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Pearls of Islam Reminder Series

On Reflection
By Zobia Gundkalli
Reection has a deep rooted tradition in our history, with
spiritual seclusion being synonymous with illumination
and revelation - the time spent at Mount Sinai by
Prophet Musa (AS), the isolation of Prophet Yunus in the
belly of the whale and the many instances of Prophet
Muhammad (SWS) retreating to the cave of Hira. These,
and numerous other examples, point to the human need
for solitude, to break away from routine and habit,
society and work and to simply open the mind to think,
with quiet contemplation and self-reection.
Reection is to think carefully, critically and with much
consideration. It is to understand something, to learn
from it and sometimes even to determine what ought to
come next. This deep contemplation is a hallmark of our
faith. It is encouraged in all aspects of existence as it
goes hand in hand with appreciating the oneness of God
and the purpose of our being.
Reection is the lamp of the heart; if it
departs the heart will have no light
[Imam Al-Haddad]
There is much to think about - the wonders of Gods
creation, His favours, the world and its glittering
deceptions and hazards, the life to come, death, what is
good and bad, helpful and harmful, what is success and
what is failure - the list goes on. It is key in becoming
aware of our surroundings, of the external world, the
requirements of submission to God and in becoming
grateful of the many blessings that enrich life as we
know it. However, one specic element that often
remains only passively explored is the massive task of
reecting on ones own nature and identity.
Introspection is a means by which believers can
continuously analyse traits and behaviours with the hope
of correcting them for the sake of pleasing Allah (SWT).
In this way, one develops an earnest devotedness and
loyalty towards God. There is realisation of where our
own spiritual strength lies and there is an ongoing desire
to push the boundaries to learn more about what is yet
unknown. Self-reection nurtures true human values
innately present in all people, causing us to understand
the effect of our attitudes on those amongst us.
Ultimately, it allows the believer to remain true to the
path of submission by upholding the correct morals that
inspire a heart of integrity.
This message is perhaps pertinent to us now at this
stage in our lives more than it ever will be. As young
Muslim students living, working, and studying in the
West, many of us have gone through a phase in life of
rediscovering Islam in a new light. In this initial period of
nding Islam, we feel this tremendous surge of faith to
change and reform ourselves for the sake of Allah;
introspection is so easy in this phase. However, as Allah
tells us in the Qur'an over and over again, He will not
leave us untested. That rush of faith that motivates us to
change will not and does not exist forever. We have to
work and strive towards being people who reect upon
ourselves because if we fail at this task, we run the risk
losing direction and becoming more concerned with
changing others instead of focusing on ourselves.
We need to nd ourselves rst and foremost and
establish what it is that we want and need for this life in
order to make it a success. Only through discovering
ourselves and understanding our own true nature, with
hearts and minds puried from our unwanted traits, can
we sincerely open our eyes to see beyond our daily
lives.
Such awareness requires a level of humility and honesty
which in all truth is difcult to achieve, but it is crucial in
becoming closer to Allah. It is this attitude of reection
and striving for change within that will lead to further
blessings and enlightenment. It is said in the Quran,
"Allah will not change the condition of a
people until they change what is in their
hearts...
[Al-Rad (Thunder):11]
To reach this value of everlasting reformation for the
better, the rst step of improvement is through self-
reection.
THE PEARLS OF ISLAM
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Pearls of Islam Reminder Series
You Are Never Alone

By Aamir Shamsi

Times will come in the life of a
believer where we will be tested in
this world whether it is through a
"loss in goods or lives or the fruits
(of your toils)" [2:155] but we must
always remember that we are
never alone and that we should
and need to turn to Allah in these
times.

Trials and tribulations can not only
change the course of your life but
also make you feel very down and
lost. Nothing remains the same
and although an oxymoron, those
who have been in such a situation
like I have will understand when I
say life can be consumed by
emptiness. Although it is
important to understand the many
reasons why calamities befall us
and how to cope with them, we
must never forget that we will
always have the one that loves us
more than a mother loves her
child (Muslim) close by to bring
some solace to our hearts. In
order to bring about this comfort
we must make du'a, build a
connection with Allah and believe
that everything that happens is for
the best.

'XD

Du'a is the weapon of the believer
for it can change the fate of our
lives. And it is for this reason, as
well as the fact that it shows our
need for Allah, that it is highly
encouraged in Islam. So we
should ask our Lord to alleviate
our pain, to make things easier
and to grant us peace and
happiness with His decree, even
though in some situations it is
extremely difficult to accept what
has happened and to want to
move on from it, for it is only He
that has the power to make things
better.

Connect with Allah

As the creation of Allah, we are all
connected with our Lord through
our souls. He is our provider, our
sustainer and our support. But it is
our responsibility to nourish this
connection for "Verily in the
remembrance of Allah, do hearts
find rest" [13:29]. We can do so by
reciting Quran, reading our salat
with concentration and regular
dhikr. The stronger our connection
with Allah the greater the comfort
our hearts will receive for it is then
when we truly feel Allah's
protection over us and this will
make the difficult times that much
easier for us.

Everything that happens is for
the best

Allah loves us so much that
everything that happens that is
not a direct result of our own
actions is for the best for us - "but
it may be that you hate a thing
which is good for you, and it may
be that you love a thing which is
bad for you. Allah knows and you
know not" [2:216]. Having this
belief at all times and being
thankful for all that comes your
way is a real test of our faith but
also an undeniable fact. If
adopted in our mindset it will ease
our pain for we will understand it
is for our best and so the true
believer would not want it any
other way than what Allah sees
best.

All the above can be summarised
with my favourite du'a that one
should regularly recite:
"Hasbunallahu Wa'Nimal Wakeel"
Allah is enough for me and
there is no better to look after me.



"When you feel all alone in this world
And there's nobody to count your tears
Just remember, no matter where you are
Allah knows, Allah knows"
- Nasheed by Zain Bhikha
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Monday 31st October 2011 4 Dhul - Hijjah 1432 Volume 4 Issue 1


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