding thought. Sometimes a trial seems unsurmountable, but overcoming it is exactly what you need to level up and become a better version of yourself. Or maybe it is unsolvable, but your patience with it is your ticket to Paradise. Either way, we do not know but we do know that if we trust Allah’s plan, the end will always be in our favor.

Reflect on the story of Musa and Khidr. The owners of the ship that was damaged, the parents who lost their child, and the orphans who could not yet find their inheritance. None of them knew that these tragedies were in their favor and for their own long-term benefit. Allah’s Plans works in ways we cannot imagine. When life is tough, trust that Allah knows best and find peace through tawakul.

Buckets of Sabr

We will certainly test you with fear and hunger, and loss of wealth, lives and crops. So give good news to the resilient.

Quran 2:155

There is only one way forward through trials, and that is with Sabr. Sabr does not mean passively allowing people to oppress you. Sabr means being patient with what is beyond your control. Sabr means persistence in obeying Allah. Sabr means self-control when you desire to commit sins. Sabr means resiliency when life gets tough. Sabr is all of these things and more. Sabr should be the lifestyle of the believer, powering us through every test of life.

When life gets tough, we must be tougher than our trials. We must dig deep and find our inner strength to push through. No matter how difficult life gets, the pleasure of Allah must remain our goal. Patiently, we will accept our destiny, persevere in our good deeds, and face our trials with resiliency. Through sabr, lots and lots of sabr in all its forms, we will find peace, reward, and the pleasure of Allah.

Finding the Ease within the Hardship

When life gets hard, we have two choices: feel sorry for ourselves and give up or find a way to keep moving forward. There is no benefit in the first option. Defeat does not suit the believer. We will endure and keep moving forward. To do this, we will find the ease in our hardship. Life is tough but even in the toughest of times, there are many sources of comfort to power us through. During difficult times, seek out the good things in your life and cling to them as sources of comfort.

Find solace in your family and friends. If that is not possible, then find inner peace through worship and your relationship with Allah. Let your peace come internally, so that nobody can break it. Find the ease in your hardship, even if it is internal. Inner peace because of a strong relationship with Allah is all we need to get through our toughest trials.

Never Losing Hope

Do not despair of Allah’s Mercy. None despairs of Allah’s Mercy except the disbelieving people.

Quran 12:87

Never lose hope. Allah is there for you. He is with you in good times and bad times. Everything occurs as Allah has willed it, and sometimes we only see the fruit of our effort in the Afterlife. The believer does not lose hope in Allah’s mercy, knowing that miracles are possible, and even without a worldly victory, our patience will pay off in the next world. Paradise is worth the pain we endure in this life and that alone makes it worth every moment.

Be mindful of Allah and Allah will protect you. Be mindful of Allah and you will find Him in front of you. If you ask, then ask Allah [alone]; and if you seek help, then seek help from Allah [alone]. And know that if the nation were to gather together to benefit you with anything, they would not benefit you except with what Allah had already prescribed for you. And if they were to gather together to harm you with anything, they would not harm you except with what Allah had already prescribed against you. The pens have been lifted and the pages have dried.”

Hadith 19, 40 Hadith an-Nawawi

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Posted by Ismail Kamdar in Islam, Positive Thinking
Take Ownership of Your Choices

Take Ownership of Your Choices

Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) as saying, “A strong believer is better and is more lovable to Allah than a weak believer, and there is good in everyone, (but) cherish that which gives you benefit (in the Hereafter) and seek help from Allah and do not lose heart, and if anything (in the form of trouble) comes to you, don’t say: If I had not done that, it would not have happened so and so, but say: Allah did that what He had ordained to do and your” if” opens the (gate) for the Satan.”

Sahih Muslim 2664

Too many people live off excuses. They make excuses for why their business failed, their marriage failed, or their life sucks. This mindset does not help them in any way. An excuse is just a means of projected responsibility onto someone else. If your failure is the government’s fault, the media’s fault, or society’s fault, then you have an excuse to stay where you are and never advance in life. This mindset is itself a failure and will lead to nothing but more failure.

To succeed at anything, a man must take complete ownership of his choices and their consequences. He must own his decisions, own his mistakes, own his experiences, and own his consequences. It is only when we start taking ownership of these things, we do that we truly grow and mature. Maturity comes from understanding your mistakes and learning from them. Wisdom comes from making mistakes and never repeating the same mistakes. Growth comes from trying new things even if you fail at them. Success lies on the other side of ownership, to succeed you must take full responsibility.

Qadar is not an excuse

Umar ibn al-Khattab reported that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “If you were to rely upon Allah with reliance due to Him, He would provide for you just as He provides for the birds. They go out in the morning with empty stomachs and return full.”

Sunan al-Tirmidhī 2344

You cannot use Qadar as an excuse to sit around and do nothing. Nobody knows their Qadar, so we all need to go out there and do our absolute best. The result for that day is your Qadar for that day. But you do not know your Qadar for tomorrow, so try again tomorrow and give it your best again. Do this, every single day. Taking ownership for your choices means giving it your best, trying your hardest, being your best, and then accepting what God has written for you for that day.

Take ownership every single day for your choices and actions for that day. Analyse your actions, recognize your mistakes. Learn, improve, grow with each move.

Someone who sits around and just cries about his bad luck will never move forward. His own thoughts and self-defeating beliefs will keep him exactly where he is or pull him further down. To be your best, you must change your mindset. You must approach life with responsibility and optimism.

Optimism is part of faith

Abu Huraira reported that the  Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “Allah Almighty says: I am as My servants expects of Me. If he thinks good of Me, he will have it. If he thinks evil of Me, he will have it.”

Ṣaḥīḥ Ibn Ḥibbān 639

A believer must be optimistic. He must think good thoughts about God and hope for the best. A negative attitude towards life is a negative attitude towards the Creator. The believer views everything in his life as part of God’s Plan. He sees the lesson in every mistake, the growth in every trial, and the blessing in every success. The believer takes full responsibility for his own actions but attributes all success to the Creator. This is part of gratitude and living a life of worship.

Anas ibn Malik reported that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “I am amazed by the believer. Verily, Allah does not decree anything for the believer except what is good for him.”

Musnad Ahmad 12495, Grade: Hasan

Slow and gradual is the surest path to success

Abu Huraira reported that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “Take up good deeds only as much as you are able, for the best deeds are those done regularly even if they are few.”

Sunan Ibn Mājah 4240

There are no guarantees in life besides death. But in business and personal growth, slow and steady tends to win. Too many people look for get-rich-quick schemes and the fastest path to riches. They want shortcuts to good health, piety, and retirement. But life does not work like this. Everything worth having takes a long time and a lot of effort to get hold off.

To be successful at anything, you need to be patient. You need to work hard, piece by piece, every day. You need to be committed to the long run. Your business may not become truly profitable in its first year. Your marriage may not be a dream in the early years. Your children may be difficult to be deal with at certain points in their lives. In every aspect of life, you need to be committed to the long term.

It takes a lot of effort over a long period of time to produce anything great. A great marriage is a result of decades of love and sacrifice. Great children are the result of twenty years of invested parenting. An amazing business is the result of at least a decade of hard work. Even piety is not attained overnight. It takes a lifetime of spiritual growth to become a truly righteous person, and that struggle never ends until we leave this world.

Life is not easy. Embrace that fact. Take responsibility for your actions. Avoid excuses. Be optimistic. And be committed to the long-term in anything that is important to you.

Posted by Ismail Kamdar in Positive Thinking, Productivity
Thirty-Six Lessons For Thirty Six Years

Thirty-Six Lessons For Thirty Six Years

I turn 36 years old tomorrow. I took some time today to reflect on my blessings, vision for the future, and lessons I have learned over the past three decades. Here are thirty-six life lessons, I learned by age thirty-six.

  1. Life is a test, but it is also a blessing. Be in a state of gratitude for every blessing in your life.
  2. Focusing too much on the future makes you forget to enjoy the present. Aim high but enjoy the journey too.
  3. Gratitude and contentment are two of the most beautiful internal gifts that make life worth living.
  4. A righteous traditional spouse is one of the greatest gifts that Allah can bless a person with. I am grateful for my wife and my children, and the role they play in my beautiful life.
  5. Success takes time and effort. Work every day towards long-term goals and avoid any temptation to take shady shortcuts in life.
  6. Every gift is a responsibility. Your knowledge, intellect, influence, and skills are all gifts that must be used to benefit the ummah.
  7. Most tests in life are temporary and will sort themselves out over time. Be patience and focus on changing what is within your control to change.
  8. Knowledge really is power. A knowledge of consistent knowledge seeking can help you grow in ways you never imagined.
  9. Nobody regrets the time they spent doing good deeds, serving the community, and bonding with family. Make time for all of these.
  10. Spiritual struggles are part of life. If we could attain spiritual perfection easily, then life would not be a test. It is crucial to be aware of one’s own faults and work towards rectifying these faults gradually.
  11. “Wealth and children are the beauty of this world.” – with each passing year, it becomes clearer and clearer how these two blessings make life beautiful, but good deeds of lasting benefit should be our priority.
  12. When you live each day like it is your last, then you will have no regrets when you are older. The best way to avoid a midlife crisis is to live a beneficial youth.
  13. No matter what trials you are going through, always find a reason to be grateful. Gratitude fuels positive thinking, optimism, and hope.
  14. Build good habits at a young age, and they will power you from strength to strength.
  15. Humans are capable of so much more than we can imagine. We hold ourselves back from accomplishing amazing goals through negative self-talk and bad company.
  16. Sectarianism is a young man’s distraction. As you age, you care more about the broader ummah, and less about a specific sect.
  17. Halal income is crucial for a blessed life. Never give in to the temptation to earn haram, even if it feels easier and quicker.
  18. Success at any task takes time and effort. Go slow, stay focused, and be committed to the long run.
  19. Build sources of continuous reward. This should be a primary goal of every believer.
  20. It does not matter if you live a long life or a short life. Living a life of worship and service is the only way for the believer.
  21. Speak the truth. Your enemies have less power than you think. If Allah protects you, then nobody can harm you.
  22. Never stop learning. Be a student for life, and you will seem like a master to everyone else.
  23. Family is a treasure from Allah. Love them, cherish them, and enjoy every moment with them.
  24. Purification of the soul is necessary and an ongoing task for life. Never become complacent about purifying your soul.
  25. When you have a vision and work towards it, life feels so much more fulfilling and exciting.
  26. Your friend circle is crucial. Surround yourself only with righteous people who give you the best advice for both worlds.
  27. Reading is one of the best habits you can build. Always have a reading list and make time daily to read.
  28. Your children learn more from your manners and character, then from your words. Be their role model.
  29. There will always be people out there who hate you and criticize you. Life is too short to hate people, focus on people that benefit you and help you grow into your best self.
  30. Not all criticism is bad. Even if worded poorly, analyse all criticism for kernels of truth so you can continue improving yourself.
  31. Life is always changing. If you are focused on higher goals, a lot of these changes will be positive and beneficial. Embrace change with each stage of life.
  32. Take care of your emotional and physical health when you are young. You will benefit from this for life.
  33. Make time daily for the Quran. Recite it, reflect on it, and live by it.
  34. Peace is internal. Remember Allah and you will find inner peace, even during times of turmoil.
  35. Every year on this earth is a blessing. Be grateful for every day that Allah has blessed you with. Every day is an opportunity to earn more good deeds.
  36. Death is inevitable. Make peace with that and live for the Hereafter.
Posted by Ismail Kamdar in Life Hacks, Positive Thinking
The Nature of This Worldly Life

The Nature of This Worldly Life

This article is an extract from my 2015 book on Self-Confidence. The book has been published under three different names over the past six years including Best Of Creation, Self-Confidence, and Self-Confidence: The Islamic Way. In light of current world events, I wanted to share this chapter for free due to its relevance to our times.

Many of us are afraid of this world. We don’t understand it and fear what it might bring tomorrow. This fear cripples us and makes us retreat into our own bubbles. We avoid taking risks, trying new things or going to new places out of fear of what could go wrong, thinking it is safer to stay at home and avoid the world.

But avoiding problems is not possible, even if you enclose yourself in a tiny bubble. Becoming confident enough to chase your goals requires coming to terms with the nature of this world.

There are few things about this world that we all need to embrace and understand in order to move forward.

The first is to understand the purpose of this world. In the previous chapter, we learned that Allah created us to worship Him. Now let us reflect on why He created this world.

This is summarized beautifully in Surah Al-Kahf in which Allah says;

“Definitely, I made whatever is on this earth beautiful to test which of them are best in their deeds, and I will make all of it into dry soil,”

Surah Al-Kahf 18:7-8

This verse summarizes four important qualities about this world all of which are relevant to this topic i.e. that this world is beautiful, a test, changing and temporary.

The Test of the Beauty of this world

There are many places in the Qur’an in which Allah uses the word beauty to describe this world, and it truly is beautiful. There are many types of beauty in this world, including pure beauty, deceptive beauty and tempting beauty.

Pure beauty refers to the Halal and beneficial things of this world like Halal wealth, children, a beautiful spouse, a beautiful home or nature in general. These are things which Allah created and made beautiful for the believers to enjoy. The test in these cases is to thank Allah for these gifts and not allow them to distract us from obeying Him.

Regarding this, Allah warns us:

Say: If your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your wives, your kindred, the wealth that you have gained, the commerce in which you fear a decline, and the dwellings in which you delight, are dearer to you than Allah and His Messenger, and striving hard in His Cause , then wait until Allah brings about His Decision (torment). And Allah does not guide a rebellious people.

Surah At-Tawba 10:24

All of the things listed in this verse are Halal and good things. Yet, loving any of them more than Allah and His Messenger is problematic as it corrupts our intentions and goals, and it diverts us from the purpose of life. In this way, the good things in our life are a test.

Deceptive beauty refers to the evils of this world that are disguised as beautiful. The modern marketing industry is famous for this. It packages all forms of sin as good and beautiful and this leads many people down the wrong path towards self-harm and destruction. The test here is to recognize the evil hidden underneath the layers of beautiful wrapping and to avoid it as much as possible. Do not fall for the devil’s deception, as it will lead you down a part to darkness.

Allah warns us about this and says:

And I have appointed for them companions (from among the devils) who made their past and future sins seem attractive.

Surah Al-Fussilat 41:25

The worldly life has been beautified for those who disbelieve, and they mock the believers. But those who believe will rise above them on the Day of Resurrection, and Allah provides for whom He wills without restrictions.

Surah Al-Baqarah 2:212

Tempting beauty are things of this world which are indeed beautiful, but their beauty might be so overpowering that people are willing to violate the laws of Allah to have it. The two most common scenarios are women and wealth. Men are tempted to have beautiful women, and many do not have the confidence to do it the right way by marrying them and treating them equally, so they go down the path of evil to get what they want.

Likewise, people desire wealth and many don’t have the patience and trust in Allah to earn it the Halal way, so they take Haram shortcuts like dealing with Riba (Interest); and they end up with cursed wealth devoid of any blessings.

Yes, this world is beautiful but in this is a test for mankind. We are to enjoy the pure beauty of this world moderately, and to be patient with the prohibited. This patience will lead to even greater and more beautiful things in Paradise.

Allah says about this:

For mankind, (Allah has) beautified a strong love and desire for women, children, heaps of gold and silver, fine branded horses, cattle and tilled land. That is the enjoyment of the worldly life, but Allah has with Him the best return.

Say: Shall I inform you of something better than that? For those who fear Allah will be gardens in the presence of their Lord, beneath which rivers flow. They will dwell therein forever, and have purified spouses and Allah’s pleasure. And Allah is All-Seeing over His Servants.

Surah Aal-Imraan 3:14-15

The World is a Test

And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth, lives and fruits. So give good tidings to the patient.

Surah Al-Baqarah 2:155

It is not only the beauty of this world that tests and tempts us. Everything in this world is a test. Just as good things are a test of gratitude, difficulties too are a test from Allah. In order to build our confidence, we have to accept the world the way it is. The world is not perfect, just like we are not perfect.

The world has beauty but it also has difficulties. Difficulties are a fact of life that every human must face and deal with. Nobody can go through this world without facing some kind of difficulty at one point or another. Running away or hiding in your home will not chase away the tests of life, rather it will bring the tests into your home.

We must understand that this world is a testing ground and we cannot escape that. This means whether we go out and live life, or stay at home afraid, either way tests will come our way. So why stay at home then? There is so much to do in this world. So much good that we can do. So many lives that we can touch. So many ways in which we can make this world a better place.

Yes, there will be trials along the way. This is the nature of the world. Life goes through cycles, we will have good times and we will have bad times. Utilize the good times to maximize your efforts and push on through the bad times too as they too will end sooner or later. Reality is that we can’t change the way the world is, we can just change how we approach and deal with the world. Allah has blessed us all with great skills and talents, use those skills to help His Creation and make this world a better place. That is how we can be among those who are best in their deeds.

The Temporary Nature of this world

And do not call on another god with Allah. There is no god except Him. Everything will be destroyed except His Face. His is the judgement, and to Him you will be returned.

Surah Al-Qasas 28:88

Everyone upon the earth will perish, and there will remain the Face of your Lord, Owner of Majesty and Honour. So which of the favours of your Lord would you deny?

Surah Ar-Rahman 55:26-28

This world will end, and our time in this world will probably end long before that. This is reality, and we must embrace it in order to stop fearing the unknown. Accepting that this world will end means accepting that it is constantly changing and that nothing we have will last forever.

Many people live frightened lives because they are afraid of change. The idea of anything in their life changing terrifies them and as a result, they are always anxious and disappointed because change is guaranteed to affect each and every one of us.

We change, our spouses change, our children change, our economies change, periods of peace and war interchange, presidents change, technology changes, careers and jobs change, nothing is guaranteed to remain in one constant state forever.

Change doesn’t have to be something bad. Change is what you make of it. In the 13th year of prophethood, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his companions were forced into exile and had to flee to Madinah, leaving behind their home town, families and possessions. This was a drastic change and one that could have been perceived very negatively.

Yet, the Prophet (peace be upon him) embraced this change as a part of Allah’s place for him, and looked for ways to make it a positive change. He saw it as an opportunity to build a Muslim community and with much effort, Madinah became the first Islamic State and his new home. It remained his home even after Makkah was conquered, and it remains the most beloved place to Muslims in the world, even today 1400 years later.

In this story, the situation of the Muslims changed many times. From being an oppressed minority, to being in exile, to migrating to a new land, to establishing an Islamic State, to going to war against the aggressors, to peace treaties and finally to victory and conquest. In these 10 years, the only thing that was constant was change. Yet each change was embraced as something positive that will lead to a greater good. As a result, the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his companions accomplished more in two decades than many do in a lifetime.

Around a century later, another great figure had to embrace change when Umar Ibn Abdul Aziz, the governor of Madinah, was removed from his position and forced to move to Damascus. Umar was very sad to leave the beloved city and move to a more materialistic location but he accepted it as Allah’s destiny for him and embraced the change.

Within a few years of moving the Damascus, the centre of the Caliphate at that time, Umar Ibn Abdul Aziz found himself embracing another change. He was declared the new Caliph on the order of his dying cousin, King Sulaiman Ibn Abdul Malik and became one of the greatest rulers the world has ever seen. Had he not embraced the change of moving to Damascus, he might not have become the Caliph.

History has proven many times that every time someone embraced a change that Allah sent into their lives, it led to amazing things that the person never imagined. This is why change is not something to be feared, it is simply something to be accepted as a part of life that everybody experiences.

For whatever is in your capacity to control, make sure the changes are positive. For whatever is outside your control, accept that Allah knows what is best for you and embrace the changes in your life as new opportunities.

Accepting the temporary nature of this world also makes us work for a higher purpose. We will all leave this world one day, so why do we make it our biggest concern?

What we should really be concerned with is our Afterlife. Yes, there is nothing wrong with enjoying the Halal things of this world but they should not distract us from our purpose.

Compared to Paradise, the things of this world are worthless. Whenever there is a clash between what we want in this world and pleasure of Allah, always choose the latter.

Focusing on the Afterlife also helps us get through difficult times. We understand that nothing in this world lasts forever.  Good times won’t last, enjoy them and be grateful to them. Bad times won’t last, push through them hoping to be rewarded in the Afterlife for your patience.

Focus on the Afterlife and don’t make the problems of this world your main focus. Enjoy the good that Allah sends you, and don’t forget to thank Him for it.

Pursue goals that will make this world a better place and that will count on your scale of good deeds on the Last Day. And take the bad days as they come as simply another test and opportunity for growth. After all, if we don’t have bad days, we wouldn’t appreciate the good days.

You Can Do It

Allah does not burden a soul beyond its capacity. It will have [the consequence of] what [good] it has gained, and it will bear [the consequence of] what [evil] it has earned. “Our Lord, do not impose blame upon us if we have forgotten or erred. Our Lord, and lay not upon us a burden like that which You laid upon those before us. Our Lord, do not burden us with that which we have no ability to bear. And pardon us; and forgive us; and have mercy upon us. You are our protector, so give us victory over the disbelieving people.”

Surah Al-Baqarah 2:286

This is the promise of Allah and it should keep us strong during difficult times. Understand that if Allah has sent a specific test into your life, it is because you have the capabilities to deal with it and pass it.

Allah would not have given you that specific test unless you were the right person to deal with it and overcome it. Remind yourself of this verse every time you are in a jam. There is no test in your life that you don’t have the ability to pass, and every human has been given the capabilities to be successful in both worlds.

Reflecting on this verse should give you confidence in your ability to overcome your current predicament. Allah chose you for it, because you have what it takes to deal with it, even if you haven’t discovered that yet. This belief should empower us to dig down deep and do our best in every situation.

The Win/Win Formula

The Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) said:

Amazing is the affair of the believer, verily all of his affair is good and this is not for no one except the believer. If something good befalls him he is grateful and that is good for him. If something harmful befalls him, he is patient and that is good for him

Saheeh Muslim 2999

This Hadith is very powerful in helping us embrace this world with all its flaws. As believers, we must look at everything that happens to us as something good. When things go our way, it is a gift from Allah and we should be grateful to Him for it, and this is good for us in both worlds.

When things don’t go our way, we must be patient, solution-focused and ready to learn some life lessons through the experience, and that too is good for us in both worlds.

This means whatever happens to us in life is good for us, so why fear living. Go out there and make every day count. Be the best you can be. Accomplish whatever you can and be ready to face any setbacks or trials along the way.

There is no reason to avoid our duties and goals out of fear. Doing so won’t hold back the tests but it will hold you back from accomplishing anything worthwhile.

Allah created this world to test us. We are tested with good and with difficulties too. Things are always changing and nothing in this world is constant or eternal. Embrace the nature of this world and you will live a happier life and be able to accomplish more. Do not fear trials, failure or death. These are all natural parts of our experience in this world and unavoidable. Live each day as if it is your last, but make your plans for doing good deeds being optimistic that you will live a long time. Even if you pass away before accomplishing all your goals, Allah will accept your noble intentions and might even use others to accomplish your goals for you.

A Word about Death

“Remember often the destroyer of pleasures,” Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him”

Ibn Majah 4258

Fear of death holds many of us back from doing anything. We fear our own deaths and the deaths of our loved ones. This fear is good if it stops us from doing foolish things that risk our lives like driving recklessly and consuming intoxicants. However, too many of us use it as an excuse to hold ourselves or our families back from doing good deeds.

Death is inevitable. Everybody you know will leave this world one day, as will you. There is nothing we can do to change that. Most likely, everybody you know will not be on this earth in a hundred years’ time and an entirely different generation will populate this earth. Fearing death is not going to change that or stop it from happening. The fact is that every human experiences the death of loved ones multiple times in his/her lifetime, unless that person died at a young age.

As there is no escaping death, we have to embrace it as a part of life. Eventually, we all will leave this world and when our time is up, it doesn’t matter whether we are out trying to make this world a better place, or cowering at home, either way we will have to face reality.

Remember that nobody has control over when they die, but we do choose how we live, so live!

Don’t be dead inside while your body is alive. Live your life and do whatever you can to leave this world a better place than you found it. Live such a life that when death comes, you are pleased to meet your Lord and He is pleased to meet you. You can’t escape death but you can turn it into a beautiful transition from this world into somewhere better.

[To the righteous it will be said], “Oh soul that is at peace, Return to your Lord, well-pleased and pleasing [to Him], so enter among My [righteous] servants And enter My Paradise.”

Surah Al-Fajr 89:27-30

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Posted by Ismail Kamdar in Self Confidence
How to spot a celebrity Muslim Con Artist

How to spot a celebrity Muslim Con Artist

In light of recent events which I won’t mention (Cough* insta-celebrity fraud, theft, lying *Cough) here are a few simple rules for being able to spot the fake celebrities who plague our social media sites.

1. All the cringy happy pics

If your favorite Instagramer/Tweeter/Facebooker/YouTuber is posting all kinds of ‘my life is so happy’ pictures and videos. And shows no signs of real human emotion, tests, and feelings, then they probably lying about how happy and perfect their lives really are. Real people have good days and bad days, struggles and victories, and don’t feel the need to prove the world how happy they are on social media all the time.

2. They get too personal

Islam teaches us to keep certain aspects of our lives private. In the age of social media, we just don’t seem to get that. So let me spell it out in plain simple English: “Don’t post overly personal and private pictures and videos all over the internet.” and don’t follow the accounts of people who do. Stick to that which is beneficial, and you will be safe.

3. They ask for money…often and never show where it goes

There are genuine social media accounts that raise funds for great causes. No doubt about it. These accounts and transparent and will show you exactly where your money is going. Then there are random Insta-couples asking for donations for ‘charity’. That’s a red flag. Never give money to anyone who can’t show you where the money is going.

4. They are obsessed with being liked

Riya – the Hidden Shirk. Showing off is a major sin and a minor Shirk. So if someone is obsessed with likes, followers and subscribers, and not so much with truth especially when it is not popular, then run away. They are not worth following.

5. They have no qualifications in what they do

Qualifications aren’t everything. Sometimes people become experts through experience and private study. But I doubt a young twenty-something has enough experience and private study to suddenly be an expert in whatever Islamic field he/she claims to be an expert in. Take your knowledge from qualified Islamic teachers, and not random ‘celebrity YouTubers’.

So that’s it, folks. Pretty straightforward. Stick to people of knowledge, avoid the glitz and glamour of unqualified social media stars, and don’t give money away to strangers. Do this and you won’t be conned by any fakers out there in shaa Allah.

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Posted by Ismail Kamdar in Productivity