The Beautiful Trait of Equality

by Neelam Hafiz

Allah Ta’ala has given man intellect to think which is what sets us apart from any other species and is the reason why we must learn about the faiths and cultures of other people and make them aware of Islam. This is so that we comprehend each other’s values and by conversing on the subject of mutually shared values, attain mutual confidence and reliance, for the Qur’an has encouraged acting upon and paying attention to mutually shared values. Therefore, rather than propagating conflicts and disputes by focusing on controversial issues, attempts should be made to make the atmosphere more pleasant by stressing commonly shared values and making them the topic of discussion. Where there is mutual understanding, mutual confidence and respect will automatically prevail In Sha Allah!


USIC Blogs

Surah Ad-Duha

By Anonymous

So many people are suffering from depression and low moods..
This is a really good read and the next time you feel disconnected, disheartened or depressed with your level of Imaan and your connection with Allah – read Surah Ad Duha and ponder over its meanings – Inshallah it will restore your faith and increase your belief in the greatness of Allah.

Surah Ad-Duha & struggling with low mood & depression

Most of us know this Surah by heart. It was revealed to the Prophet (peace be upon him) at a time when he had not received any revelation for six months. He was in a very disturbed state of mind, feeling negative and depressed and believing that Allah was displeased with him, had forgotten him…

Don’t we have similar feelings in our lives? Times when our level of imaan is low, our khushoo in salah wavers and we feel a drop in our connection with Allah?* We feel like our duas are not being answered, our salah is not having a positive impact on our hearts, and worst of all the feeling that we’re horrible human beings, that Allah doesn’t love us or doesn’t care about us anymore.

Surah Ad-Duha was revealed to the Prophet (sallalahu aleihi wa sallam) to relieve him of these negative feelings and to give him hope, positivity, and the assurance that Allah is with him no matter what.

So what does this surah say?

Wad duhaa— By the morning brightness

This is the first thing you need to hear when you’re depressed: Wake up, look at the sunshine! Everything in life is not doom and gloom– you just have to look up!

Wal laili iza sajaa— And [by] the night when it covers with darkness,

A reminder to us that the night is meant to cover and give us comfort and rest. Generally when we’re depressed, we tend to get into a very bad sleep pattern by staying up at night and sleeping all day, thereby worsening our state of mind. This aayah reminds us to use the night as a comfort to ease our distress.

Ma wad da’aka rabbuka wa ma qalaa -Your Lord has not taken leave of you, [O Muhammad], nor has He detested [you].

This is a very powerful verse from Allah telling us that He doesn’t hate us and hasn’t forgotten us– reminding the depressed person that He is always by his or her side!

Walal-aakhiratu khairul laka minal-oola— And the Hereafter is better for you than the first [life].

Many times when we’re depressed we think: Is this all my life is going to be? Is it never going to get better? This aayah serves as a perfect answer to those questions, reminding us that life in this world is temporary and that Aakhira is certainly a better, more permanent place for us than this world could ever be. This makes us look forward to attaining our place in Jannah and helps us look at any problems in our lives as temporary tests of our faith from Allah.

Wa la sawfa y’uteeka rabbuka fatarda— And your Lord is going to give you, and you will be satisfied.

A promise from Allah that very soon he will give us a massive reward (Jannah) and we will be happy! Subhanallah! Isn’t this the best thing to hear when you’re depressed and fed up with this worldly life and the problems you’re facing?

Alam ya jidka yateeman fa aawaa – Did He not find you an orphan and give [you] refuge?

Now many of us may think: how would this aayah about orphans relate to the majority of us? Think about it– weren’t there many times in your life when you were sick or lonely and felt like you had nobody who cared about you? Who was the only one by your side at that time? Allah! It was He who took care of you and guided you out of that stage in life.

Wa wa jadaka daal lan fahada— And He found you lost and guided [you].

How many of us, despite being born Muslims or even reverts after some turbulent events, have found ourselves misguided and straying away from Islam in the past? It was Allah who gave us that hidaya and brought us back to the straight path and to Him and made us practicing Muslims. Alhamdulillah!

Wa wa jadaka ‘aa-ilan fa aghnaa— And He found you poor and made [you] self-sufficient.

Many of us have probably gone through many periods in our lives when we have been short of money and wealth. Now when we look back we realize that it was only Allah who gave us that rizq in some form and got us through those tough financial times. When a person is depressed, giving him or her examples of how Allah has helped them in the past will strengthen their conviction and belief in the promises Allah makes in this surah for their future.

Fa am mal yateema fala taqhar — So as for the orphan, do not oppress [him].

Depressed people are mostly consumed with their situation and feel that nobody could possibly be in a worse situation. This aayah reminds us to look at people who are in far worse situations than ourselves when we’re feeling hopeless and depressed— Look at the orphans, who have no family or loved ones and nobody to care for them. We have families and parents who love us, a roof over our heads and food on the table and we still think we’re in a bad situation? Subhanallah!

Wa am mas saa-ila fala tanhar— And as for the petitioner, do not repel [him].

Another example is of the beggar – to once again remind us of the many material blessings that Allah has given us that we take for granted – food, clothing and shelter. How many of us have ever gone to sleep hungry? How many of us don’t have clothes to wear? Or don’t have a home to go to? These examples of the orphan and the beggar are ones we should constantly remind ourselves of to be thankful for the numerous blessings Allah has given us, get over our depression and feel connected to Allah again, out of gratitude.

Wa amma bi ne’mati rabbika fahad dith – But as for the favor of your Lord, report [it].

This final aayah is about maintaining that renewed faith and bond with Allah – by pondering, glorifying and talking about the blessings of Allah! Either in terms of halaqas, discussions with family and friends or even da’wah! Dhikr, reading quran and listening to lectures are also great ways to keep the remembrance of Allah close to your heart!

USIC Blogs

An Attempt at Repayment

By Anonymous

This is a story that serves as reminder of how much our parents do for us, and what we can do in return for them..

I fought with death when I was giving birth to you. I spent sleepless nights when you were sick and crying. I never ate without feeding you first. I bore so many pains to bring you to the stage that you are in today. How will you repay me my son?

When I grow up, I will find a good job and earn lots of money for you so you can enjoy the pleasures of this world.

Your father is doing this already and I do not expect this from you too. By the time you are earning I will be old and will not be in need of any worldly luxuries.

I will find a pious lady and marry her so she can cook for you and take care of you.

That is not her duty my son and neither should you marry for that reason. It is not compulsory on her to do any service to me, neither do I expect this from her. Your marriage should be for you, a companion and a comfort for you as you go through this journey of life.

Tell me mother how can I repay you then?

(With tears in her eyes) Visit or call me often. A mother only requires this much from you while she is alive. Then when I die give me your shoulder and bury me. Whenever you perform prayers, supplicate for me. Give out in charity for me. Remember your every good deed will benefit me in the hereafter so be good and kind always. Fulfil the rights of Allah SWT and all those around you. The sleepless nights and pains I took to bring you up was not a favour to you but was for my creator. He blessed me with you as a beautiful gift and as a means for me to attain His pleasure. Your every good deed becomes my repayment. Will you do it my son?

The son cannot speak and has tears in his eyes.

May we all be of those that are a coolness of our parent’s eyes and a means of their purification. Aameen.


USIC Blogs

My Crown

By Anonymous

In a society that is rife with immorality and crime,
Where everyone wants to be ahead of time,
where bare is beautiful, and exposure is expected,
where a woman is ‘liberated’ from feeling any shame,
She is given something which is more than just a name,
Some definition, highlighted contours, and that million dollar smile,
Make up to match her personality, a touch of class and her signature style,
As the world feasts their eyes upon her, she begins to thrive upon all of this ‘appreciation’
She races with dear life and may even reach the catwalk, though it is not her final destination,
Even with her miss world slash, she still yearns to be miss universe,
Constant dissatisfaction like a perpetual curse,
And as age begins to take its toll, she isn’t even noticed as she walks down the street
Tired and lifeless as she struggles to drag her feet,
Shaking those once so beautiful hands, she begins to lose her grip,
Alone and miserable, yearning for companionship,
She recounts the days of glory, so many years, and now just a trophy,
But with no one to applaud her great achievement,
She dies alone, a freedom fighter for women’s liberation?
Or a symbol of women’s social slavery and oppressive subjugation?

And then there is my hijab, my abayah and my niqab,
Protecting me with its layers like a pearl within its oyster
Away from harmful gazes and strange eyes,
Away from being judged by my dress size,
Pleasing My Lord, My Maker and Sustainer,
I feel safeguarded, shielded and complete,
I respect myself and this is what Islam teaches me,
That I am a ‘woman’ and not just an object or a commodity,
A woman of honour and dignity,
And modesty is the celebration of my femininity.
The more I think of women’s freedoms and rights,
The more my love for my Deen Islam just deepens and increases.

I love my hijab, my abayah and my Niqab,
They form the crown of a believing woman, never to let go and never to be left.

USIC Blogs

With Hardship Comes Ease

By Tayaba Haider

As you may or may not be aware, this week A-Level results were released.
It brought back some emotional memories for me as I experienced this emotional day twice.

Once when I went to DMU and second before I started at Sheffield. Both times I was sent to clearing. Believe it or not I never wanted to come to Sheffield uni at all.

I had originally applied for Leicester or Birmingham (as they were close to home)
I remember ringing up the uni  (my sister made me) asking for any vacancies and I was told they didn’t have any. About half an hour late a lecturer from our department rang me back saying they have a vacancy but for an alternative course & (The one I’m doing now) Despite being a longer path on the career I want to pursue (in sha Allah) I accepted and here I am.

At that time like everyone in such a situation I was so angry and upset and didn’t know what to do..I even considered giving up. I remember my parents saying one thing to me

فَإِنَّ مَعَ الْعُسْرِ يُسْرًا :
Fa Inna ma’al ‘usri yusra : Verily, with hardship comes ease – Fa Inna ma’al ‘usri yusra : Verily, with hardship comes ease [Quran- 94:6]

At first I never understood the meaning of it. But now I realise that everything happened for a reason, if it wasn’t for all the trouble I had been in I would never have been at the uni or even be on the committee

But moral being that despite all the hard times we experience Allah SWT always has something better in store for us. Despite all the rough times there is always light at the end of the tunnel.

Allah SWT guides us through the hardships. Although it’s easier said than done (at the time of trouble) remain positive for Allah SWT will ease of the tension and turn a bad situation into something u may never have considered and will be in your best interest.

So never give up!
Keep trying…Be persistent

USIC Blogs

Blowing The Clouds Away

by Anonymous

The Heart of the believer sometimes overwhelmed by clouds of sin, and so it goes dark…..
“There is no heart that is not covered by a cloud like the cloud covering the moon when it is shining, and so it suddenly goes dark, but when it (the cloud)  goes away it shines again”

Sometimes we find the light of our hearts veiled with the sins we commit and we find ourselves lost in darkness. But when we strive we strive to increase our imaan and seek the help of Allah, the clouds go away
And the light comes back to shine in our hearts
And thats all it is, blowing the clouds away through the worship of our Lord.

USIC Blogs

The End of Ramadan, But Not The End of Good Habits!

By Anonymous

Bidding farewell to Ramadan is a hard task for any Muslim. Many of us worry that we won’t be able to keep up the good habits that we have worked hard to develop in the last few weeks. We worry that our relationship with the Qur’an will deteriorate, and our visits to the masjid will become seldom.

But why should it? Ramadan may have ended but our chance to learn and grow certainly hasn’t. The Lord of Ramadan is also the Lord of the other months, the same Lord who continuously watches over you regardless of time and place.

Maybe the fasting in Ramadan has ended. But remember Allah has blessed us with more opportunities to fast. Like the 6 days in Shawwal, fasting on Mondays and Thursdays, and even for 3 days during the middle of the month, and fasting on the days of Ashoora and Arafah.

Maybe the nights of standing in prayer during Ramadan has ended. But remember, the voluntary night prayer for every day throughout the year.

Maybe the chances to give to charity in Ramadan have ended. But remember we still have obligatory zakat and sadaqah.

Maybe pondering over the Qur’an during Ramadan has ended. But remember, the Qur’an is still available to reflect over.

Maybe Ramadan has ended. But remember righteous actions are for all times, and forbidden actions are forbidden at all times. Remember Allah is still watchful and still Merciful.

May we continue fasting, continue standing in prayer, even throughout the night, continue giving to charity and continue strengthening our relationship with the Qur’an. Above all, may we be steadfast upon the sharee’ah of Allah until we meet him whilst He is pleased with us.

Advice to prepare for Ramadan is available everywhere and easy to find, unlike the advice for leaving Ramadan. Having said that, below is a link to 10 tips that’ll help you keep those Ramadan habits. May we all take heed In Sha Allah:

USIC Blogs