Hardened Hearts

Hardened Hearts
Our hearts have hardened.
How do we know,
Our hearts have hardened?
When the news moves us no more,
But the movies do.
That’s when we know,
Our hearts have hardened.
When the Qur’an barely passes through our lips,
Yet our lips are moist with the latest songs.
That’s when we know,
Our hearts have hardened.
When our children cry and yearn for our love,
But we express affection on children other than ours.
That’s when we know,
Our hearts have hardened.
When we know not when death approaches us,
Yet we live as we are immortal.
That’s when we know,
Our hearts have hardened.
May the One who changes hearts,
May the One who knows our hearts,
May the One who holds our hearts between His fingers,
Soften our hearts,
And change it for the better.
(Aameen)
~ Umm Afraz ~
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Relish Your Ramadan


Last year Ramadan, I had witnessed a brother say his shahaadah (testimony of faith) on a Friday at New Muslim Center in Abu Dhabi. After pronouncing it in Arabic, they went on to testify in Tagalog. And subhanAllah we were moved by his emotions, in spite of him trying to mask them.

It is important to understand what we say, rather than mumbling or chanting mindlessly what we learnt since childhood.

Guaranteed we will be rewarded for our efforts, but imagine the magnitude of rewards earned through our sincere-filled passionate prayers if we understood what we say. Simple adhkar like Allahu Akbar (God is The Greatest), SubhanAllah (Glory be to Allah), Alhamdulillah  (All Praise be to Allah), etc. can weigh heavily on your scales on the Day of Judgement.

This Ramadan, make it a goal to learn and understand at least one new du’a or soorah or aayah everyday – whatever you are capable of. It is ok if you falter couple of days. What matters is you get back up and continue from where you left off.

After all, when we aim to climb the ladder of success in this world, why shouldn’t we aim to climb the ladder of the next – to our soul’s success?

~ Umm Afraz ~

Righteous friends are the rope to help you get to the Rope of Allah


Man is a social animal.

I remember learning this in almost all the subjects in my higher secondary – from Psychology to Political Science to Economics.

I never really understood the full meaning until there came a time when I wasn’t able to socialize much. That was a depressing time. I had everything to keep me happy – a loving husband, a new bundle of joy, a peaceful place to live in – and yet there was a longing in me. It got to a point where my mind couldn’t take it anymore. I HAD to meet people. I HAD to socialize. I HAD to have adult conversation that didn’t involve talking about what the baby did today and what he didn’t do. That was when I truly understood that man was indeed a social animal.

But being social doesn’t guarantee true happiness. What brings true happiness is being with righteous people.
Righteous parents to bestow an upbringing that will continue down the lineage.
Righteous siblings to have a bond that sticks like glue, and not for namesake.
Righteous friends who become the rope to help you get to the Rope of Allah.
Righteous spouse who will become a means of raising your rank in the Hereafter.
Righteous children who are a means of ongoing charity for you even when you have long gone from this world.

It is this righteousness that man needs, to help one another in goodness and God-consciousness.

Man is a social animal whose innate nature is to seek righteousness to live a content and peaceful life.

~ Umm Afraz ~

Teaching my kids the Talbiyah…

~ A piece written long time back ~

Teaching my kids the Talbiyah* and am already having goosebumps and am tearing up! :”) SubhanAllah (Glory Be To The Lord)! Tearing up even NOW while writing this! :”)

I guess that’s what faith and conviction does to you. You believe in something (that is unseen) so much that it becomes the ‘seen’ (in your mind) and the ‘felt’ (in your heart).

There is something so POWERFUL in the words of the Talbiyah** that you feel like you are automatically transported to another world! A world where no worldly concerns matter anymore! A world of peace, and striving to Please the Creator! A world that you do not want to leave, and miss it the moment you step out of it! A memory that is stuck with you, and a wish and desire to return to it as much and as often as possible!

The Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There is no Muslim who recites the Talbiyah but whatever is to his right and to his left of stones, rocks and clods recites it with him, to the furthest point to the east and the west” – meaning from his right and his left. Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 828; also by Ibn Khuzaymah and al-Bayhaqi with a saheeh isnaad. [http://islamqa.info/en/ref/21617]

May Allah Grant our desire to perform the ultimate pilgrimage – Hajj! Aameen!

*The Talbiyah is a Muslim prayer invoked by the pilgrims as a conviction that they intend to perform the Hajj/Umrah only for the glory of The Almighty

**”Labbayka Allaahumma labbayk, labbayka laa shareeka laka labbayk. Inna al-hamd wa’l-ni’mata laka wa’l-mulk, laa shareeka lak (Here I am, O Allaah, here I am. Here I am, You have no partner, here I am. Verily all praise and blessings are Yours, and all sovereignty, You have no partner).”

~ Umm Afraz ~

NEVER underestimate the power of du’a

NEVER underestimate the power of du’a. It is the essence of worship. It is worship.

Days spent in discussion didn’t work.
Hours spent in convincing didn’t work.
Pleading didn’t work.
And neither did enlisting the pros and cons.

So what worked?

MINUTES spent in du’a.
Simple, heartfelt, unabashed du’a.

Yes.
My Lord – Your Lord – Al Mujeeb, responds to the one who calls on Him.

What is your simple heartfelt du’a that you want Your Lord to answer?

~ Umm Afraz ~

No human is free of needing help‬ or advice‬

No human is free of needing ‪#‎help‬ or ‪#‎advice‬. Even a ‪#‎counselor‬ needs a counselor, and there is no shame in admitting it.

The best of all counselors, the ‪#‎Prophet‬ (peace and blessings be upon him) sought the advice of his ‪#‎wives‬ and ‪#‎companions‬ (Allah be pleased with them).

And Allah says (the interpretation of the meaning):
1. By the time.
2. Verily! Man is in loss,
3. Except those who believe and do righteous good deeds, and recommend one another to the truth, and recommend one another to patience.
[Qur’an : 103]

~ Umm Afraz ~