‘Don’t Be Sad’ Series – Remember Allah is with Us!

Bismillah

Assalamualaikum wa-rahmatullahi wa-barakatahu,

Al-Ghazali said, “If you see Allah, Mighty and Magnificent, holding back this world from you, frequently trying you with adversity and tribulation, know that you hold a great status with Him. Know that He is dealing with you as He does with His Awliya’ and chosen elite, and is watching over you, have you not heard His saying, “So wait steadfastly for the judgment of your Lord – you are certainly before Our eyes.[At-Tur 52:48]
 This series was small attempt to spark hope in the hearts of people whose heart are in need of it and to serve as a reminder for us, for the sake of Allah.  The real help though can only come from Allah(swt), the owner of Peace. So establish your Salah and make immense dua and inshaAllah, you WILL see how Allah sets everything right for you and brings you out of darkness to light.

Let’s not forget, this world was never meant to be perfect. There’s no way that our lifes could be a cake walk for us. This life on earth was meant to be a test from Allah, who tells us about the purpose of our lifes in this world in the following verse of the Quran –

Who hath created life and death that He may try you which of you is best in conduct; and He is the Mighty, the Forgiving” (Quran 67:2)

Trials and tests are a part of this life. They are a means by which Allah distinguishes each one of us and provides us with opportunities to increase our level in Jannah. SubhanAllah!

There is no point running behind happiness because by virtue “happiness” is like water, no matter how hard you try to hold it in your hand at some point it is going to flow away.  Instead we need to work on our relationship with the almighty, improve our deen (religious knowledge), do not leave salah and hold fast to our imaan; so that inshaAllah we are atleast at peace. The result of which is that even if something real bad happens with us we do not prolong the sadness, by the grace of Allah. We accept it, displaying true faith in the qadr of Allah, reminding ourselves the purpose of our life in this world and move on.

May Allah grant all of us this peace and help us be content with our lives. Let no storm be strong enough to shake our faith and trust in the Almighty and His plan for us, for He is the best of planners. Ameen.

On a side note, here are some additional suggestions:

I would strongly recommend reading articles by sister Yasmin Mogahed. Her article really give me some sense to why things happen the way they do and what is required of us to find true contentment in dunya so that it may benefit us in the akhira,inshaAllah. She also has a lot of audio clips which can be downloaded too. Please do listen to them.

Secondly, the book “Dont be sad” .. I just got this book few days back, so I cant  really give my opinion about it, but our muslim brothers and sisters around do recommend this book for everyone. So, inshaAllah, it should be helpful. Do get yourself a copy of it or you can download the e-book version from here.

Lastly, Brother Eddie of “The deen show” has some wonderful advises for us! I personally love this audio clip. It’s long but it covers all the good verses from the quran and hadith that will help one feel a LOT better! Download it and keep it with you, so you could listen to it whenever you feel low again!

Love you all for the sake of Allah! 🙂 Fii Amanillah!

Lots of Love & Peace,
Potential Hijabi

P.S. Keep smiling, “La Tahzan (Don’t be sad), Allah is with us.”(Quran 9:40) 🙂

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‘Don’t Be Sad’ Series – Practical tips to get over it!!

Bismillah

Assalamualaikum wa-rahmatullah,

Ever heard of the saying “An idle mind is a devils workshop”? It’s been engraved in our minds but we don’t really realise how important it is to keep ourselves away from idleness!

Keeping yourself occupied is the bestest way to get over the sad days, if Allah wills! As soon as you realise that your mind is going on the wrong thinking track, immediately occupy yourself with something productive. This way you not only save yourself from sinking into depression but also make productive use of your time!

Productive Muslim mailing list had a series for a few weeks in which the brother gave us some tips on helping managing our emotions.

The set of tools below are called “Body Hacks!”, i.e. what you need to do to your body in order to manage your emotions. Here they are:

1. Good Exercising: Exercise is a great way to feel positive and good about yourself even though you’re emotionally down. Whenever you feel stressed/depressed, a simple quick jog, or running around the block will put you in positive mood. Try it and let me know!

2. Healthy eating: If you’re feeling low, and you’re hungry, you’ll feel worse. You might not feel like eating when you’re anxious or stressed, but that’s the best thing you can do to fuel your body and your positive emotions. (Now careful here, don’t go the other extreme and over-eat either! Have a balanced meal).

The above 2 tips, although sound simple and basic but they work! I admit, they won’t cure you emotionally on their own, but they’ll get you on the right foot to tackle your negative emotions inshaAllah.

Next set of tips is on ‘Mental Hacks’, ways to tackle your mind so that you don’t get emotionally distraught about things and able to manage your emotions. Here’s what to do:

1. Write it down: There’s nothing more powerful in managing your emotions then simply writing what you’re going through on paper. Some people worry that others might read what they’ll write, don’t worry, simply write it down and then throw it in the bin. You don’t have to keep these thoughts stored anywhere. You’re simply trying to off-load your mind with all sorts of negative thoughts that are affecting your emotions.

2. Talk to somebody: Holding it in or ‘Imploding’ will kill you emotionally and make your life really difficult. Talk to a trusted friend or family member of what you’re going through and notice how you’ll feel far better afterwards.

3. Mind vs. Heart: Normally, whenever you’re going through emotionally difficult, a tug-of-war occurs between your logical brain and your emotional heart. Sometimes the emotional heart can go to the extreme and think it’s the end of the world for you and you’ll never be the same and you’ll never heal emotionally..etc., however, this is when sometimes using your logical brain to calm things down can help. Give each issue you face it’s true magnitude, think of Pros and Cons, think what could be the worst case scenario…etc. Simply using your logical brain in emotional situations can help you calm down and deal with things rationally, inshaAllah. (p.s. I won’t fall into the debate of which should rule, the mind or the heart, but this is simply to say that you should use both the mind and heart when trying to tackle emotional situations that are affecting you).

-Abu Productive

Some other suggestions to keep yourself occupied:

  1. Learn Quran:  This could be learning the tajweed or reading quran with qiraat or taking up a course on understanding quran or tafsir classes or even better would be memorizing the quran. Learning the book of Allah is definitely the best way to bring peace to your heart. “Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest!” (Quran 13:28)
  2. Attend Halaqas:  A lot of  islamic webinars keep happening, or find some happening live in your town.. it will give a big boost to your Imaan and may also help you find some righteous friends too,inshaAllah!
  3. Study the Seerah of Prophet Muhammad(saw) and learn more on Islamic history.
  4. Cultivate some productive hobby: Here’s a list to get you started with. It covers pretty much everything you could do to keep yourself occupied from blogging to horse riding.. sounds fun, right? 🙂 So once you are done with reading the tips below check out the link, find something that interests you and get yourself started right away! 😉
  5.  Learn a new language – how about learning Arabic?
  6.  Spend some quality time with your parents/family.
  7.  Join a NGO.
  8.  Find a job online: this will also open the door to lot of opportunities. Why not try to find some islamic websites with openings and send in your resume? This way you can keep yourself occupied and contribute to fellow Muslim brothers and sisters, inshaAllah! (Mind you, this might be a voluntary job, you might not get paid by them, but Allah will surely pay you in abundance in Akhira! 🙂 )
  9. Listen to islamic lectures online: A lot of amazing lectures can be found online that could be both informative and make you feel better, inshaAllah!
  10. Make new (righteous) friends and Be friends with everyone: Instead of confining yourself to a single person, be friends with everyone – this way you are never left alone thinking about past or getting worried about the future, inshaAllah!

A very important thing you should avoid is listening to songs. If you REALLY want to get yourself out of the depression, stop listening to those “sad” songs right away! It’s just going to pull you into deeper depression and do you no good! So whenever you feel the urge to listen to that song try replacing it with some feel good nasheeds (try Allah knows or You are never alone by Zain Bikha).. or even better thing to do would be give your heart some peace by listening to some amazing recitations of the quran. My personal favourite is the recitation of surah Ar-Rahman by Shaikh Mishary Rashid Al-Afasy, brings a LOT of peace to my heart, alhumdulillah!

Another thing to keep yourself occupied in (which I forgot to include in the spiritual tips) is occupy yourself in the dhikr of Allah! Just mere “La ilaha ilallah”, “SubhanAllah”,”alhumdulillah”, “Allahu Akbar” will not only make way for you to earn reward from Allah but also keep Satan’s whispers away, inshaAllah!

My next post, I will be wraping up this series with another amazing audio to keep you going, inshaAllah. Until then remember you are never alone! 🙂 (It’s my ‘favouritest’ nasheed :D.. oh and ‘Allah knows‘ too!)

Lot’s of Love & Peace

Potential Hijabi

P.S. “Truly, God does not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves.” (Quran 13:11)
Wake up, put that extra effort to get yourself out of the condition you are in, and Allah will help you through it, inshaAllah! Because if He says He will help, then He WILL, Trust Him!!

‘Don’t Be Sad’ Series – Spiritual tips!

Bismillah

Assalamualaikum wa-rahmatullah,

Sometimes no amount of tips and advises work best like the spiritual tips do..! So even though in my next post I shall share some practical tips on overcoming sadness, inshaAllah, here are some spiritual must do’s for us to get started with, beginning in the name of Allah!

1. Work on your relationship with Allah(swt): In our struggle for peace in our lives we often seek help from the people around only to return empty handed. We forget that the only one who truely understands us is our Almighty, who is the only ONE who knows every little pain we are going through; and so we need to make a sincere effort in improving our relationship with Him – Our Creator! There is a need for us to befriend Him. We should make our pain a tool by which we can draw closer to Allah. When you are left alone think that may be Allah sent everyone away so that it was just you and Him; and so begin to work on your relationship with the Divine.

2. Salah: you cannot underestimate the power of Salah in managing emotions especially negative emotions. When you feel down/depressed/anxious or stressed, instead of torturing yourself with those emotions, get up and make wudhu and pray 2 rak’ah and watch yourself feel 10 times better afterwards. If praying 2 rak’ah didn’t help, pray 2 more, and 2 more…until you feel better, and trust me, you’ll feel better. Salah is the gift that Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) has given us in this world and one cannot describe the type of spiritual heart surgery that occurs during prayer which makes you feel so much better inshaAllah.

3 . Quran: After praying your 2 rak’ah, and if you’re still feeling down. Pick up the Quran and read the Quran. Don’t just read a page or two, but truly immerse yourself in the experience and read as much as you can. After a while you’ll notice that your negative emotions are gone and you’re feeling really calm and relaxed. When you’re reading the Quran, imagine Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) speaking to you through His Quran and try to understand every word and every meaning and perhaps you might find the answer to your emotional situation in the verses you’re reading.

4. Dua: You’ve prayed 2 rak’ah, you’ve read lots of Quran, now it’s time to turn to Him (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) and ask Him for His help in your situation. Ask Him to give you the calmness and happiness you want in your life. Ask Him to give you the blessing of tranquility regardless of the situation you’re facing. And by the way, when making dua, don’t just read the standard duas you read daily, but truly speak to Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) even in your own language and ask him what you want. He listens and He understands and He knows what you’re going through. Just be sincere and humble when making the dua and you’ll feel the sweetness of being the slave of Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) inshaAllah.

-Abu Productive (ProductiveMuslim.com)

I recently happened to read some really powerful words via a sister, May Allah bless her for sharing it .. The words read “Allah (swt) listens and already knows what is in your heart, but He wants you to ASK him for what you want”. (When I read these words I almost cried because they came at the time when I REALLY needed to hear something like that, Alhumdulillah! )

5.Tahajjud:

According to the Hadeeth narrated by Muslim on the authority of Abu
Hurairah “Allah descends (in a manner befitting His Majesty) to the
lowest heaven every night when half of the night or two-third of it is over
and says: “Is there anyone asking who may be given? Is there anyone
supplicating who may be answered?”

Shaikh Yasir Qadhi says “If you want something in your life and you aren’t praying Tahajjud for it, then in reality you don ’t really want it..'”

This article – magic called tahajjud by a dear sister is really inspiring and talks about her own experience of praying tahajjud. So yes, let’s set our alarms for tahajjud from tomorrow, inshaAllah, and beg, plead and ask Allah to set things right for us!

Lastly, majority of our problems are lightened when we detach ourselves from this world.More often we expect too much from the people around, and hoping everything to be perfect and when things turn out otherwise we fall big time. So let’s save ourselves from that torture and lower our expectaions. Let’s remember  that true peace and total perfection can only be achieved in the Hereafter, in our abode in Jannah… where everything is perfect! So for the “forever” happiness we need to work and be patient in the tests of this world so that we can be dwellers of Paradise in the Hereafter, inshaAllah!

Last piece of advice by brother Abu Productive: when you go through an emotional downturn, remember that this world is temporary, so don’t stress about it too much. Worry about the hereafter and what you’ve prepared for it, that’s what we should all be stressed about. May Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) make it easy for us. Ameen.

Lot’s of Love and Peace,

Potential Hijabi ❤

P.S. Don’t forget Allah loves you… like alotttt! 🙂

‘Don’t Be Sad’ series – Questions Answered!

Bismillah
Assalamualaikum wa-rahmatullahi wa-barakatahu,
Sadness brings along with it a number of questions… The endless “why”s!! .. Here are some questions answered in light of quran, that happened to be posted on page over the internet!
1) WE ALWAYS ASK: Why was I TESTED?
AL-QURAN ANSWERS: “Do men think that they will be left alone saying,’We believe’, and that they will not be tested? We did test those before them, and Allah will certainly know those who are true from those who are false.” [29:2-3]2) WE ALWAYS ASK: Why I never get what I wanted?
AL-QURAN ANSWERS: ” It is possible that you dislike a thing which is good for you, and that you love a thing, which is bad for you. But Allah knows, while you know not.” Surah Al-Baqarah [2:216]

3) WE ALWAYS ASK: Why was I burdened this way?
AL-QURAN ANSWERS: “Allah does not place a burden to a soul greater than it can bear. It gets every good that it earns, and it suffers every ill that it earns.” Surah Al-Baqarah [2:286]& ” So verily, with every difficulty there is relief: (repeated) Verily, with every difficulty there is relief.” Surah Al-Insyirah [94:5-6]

4) WE ALWAYS ASK: Why am I losing hope?
AL-QURAN ANSWERS: “So lose not heart, nor fall into despair: For you will be superior if you are true in Faith.” Surah Al-Imran [3:139]

5) WE ALWAYS ASK: How can I face it?
AL-QURAN ANSWERS: ” O you who believed! Persevere in patience and constancy; vie in such perseverance; strengthen each other; and fear Allah that you may prosper.” Surah Al-Imran[3:200] & “And seek(Allah’s) help with patient, perseverance and prayer: It is indeed hard, except to those who bring a humbly submissive (to Allah).” Surah Al-Baqarah [2:45]

6) WE ALWAYS ASK: What do I get from all these?
AL-QURAN ANSWERS: “Indeed, Allah has purchased from the believers their lives and properties (in exchange) for that they will have the garden (of Paradise)…” Surah At-Taubah [9:111]

7) WE ALWAYS ASK: To whom could I depend?
AL-QURAN ANSWERS: “(Allah) suffice me: there is no god but He: On Him is my trust- He the Lord of the Throne (of Glory) Supreme.” Surah At-Taaubah [9:129]

8) WE ALWAYS ASK: But I can’t take it anymore!
AL-QURAN ANSWERS: “…and never give up hope of Allah’s Soothing Mercy; truly No one despairs of Allah’s Soothing Mercy. except Those who have no faith.” Surah Yusuf [9:87]& “Despairs not of the Mercy of Allah: for Allah forgives All sins for He is Often- Forgiving, Most Merciful.” Surah Az-Zumar [39:53]

And a few others are answered in these lectures…
9) Why can’t I get what I want?
A wonderful talk on this question by Sister Yasmin Mogahed..!
10)Why do bad things happened to good people?
I’m sure everyone of us have had this question at some point.. this lecture HERE should answer it best!
Lot’s of Peace and Love
Potential Hijabi ❤
P.S. This is such a BEAUTIFUL Dua. “I know you are there Allah. I know you see my tears. I know you hear my prayers. I know you are testing me. And all I ask from you is to strengthen my Imaan so I can handle the struggles in life and have patience. I love you my Lord. My Allah. Please keep me safe” Ameen

‘Don’t Be Sad’ Series- He who has noone, has Allah!

Bismillah

Assalamualaikum wa-rahmatullahi wa-barakatahu,

I hope my last post brought some peace to you heart, inshaAllah.

One of the methods by which we can overcome the sadness and bear the trials of this life with patience is by understanding the trials & tests and seeing them with a different perspective.

Shaikh Navaid Aziz shares some AMAZING words of wisdom with us in this matter and gives us some take-home lessons in his talk “He who has no-one has Allah”. May Allah reward him in abundance for his lovely words. Ameen.

You just CANNOT miss watching it. Infact I suggest you download it. You can use keepvid.com to download it by using the youtube url and put it on your cell phones or ipod and listen to it whenever you feel low!

Lots of Love & Peace,

Potential Hijabi

P.S. Remember you are never alone.. Allah is always with you! 🙂

‘Dont be sad’ Series – A letter to You!

Bismillah

Dear You/*insert your name here*,

Assalamualaikum wa-rahmatullah (Peace and mercy of Allah be upon you)

I pray that you benefit from the words that follow and they bring some peace to your heart and thoughts.

I may not know what you are going through but I understand that life has been hard. You have a lot of questions running through your mind right now about your life and why things are the way they are.  I may not have the answers to those questions but I hope that my words may help you in some way or the other, if Allah wills.

Firstly, did you know that for every pain that you have been going through a few of your sins are being expiated?

Narrated ‘Aisha: (the wife of the Prophet) Allah’s Apostle Peace Be Upon Him said, “No calamity befalls a Muslim but that Allah expiates some of his sins because of it, even though it were the prick he receives from a thorn.”[Bukhari Volume 7, Book 70, Number 544]

Yes, you heard that right.. even if a thorn pricks you your sin are being cleansed. So, imagine how many of your sins might have already been expiated because of the pain you have been going through all along!! Subhanallah!

Allah knows that you are hurt, He sees and He never does any injustice.. that is the reason for every calamity that befalls you He gives you in return something good!

Put your trust in Allah! And know that even though today the world is not by your side, you are not alone. Allah(swt) is watching over you and He WILL give you your due right! He will replace the sad days with the happy ones. Trust Him… This too shall pass!

He is your creator.. and He has the knowledge of the unseen. He can see what you can’t and He knows what’s best for you .. Remember He tells us in the Quran of this ..

“But it may happen that you hate a thing which is good for you, and it may happen that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allah knows, you know not. “(al-Baqarah 2:216)

So, know that whatever is happening right now will eventually lead to something good! I know today all you can see is the downside of it.. but tomorrow you will smile and say Alhumdulillah for it! Because.. Allah LOVES you.. and He knows what is best for you. So seek refuge in Allah.

You know Allah tells us in the quran “Allah does not burden a soul beyond that which it can bear” Quran (2:286). So if today there is something that’s happening which is burdening your soul, remember Allah knows your capability better than you.. and so BELIEVE that you can and will survive throught this situation you are in today because Allah says so.. and Allah knows best right?!

It could also be that Allah sent away all those people in your life, so that there could be just you and Him!

So, wipe away those tears. Take out your prayer mat, sit down, raise your hands, cry if have to and tell Allah EVERYTHING that’s on your mind and heart. It’s not that Allah does not know, but do it so that it decreases the load that you have been carrying in your heart all along!

I pray that Allah rewards your every breath you take at this time of difficulty and He relieves you of the pain soon.

Lots of Love & Peace,

Your Sister in faith – Potential Hijabi!

P.S. Smile.. “Don’t be sad, Allah is with us!” 🙂

Spectacular Sunset!

A few days back I had been on a long drive with my family. On our way back home we got a chance to witness the sunset!

Subhanallah, it was spectacular sight! I couldn’t help but think of what sister Yasmin Mogahed had to say about these beautiful creations of Allah that we get to see. She said

When you fall in love with a work of art, you’d die to meet the artist. I am a student of the galleries of Pacific sunsets, full moon rises on the ocean, the clouds from an airplane, autumn forests in Raleigh, first fallen snows.

And I’m dying to meet the artist.

“Some faces, that Day, will be radiant, looking at their Lord.” (Qur’an, 75:22-23)

Here are some pictures that I was able to capture!

This one is un-edited.. I love the painted look of this pic!

Allahu Akbar.. Beautiful isn't it?

Subhanallah! This one's my favourite! 🙂

The vision was much more spectacular, but that the lens could not capture!

 

 

 

P.S.”Dying to meet the artist! ” 🙂