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CamelliasBloom podcast

Assalamu Alaykum, please listen, support, follow and share! Your support is actually supporting all of us convert/revert/new muslimah sisters! May Allah put blessings and success with this project so we can come together and build a small online community for all of us convert/revert/new muslimah sisters. Ameen.

2nd Episode is here – https://linktr.ee/thecamelliasbloom.podcast

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We need to CHILL for a second

When I first became Muslim I had this sudden zeal that was burning within. Obviously, this is very natural. When we love something, especially when it is new and exciting, we want to share the news with everyone ! I wanted to share my new journey and faith with all those around me. I wanted everyone to experience what I felt and all I would do was talk about Islam the whole time. I was so excited about my new faith that I just HAD to share it. I shared it with Muslims and non-Muslims and when I look back at myself (lol) I can’t believe how silly I was. I mean of course we have to share the beauty of Islam with others! But there is definitely a certain approach you must take!

I became very passionate and emotional every time I talked about Islam and how I converted. I would always try to organize some sort of Islamic reminders on What’sApp chat groups and force everyone to get involved (lol!) and for a while, it was benefiting myself and others. Then I started suffering some serious hardships in the US and it caused me to retract into my shell and all I wanted to do was keep to myself. I realised that my emaan and my zeal seemed to be only on the surface because once I was put into tests of my own, I noticed that my trust and hope in Allah were very weak.

I’m not sure if you all understand this but let me try to explain it to you.

My zeal and passion for Islam was built only on seeking knowledge. All I would do was read and learn about how the pious predecessors (the Salaf) would practise Islam. I would make a lot of effort to practice outwardly the Sunnah without really understanding the true beauty of why the Prophet (peace be upon him) did them and everything just had a surface value. I was doing things more out of fear rather than love. I was worried that if I did not do things, Allah would punish me. This is SO wrong.

OF COURSE, all these things are extremely important and beneficial for us and we should constantly be educating ourselves about the Sunnah and the pious predecessors but we also need to remember that in order for us to be consistent with acts of ibadaah, we need to remember that emaan grows in the heart and when it does, that is when we truly enjoy doing acts of worship because they are genuinely for the sake of pleasing Allah! What is in the hearts will eventually radiate through our actions!

A lot of people say that emaan and Allah are in the heart, but if Allah is in your heart (and let us not take this out of context and think that Allah is everywhere- yes, SIGNS of Allah are everywhere but we know that He is above the throne!) and emaan is in the heart, then your speech, your actions should reflect that. Things like the hijab, prayer, and doing other acts of worship come easily and naturally once the emaan in the heart grows. I thought that I had emaan but then I realised a lot of the time I was doing things because I HAD to and not because I sincerely wanted to.

So once I was tested with hardships, I left a lot of my voluntary acts of worship and I even began to question Allah and Islam (may Allah always protect me and you from this ameen). It was only until I moved back to Toronto that I realised that I have a very limited understanding of Islam and even though I sought knowledge non-stop, it never reached beyond my mind. It never transcended deeply into my heart or my soul, it never touched me the way it touched Ibn al Qayyim( rahimuAllah) or Ibn al Jawzi (Rahimuallah) and the likes of. My understanding of Islam was on a surface level and it is only until now that I started to realise that being a Muslim is not just about the outwardly obligations but it is also understanding yourself and through that, then you can know Allah and then learn to love Allah.

I know a lot of us may lack this understanding. I have seen and continue to see way too many individuals, especially on social media, show their Islamic knowledge outwardly. It does not go anywhere deeper than that. How do I know this? It is very simple and obvious. Their manners and character show it all. Most of these sisters do not have good manners and lack empathy. They dictate the deen and if you do not take the opinions of their shaykh, they will chastise you. You are basically ‘non-practising’ in their eyes. They basically want to force you to follow in their way and if you don’t, you can’t “sit with them.”

This brings me to my last point.

This is the kind of interaction that is not even from the Qur’an and Sunnah. The Prophet (peace be upon him ) was never forceful and Allah even says in the Qur’an there is no compulsion in the religion (2:256) so why are you forcing others to do what you are doing?

What you do to get closer to Allah may not be what another person wants to do at this moment in time. They may be on a completely different journey than you and even though you may be more fast-paced then them, they are going at a rate that is suitable for them- but at least they are still trying. For all we know, they could be crying to Allah behind closed doors every day asking Him to guide them to wear the hijab, or to fulfill their five daily prayers! We will never know what is going on in their lives and what they are struggling with.

A lot of the times, individuals always seem to preach that Allah is strict and harsh and if you don’t do A-B-C you will be punished! Again, up until recently, I believed this as well. I was doing things because I didn’t want to be punished not because I truly wanted to do them. Allah is not a harsh, mean Lord ! Yes, He punishes where He Sees fit but He also rewards. Allah is oft-Forgiving, most Merciful. Forcing people to do acts of worships is never the key to success. You are not responsible for anyone but yourself. If you truly want to help someone, lead by example through your speech and your actions and show them how Islam has touched you. If you are forcing the deen down someone’s throat and if you find yourself being harsh and cruel, you got it all wrong, girl. You are causing more harm than good. Trust me! I have been there before and I was the harsh one with excessive zeal forcing the deen down other’s throats! Rarely does this method work.

So this reminder is to myself first and foremost, focus on myself and my relationship with Allah. Do not force others to listen to x-y-z lectures or force others to do a-b-c ibadaat . Yes, enjoining good and forbidding evil is our DUTY as a Muslim, but do it wisely. The way we enjoin good can actually turn out to be evil because of the method we approach people with becomes counterproductive!
Acts of worship should never be seen as a chore or a drag. We should want to do it with our hearts and soul because we love Allah and we want Him to be pleased with us. If you are the reason that people find acts of worships to be a drag, then please remember to focus on yourself before you focus on anybody else.

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Salt on the wounds

Have you ever met those types of people who just seem to smother your open wounds with a whole tablespoon of salt? I have! I have met many.

Either these people just don’t get it or they lack common sense – which by the way, in 2019, is not so common anymore. Sometimes I marvel at the types of personalities out there. Of course, I am fully flawed myself and I have some serious personality issues; but alhamdulillah, I admit them completely and I know my many shortcomings and I always ask Allah to not make me out to be what I hate! Aameen!

It’s just that, some people are really clueless, you know?
Maybe I am one of them?! Who knows!
Maybe this is a post directed to me!

I mean, I never write with the intention of just addressing the general public without me having to reflect on my own self first, so insha’Allah this will be a good reminder to myself, first and foremost.

I mean, judging only by the apparent, I feel like these people have not had a lot of experience dealing with humans or life in general. I almost feel like these people can be categorized into the narcissist (audhbillah ) category! They lack empathy, they only talk about themselves, they fail to listen, they nearly shove in your face things you really don’t want to hear about (their marriage, their husband, their children, etc..), they think their advice is golden when in reality it probably would have been better if they never spoke in the first place. There are some who are far from falling into the narcissistic category but are just plain negative. Being around these types of people are draining, to say the least. Sometimes we feel obligated to be around these people, or at least I thought I was, but then I realized, why should I sacrifice my own wellbeing to be around people who do nothing but sabotage my state of mind/wellbeing?

I know many of us want to be that supportive sister when one of our friends cry out for help. We try our best to offer beneficial advice and solutions that may help them feel a sense of solace and comfort. I understand that and I know the intentions are from a pure place (insha’Allah) but have we ever thought to ourselves, everyone is different thus the advice we offer may not always hit home for the other person? I remember when I first converted to Islam and I was beyond overzealous with my new faith. The advice I gave others was not always ideal nor was it the solution to their problems. In fact, some of my solutions, at that time, could have been more detrimental than beneficial. May Allah forgive me for my ignorance ameen.

But sometimes our advice can add salt to their wounds.
Sometimes our careless anecdotes can add salt to their wounds.
Sometimes our actions can add salt to their wounds.

I think it is extremely important to be aware of our words when we are with certain types of people. Remember, not everybody is like you. Just because you handle things one way, doesn’t mean the other person wants to handle it your way.

Just because you experienced something and went about it a certain way, does not mean that the other person will react positively to your methods or your words. I remember I met a few sisters who had gone through some hardships and as a result, it had really scarred them. Thus leaving them with a lesser-than-tainted outlook on life and as a result, when I was in their company, I felt negative and sad about myself and about my situation. I have nothing against these types of sisters and I ask Allah to relieve them from their hardships and give them comfort within, Ameen; but if I am already struggling and going through some tests myself, I don’t need to be around anymore Debbie-downers, right? 

I need to be around people who are encouraging and who will remind me that Allah will respond to my duaas. I need someone to remind me about Ayyub (aleyhi salam) or Yusuf (aleyhi salam) and Ya’qub (aleyhi salam)! I need someone to remind me that they went through hardship after hardship after hardship and to the point of utter exhaustion yet they still persevered and prevailed because they believed in Allah and kept making duaa. I need someone to say ” You’re doing great and I know that everything will work out for you soon insha’Allah, because why would it not? Allah’s promise is always true!” instead of them relaying their whole life’s experience and making the whole conversation based around them and their own experience. Sometimes, people don’t want to hear about your experience because, well, everyone’s experience is conducive to themselves and not many people can really relate to you – duh. 

Sometimes, we need to make it about them, and not about us. 


When someone is going through hardships, offering them generic advice like “don’t worry, it will get better insha’Allah,” or ” have patience,” or “it is what it is, at least you have this and that and you are this and that” can only reach less than skin deep. YES, these are great and they are the obvious things that we should say but we need to figure out how to help their wounds, not add salt to them. 

Nu’man b. Bashir reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: The similitude of believers in regard to mutual love, affection, fellow-feeling is that of one body; when any limb of it aches, the whole body aches, because of sleeplessness and fever. Book 032, Number 6258: (Sahih Muslim)

Being empathetic and sympathetic is the medicine to their open wounds. Feeling their pain as if it were your own and offering sincere advice that comes from within your soul is something that will help others. When you feel what they feel, that is when you will help their wounds heal rather than making them worse. 

I decided to write this post because it was not until recently when I went through my own hardships and realized some of the advice some sisters would give me would often leave me feeling worse off than if I hadn’t spoken to them in the first place. They put more salt on my wounds. That is why I am a very private person. A lot of people can actually make you feel worse rather than better and that is why I am so selective with friends and with who I go to for advice. Thus, I want to write this post and address how important it is to be sensitive and empathetic to the one who comes to us for advice. It was not until I realized how I didn’t want to be treated that I realized how I should treat others. When people come to you for advice, they want comfort and affirmation that everything WILL BE OK. They are not coming to you so you can disregard their feelings and make them feel worse. If you help them, Allah will help you. Isn’t that convincing enough?

Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Whoever relieves the hardship of a believer in this world, Allah will relieve his hardship on the Day of Resurrection. Whoever helps ease someone in difficulty, Allah will make it easy for him in this world and in the Hereafter. Whoever covers the faults of a Muslim, Allah will cover his faults in this world and in the Hereafter. Allah helps the servant as long as he helps his brother. Whoever travels a path in search of knowledge, Allah will make easy for him a path to Paradise, for a people do not gather together in the houses of Allah, reciting the Book of Allah and studying together, except that tranquility will descend upon them, mercy will cover them, angels will surround them, and Allah will mention them to those with Him. Whoever is slow to good deeds will not be hastened by his lineage.”

Source: Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 2699 Grade: Sahih (authentic) according to Muslim

When we offer advice to others, it should be about them and not us. 

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Leaves of Mercy

A poem written by Brandi ” Sabira” inspired by my true story of how Allah (swt) reaffirmed Islam in me through leaves

I was like a droplet of dew on a green leaf sitting and waiting patiently for a slight movement to uplift the weight of the water of my past.

Like a crisp early fall morning with leaves spread out on the ground forming a mosiac of colors. Each color of my past stained me and the silence encompassed me.

You have been near me all along Al-Wali, protecting me and shielding me like the leaves of a precious and delicate flower. I just never realized how close until you opened up the beautiful petals.

Like a dry dead leaf crushed in one’s hand, a thousand fragments of feelings spread about. You came and reformed those broken brittle pieces into bright and beautiful foliage.

You let that single small leaf fall from your blessed lote tree high above. Like a single feather from an angel’s wing gracefully floating down right in front of me.

Your leaf got my attention and you showed me your mercy through the very nature that you created.

Like a single sprout that flourishes into an enormous leaf. You reaffirmed in me yet again your unsurmountable mercy by tripling the size of the second leaf that came to me.

Like the veins that run through a transparent leaf for nourishment, you flow through me, feeding my soul with the ways of our beloved prophet to grow closer to you.

Like a straight line of beautiful trees along a pathway each with a million leaves blowing in the wind, you guided me to as-Sirat al-mustaqim.

Like the trunk of an oak tree in a vast forest, I will remain strong and attached to you in this world until it’s time to uproot me to the akhirah. For like you say in your beautiful book of guidance and mercy “not a single leaf falls without his knowledge” 6:59

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Personal Pandemic

Written by Brandi “Sabira”
April 10 2020

As we all sit at home in lockdown
we ponder and reflect on this new way of life and remember the hustle and bustle of the old. 
This pandemic has us all panicked on the outside but has forced us to remain calm in the inside. 
Time is now spent on more important things such as family, studies and spiritual connection.
The almighty has finally forced us to stop and look at what is actually important and to be grateful for what we have.
We can take this time as a personal journey to reflect and analyze our own soul and improve the qualities that have been damaged by the negative influences of this world. Such as haste, ungratefulness and greed. Such as hatred, racism and jealously.

It is the fear of the unknown that has hit many and forced them to rethink what is now to be a priority in our lives when it should have been all along.

This covid-19 may not have infected us all but it sure has effected us all. 

God has proven that he is in control now and always was.  It unfortunately took a worldwide pandemic to create a personal pandemic within ourselves. 

The only cure for this is to stop our sinful habits and start anew. Forgive one another and treat one another with respect and kindness.  Most importantly  we should live each day like it’s going to be our last breath as so many have had to unfortunately do. 

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What is Isra and Miraj?

Hadith Al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 60, Hadith 17, no. 3342

Narrated Anas (ra): Abu Dhar (ra) used to say that Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “While I was at Makkah, the roof of my house was opened and Jibril descended, opened my chest, and washed it with Zamzam water. Then he brought a golden tray full of wisdom and faith, and having poured its contents into my chest, he closed it. Then he took my hand and ascended with me to the heaven. When Jibril reached the nearest heaven, he said to the gatekeeper of the heaven, ‘Open (the gate).’ The gatekeeper asked, ‘who is it?’ Jibril answered, ‘Jibril’. He asked, ‘Is there anyone with you?’ Jibril replied, ‘Muhammad (ﷺ) is with me.’ He asked, ‘Has he been called?’, Jibril said, ‘Yes’. So, the gate was opened and we went over the nearest heaven, and there we saw a man sitting with Aswida (a large number of people) of his right and Aswida on his left. When he looked towards his right, he laughed and when he looked towards his left he wept. He said (to me), ‘Welcome, O pious Prophet and pious son’. I said, ‘Who is this man O Jibril?’ Jibril replied, ‘He is Adam, and the people on his right and left are the souls of his offspring. Those on the right are the people of Paradise, and those on the left are the people of the (Hell) Fire. So, when he looks to the right, he laughs, and when he looks to the left he weeps.’ Then Jibril ascended with me till he reached the second heaven and said to the gatekeeper, ‘Open (the gate).’ The gatekeeper said to him the same as the gatekeeper of the first heaven has said, and he opened the gate.” Anas added: Abu Dhar mentioned that Prophet (ﷺ) met Idris, Musa (Moses), ‘Isa (Jesus) and Ibrahim (Abraham) over the heavens, but he did not specify their places (i.e., on which heavens each of them was), but he mentioned that he (the Prophet (ﷺ)) had met Adam on the nearest heaven, and Ibrahim on the sixth. Anas said, “When Jibril and the Prophet (ﷺ) passed by Idris, the latter said, ‘Welcome, O pious Prophet and pious brother!’ the Prophet (ﷺ) asked, ‘Who is he?’ Jibril said, ‘He is Idris.’ ” The Prophet (ﷺ) added, “Then I passed by Musa who said, ‘Welcome, O pious Prophet and pious brother!’ I said, ‘Who is he?’ Jibril said, ‘He is Musa.’ Then I passed by ‘Isa who said, ‘Welcome, O pious Prophet and pious brother!’ I said, ‘Who is he?’ He replied, ‘He is ‘Isa.’ Then I passed by the Prophet (ﷺ) Ibrahim who said, ‘Welcome, O pious Prophet and pious son!’ I said, ‘Who is he?’ Jibril replied, ‘He is Ibrahim’.” Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas and Abu Haiyya Al-Ansari: The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Then Jibril ascended with me to a place where I heard the creaking of pens.” Ibn Hazm and Anas bin Malik state the Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Allah enjoined fifty Salat (prayers) on me. When I returned with this order of Allah, I passed by Musa who asked me, ‘What has Allah enjoined on your followers?’ I replied, ‘He has enjoined fifty Salat (prayers) on them.’ On the Musa said to me, ‘Go back to your Lord (and appeal for reduction), for your followers will not be able to bear it.’ So, I returned to my Lord and asked for some reduction, and He reduced it to half. When I passed by Musa again and informed him about it, he once more said to me, ‘Go back to your Lord, for your followers will not be able to bear it.’ So, I returned to my Lord similarly as before, and half of it was reduced. I again passed by Musa and he said to me, ‘Go back to your Lord, for your followers will not be able to bear it.’ I again returned to my Lord and He said, ‘These are five (Salat-prayers) and they are all (equal to) fifty (in reward), for My Word does not change.’ I returned to Musa, he again told me to return to my Lord (for further reduction) but I said to him ‘I feel shy of asking my Lord now.’ Then Jibril took me till we reached Sidrat-ul-Muntaha (i.e., lote tree of utmost boundary) which was shrouded in colors indescribable. Then I was admitted into Paradise where I found small tents (made) of pearls and its earth was musk (a kind of perfume).”


Ar-Raheeq Al-Makhtum (the Sealed Nectar)
Biography of the Noble Prophet, P.179-180

The Imams of Hadith narrate a number of details about this event, the following of which is a summary:
Ibn Al-Qaiyim said: “Allah’s Messenger[pbuh] was carried physically – according to the correct view – from the Sacred Mosque in Makkah to Bait Al-Maqdis in Jerusalem, riding on Al-Buraq in the company of Gabriel.  There he alighted, tied the horse to a ring in the gate of the Mosque and led the Prophets in prayer.  Then during that night he ascended from Bait Al-Maqdis to the lowest heaven.  Gabriel sought permission to enter.  It was opened and he saw Adam [pbuh], the forefather of mankind.  The Prophet [pbuh] greeted him and Adam [pbuh] welcomed him, returned his greeting, and expressed his faith in Muhammad’s Prophethood.  He saw the souls of martyrs on his right and those of the wretched on his left.

Gabriel then ascended with the Prophet [pbuh] to the second heaven, sought entry and there he saw and greeted John, son of Zacharia (Yahya bin Zakariya [pbuh]) and Jesus [pbuh], son of Mary.  They returned his greeting, welcomed him and expressed their faith in his Prophet.

Then they reached the third heaven where they saw Joseph (Yusuf [pbuh]) and greet him.  The latter welcomed the Prophet [pbuh] returned his greeting, expressed faith in his Prophethood.
The Prophet [pbuh], in the company of Gabriel, then reached the fourth heaven where he met the Propeht Idris [pbuh] and greeted him.  Idris [pbuh] returned the greeting and expressed faith in his Prophethood.  Then he was carried to the fifth heaven where he met the Prophet Aaron (Harun [pbuh]) and greeted him.  The latter returned the greeting and expressed faith in his Prophethood.  In the sixth heaven he met Moses (Musa [pbuh]) and greeted him.  The latter returned the greeting and expressed faith in his Prophethood.  Muhammad [pbuh] on leaving, saw that Moses [pbuh] began to weep.  He asked about the reason.  Moses [pbuh] answered that he was weeping because he witnessed a man sent after him as a Messenger (Muhammad [pbuh]) who was able to lead more of his people to Paradise than he himself did.  Then Prophet Muhammad [pbuh] reached the seventh heaven and met Abraham (Ibrahim [pbuh]) and greeted him.  The latter returned the salutation and expressed faith in his Prophethood.  Then he was carried to Sidratul-Muntaha (the remotest lote tree) and was shown Al-Bait Al-Ma’mur [(the much frequented house) encompassed daily by seventy thousand angels, so that the angels who once encompassed it would not have their turn again till the Resurrection].

He was then presented before Allah. He was brought near such that he was at the distance of two bow’s length or less. Allah revealed to His servant as He willed, ordaining fifty daily prayers for him.  On his return, he spoke to Moses [pbuh], informing him that his followers had been enjoined to pray fifty times a day.  Moses [pbuh] addressing the Prophet [pbuh] said: “Your followers cannot perform so many prayers.  Go back to your Lord and ask for a decrease in number.”  The Prophet [pbuh] turned to Gabriel, he nodded, “Yes, if you desire,” and ascended with him till Allah the Almight, Glorious is He, reduced the prayers by then.  He then descended and reported that to Moses [pbuh], who again urged him to request a further reduction.  Muhammad [pbuh] once more begged his Lord to reduce the number still further.  He went again and again at the suggestion of Moses [pbuh] for reduction in the number of prayers till these were reduced to only five.  Moses [pbuh] again asked him to implore for more reduction, but he said: “I fell ashamed now of repeatedly asking my Lord for reduction.  I accept and resign to His Will.”  When Muhammad [pbuh] went farther, a Caller was heard saying: “I have imposed My Ordinance and lightened the burden of My servants.”


Revelation
The Story of Muhammad, Peace and blessings be upon him
by Meraj Mohiuddin, P.163-164

Abu Talib’s wife, Fatimah bint Asad, had entered Islam sometime before or after the death of her husband.  Her daughter Umm Hani remained close to the Prophet and, in the year after Abu Talib’s death, invites him over to lead the evening prayer in her house.  The Prophet (pbuh) accepts his cousin’s invitation and, after the prayer, rests at her house.

Like his grandfather ‘Abd al-Mutallib, the Prophet (pbuh) used to enjoy spending nights in the Hijr, near the tomb of Hagar and Ishmael.  After a short nap at Umm Hani’s house, he steps out to visit the Ka’bah and falls asleep in the Hijr. In the midst of his sleep, he is greeted by Gabriel who leads him to a mounted winged beast named Buraq.  Then, as described in Surah Al-Isra, he is carried to Jerusalem (about 760 miles away), where he encounters several biblical prophets and leads them in prayer (the Isra’).

After the congregational prayer, the Prophet ascends through the seven heavens.  At each level he encountered different Prophets, who collectively endorse his prophethood.  Surah An-Najm captures the transcendent moment when, after passing the seventh heaven, the Prophet finally meets his Creator:(The Star, 53:16-18) When there covered the Lote Tree that which covered [it]. The sight [of the Prophet] did not swerve, nor did it transgress [its limit]. He certainly saw of the greatest signs of his Lord.

At the height of the Me’raj (ascension), the Prophet was commanded to instruct his followers to perform 50 prayers daily.  He also received revelation that contained the creed of his faith:
(The Cow 2:285) The Messenger believes in what his Lord revealed, so do the faithful. Each of them believes in Allah and His angels, His books and His messengers. [The believers say], “We don’t consider one of His messengers as being better than another.” [They pray], “We hear and we obey. [We seek] Your forgiveness, our Lord, for we [know that our] final destination is back with You.”
As the Prophet (pbuh) descended through the heavens, he was approached by Moses who persuaded him to return to God and asked Him to make worship easier for his community by decreasing the number of obligatory daily prayers.  When the Prophet (pbuh) returned a second time, Moses reiterated his recommendation.  They repeat this time until the number of daily prayers was reduced to five.  Even then Moses encouraged him to seek a further reduction, but the Prophet (pbuh) responded: “I feel ashamed now of repeatedly asking my Lord for reduction.  I accept and resign to His Will.”

** From the commentary: “There is a difference of opinion on what year the Night Journey took place.  Some scholars believe it happened much earlier in Mecca, while others suggest that it must have happened after the Year of Sadness because of the general consensus that Khadijah died before the five daily prayers were established.””Although there is some difference of opinion, the Isra’ and Me’raj most likely occurred shortly after the Prophet’s return from Ta’if.  While the miraculous experience was a turning point in the Prophet’s 23-year career, it also tested the conviction of his Companions.”

P.166
The response to the night journey
The next morning, the Prophet described his miraculous journey to Umm Hani.  Against her counsel, he insisted on sharing his experience with the Quraysh. As Umm Hani predicted, the Prophet’s enemies are thrilled to hear what sounds like a ludicrous story, which his companions faced an unexpected trial of faith. 

(The Night Journey 17:60) We [only use such symbols] to instill fear in them [so that they’ll perhaps be inclined to listen], but it only adds to their immense suppression [of faith].

Those who are nearby ask Abu Bakr, who hadn’t yet heard about what had happened, to confirm the Prophet’s incredible story. But for Abu Bakr, the news was hardly believed. “If so he saith, then it is true.” he calmly responded. “And where is the wonder of it? He telleth me that tidings come to him from Heaven to earth in one hour of the day or night, and I know him to be speaking the truth.  And that is beyond what ye cavil at.”

Since the first revelation, Abu Bakr never wavers from his conviction in God and his commitment to the Prophet (pbuh).  Shortly after hearing Abu Bakr’s response to the Isra’ account, the Prophet (pbuh) honoured him the title as-Siddiq (the great witness of truth).

While the Night Journey is a unique moment in the Prophet’s life, Surah Al An’am explains that it is not unlike the experiences of Muhammad’s great forefather.

(Al-An’am 6:75) That’s the result [of Our demonstration] to Abraham, when We showed him that We have all dominion over the heavens and the earth, and thus he was convinced [that the idols were false].

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Talaq! Talaq! Talaq!

“Talaq! Talaq! Talaq!” Is that really easy to divorce a wife just pronounce this words three times with immediate effect? According to Sura At-Talaq 65:1-7 has clearly mentioned that if a man declare Talaq, he has to wait for three months, so-called “waiting time” to ensure the woman is not pregnant for his baby. He cannot kick her out of the home or lock the home to refuse her back except she’s committing a clear immorality. He has to maintain her as usual at home. However, if any sexual intercourse happens during this waiting time, the marriage will be reinstated automatically.

During this waiting time, it is suggested trying to retain the wife; otherwise separate with her according to acceptable terms with two just men to witness and establish the testimony.

If the wife is found pregnant during this waiting time, the man has to keep her at home until the baby is born. The man has to responsible for all the expenses during the waiting time no matter she’s pregnant or not. Also compensate the woman if she feeds the baby. But if you cannot bear with each other then let another woman suckle the baby for you.

Below is the surah quoted for your reference. It’s so clear that Taqwa (awareness of Allah) is so important during this divorce process. Allah has given clear instructions and women’s rights during this process in the Quran. If anyone simply declare talaq three times at a time and refuse to take the woman back or push her out of the home, he is clearly not following Islam.

At-Talaq (Divorce)
Translation the Clear Quran
(65:1) O Prophet! [Instruct the believers:] When you [intend to] divorce women, then divorce them with concern for their waiting period, and count it accurately. And fear God, your Lord.  Do not force them out of their homes, nor should they leave – unless they commit a blatant misconduct.  These are the limits set by God.  And whoever transgresses God’s limits has truly wronged his own soul.  You never know, perhaps God will bring about a change [of heart] later.
(65:2) Then when they have [almost] reached the end of their waiting period, either retain them honourably or separate from them honourably.  And call two of your reliable men to witness [either way] – and [let the witnesses] bear true testimony for [the sake of] God. This is enjoined on whoever has faith in God and the Last Day.  And whoever is mindful of God, He will make a way out for them, 
(65:3) and provide for them from sources they could never imagine.  And whoever puts their trust in God, then He [alone] is sufficient for them. Certainly God achieves His Will.  God has already set a destiny for everything.
(65:4) As for your women past the age of menstruation, in case you do not know, their waiting period is three months, and those who have not menstruated as well.  As for those who are pregnant, their waiting period ends with delivery.  And whoever is mindful of God, He will make their matters easy for them.
(65:5) This is the commandment of God, which He has revealed to you.  And whoever is mindful of God, He will absolve them of their sins and reward them immensely.
(65:6) Let them live where you live [during their waiting period], according to your means.  And do not harass them to make their stay unbearable.  If they are pregnant, then maintain them until they deliver.  And if they nurse your child, compensate them, and consult together courteously.  But if you fail to reach an agreement, then another woman will nurse [the child] for the father.
(65:7) Let the man of wealth provide according to his means.  As for the one with limited resources, let him provide according to whatever God has given him.  God does not require of any soul beyond what He has given it.  After hardship, God will bring about ease.

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Christmas… as a convert

By Megan Wyatt

‘I’ve cried in a lot of places during the “holiday season.” As a convert who left behind many traditions that come with the holiday season, I was left with longing and, sometimes, loneliness. I wrote an ebook, shared below, to help others in the same boat. One year I remember hearing a Christmas song playing while eating lunch out with my husband and kids, and just like that, the nostalgia hit me and I just welled up with tears. It’s been over 20 years since I became Muslim and it’s taken about that long to finally not feel sad.

My life is rich, alhamdulilah, as is my family life and our own traditions and so I am happy and content. But the feeling is still there sometimes. It’s a sign of beautiful memories with my family growing up. It’s part of the test that a convert goes through. We don’t need pity or to pity ourselves. We’ve chosen the greatest gift there is in the world: the know our Creator as He truly is. But compassion goes a long way. Suggestions to ease this time of year for converts you might know:

1) Drop a text or a phone call to anyone you know who is a convert. Let them know you recognize this time of year is difficult for many converts and ask how they are doing. Maybe invite them out for some of those seasonal flavors of coffee, cocoa, and desserts!

2) If you are married to a convert don’t shame them for their feelings. Don’t talk about how all those traditions are rooted in haram ideaas, pagan history, etc etc etc. They know. They get it. They chose Islam, remember? Instead, offer a hug, maybe take a drive just to look at lights together, and listen. Just listen. Part of grief is just feeling and processing. Be gentle.

3) Consider hosting gatherings in your home somewhere between 12/24-12/27 to give converts something positive to look forward to. Make it a potluck or just make all your friends cook and say “converts come free handed!” Trust me, the gestures will be really meaningful for them.

4) Remind converts of all the positive ways they can and should stay connected to their families during this time. Many teachers encourage people to still attend holiday dinners and lunches in order to maintain familial ties. Educate yourself on this subject with teachers who are in touch with the converts in their community. (Do not copy/paste fatwas from people who live in muslim lands who have no idea how to support converts!)

5) Download the ebook or share this post with others: http://marketives.com/client/holidayseason/download-page/e-book/WhenHolidayNostalgiaCreatesSaddness.pdf

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Marriage is…

From Maryam Amir Facebook 

Marriage is not a cure for your addiction. Or your depression. Or your trauma. Or or or… a person you marry is not a tool to fix your problems. And by fixating on marriage as a balm for your gaping wounds, you can painfully wrong another.

Folks must work on self-development without waiting for marriage to miraculously fill their gaping wounds. Go to therapy, get your health together, enroll in a rehab program now.

On a spiritual level, if you aren’t waking up for fajr now but gush about how you can’t wait for Mr or Mrs Perfect Muslim to gently sprinkle water on your face for qiyam… keep a cup of water next to you in bed so that you can drench yourself and WAKE UP. How can you rely for the appearance of a person who doesn’t yet exist in your life in this role to take responsibility for your worship? YOU wake you up! YOU be the worshipper you wish you could be!

Marriage can be a great tool of self-improvement and can help us change for the best, with God’s will. A blissful marriage is a great blessing from God and the creation and care of a family is a great act of worship. The right spouse can truly *help* (not be the end all) you find a sense of wholeness and healing and comprehensive support and sometimes a sense of loving even your greatest insecurities. 
But you cannot expect that to *come* from someone else. That isn’t your spouse’s responsibility. You can’t want to get married so someone else heals you. God is the only One Who deserves that level of trust.

Work on your relationship with Him, work on your own mental, physical, spiritual, psychological nurturing and become the type of person you want to marry. And be the type of person someone else would thank God for marrying.

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Pondering why angels said Allah place upon it one who causes corruption therein and sheds blood?

In the name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate.

(2:30) And when your Lord said to the angels, “Indeed, I will make upon the earth a successive authority.” They said, “Will You place upon it one who causes corruption therein and sheds blood, while we declare Your praise and sanctify You?” Allah said, “Indeed, I know that which you do not know.”

I have been pondering about this Aaya for long time until recently I heard from Shaykh Al-Hameedy explained it so beautifully: “Since angels were created purely obedient to Allah’s orders, so when they knew Allah was going to create human beings and blessed us with free thinking, free mind and free choices, the Angels already knew there will be bloodshed and injustice (the consequences what our hands bring when one can choose to follow other than Allah) because Allah’s creation and orders are perfect. Everything is created with balance and harmony, nothing more, nothing less.” Imagine when the world just slightly increased 1 degree celsius, how much impact it has on the animals’ and insects’ lifecycle, and look at our bodies or land, ocean, etc.

Allah has blessed us with free mind, free thinking and free choice, but it’s the same human beings want to take away others’ freedom when Allah said no compulsion in believing in Him. Whoever wants to control others’ freedom of thinking is like declaring they’re more important than God. In history throughout, they are not lack of.

Allah has given women lots of rights. The first university in the world was built by a Muslim sister ( reference from 1001 Inventions Muslim Heritage in Our world) and the current universities are still using the same model. However, look what is the Muslim women’s literacy rate especially in Muslim-dominated area nowadays?

Allah has repeatedly reminded us Taqwa (conscience) and taught us how to deal with family, relatives, orphans, Muslims and non Muslims, how to deal with money, deal with calamity, being justice to everyone no matter their faith and background, even if it’s against our own self.  However, look at how many women are suffering from domestic violence? Some even not allowed to call to parents after marriage. How Muslims are turning blind eyes, complicit in it or being biased to the injustice happening everywhere everyday? Besides blaming the work of Shaitan, what else? Why don’t we look into our intentions and actions? When Allah guarantee a real believer will have upper hand in the situation, besides blaming others, don’t we have responsibilities to fix our own root problems?

Allah has showed us His utmost Mercy and Forgiveness since He forgive all kinds of sins EXCEPT one worshiped other than Allah. When we witness groups introduced strange practice in Islam, majority of us remain silent because not want to offend the relationship or friendship, even worst is to justify the practice.

Allah has given us a guidance – the Quran, and Prophet’s (peace be upon him) teaching – the Hadith, if we follow through, we should be the person as He mentioned in the Quran that the best of the nation. However, we allow the culture of the surrounding eating away the real Islamic teaching. We let culture to trump Islam and confused many to believe the right is wrong, the wrong is right. We care too much physical appearance and ignore the real inner core teaching.  We fear too much everyone, anyone but Allah.

When Allah gives protection, no one can be harm. When Allah give guidance, no matter what others say or do, no one can be misguided. Allah also guarantee that Shaitan has no rights over His followers.

This is a serious Aaya (verse) to understand, to realize. It’s not Allah created all these horrible human beings, it’s us, the human beings not follow His Teachings, also takeaway God given rights from others or consent to it, worst is Muslims who claimed to have the guidance but how much we follow and pollute the teaching, as a result to cause all these dire consequences. May Allah forgive all our weaknesses and shortcomings and guide us to the Right Path that Allah loves.