“Greatness Just Ahead”-Conforming to Society & Realizing Our True Potential

greatness and potential

Salam everyone!

So Alhamdulilah I was presented with this great and very useful topic to be discussed with you all. Often times we see so many great people ahead of us, successful in all ways. On the other hand, we see those who we assume are “lower” than us, doing poorly in school, and just dragging on with their lives not amounting to anything. We do not want to get stuck in a slum, there is no excuse. We all have greatness within us, it’s all potential, we just need to make it kinetic and GET MOVIN’.

First, I want you to ask yourself, as I ask myself as well: Allah (swt) did not doubt His own creation, so why do you doubt yourself? The answer, and proof that we are intended for greatness lies in Surat Al-Baqara for all mankind to believe:

وَإِذۡ قَالَ رَبُّكَ لِلۡمَلَـٰٓٮِٕكَةِ إِنِّى جَاعِلٌ۬ فِى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ خَلِيفَةً۬‌ۖ قَالُوٓاْ أَتَجۡعَلُ فِيہَا مَن يُفۡسِدُ فِيہَا وَيَسۡفِكُ ٱلدِّمَآءَ وَنَحۡنُ نُسَبِّحُ بِحَمۡدِكَ وَنُقَدِّسُ لَكَ‌ۖ قَالَ إِنِّىٓ أَعۡلَمُ مَا لَا تَعۡلَمُونَ

And when thy Lord said unto the angels: Lo! I am about to place a viceroy in the earth, they said: Wilt thou place therein one who will do harm therein and will shed blood, while we, we hymn Thy praise and sanctify Thee? He said: Surely I know that which ye know not. Ayah (30)

Imagine this: We don’t know how long Angels have been with Allah (swt) to be able to work with Him, and always see Him. We can’t imagine the knowledge they have, yet they even questioned Allah (swt). They knew that the Jinn, the creation before Adam (as) did all of these actions because they had free will. Yet Allah (swt) did not doubt us, He told the Angels a simple answer, He knows best! SubhanAllah. Honestly, that makes me feel happy and relieved on the inside, knowing that Allah (swt) still knows better, and even with all the crazy stuff humans do, there is so much in us for good, so much potential for greatness. So do not doubt your potential, Allah (swt) didn’t! He gave us the tools to succeed, minds, hearts, health etc. And a great earth to do all this good. Allah(swt) has faith in us, and we in Him.

We find ourselves stuck in between so many standards/rules in society by our friends, family, schools, professors etc. Often times we think that we can’t do anything right, and want to give up all together because we are not satisfying anyone, and definitely not ourselves. As Muslims, and as Americans, we face having to deal with two completely different worlds. But that’s not the case. Islam demands success, demands us to work hard and pursue our dreams, so long as we are worshiping Allah (swt) and dedicating all we do for His sake. You can be anything you want, especially in this country. It saddens me when I see a bunch of youth just slacking when I know they are smart, and can do so much better. Not just for the sake of society, but for their own good. Although America remains the land of opportunity, it is a place that causes conflict of self interest. Are we doing what’s cool? Are we doing what’s right by Islam? By our parents? So many people to please, yet it gets us no where. Do not let anyone dictate what you can and cannot achieve in this life. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have the money to go to college, or your parents are pressuring you into a specific field, where there is a will, there is a way, and with sincerity in our actions Allah (swt) makes all our dreams come true.No matter how simple, big, or small.

We live in culture that brainwashes youth into solving their “problems” by chasing after our desires. When our desires are not the problem, its how we deal with them that is. We all desire fame, success, love, wealth, education etc. But we cannot keep taking the easy ways out. Truly, anything that is of value is going to be hard to achieve-period. Think about the youth in Arab countries such as Libya, Palestine, Jordan, Egypt, and especially Syria who have SO much potential, they are so intelligent back home, but they don’t have the opportunities and encouragement like we do in this country. Yet, we let things like drugs, social media and other things take away our time, and make us numb to all the craziness and important stuff happening in our Ummah, and in the world. This culture is designed to suppress our potential. No where in Islam does it say you cannot be a doctor, a journalist, a teacher, a NBA all star etc. Islam does not inhibit success, for Allah (swt) gave us the best guide to all things this life, and the next. Do not surround yourself with people who are lazy, be driven. They may have money, but don’t have motivation. They may have fame, but not family. Look at all the blessings you have, and USE them to your advantage. We see that throughout history many leaders told their people “No, you can’t” and even now, our own family and friends can doubt us. For me personally, telling me I can’t do something is an insult. Not because I think I can do everything, but rather it underestimates me as person. Truly, if your hearts in it, and you have the skills for a certain passion you like, by all means go for it. The people who tell you you can’t are most likely the ones who haven’t tried themselves.

Start the change. Allah (swt) says that He will not change the situations of people, unless they change themselves. It all starts with you. If you want real life examples there are many, but there are some in the past as well. The youth of Surat Al Kahf left everything to protect their deen. They were youth, traveling far and wide for the only thing they had at that time that they valued. Look what we have now in 2014. We still have Islam, growing and strong, but we have more means to practice. Do not forget that all the khair you do is given by Allah (swt), and all your success is truly from Him. Youth of today are so strong willed, so driven, but they (we) need to be driven in the right things, in the right direction.

I cannot stress this enough: YOU ARE WORTH SOMETHING. Don’t forget that. You’re worth something to Allah(swt), your family, friends, and our Ummah.

When conforming into society remember that society is not large, it is rather small in ideas, and not unique. The mainstream. Don’t let society make you small, strip you of your skills and God given potential. Do not be numb and stubborn to change, and do not forget what the Messenger said (pbuh), that anything that befalls a Muslim, is good for him/her. Any challenge you face, you have the opportunity to come out stronger, and better than before.And please do not fall for the “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” saying.
It’s actually false. It encourages us to push our minds, hearts, and bodies to the limit, drinking ourselves to death or being radical and then barely escaping death. Do not be fooled by this, one sip of anything sinful can only lead to worse and worse. Avoid the things that make us unstable. Allah (swt) demands us to keep at a balance in this life. Even in our worship. Do not push yourself, there is always different routes to happiness, and ALWAYS a way to please Allah (swt), and if you have Him, what do you have to lose?

Potential—Kinetic. As the popular song says, “I dare you to move.”

I apologize in advance if I said anything wrong, it is of me and shaytan for all good is from Allah (swt).

You Were Thinking It! Yeah, But You Said It!- Filtering Our Words

Salam everyone! 

So Alhamdulilah I got these awesome and important topics to be discussed with you all. They aren’t topics we would talk about with friends or even at a lecture by an Imam. It’s always the unsaid, taboo, things that cause us the most problems because we fail to be honest, and address them. We all feel it, know it, but are guilty of not doing our best to actually vent in a correct way, solve the problem, and then improve. So InshAllah your thoughts are going to be given a voice, for they dearly need one for all our benefit.

GIRLS. and guys too. We all get caught up talking about typical guy stuff and typical girl stuff sometimes for hours to no end. And most importantly, for no purpose, no good intentions, and not for Allah (swt) to be praised in. I’m not saying we can’t talk about sports or shoes, my point is, whatever we say, whenever we say it, should have either some purpose to it, some goodness, or a reminder of Allah (swt). And LIMITED. Meaning, we should balance our time, and not use it up to gossip or have meaningless conversations. This IS a problem in the generations before us with bored khaltos or amtos, and now its in our youth today. First, ask yourself before you’re saying anything:

-Is it kind?

-What’s my intention?

-If the person I’m talking about heard this, how would they feel? Would  I say it to their face?

-Is it going to better  me? Give me and my friend khair?

These are some basics, but you get the jest.

Often times girls and guys say things in front of their friends a long the lines of:

“I would never do this…People who do this… Or why would you do that?? She’s not pretty, don’t bother.”I would never wear that! why do you always?  I wouldn’t go for him/her…You’re so immature…People like her do this…”

The sad part about this all is that IT DOESN’T MATTER. Who cares if she dresses this way? Who cares why he acts this way? To what benefits do these questions and (indirectly insulting statements) have for us? Key word: Indirect. Its one thing to be out spoken and say things in front of every one, but it’s more dangerous to indirectly hurt your brother or sister in Islam. We are all different, and for good reason. You and I probably do not think the same about some things, we might value different things in people, see more good than bad, or sometimes people always tend to bring the bad out of people, always bringing them down. We all think differently, and we all receive information differently. You might say a joke that is hilarious to you, but actually hurts someone and you’ll never know. We all talk about gossiping and how terrible it is, well did you know that you can gossip about someone without even using their name? 

The Nabi Muhammad (pbuh) asked his companions: “Do you know what ghaibah is?.” The companions responded, “Allah and His Messenger know best.” The Prophet answered, “It is to mention your brother in a way that he would not like.” The companions then asked “well, what if what we say is true?” The Prophet said, “If it is true, then you have committed ghaibah, if it is false, then you have slandered him!.” -Muslim 

SubhanAllah. So basically, you’re not in a good standing with Allah (swt) if you do either of those things. Best to not say anything at all if it comes to that point, or defend/give benefit of the doubt to your brother/sister. After all, we commit sins all the time, wouldn’t we want Allah (swt) to forget them? Cover them up? And this is promised on the Day of Judgement, that if you try to help your brother/sister to be seen a better light  by people, then Allah (swt) will do the same for you, cover up your sins from shame and embarrassment.

Also, we need to take into account that not everyone can relate to us about certain things, or will get you. You may be able to be silly around one person, but not with the other. That is totally fine. It does not make you a hypocrite. We behave differently depending on who we’re with, and can only open up or express ourselves to certain people. The problem is when we don’t have good intentions, and start to make jabs at people’s personalities just because I am not like that, I don’t agree with that, my way is better etc. Just because you think a certain way, act a certain way, live a certain way, does not make you better than anyone. Some people are very outgoing, some are really fun, others quiet, others shy, others outspoken, others silly etc. This is the way Allah (swt) made this person to be. Who are you do hate on her if she’s too quiet? He’s too shy? She doesn’t buy this because… or She thinks this is ugly..,

We are entitled to our own opinions yes, freedom of speech I get it. But don’t be a douche and girls, don’t be shallow. Our statements can hurt people or benefit them. Don’t forget that you are accountable for all that you say or do. Even more so because if you say one word of khair to a person, smile at them, you will continually be rewarded for that if that person becomes better because of you. And same with the bad things, and useless talk, if you spread gossip and cause someone to feel hurt and they get stuck in a slum, that’s on you too. 

 

Do not be selfish with your words. Be kind. if you have something good or beautiful to say, SAY IT. I cannot stress that enough. Mind your words, people can forgive you for your actions, but they’ll never forget your words, or how you made them feel. Even if they never tell you, or show you that it hurt, always repent, and say sorry when necessary. Human beings have rights upon each other endowed by the Creator Himself, that if you do some one wrong, no matter how good you were to Allah(swt), you will be accountable, and put on the spot for it. You don’t get judged for your thoughts (major Alhamdulilah) but the minute you act upon them, the ball is in your court. 

Finally, TWO things are going to go with you to death:

1) your deeds (good and bad)

2) how you were with people (manners, sadaqa, knowledge etc)

Be good to people. The Prophet (pbuh) encountered the worst of the worst people, and so did the companions. We honestly have nothing to suffer for like they did. Speak words of truth, take what is good and leave the bad. I can promise you, the more you speak and act good towards people, the more Allah (swt) will add Barakah to your life. In all ways. 

Think before you say. Think before you do. There’s always a better way to do/say anything inshAllah. I apologize if I may have said anything wrong, it was from me and shaytan for All good is from Allah (swt) p>

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The above meme is from the movie White Chicks. Hilarious, but I don’t recommend you watch it lol. Once was enough for me.

Friday Message | Judgment

BeautifyourUmmah

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

‘Sovereign of the Day of Recompense.’
(Surah Al-Fatiha 1:4)

‘Day of Judgement’ The day when Allah will judge people and rule on peoples’ hearts. All the voices shall be silenced for the sake of Allahs voice to be heard, we will hear nothing but Allah and He permits who can talk. So in this verse we confirm he is the owner of all including The Day by declaring His Ownership and Dominion.

For that reason, when we find ourselves judging people we haven’t truly grasped or believed in this verse correctly. When we continue to say bad things about others our deeds are then passed on to them and in essence they may be better than us… Allah has set aside a whole day to judge us therefore, we have no right to start judging others.

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Little Things That Make a Big Difference-How to Improve Remembrance of Allah (swt)

Usra blog entry for January 11th 🙂 take a look!

MAS Youth San Antonio

usra pic

Assalam Alaykum everyone,

So Alhamdulilah we had Isra and Reem talk about some little, but big things that can easily improve our Ibada and love for Allah (swt). Mainly on the topic of Dhikr, we find that we spend our free time doing yes, productive things and sometimes nothing at all. Even when we are walking to the mail box or driving, we should always try to have remembrance of Allah (swt) on our tongue. Ultimately as Muslims, God is the center of our lives. And subhanAllah He created this perfected religion of Islam to help us guide our lives, doing humanly things, and religious that all are a form of worship for Him alhamdulilah.

We need to ask ourselves, how DO we spend our free time? How often are we remembering Allah (swt) and renewing our intentions?

Hadith narrated by Aisha (rad) reported that the Rasul (pbuh) said:

”The…

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Beloved, Easy, Dear to Allah (swt) -A Short Story and Hadith

Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “There are two statements that are light for the tongue to remember, heavy in the Scales and are dear to the Merciful: `Subhan-Allahi wa bihamdihi, Subhan-Allahil-atheem [Glory be to Allah and His is the praise, (and) Allah, the Greatest is free from imperfection)’.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

An Egyptian man used to live above a mosque. Never did he enter this mosque. He used to pass by it everyday. Walk past it and it’s loyal members, to go to a hookah hang out next door. One day, on a Friday (Jummah) he observed how all the men were going in and praying, tons of people for some reason he thought…so he goes inside and finds himself in the middle of the khutba (sermon) that the a man was giving that day. All he heard was words “beloved. Easy. Dear. To God.”

He went to the man and asked him what he was talking about that could be done that was easy, dear and beloved to Allah (swt). The man told him the above Hadith, that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said. The man was delighted and deeply touched by this. From then on, he kept going to the mosque, and whenever the townspeople saw him, they would question why he wasn’t at the hookah place anymore.

To every person he went ahead and just taught them what he learned himself (the Hadith).

A couple of months later, the man fell very ill. The doctor told him the news that his life was on the brink of ending. The man asked his family to go find the man who gave the sermon that faithful day.

As he was on his deathbed, he told the man who gave the sermon, “remember when you taught me this?”
He repeated the Hadith, and in that instance the man passed away.

SubhanAllah.

We often complicate Islam when really it is a very simple and beautiful religion. The smallest of deeds make The Lord Allah (swt) happy. Yet we don’t do them.

Some points to take from this story:

– Islam is not complicated. God is not complicated. We are.
-beautiful things can be found in the simplest of things
-deeds to God do not weigh the same as we humans would imagine.
-it’s our job to spread goodness. Whatever it is, no matter who we are or how high our Iman is. Spread it like the Prophets did (peace be upon them all)
-different people take your message well differently. You have to adjust your Dawah to the person. This man had a mosque right under him, but this did not catch his attention to return to God. So be patient and be understanding when speaking to others about faith. You never know what small goodness they’ll take from you, and mean the world to them.
-God is the most Merciful. He is Al-Rahman, Al Rahim, Most Merciful Most Kind. NEVER lose hope in Gods Mercy.

There are many things to learn out of this story and Hadith. Please comment and share what you think and what you learned. Share the Khair (goodness) 🙂

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The Certainty of Uncertainty- An Ode to 2013

I need to first start off by how thankful I am for my life and how it’s turning out to be. I say progressive “turning” because I’m young and I don’t know what to expect even for this week, or even tomorrow. I’m thankful that I’ve had spontaneous bad things happen, but also, spontaneous good. Each have overwhelmingly intertwined, for someone who is on the verge of living for two decades, none of my peers could imagine the inner struggles I have. I don’t mean to sound dramatic or exaggerative. Because after all, what could a 20 year old girl have to deal with? But this thinking is blind, and only underestimates what true struggles and tests from God bring upon us all. God does not test us when we are old or rich or weak or strong. God tests us when He wants, for any reason. There is no guide or timeline that we could mark as to when this or that will happen, when to target what really bothers us. No one has this. Young or old, you will face tests. And if you haven’t really, then maybe you’re over looking them, or maybe you’re so terrible to leave all that has been presented, to a dead heart, where even God has given up on you.

I learned so much this 2013. To be honest, I barely felt this year. I want to say time flew by…but it’s nothing of a cliche statement to me now. Yes 2013 is over. I realize that. I realize that 2014 is just another year, another year to see what new challenges are on my plate. I don’t mean to sound negative, but it’s actually a good thing to be challenged. I underestimated myself, which to me is like unintentional suicide, because that is the one thing I cannot stand. I cannot stand anyone who underestimates me, or makes me feel weak. I will give it my all to not only prove otherwise, but prove it to myself. That does not mean when God presents something for me that I’m insulted, no. Because when He tests me, I know it’s fair. Why? Because He has the solutions. He opens and closes doors, He has the locks and keys. But when a mere human tells me I cannot do something, then you see how opposite our views really are of each other.

I’m so tired of how many people my age, are constantly thinking about their futures, meticulously. I’m so thankful that I don’t. Life has proven to me that I shouldn’t because of it’s fickleness and spontinutiy. Where I would literally be crying because of frustration, and then repenting because of the guilt that I felt for complaining. And then I would sigh in relief that the problem was solved. Moments later.

I’m terrified of being lonely, who isn’t? Marriage talk has become stronger this last year, at first it was a joke, but now it’s an expectation that’s rotting away. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not being pressured by anyone or my family. In fact, it’s not even coming from my family. The thing is, I’m terrified of the same things you are. I’m terrified of being in a car garage. The weight of feeling lonely because of “never getting married” does not weigh the same as tons of cement held together by the intangible science behind someone’s mind to build it all. So yeah. If God wants me to live a certain way, then so be it. I’m tired of people thinking so much. Goodness I don’t even have next week planned. What’s the point? Our job is to plan and work hard when we can, with what we have, at the time. You should see my planner, it is filled believe it or not. But I’m not one to plan my next 5 or 10 years, forcing myself to find a man, or live a certain way. I’m not expecting anything as much as some of my peers do. “I’ve got to get this by this time” “I’m gonna get married, there’s no way I’m not.” Get over yourself. Really. We all want to find someone, we don’t want to be lonely. But goodness sake, there’s more to life. There’s more to show yourself for.

Don’t you realize how life is roller coaster? I mean really. It can be a ride of your life, or hell if you don’t like it. My life is this way. It’s changing all the time. Your life is this way. Your life has highs and lows, but you forget that your life, your roller coaster is only working because of physics. That’s it. Something intangible. You see your ride starting and wonder, “how the hell am I gonna stay locked in?” “It goes how fast?” “Where are all the cables? There’s no way this thing is on wheels only!”

Yes you can solve physics problems, and yes you can solve life problems. My point is, they are the same. Except that not only do I appreciate the science and physics, (which I cannot psychically see working as I’m riding) but I appreciate, and fear the invisible being behind it all. Whom He created other invisible things, fate, hope, promise, secrets, struggles…

Understand that your life is vulnerable. Your life is sacred. Your life is mere physics what don’t you understand?? You can fall any minute, fall flat or be forever in free fall. You see a road ahead of you, you plan all you want, you struggle because things aren’t doing what you want them to, because things are not going your way, but you don’t know the way. You don’t know which part of the track is going to turn or drop. Unless you’ve ridden it before. Unless you’ve gone through something, tried again, and then you learned your lesson. Because now that you know there is a sudden drop you can close your eyes and not be frightened. Because you learned. That drop will always be there, life will always throw curve balls at you, but do you see? Are you learning?

I’m telling you this, that you’re not promised a tomorrow. You’re not guaranteed those 5 or 10 years you plan on having your life “set.” It’s harsh and hard to take, believe me. I’m reminding myself every day that life is fragile. And even then my soul won’t let me be truly convinced. That is nature, that is the human condition. However, I’m thankful because I don’t care as much as some people do, it brushes off me. I think of other things people usually don’t have to think about. I’m distracted by other things that would help me to become a better me. It’s a fiery struggle. It’s a burning that has my soul banging against a door, that wants me to come right out and say it, but no. Many things are better left unsaid. The human wants to relieve anguish, wants to avenge, wants to satisfy desire and many things that become beyond our control. However it also wants peace. I want out of this system. This sickening system of materialism and guided culture. My soul does not belong here. Neither does yours. We are strangers in this world, strangers because we find the norm to be repulsive, the norm to be boring, the mainstream to be drowning of our free will and conscience. Never have I ever felt a stranger to this world and it’s customs that people are still repeating to my face. Still trying to etch in my mind, HEY this is right.

What the hell is right anymore? Morals are ambiguous to the circumstance. Bottom line, live every day on God’s path. Have faith in Him, yourself and people. Live everyday like it was your last. Cleanse your heart of hatred every night. Forgive. And ENJOY THE MOMENT. LIVE in the moment. Don’t spoil your current happiness by overthinking about a time that is not even guaranteed for you.

Uncertainty sucks. But it’s something that will not change. It’s existence in life is certain. Whatever you are, be a good one. Abe was certain there and told that bit of honesty. So be sincere to yourself. And trust yourself and God .

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BBC comedy sketch highlights illegal Israeli expansion

Sixteen Minutes to Palestine

Here’s something you won’t find on American televisions. BBC actors portraying members of the Israeli Embassy’s fictional “Embassy Expansion Team” traveled to Kensington, where the Embassy is located, and made the announcement to unsuspecting shop owners that parts of their property belongs to the Embassy now. Hilarity ensues.

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