The Kindness Boomerang

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On Being Wrong

TED talk on the importance of knowing when we’re wrong.

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Chains

how long
can i see myself
chained in this prison
chained in this world

the time has come
to take my good life
in my hands and
gallop to the sublime

finally purified
i’m no more polluted
and from now on
i’ll take my quests
directly to God Himself

i was given
at my birth
all the estates and mansions
it will be a heresy
to accept only
a doorkeeper’s job

once i alter this
doorkeeper’s attitude
once i change the
essence in my mind
happiness will replace misery

now my dear heart
since you and i are all alone
having your midnight message
i’ll do exactly
that which you know

once i grow wings
in place of my slow feet
all obstacles will vanish
and i really can fly in
time and space again

- rumi

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The Qur’an

The Qur’an opens its doors only to those who knock with a depth of yearning, sincerity of purpose and exclusiveness of attention that befit its importance and majesty. And only those are allowed to gather its treasures, while they walk through it, who are prepared to abandon themselves completely to its guidance and do their utmost to absorb it.

It may therefore quite possibly happen that you read the Qur’an endlessly, turn its pages laboriously, recite its words beautifully, study it most scholarly, and still fail to make an encounter with it that enriches and transforms your whole person. For, all those who read the Qur’an do not profit from it as they should. Some remain unblessed some are even cursed.

Many never turn to it, though the Book always lies near at hand, but many are turned away from its gates. Many read it often, but come back empty-handed; while many others who read it never really enter its world. Some do not find, but are lostThey fail to hear God even among His own words, instead they hear their own voices or those other than God’s. Still others, though they hear God, fail to find inside themselves the will, the resolve and the courage to respond and live by His call. Some lose even what they had and, instead of collecting priceless gems, they return with back-breaking heaps of stones which will hurt them for ever and ever.

What a tragic misfortune it would be if you came to the Qur’an and went away empty-handed – soul untouched, heart unmoved, life unchanged - ‘they went out as they came in.’

The Qur’an’s blessings are limitless, but the measure of your taking from it depends entirely upon the capacity and the suitability of the receptacle you bring to it. So, at the very outset, make yourself more deeply aware of what the Qur’an means to you and what it demands of you; and make a solemn determination to recite the Qur’an in an appropriate manner, so that you may be counted among ‘Those whom We have given the Book, they recite it as it ought to be recited; it is they who believe in it.’ (2:121)

- Ustadh Khuram Murad, Way to the Qur’an.

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Destitution

(hijab flutter ~ Yasmin Mogahed)

“I have nothing except but my destitution
To plead for me with You.
And in my poverty I put forward that destitution as my plea.
I have no power save to knock at Your door,
And if I be turned away, at what door shall I knock?
Or on whom shall I call, crying his name,
If Your generosity is refused to Your destitute one?
Far be it from Your generosity to drive the disobedient one to despair!
Generosity is more freehanded than that.
In lowly wretchedness I have come to Your door,
Knowing that degradation there finds help.
In full abandon I put my trust in You,
Stretching out my hands to You, a pleading beggar.”
- Sh. Abdul Qadirhas

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Surat Yusuf

Sheikh Muhammad an-Najdi said:

The brothers of Prophet Yusuf (as) wanted to kill him, but he didn’t die.

Then they wanted his memory to be erased from their lives, but Allah raised his station on earth.

Then he was sold in order to become a slave, but he became a Minister.
Then they wanted to erase his love from his father’s heart, but his father increased in his love and longing for his son.

So do not be upset when people plot against you, because the Will of God is over and above the will of man.

And when Yusuf (as) was in jail, he was the better one even by the testimony of those who shared the cell with him, as they said to him “indeed, we see you to be of those who do good.” But even though he was better than them, he remained in jail for longer. The first one was released and became a servant, the second one was executed. And yet when Yusuf (as) was released many years later, he became a Minister and was reunited with his family.

So if you ever feel that your dreams are delayed, and everyone else seems to be moving forward, just remember the example of Yusuf (as). Stay true to Allah and true to yourself and remember that “Allah does not cause to be lost the reward of those who do good.”

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Rely on None Other

“The Prophet saws said, ‘The people who have the most tribulation are the prophets, then those who are nearest to them, and then those who are nearest to them.’ A man will see tribulation to the extent that his iman and his yaqeen and deen are strong. The stronger someone’s religion is, the more tribulation that God will send to that individual. Behind that tribulation Allah swt is wanting him: 1) not to rely upon anything worldly; 2) so that he has increased reward in the next world. And this is why you’ll find if Allah swt loves someone, if they rely any time on anyone other than God, other than Allah, He’ll break that for them. And you’ll find that…you’ll rely upon your wealth, and Allah will take take that from you; that you’ll rely upon people and Allah swt will make them let you down; you’ll rely upon things other than Allah swt and Allah wants you in that, to only rely upon Him. He only wants your heart for Him swt. And when someone puts his heart in that state, where Allah swt is taking control over his affairs, that’s the essence of walayah… a wali, to have God be your protector. What is a wali? He’s one who Allah swt has taken over all of his affairs.”

- Shaykh Yahya Rhodus

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hope

Hardship may dishearten at first,
but every hardship passes away.
All despair is followed by hope;
all darkness is followed by sunshine.

- rumi

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Strong Imaan

Courtesy of Mamu. :)

A strong woman works out everyday to keep her body in shape,
But a woman with strong Imaan prostrates in prayer to keep her soul in shape…

A strong woman isn’t afraid of anything,
But a woman with strong Imaan shows courage in the midst of fear…

A strong woman won’t let anyone get the best of her,
But a woman with strong Imaan gives the best of herself to everyone…

A strong woman makes mistakes and avoids making the same in the future,
But a woman with strong Imaan realises life’s ‘mistakes’ can also be Allah’s blessings and capitalises on them…

A strong woman walks sure footedly…
But a woman with strong Imaan has sabr (patience) when she falls…

A strong woman wears the look of confidence on her face,
But a woman with strong Imaan wears grace…

A strong woman strives to look beautiful and perfect,
But a woman with strong Imaan knows that she can possess nothing more attractive than the adornment of faith and the beauty of taqwa…

A strong woman has faith knowing she is strong enough for the journey,
But a woman with strong Imaan has faith that it is in the journey that she will become strong…

May Allah guide us and help us to be the women and men of strong Imaan, ameen.

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Liberation Theology

I was with a friend of mine who is involved with interfaith work. She shared this poem as one that inspires her when doing Islamic work; I think this poem is a wonderful example of how communities of faith share much in common. Although I don’t agree with some of the concepts in this poem from an Islamic perspective, the overall lesson to a worker for God is illuminating.

“Oscar A. Romero, Archbishop of San Salvador, in El Salvador, was assassinated on March 24, 1980, while celebrating Mass in a small chapel in a cancer hospital where he lived. He had always been close to his people, preached a prophetic gospel, denouncing the injustice in his country and supporting the development of popular and mass organizations. He became the voice of the Salvadoran people when all other channels of expression had been crushed by the repression.

The following prayer was composed by Bishop Ken Untener of Saginaw, drafted for a homily by Cardinal John Dearden in Nov. 1979 for a celebration of departed priests. As a reflection on the anniversary of the martyrdom of Bishop Romero, Bishop Untener included in a reflection book a passage titled “The mystery of the Romero Prayer.” The mystery is that the words of the prayer are attributed to Oscar Romero, but they were never spoken by him.”

It helps, now and then, to step back and take a long view.
The kingdom is not only beyond our efforts,
it is even beyond our vision.
We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction
of the magnificent enterprise that is God’s work.
Nothing we do is complete, which is a way of saying
that the kingdom always lies beyond us.
No statement says all that could be said.
No prayer fully expresses our faith.
No confession brings perfection.
No pastoral visit brings wholeness.
No program accomplishes the church’s mission.
No set of goals and objectives includes everything.
It may be incomplete,
but it is a beginning, a step along the way,
an opportunity for the Lord’s grace to enter and do the rest.
We may never see the end results, but that is the difference
between the master builder and the worker.
We are workers, not master builders; ministers, not messiahs.
We are prophets of a future not our own.
This is what we are about.
We plant the seeds that one day will grow.
We water seeds already planted,
knowing that they hold future promise.
We lay foundations that will need further development.
We provide yeast that produces far beyond our capabilities.
We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of liberation
in realizing that. This enables us to do something,
and to do it very well.
Amen.

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