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A seed

Seed

It’s fascinating how Allah likens charity to a seed:

  • You bury a tiny object into dirt. Superficially, you have just conducted a wasteful & meaningless transaction with no obvious reward. In reality, you are sowing the seed of endless multiplication.
  • The seed itself has little value, even in abundance. It makes sense that you plant it in order to make the most use of it, as that is where it’s key value lies. By planting it, you benefit from the sweetness of the fruits which come from it, the beauty and fragrance of the flowers which blossom, the shade of the trees which grow, and the thousands of others seeds which emerge for you to replant again. This is precisely the same as money; its value lies in what you do with it, not in the coin itself.
  • Planting the seed is not enough. It takes weeks of irrigation and hard work before any results are seen. Similarly, for charity to be effective, we shouldn’t just throw money around and hope it achieves something. We need a vision and strategy of what we hope to achieve followed by careful action to ensure it is effective.
  • The growth of the seed lies beyond just your effort. The climate, animals, soil and countless other factors are at play. Some of these you can affect more than others; some through simple measures like fencing whilst others with expensive or even compromising techniques like pesticides. Similarly, charity is affected by countless factors beyond your control, and the measures which can be taken vary just as much.
  • When the first shoot sprouts, only a fool will think this is the end of the road. With charity, we often only seek the short term satisfaction of a smile or thank you without aiming for the long-term change that is needed.
  • The greater the target, the longer it takes to get there. Individual flowers may grow in a few months, but a grand oak tree will take generations before it is realised. But whilst the flowers will only last a summer, a tree will last for centuries. Aim big and aspire for the long lasting change, regardless of whether you see that change or not.
  • When the fruits finally grow, you leave a visible legacy and benefit for your community. The short-sighted will only look to consume what is on the tree. Smarter people will realise the importance of looking after the tree itself. But only the wise will realise that the fruit of the tree bare the very seeds to help grow the next generation of trees.

There’s a lot more to say, and all that is just from one word used in the Qur’an: حبة

 
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Posted by on October 30, 2014 in Main Posts

 

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A Balanced Spiritual Upbringing

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A wonderful event by Jinan Bastaki today at the Solihull Islamic Education Academy.

One of the things this ummah has neglected is the prominence of Female teachers for male students. Female scholars are only want/allowed to speak to female audiences. The consequences of this are significant: Just as good parenting involves a mother and a father, our spiritual nourishment requires both too. This has been the tradition of every flourishing Islamic society and its absence is the hallmark of every failed one. Read Shaykh Mohammad Akram Nadwi (Official) work on the Muhadithaat for more insight into this, or this short clip by Shaykh Hamza Yusuf: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2924qbj5gMw

The benefits of this are too many to list, but one of the greatest I feel is the different insight they bring to the same topic. Having gone through the Divine Names of Allah previously with my father, hearing them being discussed by a Jinan today was incredibly refreshing as she looked at the topic with a completely different set of lenses. Every speaker brings their own perspective to the topic, and there will be clear differences between a male and female’s insights into the topic

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To share a few jems from today, I found the points around the subtly and balance between each of the Divine Names of Allah particularly beautiful. As an example:

- Why does Allah mention He is Al-Ghafoor (The All-Forgiving) and Shakoor (The Appreciative) next to each other in the Quran? It is to reaffirm that even when you make mistakes, not only will He will forgive you but He will still appreciate all of your previous good actions as well! How often do we as humans forget the good things people do to us when they wrong us? This is what Allah is emphasising to us

- ​Why do Al-Shakoor (The Appreciative) & Al-Aleem (The All-Knowing) come together? Because many times we will try and do something good but somehow we end messing it up or it goes wrong beyond our control. Allah is telling us here that He knows our true intentions and rewards us for it!

- The delicate balance between the gratitude of Allah and His desire for our sincerity. Allah wants us to do things solely for His sake, yet He loves to reward us for the good we do. For example, Allah promises that charity will never diminish wealth, but in fact will cause it to multiply. If Allah was to give us the multiplication immediately, we will lose the sincerity we have in giving it and begin to do things merely for the financial reward. On the flip Allah’s generosity means He loves to give back to us as quickly as possible as He loves to reward His servants. The delicate balance lies in how Allah gives us things in perfect measure and time to ensure we do things for His sake and are rewarded in the way most suitable for us!

 
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Posted by on October 26, 2014 in Main Posts

 

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True Wealth

War Booty

 

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Diamonds

How wondrous it is that a diamond is buried deep amongst a sea of rocks. Only through the intensity of its environment and the strength of its endurance could this magnificent stone be carved into an stone with beauty and strength in equal measure. Yet, when buried beneath the earth, a diamond is no different from any of its neighbours. Each are composed of the same carbon, endure the same pressure, and face the same obscurity with the earth’s core. Without light, a glistening diamond is just another rock within a sea of darkness. It is only when the rocks are dug up that their true nature is revealed; the diamond glistens in the light of the sun whilst the others are left undesired and worthless.

This is the parable of human existence. Each of us face the same trials and tribulations in the furnace of this world. How we react to them carves the very reality of our being; a reality only realised in the light of the divine.

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(20) Truly you [people] love this fleeting world (21) and neglect the life
to come. (22) On that Day there will be radiant faces, (23) looking towards
their Lord, (24) and on that Day there will be the sad and despairing
faces (25) of those who realize that a great calamity is about to befall
them.
[Al-Qiyaamah: 75: 10-25]

That day, when death takes us all, we are brought to stand bare before our Lord. Only those who believed and did good deed will shine like diamonds; forged into perfection by the years of trials in the kiln of life. Those women and men will glisten magnificently in the divine light before all of creation “like rubies and brilliant pearls”, carried to the gardens and palaces to a life of luxury and ease – such is the extravagance a diamond deserves.

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(58) Like rubies and brilliant pearls…
(60) Shall the reward of good be anything but good? (61) Which, then,
of your Lord’s blessings do you both deny?
[Al-Rahman 55: 58-61]

But those who wasted this world will come unprepared; their bodies unable to reflect the light of the divine. Like the remainder of the rocks, darkness overcomes them as they are cast aside into the shadows they chose. These men cannot absorb the divine majesty because of the barrier they created themselves, and like the furnaces in which the rocks of this world are cast into, so too will these men be discarded from the divine, used as nothing more than fuel to alight the fires of hell.

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Believers, guard yourselves and your families against a Fire
fuelled by people and stones, over which stand angels, stern and
strong; angels who never disobey God’s commands to them, but do
as they are ordered
[At-Tahreem 66:6]

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Posted by on October 6, 2014 in Main Posts

 

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The proof that God exists

The Kalaam Cosmological Argument – argued by Imam Ghazali over 900 years ago. A logical and irrefutable proof for the existence of God. Till today, no one has disproved it. All they do is postulate other theories…

This particular video explains it in a more empirical fashion, using the observations around us. I prefer the logical proof which breaks each premise down to show how they must be true, but its much more complicated to explain

Now, who said belief in Allah was irrational?

Simple Discussion

More detailed explanation

 
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Posted by on September 17, 2014 in Logic, Main Posts

 

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Moon-light

“What is the moon except a reflection of the sun. The beauty you see in me is just a reflection of your own light; its splendour dazzling only from the darkness of the world which surrounds it. My reality is just a rock which disappears when those of true reality emerge”

- Anonymous

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Posted by on September 13, 2014 in General Wisdoms, Poetry

 

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Man On The Moon

Talha Ghannam:

Perhaps one of the most powerful thing I’ve read in a while. So much of it resonates deeply as each of us go through our own struggles and tribulations. May Allah preserve and increase the writer and all those struggling with their own difficulties. Ameen!

Originally posted on thegatesofparadise:

‘God is manifest, the veil is with us.’

I was diagnosed with Depression in October 2012. It took a severe form which left me unable to leave my bed for 6 months at a time. I denied anything was really wrong even through this debilitating period. After a lengthy healing process which included Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Depression Alliance Group meetings, I saw that I had had a tussle with something tangible and spiritually invasive. I believe coming out at the other side (although I’m not quite there completely) is and perhaps always will be my proudest achievement. I regained the will to live. 

I was unable to to be productive or ‘strive’. Unable to envision changes, set goals or grow in the conventional sense. I was paralyzed by almost every meaning of the word. My love for my family and friends evaporated, any concern for my own well being disappeared. Instead I lived…

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Posted by on July 29, 2014 in Main Posts

 
 
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