Tag Archives: quran

Lessons from the Cave: Finding Success Through Conviction

There are many lessons we can derive from the story of the companions of the cave. The emphasis on steadfastness and holding tight to the truth is evident in this beautiful story. The companions of the cave fled from their palaces to retreat to a dark cave. Why? What was it that led them to leave the luxuries they were surrounded with, to leave their lofty positions, their palaces, and their superfluities, and instead migrate to a cave in the middle of an unfamiliar place?

إِذْ أَوَى الْفِتْيَةُ إِلَى الْكَهْفِ فَقَالُوا رَبَّنَا آتِنَا مِن لَّدُنكَ رَحْمَةً وَهَيِّئْ لَنَا مِنْ أَمْرِنَا رَشَدًا

Allah says: [Mention] when the youths retreated to the cave and said, “Our Lord, grant us from Yourself mercy and prepare for us from our affair right guidance.” [18:10]

These were youth, young men, and sons of prestigious Kings, whose hearts Allah were guided and filled with Imaan. Their love for Allah, and their fear of associating partners with Allah and disobeying him caused them to leave their homes which were filled with polytheism and disbelief. For them, living in a cave with pure monotheism was better than living in a land of polytheism. Their Du’aa to Allah as they left their lavish dwellings was one which was deeply heart-felt, their soft hearts were filled with fear – fear of going astray, and their only call to Allah was, “Our Lord, grant us from Yourself mercy and prepare for us from our affair right guidance.”

Their hearts weren’t harboring any doubts about what might happen to them as they journeyed to the cave. They weren’t worried about how they would eat, where they would live but rather they placed their trust in Allah. Hoping that their Lord would guide them to the right place, that He would take care of them and shower His mercy upon them for fleeing from falsehood. For these particular youth, Tawheed was their most prized possession: their most valuable gift, and they wouldn’t trade it for any of the luxuries they ever had. They knew that their words and actions could not change their fathers and the people around them, who were drowning in Shirk, and so isolation was their only option. They would never compromise on their religion.

Oh youth, listen with a heart full of conviction, and listen in heed. These men were youth who valued their religion more than they valued the gold and the palaces they were brought up in. Mud and soil as a pillow was more beloved to them than soft-to-touch cushions lined with diamonds and gems. Allah doesn’t narrate to us stories without purpose; rather they are there to reminder us. Their sincere conviction became the reason their story has been preserved.

وَذَكِّرْ فَإِنَّ الذِّكْرَىٰ تَنفَعُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ

Allah says: “And remind, for indeed, the reminder benefits the believers” [51:55]

نَحْنُ نَقُصُّ عَلَيْكَ أَحْسَنَ الْقَصَصِ بِمَا أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْكَ هَٰذَا الْقُرْآنَ وَإِن كُنتَ مِن قَبْلِهِ لَمِنَ الْغَافِلِينَ

He also says: “We relate to you, [O Muhammad], the best of stories in what We have revealed to you of this Qur’an although you were, before it, among the unaware.” [12:3]

Oh youth of Islam, serve your religion from a young age, you have all the energy of youth on your side, right now. It is you who will carry Islam forward, and who will be the leaders of the future generation. Just like the companions of the cave, don’t compromise your religion for anything or anyone. You may not be the sons of Kings as they were, but for you it is lot easier than it was for them, to detach your hearts from falsehood, from the glitter of this world. Lastly, remember Allah grants believers steadfastness at the time of need, so flee to Him and He will bestow His mercy on you.

Just as the companions of the cave found eternal success through their conviction in Allah, you too can harness the power of conviction. Just put your faith and trust in Allah and constantly seek His guidance and keep moving forward towards your goals. May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala guide us all to the best of success, ameen.

 

Love to live the Qur’an

By Madiyah Rana

We find many stories in the history of Islam that talk about the men and women before us who would spend their days and nights in the company of the Qur’an. There was a time when people would dedicate most of their time and energy to the study of this glorious book. They would sleep less at night and spend it instead in absorbing the verses of Allah into their hearts and minds, memorising them, reviewing them. The Qur’an was held closely to their hearts such that it became their companions in the warmth of the day and the darkness of the night.

Undoubtedly, these people were endowed with a huge blessing, a blessing we all yearn to have. However, it was their true love for Allah and His kalaam that caused them to be so deeply inspired by it. We hear of many narrations that show us the true love that they had for the Qur’an and in their dedication and determination in applying it.

The Prophet Muhammad (Salallahu ‘alayhi Was’allam) would spend his nights in worship to Allah, reciting the Qur’an on end, savouring each verse and its letters. He was always striving to earn more reward. The Qur’an which he had memorised never failed to inspire him over and over again. The Prophet Muhammad (Salallahu ‘Alayhi Was’allam) was known as “the walking Qur’an.”

The Sahaabah would rush to implement the laws of Allah into their life. Running towards goodness and forgiveness from their Lord. They were motivated to read it and implement it. They witnessed the revelation of the Qur’an in front of their very eyes, and so it only blossomed in their hearts and increased them in Imaan and Taqwa.

Our pious predecessors that came after, held tight to this great Sunnah and act of learning and reciting the Qur’an with a melodious recital. Studying Tajweed and never getting bored of it. It is said that there was a man who was reciting Surah Kahf in his Salaah, only to be shot with several arrows from the opposing army whilst doing so, yet he never stopped. He completed the whole Surah in that Salaah! It was the love and the passion that he had and the interest that he had developed for it, that caused him to continue with its recital even when struck by arrows and even when in pain.

A righteous man would finish the recital of the Qur’an 60 times in Ramadhan, completing it twice each day of the blessed month. When we hear of these stories, we can truly say that this was a time when the Ummah was growing strong; it was becoming prosperous and successful, because Muslims would hold onto the rope of Allah, to the Qur’an, so tightly. Now we place it on the top of our shelves without interest of this divine miracle. Then we complain that the Ummah is falling weak, and Muslims are losing their selves and their Imaan. And we cry at the state of the Muslims and how they have no Islam left in their life. It is because people have left the Qur’an, they’ve left it only to run to evil, sin and transgression.

When we read and ponder over these inspiring practices of those who came before us, we can’t help but feel ashamed of being so far away from the book of Allah. They recognized that the Qur’an wasn’t just a book to read over and over again, but rather it was a book to be read and most importantly, understood.

The key to understanding the book of Allah was to keep it constant company, reflect upon its verses and ponder over its meanings. This is the right we must give to the Qur’an and this is the foundation of our deen.

The Qur’an guides us not only spiritually and religiously, but also socially, economically and politically. This is how the Sahaabah were; they took the Qur’an as their ultimate guide and manual in life, they rode the waves and fought the storms by standing by this book and using it to find the answers to their problems and the key to goodness. They used it in all aspects of their life, religious and not religious, and held tight to the rope in all circumstances.

The fact that they understood that the Quran was the basis and foundation of our deen and thus our life – they understood that being a Muslim meant reading, knowing, understanding, implementing and completely living the Quran, rather than just reading it to receive blessings.

Take the Qur’an as your companion in the days and nights and beg Allah to make you amongst the family of the Qur’an for they are those who will receive its intercession and be saved from a terrible punishment on that day.

May Allah make us from amongst the people of the Qur’an, of those that are the closest to Him.

The Quran gave her HOPE – short story

By Sayema Zulfeqar

It wasn’t that I hadn’t repented and turned back. It wasn’t that I hadn’t given up the road to destruction in the hereafter and chosen the road which would lead me to pleasures in the hereafter. It was just this crushing feeling inside of me that Allah wouldn’t forgive me for my hideous sins. Even after repenting, I had thoughts of despair floating through my mind, ‘Why would Allah forgive me? Haven’t I committed such a huge sin? Will Allah ever forgive me for what I’ve done?’

Days and days passed, and my prayers from Fajr to Isha felt lifeless. The thoughts of Allah never forgiving me disrupted my mind each time I prayed, each time I made du’aa, each time I read the Qur’an, and each time I sat reflecting. My friends and family won’t be of much help, I thought to myself. How could I really take this question to them?

I was desperately searching for an answer; an answer that would satisfy my thirst for hope, an answer that would give me hope for Allah’s forgiveness and an answer that would change my life forever!

One day as I was randomly flipping through the pages of the Mus’haf, an Arabic word – ‘Istaghfiru’, caught my attention. I knew what it meant, I knew that this was what I had been searching for, I knew that this was the answer to my questions and I knew that this was the answer from my Lord. I quickly jotted down the verse number and headed to my bookshelf for the Noble Quran in English. As I kept flipping the pages of the Quran, my heart was filled with both hope and fear. Hope that Allah’s answer would guarantee me forgiveness and fear that His answer would not.

Surah Zumar, Verse no. 53…. Ahaan! Got it!” I said to myself. And guess what, I got the answer I was searching for in these very magnificent words of Allah stored in His last and precious book; the Quran:

Say: O My servants who have transgressed against themselves! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah, verily Allah forgives all sins. Truly, He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”  [39:53]

From that day on, as I recall that strange day, I’ve learnt that it’s not our friends or family that can give us answers to everything all the time, sometimes we just have to search for it. At times, when you feel that nobody, not your friends and family, nor your teachers , Shuyookh, or counselors not even Google can answer you;  turn to Allah for the answer, for verily, He is the best of those who answer and the Best of those who respond.  And remember that your life-long unanswered questions are waiting to be answered in the Holy Quran…

(Inspired by a true story)

 

Friend or Foe?

By: Madiyah Rana

Our friendships define us. We are the company that we keep and so we should keep a close eye on who our friends are and what that means about who we are.

Those who we sit with, those we converse with and share our personal thoughts with have a great impact on the way we think and perceive the world around us, and thus on who we are. In surah Furqan, Allah (swt) dedicates a few ayaat on this topic: the consequences of a bad friendship.

وَيَوْمَ يَعَضُّ الظَّالِمُ عَلَىٰ يَدَيْهِ يَقُولُ يَا لَيْتَنِي اتَّخَذْتُ مَعَ الرَّسُولِ سَبِيلًا  يَا وَيْلَتَىٰ لَيْتَنِي لَمْ أَتَّخِذْ فُلَانًا خَلِيلًا لَّقَدْ أَضَلَّنِي عَنِ الذِّكْرِ بَعْدَ إِذْ جَاءَنِي ۗ وَكَانَ الشَّيْطَانُ لِلْإِنسَانِ خَذُولًا

“And the Day the wrongdoer will bite on his hands [in regret] he will say, “Oh, I wish I had taken with the Messenger a way. ‘Oh, woe to me! I wish I had not taken that one as a friend (khaleel). He led me away from the remembrance after it had come to me. And ever is Satan, to man, a deserter.” [25:27-29]

In these ayaat Allah (swt) is talking about the wrongdoer who will appear on the day of Judgement full of regret and remorse. He will chew at his hands due to the grief he is feeling and he will curse himself and wish that he hadn’t taken “so and so” as a friend. Why? Because this ‘friend’ of his led him astray even after Islam was proclaimed to him!

Context of Revelation:

Allah (swt) revealed these ayaat as they relate to an incident that happened at the time of the Prophet Muhammad (saw). There were two friends at that time, Uqbah ibn abi Mu’eet and Ummayyah Ibn Khalaf. Both of these men were enemies of Islam; however Ummayyah was a severe enemy and was very harsh in nature, his friend Uqbah on the contrary, was a generous, hospitable and personable man who had good habits. Whenever he went on his travels, on his return he would hold a feast to celebrate his safe return. He would gather a group of people together and serve them food.

There was one occasion when the Prophet Muhammad (saw) was amongst those that were invited. The meal began and everyone starting eating, besides the Prophet. Uqbah, being the generous man he was, insisted to the Prophet to eat. The Prophet refused and said he would not eat until Uqbah declared that “That there is none worthy of worship but Allah and Muhammad is His messenger”. Uqbah felt bad, how could he invite a guest and let them leave without eating? And so falsely, he accepted this statement.

Word got round and soon reached his best friend Ummayyah, who approached Uqbah and ignorantly said: “How could you leave the religion of your forefathers?!” Ummayyah in response told him there was no such thing and that he only accepted because he felt bad. But Ummayyah would not believe him, and told him to prove this and so he ordered him to spit in the face of the Prophet in public. And so this unfortunate man, Ummayyah went and did what he was told by this evil friend.

So Allah revealed an ayah regarding Uqbah! That he will stand on the Day of Judgement chewing harshly at his hands, wishing he never followed his friend! SubhanAllah! Islam was penetrating the heart of Uqbah! Islam was presented to him by the Prophet Muhammad (saw) himself, yet he refused and followed the way of his bad friend.

An interesting thing about this is that in ayah 28 Allah says that the man will say, “Ah! Woe to me! Would that I had never taken so-and-so as a Khalil (an intimate friend)! – Here Allah uses the word “Fulaan” meaning “so and so”. Allah uses this to give it a more broad application, suggesting that the ayahs are not referring only to Uqbah but to us as well.

We have all been in some situation where our friends have had some kind of influence on our ways, thoughts or actions, and some may be in a position now where they are slipping away from the deen due to their friends pulling them away and encouraging them to do wrong. If you are, just remember Islam is a complete way of life, a beacon of light, a treasure that should be protected and valued.

If you are around friends that are taking you away from this treasure then leave them, for their company is dangerous. Find people that will motivate you, help you, and work with you to be the best in everything.  Make friends with those who inspire you to become better. That remind you when you forget. Friends that bring you closer to Allah (swt) They are the friends that will hold your hand on this journey of life till you both reunite in Paradise, InshaAllah.

May Allah bestow upon us wisdom and join us with the righteous.

Time is running out

By: Sayema Zulfiqar

What is the greatest blessing of all? Food? Shelter? Wealth? Fame? Family?

The greatest blessing of all, that each and every one of us has is TIME. Yet, it is a blessing that is constantly diminishing. A wise man once said: “Lost time is never found again.” Continue reading Time is running out