Tawwakul is not an act of the limbs-it is an act of the heart. And so while the limbs are striving hard, the heart is completely reliant on Allah. This means whatever the outcome of the limbs' striving, the heart will be completely satisfied, knowing that it is the flawless decision of Allah. But in order to reach this level, one must hold on to hope, strive with the limbs, and let go with the heart.
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And so in the heart of such a believer is a sort of paradise. That is the paradise that Ibn Taymiyyah, may Allah have mercy on his soul, spoke of when he said: 'Truly, there is a Heaven in this world, [and] whoever does not enter it, will not enter the Heaven of the next world.' And in that heaven, complete peace is not something of a moment. It is a state, eternal.
On that Day, we will see the true reality. On that Day, we will realize that two rak'at (units) of prayer were greater than everything in the heavens and the earth. We will realize the priceless check that was left on our doorstep every night as we slept. There will come a day when we would give up everything under the sky just to come back and pray those two rak'at.
There will come a day when a person would be willing to give everything they ever loved, everything they ever owned, everything they ever chased in this life, everything between the heavens and earth...just for the chance to come back here and make just one sajdah (prostration). Just one.
Never lose hope. Stay close to Allah and when you mess up, go back to Him. Never, ever stop going back to Him. Repent often. Cry to Allah. And hold on tight-with your life-to His remembrance and to prayer. If you do this, you may get wet, but insha Allah never drown in this ocean of dunya.
Real love brings about calm-not inner torment. True love allows you to be at peace with yourself and with God. That is why Allah says: "that you may dwell in tranquility." Hawa is the opposite. Hawa will make you miserable. And just like a drug, you will crave it always, but never be satisfied. You will chase it to your own detriment, but never reach it.
Our first and true home was Paradise: a land that is both perfect and eternal. So the yearning for that type of life is a part of our being. The problem is that we try to find that here. And so we create ageless creams and cosmetic surgery in a desperate attempt to hold on-in an attempt to mold this world into what it is not, and will never be.
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I tell you to keep going, not because it's easy. Not because it doesn't hurt. I tell you to keep going because there's no other way. To stop is to die. Life is in motion. In growth. In change. Life is in seeking and in finding. Life is in redemption. Each moment is a new birth. A new chance to come back, to get it right. A new chance to make it better.
I'm not here to be on display. And my body is not for public consumption. I will not be reduced to an object, or a pair of legs to sell shoes. I'm a soul, a mind, a servant of God. My worth is defined by the beauty of my soul, my heart, my moral character. So I won't worship your beauty standards, and I don't submit to your fashion sense. My submission is to something higher.
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So often we think that Allah only tests us with hardships, but this isn't true. Allah also tests with ease. He tests us with na`im (blessings) and with the things we love, and it is often in these tests that so many of us fail. We fail because when Allah gives us these blessings, we unwittingly turn them into false idols of the heart.
With my veil I put my faith on display-rather than my beauty. My value as a human is defined by my relationship with God, not by my looks. I cover the irrelevant. And when you look at me, you don't see a body. You view me only for what I am: a servant of my Creator. You see, as a Muslim woman, I've been liberated from a silent kind of bondage. I don't answer to the slaves of God on earth. I answer to their King.
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And while it's nice of you to want to call us 'modern' or 'moderate, ' we'll do without the redundancy. Islam is by definition moderate, so the more strictly we adhere to its fundamentals - the more moderate we'll be. And Islam is by nature timeless and universal, so if we're truly Islamic - we'll always be modern. We're not 'Progressives'; we're not 'Conservatives'. We're not 'neo-Salafi'; we're not 'Islamists'. We're not 'Traditionalists'; we're not 'Wahabis'. We're not 'Immigrants' and we're not 'Indigenous'. Thanks, but we'll do without your prefix. We're just Muslim.
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In his mercy, He sent the storm itself to make us seek help. And then knowing that we're likely to get the wrong answer, He gives us a multiple choice exam with only one option to choose from: the correct answer. The hardship itself is ease. By taking away all other hand-holds, all other multiple choice options, He has made the test simple. It's never easy to stand when the storm hits. And that's exactly the point. By sending the wind, He brings us to our knees: the perfect position to pray
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My value as a woman is not measured by the size of my waist or the number of men who like me. My worth as a human being is measured on a higher scale: a scale of righteousness and piety. And my purpose in life-despite what fashion magazines say-is something more sublime than just looking good for men.
She stood up. Something inside her had changed. "It was finally time, " she thought. It was finally time to leave the past in the past. And move on. She took her first step. It felt like walking for the first time. It was strange to not be chained anymore. It felt like life. Like hope. Like happiness.
Shaytan will tell you that you're not worthy, so give up. But his traps are based on lies. When was any of it because of your worth? It was all because of His mercy, His generosity, His love of giving, and forgiving. And those qualities don't change because you're messing up. Just seek them. Call Him by His mercy, not by your deeds.
They say you don't get over someone until you find someone or something better. As humans, we don't deal well with emptiness. Any empty space must be filled. Immediately. The pain of emptiness is too strong. It compels the victim to fill that place. A single moment with that empty spot causes excruciating pain. That's why we run from distraction to distraction-and from attachment to attachment.
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When you have friends, don't expect your friends to fill your emptiness. When you get married, don't expect your spouse to fulfill your every need. When you're an activist, don't put your hope in the results. When you're in trouble don't depend on yourself. Don't depend on people. Depend on Allah.
The people will come and go. Sometimes they'll be there for you. Sometimes they wont. Some will love you, some will not. This tide was never meant to be still. Step away from time to time. And know that only a heart fixed on the unmoving spot can ride the waves of this ever-changing, ever-fading life.
Many years ago, our father Ibrahim (AS) made a choice. He loved his son. But He loved God more. The commandment came to sacrifice his son. But it wasn't his son that was slaughtered. It was his attachment to anything that could compete with his love for God. So let us ask ourselves in these beautiful days of sacrifice, which attachments do we need to slaughter?
Some people may complicate it for you, but the formula is simple: Love God more than anything else. More than your ego. More than your money. More than your desires...More than your sleep at dawn. Love God more than anything else, and submission comes natural. Love God more than anything else, and all goodness will follow.
What would happen to a body that was starved, suffocated and then forced to drink poison? It would first suffer and then die an agonizing death. We willingly starve and suffocate our hearts by turning away form the remembrance of God. And then we poison our hearts through the bad company we keep, the garbage that goes into our eyes and ears, and emanates from our tongue... And then we wonder why our heart feels dead.
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