Letters From A Father

By Anonymous

I came across this story which we all can relate to and learn a lot from, especially with it being the month of Ramadan it is a time to reconnect with this great miracle that has been granted to us…

A father left his wife and children to work in a distant land to make money to provide for his family. His family loved him & respected him very much.

After a while, the father sent his family his 1st letter.  Because it was a letter from someone so precious to them, they left it unopened, each kissed it then placed it in an expensive box lined with velvet.

Every now and then, they would take out the letter, kiss it, then return it to the velvet-lined box. None of them dared to open the letter. As the father sent more and more letters, they would take each one, kiss it, and place it in the velvet-lined box.

Years passed, and the father returned to his home to find no one but one son. He asked his son: “Where is your mother?”

The son replied: “She got very sick. We had no money to take her to a doctor and she died.”

The father asked: “Didn’t u see the money I sent you in my 1st letter?”

The son replied: “No. We never opened the letters. We kissed them and placed them in this velvet-lined box.”

The father asked: “Where is your brother?”

The son replied: “With no parents to look after him, he got involved with a group of bad people, and he’s now in prison.”

The father asked: “Didn’t he read my 2nd letter, in which I advised him to choose good friends?”

The son replied: “No. We never opened the letters. We kissed them and placed them in this velvet-lined box.”

The father asked: “Where is your sister?”

The son replied: “She got married to the man she told u about in her letter. He turned out to be corrupt and she is quite miserable with him.”

The father asked: “Didn’t she read the letter I sent her saying he’s a bad person that she should not marry?”

The son replied: “We protected all your letters in this expensive velvet-lined box. We dusted the box, kissed your letters, but never read them.”

The father couldn’t understand how his family respected his words so much but never bothered to read them or follow them.

Now, think about the Quran. We place it in an expensive velvet-lined box that we dust every day. We kiss it, we respect it, but do we ever read it or follow it or apply it to our lives?
No wonder we get miserable so easily…

Allah SWT who is supposed to be number one in our lives and the Most Beloved to us is talking to us through His Glorious Quran. Let’s fulfil the rights of the Qur’an which is to read and reflect over its meaning and implement in our lives. We don’t have to wait until tomorrow or the day after…none of us have been given the guarantee that we will survive until then…
Let’s make intention not to let a day pass without reading the Quran & start now!!!

O Allah!
Make the Quran the delight of our hearts & the light of our breasts & the remover of our pain, sorrow & discomfort.

آمـــــــــين يا رب العالمـــــــــين
اللهم اغفرلنا


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Goodbyes And New Beginnings

by Anonymous

“What word is spelt the same way, backwards and forwards?” I heard this question as I entered the loud and lively room in the MWHS. Standing in the doorway, I saw hands rushing to the sky, I hear people calling out “Me! Me! Me!” and I hear laughters coming at me in a melodious rhythm, reverberating in my chest.

The USIC BBQ, which was moved to the MWHS, was a time of goodbyes. A time where you look into the kind eyes that have always held warmth, love and you see your reflection shining back. A time where you blink again and again, trying to engrave the laughter lines around you, in your memory. Storing them for a time where you can conjure them out of thin air, amidst your family. It was a time where arms embraced you, each giving their own silent message. It is a time where you take the ‘last’ selfie and craziest pictures that will hang on the walls of your heart.

It is also a time where you know each relationship you have is connected with a long white rope that is invisible and so elastic that it can cross borders. It is an upgrade of each of your current relationships. It is a time where you walk out of the room of past adventures, up the stairs and into another room filled with evolved relationships. The same connection, yet slightly different.

The migration of the USIC BBQ from the Ponderosa park to the MWHS, marked my migration from an undergraduate to a graduate. The same people are there, but just a different location. The same friends, yet, the context changes. From the open park space where people can diffuse away to a closed area where we are much more closer. No chance for anyone to escape your embrace.

The USIC BBQ was a time of goodbyes. But it was also a time of new beginnings.

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Feeling Ramadan!

by Anonymous

Many of us might be feeling inadequate this Ramadan. Long hours of fasting with short nights makes it hard for those of us who are occupied i.e. those of us working full time, or those of us who are unable to fast, “FEEL” Ramadan. We can’t do the extra worship we used to and even when we get in our extra Qur’an or pray in the mosque we can’t even concentrate, so we end up just feeling lame.

But what we really need is a perspective shift.

We need to recognize that taking care of ourselves and loved ones or taking care of our health are some of the highest forms of worship in and of themselves. We just need to make the intention and internally shift our perspectives.

Give yourself five minutes, just you and Allah SWT. Sit and raise your hands and share what’s in your heart with Him in your own words, even though He is well aware of it. Allow the burden of your frustration with yourself to be lifted off your shoulders and into His Hands.

“Oh Allah, I feel distant from you and it hurts especially because it’s Ramadan and I want to feel close to You in this month. Please, accept all my sacrifices for Your Sake and let me taste the sweetness of our relationship together through what I’m doing. As much as I wish I could be in the masjid and concentrate when reading Qur’an like I used to do to get that Imaan high, I can’t. But I’m doing whatever I can to fulfil the responsibilities you’ve given me in this phase of my life. So please, write me amongst the highest in Paradise, pour barakah into my life and let me taste the sweetness of my relationship with You through what I’m doing.”

Then, just keep renewing your intention. Remember, even the mundane (brushing your teeth) can be worship with your intention. And try to increase your dhikr just a little bit when you’re walking to your car or washing the dishes or going to sleep.

The beauty of Islam is that it doesn’t restrict worshipping God to praying, fasting and reading Qur’an. It can encompass your daily actions simply through your intention.

As Abdullah ibn Mubarak said: “Perhaps a great deed is belittled by an intention. And perhaps a small deed, by a sincere intention, is made great.”

This Ramadan, make your worship something transformational. Choose to understand your relationship with Allah SWT as one which will continue even when your life changes. Choose to magnify your intention.

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Put The Semicolon Wherever You Want

by Anonymous

So one of my teammates carries around with him a very simple piece of artwork. Basically it’s semi colon (one of these “;”) with an arrow going through it. Usually there’s a story behind pieces of art, so naturally I was inclined to ask him why he had possession of it. His explanation of it was that in literature, an author uses a semi-colon to signify the end of one part of a sentence and the beginning of a new one. Both sentence parts could be individual sentences by themselves, but if there is a link between the two sentences, a semicolon can be used instead of a full stop to continue the sentence. In literature a semicolon is used to construct a complex sentence as well (i.e. the kind that gets you lots of marks in an English exam haha).

His reason for having the art was simple; it reminds him that whatever happens in life, he is in control of how he deals with it (see how I used a semicolon?). He decides if he will let that moment define him, or if he will use it to help him grow. He decides to take a negative and make it a positive, or to take a positive and make it a BIGGER positive. Finally, the reason for the arrow through the semicolon was simply because “arrows are just cool”.

He went further to explain that when he decides to get up and help himself, he grows and becomes better, and it seems like “the universe” around him conspires to help him get better. He literally blocks negativity from ever affecting him and ending his “sentence”; he chooses to keep adding semicolons because he simply isn’t done yet. (Although, if you keep adding semicolons in your actual written sentences, you may not be hailed as an expert writer. This is kind of where the analogy breaks down, my bad.) He started all of this off by saying at some point (last year, I believe), he was ready to commit suicide. He then decided that he didn’t want to go out like that. He literally put a semicolon on his life.

This guy is literally my inspiration whenever I’m down now. He’s not a Muslim, but please make du’a that Allah gives him hidayah because a guy like that would be a serious da’wah GANGSTER. But his story is embodied in a verse from the Qur’an:

“For each one are successive [angels] before and behind him who protect him by the decree of Allah. Indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves. And when Allah intends for a people ill, there is no repelling it. And there is not for them besides Him any patron.” – Surah Al Rad (Verse 13)

Basically his version of getting help from a higher power is “the universe”. But we can all apply this in our lives. Until we change what is in our hearts, we cannot hope to get the ultimate help from Allah. The way to do it is simple; stay positive. ABOUT EVERYTHING. Thank Allah FOR EVERYTHING. Praise Allah for EVERYTHING. Help yourself by changing your heart, and Allah will help you. Literally any time something happens that you may not like/want, take control of it by doing 4 things:

  1. Thank Allah (don’t be disheartened) for giving you the opportunity to grow. Pray to him to help you.
  2. Start straight away by actively trying to make your own situation better, don’t waste time sitting waiting for some sort of divine intervention.
  3. Have sabr (patience) and keep striving for what you want.
  4. SMILE. One of the greatest sunnahs of the Prophet (pbuh) was regardless of what was happening in his life, he would treat people with love and affection. So turn that frown upside down and all that.

You know when I said using a semi-colon gets your more marks in an exam because it helps to construct a more complex sentence? In the same way, when you have a hard situation and CHOOSE to reconstruct it into a learning experience/brilliant sentence by following the steps above (i.e. becoming closer to Allah), the reward from Allah is much greater. You can easily choose to give up and make your sentence simple, but it’s the choice to continue going that not only makes you stronger, but brings you closer to Allah.

Basically (if you can’t be bothered reading this whole thing, I appreciate it was VERY long (sorry)), be in control of every situation. You’re the author, put the semicolon wherever you want.

May Allah (swt) grant us the ability to take control of our actions, and may He help us to never lose sight of where the true hope is (in him). Ameen.

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Things Are Not Always What They Seem

by Anonymous

When Allah Almighty commanded the Angels to prostrate to the father of Mankind, Sayyiduna Adam `alayhis salām, all the angels prostrated, apart from Iblīs.

However the command was to the Angels, so why was Iblīs included within this when the Qur’ān clearly states that Iblīs is a Jinn?
Also why didn’t Iblīs follow the command of Allah and prostrate?

From this very short snippet of the story of creation we learn two things. Firstly, when an individual is amongst a group of people, he becomes a part of them, even if the person is from a different genus, just as Iblīs was. Hence why your company is very important, as you start to become like them and eventually become involved with them in every matter.

Secondly, why didn’t Iblīs prostrate to Adam? (btw this prostration wasn’t one of worship, but rather one of respect).
Judgment is very important, furthermore, one must not judge someone on just what he sees on the outer, as the inner may well be graced with a lot more.
Iblīs did not respect Adam because he said ‘I am made out of fire and he is made out of clay, and therefore I am better than him’ – you see, Iblīs wasn’t wrong in what he said, as fire is better than just clay, however it wasn’t what was on the outside that mattered, it was what was inside Adam that mattered.

Allah tells us in the Holy Qur’ān: ‘And He taught Adam all the names (of everything)[Sūrah al-Baqarah: 31]

Allah taught Adam knowledge. The reason for the reverence and the superiority of Adam over the Angels was knowledge. Knowledge is an internal thing, not an external thing. Evidently, Iblīs looked at the external and not the internal. He then judged, became arrogant and was eternally damned to hell.

We understand many things from just this. The respect for those with knowledge is imperative. Furthermore, jumping to conclusions and thus making comments regarding someone based on what you see isn’t always the wisest move to make, as internally there may be something in that person which Allah Almighty loves which consequently makes them more beloved to Allah than you.

May Allah Almighty give us the ability to understand the Qur’an and implement it.
Āmeen ya rab.


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by Anonymous

In the midst of revision, I heard a “poem” by Sh Omar Suleiman and it made me smile a tinsi bit too much. So I thought I had to share it with you all during these mad revision times. Something to, inshaAllah, lighten up your mood (#YouGotThis) and hype you up for the upcoming month of Ramadan! 😀

What would it be like to be with Rasulullah SAW in Jannah.

Imagine for a moment.

And the scene is that you are in Jannah:

Imagine sitting with your spouse in your palace in Jannah

And then deciding on what the plans would be for that day

Should we go outside, sit on our thrones,

With the waterfalls of milk and honey flowing beneath us?

And enjoy a cup of Jannah wine, whilst smelling the sweet scent of Jannah musk?

Should we go to the souk, to the market place?,

And meet all of our old friends that we used to kick it with in the dunya

And talk about what dunya was like?

And how we all made it here,

And how Allah SWT bestowed His favor upon us?

And then your spouse says you know what,

How about we go visit the Prophet SAW today.

And so, you and your spouse go hand in hand,

Walking towards the home of the Prophet SAW,

You pass by the homes of Talha (RA) and Zubair (RA)

And you say salaam to them,

And then you go, and you knock on the Prophet SAW’s door in Jannah.

And low and behold Rasulullah SAW opens, with a big smile on his face,

And says Ahlan wa Marhaban (welcome!) and embraces you,

And invites you to sit inside his home in his noble living room,

And sits right across from you, and asks you,

Would you like a cup of Jannah tea?

And you sit in the home of the prophet SAW,

And Rasulullah SAW gives you a cup of tea.

And he sits in front of you and he gives you his undivided attention.

Imagine what that discussion would be like.

What would you tell him?

What would you ask him?

Would you tell him about your favorite moment in the Seerah?

Or how sheikh Yasir Birjas taught you about his smile?

Or would you ask him what Ta’if was really like,

And how he still managed to remember us, as the blood spilled his noble face.

But in Jannah there are no more tears and no more fears.

Just the sweetness of success and sacrifice.

Imagine, him SAW, telling you an inside joke between him and Aishah (RA).

Or the time he caught Anas (RA) playing with kids instead of running his errands.

What if he SAW, told you, how he remembered you or how he knew your name,

And longed for the moment when he would meet you?

What if he, SAW told you, that I remember when your salah and salaam reached me

And I answered to you, Wa alaikasalaam oh so & so (insert YOUR awesome name!)

What if at the end of that conversation, the prophet SAW extended his hand,

And offered you a sip of water, after which you would never again feel thirst,

Not physically, nor spiritually,

For the only sight more noble and beautiful,

Than the face of Muhammad SAW,

Is the Lord of Muhammad SAW,

And the Lord of you,

And for that, all you have to do, is look up!

And you see Allah SWT

Don’t worry about time,

Don’t worry about Prophet SAW getting annoyed

Or getting tired of you or having to entertain other guests.

Because in Al-Firdaus you will never left to be imagine again…

– Omar Suleiman

May we always remember to keep each other in our duas not only for worldly affairs but also for a beautiful reunion in Jannah. And may Allah SWT make us all people who are able to hang out with the prophet SAW in Jannat-ul-Firdaus.

Full lecture link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJOFpxOA84c

(Any mistakes in the poem, forgive me okay :D)

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Project Ramadan: Setting New Baselines

By Thaqib Moosa


A guest is about to come visit us. A guest who comes once a year, and a guest whom we have to prepare ourselves for. That guest is the month of Ramadan. In this article, I wanted to share one reason why it is so important to avail this opportunity, followed by a small practical plan which I have been using for the past couple of years to help prepare for Ramadan. The plan and downloadable documents are in links right at the end.

So firstly, why do we need to prepare? The Prophet (SAW) is reported to have been climbing the pulpit and said Aameen thrice. When the companions asked about it he said that Jibreel made three du’as, and I said Aameen to them. One of them was for a person who reaches the month of Ramadan and does not avail it to gain forgiveness. (The other two were having elderly parents and not serving them, and not saying peace and blessings be upon him when the prophet’s name is mentioned). The Prophet (SAW) himself and Jibreel, the leader of the angels, have said this for those of us who don’t avail Ramadan.

Also, in Surah Ghaafir/Mu’min, right after a discussion on the fate of Firawn and his people, these two verses (47-48) about a conversation happening in the Hellfire:

(وَإِذْ يَتَحَاجُّونَ فِي النَّارِ فَيَقُولُ الضُّعَفَاءُ لِلَّذِينَ اسْتَكْبَرُوا إِنَّا كُنَّا لَكُمْ تَبَعًا فَهَلْ أَنْتُمْ مُغْنُونَ عَنَّا نَصِيبًا مِنَ النَّارِ)

Behold, they will dispute with each other in the Fire! The weak ones (who followed) will say to those who had been arrogant, “We but followed you: Can ye then take (on yourselves) from us some share of the Fire?

(قَالَ الَّذِينَ اسْتَكْبَرُوا إِنَّا كُلٌّ فِيهَا إِنَّ اللَّهَ قَدْ حَكَمَ بَيْنَ الْعِبَادِ)

Those who had been arrogant will say: “We are all in this (Fire)! Truly, Allah has judged between (his) Servants!”
[Surat Ghafir 47-48]

Imagine how fearful that scenario will be. There is a group of people who had ended up in the fire due to following others, due to just being lazy and kind of “going with the flow”. In the heat of the fire, surrounded by flames like serpents enveloping their bodies, gasping for water, their throats parched to the extent they will feel like thorns in their necks. Every time their skin peels off, a new skin is given to them for that to peel off as well. Stuck in the position of the sins they might have died upon. Trying to leave but stuck there. Languishing in a prison made out of fire, surrounding them and constricting their movements, feeling like they are in dark pillars made out of fire. They will desperately scream to their fellows, fellows they had taken as leaders, given respect to, followed them thinking that their so-called leaders knew what they were doing. They will ask for the leaders to take off some of their burden (of punishment), but there’s none of that. Nobody can take the blame for someone else’s actions on that day. Allah has ruled in his perfect justice, and YOU are accountable for YOUR actions.

What we can get out of these verses is, if you don’t get yourself out of the hellfire, you have no-one to blame but YOURSELF. This means we really need to buckle up for Ramadan, and one step to buckling up, to hitting the ground running, to getting hyped up, is to PLAN AHEAD. Keep your eyes on the prize (descriptions of the amazingness of Paradise in the Qur’an etc.) and be on it basically.

Now to define this post’s title. We need to enter each Ramadan with a new baseline to improve upon. So after Ramadan we can’t simply fall into the bad habits we were in before Ramadan. We need to be improving in Ramadan, staying on the new level, and then that new level (or very close to it) will be our baseline for next Ramadan and then we will build that up to a whole other level, and then stick to that one. Each subsequent Ramadan should be better than the last in terms of what we achieve until we look back at ten Ramadan’s ago and say “Mate, that’s all I did back then? I was such a lightweight.” In shaa Allah.

The following are links to a few useful attachments which can help you prepare your du’as, your detailed plans, and also read about some tips to help brainstorm goals. I can’t emphasize how much it helps to WRITE THIS DOWN. If you just do this in your head, it’s fluid and you will forget it in a few days. But if it’s on paper it’s concrete and you can hold yourself accountable by coming back to the targets regularly.

A plan template for Project Ramadan https://goo.gl/SZEIpM, there are notes on the sides to what you can use it for, I also have a word doc version which I can email to you if you want (just email me at thaqib.moosa@gmail.com)

The Ultimate Du’a Workbook (A now-free workbook which helps to organize the du’as, the videos can also help, especially to get you hyped about the du’as): www.VisionaireOnline.com/ultimate-dua-machine.pdf with videos http://www.visionaireonline.com/raise-your-duas/

A link to a treasure trove of articles and resources on ProductiveMuslim.com:


Here is an example plan:  

Phase 1: (1st of May)

  • Reduce Food intake
  • No Whatsapp except for 9PM to 12 midnight.
  • De-activate Facebook, Get off Twitter and Instagram
  • Daily Qur’an (minimum two pages)
  • Starting to get regular with daily adhkaar (morning and evening, waking up and sleeping)
  • Start fasting on some Mondays and Thursdays to get body used to it

Phase 2: (20th of May, 15 days to Ramadan)

  • Start the first Khatm already.
  • Adhkaar game should be on point by now
  • Prepare some sort of light exercise programme to implement while fasting
  • Select some YouTube series (Seerah by Shaikh Yasir Qadhi, Surah Jinn by Shaikh Suhaib Webb/ Amazed by the Qur’an by Nouman Ali Khan recommended) or Podcast (Shaikh Abdul Nasir Jangda, SeekersHub podcast or other)

Phase 3: (11th of June, in Ramadan, first day after exams)

  • Start ramping up Qur’an
  • Review beforehand what will be recited in Taraweeh (Start Dr. Israr Ahmad Quran in Urdu)
  • Work through list of books to read and other constructive hobbies instead of other chill stuff., -Du3a’s listed, ready for memorization.

Phase 4: (22nd of June-ish, Day 16 of Ramadan) The final stretch

  • Putting in 2+ hours of Qur’an time daily memorization and reflection
  • Ra7eequl Makhtoom Arabic Seerah book started for completion by 7ajj,
  • Du3a’s listed and memorized prepared for last ten nights

Phase 5: (July 5th/6th/7th, Eid Night)

  • Review of Ramadan
  • Repeat the Du3as as tonight is Lailatul Jaa2iza,
  • Maintenance, consolidation and already preparing for the next baseline
  • Review six month goals in line with the du3as made in the last ten nights


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