Boost That Iman!

>> Friday, February 8, 2013


I'm afraid that right now, my Imaan is very weak. I offer the salah at the right time, recite at least 10 pages of  Qur'an daily, listen to lectures instead of music and read Islamic literature whenever possible, but I don't feel that contentment that I used to feel before. I think a lot about death too, so I would appreciate it if you could answer soon. We don't know when we are going to die and I don't want to die in this state of weak Imaan. I know fasting helps because Ramadan is my favourite time of the year but being of ill-health, I can't fast much now. Can you please suggest something that I can do- anything- to uplift my imaan? I so desperately want to cry out in prayer, as I bow down before Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala. I don't want my heart to go hard, incapable of responding to His aayah. Please help me sisters, and jazaak Allah khair...

                     Assalamualaykoum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuhoo ^.^
            My Dear Sis,
I really have to hand it you, MashaAllah :) I can tell how hard you are trying, and I honestly admire the fact that although you pray on time, read Quran everyday, listen to lectures…  you still want to improve and feel more connected to what you do, and that takes guts! :)
You mentioned that you read the Quran daily. That is amazing, MashaAllah... but try not to always read through in the same patterns. If you are reading 10 pages each day, you start falling into this habit where you just want to finish reading the ten pages and you don't really know or feel what you're reading. A good idea would be to open the Quran at a RANDOM page and see what message Allah has for you that day. Adds a thrill to it, doesn't it? :D
Getting to the point, there are many ways to boost and improve our iman (and ourselves as muslims). One way is to vary your ibada :) Do some "physical implementation" of a hadith, Do an interesting activity like:
  •   Planting 
  •  Learning how to swim (if you don't know).
  • Eating honey
  •  Eating Dates
  •  (Although this one is a bit harder:) Maybe sign up for horse riding or archery?

Just something simply for the sake of obeying the Prophet and following his hadiths. It'll be fun and at the same time, inshaAllah, help boost your iman!

In a hadith narrated by Ibn Umar (MAPBWH) in which our beloved Prophet said:  ”Teach your children swimming, archery and horse riding”.   

Jabir (May Allah Be Pleased With Him) reported Allah's Messenger (PBUH) as saying:  "Never a Muslim plants a tree, but he has the reward of charity for him, for what is eaten out of that is charity; what is stolen out of that, what the beasts eat out of that, what the birds eat out of that is charity for him".

The Prophet said, “If somebody takes some ‘Ajwa dates every morning, he will not be effected by poison or magic on that day till night.” (Another narrator said seven dates)

A second way could be knowing the reward-- and the punishment. A lot of times, I find that reading verses from the quran and hadiths that describe paradise and hell can really give you a boost of faith & a new urge to keep going :)

Reading about paradise reminds us of the glorious rewards and supreme ranks that await us. It makes you feel like you want to work harder to get those rewards. It makes your goal in this life clearer, and you feel so much more connected when you pray, read Quran, etc, because you have a true intention to get to that wonderful (total under-statement) place: Paradise. 
Abu Sa'eed Al-Khudri narrated that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "The people of Paradise will look at the dwellers of lofty mansions (i.e. a superior place in Paradise) in the same way as one looks at a brilliant star, far away in the East or in the West of the horizon. This is because of their superiority over one another (in reward)." One of the people asked, "O Allah's Messenger, are these lofty mansions for the Prophets which no one else can reach?" The Prophet, (PBUH) replied, "No! By Allah, in whose Hands is my life, these are for men who believe in Allah and also believe in the Messenger." (Bukhari & Muslim)
Abu Hurairah said that the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu alayhe wasallam, said, "There is not a tree in Paradise, except that its trunk is made of gold."

Anas ibn Malik narrated that the Prophet, sallallahu alayhe wasallam, said, "Verily in Paradise there is a market in which (the inhabitants of Paradise) will come to every Friday. The North wind will blow and scatter fragrances on their faces and on their clothes. This will add to their beauty and their attractiveness. They will then go back to their families after having an added luster to their beauty and their attractiveness. Their families will say to them, 'By Allah you have been increased in beauty and loveliness after leaving us,' and they will say, 'By Allah you too have increased in beauty and attractiveness after us.'" (Muslim)
Abu Huraira reported Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) as saying that: Allah the Exalted and Glorious, said: I have prepared for My pious servants which no eye has ever seen, and no ear has ever heard, and no human heart has ever perceived but it is testified by the Book of Allah. He then recited:" No soul knows what comfort has been concealed from them, as a reward for what they did"

"They will have there all that their hearts desire and in which their eyes find delight. You will remain in it timelessly, forever." (Surat az-Zukhruf: 71)

"In it there are rivers of water that will never spoil, and rivers of milk whose taste will never change, and rivers of wine, delightful to all who drink it, and rivers of honey of undiluted purity." (Surah Muhammad, 15)
On then other hand, reading about the hellfire is the complete and utter opposite (May Allah (SWT) protect us from his punishment!). It reminds us of the horrifying punishments that await those who take a turn on the wrong path, who disobey their Lord. It reminds us to work hard and never give up to save ourselves from that punishment… 

Anas Bin Malik relates: The Prophet (PBUH) delivered before us a sermon the like of which I had never heard form him before. In course of it he said: 'If You could know what I know, you would laugh little and weep much.' Thereupon those present covered their faces and began to sob loudly. [Bukhari and Muslim].

(Another version says: Some reports from the companions reached the Messenger of Allah (SWT). He therefore addressed them and said: Heaven and Hell were shown I have never seen the like of (the these two) till this day in good and in evil. If you could know what I know, you would laugh little and weep much. That was the hardest day for the companions of the Messenger of Allah (SWT). They covered their faces and started weeping loudly.) [Bukhari & Muslim]

Those who reject Our Signs We shall soon cast into the fire: as often as their skins are roasted through, We shall change them for fresh skins that they may taste the penalty: for Allah (SWT) is Exalted in Power Wise.

If you could see when they are confronted with the fire! They will say: "Would that we were sent back! Then would we not reject the Signs of our Lord but would be amongst those who believe!" [Surah: 6. al-An`aam]

On the day when heat will be produced out of that (wealth) in the fire of hell and with it will be branded their foreheads their flanks and their backs."This is the (treasure) which you buried for yourselves: taste then the (treasures) you buried!" [Surah: 9. at-Tauba]

But those who have earned evil will have a reward of like evil: ignominy will cover their (faces): No defender will they have from (the wrath of) Allah (SWT): their faces will be covered as it were with pieces from the depth of the darkness of Night: they are Companions of the Fire: they will abide therein![Surah: 10. Yunus]

There are also hadiths that speak of both paradise and hell, and the dwellers of paradise & hell:

When Allah (SWT) created Paradise and Hell-fire, He sent Gabriel to Paradise, saying: "Look at it and at what I have prepared therein for its inhabitants."

The Prophet (PBUH) said: So Gabriel came to Paradise and looked at it and at what Allah (SWT) had prepared therein for its inhabitants.

So he returned to Allah (SWT) and said: "By your glory, no one hears of it without entering it."

So Allah (SWT) ordered that it be encompassed by forms of hardship, and He said: "Return to it and look at what I have prepared therein for its inhabitants."

The Prophet (PBUH) said: So Gabriel returned to Paradise and found that it was encompassed by forms of hardship. Then he returned to Allah (SWT) and said: "By Your glory, I fear that no one will enter it." 

He said: "Go to Hell-fire and look at it and what I have prepared therein for its inhabitants."

 Gabriel found that it was in layers, one above the other.

Then he returned to Allah (SWT) and said: "By Your glory, no one who hears of it will enter it."

 So Allah (SWT) ordered that it be encompassed by lusts.

Then He said: "Return to it."

 And he returned to it and said: "By Your glory, I am frightened that no one will escape from entering it."

 [at-Tirmithi and al-Hakim among others]

The companions of the fire will call to the companions of the garden: "Pour down to us water or anything that Allah (SWT) doth provide for your sustenance." They will say: "Both these things hath Allah (SWT) forbidden to those who rejected Him."

(There are endless verses and hadiths… obviously I couldn't put them all, but you can find lots of websites and books related to these subjects).

Once you've read all those verses of the Quran and hadiths about the reward and punishment, it's a good idea to actually sit down, grab a paper & pen, then divide your paper into several sections where you write:

-What you fear

-What you hope

-What you want

- What you are grateful for

Here are some examples: 

  • "I fear that my prayers are now pretty empty of khushoo or heartfelt feelings. I fear that I'm slowly falling into more sins."
  • "I fear death. I fear the Day of Judgment. I fear what my limbs would say if they could talk. I fear being a hypocrite.."
  • "I hope Allah forgives me & grants me a place in jannah with the martyrs and prophets. I hope Allah (SWT) will let me meet Aisha/ Khadijah/ Prophet Mohammed"… Even everyday life things like "I fear getting bad grades/ messing up on this test".

Think of at least 5 things for each category. This way, you'll be clearer on what you feel and what you want to improve on. Getting everything out of your head and onto paper will make it all the more easier.

After you have written down everything, turn these "thoughts" into DUAS. Call to Allah (SWT): "Oh, Allah, help me. My Lord, I need you… I long to feel this and that again.",  "Oh, Allah, I hope for your Jannah, for your reward. I hope to meet you. Your mercy I seek..."

Other ways to improve your imaan:

-Be sure to make some new righteous friends :) Joining a halaqah or Qur'an class with other sisters close in your age can make a huge difference. You might find some sisters who have been/are in your same situation… it can be encouraging and you'll probably learn something new… who knows? :)

- Eat healthy foods and exercise, too :) That way you'll be fresher and in a better mood. With a better mood, you'll be ready to do more ibadah. And don't forget:

On the authority of Abu Hurayrah (Radiya Allah Anhoo), the Prophet (PBUH) said:

"The strong believer is better and more beloved to Allah (SWT) than the weak believer, while there is good in both."

- Get rid of useless distractions. I'm not saying to entirely abandon these things, but sometimes, you really need to take a break from the news/facebook/twitter/whatever. If you happen to watch a TV/ soap show that isn't very appropriate, stop watching it and see how different you feel.

- Try remembering and thinking about what you have been blessed with. Try to remember a really specific time when you were in need of Allah (SWT) and He pulled it through for you.

- Give Charity. Give something you really want away ONLY the sake of Allah (SWT). Remember that Allah said: 
92. By no means shall you attain Al-Birr, unless you spend of that which you love; and whatever of good you spend, Allah knows it well.
And, Sis, if you ever feel like you want to cry when you bow down in prayer, remember this: Allah (SWT) is all-hearing, all-seeing, all-knowing. Even if you don't cry out loud, he knows that you want to cry, and that you are crying deep down in your heart. No one else knows, but Allah (SWT) will always know. 
May Allah (SWT) help us all to become better muslims, and may He give us strong hearts to work hard & win against the obstacles of Dunya. Ameen!

Sincerely forever,                    

 P.S. Any insights, Sisters? By all means, do tell!


If I Leave him, He'll Kill Himself...

>> Wednesday, February 6, 2013

I need help.
I used to be a practicing Muslim and would regularly keep my prayers and live alhamdullilah a good life. Then, I got involved, against my better judgment, with a non-Muslim man. I know its wrong to have a boyfriend but somehow it happened and the problem is now I find myself too ashamed to pray or do anything. Whenever I think of leaving him, though, he talks me out of it and says his life will be useless. I'm afraid he really is going to hurt himself or do something if I leave-- what if he KILLS HIMSELF??- and he honestly is a very decent and good man and I think there might be a chance of him converting. Am I bad? Good? Am I wrong? And do you think that now it's too hopeless for me to return to the practicing person I was?

 Dear Sister,

First of all, sister, there's no such thing as "am I a bad person or a good person or what"...When you label yourself into only one category, you make problems for yourself. If you label yourself as bad, you are ultimately giving yourself the license to sin. You're saying "Well, I'm bad, anyways, so I might as well enjoy my life here...I'm going to end up in trouble, anyways". And if you label yourself as " 100% good", you also may fall into the category where you feel that you are already guaranteed paradise/ you might think that you could never do anything wrong. Why should I change? I'm already good".

 Instead, you need to consider these verses in the Qur'an:

 And [by] the soul and He who proportioned it (7) And inspired it [with discernment of] its wickedness and its righteousness, (8) He has succeeded who purifies it, (9) And he has failed who instills it [with corruption].(10) Surat al Shams

 What we understand from this is that you are a HUMAN being... As such, you were created with both desires and with goodness.
 Sometimes you want to do something you shouldn't do. Sometimes, you don't want to do something you should do. Sometimes you love something that you shouldn’t love….

 So, instead of thinking "am I good or bad", think: "I am a test taker. I am taking a test right now, and this is a chance for me to DO something good..."

 MEETING this young man was a part of your test. And the test isn’t over, yet.

 The test is still going on. And you are a work in progress- you are working to become righteous...And you do that, by being willing to WORK and purify yourself. 

It is never too "hopeless/ late" to return to the right path (unless your soul has reached your throat and the sun has risen from the West).

Sister, working on becoming someone righteous is a day in and day out thing. It’s not “I used to pray but don’t pray anymore, so it's hopeless"..…It’s “I might not have prayed dhuhr this morning but that’s not going to stop me from praying asr. I’m going to start praying from NOW”.

 So how can we do that?

 Try changing the whole "focal point" from "You" to "Allah". Instead of thinking "am I good/ bad?", concentrate on developing your feelings for Allah. Work on feeling:

a) love for Allah
b)  hope in Allah- in His Forgiveness, in His Mercy, in His Appreciation of your deeds
c)  fear in Allah- in His right to take away any of the blessings He has given you, in the fact that He is All-Aware of everything you do- in His Knowledge and Hearing,

As for feeling too ashamed to pray, that’s a trick from Shaytaan. Allah tells us in the Qu'ran that prayer prohibits immorality. It's not that you "sinned", so you stop praying. It's that you pray, so eventually you will stop sinning. The Qur'an says:

  Indeed, prayer prohibits immorality and wrongdoing, and the remembrance of Allah is greater. And Allah knows that which you do. (29: 45)

 In fact, in a hadith,we are told that our prayers are like a river that cleanse us from our sins. So STICK TO PRAYER, no matter what.

 Now, let's discuss the issue of your boyfriend threatening to hurt himself.

a) Tell him gentle terms that "You cannot be responsible for any decision he makes to harm himself. He has to respect and honor his own body. You can tell him, "I care about you. But this relationship is tearing me apart because it is against my religion. I would love if you would please take a look at Islam. But if it’s something you don’t want to accept, then, it’s time for us to go our own different ways. Hurting yourself is not going to help you…and it’s not fair to blackmail me like that. It’s not fair to hold me hostage in this relationship.
b) If he's suffering from clinical depression and you feel that there is a chance for him to really hurt himself (for example you know he has pills or has a problem cutting himself or something like that), you can tell his FAMILY, first. Tell his parents that you can’t continue this relationship but that you are worried about him because he said he will hurt himself.
c) You can also ask the school counselor/ university counselor/ a professional to talk to him.
d) Another idea is if HE threatens you that he will hurt himself, you take out your mobile and tell him that you’re calling the police/ and are going to report the threat.

But as you can see, there is no option of staying put.For one thing, he needs to understand that he cannot depend on you for happiness. He must want to help himself. For another, you’re putting your Hereafter on the line for him.

IF you truly feel that there is a chance of him converting, you should ask him to talk with some brothers/ go to the masjid/ give him websites that will help him. But staying put and risking your own relationship with Allah is not going to help either of you.

May Allah make things easier for you!


Annoyed by Unfaithful Classmates

>> Tuesday, February 5, 2013

hello sisters,i always browse the internet for advice on things that happen in my life, and i can stumbling across your blog. i found it very interesting and have spent days looking it over and, well, enjoying it! i just wanted to thank you, because this is really awesome, what you have done, and i wish i could doing something like this inshallah in the future.this is my question, or area in search of advise. i go to a school in a muslim country. so alhamdulilallah i get to learn about allah 3 times a week at school. but my problem is with the class. i am not the brightest mind at school and don't have many friends. but in ISLAMIC class people be SO and EXTREMELY haram. the teacher never does anything about and i have had it up to here (above my head) with them. i don't know how to handle it anymore and have no person that gives me specific advise on what to do, so i am hoping you wonderful ladies can help.
sincerely,annoyed by unfaithful classmates.

Dear Annoyed by Unfaithful Classmates

Salaam sis!

Islamic studies 3 times a week at school? – Wow, Mash’Allah, I think that’s awesome! Islam always encourages to increase in knowledge and can even be seen as a form of worship and what better knowledge than that of our beautiful deen? After all, how can one practice Islam without acquiring knowledge of it first? 

But, it sounds like you’re struggling to make the most of this wonderful privilege and I hope I can help you combat this issue you seem to be having with your classmates. 

Sadly not everyone will share your enthusiasm and eagerness to learn, however, this doesn’t mean you should let them stand in your way. If possible, try not to let yourself become distracted by their behaviour – sit away from them and try ignoring them. Focus your attention on yourself and your learning.

But, if you’re struggling to do that then you can’t expect the problem to disappear on its own! While you may find it slightly daunting and not want to raise this issue with your classmates the only way to really solve it is to go right to the source – talk to them about it. 

They might not even be aware of how disruptive their behaviour is. Or perhaps they are but as no one has said anything they may have assumed it’s not much of a problem. Bring your concerns to their attention in a polite way and ask them nicely to behave ‘appropriately’ during the lesson. You can even try telling them about the amazing rewards they can get for "learning" about the deen. Perhaps your peers are very bored of the way is to suggest to them that you guys talk to the teacher about letting the last 5-8 minutes be for discussions on "Islamic topics" where you guys get to PICK what it is that you want to learn about (or for example, each week, one person chooses). 

If nothing changes then there really is only one other solution – speak to the teacher. I think it’s better to speak to your classmates directly, but if they fail to take your issue seriously then that doesn’t really leave you with much choice but to raise it with someone with more authority.And, if the class teacher fails to improve the situation then speak to a higher member of staff, such as the head. At the end of the day, your education and its progress in being hindered here and this isn’t something that should be taken lightly. 

And, you know what? If you’re struggling with this issue then chances are some one else in your class is, too! You’re probably not alone in this so speak to your other classmates and discuss ways you might be able to solve this – after all, more heads are better than one! Present a united front and it might make the others realise just how much of a problem their behaviour is. It might also help the teacher(s) do something about it if they realise this is something that’s affecting not just one student, but quite a few.

Keep calm, work hard and stay focused. 

Lots of love,


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