A glimpse

Today I was clearing up my phone’s photo albums to save up some memory and I came across with these precious photos. It was indeed a blessing that Allah عز و جل facilitated for me an opportunity to visit the Holy Masjid of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. Please don’t think that I am showing off for posting this, instead, I just want to share the experience I had and I am asking Allah to bring all the Muslims in the Holy City of Makkah and Madina. Ya Rabb!

I will not tell much details about our trip but if you want to ask some things, it will be my pleasure to answer you if I can. In shaa Allah.

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The beautiful view from my hotel room.

My husband and I went here last year during the holy month of Ramadan. Personally, I would like to live here. The surrounding is so serene and it keeps my heart at peace. SubhanAllah!

Luckily, there was an exhibit going on there last year when we went. I don’t have any idea if it is still open nowadays but I hope it is because it is so beneficial.

They had an exhibit of the 99 Names of Allah, The life of the Prophet Muhammadﷺ and the Holy Qur’an.

We were able to see the old hand-written Qur’ans with pure gold used as ink, written in deer skin and in different sizes! Here are some of the snaps.

I’m sorry my photos don’t give justice to the beauty of the Qur’an. They are so magnificent when  you will see it for real. Ma shaa Allah!

 

 

Hadith

Excellence of the Fajr and ‘Asr Prayers

Abu Huraira رضي الله عنه reported:

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, There are angels who take turns in visiting you by night and by day, and they all assemble at the dawn (Fajr) and the afternoon (‘Asr) prayers. Those who have spent the night with you, ascend (to the heaven) and Allah, Who knows better about them, asks: “In what condition did you leave My slaves?” They reply: “We left them while they were performing Salat and we went to them while they were performing Salat.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

 

Hadith

Sweetness (delight) of faith.

Narrated Anas رضى الله عنه:

The Prophet ﷺ said, “Whoever possesses the following three (qualities) will have the sweetness (delight) of faith:

  1. The one to whom Allah عز و جل and His Messenger (Muhammad ﷺ) become dearer than anything else.

  2. Who loves a person and he loves him only for Allah’s sake.

  3. Who hated to revert to atheism (disbelief) as he hates to be thrown into the fires.

[Sahih Al-Bukhari]

Dua

A beautiful dua.

{ربنا لا تزغ قلوبنا بعد اذ هديتنا وهب لنا من لدنك رحمة، انك انت الوهاب}

Rabbana la tuzigh quloobana ba’da idh hadaytana wa hab lana mil-ladunka rahmah, ‘innaka ‘Antal-Wahhab.

“Our Lord, do not let out hearts deviate (from the truth) after having guided us, and grant us with your mercy. Truly, You are the Bestower.

 

The Day I was (re)Born.

How did I become a Muslim?

I was born and  grew up in a country with Roman Catholic as the dominant religion. Muslims are minority around 10% of the total population and most of them are living in the southern part of the country. I was raised in the North.

I remember when I was in the primary school, I only encountered the word Islam and Muslim in my History subject, and to be honest, I haven’t heard positive things. Muslims like to fight, they are bad, men have four wives, bla bla bla. I was ignorant.

I finished my studies in the University still uneducated of Islam until I went to work abroad.

I ventured Saudi Arabia with bad impression about Muslims. I packed my things together with my fear and anxiety.

I experienced culture shock. I saw black and white (traditional clothes for men and women). I was obliged to wear abaya in spite of the scorching heat during summer. I was obliged to wear head cover to avoid being lectured by the religious police. I felt strangulated. I felt I cannot breathe. Shops closes during prayer times, which annoyed me a lot because we have to wait for the shops to open again until prayer finishes. I had to use extra sign language to communicate with people who doesn’t know English. I felt irritated hearing the Adhan during Fajr  because it’s waking me up too early. At work, I was losing my patience when I have to wait for my patient’s mother to cover themselves, wear abaya, put on face cover and sometimes gloves before I can let the doctor come to check on their child. I thought I will not be able to stay for more than three months.

As time passed by, I was slowly appreciating the changes in my environment. I was in awe seeing my colleagues pray in the middle of our work. I admired their determination to complete their fast especially during Ramadan even at work. I was loving the Adhan because I feel like it’s calling me also to remind of my God who created me. I saw how men always give way to the women in the cashiers and when crossing the street. They don’t dare to look at them in the eye nor touch them. I was loving my new world.

There were times some of patient’s family will discuss to me about Islam. Everything they said to me will go out to my other ear. Unfortunately, I didn’t care.

SubhanAllah! 

HADITH

Narrated Mu’awiya رضى الله عنه in a Khutba (religious talk): I heard Allah’s Messenger ﷺ saying, “If Allah عز و جل wants to do good to a person, He makes him comprehend the religion. [The understanding of the Qur’an and the Sunnah (legal ways) of Prophet Muhammad  صلى الله عليه وسلم]. I am just a distributor, but the grant is from Allah عز و جل. ) (And remember) that this nation (true Muslims, real followers of Islamic Monotheism) will remain obedient to Allah’s orders [i.e. following strictly Allah’s book (the Qur’an) and the Prophet’s Sunnah (legal ways)] and they will not be harmed by anyone who will oppose them (going on a different path) till Allah’s Order (Day of Judgement) is established.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari]

Three moths before I finished my contract, a new staff came. He was known to everybody as a religious and strict man. He talked to us only regarding work when needed. He will not talk to the women for the sake of making friends and chit chatting about personal lives.

He talked to me.

He told me about Islam.

He opened my mind.

He helped me when I had doubts.

I was amazed with everything I learned from him. I decided to go to the nearest Islamic Center. I didn’t tell to anybody at first except for him and one of my friend.

SubhanAllah! 

The friend that I talked to was already going to the same Islamic Center. I was more eager to learn new things. I requested my Manager to give me specific day of the week so I can attend the class. Without hesitation, she approved and she was happy for me.

Alhamdulillah! Allah was facilitating everything for me.

The first time I came to the Center, I was a little bit nervous and excited as well. I chose Safiyah as my Islamic name, from one of the wives of the Prophet Muhammadﷺ.

I took my Shahada.

لا إله إلا الله محمد رسول الله

lā ʾilāha ʾillā-llāh, muḥammadur-rasūlu-llāh

There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.

Everybody shouted Allahu Akbar! Some were crying. Everybody was hugging and kissing me and welcoming me. I was astounded. I was trying to grasp what happened. I was so happy and speechless. I cried.

SubhanAllah!

I told him, the new staff what happened. He was happy for me. After a couple of days, I got a gift from him. I received a lot of books about Islam to start up. Indeed, I am so grateful that Allah invited me to His religion.I am grateful that He sent people to help me.

Just before I left Saudi Arabia, Allah bestowed me the greatest blessing, the religion of Islam. Alhamdulillahi Rabbil Alamin!

I am a Muslim. I love my abaya and modest dressing. I love my hijab and I feel I cannot breathe when I don’t have it. I am so happy whenever I hear the Adhan. I appreciate it a lot when shops closes for prayer time because it gives me time to worship Allah.  I am thankful I took the decision to pack my things and venture Saudi Arabia. I was changed, for the better and In shaa Allah for the best.

P.S.

  1. Although everything was facilitated smoothy, there were struggles as well. I will write next time In Shaa Allah.
  2. After a year, I got married to the man who helped me. (I left SA in 2014, I got married on 2015, Allah brought us back together, Alhamdulillah)

Strengthening our Faith

Nasal discharges. Eye redness. Headache. Sneeze sneeze sneeze. Alhamdulillah.

In spite of the anti-histamine that I took before sleeping last night, I still woke up not feeling okay today. I had to take analgesic to relieve my headache. I was in the bed most of the time. It was a quick change of weather here in SA, from winter to summer, and my seasonal allergic rhinitis just came knocking to my nostrils. Yay!

May Allah grant us shifa from all ailments and sickness Ya Rabb!

I was scanning my books a couple of minutes ago and saw a piece of paper that I used before to take down notes when I was listening to the translated (Arabic to English) Khutbah from Masjid Al-haram in Makkah. It is a beautiful reminder for me and I want to share some points for the benefit of us all,  In shaa Allah.

It is about how we can strengthen our Iman, our Faith. And these are just a few.

Read Qur’an and contemplate. For non-arabic speakers like me, I have to depend on reading the English translation. There are times I ask my husband to explain it to me also and I try to keep in my mind the new words and it’s meaning. I  also look for tafseer of the Surah or certain ayats to know the stories behind them. Frequent reading of the Qur’an in Arabic also helps me to improve my language competency.

Do Obligatory Prayers and Do Nawafil prayers. Establishing our Fard 5 Daily prayers is mandatory for us because it is one of the pillars of Islam. It is our purpose to worship our Creator Allah and giving time for our prayers, remembering Him and praising Him in the middle of our worldly life is one of the best thing. In doing this, we are not only doing Ibaadah but we are also making ourselves closer to Him, thus increasing our faith. Nawafil prayers or optional prayers on the other hand are not considered obligatory but are thought to give extra benefit on the person performing them. Examples of the Nawafil prayers are the optional prayers after Fard prayers, Tahiyyatul Masjid Or the Prayer of Greeting to the Masjid, Taraweeh and Tahajjud Prayers. By doing these, we are getting opportunities to gain hasanat and rewards, In shaa Allah.

Give time and think about Allah (سبحانه و تعالى). Whenever we are not doing something, or while in the car during traveling or sitting waiting for somebody, or when lying in the bed before sleeping, we can make use of these times to remember Allah. Dhikr, or remembrance of Allah will not only draw us closer to Him but also to will give us extensive rewards In shaa Allah. Examples of Dhikr  are Alhamdulillah, SubhanAllah, SubhanAllah wa Bihamdih, Allahu Akbar, La hawla wa la quwwata illa billah and the list goes on. Let us keep our lips busy in praising and remembering Allah to keep our hearts at ease.

Keep surrounded by good people and care about family and friends. Choose your companions, choose friends who prioritize their relationship with Allah, for they will help us in spiritual path.

The Prophet ﷺ reminds us of the importance of good company in this hadith:

“A good friend and a bad friend are like a perfume-seller and a blacksmith: The perfume-seller might give you some perfume as a gift, or you might buy some from him, or at least you might smell its fragrance. As for the blacksmith, he might singe your clothes, and at the very least you will breath in the fumes of the furnace.” [Bukhari, Muslim]

Continue to search for people or a group that will help us in strengthening our faith and continue to ask Allah to send good people to you.

Ask scholars for Islamic doubts. Nobody is perfect. Nobody knows everything. It is perfectly normal to have doubts and questions about certain things and the best way to clear things up is to ask the people who are more knowledgable than us. Ask scholars or imams in your local mosque or read authentic Islamic books. Clarify things because believing without a doubt strengthens our faith for it eases our heart.

We must work hard for the Hereafter and don’t allow our hearts to be attached  to something else other than Allah.

May Allah guide us always to the straight path! Ya Rabb!

May Allah grant us the greatest reward of entering Jannah. Ya Rabb!