A Wounded Heart

The sudden dreadful crying and screaming woke Zainab up. She lay on her bed, burying her face into the pillow, trying hard to block out the growing noise coming from the other room.

It had hardly been two hours since she had cried herself to sleep. Her tender heart started pounding against her chest at the thought of what would follow this pattern. It was the norm; after her father would come home, her mother would scream at him, he would yell back, and then it would get worse until she, being the eldest child, would intervene, crying and begging her parents to stop the awful fight, the reason for which those little children could never understand.

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The Post Ramadan Syndrome

Ramadan brings an annual tidal wave of optimism that sweeps everyone up with positive momentum and gives a spiritual boost for the year to come. The special quality of this holy month is that most Muslims reach a higher level of iman (faith) and ‘amal (deeds) during these blessed days than the rest of the year.

It takes resolve, sacrifice, commitment, patience, perseverance and oodles of hard work to shun the embedded evil and replace it with good, inside and outside one’s self. Ramadan also gives us an ambience and a productive environment that encourages collective and individual goodness to flourish.

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A Clean Slate

Being raised in a society of ‘liberal’ and ‘moderate’ Muslims that believe in the freedom of expression, one is obliged to respect and tolerate matters that are against the teachings of Allah and His Messenger (salallahu alaihi wasallam). Those who dare to disagree are accused of being rigid, backward, fanatic, extremist, or narrow minded, depending on the category the individual best fits, according to their level of acceptance and their intensity of the reaction.

An average Muslim’s goal in life has become finding happiness by submitting to his own nafs (the base self) and keeping it satisfied at any cost. This contagious disease of wanting to acquire dunia, is what we strive to pass on to our children too.

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Love Is In The Air

It’s the time of year again, that lovebirds have been waiting for, the most awaited day of the year, February 14th!

Elaborately made up, beautifully adorned girls flutter around like bright butterflies hoping to find the most sought after guy, to be presented with gifts. A little heart or even a red rose would do, as long as it qualifies them to be paired up with someone.

On the other hand, guys dressed in their carefully chosen casual outfits, drenched in the most masculine cologne (a smell that could bruise your veins from within) seem busy shortlisting the most appropriate match for them, seeking to propose to the girl of their dreams. Finally, it is the day of enacting their well rehearsed scenarios with her.

Oh yes, it’s Valentine’s Day again!

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Deception To Reality

Then We said to the angels, “Prostrate to Adam”; so they prostrated, except for Iblis. He was not of those who prostrated. [Allah] said, “What prevented you from prostrating when I commanded you?” [Satan] said, “I am better than him. You created me from fire and created him from clay.”[Allah] said, “Descend from Paradise, for it is not for you to be arrogant therein. So get out; indeed, you are of the debased. [Satan] said, “Reprieve me until the Day they are resurrected.” [Allah] said, “Indeed, you are of those reprieved.” [Satan] said, “Because You have put me in error, I will surely sit in wait for them on Your straight path. Surah Al Araaf-22

We know that Iblis, due to his exceptional worship was elevated to the high status of being with the angels. He had the ma’arifa(recognition) of his Creator. Despite that when Allah(subhanahu wa ta’alaa)commanded him to prostrate to Adam (alaihi salaam) he refused. What was his sin? It was his disobedience and rejection of Allah’s(subhanahu wa ta’alaa) command by not prostrating to Adam, whether or not his intelligence justified it.

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Love You, Love You Not, Love You

‘I love you for the sake of Allah,’ my classmate at the markaz said to me, smiling warmly. It was the first time I had heard this and having no knowledge of what the expression implied I gave her a meek smile, not knowing how to reply while feeling awkward about it. It sounded unrealistic because how can someone who hardly knows you, ‘love’ you?

As a person brought up in a society where religion occupies only a little niche in your life that is separated from your ‘actual’ life, I couldn’t understand this new concept of loving someone for the sake of Allah. Anyway, soon I adapted to the terminology but was still unable to relate to the feeling deep down in myself.

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People of ‘at least’

When I was a child, I remember adults often asking me “What do you want to be when you grow up?” The interrogator would then offer answers for me to choose from, such as doctor or engineer, as if it was inconceivable to have any other ambition.

Throughout our lives, we are made to believe that to be worthwhile we must have materialistic aspirations. I feel this constant conditioning transforms an intellectual into a programmed dummy, making a person a slave to stereotypical thinking, fed by the worthless and ignorant trendsetters of society.

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