Letter to a non-Muslim

To The Seeker of Truth

No one is compelled to accept the truth, but it is certainly a shame upon the human intellect when a man is not even interested in finding out what the truth is!

Islam teaches that our Creator has given human beings the faculty of reason. Therefore, it is incumbent upon them to reason things out objectively and systematically for themselves to ponder, to question and to reflect.

Nobody should press you to make a hasty decision to accept any of the teachings of Islam, for Islam teaches that human beings should be given the freedom to choose. Even when a person is faced with the truth, there is no compulsion upon him to embrace it.

But before you begin to form an opinion about Islam, ask yourself whether your existing knowledge about it is thorough enough. Ask yourself whether that knowledge has been obtained through third party sources who themselves have probably been exposed to only random glimpses of Islamic writings and have yet to reason out on Islam objectively and systematically themselves.

Is it fair enough that one should form an opinion about the taste of a particular dish just by a mere hearsay from others who may themselves have not necessarily tasted the dish yet?

Similarly you should find out for yourself about Islam from reliable sources and not only taste it, but rather digest it very well before you form an opinion of it. That would be an intellectual approach to the truth.

In making your next move to the truth, Islam continually reassures you that your rights to freedom of choice and freedom to use that God-given faculty of thought and reason will be respected, for everyone has that individual will. No one else can take away that will and force you to submit to the true way of your Creator, you have to find out and make that decision yourself!

May your intellectual journey towards the truth be a pleasant and fruitful one.

CTTO (Nor Al’s post Facebook)

Maybe, just maybe

By: Hosai Mojaddidi

1. Maybe he/she isn’t married because they’re not ready financially or emotionally, or physically; maybe they’re working through past trauma and don’t want to burden anyone else until they’ve sorted themselves out; or maybe they don’t see marriage like an acquisition or membership to some elite club that they need to rush to become a part of, but rather something meaningful, and true, and beautiful, and worth WAITING for.

Maybe it has NOTHING to do with their appearance or education or family background, relationship history, desirability, or religiosity, etc. And MAYBE, JUST MAYBE, you need to stop assuming what you know NOTHING about.

2. Maybe he/she doesn’t want kids because they’re exhausted in life. Maybe they had to help raise their siblings and/or they’ve spent a great deal of their life taking care of others (parents, grandparents, aunts/uncles, etc) and now they just want to pursue their own dreams and goals; or maybe they have serious health issues that you have no idea about and they don’t want to share; or maybe they have fears/concerns about genetic or hereditary disorders being passed on to their offspring; or maybe they’ve tried to conceive and have suffered so many losses they can no longer cope with the anguish of *trying* to become parents anymore, so they’ve moved on.

Maybe it has NOTHING to do with their lifestyle or their values or goals or their physical/sexual relationship with their partner, or the quality of their marriage in general, etc. And MAYBE, JUST MAYBE, you need to stop assuming what you know NOTHING about.

3. Maybe he/she doesn’t attend social events or community events regularly because they have private issues that prevent them from being too social; maybe they have family problems and feel guilty having fun while their loved ones are suffering; or maybe they have serious health problems that they keep private; or maybe they are working overtime or after normal business hours just to make end’s meet; or maybe they’ve gone through some physical changes and can’t fit into their nice clothes and can’t afford to buy anything new; or maybe they’re dealing with an abusive spouse and are too afraid to leave the children alone at night.

Maybe it has NOTHING to do with them being anti-social, boring, too conservative, snobby, etc. And MAYBE, JUST MAYBE, you need to stop assuming what you know NOTHING about.

4. Maybe he/she didn’t answer your calls, text messages, emails, etc., because they’re just not doing well; maybe they are suffering silently or privately grappling with their own personal, emotional, spiritual issues and can’t offer anyone anything until they feel better; maybe they’re tired of explaining themselves, apologizing for not being available or responsive and feeling misunderstood and judged; maybe they need to regroup and center themselves on THEIR OWN time.

Maybe it has NOTHING to do with you, or they’re being too “busy” with other things/people, or inconsiderate, rude, etc. And MAYBE, JUST MAYBE, you need to stop assuming what you know NOTHING about.

5. Maybe he/she spends a lot of time on social media and enjoys taking selfies and highlighting their accomplishments because they weren’t raised in the most loving home; maybe they felt invisible growing up and the validation they get from a simple “like” or interaction fills a void; or maybe they’re far from their loved ones and want to show them that they are happy and not to worry about them; or maybe they’re in loveless or abusive relationships and struggle with their self-worth; or maybe they’ve long suffered from serious self-image and self-worth issues and don’t have the means to seek help through professional channels so they rely on social media to feel connected because the alternative (feeling totally isolated) is completely terrifying.

Maybe it has NOTHING to do with vanity or arrogance or pretentiousness, etc. And MAYBE, JUST MAYBE, you need to stop assuming what you know NOTHING about.

Maybe if we made as many excuses for other people as we do for ourselves we would have much healthier relationships (and spiritual hearts)…MAYBE, JUST MAYBE…


The Paraclete

While the Christians are expending all their efforts in disseminating distorted Christianity all over Andalusia (Spain) after the evacuation of the Muslims, Allah, The Almighty, opened the heart of one of its great scholars to Islam. He submitted sincerely to Allah, and stood upright in obedience to Him and struggled with his hand, tongue and pen in His way.

This man was Sheikh Abu Muhammad Abdullah Bin Abdullah Al-Tarjuman, the Majorcan, who was once a priest called Anselm Tormida. He was known as Tarjuman (The Translator), because in less than 5 months after embracing Islam, the Sultan appointed him general of the Marine Administration where he learned the Arabic language and became a skillful translator in discussions between Muslims and Christians. After only 1 year, he excelled in the Arabic language and was appointed as the head of the Translation Affairs.

He was famous among the common people with some nicknames; the most popular was Sidi Tohfah, which means ‘My Master Gift’, referring to his famous book ‘The Gift to the Intelligent for Refuting the Arguments of the Christians.’

The book was a powerful blow to the structure of Christian belief because it was written by one of the greatest scholars of Christianity in those days, as admitted by Christians themselves. He began his book by mentioning the story of his guidance to Islam, how Allah freed his heart from the slavery of idolatry and polytheism, and how he opened his heart to Islam and filled it with His light.

What follows is a summary extracted from his story as related in his own words:

“Let it be known to you all, may Allah bless you, that my origin is from the city of Majorca, may Allah return it to Islam, which is a great city on the sea between 2 mountains and divided by a small valley. It is a commercial city, with 2 wonderful harbors. Big merchant ships come and anchor in the harbor with different goods. The city is on the island which has the same name – Majorca, and most of its lands are populated with fig and olive trees.

My father was one of the respected men in the city. I was his only son. When I was 6, he sent me to a priest who taught me to read the Gospel. I memorized more than half of it in the period of 2 years. Then I began to learn the language of the Gospel and Logic, which I finished in 6 years.

After that, I left Majorca and traveled to the city of Larda, in the region of Castellion, which was the center for learning for Christians in that region.  A thousand to a thousand and a half Christian students gathered there. All were under the administration of the priest who taught them. I studied Physical Sciences and Astronomy for 6 years. Then I studied the Gospel and its language for another 4 years.

After that, I left for Bologna in the region of Anbardia. Bologna is a large city and the center of learning for all people of the region. Every year, more than 2,000 students gather together from different places. They cover themselves with rough cloth which they call ‘The Hue of God.’ All of them, whether the son of a ruler, or the son of a workman, wear this wrap, in order to make the students distinct from others. Only the priest who teaches them controls and directs them.

I lived in the church with an aged priest. He was greatly respected by the people because of his know-ledge, religiousness and ascetism, which distinguished him from the other Christian priests. Questions and requests for advice came to him from everywhere, from kings and rulers, along with presents and gifts. They hoped that he would accept their presents and grant them his blessings.

This priest taught me the principles of Christianity and its rulings. I became very close to him by serving and assisting him with his duties until I became one of his most trusted assistants, so that he trusted me with the keys of his domicile in the church and of his food and drink stores. He kept for himself only the key of a small room where he used to sleep. I think, and Allah knows best, that he kept his treasure chest in there.

I was a student and a servant for a period of 10 years. Then he fell ill and failed to attend the meetings of his fellow priests. During his absence, the priest discussed some religious matters, till they came to what was said by the Almighty Allah through His Prophet Jesus in the Gospel: “After him will come a prophet called PARACLETE.” They argued a great deal about this prophet and as to who he was among the prophets. Everyone gave his opinion according to his know-ledge and understanding; and they ended without achieving any benefit in that issue.

I went to my priest, and as usual he asked about what was discussed in the meeting that day. I mentioned to him the different opinions of the priests about the name Paraclete, and how they finished the meeting without clarifying its meaning. He asked me: “What was your answer?” I gave him my opinion, which was taken from my interpretation of a well-known exegesis. He said that I was nearly correct like some priests, and the other priests were wrong. He said: “But the truth is different from all of that. This is because the interpretation of that noble name is known only to a small number of well-versed scholars. And we possess only a little knowledge.”

I fell down and kissed his feet, saying: “Sir, you know that I traveled and came to you from a distant country, I have served you now for more than 10 years; and have attained knowledge beyond estimation, so please favor me and tell me the truth about this name.”

The priest than wept and said: “My son, by God, you are very much dear to me for serving me and devoting yourself to my care. Know the truth about this name, and there is a great benefit, but there is also a great danger. And I fear that when you know this truth, and the Christians discover that, you will be killed immediately.”

I said: “By God, by the Gospel and He who has sent me with it, I shall never speak any word about what you will tell me, I shall keep it as a secret in my heart.” He said: “My son, when you came here from your country, I asked you if it is near the Muslims. And whether they made raids against you, or you made raids against them. This was to test your hatred for Islam. Know, my son, that PARACLETE is the name of their Prophet Muhammad to whom was revealed the 4th book as mentioned by Daniel. His way is the clear way which is mentioned in the Gospel.” I asked him: “Then sir, what do you say about the religion of these Christians?” He said: “My son, if these Christians remain on the original religion of Jesus, then they would have been on God’s true religion; because the religion of Jesus and all the other prophets is the true religion of God. But they changed it and became unbelievers.”

I asked him: “Then sir, what is the salvation from this?” He said: “Oh my son, embracing Islam!” I asked him: “Will the one who embraces Islam be saved?”

He answered: “Yes, in this world and in the Hereafter.” I said: “The prudent chooses for himself; if you know sir, the merit of Islam, then what keeps you from it.” He said: “My son, the Almighty Allah did not expose me to the truth of Islam and the Prophet of Islam until I have become old and my body weakened. Yes, there is no excuse for us in this; on the contrary, the proof of Allah has been established against us. If God had guided me to this when I was your age, I would have left everything and adopted the religion of truth. Love of this world is the essence of every sin, and look how I am esteemed, glorified and honored by the Christians, and how I am living in affluence and comfort! In my case, if I show a slight inclination towards Islam, they would kill me immediately. Supposed that I was saved from them and succeeded in escaping to the Muslims, they would say: ‘Do not count your Islam as a favor from us, rather you have benefited yourself only by entering the religion of truth, the religion that will saved you from the punishment of Allah!’ So I would live among them as a poor old man of more than 90 years, without knowing their language, and they would not know my real status and I would die among them starving. I am, and all praise is due to Allah on the religion of Christ and on that which he came with, and Allah knows that from me.”

So I asked him: “Do you advise me to go to the country of the Muslims and adopt their religion.” He said to me: “If you are wise and hope to save yourself, then race to that which will achieve this life and the Hereafter. But my son, none is present with us concerning this matter; it is between you and me only. Exert yourself and keep it a secret. If it is disclosed and the people know about it, they will kill you immediately. I will be of no benefit to you against Islam. Neither it will be of any use to you if you tell them what you heard from me concerning Islam, or that I encouraged you to be a Muslim, for I shall deny it. They will trust my testimony against you but will not trust yours against me. So, do not tell a word, whatever happens.”

I promised him not to do so. He was satisfied and content with my promise. I began to prepare for my journey and bid him farewell. He prayed for me and gave me 50 golden Dinars. Then I took a ship to my city Majorca where I stayed with my parents for 6 months. Then I traveled to Sicily and remained there for 5 months, waiting for a ship bound for the land of Muslims. Finally a ship arrived bound for Tunis. We departed before sunset and reached the port of Tunis at noon on the 2nd day. When I got off the ship, the Christian scholars who heard of my arrival arrived to greet me and welcome me to their dwelling place. Some local merchants also offered their hospitality to me and I stayed with them 4 months in ease and comfort.

After that, I asked them if there was in the Sultan’s palace a translator. The Sultan (ruler) in those days was Abu Al-Abbas Ahmad. They said there was a virtuous man, the Sultan’s physician, who was one of his closest advisors. His name was Yusuf Al-Tabib (Joseph, the doctor). I was greatly pleased to hear this, and asked where he lived. They took me there and I met him separately. I told him about my story and the reason of my coming there; which was to embrace Islam. He was immensely pleased because this matter would be completed by his help. We rode to the Sultan’s palace. He met the Sultan and told him about my story and asked his permission for me to meet him. The Sultan accepted, and I presented myself before him.

The first question the Sultan asked was about my age. I told him that I was 35 years old. Then he asked about my learning and the sciences which I had studied. After I told him, he said: “Your arrival is the arrival of goodness. Be a Muslim with Allah’s’ blessings.”

I then said to the doctor: “Tell the honorable Sultan that it always happens that when anyone changes his religion, his people defame him and speak evil of him. So, I wish if he kindly sends to bring the Christian priests and merchants of this city to ask them about me and hear what they have to say. Then by Allah’s will, I shall accept Islam.”

He said to me through the translator: “You have asked what Abdullah Bin Salam asked about the Prophet when he (Abdullah) came to announce his Islam.” He then sent for the priests and some Christian merchants and let me sit in an adjoining room unseen by them. When they came he asked them: “What do you say about this new priest who just arrived by ship?” They said: “He is a great scholar in our religion. Our bishops say he is the most learned and no one is superior to him in our religious knowledge.” After hearing what the Christian said, the Sultan sent for me, and presented myself before them. I declared the 2 testimonies that there is no one worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad is His messenger, and when the Christians heard this, they ‘crossed’ themselves and said: “Nothing incited him to do that except his desire to marry, as priests in our religion cannot marry.” Then they left me in distress and grief.

The Sultan appointed for me a quarter of a Dinar every day from the treasury and let me marry the daughter of Al-Hajj Muhammad Al-Saffar. When I decided to consummate the marriage, he gave me a hundred golden Dinars and an excellent suit of clothes. I then consummated the marriage and Allah blessed me with a child to whom I gave the name Muhammad as a blessing from the name of our Prophet.

Thus we come to the end of the story of Sheikh Abdullah Al-Tarjuman who mentioned after that in his book some events of the Hafsah State in which he served as the chief translator. He followed that with 9 chapters; among them: a chapter on the truth about the writers of the 4 Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John), whom he proved were not among the disciples of Jesus.

He also discussed other topics like Baptism, Trinity, Original Sin, The Lord’s Supper, The Indulgence, The Law of Faith, etc. and refuted them all with the texts from the Gospels and logical proofs. He also proved the human nature of Jesus and disproved his divine nature.

He then exposed the contradictions in the interpolated texts of the Bible. Lastly, he discussed what the Christians criticize the Muslims about, like the marriage of the religious scholars and the pious men, circumcision and physical enjoyment in Paradise. He concluded his book by proving the truth of the Prophet hood of Muhammad with texts from the Bible.

[Source: An article entitled “How A Great Christian Scholar of the 14th Century Became A Muslim?” written by Abul Farag Ibn Ahmad (islamweb.net)]

Glue To The Broken Heart

“But as for him who feared the standing before his Lord, and restrained himself from impure evil desires and lusts. Verily, Paradise will be his abode.” [Al-Qur’an 79:40]

Crash! Bang! Smash! What was that?! That was the sound of a once sound heart, shattering into a million pieces. Imagine you are the person carrying that heart: covered in pain and soaked in tears. Maybe you don’t have to imagine, because maybe that is your heart.

Betrayal, oppression, deception, whatever it may be that happened to us—the result is the same, a broken heart at the hand of a human. A broken heart that feels like it can never be fixed, and it was entirely someone else’s fault. It would be enough if they had just hurt us, and all we had to do is deal with the pain that came from their actions, but no. A broken heart, comes brining us ready for more challenge for more patience and importantly, how to move on and how should we focus on something that is more important.!

A person with broken, turns to Allah. He seeks repentance and ask for forgiveness. Of the many fruitful parts of the story of Prophet Yusuf (as), is that of his being wronged by the wife of his master. She attempted to seduce our beloved Prophet Yusuf (as). Not only did she attempt to seduce him, but she landed him in jail by blaming him of the unthinkable instead of taking the blame! Imagine! This is a woman whom, as the wife of his master, he was supposed to be able to trust. This was a woman whom he served during the day. Yet when her desires took over, she wronged him many times over!

Despite all of this, Prophet Yusuf (as) did not act wrongfully, nor did he hold a grudge. Why? Prophet Yusuf (as) knew the reality of forgiveness. When all was exposed and the truth revealed, Yusuf (as) made a revolutionary statement. He said: “I do not free myself from all blame. Truly, the nafs (base self) is inclined to evil, except for those who my Lord grants His Mercy. Truly, my Lord is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”

Allahu Akbar! (God is Greater!) A huge, humbling, life-changing lesson we can take from his statement is: You are not the oppressor in this situation only because Allah (swt) has blessed you with His Mercy. Every soul has the ability to wrong others, every soul has the ability to be the oppressor, and only Allah’s mercy prevents that.The next time we begin to feel this immense and absolute anger towards the person who has harmed us—let’s make that shift, and forgive. Forgive the one who has wronged us not because that person deserves it; rather, forgive them as a sign of gratitude to Allah (swt).

Those who broke your heart forgive them. Forgive as a statement that says, ‘Oh Allah I’m not forgiving them for their own sake, rather I am forgiving them as a sign of gratitude to You for steering me clear of those desires. I’m forgiving them out of my love for You. I’m forgiving them because I know You love it when a slave of Yours is merciful to others and I want to be of the ones that You love. My desires tell me to wish evil for them and to hold this grudge, but I put You over my own desire and I forgive them.’

“The slave is not afflicted with a punishment greater in severity then the hardening of the heart and being distant from Allah. For the Fire was created to melt the hardened heart. The most distant heart from Allah is the heart which is hardened. If the heart becomes hardened, the eye becomes dry.

If four matters are exceeded in quantity, beyond what is necessary, the heart shall become hardened: Food, sleep, speech and sexual intercourse. A body afflicted by disease does not derive nourishment from food or water, similarly a heart diseased by desire does not benefit from admonishment and exhortation. Whosoever desires to purify his heart, then let him prefer Allah to his desires.

If the heart is nourished with remembrance, its thirst quenched with contemplation and cleansed from corruption, it shall witness remarkable and wondrous matters, inspiring wisdom. No wonder, time heals everything.

Prophet PBUH faced many things that broke her heart, death of his first wife Hazrat Khadijah and uncle Abu Talib the same year. His parents passed away at an early age, did you experienced such pain? But still Prophet PBUH stayed firm and was patient.!

“O mankind! there hath come to you a direction from your Lord and a healing for the (diseases) in your hearts,- and for those who believe, a guidance and a Mercy.” [Quran 10:57]

Allah knows the best.

[Seeking The Truth]

The 90/10 Principle

Author: Stephen Covey

Discover the 90/10 Principle. It will change your life (at least the way you react to situations).

What is this principle? 10% of life is made up of what happens to you. 90% of life is decided by how you react.

What does this mean? We really have no control over 10% of what happens to us. We cannot stop the car from breaking down. The plane will be late arriving, which throws our whole schedule off. A driver may cut us off in traffic. We have no control over this 10%. The other 90% is different.

You determine the other 90%. How? ……….By your reaction. You cannot control a red light. but you can control your reaction. Don’t let people fool you; YOU can control how you react.

Let’s use an example.

You are eating breakfast with your family. Your daughter knocks over a cup of coffee onto your business shirt. You have no control over what just happened. What happens next will be determined by how you react.

You curse. You harshly scold your daughter for knocking the cup over. She breaks down in tears. After scolding her, you turn to your spouse and criticize her for placing the cup too close to the edge of the table. A short verbal battle follows. You storm upstairs and change your shirt. Back downstairs, you find your daughter has been too busy crying to finish breakfast and get ready for school. She misses the bus.

Your spouse must leave immediately for work. You rush to the car and drive your daughter to school. Because you are late, you drive 40 miles an hour in a 30 mph speed limit. After a 15-minute delay and throwing $60 traffic fine away, you arrive at school. Your daughter runs into the building without saying goodbye. After arriving at the office 20 minutes late, you find you forgot your briefcase. Your day has started terrible. As it continues, it seems to get worse and worse. You look forward to coming home.

When you arrive home, you find small wedge in your relationship with your spouse and daughter. Why? …. Because of how you reacted in the morning.

Why did you have a bad day?

A) Did the coffee cause it?
B) Did your daughter cause it?
C) Did the policeman cause it?
D) Did you cause it?

The answer is “D”. You had no control over what happened with the coffee. How you reacted in those 5 seconds is what caused your bad day.

Here is what could have and should have happened.

Coffee splashes over you. Your daughter is about to cry. You gently say, “Its ok honey, you just need to be more careful next time”. Grabbing a towel you rush upstairs. After grabbing a new shirt and your briefcase, you come back down in time to look through the window and see your child getting on the bus. She turns and waves. You arrive 5 minutes early and cheerfully greet the staff. Your boss comments on how good the day you are having.

Notice the difference?

Two different scenarios. Both started the same. Both ended different.

Why? Because of how you REACTED. You really do not have any control over 10% of what happens. The other 90% was determined by your reaction.

Here are some ways to apply the 90/10 principle. If someone says something negative about you, don’t be a sponge. Let the attack roll off like water on glass. You don’t have to let the negative comment affect you! React properly and it will not ruin your day. A wrong reaction could result in losing a friend, being fired, getting stressed out etc.

How do you react if someone cuts you off in traffic? Do you lose your temper? Pound on the steering wheel? A friend of mine had the steering wheel fall off. Do you curse? Does your blood pressure skyrocket? Do you try and bump them? WHO CARES if you arrive ten seconds later at work? Why let the cars ruin your drive?

Remember the 90/10 principle, and do not worry about it.

You are told you lost your job. Why lose sleep and get irritated? It will work out. Use your worrying energy and time into finding another job.

The plane is late; it is going to mangle your schedule for the day. Why take outpour frustration on the flight attendant? She has no control over what is going on. Use your time to study, get to know the other passenger. Why get stressed out? It will just make things worse.

Now you know the 90/10 principle. Apply it and you will be amazed at the results. You will lose nothing if you try it. The 90/10 principle is incredible. Very few know and apply this principle.

The result? Millions of people are suffering from undeserved stress, trials, problems and heartache. We all must understand and apply the 90/10 principle.

It CAN change your life!!! Enjoy….

Everyone shall taste death!

Are you prepared for it?!!!

I woke up suddenly one night and saw a strange light in my room … The problem is that the lights are off. I saw the clock; it was 3:30 in the morning. Okay … so where is all this light coming from?? I turned around and saw something very strange … My body was half way through the wall (??!) I immediately pulled it out and sat down to see if I’m okay… This is strange … I tried to push onto the wall, but MY ARM GOES THROUGH…

I heard a sound. I turned to my brother’s bed and see him sleeping. I was really scared of what was happening to me…so I tried to wake him up…..but….he doesn’t reply!! I went to my parent’s bedroom..I tried to wake up my mother…and father…I just wanted somebody to react to me… but nobody did. I tried to wake my mother up again…she woke up this time … she got up … but didn’t communicate to me. She was saying “In the name of Allah, Most Merciful, Most Gracious” again and again…

She woke my dad up saying “Get up, man, I want to check up on the kids …” My dad replied in disinterest … “It’s not time for this, let me sleep and God willing, tomorrow, I’ll get to that.” But she was insisting … so he woke up. I was THERE. I was screaming … “Dad! Mom! … nobody was replying. I held mother’s clothes to grab her attention … but she didn’t recognize my existence.

I followed her ’till she got to my bedroom. They got into the room and turned on the lights… it wasn’t making any difference to me anyway because there was a strong light there. I then saw the strangest thing in my life … my OWN BODY….on my bed. I was trembling…how can there be two of me??…how can that person look so much like me??…and what is he doing on my bed????

I started hitting/slapping myself to wake up from this nightmare… but it was too real to be a nightmare. Dad said, “See? The kids are sleeping … Let’s go back to bed.” But mother wasn’t at all confident … she went to the person sleeping in my bed and said, “Khalid, wake up!! … WAKE UP!!” But he wouldn’t reply. She tried again and again … but no reply. Then I turned to see my Dad crying… Today for the first time in my life, I have seen my Dad in tears. The place was shaking with the screaming … My brother woke up… “What’s going on??!” In a very sad tone, with tears rolling down her cheeks, mother replied. “Your brother’s dead! Khalid is DEAD!!”

I went to mother and said, “Please Mom, don’t cry. I’m right here, look at me!” But nobody’s replying to me … WHY?? I turned to Allah and asked Him to wake me up from the nightmare! Quickly following my Dua (supplication) was a voice saying (Quran): “You were in negligence from this, so We uncovered the blinds and today your sight is (like iron).”

Suddenly two creatures held my arm … they weren’t humans!! “Leave me ALONE! Who are you and what do you want from me??” “We’re your grave’ guards.” I said, “But I’m not dead yet! Let go of me!!” I can still see, hear, touch, and speak … I’m not dead!” They replied with a smile: “You humans are fascinating! You think that by dying your life ends, while in fact life on Earth is a small dream compared to the Hereafter; a dream that ends at your death.” They started pulling me towards my grave … On the way I saw people just like me, each had two guards like mine. Some were smiling, others crying, others screaming. I asked the guards, “Why are they all doing that?” They replied ‘These people now know their fate…some were in ignorance so they …” “… so they go to Hell??!” I interrupted. They said, “Yes” and continued … “And those laughing are going to Heaven.” I quickly replied: “What about me … where will I go??” They said, “You were at times a good Muslim, while other times not. One day you obey Allah, the next you disobey Him. And you weren’t clear with yourself and your fate will remain so lost.” I replied, shaking: “SO AM I GOING TO HELL??” They said: “Allah’s Mercy is great, and the journey is long.”

I turned to see my family carrying my dead body in a coffin … so I ran to them … I said: “Make supplication for me,” but nobody replied… I went to my brother and warned him … “Be careful with what you do in this life… don’t be a fool like myself!” I was really hoping that he could hear me… The two angels (guards) tied up my soul on top of my body … I saw my relatives pouring sand over me … At that moment I was hoping that I would be in their place… that I can turn to Allah and do as much as He wants from me… that I would ask for forgiveness at once and for all repent my sins that angered Him… but unfortunately I couldn’t. I shouted, “People, don’t let this life tempt you! Wake up to the truth… one day you will DIE, and you never know when or how…”

I hoped for somebody to hear me….nobody there did but YOU heard me….. save yourself. Smile to others; forgive them when you have the power to punish them. Allah forgives those that forgive others. Do your prayers regularly with an open heart. Let Allah guide your life, not Satan. Read the Quran regularly and let the Prophet (pbuh) be your role model in life. Work in this timed life for your salvation in an eternal one. And … make Dua for me because I’m not perfect. And I point the above to myself just as much as I do to my friends.

Please share this message to as many people as possible, for every person whose heart it touches Allah will reward you in this life and the Hereafter.

[This is a forwarded message, please click here for Arabic]

Reclaim your heart

No one likes to fall. And few people would ever choose to drown. But in struggling through the ocean of this life, sometimes it’s so hard not to let the world in. Sometimes the ocean does enter us. The Dunya (world) does seep into our hearts.

And like the water that breaks the boat, when Dunya enters, it shatters our heart. It shatters the boat. Recently, I was reminded of what a broken boat looks like, of what happens when you let everything in. I was reminded because I saw someone, just like me, fall in love too much with this life and seek to be filled by the creation. So the ocean of Dunya shattered her boat, as it had shattered mine, and she fell out into the water. But she stayed down too long, and did not know how to come back up or what to hold on to. So she drowned.

If you allow Dunya to own your heart, like the ocean that owns the boat, it will take over. You will sink down to the depths of the sea. You will touch the ocean floor. And you will feel as though you were at your lowest point. Entrapped by your sins and the love of this life, you will feel broken. Surrounded by darkness. That’s the amazing thing about the floor of the ocean. No light reaches it. But, this dark place is not the end. Remember that the darkness of night precedes the dawn. And as long as your heart still beats, this is not the death of it. You don’t have to die here. Sometimes, the ocean floor is only a stop on the journey. And it is when you are at this lowest point, that you are faced with a choice. You can stay there at the bottom, until you drown. Or you can gather pearls and rise back up—stronger from the swim, and richer from the jewels.

If you seek Him, God can raise you up, and replace the darkness of the ocean, with the light of His sun. He can transform what was once your greatest weakness into your greatest strength, and a means of growth, purification and redemption. Know that transformation sometimes begins with a fall. So never curse the fall. The ground is where humility lives. Take it. Learn it. Breathe it in. And then come back stronger, humbler and more aware of your need for Him. Come back having seen your own nothingness and His greatness. Know that if you have seen that Reality, you have seen much. For the one who is truly deceived is the one who sees his own self—but not Him. Deprived is the one who has never witnessed his own desperate need for God. Reliant on his own means, he forgets that the means, his own soul, and everything else in existence are His creation.

Seek God to bring you back up, for when He does, He will rebuild your ship. The heart that you thought was forever damaged will be mended. What was shattered will be whole again. Know that only He can do this. Seek Him.

And when He saves you, beg forgiveness for the fall, feel remorse over it—but not despair. As Ibn ul Qayyim (ra) has said: “Satan rejoiced when Adam (peace be upon him) came out of Paradise, but he did not know that when a diver sinks into the sea, he collects pearls and then rises again.”

There is a powerful and amazing thing about Tawbah (repentance) and turning back to Allah (swt). We are told that it is a polish for the heart. What’s amazing about a polish is that it doesn’t just clean. It makes the object that is polished even shinier than it was before it got dirty. If you come back to God, seek His forgiveness, and refocus your life and heart on Him, you have the potential to be even richer than if you’d never fallen at all. Sometimes falling and coming back up gives you wisdom and humility that you may never otherwise have had. Ibnul Qayyim (ra) writes: “One of the Salaf (Pious Predecessors) said: “Indeed a servant commits a sin by which he enters Paradise; and another does a good deed by which he enters the Fire.” It was asked: How is that? So he replied: “The one who committed the sin, constantly thinks about it; which causes him to fear it, regret it, weep over it and feel ashamed in front of his Lord—the Most High—due to it. He stands before Allah, broken-hearted and with his head lowered in humility. So this sin is more beneficial to him than doing many acts of obedience, since it caused him to have humility and humbleness—which leads to the servant’s happiness and success—to the extent that this sin becomes the cause for him entering Paradise. As for the doer of good, then he does not consider this good a favor from his Lord upon him. Rather, he becomes arrogant and amazed with himself, saying: I have achieved such and such, and such and such. So this further increases him in self-adulation, pride and arrogance—such that this becomes the cause for his destruction.”

Allah (swt) reminds us in the Qur’an to never lose hope. He says: “Say, ‘O My servants who have transgressed against their souls [by sinning], despair not of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful,’” [Az-Zumar 39:53]

And so, this is a call to all those who have become enslaved by the tyranny of the self, imprisoned in the dungeon of the Nafs (self) and desires. It is a call to all those who have entered the ocean of Dunya, who have sunk into its depths, and become trapped by its crushing waves. Rise up. Rise up to the air, to the real world above the prison of the ocean. Rise up to your freedom. Rise up and come back to life. Leave the death of your soul behind you. Your heart can still live and be stronger and purer than it ever was. Does not the polish of Tawbah remake the heart even more beautiful than it was? Remove the veil you have sewn with your sins. Remove the veil between you and Life, between you and Freedom, between you and Light—between you and God. Remove the veil and rise up. Come back to yourself. Come back to where you began. Come back Home. Know that when all the other doors have shut in your face, there is One that is always open. Always. Seek it. Seek Him and He will guide you through the waves of the cruel ocean, into the mercy of the sun.

This world cannot break you—unless you give it permission. And it cannot own you unless you hand it the keys – unless you give it your heart. And so, if you have handed those keys to Dunya for a while—take them back. This isn’t the End. You don’t have to die here. Reclaim your heart and place it with its rightful owner: GOD.

[Yasmin Mogahed, excerpt from “Reclaim Your Heart” – Green Bird Media Production]