Ya Rabb

Ya Rabb (O Lord)

Help me

Fill me with peace and tranquility

And guide me on the straight path

Help me to keep my focus aimed on things that matters

Help me to not divert my focus towards, or occupy my mindset with, worldly matters

Strengthen me

And build me up to something better

Fill the holes and heal the wounds within me

Make my longing become my driving force, urging me to keep moving forward, keep changing for the better, keep acquiring knowledge and acting upon what I have learnt

Keep me away from sinning and keep me away from wasting my time

Strengthen my faith during hard times

And my resolve when I am tested

Grant me righteous fellow travelers and Godfearing companions

Surround me with good people and a good community

Make my travel light and my sins few

Light up the path in front of me

And give me light within

So I have vision in the dark and wisdom during the trials

Increase my knowledge and make me act upon it

Help me carry out my obligations and shoulder my responsibilities

Fill my heart with love for goodness and fill my scale with good deeds

Save me from the punishment in the grave

And save me from the Hell-fire

Ya Rabb

Help me

Guide me

Strengthen me

And resurrect me amongst the righteous

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Continue journeying

Imam AlShafi’ee said, “Journey to Allah limping and broken and don’t wait for wellness, because waiting for wellness is inability.”

What is the meaning of journey to Allah broken?

It means, for example, that you get up to pray but your prayer is still without focus, you recite the quran but it is a broken recitation far from perfection…

Don’t worry, continue and seek out who will teach you to recite.

You begin to live your life in a way that is pleasing to Allah but at times your soul and desires overpower you…

Continue journeying to Allah and don’t delay. Don’t wait for the right moment to turn towards Allah. The moment your heart is inclined to Allah then go to Him Immediately.

Ibn AlQayyim said, “A person will continue to struggle with obedience until it becomes beloved to them. And so Allah will send angels that will inspire them and push them.

They will awaken him from his sleep for it, and from his gatherings for it. Allah said, “And those who strive in our path, we will certainly guide them to our path.”

Strive. Try. Endure. Persevere. And ask Allah.

However much a person comes closer to Allah they are gifted to experience a sweetness that they taste in their wakefulness, in their sleep and in their food. Until they experience what Allah has promised, “We will give them a beautiful life.”

Oh Allah grant us the sweetness of iman.

(From unknown writer)

Remember

Never forget:

When you’re hurt by people who share the same blood as you, just remember Yusuf/Joseph (as*), who was betrayed by his own brothers.

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If you find your parents opposing you, remember Ibrahim/Abraham (as*), whose father led him to the fire….

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If you’re stuck with a problem where there’s no way out, remember Yunus/Jonah (as*), stuck in the belly of a whale.

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When someone slanders you , remember Aisha (ra*) who was slandered throughout the city.

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If you’re ill your body cries with pain, remember Ayoub/Job (as*) who was more ill than you.

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When you’re lonely, recall Adam (as*) who was created alone.

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When you can’t see the logic around you, think of Nuh/Noah (as) who built an Ark without questioning.

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If you are mocked by your own relatives, family, friends and the world at large, then remember our dear Prophet Muhammad (saw*).

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God put these prophets to trial so that generations will persevere in patience.

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This post is found at storiesformuslimkids.wordpress.com,

who in turn has:

Extracted & edited from a post written by Sheikh Musleh Khan on his FB page

http://www.facebook.com/musleh.khan.7

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* Brief meanings:

(as) = Alayhis salaam = may peace be upon him

(saw) = Sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam = may peace and blessings of God be upon him

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Books

At the moment I am alternating between two books. The first book is already mentioned in an earlier post, and the other one is named “Becoming the narcissist’s nightmare” and is written by Shahida Arabi. I have only read 200 ebook-pages of this book so far, but those have actually been really good, and have been easy to read as well. (I actually found them both on Scribd, signed up for a free month trial to be able to read them.)

Sadness

Sadness

“The word sadness (الحزن) does not appear in the Quran except in the form of forbidding it (ولا تهنو ولاتحزنوا) or in the form of negating it (فلاخوف عليهم ولا هم يحزنون).

The reason for this is because there is no benefit for having sadness in the heart. The most beloved thing to Shaytan is to make the believing slave sad by taking him off track.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) sought refuge in Allah from sadness (اللهم إني أعوذ بك من الهم والحزن) (in a Du’a).

Sadness weakens the heart and diminishes determination and wanting to go forward. And there is nothing more beloved to Shaytan than sadness of a believer.

For this reason, be happy, optimistic and think good about Allah. Have trust in what Allah is able to do and depend on Him. You will find happiness and pleasure in all situations.

Don’t ruin your happiness with worry, and don’t ruin your mind with pessimism. Don’t ruin your success with deception and don’t ruin the optimism of others by destroying it. Don’t ruin your day by looking back at yesterday.

If you think about your situation, you will find that Allah has given you things without asking, so have trust in Allah that He doesn’t prevent anything you want except there is goodness for you.

You could be sleeping and the doors of the heavens are being opened with dua’as (supplications) being made on your behalf, subhan’Allah (Glory be to God) perhaps from someone poor whom you helped, or someone sad whom you brought joy, or someone passing by and you smiled to him, or someone in distraught and you removed it…so don’t ever underestimate any good deeds.

One of the righteous predecessors said: I make dua’a (supplication) to Allah for something I want, and if He gives it to me then I’m happy once and if He doesn’t give it to me then I’m happy ten times because the first was my choice and the second was Allah’s choice.”

Ibn al Qayyim al Jawziyyah (may Allah have mercy on him)

Addiction, brains and recovery

Ok, bear with me…

The book I am reading is called Brain over binge by Kathryn Hansen, but I have only read a third of it until now. Her recovery came through a book called Rational Recovery: The new cure for substance addiction by Jack Trimpey.

I found it interesting the way (it is described) that Trimpey approaches addiction; for example that;

“anyone can recover from any addiction whenever they want, without treatment”

(I will from now on actually copy-paste quite a lot of bits and pieces, put together in a bigger chunk of text, from the book Brain over binge just so you now).

Trimpey also disagrees with the “disease concept” (that drinking is not under the alcoholics control and is seen as a chronic disease), saying it only encourages and excuses addiction by failing to foster individual responsibility, and as such the treatments based on that concept is not effective either, since it assumes that drinking is the result of hidden causes. And therefore the disease concept-based therapy attempts to treat those hidden causes instead of the alcoholism instead and by doing so does not offer a direct way to stop drinking (or not fall back into it). Those treatments assume that if you correct the hidden cause, the alcoholic behaviors will unexplainably disappear and so the therapists convince alcoholics that drinking is a symptom of another problem, saying that he cannot be free from alcoholism until he reaches other important goals, so instead of working directly on his addiction, he works on reaching other goals in hopes that his drinking will go away, which Trimpey says it won’t. Because even if the addict has problems such as “self-worth, self-awareness, relationships and childhood conflicts, deprivations and traumas”, he is still left with his original desire to drink. And therefore, trying to solve personal problems before recovery only wastes times and resources. Therapy therefore doesn’t solve the real problem, since it is only leading around it instead of targeting it directly.

Then the writer moves on to the actual brain talk, which I found quite interesting and which is what should help the addict.

So the theory is about the two brains; what they call the animal/lower brain and the human brain. Hence the alcoholic would feel that the urge to drink is not really him, instead it feels as if an imposter has taken control over his mind and body until he gives in and drinks. Which explains why a part of the alcoholic wants to drink more than anything and part of him truly wants to quit. But anyone has ultimate control over his actions, since the human brain that is the seat of your intelligence, reason, language, and voluntary movement, is the only part of you capable of the voluntary act of drinking.I.e. the thoughts and feelings that encourage drinking doesn’t correspond to any of the alcoholics needs – real or symbolic – and those thoughts and feelings doesn’t even come from him at all. Instead they are an automatic and unthinking voice coming from the more animalistic part of his brain and doesn’t have any power over him or his actions.

So “all” the addict need to do is separate his true self from that lower part of his brain for the urges to go away on their own. That is, instead of trying to make his urges go away or prevent them from ever arising, he “just” needs to change how he reacts to them. To separate himself from his urges and choose not to follow them. Since the lower part of the brain (animal brain) believes that he needs to drink to survive, it therefore generates urges for this beyond his conscious awareness and it has become an addiction/habit. So he primarily drinks to relieve his cravings and also for initial pleasure, but certainly not to satisfy some symbolic inner need. That part of his brain has simply become dependent on drinking, and so he finds it hard to stop. Even though he knows drinking is wrong and unhealthy, his animal brain thinks it is necessary as oxygen because he had taught it that by drinking so many times. He can’t control these thoughts or feelings, or talk his animal brain out of these demands, but he can recognize them for what they are and not follow their lead. He can, residing in his human brain, control his actions. In other words, let the thoughts and feelings about drinking surface, then observe them as if they are not coming from him. Then don’t do what they are telling him to do.

Well, that’s how far I have gotten until now in terms of reading.

Description of Paradise

Ibn al-Qayyim said, in regards to the description of the Paradise and the delights that it contains:

“And if you ask about its ground and its soil, then it is of musk and saffron.

And if you ask about its roof, then it is the Throne of the Most Merciful.

And if you ask about its rocks, then they are pearls and jewels.

And if you ask about its buildings, then they are made of bricks of gold and silver.

And if you ask about its trees, then it does not contain a single tree except that its trunk is made of gold and silver.

And if you ask about its fruits, then they are softer than butter and sweeter than honey.

And if you ask about its leaves, then they are softer than the softest cloth.

And if you ask about its rivers, then there are rivers of milk who’s taste does not change, and rivers of wine that is delicious to those who drink it, and rivers of honey that is pure, and rivers of water that is fresh.

And if you ask about their food, then it is fruits from whatever they will choose, and the meat of whatever birds they desire.

And if you ask about their drink, then it is Tasneem, ginger, and Kaafoor.

And if you ask about their drinking cups, then they are crystal-clear and made of gold and silver.

And if you ask about its shade, then a fast rider would ride in the shade of one of its trees for a hundred years and not escape it.

And if you ask about its vastness, then the lowest of its people would have within his kingdom and walls and palaces and gardens the distance that would be travelled in a thousand years.

And if you ask about its tents and encampments, then one tent is like a concealed pearl that is sixty miles long.

And if you ask about its towers, then they are rooms above rooms in buildings that have rivers running underneath them.

And if you ask about how far it reaches into the sky, then look at the shining star that is visible, as well as those that are far in the heavens that the eyesight cannot possibly reach.

And if you ask about the clothing of its inhabitants, then they are of silk and gold.

And if you ask about its beds, then its blankets are of the finest silk laid out in the highest of its levels.

And if you ask about the faces of its inhabitants and their beauty, then they are like the image of the Moon.

And if you ask about their age, then they are young ones of 33 years in the image of Adam, the father of humanity.

And if you ask about what they will be hearing, then it is the singing of their wives from among the Hoor al-‘Ayn, and better than that are the voices of the Angels and the Prophets, and better than that is the Speech of the Lord of the Worlds.

And if you ask about their servants, then they are young boys of everlasting youth who resemble scattered pearls.

And if you ask about their brides and wives, then they are young and full-breasted and have had the liquid of youth flow through their limbs; the Sun runs along the beauty of her face if she shows it, light shines from between her teeth if she smiles; if you meet her love, then say whatever you want regarding the joining of two lights; he sees his face in the roundness of her cheek as if he is looking into a polished mirror, and he sees the brightness from behind her muscles and bones; if she were to be unleashed upon the World, she would fill what is between the Heavens and the Earth with a beautiful wind, and the mouths of the creation would glorifiy, praise, and exclaim greatness, and everything between the East and the West would be adorned for her, and every eye would be shut from everthing but her, and the light of the Sun would be outshone just as the light of the Sun outshines the light of the stars, and everyone on the face of the Earth would believe in the Ever-Living, the One who Sustains and Protects all the exists.

And the covering on her head is better than the World and all that is in it, and she does not increase with age except in beauty; free from an umbilical cord, childbirth and menses, and pure of mucous, saliva, urine and other filthy things; her youth never fades, her clothing is never worn out, no garment can be created that matches her beauty, and no one who is with her can ever become bored; her attention is restricted to her husband, so she desires none but him, just as his attention is restricted to her so she is the sole object of his desire, and he is with her in utmost safety and security, as none has touched her before of either humans or Jinn.

And if you ask about the Day of Increase (in reward) and the visit of the all-Mighty, all-Wise, and the sight of His Face – free from any resemblance or likeness to anything – as you see the Sun in the middle of the day and the full Moon on a cloudless night, then listen on the day that the caller will call: ‘O People of Paradise! Your Lord – Blessed and Exalted – requests you to visit Him, so come to visit Him!’ So they will say: ‘We hear and obey!’

Until, when they finally reach the wide valley where they will all meet – and none of them will turn down the request of the caller – the Lord – Blessed and Exalted – will order His Chair to be brought there. Then, pulpits of light will emerge, as well as pulpits of pearls, gemstone, gold, and silver. The lowest of them in rank will sit on sheets of musk, and will not see what those who are on the chairs above them are given. When they are comfortable where they are sitting and are secure in their places, and the caller calls: ‘O People of Paradise! You have an appointment with Allaah in which He wishes to reward you!’ So they will say: ‘And what is that reward? Has He not already made our faces bright, made our scales heavy, entered us into Paradise, and pushed us away from the Fire?’

And when they are like that, all of a sudden a light shines that encompasses all of Paradise. So, they raise their heads, and, behold: the Compeller – Exalted is He, and Holy are His Names – has come to them from above them and majestified them and said: ‘O People of Paradise! Peace be upon you!’ So, this greeting will not be responded to with anything better than: ‘O Allaah! You are Peace, and from You is Peace! Blessed are You, O possessor of Majesty and Honor!’ So the Lord – Blessed and Exalted – will laugh to them and say: ‘O People of Paradise! Where are those who used to obey Me without having ever seen Me? This is the Day of Increase!’

So, they will all give the same response: ‘We are pleased, so be pleased with us!’ So, He will say: ‘O People of Paradise! If I were not pleased with you, I would not have made you inhabitants of My Paradise! So, ask of Me!’ So, they will all give the same response: ‘Show us your Face so that we may look at it!’ So, the Lord – Mighty and Majestic – will remove his covering and will majestify them and will cover them with His Light, which, if Allaah – the Exalted – had not Willed not to burn them, would have burned them.

And there will not remain a single person in this gathering except that his Lord – the Exalted – will speak to him and say: ‘Do you remember the day that you did this and that?’ and He will remind him of some of his bad deeds in the Worldy life, so he will say: ‘O Lord! Will you not forgive me?’ So, He will say: ‘Of course! You have not reached this position of yours (in Paradise) except by my forgiveness.’

So, how sweet is this speech to the ears, and how cooled are the righteous eyes by the glance at His Noble Face in the Afterlife…

{Some faces that Day will be shining and radiant, l ooking at their Lord…} (al-Qiyaamah:22-3)

[from the amazing and beautiful book Haadi al-Arwaah ilaa Bilaad il-Afraah by Ibn al-Qayyim, pg. 193]