>> Friday, September 17, 2010
Assalamu alaikum sisters.
The Little Aunties are proud to present our first guest feature article. Written by the one and only 'Lil Shireen'
Lil Shireen is a loving twenty-year-old who has a refined combination of humour and craziness with a passion for poems and paints. As Allah Ta'ala's 'Limited Edition' Lil Shireen gives advice which amazes and enthralls.
Now that Ramadan has gone…. Guess who's back? Bravo! You got it. Shaytaan, or as I like to put it…..Mr. Enemy… And he isn’t just back. He’s back with a vengeance… This time, he’s here to stay for ELEVEN months! So what are we going to do? We all know the level of self control we had just a few days ago. Well, in my case it is below the average level of course! :P But seriously, when we do some study or a project, we have a structured format of how to go about doing things in order to achieve the maximum level of success. Now in our mission on remaining steadfast for rest of the months coming along, we need to do proper planning so that our competitor (shaytan) does not get away with what he wants of us. So what we really need to do is create some C.H.A.N.G.E.S in our life and STAY on them.
C – Cut down on sins
H – Have trust in the Will of Allah
A – Actions! Actions, action….
N – Never lose hope in the mercy of Allah
G – Growth of Emaan
E – Engaging in Good deeds
S – Self control
Cut down on the sins – Now, this is what I find really fascinating; because I am sure all of us are really capable of just bringing about that much needed change in a way that would leave the devil depressed for ages. There is nothing as reducing sins and eventually giving up. We have to strive every single day....every single hour. The truth is, every few hours we turn to Allah and ask Him in our prayers, in surat Al-Fatiha, to keep us on the straight path.Why? Because it’s a life long battle.
Now, I know that ‘cutting down our sins’, isn’t exactly the most easiest thing out there. Obviously, we do not have a ‘’click’’ button in us to suddenly change our avatars or our habits. It would take time, it would take a lot of self control and ( since I don’t want to make all of this sound very flowery), the things is we will be thrown the temptations of doing those sins again in our faces over and over again.
But we can do it- how? Simple ways: keeping ourselves busy, making good religious friends, deleting certain individuals off facebook, etc. Each one of us knows what we’re doing wrong and how to cut it.We just got to get up and do it.
The fundamental thing we have to do is realize that the sins don’t happen by themselves. At the end of the day, we know it is our Decision. None can compel us to do bad or otherwise. We just have to ask ourselves- what is it that we really wish to do, go ahead with our whims and desires, or please our Lord?
*Wait, before you answer that, let me remind you that whatever benefits this world has to offer us stands nowhere in comparison with what our Lord has to offer you, LOL*. Now answer that…
Don’t you want to please your Lord- the One who Loves you? Don’t you want to quit doing something that He hates because He’s been so kind to you?
Remember, the only one who hates us to the level of wanting to see us in hell is our enemy and he is not even that hidden, we have to fight it out and show who actually is the boss :D
Have Trust in the Will of Allah - The next important thing to keep in mind is trust in Allah’s Will. I will tell you that in the next 11 months, you will probably face some problems. You will probably find somethings happening to you that you didn’t want to happen….but you have to have trust in His Will.
What do I mean by that? Be okay with everything? Even if something really terrible happens in our life? And, still have hope in Him? Isn’t that a bit too much? Nope, it isn’t!
See, I know these sort of questions really pop-up in our heads sometimes, especially when something which we did not want to happen takes place, but the answer for all these just depends on one criterion: How much do we love Allah? Do we love him enough to trust His decisions in our life? If yes, then no matter what situation we land up in, we would just not lose trust in Him. The reality is that we don’t know what’s best for ourselves- He does. Whatever He brings us, He brings us out of His Mercy and Wisdom and His desire to see us reach jannah! “Failing to pass your driver’s test” for example might just be Allah’s way of protecting you from a really bad accident….His Will is always for the Best..
Actions to be initiated – As I said earlier, everyone knows what their ‘sin’ is and what they have to deal with…We also know what other good deeds we should be doing - but it’s not enough to just make a really good long-term profitable plan and just keep it in our heads. We can’t really do just that, can we? So once we’ve realized that we want to change, just keeping it as a thought would not really help us. Actions are what really make a plan successful. We have to break it down to small steps and big goals and we have to keep checking our progress. Of course, it’s exactly when we are trying to implement these changes in our lives, that shaytan may just find a perfect opportunity to come and distract us from doing something good. He will try his best to make us procrastinate any good deed planned. Then, again it is our will in the end and we have to really believe in ourselves to initiate those actions.
Never Lose Hope in the Mercy of Allah – Firstly, how can we do it when we are instructed never ever to do it? Few of us are used as a primary target of shaytan’s multi-sins plan, he makes us believe that we have done so much bad that there is no way on this earth that Allah can forgive us. He makes us think that our evil deeds are greater than the mercy of Allah…Unfortunately, sometimes we fall into this very evil and sneaky trap of his—we start thinking ‘no point in stopping our sins..we’ll never be forgiven….hey, maybe we should even stop doing any good”.
You know what this all translates to? A big time party for shaytan..
The truth couldn’t be any further. He is Allah, the one who has given you life out of nothingness, don’t you think He would not love what He has created? Remember, HE chose for His Mercy to prevail over His wrath- don’t you think He would forgive you then? Doesn’t He come down every night and ask if there is anyone who wants to repent? Do you still think you don’t have a shot?
Growth of Emaan – Ensuring this is a bit tricky, especially with the mood swings we girls go through *cough* sometime of the month *cough* or then again maybe it is just me :P Emaan also needs renewal because it fades away, sometimes too quick or sometimes a bit slow. To ensure the growth of it we will have to sit down and see what is it that really enhances or grows our Emaan, is it some blog? *ahem* or some video on Youtube? Some particular speaker? Some reading of Qur'an? Mention of Allah’s attributes? Some good Islamic show? Going to a halaqah? Etc. Whatever it is, we have to make some effort and care for our Emaan. We must just get to know the ways with which even if there’s no growth, then at least we can maintain the level of Emaan we currently hold.
Engaging in Good Deeds – Yes, we know Ramadan is over, so the current stock market of the ‘’Sawaab’’is not really at its peak for another few months. So we do not really have a lot of motivating reasons for engaging ourselves in doing good deeds. But this thing about Islam is so beautiful that leave alone doing a good deed, even when we think of it we have some sawaab transferred in our account. (but by this I am no way suggesting that we should just think of good deeds :P and be at ease with our akhirah) we must of course engage ourselves in it, even if it means bringing water to every family member of ours who comes from outside or teaching somebody a thing or two about Islam, or even if it is giving charity and we know we don’t have to have money to give charity :P our smile to our brother itself is like doing charity. And if you have a brother like mine, then trust me it REALLY is a charity ;)
Self Control – This is the area where I myself need about a million tonnes of motivation. But there is one fact which can really help us in maintaining those high-standards of self-control. The knowledge that Allah is watching, and the way this knowledge effects our hearts. For few of us, it may not effect at all. Few might be a bit aware, and few might just avoid every evil because of that knowledge. Which category of these people do we fall in? Sometimes we have to ask ourselves those tough questions which we tend to avoid most of the times, ‘’What if Allah takes away my life doing this particular sin?’’, ‘’What would I say when he asks me why I was doing this’’, ‘’Would HE my creator, be pleased with me if I do it?’’, ‘’When my master despises something, How can I desire it?’’ Let us try doing self-assessments from time-to-time to analyse the level of self-control we hold and what we are doing to reach up to the level of standards created by our previous pious predecessors. I think we can do this, I believe we can, actually. Let’s hold our heads high and do some amazing job at being a Muslim.
You can come back anytime with the progress of your C.H.A.N.G.E.S and no, you don’t really have to show it in some excel sheet or complex graphs :P .. Just write us a line or two and we’d be SO happy for you <3