A Lesson From The Life of Musa (as)

by Anonymous

The day of Ashura was an absolutely beautiful day. The rites of rising early, depriving oneself of desire, and speaking only good, are made even more beautiful by an acute sense of moving clouds against a blue sky. This aspiration for proximity to the Almighty makes you soar with the clouds, moving rhythmically with them as they brush by. But the day would not be complete without a lesson from the life of Musa Alayhi assalam (Moses, may peace be upon him).

In the story of Musa, I find a parallel with the Sunnah of Allah (swt). The Sunnah of Allah (swt) concerns two matters: 1) His creation (e.g. how the sun rises), and 2) His commands. One of Allah’s ways is that good is always recompensed with good. It can never be that somebody is recompensed unjustly. In the story of Musa, I found a Sunnah of Allah’s way.

Let’s briefly outline this one moment of his life. Nobody tells it better than Allah (swt) so please refer to Surah Qassas (28). Musa flees his land running for his life after having accidently killed a man. Home was no longer safe. He arrived in Madyan, believing “It may be that my Lord guides me to the Right Way.” Upon arrival, he noticed men surrounding a water hole with their flocks, not leaving any openings. You can imagine water holes are rare in the desert (see Planet Earth II :P) and shepherds are hurrying to water their animals, crowding the source. Musa noticed two women standing apart from this crowd, holding their flock back from rushing to the water. He wondered what could be the matter, so he approached them and asked. They informed him that they were waiting for the water hole, and that they were responsible for the animals as their father was elderly. Upon hearing this, Musa AS took their flock and watered them. Only then did he retreat to take rest in the shade, but not without beseeching Allah (swt) for help. His own situation was still no better — he had no home, no income, no direction.

The du’a he made under the shade was: “My Lord! Truly, I am in need of whatever good that You bestow on me!”

And how was that Du’a answered? Musa got a job, a place to call home, a family, a community… Everything. In one sweep.

Now I invite you to examine this story a little closer with me.

Musa AS had just arrived in this new place after a long and weary journey. He is likely to be thirsty, hungry, and both emotionally and physically exhausted. His first thought upon noticing the water should have been himself. Or at the very least, he could have sat down in the shade for a while. But he chose to assist the women first. Assisting people when you have free time and energy is one thing, but doing so when you are tired and running late is another. Next time you think you don’t have the energy to catch up with someone carrying groceries, just take a deep breath and run. If you think you don’t have time to give someone way on the road because you’re running late, just make your intention for Allah and invite them to go.

Keep your intention for Him and see what happens in your life. Musa AS did not do what he did because he thought it would get him a home, a new community, a family, even a job. He did what he did purely for Allah’s pleasure. And what was that good deed? Being compassionate to women. Out of all his deeds, that is the one Allah swt chose to reward him for with all this. He got a stable income. A family to love. A place to call home when his own home had become inhabitable. A place for his soul to find contentment. All because of Allah’s mercy due to his deeds. He did not pass up the opportunity to do a good deed despite his exhaustion.

These rewards are the general things concerning us now. You’re either asking for: a job; a degree; a spouse; a nice house; a nice car, or all of the aforementioned. When I was reading the surah, it was a profound lesson for me that put my heart at ease. It showed me that I don’t need to worry or take any action. I just need to focus on pleasing Allah (swt) and never pass up the opportunity to do good, and the good will come to me by itself through Allah’s favour. There is so much sakina (peace) in that thought.

Whatever it is you are wishing for and working towards. Whatever good you are in need of, just as Musa was. No matter how dusty and tired you are from your journey. Do good, and good will come to you. Not because you or I deserve it, but because that is the Sunnah of Allah.

I will contrast this story with a modern-day alternative. I attended an Islamic class at a new venue for the first time. During the break, I headed towards the table with tea and biscuits. A crowd of young men surrounded it, so I stood at some distance but with clear intent. I stood for quite some time, wondering if the men would notice and allow me through. None did. It was as if I was invisible. I felt quite sheepish yet determined for a cup of tea, and so continued to stand there, my feet burning a hole into the ground.

After what felt like an eternity (probably 90 seconds), one of the young men behind the table noticed me. He asked if I would like some tea. I smiled with relief and answered in the affirmative. He made me tea and handed it to me, and then politely informed me that if I wanted more, the table for ladies’ refreshments was on the floor below.

…I had been wondering where all the women were!

He did not ignore me. He anticipated my need and fulfilled it. Just as Musa AS did for those women he saw. I wonder what good will come to him. May Allah provide a way out for him from every hardship.

Be compassionate. Even when you are weary.

هَلْ جَزَاءُ الْإِحْسَانِ إِلَّا الْإِحْسَانُ

“Is there any reward for good other than good?” (Surah Rahman, Ayah 60)

May Allah grant us the ability to do good and accept it from us.

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Climing Mount Snowdon

by Ummi A Bello

When you push and seek out all your reserve energy in order to keep going, but still feel like your body is failing you. It takes your mind and soul working together to conquer it all.

My knees felt like they were about to give up on me and I felt like calling it quits. The sweat dripping down my face and back was being soaked up by every single layer of clothing I had on. My eyes were glued to the floor, staring at the different shaped and colored stones as I stepped on them and painfully pushed myself forward. Every once in a while, I would pause and look back at the steep trail and scene I had finally left behind just so that I can see how far I had walked and use that as motivation to keep moving. Why was I putting my body and mind to the test? I could be home right now, sipping on my cup of tea, watching a movie or writing a paper like the rest of my peers. I’d given that up for a greater cause. This walk was for the Syrian refugees. If this is how I felt, after only about 5 hours of walking, how do these refugees feel after days, weeks, even months on their feet? And unlike me, they don’t have the certainty of getting to the finish line in a few hours. They don’t have the water, food, and resources I had stored away in my rucksack ready to be consumed at any moment in time. They don’t have the luxury of the thought that home is just a bus ride away. A home that is safe, free of tyranny, bombs, blood, violence, and pain. They don’t have the access to four walls, a long hot shower and a warm, soft bed in a well-heated room. They do not have certainty of any of that. All they want is to find someplace safer than the reincarnation of hell that they had left behind or at least trying to leave behind. An escape from the suffering, the pain, the loss and heartache that was once home. All they want is a new opportunity and a shot at happiness and peace. Although their obstacles and difficulties are unimaginable and unsettling to even think about, they keep on pushing. For what else does someone who escapes with their life today have if not hope for a better tomorrow?

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Build People, Not Buildings – Lessons From Al Andalus

by Thaqib Moosa

The USIC trip to Andalusia was genuinely epic. It is quite an interesting part of the world. A place where Muslims ruled for 800 years, survived successive attempts to unseat them, requiring North African back up to help them expel the Christian armies from the North, and then 200 odd years later, they were expelled anyways.

The Andalusian example is one of those examples where we had more soldiers than the enemy, but our divided armies and little kingdoms and bits of treachery couldn’t stand up to a united enemy. Simply put: Divided, we fell. It was quite painful to pray in the fairly small mosque in Granada, the first mosque to give adhaan from a minaret after 511 Gregorian years (in 2003, after the fall of Gharnata in 1492). Thinking about how the weakness and disunity had resulted in the gradual collapse of a bastion of Islam.

These were not people who gave up on the religion. Even in the Alhambra, which was built right after a major defeat as a show of power, closer to the end of Muslim rule in Spain. Even at this time their relationship with the Qur’an was clearly apparent.

The symbolism from the Qur’an is everywhere. 8 pillars supporting a roof with a jewel representing the throne of Allah in the centre. Eight because the Qur’an says wa ya7milu 3arsha rabbula fauqahum yauma2idhin thamaaniya. The most notable example of their understanding of the Qur’an was writing laa ilaaha illallah and muhammadurrasoolallah on pillars at the entrance to a particularly spectacular garden. The symbolism being that belief in Allah and the last messenger will get you into paradise. It is the key. The gardens themselves were gardens with rivers flowing through them and underneath them, the inspiration from the Qur’an was clearly there. Yet despite all of this, when it came to action, when it came time to defend tenets of faith and give up these luxuries, they seem to have flopped.

They built buildings, not people. We remember sa7aaba and every aspect of their lives and their students, we remember the buildings and only remember the leaders through the buildings they built. If they had focused on the people perhaps they would have fought more bravely. One of the attendees was mentioning how scared they felt if all the masaajid in the UK were left and we were forced to leave. One of the things Rasulallah warned us against was Wahn, when the companions asked what Wahn is, He (SAW) replied: Love of the Dunya and fear of death.

May Allah protect us from Wahn and save us from the “death, exile, or conversion” choice which our brothers and sisters faced years ago. Perhaps the ruins of their buildings have only been preserved by Allah (SWT) for us to take lessons from.

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A Vision To Change Lives

By Mevish Rauf

Spain. What goes through your mind when you think of Spain? For some it might be beaches, scenery and good weather – a perfect holiday destination. For others, like myself, that might be half of the story. If acquainted with the history of Spain you’d recall the 700 year old rule of the Moors in South Spain called Andalusia and how they shaped education, language and culture. That is all I knew. Although this prior knowledge did not surprise me much when our tour guide, Abu Bakr, told us the history of Andalusia, I was, however, completely mind-blown by the rest of the information.

In the Andalusian tour we explored three cities: We visited Al Cázar in Seville; cathedral, Calahorra tower and an Andalusian house in Córdoba; and the Alhambra palace in Granada. We also visited villages in the Sierra Nevada mountains near Granada. I learnt much from these places which has influenced my thinking.

From my personal reflections, the most wonderful part of the whole trip was the realisation that not only was Andalusia mighty but also how wonderful the people were. They were God fearing people who had a vision to change and better lives. They relied on God to help them accomplish what they did. They incorporated Islam in their daily lives as well as architectural designs. It was a reminder that it does not matter who you are and where you come from. But what matters most is how much you rely on God. This vision and reliance on God can help the Muslims of today to stand back on their feet and bring back the glory of our past.

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#Aleppo

by Anonymous

Everyone should understand the severity of what is happening in Aleppo right now. It is not a matter of being Syrian, Pakistani or Arab, this is a matter of being humane and being affectionate towards our suffering ummah and uniting as one to be a voice for the voiceless! Words are not even enough to describe how much injustice is happening right now, how many innocent civilians are being tortured, how many women are being raped and how many children are seeing horrific scenes daily!

Only Allah can assist us in this matter now. I pray Allah give us all tawfeeq to verbally, physically, financially and morally take part in this resistance against inhumanity.

Rasul’ullah said: “The believers in their love, mercy and compassion are like one body, if one organ complains, the rest of the body develops a fever”.

#SyriaIsBleeding

#PrayForOurUmmah

{One Ummah – One Body – One Unity}

 

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Surround yourself…

By Shiekh Sudais

Surround yourself with Muslims who practice the Deen. They are your only True Friends in this Life and in the akhirah.

Sometimes the hardest person for you to correct is yourself. There is no shame in being wrong, the shame is in choosing to stay on the wrong path.

We all take tomorrow for granted because we believe tomorrow will always be there. Tomorrow may be there, but we may not.

Yesterday many thought that they would see today, and today many will think they will see tomorrow.

You may be rich, famous or have a high status in this dunyah, but to the Angel of Death, you’re just another name on the list.

One day you’ll just be a memory for people, and a lesson to others. Do everything you can to please Allah, be a positive lesson.

We walk with our heads high up in the sky, unaware that one day we’ll be trapped 6′ Feet under the ground.

You look for the latest fashion and designer clothes, but don’t forget O’ Son of Adam! You will end up being wrapped up in just a white shroud.

You wouldn’t throw away a diamond to pick up a rock, so in the same way, don’t throw away the Aakhirah (Paradise) by chasing the Dunya (worldly).

How do you expect to get Al-Jannah (paradise) when you haven’t worked for it in Dunya? That’s like expecting to pass an exam you never took a class for.

Allāh knows what you want, what you need, what you deserve, at what time & what place, trust Him & His decisions (is best for HIS creation), He knows while you don’t.

And, make the Qur’an your companion and a part of your life. Don’t let yourself become a stranger to it. The Qur’an is like a friend, the longer the friendship lasts the more you will know of its secrets.

May Allah purify our hearts. And peace and blessings of Allah be upon our noble Messenger of Allah, Muhammad and his household.

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How do you know if you…

by Anonymous

How do you know if you’re ready for death?

Man’s greatest fear is death.
I want to know that if I were to die right now what would my death be like?

Would it be painful, would it be pleasurable, would it be sweet?

Here is an answer:
Your death will be exactly as your prayer is to you right now.

Why?
Because when you pray salaat what do you do? You go and meet Allah. When you die what happens?

You go and meet Allah. If you dislike meeting Allah while you are in this world in the body, why would you want to meet Allah when you leave the body?

If salaat is sweet to you right now your death would be sweet if you died right now.

If you eagerly wait for salaat, then when death comes to you, you will eagerly wait to be released from this cage and soar to new heights.

If your salaat is a burden on you right now, death will be a burden on you if you die right now.
If salaat is painful,
death will be painful.

Look at your salaat, improve your salaat, and you will improve your connection to Allah,

because…
both of these are nothing but a
meeting with Allah.

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