The students were asked to ponder on which categories of people mentioned in these surah’s do they think they are in.
Q. Which category am I in?
- The Blessed or Favored
- Those who earned Allahs anger
- Those who went astray or were misguided
– If the first category of the favored and blessed ones is taken as I knew it to be before, I would definitely think that I am one of them. Because I thought the favored ones were those who were chosen to be Muslims, who has (at least) basic knowledge if Islam and the Quran. When the Jews are the ‘Al Maghdhub’ and the Christians being the ‘Adhdhaalleen’, then I, being a Muslim, and Alhamdulillah giving nothing in my life that I could complain about (as far as worldly things are concerned), then obviously I must be from the favoured ones.
Now, the meaning of ‘anamta-alayhim’ is clearer, and so are the other two. The people – the kind of people who come in the category of the blessed are: the Martyrs, the Righteous, the Patient, the trustworthy, the Muhsineen, the Shakireen, the Guided, the Truthful, the ones who fulfill promises, who guide others to goodness, the submissive and humble; the ones with HIkmah – the wise ones, the saaliheen, the Muttaqeen, and the list goes on! They learned – gained knowledge and implemented it.
The next category is the “almaghdubi-alayhim” – the ones that earned Allah’s anger. They do what they know they shouldn’t be doing. They have the knowledge but they do not practice what they know.
Between these two categories, I feel that the ‘Favored ones’ would be too elevated a category for me because I don’t have the ‘aml’. I definitely know way more that I practice – of course there are ups and downs in the levels in Imaan, but sadly that’s not my excuse. I don’t want to – am not able to put myself in any category but I think I am somewhere between the two. I am not fit for the first category but I may be in denial (I don’t know) when I say I am not in the second – May Allah Guide me and make this straight Path easy for me InshaAllah! Ameen.
– As much as I hoped to be in the first group, it would not be incorrect to claim that I belong there. I am worried that I could belong to the second group as whatever knowledge I have has not entirely been translated to action. I still have a long way to go. I have started reading the dua Allahumma inni asaluku ‘ilman Nafiun wa amalam mutaqabalan wa risqun tayyiba more frequently.
Q. How strong is my connection with my Rabb?
– Ans: Rabb – My Creator, Sustainer, Provider, Protector, Nurturer. My owner, He who handles my Affairs. My Rabb – and the Rabb of all Creation – all the worlds! He helps me in the everything I do – whether I obey him or not. They why is it that I do not obey Him like I should? We do what suits us – is to our convenience but that which is difficult is impossible – we do not even try so often.
My relationship and connection is not how it should be. I do realize His facors upon me more than I ever did before – and I pray that I am never accounted for all the Blessings Allah (swt) has showed upon me. But I don’t do what I should. I don’t ask myself at every step if I’m doing it for Allah. Even when I do, and the reply comes in the negative, I don’t make a huge effort to change my actions immediately. For example, if I;m watching TV and something that’s taken my attention is coming, and I’ll ask myself why I’m letting myself waste so much time, and then I’ll keep telling myself – ok stand up and go do something more productive; shut the TV off. Sometimes I will but often I wont, because the evil / the ‘laghv’ is so attractive.
– Alhamdulillah, it has become much stronger now as I try my best to accept Allah’s decree as according to the gist of a hadith a momin is happy in any situation. In times of hardship he does sabr and in good times he does shukr. The constant link with the Quran and friends in deen has strengthened this connection. The moment I am not consistent the connection weakens.
However, I hope to develop more taqwa of Allah as sometimes I still have problems getting up for my fajr Salah.I also have to develop khushu and khudu so that I can strengthen the bond with Allah(swt) as that is the time when I have a meeting with my Rabb.
Q. How strong do I want my connection to be with my Rabb and what am I doing to make it so?
A. I want Allah Taala to be the eyes with which I see, the mouth with which I speak, the ears with which I hear, the hands with which I do what I do and the brain with which I think and carry on to do – everything.
I want to do EVERYTHING for the Plesure of Allah and only for the Pleasure of Allah. I want to be of those people who when they dies, they say “should I repeat what you’re saying (ashhadu Allah ilaaha ilAllah) or should I say what they’re saying?”. I want to have that kind of connection with my Rabb that He becomes my companion and I His loved one.
I’m making dua to make this journey easy for me – the journey that I’ve set upon in the way of Allah – to become a practicing Muslim. I’ve joint the Quran course – Alhamdulillah!
Q1. Know the details of Imaan-bil-Ghayb.
Imaan-bil-Ghayb is a concept given in the third ayah of Surah Baqarah. In this Surah, this is the first belief that is spoken about of the person who has Taqwa, Allah Consciousness – or the Muttaqee. Prophet (pbuh) said about Imaan-bil-Ghayb that it is Belief in Allah, the Angels, The Prophets, The Books, Day of Judgement and the Divine Decree.
Belief in Allah and all the rest of these Unseen w/o having seen any of them. The Knowledge of the Ghaib is not meant for us humans to know. This is part of what Allah has kept hidden for us and we should by no means even try to find out, for example, wanting to know what will happen in the future so going to a fortune teller or palm reader or even other people who claim to have this kind of knowledge about you.
If RasulAllah (pbuh) told us about Heaven and Hell, it was only as much as we should know. Nobody knows what will happen once I die, because the dead don’t talk. But we MUST, with all faith, believe in all that RasulAllah (pbuh) told us.
Q. What are my acts of worship and what is their condition?
Starting with Salah, the ritual prayer, it is the act which emphasizes time and again the importance of doing things on time. It teaches us discipline, time management and most importantly how to talk to Allah at least five times a day. I must purify myself – I do my wudhu as is taught to us from the Subbah of RasulAllah (pbuh), Alhadmulillah. But often I forget to say Bismillah before and/or the words to be said after the wudhu.
I often delay my Salah, in spite of not wanting to, so I’m working much harder at my timings now. I feel the difference in my level of khushoo between reading it on time and reading it much later.
Zakat is an act of worship that a lot of people have to do and a lot of them are exempt from. It teaches us to give, share and to make the ffort to go and look in to lives outside our own and care for them. Before I used to just wait for the end of the year around Ramadan time (just because it was easy to keep track of) but from this previous Ramadan, I didn’t stop to wait, I just carried the flow on – this keeps me always on the lookour for the needy and I’m more conscious of my Fard.
Saum-Fasting: this act brings with it self control in great measure. When we’re fasting we’re not only just starving or not quenching our thirst, but the self control is more internal, at least for me. The person fasting must remain in a constant state of shukr; must not get angry for ANYTHING; should observe utmost purdah; not pick on small things and learn to let go; must control the tongue from abusing, backbiting, screaming and shouting, etc. And the dealings of a person fasting should be at the level of Ihsan. The aim of fasting is that these few things mentioned above should be internalized by me and this is how I should be always – a real, true Mumin, in other words.
I keep all my fard fasts, except for those I must leave. But I am not someone who regularly keeps nafil fasts – actually I still have to make up for my fad fasts.
Hajj is a fad for some, not for all. It brings millions of people together from all over the world and makes them deal and socially interact with many, while in a state of Ibaadah. I have not done mine as yet. May Allah make it easy for me, insha’Allah.
Q. What should my dealings with people be like?
They should b like that of a Muttaqee, a Mumin. This is a person who is ever conscious of Allah and his aakhirah and hates to do anything that my negatively after his akhirah. This is why when he talks to the people, he talks with love, attention and a smile. I should genuinely care, smile more often, speak the truth, not lose my patience – even when someone repeatedly acts out of order. I should spend my money, time and effort to help others out. I MUST prioritize to give time and effort to my family members – my parents, spouse, children, in-laws, siblings and other kin. I should be accessible and approachable. I should have hikmah and not sternly say not to everything everyone says just because the rules of the Deen are opening on my heart. Out of love and care, genuine sincerity, I must spread the word of Allah – to first my near and dear ones and then beyond.
Q. What is my connection with the Quran?
During the holidays after takmeel I felt really lost as I did not have a constant connection with the Quran. I was reading the Quran but from here and there. My Salah was adversely affected also. Mariam Baji [Quran tafsir teacher] suggested that I should be with the Quran. I finished para 1 by reciting ten ayahs everyday. That really helped me.I have realized that we must not leave the Quran any day. Alhamdulillah now I am back on track but still need to work harder.
Q. What can I do to strengthen my connection with the Quran?
Dua is the key. Moreover, by reciting it every single day.Also a habit needs to be developed for pondering over the verses of the Quran. Hifz of surahs would also help especially the khushu and khudu of the Salah .A friend had told me recently ‘make Quran your best friend and you won’t need anyone else.
Q. Make a checklist of Major and Minor Kufr, percentage or degree of these factors.
Major Kufr constitutes of:
- Denial And Rejection: Alhumdulilah I believe I have 100 percent conviction (yuqinoun) of the existence of Allah and accept him as my Lord, my Rabb. However, I think when I gave my nafs, my sleep, my social obligations and my life precedence over what Allah has commanded me to do, then I guess my 100 percent acceptance becomes void. I need to make an extra effort to make sure that if I am accepting Allah, as my God, then I have to do what he asks of me. Otherwise, it’s as if I believe in Him at my own convenience.
- Arrogance: I don’t think I have much of this, but one has to very careful how slowly it creeps in. For example, while I am taking this class, I can slowly start thinking I have learned so much and become proud of that fact while telling others. So, I have to constantly make sure that I have the right niyyah at all times. May Allah help me with that. Ameen!
- Doubt: This I believe exists at a very high percentage. Every time you hear that something is not allowed in Islam, you start to question it. Try to excuse it by saying that you’re not really sure if the source is valid or not etc.
- Turning away: I feel that at this stage in my life I am more and more drawn to my deen. Everything about it attracts me to its and makes me more and more curious. So Alhumdilah I don’t believe this exists in me.
- Hypocrisy: This is one major factor that I absolutely detest. I don’t like hypocritical people. I wish everyone would be their true selves. I hope Allah gives us all the hidayah to be honest and truthful always.
Minor Kufr constitutes of:
Being ungrateful: Oh yes! This definitely exists! I feel my poor husband has to experience this every time I am in a bad mood. I very conveniently forget all that he’s done for me and say but u never do this etc. etc. I feel to be truly grateful to Allah, we need to constantly count our blessings and not forget them for a second. Being ungrateful is part of human nature. If it’s hot, we say it’s too hot. If it’s raining we don’t want it, if it isn’t, we want it. Oh Allah! Please make us of the grateful ones! Ameen!
Q. When I hear Allah’s Ayahs, what is my reaction and what should it be?
I believe when I was younger; I read the Ayahs for the sake of reading them. As I got older, I got curious; I wanted to really understand what I was reading. Now, I want even more. I want to be able to cry with emotion and tremble with fear, and be awed and truly inspired. Once, I am able to feel like that, then insha’Allah, the Ayahs will adorn me from inside and out. And help me benefit myself as well as others, insha’Allah.
Q. Check your heart and tongue; are they coinciding with each other or in contradiction?
A believer’s heart, tongue and action all need to be aligned, if they are then it ensures that one has attained pure faith. On the other hand, a hypocrite has discrepancy, in his heart, actions and tongue. He is dishonest and an imposter, who tries to deceive everyone around him and creates webs full of lies and deceit. All people hate frauds and pretenders. Would we want to be one of them? Even Allah says that the hypocrites will have the worst kind of punishment! They will have Allah’s Wrath, anger of the worst kind.
Now it’s turn to analyze myself. What group do I belong to? I like to think I am an honest person, I believe I don’t have the 3 signs of a hypocrite. That is when I speak, I don’t lie, when I make a promise, I try to keep and if I am entrusted with something I usually can be trusted. However, I would say I don’t think I have the purest of faith. For example, if I believe that some wrong things are happening in this world that go against my religion, then I should make more effort to show it with my actions or say something with my tongue. Also, even though I detest the concept of deceiving, it normally happens that I improve my salah, lengthen my sajdahs and rukku’s if someone else is present. I try to be conscious of the fact that if I do that, then my prayer is void, as I don’t have the sincere intentions of praying for Allah. Instead I am praying for the person who is present at that time.
Q. How do we eliminate lying from our lives?
I believe that we can eliminate lying by:
- Making sincere Duas to Allah.
- Keep in mind the Sirat-ul-Mustaqeem.
- Realize that life over here is temporary, and constantly remember the Hereafter.
- Stop fearing people, and realize that we have to ultimately answer to Allah.
- Think of ourselves as examples for others, especially children.
- Make a conscious effort to realize that white lies are also LIES, and lying jokingly is also LYING.
- Also, we should remember that lying results in even bigger lies and makes us do even worse things.
Q. How do you feel that Allah has asked you to worship Him, and Him alone, for your benefit, so that you may be eligible for Jannah?
First of all, I feel grateful (Alhumdulilah) that I have been born in a Muslim family, so the right path was made easier for me. Allah has told me what the right path is; He has given me an incentive to stay on this path. Allah promises me that if I worship Him and Him Alone, then this world as well as the Aakhirah will be all that I could wish for and more…. When the question is phrased like this, it all seems so simple. All I have to be is a ‘good girl’ and I will be eligible for Jannah. However, it becomes harder when life comes in. The experiences we have, the choices and decisions we have to make…. However, I feel if we do keep it simple, and really believe in the Oneness of Allah as well as in Jannah, then everything else will fall in place (insha’Allah!).