Power of Patience

Timer-686x350We live in a generation so fast paced that we expect too much from the world in a short period of time; we expect quick results, reactions and resolutions. The importance of patience is fading away from the aspects of life in which we need it the most. The word patience (sabr) has been mentioned in the Holy Quran around 90 times, therefore it is not something that should be overlooked but rather it is an element that needs to be embedded into our daily lives and in every single thing we do. By learning how to implement patience into our daily lives, we will begin to open doors that we never knew existed.

It might be easier if we break patience down into three different types; the first type of patience in Islam is the endurance needed to fulfil the commands of Allah, the second is the ability and intention to abstain from that which has been prohibited and lastly, the one which we tend to focus most on is patience when calamity befalls upon us. However it is important to know al all three types of patience are equally important and need the same attention in order to live a tranquil life.

Allah has mentioned patience alongside pillars of Islam and Imaan. Patience is mentioned in the Quran alongside righteous actions, gratitude, compassion, faith and truth. Therefore in order to fulfil these attributes one must adopt endurance into their attitude whilst faithfully fulfilling the commands of Allah.

1. Righteous actions:

 “Except for those who are patient and do righteous deeds; those will have forgiveness and great reward.” [Hud 11:11];

2. Gratitude:

“…Verily in this are Signs for everyone who patiently perseveres and is grateful” [ash-Shura 42:33];

3. Compassion:

“…And then being among those who believed and advised one another to patience and advised one another to compassion.…” [al-Balad 90:17];

4. Faith:

“…And We made from among them leaders guiding by Our command when they were patient and [when] they were certain of Our signs” [as-Sajdah 32:24];

5. Truth:

“…the truthful men and truthful women, the patient men and patient women…”[al-Ahzab 33:35].

How ignorant would we be if we expected good to come to us when we hinder our own paths? Restraining oneself from what has been prohibited is a sign of strong faith and patience. Take the famous story of when Prophet Yusuf (AS) for example, who was faced with his second trial, seduced by the chief ministers wife, instead of taking advantage of this temptation, Prophet Yusuf (AS) held back from what had been prohibited for him. This is one of many examples of how patience is used to hold back from sins.

And she, in whose house he was, sought to seduce him (to do an evil act), she closed the doors and said: “come on, O you.” He said: “I seek refuge in Allah (or Allah forbid)! Truly he (your husband) is my master! He made my stay agreeable! (So I will never betray him). Verily, the Zalimun (wrong, evildoers) will never be successful.” Indeed she did desire him and he would have inclined to her desire had he not seen the evidence of his Lord. Thus it was, that We might turn away from evil and illegal sexual intercourse. Surely, he was one of Our chosen, guided slaves. (Ch 12:23-24)

In this story it is clear that the Prophet Yusuf’s (AS) fear of Allah had been present throughout and through patience, he was able to remind himself in such an alluring situation that he must resist for the sake of Allah. Therefore it is vital to have patience during temptations; after all we have been placed on this earth to be tested, it’s how we react to the test that counts.

Lastly, we all face hardships in life -that is the nature of the world; we go through ups and downs, highs and lows. However what seems to be the issue amongst us today is that we only ever remind each other to be patient when we face struggles. We need patience throughout our lives, no matter what it is. Calamities are placed into our lives, only to by the will of Allah, and He does not burden a soul more than it can bear. Therefore we must trust and surrender to the will of Allah, with a heart full of hope, knowing that this difficulty is for our own self growth and will help us become closer to Our creator if we face it with patience and faith.

The prophet The Prophet (SAW) said:

“How wonderful is the affair of the believer, for his affairs are all good, and that does not apply for anyone except the believer. If something good happens to him he gives thanks, and that is good for him; if something bad happens to him he bears it with patience, and that is good for him.”

Saheeh Muslim, 2999

Always remember that your patience will never go unrewarded whether it is in this life or the next. The reward of every deed is known except for patience, imagine being amongst those who the angels will salute on the day of judgement- yes those will be the people of patience.

“…And the angels will enter upon them from every gate, [saying],”Peace be upon you for what you patiently endured. And excellent is the final home.” [ar-Ra’d 13:23-24].

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Islamophobia Unveiled

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A few years ago I had interviewed a very inspirational woman for one of my assignments at university -Ahlam Saeed, who at the time was a student at the University of Roehampton, aged 22 but is now 25.

To my surprise, as I scrolled down on The Evening Standard website, I came across an article where I had noticed Ahlam’s name mentioned under the title”Women subjected to Anti Muslim abuse while trying to buy sweets in London newsagent”. I was in shock; it was the same Ahlam I had interviewed about 2 years ago

Ahlam was verbally abused by a man at her local news agent; she was allegedly called “Batman” for wearing a niqaab. Ahlam, being the brave individual I know was courageous enough to record the verbal abuse as it happened and soon the footage was shared amongst different platforms of social media

The man, who was with two young children, could be heard saying: “My kids can’t even see your face, who the f*** are you? Are you a man or woman?”

Despite his young children watching the dispute the man repeatedly swore at Ahlam asking “why are you wearing that” referring to her niqaab. “Are you ISIS” he asks

This video was very frustrating for me to watch. Having spoken to Ahlam before I felt inspired by her decision to wear the full face veil and received such a positive aura from the things we spoke about.

But it frustrates me, not only because I’ve spoken to Ahlam before, but the fact that cases of verbal and physical Islamophobic abuse are becoming more and more common in a country which used to encourage multiculturalism and respect for all religions.

Unfortunately, the visual representation of Muslim women who wear the hIjab or niqaab, are the ones who are more likely to face this kind of abuse, not only because they are most vulnerable but because they are the most obvious representations of Muslims.

It is upsetting that the way one chooses to dress has such a negative impact on a person’s perception of another. How quick was this man to attach negative connotations to a woman he has never met, a woman who was simply minding her own business?

As Ahlam said in the video “I’m not going to keep quiet due to your ignorance” and that is exactly what needs to be done, people like this man and many other racist and Islamophobic individuals cannot keep getting away with such hurtful remarks.

I will end with something that Ahlam had said to me during my interview with her

 “The way I dress is my voice, why should something on my face completely put me in the dark and differentiate me from you”

 

Watch the video on:

 

 

#PlacesYoullPray- There’s Always a Place to Pray

"The first time I prayed here was in 7th grade with about 15 other brothers. At first, it was awkward praying in the courts, but after some time, it felt like every other salah at the masjid."

In a world where social media makes sharing our lives easier than ever, the doors of distractions and reminders  become equally open. By having our feed clogged up with swathes of  pictures of meals, outings and friends, we often forget to feed our souls. As Muslims, a spiritual connection with our Creator is key to life’s successes which is accomplished through our Salah.

‘Places You’ll Pray’ has become a well known hash tag on social media across the globe. Places. You’ll. Pray.These three words merged together in a hash tag, will bring you real life pictures of people performing their Salah in different places around the world. Salah- the second pillar of Islam, lays the foundation of our religion and should be fulfilled 5 times a day at all times, seeing Muslims around the world performing their Salah in various locations on social media is a great way for the Ummah to connect, as the powerful photographs speak for themselves. Whether it is in a library, on the street or in a changing room, this hash tag explores the wide possibilities of places you can pray. It is hard to believe that what started as a small project has now become a universal connection for many.

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Tree Tops Park

“Prayer for me used to be just like something I had to do, like one of the five obligations, but as I got older and I guess especially now that I’m in college, prayer is one of the things that’s most familiar to me and it’s kind of like one of the times of the day, or one of the five times of day I have peace of mind. It relaxes me and it keeps me stable because that’s honestly the only stable thing (really) in our lives.”

"The first time I prayed here was in 7th grade with about 15 other brothers. At first, it was awkward praying in the courts, but after some time, it felt like every other salah at the masjid."

Ivanhoe Basketball Courts

“The first time I prayed here was in 7th grade with about 15 other brothers. At first, it was awkward praying in the courts, but after some time, it felt like every other salah at the masjid.”

Sana Ullah, an American Bangladeshi, is the mastermind behind this brilliant idea! Sana started the ‘Places You’ll Pray’ project in January 2015 as an initiative for fellow Americans to pray and embrace their faith. Her passion for visual storytelling and her constant need to produce stories is what lead to the creation of ‘Places You’ll Pray’. She is currently pursuing a Masters Degree in New Media photojournalism at George Washington University’s Corcoran College.

She explains:

“Whilst Post-processing may be exaggerated at times and Instagram filters can often be abundantly used, the idea behind of these images is not to pose the subject and flaunt ones blessings, but rather to share with the world how easy it is to be a Muslim as well as spark healthy, educated conversations about religion, spirituality and Islam”

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Seen praying inside the UN headquarters in New York, USA

Sana’s project is not only interesting and visually stimulating, but it is also a much needed reminder that the remembrance of God should have no excuse, no matter where you are in the world…

 “Verily, man was created impatient, irritable when evil touches him and ungenerous when good touches him.  Except for those devoted to Salah those who remain constant in their Salahs…” (Quran 70:19-23)