Saturday, September 25, 2010

Keeping it simple

Alhamdulillah, going for umrah teaches you many lessons, not only spiritual lessons, but practical lessons that can be applied to everyday life to help you live a happier life. For me one of these lessons was that we are supposed to live as simply as possible, extravagance and waste has no place in the lives of Muslims.

Although we all know this, sometimes we still get carried away and we forget exactly how we are supposed to be living. One day as I was sitting in the Haram Sharief in Makkah it dawned upon me that actually even those of us who think we’re living simple lives are still way too extravagant. I was waiting for Salaah to commence, I went early and had a lot of space to perform my Salaah very comfortably, then just before the Fardh Salaah began crowds of women filled the space around so much that all I had was a tiny little space to perform my Salaah. At first I was a bit disturbed by this, but anyone of you who has been for Hajj or Umrah will agree that there’s nothing much you can do about this situation. It always happens, the space becomes really packed at the time of Fardh Salaah and even if you were waiting for hours before that, you still only have enough space to put your head down in prostration.

The amazing thing was that although it was so full, each one of us had enough space to prostrate, and then it hit me. In life, all we really need is that tiny little space. Wanting more space to perform salaah too comfortably is extravagance. Allah (SWT) makes sure that every single one of His servants has the place that they need. Just like in life Allah makes sure that we all have what we need to survive. When we want more than what we really need, this is when the problems begin.

So, striving for more than what we need is actually a waste, and we will all be answerable to Allah for this on the Day of Judgement. All we really need is a simple life, where our needs are fulfilled, and nothing more than that. The single space to prostrate, with no extra space, that is all we need!

I know that it’s difficult to live a simple life with so many temptations around us, but one thing is certain, living simply brings about peace and contentment, and wanting more than we actually need is selfish because we are depriving others of what they should be getting. This is just one lesson that I’ve learnt on my umrah trip. I wish that I can always remember it and that I can begin to act upon it, and I wish that this teaches someone out there an important lesson as well.

Like I said, there are many lessons to be learnt from one umrah trip. Insha’Allah I will have the chance to share some more, and as always it would be great if people shared their lessons with me as well so that we learn and grow from each other’s experiences.

May Allah Almighty make it easy for each one of us to reach closeness to Him, and may He make it easy for us to learn from His signs and lessons, Insha'Allah Ameen!

Image taken from:

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I'm back

As-salaamu-alaykum all

Alhamdullillah I have just returned from a wonderful umrah trip and I have so much to say, (or write) but I first need to recover and I'm really not in the mood to get back to my normal, everyday life. I'm sure those of you who have been to Makkah and Madinah can relate to this.

When you are in these Holy places it seems like time is unimportant and your life focuses around prayer times, every worry, problem or concern seems trivial and it seems unimaginable that life could be about anything other than worship of the Almighty Allah.

Of course worhsip comes in different ways and forms and we have to get back to reality (unfortunately), but the good thing is that Allah is everywhere, and since our test in this world is constant, we have to do what we can to try and make sure that we pass this test. Nevertheless, umrah teaches you many important lessons and I don't think it's possible for anyone to return from a trip such as this unchanged.

I am so very thankful to Almighty Allah for taking me on this amazing trip and I pray that every single Muslim can have the chance to go on such a trip themselves, so that they too can experience real truth and beauty as well as witness the signs of Allah, blatant and obvious!

The one thing that I will say is that it was beautiful to be amongst thousands of Muslim sisters, standing shoulder to shoulder (with absolutely no space in between at times) and know that we have the exact same objective, an objective so simple, yet so profound. The reason for our lives, our worship of the One God unifying us, even though we come from different parts of the world.

Alhamdullila, Islam is truly amazing and so simple, and it really makes so much sense. Going on this trip has reminded me of this and if we do find Islam to be complicated or difficult, if we do think it contradicts our lives, then there's something seriously going wrong.

Amidst all that's going on in the world, the different challenges that Muslim women have to face around the world, the issues that Muslims in general have to deal with, it was really great to have some time to forget about all that and to be a part of millions of people worhsipping Allah, constantly and proudly. Allahu Akbar! Indeed Allah is the greatest, Allah's signs are the best and most beautiful, Allah is Truth and Allah's promises are certain!

I hope that all of you can experience what I have just had the honour to experience, and so I say to all of you that we do not need this world, the material things in this world are a waste of our time and will never satisfy us. There are people who have nothing, who go for umrah with a few belongings in plastic bags, who sleep in the streets, and yet they are there, spending their time, worshipping their Lord with no concern in the world. This world will hold us back from what is true and as we strive for this world, we will miss out on the true reality of everything. May Allah make it easy for us all to detach ourselves from this temporary world and may He take every single Muslim to His Holy places!

Insha'Allah I will have more to say soon, right now thought i'ts time to get some rest.