First Impressions…Last.

April 4, 2009

Bismillahi Al-Rahman Al-Raheem…

I got this in an email…I thought it was beautiful mashaAllah and I really wanted to share it.

Summary from a very inspiring jumah khutbah by Imam Aladdin El-Bakri:
Allah (swt) has many names and attributes. Some of these attributes are called the attributes of “beauty”, for example: Al-Rahman, Al-Raheem…etc. He (swt) also has some “glory” attributes: Al-Khaliq, Al-Azeez…etc. But Allah (swt) chose to introduce Himself (swt) to us, with Ar-Rahman Ar-Raheem.
 
Imagine if you walked into a flower shop and the person standing before you in line is this huge muscular guy. You heard the guy telling the cashier how he’s buying the flowers to his wife because she’s his sweetheart and the mother of his beloved children. You will probably go like “awwww, that is so sweet…etc ;-)). The next day, you see the same guy in the news, beating another man very badly…you think to yourself…THIS GUY??? how could that be true…naaaah, this can not be right…i saw this guys…he’s very sweet…etc. Why is this happening? because of this psychological phrase “First impression lasts!”.
 
Again, imagine moving into a new neighborhood, and while backing up with your car, you rear-ended your neighbor’s car (who btw is the nicest person in the area but you don’t know yet). The man happened to love his car very dearly, so he comes out, yelling his head off and getting mad because of what happened to his car. You try to calm him down and promise him that you will take care of the car…etc. Later, when you’re with all your neighbors, they’re all praising this man and telling you how he’s the greatest amongst them..etc….you will probably go like…mmmm, not really!. Again, same concept, first impression DOES last.
 
Now, what’s the first impression Allah wants us to have about him? If you open the Quraan, the book of Allah and His speech…you go to the FIRST page, FIRST Surah, FIRST verse….What is it?
 
BismiAllahi Ar-Rahman ir-Raheem…..
 
Sometimes, when certain incidents happen to us, we subconsciously start doubting Allah’s mercy and compassion…Some people ask: Will Allah really forgive me for what i did?….etc. But subhanAllah, The FIRST impression that Allah wants us to have about Him, is Him being Ar-Rahman Ar-Raheem…this is the impression that Allah wants it to last with you…and this is just to tell you that, after you established the foundation of Allah being Ar-Rahman Ar-Raheem, then when you read on in the Quraan, and you go from one chapter to another, and every chapter starts with the same intro, you know that EVERYTHING is mercy and compassion.
 
How Amazing is Allah?!
 
AlHamdulilah ar-rahman ar-raheem 🙂
 
Your sister,
Alaa
P.S. Sorry it has been long since this was updated…It’s finals time…please remember all the students in your duaa’s!

First or last, what’s the difference?

November 3, 2008

Starting university, one is lost, confused, and sometimes even scared and overwhelmed not knowing what will happen next. I remember, four or five years ago, when I first applied to University. What did I want to do when I grew up? I recall being told: “You’re already grown up”. Stop thinking you still have years ahead…You’re already “there”…Now you just have to figure everything out…So start fighting your way to discovery!

So, here we are, about to graduate, still not sure what we’ll be doing. They said it would all make sense. They said we would know what we wanted soon. They said eventually you’ll figure things out. They said that everyone is unsure in first year, but by the time you’ve taken enough courses, you will know…and you will decided what it is you want to pursue..(ie. Once you’ve wasted enough time, passed enough exams and failed a few tests along the way, once you can say: “been there, done that”…then you’ll know)…You’re only starting to discover yourself so enjoy it as you go…everything will fall into place and “you will know” what you want to do soon…

With a semester and a half left till graduation, I finally realized what they meant all along. All this time, they have been saying that, eventually, you will be doing whatever is written for you. It’s not really about you figuring things out. True you have choices along the way and decisions popping up at every corner, but in the end, it’s events and time taking their course as Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala commands them…leading you to your “future”…whatever it may be. I’m not saying that we have no choice in life, no, I’m not even the slightest bit implying that. I’m just saying that for people like me, who never really “knew” what they wanted specifically (because deep down we have a general idea, just not an exact idea) we search for far too long for the perfect ideal career and profession we want to do that we become blind to many opportunities along the way!

It’s not necessarily that you will like something and you’ll want to study it more…It’s just that you will be successful at something, which will bring you happiness, and therefore you will logically want to continue with it…Or you will get used to a subject, start excelling in it, and think: “this is it!”…

I finally understood what they meant. Things will work out in a certain way and that’s when you’ll know, that’s when you’ll realize what you want to be and what you want to do, because you’re already there, working and struggling day after day…

Do I regret my undergrad? Not one bit. 

Do I want to start over? Nah, I enjoyed it alhamdulillah 🙂

Do I wish I studied something else? Nope! I “like” what I’m doing. Because once upon a time, when I first took intro to Biochem, I feared the tough course, studied for it extra hard, understood it well, excelled in it alhamdulillah, and decided: “This is it!”…And that, brought me happiness…

So, what’s the point of this whole thing? What is the big lesson I just learned? What was the outcome of my undergrad? That I should pray istikhara before any decision I make…because ultimately, no matter who you refer to or ask about your future decisions, there is none better than Allah azza wa jal to consult with your everyday (and ultimately whole future) matters 🙂

Going through this year, I discovered something very strange no one warned me about. A light bulb finally lit in the back of my head. For the past two months, I’ve noticed that it all seems so…common. The days seem familiar to me…It’s as if I’ve already been through my last year of undergrad before…And today it finally hit me…that’s because:

In fourth year, one is once again, lost, confused, not sure where on earth all the time went, how they became what they are, and what in the world are they doing next 🙂

The only difference is, now they are respected for their degree and considered more mature. And in my opinion, that’s the least society can give back to graduates, for they really went through lots for that piece of paper with the fancy signature and sticker at the bottom!

Now I better get back to reading, 4h year isn’t over just yet!


A Sweet Memory

October 27, 2008

Many people asked how it went…what it was all about…and if it was worth it…

All I do is smile in reply…and here’s why…

A speech I wrote for the end of Ilm Summit…”truly, it changed my life”..
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيمالسلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته …

As students of knowledge, it serves us a great reminder to reflect on what we are told by Allah azza wa jal in surat Al-Baqarah verse 32 when the angels said:

They replied: “Limitless art Thou in Thy glory! No knowledge have we save that which Thou hast imparted unto us. Verily, Thou alone art all-knowing, truly wise.”

(قَالُواْ سُبْحَانَكَ لاَ عِلْمَ لَنَا إِلاَّ مَا عَلَّمْتَنَا إِنَّكَ أَنتَ الْعَلِيمُ الْحَكِيمُ (2:32

I recall aimlessly reading my textbooks in a weak attempt to study for finals. My mind was racing with thoughts of Ilm Summit and my heart beat with fear at the mere thought of being denied entrance. Five months later, here I am Alhamdulillah, trying to grasp at some eloquent words in hope of doing some justice in recounting this one of a kind journey.

Continue Reading..


إن الإنسان لفي خسر

October 26, 2008

 

I did NOT write the following poem…

“By (the Token of) Time (through the Ages), Verily Man is in loss” [103:1-2]

Age quickly marks
Its natural manifestations,
Yet wisdom takes its time
In refining its contender –
Indeed, man is a creature of haste

In a swift race against time
Ignorance is found creeping,
Bit By Bit,
into the days of men,
amassing in perfect mismatch.

But a path found its way
In hidden and open secret…

Sacrifice of a select few;
They walked upon this earth restless,
Knowledge was their weapon,
faith their armor,
Unwilling to find peace
before seeing their task complete.

The certainty of a scholar’s unwavering trust
in Al-Hafith, Al-Waliyy, Ar-Rafeeq,
will permeate through epochs.

Generations receive the message
with
open hearts,
open minds,
open souls.

Truth is discovered by those who seek it.

“…Except such as have Faith, and do righteous deeds, and (join together) in the mutual teaching of Truth, and of Patience and Constancy.” [103:3]


A Duck Story…

September 28, 2008

I read a nice story in arabic. Here’s the translation:

Once upon a time, a boy named Layth visited his grandparents’ farm in the outskirts of the city to enjoy the last few days of his summer vacation.

He was given a gun to play with in the woods by the farm. He constantly practiced shooting at wood and trees but never really hit any targets.

After days of practicing, he became hopeless as he did not see improvement..

One day as he was going back to the house for dinner, he found his grandma’s favorite duck..

He never thought he would ever hit a target, and so, he tried to shoot the duck and ended up killing it (killing the duck, not the grandma 😛 lol)..

Continue Reading…


Economic Structure of the Madinah Society

September 23, 2008

An assignment for an Al-Maghrib class…I believe it was for A Shepherd’s Path taught by Sheikh Muhammad Al-Shareef…

Bismillahi Al-Rahmani Al-Raheem, 

                Living in today’s world, we groan and moan about taxes, bills, loans, mortgages, and interest. We live day to day paying what we have to pay unaware of the ideal economic society set for us by our religion. Before the establishment of the Islamic State in Madinah at the time of the Prophet peace and blessings be upon him, the Arabs lived a life of fraud, slavery, and cruelty to the needy and the orphans. When one examines the economic structure before and after the time of the Prophet, it is easy to note the advancement that the religion and Islamic laws instilled in the society. The conduct of businesses and trade fell under certain guidelines that had to be implemented. Slavery was demolished and equality between the rich and the poor, the white and the black, had been established. The love for charity entered the hearts of the Muslims and changed their lives from what was a backwards Arabia to one of the most highly developed economic systems observed.

Continue reading…