Let The Darkness Guide You

[Something I found among my old notes from a long time ago]

Our Prophet (saw) faced every single affliction a human soul can emotionally take. He didn’t even get a chance to properly know his mother, let alone feel her love when growing up. He lost Khadija (ra) at the most vulnerable point of his life. Let’s not even get to all the things he faced from people. If anyone can be said to have been filled with darkness from all sides, isn’t it him? But all that pain had purpose. All that was prepared by Allah Himself.

Despite all that pain, he had a core full of light that had the potential to change everyone else’s cores. The entire world’s core. Did the darkness affect his mission? Of course. It was that darkness he faced all his life that helped him change history, change hearts, minds, countries, worlds! (The jinn were changed too, I’ll call that a different world). When we quote ahadith or follow him in order to please Allah, do we always think about his pain and sufferings? Maybe we should, but we hardly do. Because even if that was one of the most significant parts of his life, to us, that is a minor part of the whole picture.

Maybe human cores just work this way. The person himself sees/feels the surface – the darkness. Everyone else sees the core – the light. But only if the person himself unlocks the core first.

Think about all the other prophets. Every single one of them. Think about the salaaf. I personally don’t think imam Bukhari or imam Tabari etc were perfectly happy people. Most of them were surrounded by darkness too – the darkness of societal obstacles, financial hardships, emotional hardships, what not. But that didn’t stop them from writing thousands upon thousands upon thousands of pages of knowledge. Or changing thousands upon thousands upon thousands of lives, hearts. Because maybe, just maybe, Allah chooses the souls most tainted by darkness to serve Him best. How else can you explain why every Prophet faced such difficult lives and such extreme emotional trauma? Even if not, I’m sure of one thing at least: the darkness is a clue to what tremendous light lies inside. You might not care, but it’s there.


A Recurring Epiphany

Do you ever have those days
With those sudden moments
When you can feel the taste of life on your tongue and it nearly makes you cry?

A feeling so old that it takes you by surprise.

Like an epiphany
Wrapped in a déja vu
An exclusive gift
From Allah to you.

I’m sitting in a cafe
Reading a book about suicide.
There’s an almost disturbing aroma of coffee and I’m a second hand addict for the moment
They play something that sounds familiar
But it’s so low that i can’t quite make it out
And for some reason I feel nostalgic
For every moment I ever lived
Every moment I never lived
Every kind of love I felt
Every little dream I dreamt
And nothing
And everything.

I remember this book I once read
About spiders and scars
And armies and wars
And islands and stars
So much of time and existence
Wrapped up in a few hundred pages
Where each and every word once belonged
Inside a thin tube of ink
In some writer’s hand
And now it’s ended up
Inside me.

And it hits me.
This life?
All these tiny beautiful beings
And all these giant beautiful things
They exist.
It’s real.
It’s too good to be real.
But it’s real. It’s real. It’s real.

That’s how the taste of life feels on my tongue.
And every single time, it nearly makes me cry.

Iman Levels: Expectations and Frustrations


When I first started getting serious about my faith, I thought I had the whole picture figured out. I saw my upcoming journey as a gradual climb in my level of faith – a clean graph with an exponentially increasing slope. I knew it would be smooth, because why would I ever weaken in my faith or ibadah, right? I was so wrong; if I only knew. This journey is just like any other journey. It isn’t a constant rise; it isn’t clean; it isn’t smooth. But what I never foresaw in the beginning is how bad it could get at certain points. Sometimes I feel like I am on a never-ending decline that I don’t know how to stop. Some days I feel like I am an awful excuse for a Muslim – with a spotless exterior holding a rotten, hardened heart at the core. A heart that sometimes gets so attached to this world, to things and people, that it would rather spend all of its time doing nothing, thinking nothing…than to indulge in ibadah and ponder over the afterlife.

In life, there are things you want and there are things you need. If you are a practicing Muslim, oftentimes the two do not coincide – especially if you are at an early stage of faith. And sometimes it gets extremely difficult to accept the fact that what you need is so different from what you want; to accept that you aren’t being able to fully want what you should be wanting. I’m writing this random rant because right now I’m going through one of the most severe cases of that feeling in my life so far. It’s a feeling of helplessness – to realize you have no control over the things you desire and crave. The cynic in you might constantly tell you that it’s unnatural to force yourself to not have what you want – is it even worth it? Why are you even doing this? You deserve good things in life! – it keeps whispering and then shouting and then screeching at an unbearable pitch until you really start doubting yourself.

But wait, could I say that to a diabetic patient when they crave sweets? Would I tell them, “If it’s what you want, why not just have it? Stop being so stuck up, it’s just sweets. You deserve good things in life, you deserve the sweetest of sweets. Stop holding yourself back, that’s just unnatural!” Would I have said that to my 4 year old brother when he wanted to jump off the window ledge to reveal his flying skills?

Between being a 4 year old kid trying to fly and a 60 year old diabetic wanting sweets, we humans never really change. Deep inside, we are still the comfortably irrational beings who are at a constant conflict between wanting the right thing and wanting the fun thing. Swinging between being an “instant gratification monkey” and a seeker of eternal happiness – most days I have a hard time accepting my own thoughts. One of my favorite ayahs in the Quran is this profound statement by prophet Yusuf (AS):

“And I do not declare myself free (from blame). Indeed, the soul constantly commands to evil, except those upon which my Lord has mercy. Indeed, my Lord is Forgiving and Merciful.”
– Surah Yusuf, 12:53

Basically, as a human, I’ll never be able to NOT want what I shouldn’t, *unless* Allah SWT shows mercy on me and guides my heart to rise above. Which also means, I cannot stay away from evil or immorality by sheer willpower: it just isn’t enough. I need to constantly ask Allah for help as well.

This is comforting and scary at the same time. Comforting because now I know that my difficulty in always wanting or doing the right thing is actually natural, that’s how the soul is supposed to act – it inclines towards evil. And the fact that my Lord is always there to help me through it, that He will keep being Merciful and forgiving, as long as I ask Him, is the most comforting thing ever. Why scary? Because despite knowing this, I’m not praying enough to Allah, I’m not pouring out my heart in dua to ask Him for guidance. I’m still relying too much on myself, and disregarding the only way out – Allah’s mercy.

We’re either too confident that we are already guided enough, that we don’t need help (which is ironic, because an arrogant person cannot enter Jannah), or we are too convinced that it’s too big of a task to change for the better, to become more practicing, to get more regular and sincere in ibadah. We are constantly so busy either overestimating or underestimating our souls – that we forget the biggest piece of the puzzle – Allah’s power to change our state. Do we realize how narcissistic we are? We are practically placing our state of mind over the power of Allah SWT. Maybe we humans just really like to stay in a rut, even when we know the way out.

Five times a day, we are supposed to forget everything else and sincerely say to Allah – “ihdinaa as-Siraat al-mustaqeem”Guide us to the straight path! The most important thing in life we could ask for, and we skim through it as if it’s nothing. In fact, most times we don’t even mean it when we say it. Heck, we don’t even REALIZE that we’re saying it. How do I expect to be guided if I’m deliberately skipping my chance to ask Allah for guidance, day after day, every single time? Do we really think we don’t need His mercy and guidance? If this isn’t the worst sort of arrogance, I don’t know what is.

Anyhow, back to where I started: ups and downs in the faith-graph. There is one hadith that gives me hope about this hopeless state:

Sahih Muslim Book 037, Hadith Number 6623:

Hanzala Usayyidi, who was amongst the scribes of Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him), reported: I met Abu Bakr. He said: Who are you? He (Hanzala) said: Hanzala has turned to be a hypocrite. He (Abu Bakr) said: Hallowed be Allah, what are you saying? Thereupon he said: I say that when we are in the company of Allah’s Messenger ( ) we ponder over Hell-Fire and Paradise as if we are seeing them with our very eyes and when we are away from Allah’s Messenger ( ) we attend to our wives, our children, our business; most of these things (pertaining to After-life) slip out of our minds. Abu Bakr said: By Allah, I also experience the same. So I and Abu Bakr went to Allah’s Messenger ( ) and said to him: Allah’s Messenger, Hanzala has turned to be a hypocrite. Thereupon Allah’s Messenger ( ) said: What has happened to you? I said: Allah’s Messenger, when we are in your company, we are reminded of Hell-Fire and Paradise as if we are seeing them with our own eyes, but whenever we go away from you and attend to our wives, children and business, much of these things go out of our minds. Thereupon Allah’s Messenger ( ) said: By Him in Whose Hand is my life, if your state of mind remains the same as it is in my presence and you are always busy in remembrance (of Allah), the Angels will shake hands with you in your beds and in your paths but, Hanzala, time should be devoted (to the worldly affairs) and time (should be devoted to prayer and meditation). He (the Holy Prophet) said this thrice.

If we want to keep our faith up, we gotta give regular time to prayer, and to think, and converse about the deen – about Paradise and Hell-fire, about our Lord. We need to attend halaqas, discussions, lectures, whatever we can find, or maybe at least watch videos and read things – Hadith, Tafsir, books, articles (apart from the regular Quran reading of course). Because you know what? Iman doesn’t appear magically in the heart, neither does it stay there magically once it arrives. It is hard to find and easy to lose. We have to set away time for our souls – call it soul workouts if you may. Because if we lose our faith, nothing else we achieve on earth would mean a thing. And we can’t afford to lose it all, not when we know and realize the consequences; not when we’ve been given the blessing to understand.


He gives wisdom to whom He wills, and whoever has been given wisdom has certainly been given much good. And none will remember except those of understanding.
– Surah Baqara, 2:269

And the worldly life is not but amusement and diversion; but the home of the Hereafter is best for those who fear Allah, so will you not the understand?
– Surah Anam, 6:32

The Mercy Behind Allah’s Commands

When we hear a religious rule, the first thing we tend to ask is “How does this help me?” Apologetics are always busy explaining how every rule has a social or personal benefit.

“Zakah is the fastest way to remove poverty.”
“Salah is like meditation, it brings calm to your mind.”
“Hijab prevents people from objectifying you and putting your looks above your character.”
“Wine or narcotics are haram so that society can have less crimes and chaos.”
“Look at the trillions of dollars of worldwide debt because of interest based finances. No wonder it’s haram.”

Yes, all of that is true and that’s great. BUT, these are not the main reasons we have these commands from Allah. These are side effects. Added benefits.

The reason behind every ibadah is one and the same – our Lord told us.
Nothing less, nothing more.
The one who created us so perfectly, placed us in this perfect universe and gave us everything we need in life and more – told us to do and not do certain things. By following these, we prove our submission to our Creator, express our loyalty and gratitude to Him. BUT out of His mercy, each of these commands ALSO happen to have certain benefits – whether physical, spiritual, or social. Do you realize the magnitude of this? It’s definitely not something to take for granted!

We could have been told to kill ourselves after reaching a certain age. To eat the most bitter leaves that grow on earth (thank God eating korolla isn’t sunnah or fard :v ). To give away our kids to monks or leave them in jungles to fend for themselves. To live on only insects. To cut off a finger every 10 years. To live without houses. To become vegetarians for life (oh mannn, imagine no meat). He could have forbidden people from growing long hair. Forbidden marrying outside the extended family.

Not just Islam, barely did any of the originally divine religions – Christianity, Judaism, etc have commandments that harmed the society or person. What greater proof is there of the Mercy of Allah? Because even if we had rules like this, we would still have to obey those. But He made it easier for us. He made the acts of submission towards Him a means of a better society, a better relationship with family, and a better life in general.

“Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship”

– Surah Baqarah, 2:185

So the next time you seek the *reason* behind a rule, stop yourself. Allah does not have to justify His commands to you. Rather seek the mercy behind that rule. Seek the Love behind each and everything our Lord tells us to do. You’ll be amazed.


The Paradox of Everchanging Truths – Why I’m Not Ashamed of My Beliefs

I was reading a Harry Potter fan fiction where Harry is a “rationalist” – in all implications of the word’s present day definition – and tries to justify every new thing he learns in the magic world from the point of his existing knowledge and beliefs. When something doesn’t fit, he upgrades/modifies his beliefs and theories (note to wannabe rationalists who “blindly” follow certain schools of thought). This one quote suddenly hit me hard, and i just had to write *something* about it. I haven’t written in a while so excuse my jumbled thoughts.

Professor McGonagall’s eyes were alight. “After you graduate, or possibly even before, you really must teach some of these Muggle theories at Hogwarts, Mr. Potter. They sound quite fascinating, even if they’re all wrong.”

So here McGonagall casually says that Harry’s muggle theories (i.e years of human acquired knowledge) are obviously wrong. He had been talking about some good stuff, like causality and temporal order (a cause having to occur *before* its effect, in the observable timeline), and Turing Computations (going back into a defined moment of the past and computing a different future from there) and things like that. He couldn’t explain the Time Turner based on his existing knowledge of how cause and effect works. So he accepted that it could work backwards too – something that happens *later* in time might control something that happened *before* it.

See, whenever we read or hear about something that doesn’t make sense according to our established scientific theories, we immediately dismiss the phenomenon as “impossible” or just fantasies made up by humans or superstitions. Or religion. While that is true in many cases, it doesn’t always have to be. There could be – and quite definitely are – laws that are beyond our understanding yet. For all we know, all the basic scientific theories we know now could be false in some way, or at least *incomplete* – which is why they fail to explain many things.

The mind projection fallacy, as described by physicist and Bayesian philosopher E. T. Jaynes, says that that if you are ignorant about a phenomenon, that is a fact about your own state of mind, not a fact about the phenomenon itself; your uncertainty is a fact about you, not a fact about whatever you are uncertain about; gnorance exists in the mind, not in reality; a blank map does not correspond to a blank territory.

In this particular book the people of the magic world know for a fact that most muggle theories are wrong, and hence they have no problem accepting the reality of magic. Meanwhile Harry Potter, a sort of child prodigy back in the muggle world, just CANNOT come to terms with the apparent unbelievable-ness of magic world laws – which allow things like time turning, mind control, trapping a “large space” inside a “small space”, etc.

The lesson to take from this is, just because we don’t find something believable, doesn’t always mean it is false. We are a species that’s SO arrogant that we are never ready to believe anything that the currently most-credible institution in human society hasn’t declared believable. In the present world this institution is Western rationalist science. For a long time this institution was the Church (which followed different interpretations at different times, based on what suited the current emperor). During Moses’s time (ancient Egypt) it was the Pharaoh. Sometimes it was aristocrats, sometimes philosophers. Keeps changing, is the point.

The only constant throughout history is that we were always too arrogant to think outside the box. Pre-Copernicus scientists were too arrogant to believe that the earth wasn’t at the center of everything. 18th century biologists were too arrogant to believe that plants have life. Descartes was too arrogant to believe that atoms couldn’t be broken down. Hume was too arrogant to believe in the existence of anything we can not see. Non-Darwinians are too arrogant to believe in evolution. Darwinians are too arrogant to disbelieve in evolution. Present day rationalists are too arrogant to believe in the existence of a soul, or an intelligent designer of everything in the universe. Present day scientists are too arrogant to believe in anything that doesn’t show up in existing man-made measurement devices. And on and on and on.

The point is, we think we know. At every point in history, we thought we knew. And this, the present, is also a point in our history. That’s the part we always forgot.

And that is why when someone asks me how I believe in such “backdated, flawed” theories i.e Islamic beliefs (and that too, as a conscious decision) – I can’t expect them to understand what they’re too arrogant to understand. Yes, I believe in divine entities, higher dimensions, eternal consequences, an intelligent designer, and much more. I believe in a bigger reality. And I’m not ashamed of it.



[Reference: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality, by Eliezer Yudkowsky]

My Favorite Shortcut To A Good Quality Salah

Want a shortcut to boosting the quality of your salah?

Memorize some new ayahs from the Quran. It can be just 3-4 tiny ayahs from the 30th juz. Or an entire surah. Anything.

Now pray your salah with the newly memorized ayahs after surah Fatiha (the minimum is 3 ayahs).

If you’ve done this before then you already know how incredible it feels. It’s not the same anymore. The effort your brain gives to keep the recitation correct drowns out all those unwanted distractions. You are literally forced to focus, without the strain of deliberately trying to focus.

The rush you feel…the warmth flowing through your body…the longing to linger on…how long have you been waiting for this? Every new word feels like an adventure! This is what keeps me going on the really, really bad days.

Trust me, it’s totally, totally worth trying.

Retaining Enthusiasm In Du’a

It’s very easy to lose eagerness and enthusiasm in making du’a. It’s probably one of the most common spiritual problems for us. Once we lose the connection, we forget how it feels, and how much it helps, to pour out all of our problems to Allah. I may spend all morning whining to everyone about how many lemons life is throwing at me, but when I stand for dhuhr salah, I may not spend even a few seconds to ask Allah to help me through those problems. I may nag a friend at 3 AM about my depressions, but maybe I won’t even think about getting up and praying 2 rakats of tahajjud salah and crying in sajdah to Allah. I may clutter up my friends’ inboxes with a hundred issues, but when it comes to dua – I’ll go blank. “There’s nothing to make dua about.” “Make du’a about studies and work? Isn’t that kinda inappropriate?” “Everything will be fine by itself soon.” 

We go through 17 rakats of just fard salah in a day – that’s 34 sajdahs. And in how many of these sajdahs do we make sincere dua to Allah? Some days the answer is ‘zero’. Those are the days we’re failing at life.

Yes Allah takes the best care of us whether we ask Him or not, but being able to ask Him is in and of itself a HUGE blessing, a means of mercy. When we think we don’t need that blessing, we have fallen way too low.

Anyhow, I listed down a few points for myself to maintain the vigor in making du’a:

1) Make dua for others – for everyone that crosses your mind. The cousin you lost contact with; the childhood bestie you miss; the puller of the ricksha you rode today… make dua for their guidance, health etc. When you ask Allah to bestow some good upon someone, the angels pray “Ameen, and for you as well.”
So even if you can’t make dua for yourself, make the angels do it. 😀

2) Mentally mark down every single problem you mentioned to any human being throughout the day. Then make sure that you spill out that complain/query to Allah as well.

3) MAKE DUA IN SAJDAH. The Prophet (sm.) said we’re the closest to Allah when we are in sajdah, hence should make lots of dua at that time. (Yes you can say your duas in your own language, after you’ve said “Subhana rabbial a’la”. Google it/check islamqa if you’re not convinced.)

4) Whenever you’re alone, whatever you’re doing/not doing – on the road, in a boring class, while waiting for a video to load, before sleeping – make it a point to make du’a. About anything and everything. Voila! No more wasted time!

More later in sha Allah.
Just du’a it!

Obsessive Compulsive Snores

1:33 AM, says the black bar on top of my phone screen.
The blue rays from the CPU keep blinking like crazy
My eyes all hazy
From lack of sleep.
The occasional beep
Of midnight trucks
Pierce my insomniac ears.

My brother’s sobs have turned to snores,
His unstraightened bedsheet waits of course.
What could be worse
Than having to sleep on a bed without fixing the sheet?
What could be worse
Than keeping a book at a different angle from the one beneath it?
What could be worse
Than washing one hand but keeping the other dry?
What could be worse
Than closing your door but not tapping it a second time?
What could be worse
Than getting hurt on just one side of your symmetrical body?
What could be worse
Than putting an unwanted pen mark on your math homework copy?
What could be worse
Than the papers you’d spent ages aligning perfectly being scattered?
What could be worse
Than hearing your sisters say “Stop acting so crazy, it doesn’t matter!”

It’s okay, he’s asleep.
He’ll forget about the bedsheet in the morning.
He’ll have the toothpaste on his brush to worry about
And his sandals to carry about
With just the equal amount of pressure on each feet every time he steps.
And when the food on his plate looks so annoying that he has to ask for another plate
He’ll relinquish the last traces of his memories of tonight’s unfixed bed.
Maybe he’ll scratch his right cheek with his right hand
And then scratch his left cheek with his right hand
And then rub the nails of his left hand across the table
To give them a share of the pleasure
But maybe they’ll get too much
And maybe he’ll have to scratch another facial muscle.
And go on repeating until his muscles are numb from the pangs of equality 
And his nails can spell out tranquility.
It’s okay. It’s fine.
It doesn’t matter.
He’s just crazy.
And one day he’ll realize that.
It will all be fine from then.

1:56 AM, says the black bar on top of my phone screen.
The blue rays from the CPU still blinking like crazy
My brother snores as peacefully as someone without OCD,
Waiting for the next day’s imperfections to align just perfectly.
It’s okay. It’s fine.
One day he’ll stop acting crazy.

When Your Hands Are Tied Up

Imagine earning money, but not being able to give away a single penny.
Imagine memorising breathtakingly long and amazing surahs of the Quran, but not being able to recite them in your Salah.
Imagine learning things, gaining ilm, but not being able to teach them to a single soul.
Imagine knowing about the immense virtues of a good deed but not being able to get yourself to do it.
Imagine having a pen, but not being able to write.

Imagine your hands being tied up. Tied up in the strongest of loops. By the Lord of the Worlds Himself.

Maybe you sinned too much.
Maybe you sinned too much AND didn’t repent.
Maybe you wasted away your blessings.
Maybe you ignored the light inside of you and outside of you and all around you and thus, passively chose a path of darkness.
And by giving so much leeway to your Nafs, you sealed off your own door to good deeds.
You shut your eyes, only to open them and find your heart shut as well.

“Whomever Allah guides,  none can misguide him. And whomever Allah misguides, none can guide him.”  None.

My Favorite Dua #2


A little boy stuck in a well. Rescued to be sold as a slave. A young lad called towards fornication. A young man sent to prison for not committing a crime. And left there for years.


A man who sat alone in the dark dungeons and called upon his Lord. Because he knew his Master for what He is….the only Protector, the only Friend.

And he was rescued. Taught by the Lord of the Worlds to interpret dreams. Won the heart of the king. Appointed a minister.Reunited with his father.

A Prophet. Son of a Prophet. Grandson of a Prophet. Great grandson of a Prophet.

Joseph, son of Jacob, son of Isaac, son of Abraham. Peace be upon them all.

A man who made a du’a that makes me quiver every time I hear it.

It’s the Du’a that reminds me that the one who created the Skies and the planets is also the only one who can help me in every situation in life…..and Afterlife. How can I die in disobedience to Him?

My Imaginary World Trip: Intro

“What’s Your biggest worldly dream?”
“It’s a really long list.”
“No, just name the biggest one.”

“Traveling the world, I guess.”


Every one of us have that desorganized set of dreams especially set aside in a distant niche inside our mind, not meant to be taken seriously. Dreams that are there just for the sake of dreaming. Dreams that do not require actualization for our survival, but are there just to make us feel the tinge of yearning and anticipation that reality doesn’t seem to offer. Dreams that are less of dreams and more of fantasies.

In my never-ending list of such fantasies, one of the most haunting ones would be to travel across borders, with no strings attached to any place in the world, and just keep moving on. To seek the beauty of the Creator through His flawless creations. To fall in love with snow-capped mountain peaks and evergreen canopies. To trace shapes in the star-studded sky from all the corners of the sphere we live on. Until I get tired of all the walking and climbing and asking for directions.

No, it’s not an aspiration, it’s just a dream. It’s the closest experience to jannah (paradise) that  my tiny mind can conjure up.

I just came across a travel blog where the author shares her thoughts and experiences as she travels through Asia. It just made me feel like, “I wanna write things like this too!” But I’m not travelling and I don’t write very well. “Oh well, lets just pretend I’m on a tour and write all about it,” the pushy side of me insisted. So here I am, writing this when I should really be studying or doing something more productive. I intend this to be the intro to a series of random rants of a Muslim girl wound up on a world tour….inside her mind.

I never go too far with my projects. But I don’t have to, right?

So let’s see, where do I go first?

My Favorite Dua #1


The world has this crazy habit of trying to pull you back towards it the moment you try to make it beyond its force field. Gravity against spirituality, I like to call it.

You might think you’ve made it; freed yourself from the shackles of pure materialism and internalized a larger reality. But maybe the earth hates it when you think that way.

There is no escape velocity from the realm of materialism.

I have seen people rise and then fall.

I have seen people committing themselves to the worship of Allah SWT; praying 5 times a day; fasting Sunnah fasts; taking up modesty; worrying less about money and fame; and then, all of a sudden, losing that connection.

Like a rope that snaps from too much pressure.

And that is what I fear.

I fear losing pupose. Losing hope. Losing myself.

“Whomever Allah guides, no one can misguide, and whomever Allah misguides, no one can guide.”

A Worldly Wishlist

As I remain stuck within boring textbooks and blue boundaries of the internet, one of the things that keep me going is making lists. I make a LOT of lists. Lists of things I did, things I will do and things I’ll never do (unless Allah wills). Here’s one of those. A quite do-able one in shaa Allah.

1. Travel under/visit an open starry sky far from the city, and reflect on all the ayahs related to ‘stars’ that I know.

2. Jump off a very high place (with a parachute) and land safely.

3. Write a life changing Islamic fiction novel.

4. Open an online Abaya business.

5. Open an Islamic club in my school.

6. Start an institution or community where people across my country (and beyond it) come together to learn Arabic, Quran, Hadith etc

7. Travel around the world with someone, not knowing when the journey ends.

In Sha Allah 🙂

The Best Gift Of The Year – A Friend For The Sake Of Allah

The Prophet (saw) said: “Among Allah’s servants are people who are neither prophets nor martyrs, but whom the prophets and martyrs will deem fortunate because of their high status with Allah.” The companions asked, “O Messenger of Allah! Inform us of who they are.” The Prophet (saw) told them that “they are people who loved each other for Allah’s sake, even without being related to one another or being tied to one another by the exchange of wealth.”

Sometimes in life you meet people who make you rethink your boundaries. Then they dare you to cross them. And then you find yourself standing somewhere you had only vaguely imagined yourself in. You find yourself striving towards the incredible future you once feared would never come. But now you don’t doubt the coming of that future anymore. Because Allah blessed you enough to meet people like that. People who give you hope, when all you see is darkness.

This year, Allah blessed me with one of those people. One of those people I have been praying for, for as long as I can remember. One of those people I have been looking for everywhere I went. For days. For months. Maybe even years. Just like any other striving Muslim, I too craved friends-for-the-sake-of-Allah. Yes there were already people in my life who encouraged me to be more practicing, who instilled a sense of Taqwa in me, who I loved for the sake of Allah too. Alhamdulillah for them. But as is human nature, I wanted more. I wanted beyond blood relations; I wanted friendships *just* for the sake of Allah SWT. Who would want to miss out on being under the shade of the Throne of Allah on the most scorching of days?

Abu Huraira reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “There are seven persons whom Allah will shade on a Day when there is no shade but His. They are a just ruler, a young person who grew up in the worship of Allah, a person whose heart is attached to the mosques, two persons who love each other who meet and depart from each other for the sake of Allah, a man whom a beautiful woman of high status seduces but he rejects her by saying I fear Allah, a person who spends in charity and conceals it such that his right hand does not know what his left hand has given, and a person who remembered Allah in private and he wept.”

[Sahih Bukhari 629, Sahih Muslim 1031]

After what seemed like an eternity of waiting, when the much yearned-for friend(s) did not pop up in my life, I began to despair. Without realizing the simple fact that some things are too precious and aren’t given to one instantly, I despaired. And just when I was prepared to give up, Allah answered my prayer. Surely Allah is the best Listener.

And indeed, when Allah gives, He gives us the best, and He gives without limits.

Most importantly, He chooses the best time. I wouldn’t have realized this if not for this experience. Just when I thought wearing the niqab was too much for me, Allah sent someone who showed me otherwise. Just when I was about to give up on memorizing the Quran, Allah sent someone to push me forward and make me continue. Just when I lowered my priority on learning Arabic and earning more ‘ilm (Islamic knowledge), Allah sent someone who made me reprioritize. I can’t think of a more perfect example of “perfect timing” in my life!

Looking back at the year, there were hundreds of things and thousands of moments that made me happy. There were moments when I literally rolled off for laughing. There were words of appreciation from peers and grades that pleased my parents. But nothing measured to the happiness of finding a friend who takes me closer to Allah. No good results, no gifts, no gadgets. Nothing compares to the blessing of having a new competitor-in-good.

One of my favorite parts of the Quran is the following;

Indeed, the righteous will be in pleasure.


On adorned couches, observing.


You will recognize in their faces the radiance of pleasure.


They will be given to drink [pure] wine [which was] sealed.

The last of it is Musk. So for this let the competitors compete.

[Surah Mutaffifin, 83 : 22-26]

It is quite hard to bring out the best in you when you don’t have anyone to compete with. And what better competition is there than the competition for Jannah?

If you lack righteous company in life, I urge you to look for it. Hunt for friendships like this. Go as far as you need to, but make sure you have righteous company. Whatever your condition is, even if you are doing incredible amounts of good deeds and serving the Deen to your best level and what not, do remember that it is VERY difficult to make it far alone. There are just too many blessings (barakah) in good company. The Prophet (SAW) himself was not alone when he left his homeland for the sake of Allah. When the Muhajirs of Makkah reached Madinah after emigrating, one of the first things Rasulullah (SAW) did was to create a bond of brotherhood between each Muhajir and an Ansar (Muslim of Madinah). The implications of this was beyond just economic help or societal bondage. There were spiritual implications too.

Let each of us try to get such spiritual implications in our lives too, by means of good company and love for the sake of Allah. After all, Shaytan attacks a lonely person more easily. The more righteous people you have around you, the stronger your defense is. How can we afford to miss out on all the barakah righteous company can bring to our life?

 If you can’t find anyone, make dua to Allah. Cry out your heart to Allah. I, for one, have experienced how incredible the implications of dua can be. It is bound to bring something good. Even when it seems impossible.


Never underestimate the power of Du’a

I keep getting seemingly impossible wishes coming true – from tiny things to huge ones – and that gets me wondering how life could be this amazing. Then I remember those little du’as I made.

SubhanAllah, truly He is the All-Listener.

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