Happy New Year- a Time for reflection, thought, work, honesty and repentance

Good Morning-Bismillah.

Assalamu alaikum waramatulahi wabarakatahahu.

What are you doing this week? I’m doing the usual, cleaning, homeschooling…but I’m also getting ready for the new Islamic year 1433H next week. It’s amazing how fast time flies and creeps up. It feels as if it was just the Islamic New Year a few weeks ago, in reality it’s been a year! Time really does “fly” us by as they say!

In regards to time, the the following invaluable words of the holy Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) were recorded as him saying: “When you pass the day and arrive at the evening, do not expect that you will pass night and hope to reach morning, and when you arrive in the morning do not look forward to the evening. While in health, be ready for illness, and while alive, prepare for death.’ (Bukhari)

SubhnaAllah, such a clear reminder and so true. I want to make it clear that technically there are no specific rules, ways, or celebrations for a new year in Islam. I just want to put that out there so nobody assumes they HAVE TO celebrate this in Islam or anything. I’m just reflecting. I hit a rough patch in my worship and became less focused on it and more focused on this so called life. More recently a blast from the past irritated me and caused me to react unislamiclly and unfavorably…astagfirulah, astagfirulah, astagfirulah. This is partly due to my big mouth, my quick to anger personality, my weakness and people on facebook. I can take responsibility for my own shortcomings but I need to do a ppl clean up on my list I think. People assuming everyone is out to get them, always involved in drama, always cursing it begins to wear on me.

“Tell me who your friends and companions are, then I can tell you who you are.”

To draw the above saying Closer to our subject matter, we may say: “Keep a happy man company and you will become happy.”…aaaaaaaaaaaah these problems have always been around.

I keep ppl around because I know them or hope to help them since I used to be just as bad ALHAMDULIAH for Islam!!! Eventually though only Allah guides and I can’t be stressing myself out. I’ve realized I’m wasting far too much time on facebook and not enough time with trying to actually put into practice the little I know and try to learn more.

Over this past year, the few times I’ve studied the Transliteration of the Quran it’s blatantly obvious how applicable the Quran is to our life. The English is dry reading at best so I use my Spanish transliterations and the English ones to give me a better understanding. SubhanaAllah to me it’s so much deeper, lovelier, understood and meaningful!! I can’t even imagine in Arabic!! I need to, want to, HAVE TO learn Arabic so I can know THE TRUE message of the Qur’an!!!

When I first converted sister Sadaf would review the salat enunciation and meaning for prayers as well as take time to teach me the Arabic alphabet and pronunciation. I would do this at Fajr time, sneaking around since I was a convert and my ex husband and his family had an issue with it. So as to not disturb them I’d sneak out into the chilly March and April cold weather mornings and drive sr Sadaf nuts with my babyish whining when I couldn’t do it.

May Allah reward her inmensly ameen!!

The problem is when it came time to learn to join the words I got frustrated, stopped trying and then at that time I had left my ex husband (late Spring early Summer 09) and never picked it back up :(

Sure “I’ve tried” allegedly. If I had tried the same way I check facebook I’d be an Arabic pro! Sometimes it’s good to be brutally honest with ourselves.

Both the Qur’an and the Sunnah enjoin Muslims to be conscious of time. We are reminded that life in this world is nothing but temporary. We never know when death is coming for us. Death or at the very least illness. We must value time for the satisfaction of Allah the Almighty. Not only for Allah but for myself.

There has been a few instance where due to transliterations, my own ignorance, and my predisposed way of thinking and acting has caused me to misinterpret verses in the Quran as rude, ignorant or simply not understanding them astagfirulah,astagfirulah, astagfirula. This stems from my own ignorance, my own lack of knowledge, and the fact that it is a transliteration. I’ve found when I know the meaning, understand it, know the hadith and the history of what I previously thought was bad turns out to be one of my faves due to it’s beauty.

“Rabbi zidni ‘ilma”…Ameen!!  “But say, O my Rabb (Sustainer)! Advance me in knowledge!’ (Qur’an, 20:114)-ameen!

This is all because of time wasting. If I was more focused on trying to learn Islam properly, practice what I know and try to learn more this wouldn’t happen. For our own guidance and success, we must never waste time nor abuse it.

Ibn Abbas narrated that Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) said:

“There are two blessings which many people lose: (They are) health and free time for doing good.” (Bukhari 8/421)

Listen to this other important and golden rule of happiness in the words of Allah’s Messenger (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him):

“Take advantage of five before five: your youth before your senility; your health before your sickness; your wealth before your poverty; your leisure before your occupation; and, your life before your death.” (Ahmad, Baihaqi and Hakim)

May Allah make it easy on me to stick to this. I guess this is why I’m publicly publishing my recent thoughts…..accountability. Over the last 2 years completely forgot the little bit of Arabic I knew SubhanaAllah! I had to start completely from scratch all over again due to wasting time and not practicing it to keep it. I started all over again last week and I am proud to say I am on lesson 8 and have picked up half the Alphabet again Al Hamd uliAllah.

For any non Muslims reading this, New Muslims, or Muslims who have decided to apply Islam to their lives wondering why I’m “making such a big deal out of this” here is some information for you.

The following are some of the most important duties demanded of Muslims:

  1. Ensuring benefiting from time
  2. Utilizing leisure time
  3. Racing for good deeds
  4. Learning from the passage of time
  5. Seeking the superior times
  6. Planning and organizing time
  7. Fulfillment of time commitments
  8. Necessary awareness of time wasters

The ONLY way to ensure benefit from the time is to learn something of the religion – “Verily this Qur’an does guide to that which is most right (or stable)….”  (Qur’an. 17:9) (note the importance) and practice it or serve your family (teach your children, clean your home, be sweet, nice etc, etc, etc)

The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) instructed his followers and thus the believers to know and value the importance of time in the following hadiths: “Humankind will remain standing on the Day of Resurrection until he is asked about four things: his life and how he spent it, his youth and how he used it up, his property and how he acquired and managed it and his knowledge and how he utilised it.” (Tirmidhi)

Utilizing leisure time means when you have a few moments of free (those extra facebook checks or looking in the refrigerator another 10 times a day or checking your cell phone again….yeah those are all small free moments we can utilize) No one is saying we all have to be come super scholars or super moms. Islam was sent as an ease to heal our hearts, to make life better. To teach us how to be kind to our neighbor, to teach us to live in peace with people who are peaceful with us and to teach us to treat other Muslims. We are told to follow a middle path in Islam. No one is saying to seclude ourselves and do nothing else. The middle path means we follow the Quran and Sunnah and apply it to our lives completely but in an easy way, a little bit in the morning, a little in the afternoon and a little in the evening. Prophet Muhammad (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) stressed the importance of the pursuit of knowledge as a way to eternal happiness. “If a person follows a path for acquiring knowledge Allah will make easy the passage to paradise for him” (Muslim)

Racing to good deeds….this is where it’s okay and encouraged to be competitive in Islam. If you find out someone is sick try to be there first or more than others and visit, call, cook for them, check on them. This is to encourage everyone to be there for the person so that they can feel cared about or loved. Also you can play Islamic trivia among your sisters, family or friends, compete to be the one who knows the answers. this encourages a bond and helps you retain knowledge, share it and compete :)

Learning from the passage of time….I guess that’s where I am at right now. Once upon a time I WAS 17…I’m 17 no more. I am 32 and while I’ve not forgotten the trials of being a younger person I have learned that in the end how I make people feel and what I do has an impact on my body, my life, and others. The only thing that matters is How I apply what I learn, how I raise my daughter and what islamic knowledge I learn, apply and helps beautify my life and others.

Seeking the superior times in Islam worship is important EVERY DAY. Islam comes from the Arabic root word for submission, as in submission to God. He has said He created us to worship Him and to seek forgiveness. That said there are times where we are more encouraged to seek deeper, worship more lovingly, more meaningfully, more devoutly. There is Ramadan (The month of fasting during the day time) there are the night prayers before dawn. There is days that are favorable for fasting and the 2 Eids…the two Islamic holidays where we join together and pray as a community and celebrate as these are the Only 2 holidays we have they can become quite festive, fun, loving and full of food and companionship.

Planning and organizing time is VERY important as a Homeschooling, married, part time outside the home working, class every now and then taking, muslimah wife I have learned FIRST HAND, many times (sadly I’m hardheaded and take long to learn) the importance of cleaning up a little at a time and avoiding laziness and debt. many a times, due to neglect, forgetfulness or wastefulness I’ve forgotten to pay something only to have it cost me more later. Many a times due to laziness I’ve neglected to clean, or clean properly only to have extra work later. My grandmother used to tell me “El flojo trabaja doble”. Spanish for “The lazy one works double”…oh how true it is!! It’s far easier to pay a bill with no late fee, to do one load of laundry versus 3, to wipe up the stove then to scrub it off. The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, used to supplicate: “O Allah! I seek refuge in You from sorrow and distress, and I seek refuge in You from disability and laziness.”  I’ve adopted this as one of my supplications in addition to better planning of my time InshaAllah.

Fulfillment of time commitments working and being at work on time, homeschooling at a good time my online islamic class in the morning. It’s VERY important to do these and not slack and these, and they go hand in hand with the aforementioned.

As for necessary awarement of time wasters I’ve become aware that facebook is a huge time waster and I’ve decided to cut back for good InshaAllah, significantly on my fb wasting time habit and simply my  lack of motivation are my biggest time wasters. Usually once I get moving, reading, practicing, cleaning, scrubbing I simply keep going the battle for me is mental. I start to feel oh it’s a lot of work, I can’t do it, I’m lazy…..SubhanaAllah the shaytain likes to defeat us through our own selves!!!

May Allah make us better than what we appear, may He the Most High help us to become better and may He guide us to His stright path and if we are there InshaAllah keep us there Ameen!!

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