tyranny

And O my people, give full measure and weight in justice and do not deprive the people of their due and do not commit abuse on the earth, spreading corruption.

11:85

Take care of the responsibilities in your life.  Do not neglect the rights of others.  If you have authority over anyone, follow the example of our beloved (saws) and see that they get what is owed to them

No one is beyond Allah (swt)’s wrath.  Especially not those with power.

30

Long time no post.  The trial that I’ve been working on for 2 years and that has been consuming my life for the last few months has finally begun.  I’ll probably be going down to Chicago next week to assist.

Today I turn 30 and I’m having a third of a life crisis (inshAllah I can hope that Allah [swt] grants me 60 more years).  We celebrated my Grandma’s 90th birthday this last weekend.  I was a late birthday present for her – 1 day after her 60th, I came into this world.

More than a hundred people came by to wish her well.  I can only pray that in 60 years, I am still happy and healthy, and that I have so many people that love me.  And, I hope that I am still worshiping Allah [swt] and striving to follow the path He gave our beloved Messenger [saws].

My third of a life crisis is many fold.  I’ve been a muslim for more than a decade – nearly my entire adult life.  And yet, I’m stunted in my spiritual growth.  I need to stop and rework my plans deen wise.

I need to get back on track with healthy eating.  I started some new medication that I think is causing me to gain weight.  And I’m not eating nearly as well as I have in the past.  That happens when you work 80 hours a week.

I need to exercise.  I haven’t been to the gym in 2 months.  I want to start running again, and run a marathon before I turn 40.

Once I lose weight, inshaAllah, I want to start to dress “nicer.”  These days, I look like a dumpy, chubby shlub who wears hijab.  Not the best dawah.

I want to become a socializer at my cat shelter, to help timid and feral cats become kitties that anyone would love to take home.

I want to spend more time with my cat.  Squeaky is desperately lonely without me.  And I miss her terribly.  This picture is from last Friday, when we finally had some time together outside.  Even when I get home at midnight, she still runs to the front door, thinking we’ll be going outside.  I hate to disappoint her.

I want to learn how to thread my sewing machine.  And sew sew sew so I can make costumes.

I want to develop patience to make more complex cross stitch.  I stitched my brother a Firefly piece for his birthday, and he really liked it.  Picture forthcoming inshaAllah.

I want to become a better cook.  I love to cook, and again, haven’t had any time to do that in recent months.

I want to spend time outdoors.  I used to camp and backpack.  I want to do that again.  Nature is a huge sign of Allah [swt], and I want to be there to see it all.  See that picture?  It makes me say subhanAllah!

Yes, there is a lot that I want in my life.  Oh Allah [swt], give me the life, the energy, the strength and the time to accomplish what is best in my life.  Ameen.

the weekly Squeaky

It is stacking up to be a hot and humid start to Ramadan.  I drank half a dozen glasses of water yesterday and took 3 showers, but still ended the day feeling dehydrated and drained.  Great, I thought, how much worse will it be tomorrow if we are fasting?

And then I thought of famine in East Africa.  And of the millions who aren’t going hungry and thirsty because it’s Ramadan – they’re literally starving to death.  They won’t be able to pop open the fridge come magrhib time, take out a tall cool glass of water and quench their thirsts.  They won’t be able to siddle up to a Ramadan buffet, pile their plates full, gorge themselves and then throw a quarter of the food away.

So as your stomach growls today because you didn’t eat lunch, as your through is dry because you haven’t had your afternoon latte, think of the blessings you have.  The blessing of being able to choose when to eat and drink.   The blessing of a roof over our heads, of being safe.  The list really is endless.  Remember your blessings and don’t forget to help those in need.  Islamic Relief is one of the charities on the ground, working to address the hunger.  Consider a donation.

Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas (ra):

The Prophet was the most generous amongst the people, and he used to be more so in the month of Ramadan when Gabriel visited him, and Gabriel used to meet him on every night of Ramadan till the end of the month. The Prophet used to recite the Holy Qur’an to Gabriel, and when Gabriel met him, he used to be more generous than a fast wind (which causes rain and welfare).

[Bukhari]

campaigns we’d like to see…

In light of the proposed million beard and niqab campaign in Egypt, I suggest the following:

  • The Allah  is beautiful and loves beauty campaign to clean up the streets (1)
  • The Allah is kind and loves kindness campaign to do random acts of kindness to strangers (2)
  • The treat your neighbor as though s/he were your heir campaign (3)
  • The Speak Good or Remain Silent campaign (4)
  • The shukr campaign to thank people and Allah for everything (5)
  • The do not get angry campaign (6)

(1) [Muslim]

(2)  ‘A’isha reported that the Messenger of Allah , said, “Allah  is kind and loves kindness and gives for gentleness what he does not give for harshness nor for anything else.” [Muslim]

(3) The Prophet  has stated: “Gabriel has repeatedly recommended me to be good to my neighbor to the extent that I thought that he would include him (my neighbour) among my heirs.”  [Ahmad and At-Tirmidh i]

(4) Abu Hurayrah (ra) relates that Allah’s Messenger  said: “Whoever believes in Allah  and the Last Day should speak a good word or remain silent. [Bukhari, Muslim]

(5) “Whoever does not give thanks to the people does not give thanks to Allah ” [Ahmed]

(6) Abu Hurayra reported that a man said to the Prophet  “Advise me.” He said, “Do not get angry.” He repeated his request several times and the Prophet said, “Do not get angry.” [al-Bukhari]

This post grew out of a discussion I had with AbuS.  He watches Egyptian news talk shows on youtube and on Monday night, he let out a sound of disgust, which in turn prompted me to ask what was the matter.  Can you believe this, he asked.  Is this the most important issue facing Egyptians today?  Will more beards and niqabs solve the mess?  Pshhhhhh!

Being a non confrontational person, I wrote this post suggesting campaigns in addition to the everyone needs a beard before Ramadan push.  When I asked AbuS to contribute a few campaign ideas, he said, haven’t you heard of the Fiqh of Priorities?  At the Battle of the Trench, the Prophet  delayed ‘asr.  ‘Asr was a fard, but not getting killed superseded that.

When facing the potential collapse of a civilization, needs should be prioritized.  Energies should be spent doing what is most urgent.  Will growing a beard or covering one’s face be a step towards polishing one’s heart, or will it merely allow us to ignore the tarnished character that is bringing down a country?

AbuS noted that when he went home to visit last year, that there was a great rise in outward signs of piety.  Lots of sunnah beards and lots more niqab, but the inner sunnahs were still deeply lacking.  A rise in outward piety does not appear to have had an effect on the state of Egypt.  Perhaps it is time to shift the focus inward?

The Prophet  said:

I was only sent to perfect good character

[Muwatta,  Ahmad]

until then..

I have oodles of new Squeaky and DC pictures (separate, alas Squeaky did not go to DC with me), but until I get my act together and organize some new posts, I give you food for thought and a question:

The heart is like the earth that has to be tilled and sweated over, in order to be cultivated and in order to yield a good harvest.  If the ground is not cultivated in such a manner for a long time, it becomes hard, barren, and unable to yield a crop because it was left unattended for so long.

The same holds true for the heart, in that one grows closer to Allah  the harder one works to rectify the heart.  However, the same heart becomes ever harder the longer one ignores the need to purify it.  Such a heart will eventually become harder than stone.

Thenceforth were your hearts hardened and became like a rock and even worse in hardness [2:74]

For among rocks there are some from which rivers gush forth [2:74]

In fact, stones feel ashamed at the hard heartedness of man.  Stones can still become a source of streams, and stones do tremble in fear of Allah , but when man’s heart hardens, it neither weeps nor trembles in fear of its Creator.  Man’s only hope of success on the Day of Judgment is to toil hard to rectify his heart or else he will be doomed.

How do you cultivate your heart?

note to self

Know that you will never truly love Allah until you love obeying Him

— Attributed to Hasan al-Basri (ra) on tumblr

Even if it’s not really from Hasan al-Basri (ra), it is a bit of wisdom that bears repeating.   Love is not simply a mushy emotion of the heart, head or nafs.  We don’t simply sit on the couch thinking, o Allah , I love you, I love you, I love you, and think that this is the only thing we need to do to express our love.

Ours is not a love of equals.  Allah  is the Beloved and we are His servants.  For our love of Allah to be worth anything, we should seek to please Him.  Love in this case requires action.  Indeed, our love for our Beloved SHOULD manifest itself in action, and those actions should be ones pleasing to Allah

Allah Himself tells us how our love should be manifest:

Whomever is hostile to a friend of Mine I declare war against. My slave approaches Me with nothing more beloved to Me than what I have made obligatory upon him, and My slave keeps drawing nearer to Me with voluntary works until I love him. And when I love him, I am his hearing with which he hears, his sight with which he sees, his hand with which he seizes, and his foot with which he walks. If he asks Me, I will surely give to him, and if he seeks refuge in Me, I will surely protect him. I do not hesitate from anything I shall do more than My hesitation to take the soul of the believer who dislikes death; for I dislike displeasing him.

Hadith Qudsi recorded in Bukhari

art by =demeters of deviantart