Thursday, September 29, 2011

To Smile is Charity

It’s funny how little things in life tend to make a difference, or maybe it’s just me?

See, there’s this Robot (Traffic Light) in Johannesburg that has a smiley face on it. Unlike all the other’s which just show you a blank circle when the light changes, this one has a smiley face. So when it turns green, a smiley face happily tells you that you can go.

It’s a little thing, I know, and many people might just drive by without even giving it a second thought, but for me, this traffic light is a reminder, an echo of life.

Isn’t it nice when someone smiles at you, amidst all the people that just walk by, blank expressions on their faces? That person who actually smiles tends to stand out. It should ideally be the other way around, but this is not an ideal world, unfortunately!

The Blessed Prophet Muhammad (Peace and Blessings of Allah be Upon Him) taught us that even to smile at someone is charity. There is indeed such wisdom which lies behind this seemingly small teaching!

Imagine if someone is having a really bad day, going through whatever problems it may be, and you take the time to smile at her, wouldn’t that gesture make a huge difference in that person’s life, creating some sort of hope. I know that for me it’s really nice when a fellow sister smiles at me, and it’s true that when you are negative, the negative energy that you transmit can easily be picked up by others around you.

I’ll share a little story here, my own personal experience. There’s a parking attendant who stands outside a bank I often go to, helping people to find a parking spot. I always greet him, since you tend to become familiar with people you see often. When he became a Muslim he began to greet even more enthusiastically as we now shared a common faith, and he could use the greeting of peace (As salaamu alaykum). One day I was lost in thought as I got out of the car and I didn’t pay much attention to him. The poor man picked up on that immediately, and he said to me; “sister, are you angry at me, how come you didn’t greet today?” (or something to this effect) I honestly felt so bad, but it reaffirmed the fact that negativity breeds negativity, and vice versa.

See, it’s the little things in life that make a difference. Although we may think it only makes a small difference , we don’t know that it may in fact make a huge difference in someone else’s life. So we should try to smile more often,(as a good friend of mine always reminds us, to smile is charity but that doesn’t mean that women should go around smiling with the men we see, they may get the wrong idea, if you know what I mean). But, yes , by all means we should smile with our fellow sisters, and brothers should smile with fellow brothers, and for those sisters who wear niqab and cover their faces, there’s no excuse, a friendly greeting is never too difficult. Remember that we should greet those that we know and those that we do not know. This is another beautiful teaching of our Beloved Prophet (PBUH).

So let’s try to practise on these small but very significant teachings, and let us remember that it doesn’t take much to be charitable.

Image from here:

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Great Women in Islam

The more I learn about the Blessed lives of the Great women in Islam, the more I am amazed, Alhamdulillah (Praise be to Allah)! Each one of them was so different, yet each one so wonderful in her own way. There are so many lessons to learn and so many great examples to follow, and I am convinced that even if we follow just one of these beautiful women, then our lives will be much better, Inshaa'Allah.

The Great Woman that we'll be learning about in this post is:

õ  She was the daughter of the Quraysh leader, Abu Sufyaan and the sister of Mu’awiyah- May Allah be pleased with him (the leader of the Muslims after Ali (May Allah be pleased with him)

õ  She was one of the early Muslims and she migrated with her husband, ‘Ubaydullah ibn Jahsh, to Abyssinia.

õ  In Abyssinia her husband became a Christian, indulged in drinking alcohol and then died.

õ  When the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) learned of Umm Habeebah’s loneliness, he sent her a message asking for her hand in marriage.

õ  She willingly and happily accepted the proposal.

õ  Since the Prophet (PBUH) was not present in Abyssinia, The Negus, (The ruler of Abyssinia) paid the bridal money on behalf of the Messenger of Allah (PBUH). The amount given was four hundred dinar.

õ  Ja’far ibn Abu Talib (the cousin of the Prophet (PBUH) gave a speech on the occasion of the marriage taking place and the Negus threw a banquet.

õ  Umm Habeebah was also given other marriage gifts on this occasion which she took with her when she returned to the Prophet (PBUH)

õ  Due to the situation at the time (the persecution of Muslims in Makkah, etc), Umm Habeebah only returned to the Prophet (PBUH) after many years, with Ja’far (May Allah be pleased with him) and only then was the marriage consummated.

õ  Umm Habeebah’s purity and piety was evident and one evidence of this was that she received true dreams. She dreamt about her husband’s conversion to Christianity before it occurred. She also dreamed that someone was referring to her as “Mother of the Believers” ( A title given to the wives of the Prophet (PBUH), shortly before the proposal from the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) came to her.

õ  Umm Habeebah was one of the Muslims who had not seen the Prophet (PBUH) for about 15 years due to the migration to Abyssinia, but like her fellow Muslim brothers and sisters, she received the words of the Glorious Quraan from Muslims travelling to Abyssinia, she memorised and understood what she had learnt.

õ  Although she was naturally a very calm and peaceful person, when Umm Habeebah needed to stand firm in the path of Islam, she did this bravely. On one occasion while her father was still a polytheist, he came to her apartment and wanted to sit on the rug of the Noble Prophet (PBUH). Umm Habeebah quickly pulled it away, and when her father enquired about this she said that; It is the Prophet's bed and you are a filthy polytheist!!"

-Abu Sufyaan then said, "You have been afflicted with evil after me."

-She retorted, ''No, I have rather been blessed with all goodness."

õ  In spite of few years that Umm Habeebah spent with the Messenger of Allah (PBUH), she has memorized and narrated a considerable number of hadiths from him. She therefore faithfully and trustworthily took part in enriching the noble Sunnah (Teachings of the Prophet (PBUH).

This is account has been shortened considerably and the entire story is very interesting, so, to read more, you can download books from:

May Almighty Allah increase us all in beneficial knowledge, Inshaa-Allah!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Another group of inspiring Muslimahs

Alhamdullillah (Praise be to Allah). I truly regard myself as someone who is fortunate, because I always get the chance to meet people who are inspiring in so many different ways, and I have to say that a lot of them are Muslim sisters. On Saturday I had the pleasure of meeting another group of Muslim sisters who really left me feeling so inspired and positive about the contributions that Muslim sisters can make to society, while still maintaining their modesty according to Islam.

This group of sisters run a centre for people with disabilities. They have a multi-disciplinary team and thus the treatment that they provide is holistic. Of course there are the educators, some trained according to the National school curriculum, and some trained in Islamic studies. Then they have speech and hearing therapists, a physiotherapist, an occupational therapist and a psychologist. These women are all professional, they are dynamic and exciting, motivated in what they’re doing and passionate about making a difference, and they are Muslim women.

Muslim women, who are covered in hijab, some of them wear niqab as well. Muslim women who are not oppressed or stifled, but in fact encouraged to use their talents for the good of others. Some of them have managed to rope in their husbands and other family members and friends to assist as well. MashaAllah, being in the presence of this group of women reassured me of what I already know, and not that I needed reassurance, but in any case, it reminded me that Muslim women can be inspiring and positively contribute to society without compromising their modesty and Islamic ethics in any way.

This is what people today don’t seem to get. You see it’s not about the clothes we wear. No! It has nothing to do with that, clothes are just a cover, it’s not meant to be a big deal. It doesn’t mean that you cannot do anything at all because you’re covered up. It’s something  like the curtains you put on your windows; the curtains serves to cover your home so that strangers cannot look inside and see the beauty of the inside of your home, but those that you invite into your house are allowed to see the beauty and to gain benefit from it. Putting curtains up in your home doesn’t make your home inaccessible, but it makes it accessible to the right people. And this is the same thing with Muslim women’s dress.

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, people have blown the way Muslim women dress out of proportion and in focusing on the outside cover of a woman, they have ignored so many other things. Since when did dress determine how productive a woman can be? Here we have another good example of how Muslim women are able to do such amazing work in society, how they are able to study and become professionals and then use their qualifications to uplift their society, and the way they dress has not stopped them from doing this at all, if anything it has helped them to want to be better.

So, perhaps we need to remember that we should never judge a book by its cover, or in this case, never judge a Muslimah by her covers. I commend the hard work of my fellow Muslim sisters and I pray that Allah Almighty gives them the strength to continue with the good work that they are doing. And as always, I pray that Allah opens the eyes, hearts and minds of my fellow human beings, so that they too are able to look beyond the outer covers and begin to understand.

Image from

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Salaah The Best Gift

Tired feet touch the soft prayer mat and the heart finds peace,
Almost immediately the limbs are put at ease,
Spiritual and physical benefits in each posture,
All the blessings we’ll never know for sure.
The prayer, so perfect and holistic,
Everything beautifully in sync,
Until we reach the ultimate position,
Bowed down, head and body flat, completely surrendered in prostration.

The words that are uttered have brought many to tears,
That is, of course, for those with open hearts and ears.
It shouldn’t matter how long you take,
Everything else should be left to wait.
The hustle and bustle of the world drowned out,
Remembering what this world and our existence is really about,
Everything seems so insignificant and small in comparison,
The prayer bringing us together in unison.
Some have spoken about a light that emanates,
We cannot all see, but there are different states.
The servant connecting with the Master, the Creator,
Building our faith, stronger and stronger.
Ah! This is a special kind of sweetness,
That we simple human beings are allowed to witness,
The ultimate truth, in the best of ways,
And it really doesn’t matter what who says.
There were times when I used to take it for granted,
Forgetting the treasure I had being given,
But with Allah’s will I was brought back to my senses,
And now I am no longer content to sit on fences.
I wouldn’t give it up for the world,
Because it surpasses all that we know,
The goodness is only for our own benefit,
And this salaah, this prayer is truly the best gift.
(SubhanAllah, Alhamdullillah, Allahu Akbar)

Image from here

Oh Allah, the Almighty, Lord of the Worlds, Our Creator and Maintainer, please do not ever take away this blessed gift from us, and help us to always see it as a blessed gift and allow us to appreciate it and receive coolness and peace from it, and please accept all our efforts, even though they are flawed and imperfect, please have mercy on us all, Inshaa Allah, Ameen!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Great Women in Islam

I know there hasn't been a Great Women in Islam quiz question for a long time, but I was going to put one up and with Ramadhaan and everything just didn't get down to doing it, so anyway the Great Woman that I will be posting about this time is:

  • Mariyah (May Allah be pleased with her) was an Egyptian who was sent with her sister as a gift to the Prophet of Allah (Peace be Upon Him) by the ruler of Egypt at the time, named Muqawqis.
  • This happened when the Prophet (PBUH) sent an envoy to Egypt with the message of Islam around the year 6 (After Hijrah*)  
  • Muqawqis did not accept Islam, but he treated the envoy well and sent gifts back to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Thus Mariyah (May Allah be pleased with her) was one of the gifts. The Prophet (PBUH) gave her sister, named Seereen as a gift to Hasan ibn Thabit (May Allah be pleased with him).
  • Mariyah embraced Islam and she practised the religion devotedly.
  • The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) cohabited with Mariyah (May Allah be pleased with her), in accordance with the Shar’iah, as his maidservant that “his right hand possessed”.
  • The Prophet (PBUH) was very fond of Mariyah .

  • Mariyah became pregnant, while none of the Prophet’s (PBUH) wives had become pregnant since he came to Madinah.
  • He was very happy about this and his love and affection for Mariyah increased.
  • Mariyah (May Allah be pleased with her) delivered a baby boy who the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) named Ibraheem, as a way of seeking blessing with his ancestor, Prophet Ibraheem (Peace be upon Him).
  • That was in the month of Dhul-Hijjah, in the eighth year after Hijrah.
  • The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) then said about Mariyah (May Allah be pleased with her) that “Her son has set her free”.

  • The Prophet’s (PBUH) joy at the birth of his son Ibraheem was great and this joy increased day by day in his heart.
  • When Ibraheem was 18 months old, he became a victim of a fever. All remedies were of no avail. He breathed his last in the arms of his father. The women broke into tears and wept in solidarity with the Messenger of Allah (PBUH).
  • Looking at the dead body of his son Ibraheem, the Prophet (PBUH) said something to this effect: “The eyes flow with tears and the heart with grief, but I say nothing except that which pleases my Lord. Ibraheem we are grieved over you. We are not against His will as He is our Master.”
  • Then he looked lovingly and with pity at Mariyah (May Allah be pleased with her) and comforted her by saying; “He has a nurse in paradise. The remaining days of his nursing will be done in paradise.”
  • Mariyah (May Allah be pleased with her) lived for about 5 years after the death of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH).
  • Abu Bakr (May Allah be pleased with him) used to pay her maintenance and Umar (May Allah be pleased with Him) continued to do this after Abu Bakr.

*Hijrah- Immigration from Makkah to Madinah.

Information sourced from:
1.       Muhammad ‘Ali Qutb, (2007). Women Around the Messenger. Riyadh: International Islamic Publishing House.
2.       Mothers of the Faithful: The Pure And Spotless. Johannesburg: A Saaberie Chisty Publication:
For more detailed reading- books can be downloaded from:

Sunday, September 4, 2011

My Ramadhaan of Sharing

It’s only a few days after the Blessed month of Ramadhaan has left us, and I have to admit that I really miss it. The peace and serenity, the heightened spirituality of people around you, the sound of the Glorious Quraan, the moderation in eating, drinking and sleeping. Things can just never be the same out of Ramadhaan, no matter what we do. But, nonetheless, we have to be thankful for everything and if we didn’t have this special month and all months were the same then we would never know the difference. Ramadhaan might be over, but Alhamdullillah (Praise be to Allah) the lessons that we have learnt in Ramadhaan can stay with us forever.
This Ramadhaan I found myself having to share, but the sharing that I had to do was very different from what you would expect to share in Ramadhaan. See, my grandmother came to stay with us in the first week of Ramadhaan, and so I found myself having to share, not my food, or money, but my time and space. This type of sharing is something that I think I have taken for granted. I mean, it’s easy to give someone some of your food, or to give them some of your money, but having to give up your comforts and share your space with someone and having to spend time seeing that someone else has all that they need  is a bit of a different story.
So it was that I found that the things I usually take for granted, suddenly appeared to me as real gifts. Whereas usually I am at liberty to spend my time as I want to, now I found that I had to make special time to do the things that I wanted to do. And whereas before my granny arrived, my space was my own, now I had to be mindful of her needs as well. For instance, before using the bathroom I had to make sure that my grandmother didn’t need to use it, and instead of staying up late and reading or doing whatever I usually do, I had to make sure that the lights were out early because being an old lady, my granny had to sleep early. I found that nothing was my own anymore, the prayer mat I usually perform my salaah on was given to my granny so that she could perform her salaah, even my hairbrush was now being shared with my grandmother since she had forgotten to bring her own one with. I have to admit that initially I found it strange to have to share everything , but after a while something strange happened, it didn’t matter anymore, I just stopped caring, Alhamdullillah!
One day we heard the story of a man who hit his son when his son said to him that he would bring “his pillow” for the father. The father hit the son because he told him that nothing in this world belongs to us. This is such an important lesson and Alhamdullillah that I was given a chance to learn it.  The things that I had believed to be mine was actually not mine at all, it had only being given to me through the will of Allah Almighty, and now Allah wanted someone else to make use of it as well, and I had to be thankful for that, because at least Allah had not taken it away from me completely, and besides this was only going to be a temporary situation.
So in addition to this Ramadhaan teaching me how to share, it also taught me how to be grateful for all the comforts and all the ease that I usually have in my life. Also, the price of having to share was a small one to pay when we consider the blessings you get for having guests over and taking care of old people.
So yes, Ramadhaan may be over for this year, but I truly hope that these important lessons I’ve learnt will never leave me. Inshaa Allah.
PS: I apologise for the long dealy, but Inshaa Allah I hope to be starting with my Great Women in Islam posts again very soon.

Image from:

Saturday, September 3, 2011

A Beautiful Inspiration Award

I'd like to thank dear Marie, for once again sharing this beautiful award with me:

Marie's constant support of this blog, with constant positive feedback and awards is really appreciated. I pray that she always has light, joy and contentment in her life.

From Marie's blog The Colour of Our skin, I have learnt so much about diversity and the every day issues that we have to face when we embrace all cultures without discrimination. This is definitely one of the blogs that I constantly read and I'm sure if you begin to read it you won't stop as well.

Having said that... There are some rules that go with this award:
  • Copy and paste the award on your site and copy the link of the person who gave you the award.
  • Then answer the tag questions! And Don't send it back to me - this one has been made to fly away........
  • Nominate any blogs you feel deserve it.

Okay, so I've already done the 1st one, let's move on to the next one....


  1. What makes you laugh, smile or giggle? The funny things that children come up with.
  2. What are your dreams for your future? For me and my family to move away from the crazy City life and live a more quiet,wholesome life. Peace in the world. 
  3. If you are to go to a cruise, where would it be and why? It wouldn't matter where I was going, I love the sea and would be glad to go on any cruise.
  4. How would you spend your vacation time and with whom? 2 ways; 1. Going for Umrah (minor pilgrimage) and spending time in the Blessed Cities of Makkah and Madinah. 2. Relaxing on the beach. It would always ideally be with my entire family (which is very big)
  5. If given a chance, what life would you choose? Your life now or your past? Definitely my life now, I think that the past is something to learn from so that we can become better people and going back to the way my life was in the past would be a sort of regression.
  6. Is there something that you wished before when you were young but you didn’t get it? I guess there were many things, but nothing worse making a fuss over.  
  7. Have you been in a situation where you might have given up but still you chose to move on? I think I came close to being in this situation many years ago, but I was extremely fortunate to be reminded that nothing in this world is worth giving up over, and when we move on we begin to grow in ways that we didn't know was possible.  
  8. Is their someone in your life who has been your source of strength and inspiration? Yes, both my parents!

These questions were supposed to be easy but they were actually much more difficult to answer than I expected... Anyway, the last rule is to share this award with others.

For this one I've decided to keep it general and I share this award with every blogger out there who is able to inspire anyone, even in a small way. Inspiration comes in different ways for different people and just taking the time to put up posts and share thoughts and experiences is inspiring in its own, so therefore this one goes out to...