‘Cuz We’re All Gonna Die Someday

SubhanAllah — Glory be to God.

Just when you think you’re living THE life– You find out someone’s just ended.

The sad part is, people die every day. Click on any news channel and death isn’t something shocking anymore; it’s simply expected. But when it happens close home– even if it’s to someone you don’t know, but someone you know knows them— suddenly it slaps you in the face.

Death: It does not need an invitation. It does not seek permission to enter your life. It just comes about when God orders the Angel of Death to make a move.
 
(You’re wondering: your point is…?)

Well, here’s the thing. I’m living the life now– seriously. I’m taking an amazing summer class, meeting lots of interesting people, bridal showers around the corner, dance practices, Canada Day fun stuff, a wonderful family around me, my recent cooking experiments successful, the weather is lovely– 

And then: KABOOM.
 
A friend’s sibling (who I have never met) dies in an accident… and I’m crushed.

We are from God & to Him we will return. This is without a doubt. I feel greatly for the family of the young man and pray that the All-Merciful showers His mercy on him & everyone who knows him.

And that wasn’t the worst part…

What really disturbed me was my unintentional but obvious forgetfulness of my own mortality.
 
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See, you’re living a busy life and get so caught up in the details of it that it shocks you to find out someone’s own life just ended. I wonder: if mine ended now– as soon as I post this– will I be ready? Can I ever be? I am not sure how much longer my life will last but death is a certainty. Life is an illusion and the only thing we know for sure is Mr. Death knocking on the door.

The only thing we know for sure is that we are going to die; someday, somehow, somewhere.

And yet– death is the last thing we think about. [OK, I won’t hold you accountable. That think about.] 

Again, I ask myself: Am I ready? The answer is obvious: No. Not in a million years. If I lived until the end of time and never again committed a sin, my deeds couldn’t guarantee me Paradise. Only if God likes what He sees of the innermost parts of me accompanying the deeds, with His will, could I even dream of it.

And yet, ironically enough, here I am typing up a blog post instead of actually preparing myself for that final exam question that we’ll all inevitably face… But I just had to let it out.

Bottom line:
Everything we do in this life not connected with seeking the pleasure of God is nothing but pure vanity.

إِنَّا لِلّهِ وَإِنَّـا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعونَ 

May God have mercy on us all. Ameen.
 
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–A.S.
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Your Best Companion is a Book

Your Best Companion is a Book

“The book is a companion that does not praise you and does not entice you to evil. It is a friend that does not bore you, and it is a neighbor that causes you no harm. It is an aquaintance that desires not to extract from you favors through flattery, and it does not decieve you with duplicity and lies. When you are poring through the pages of a book, your senses are stimulated and your intellect sharpens… Through reading the biographies of others, you gain an appreciation of common people while learning the ways of kings. It can even be said that you sometimes learn from the pages of a book in a month, that which you do not learn from the tongues of men in a century. All this benefit, yet no loss in wealth and no need to stand at the door of the teacher who is waiting for his fees or to learn from someone who is lower than you in manners. The book obeys you by night as it does by day, both when you are traveling and when you are at home. A book is not impaired by sleep nor does it tire in the late hours of the night. It is the teacher who is there for you whenever you are in need of it, and it is the teacher who, if you refuse to give to it, does not refuse to give to you. If you abandon it, it does not decrease in obedience. And when all turn against you, showing you enmity, it remains by your side. As long as you are remotely attached to a book, it suffices you from having to keep company with those that are idle. It prevents you from sitting on your doorstep and watching those who pass by. It saves you from mixing with those that are frivolous in their character, foul in their speech, and woeful in their ignorance. If the only benefit of a book was that it keeps you from foolish daydreaming and prevents you from frivolity, it would certainly be considered a true friend who has given you a great favor.”

–Al-Jahidh

Don’t Time Travel

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“Don’t time travel. Regretting the past or worrying about the future is AUTOMATIC bad multi-tasking. It means you’re not focused on right now. Your brain is somewhere else and then by definition less productive right now. It’s all filled up with no extra space.

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How to avoid time travel?

  1. Catch yourself doing it.
  2. Remind yourself these are “not useful thoughts”
  3. Breathe in and feel the air against your nostrils. This puts you immediately in the present.
  4. Think of all the sounds you can hear right now. This also puts you in the immediate present. Your brain, which is your time travel machine, is begging you not to do this. It keeps yelling, “HEY OVER THERE! I’M STUCK IN THE FUTURE! COME GET ME!” But it’s a trap. Don’t listen to it.
  5. Acknowledge what you should be focused on at this present moment. If you have nothing in front of you maybe just enjoy that you    have no tasks right now. It’s a great pleasure to be a zero-tasker. I want to be a zero-tasker more and more in my life right now.

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6. “But”, you might say, “I really do have to worry about X and Y!” Ok, acknowledge you feel the need RIGHT NOW to worry. That doesn’t mean you HAVE to worry. It’s just a feeling that you have right now. How does it feel in your body right now. Watch it. Feel it. Let it get bored and disappear.”

James Althucher

No End of Opportunities

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“It is a fact

that there is no end to the opportunities in this world. When one opportunity ceases to exist, some other opportunity always arises somewhere… But new opportunities will bear no fruit if they are not at once seized and availed of. Nothing ever happens on its own.

ImageBut it takes a man of courage to grasp the opportunities that present themselves. He must also have the endurance and the determination for the struggle which necessarily ensues. And if he possesses those essential qualities, there is no question of his being a failure.

This world has been devised by God so that man may succeed– but with a struggle.”

~

–Maulana Wahiduddin Khan in his book Simple Wisdom

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O Reassured Soul

O Reassured Soul

[To the righteous it will be said],

“O reassured soul, Return to your Lord, well-pleased and pleasing [to Him], And enter among My [righteous] servants, And enter My Paradise.”

{Surah Fajr verses 27-30}

Real Meaning of “Allahu Akbar”

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“Your Saying “God is Most Great” does not mean that He is greater than something else, since there is nothing else alongside of Him, so that it could be said that He is greater than it.

Rather, the meaning of Allahu Akbar is that He is much too great to be perceived by the senses or for the depths of His Majesty to be reached by reason and logic, and indeed, that He is much too great to be known by an other-than-Him for truly, no one knows God but God.”

–Ibn Ata’Allah

When You Love a Palestinian Woman

A poem by Ehab Lotayef.

When you love a Palestinian woman,

the essence of resistance seeps into your existence;

you comprehend the meaning of persistence.

In her eyes you may see
residues of a tear,
but never a sign of fear.

When you love a Palestinian woman,
your heart is tuned
to the beat of a heart
that can never forget.

When you love a Palestinian woman
you love every wave
that kisses the shores of her land,
every olive tree in Galilee,
every particle of salt
in the Dead Sea.

When you love a Palestinian woman,
you love a smile
mysteriously mixed with pain unknown to others;
and a laugh that was choked
when the land was separated from its faithful lovers.

When you love a Palestinian woman
you love a spirit
that inherited the will to stand,
and eyes
that terrify guards at check-points,
in a way no man can.

How can any man love
but a Palestinian woman?

Ehab Lotayef

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–A.S.