The first ‘Amaanah’…

In the name of Allah, most Gracious, most Merciful. 

As a young father, I recall the feeling of maturity and a sense of responsibility at the birth of our 2 kids. It’s a scary yet amazing emotion I experienced when I held my son for the first time almost 4 years ago. The emotion was even more intense and brought me to tears at the birth of our daughter earlier this year. The father-daughter relationship is probably the best understanding of the concept of ‘Amaanah’. 

I was reminded at Jumuah this week of another Amaanah… One that we often take for granted and can so easily forget. A man’s first Amaanah… He’s wife! 

As the Imam spoke out against violence against women, he emphasized the fact that when we marry our wives, they too are a trust from their parents and indeed from the Almighty. 

Marriage moves quickly from the honeymoon period into the daily grind and though children often remind you of a trust we have with the Almighty, it’s not fair to simply overlook our first Amaanah. 

It’s only when you realize the importance of the relationship with your wife can you truly appreciate the value of her as the mother of your children and the means through which Allah has entrusted you with so much more. 

Something very often neglected. A reminder to myself before anyone. Our wives were and remain entrusted to us… This is something we need to remember! 

I pray that our wives too, are the coolness of our eyes.

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Sunday afternoon Halal-ness…

In the name of Allah, most Gracious, most Merciful.

A blue, rainy Sunday at home got me feeling for some Hot Thai food and some coffee. Decided to go to Madinah Cafe which is down the road from the house. Hadn’t been there in months and to be honest, I wasn’t sure if they were still open. Halal restaurants come and go so I would not have been surprised if they had shut shop. Alhamdulillah they were open for business and lunch was awesome. Enjoyed my coffee and my cashew chicken but aside from the food, the Halal environment and peaceful atmosphere is what’s truly fulfilling.

Madinah Cafe doesn’t just serve Halal food, it provides an environment conducive to Halal dining and socializing. Cafe style dining with Arabic Caligraphy, Islamic paintings, artwork and little reminders about Allah on the wall coupled with friendly service from a humble and polite muslim family makes it more than just another halal cafe.

From the outside it probably looked like just another ethnic restaurant with noisy people and kids running around but on the inside it was a casual, peaceful place with Muslims from diverse communities coming together to enjoy Arab, Western and Asian food. Alhamdulillah, MashaAllah, InshaAllah, SubhanAllah, is what you hear around you and no one walks in or walks by without saying Salaam. It’s the little things that make the difference between simply serving Halal food and providing Halal dining.

When you are surrounded by goodness and God-consciousness, you feel more inclined towards saying and doing righteous things. It can turn a lazy Sunday lunch into something more virtuous and fulfilling. Instead of simply going out for lunch with your wife, you can spend on your family for the sake of Allah and enjoy a more satisfying experience. While waiting for our lunch, surrounded by  all the ‘Halal-ness”, I was reminded of this Hadith:

“When a man spends on his family, hoping for reward, that is (counted as) an act of charity for him.”
   (Bukhari & Muslim)

A beautiful hadith I would not have thought about if it was simply any Sunday afternoon lunch. On the micro level, this is what a Halal environment can do for you…

It doesn’t take much to create a good, Halal environment but it’s definitely worth it. Get more from your outings and gatherings, keep it Halal.

 

My sister’s formal…

In the name of Allah, most Gracious, most Merciful.

Sometimes it takes a special event or occasion to remind you of the special people in your life. I am so proud of my little sister and I can’t believe she’s all grown up and done with school. It’s been an interesting few months with so much happening, so many trials and challenges, you sometimes forget to notice the little things and before you know it, the year is over.

Life happens I guess, it’s been 7 years since my formal, 4 years since I got married, 10 months since my sisters wedding in India and my son is almost 2 years old now… WOW. So much has happened, it’s good to stop and look back sometimes and I find it almost instinctive to reflect on life when you experience certain emotions. Weddings, anniversaries, special events and sometimes sad occasions often force you to stop and reflect on your life. Without these reflections, we could possibly overlook some of the most precious moments of our lives.

Despite some of the trials and challenges over the last few months, we have so much to be grateful for. I pray that we always have happy occasions to remind us of the blessings bestowed upon us and as my parents accompanied my little sister to her formal, I pray that they take my baby sister to hers one day.

Azraa… you make us all proud and we love you!

Living in the moment…

In the name of Allah, most Gracious, most Merciful.

I got carried away scrolling down my Twitter timeline while sitting at the dinner table last night, I’m sure there was something meaningful I was looking for to share with my wife and sister but I got distracted and made my way through the mostly useless tweets I missed through the day. My wife was quick to remind me that it was dinner time and I immediately put my phone away. When I think about it now, not only is it sad but it was extremely rude. I don’t think we can use technology and social media to justify breaking traditional social protocols.

Facebook and Twitter connect us with family and friends around the world which is amazing but can we really justify a connection through social media at the expense of those sitting right next to us?

I’m a big fan of Facebook and Twitter so I’m not going to advocate against the use of technology and social media but I do think that it’s worth reflecting on how much time we spend using these mediums of socialising while neglecting our immediate social environment.

Next time you’re tweeting about what you ate for dinner or uploading dinner pics to facebook or drawing something for someone across the world to guess… think about the people sitting with you at the dinner table… connect with them first and live in the moment you’re in.

Friday morning…

In the name of Allah, most Gracious, most Merciful.

As I took out the trash this morning I was reminded of a little story … The Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) was seen by one of his companions while taking out the trash.  His companion was alarmed and said to the Prophet: Oh Messenger of God, you are taking out the trash!  The Prophet replied: who should I have take out the trash, the mother of the believers?

Following the Sunnah is really not that difficult… Blessed Jumuah!

Taking Care Of Your Children Through Good Deeds…

In the name of Allah, most Gracious, most Merciful.

Many of you might be familiar with the story of Musa (A.S) and His encounter with Al-Khidr. For anyone who isn’t, watch this space and Insha Allah I will summarise the story at a later time. There were 3 events that took place on this journey, in summary, they were:

  1. Al-Khidr made a hole in the boat of the men that assisted them to cross the sea
  2. Al-Khidr killed a child
  3. Al-Khidr reinforced a broken wall in a town whose people were selfish and inhospitable
I’d like to focus on the 3rd event that took place as there is a great lesson to be learnt.  Beneath the wall lay a treasure that belonged to 2 orphans, so in order to protect the treasure from the people of the town, Al-Khidr fixed the wall. It was revealed that the reason he was ordered to fix the wall for the orphans was because their father was a righteous man.
“And as for the wall, it belonged to two orphan boys in the city, and there was beneath it a treasure belonging to them, and their father was a righteous man; so your Lord desired that they should attain their maturity and take out their treasure, a mercy from your Lord, and I did not do it of my own accord. This is the significance of that with which you could not have patience.” (Surah al-Kahf)
Sa`id bin Jubayr narrated from Ibn `Abbas: “They were taken care of because their father was a righteous man, although it is not stated that they themselves were righteous.”

In this is a great lesson for parents today. Uphold the commandments of Allah and Allah will take care of your children whether you are with them or not.

The night of Bara'ah…

In the name of Allah, most Gracious, most Merciful.

The night of Bara’ah is upon us. Here is a Dua to be recited on this auspicious night:

أَعُوذُ بِرِضَاكَ مِنْ سَخَطِكَ، وَأَعُوذُ بِعَفْوِكَ مِنْ عِقَابِكَ،
وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْكَ لَا أُحْصِي ثَنَاءً عَلَيْكَ أَنْتَ كَمَا أَثْنَيْتَ عَلَى نَفْسِكَ

“I seek refuge in Your pleasure from Your annoyance, and I seek refuge in Your forgiveness from Your punishment, and I seek Your refuge from Yourself. I cannot praise You in the manner that You deserve. You are exactly as You have defined Yourself.”

May Allah allow us to benefit from this night and witness many more nights of Barakah!

…and remember… “The deeds most loved by Allah are those done regularly, even if they are small.”