Shaad Hamid

Oxford SEO and PPC Consultant/Blogger

January 16, 2019
by Shaad Hamid

Happy Birthday Daria

Today’s a special day. Today is when you turn 1. Phew, your mom and I made it in one piece! Lol..

I still remember my first impressions of you. You didn’t cry as you were pulled out. Before I got worried, you made a weird sound. It was more like “I’m a bit cold and uncomfortable so please wrap me up” type of a sound that you made, instead of a proper cry. Then when the nurses cleaned you up and placed you on top of Mama, the first thing I remember were your eyes. Those fierce, piercing shiny eyes. You looked at mama and me and looked at us a bit unimpressed. Almost to say “is this it? I was stuck in that slimey dark place for 9 months for you guys?”

But what was more interesting about you was that you looked like you already knew stuff. Like you had a quiet confidence about you. The first night (and the first week) you didn’t let us (and the rest of the hospital ward) sleep. Even your cries sounded determined. So much #extra. It wasn’t a regular #basic cry, it was a proper bring the house down cry.

But after your mama put you on a routine you were amazing! You slept through the night over the last 11 months letting papa get good night’s sleep (mama wasn’t too lucky though, you kept waking her up to be fed). In that time you’ve been so curious, so expressive, so determined, so intelligent and so funny! To my relief I can tell you’re going to grow up to be a proper ball-buster. But more importantly, you’re someone who will enjoy this journey despite what life will ever throw at you.

I don’t know if I’ll be part of your life’s journey, life is never predictable. But I want you to always remember what I saw in you from your very first breath and I don’t want life or anyone else to ever take that fire away from you. I want you to know that your mama and I love you with all our hearts and although you drive us insane sometimes because you’re a proper attention seeker, know that we will always be on your side and we’ll be there for you to catch you when you fall.

Before you’ve hit 1, you’ve travelled with us to 13 different cities in 4 different countries (5 if you include Sri Lanka) and you’ve been a champion with new people, different weather conditions, different modes of travel and different environments, from the stinky New York subways to the cold underground tunnels in Cappadocia.

You have made 2018 the best (and sometimes the most challenging) year for your mama and I; and if last year was anything to go by, I can’t wait to see you grow into a confident, intelligent, ambitious and caring woman.

May Allah swt grant your life purpose, keep you curious and confident and grant you success in this life and the next.. Allahumma Ameen.

Share this:
Facebook Twitter Stumbleupon


August 14, 2018
by Shaad Hamid

The balancing act

I’m rubbish at setting and achieving multiple goals within a year. So at the start of each year, I usually set one major goal for it. It’s usually a big one that scares or stretches me.

I measure a successful life on how well I do on 7 core areas. I believe they are all important to feel fulfilled. Of course, at different stages of my life some may take more priority over others.

So the 7 core areas for me are:

  • Personal development (what skills and expertise have I learnt?)
  • Relationships (how would those that I love rate me in terms of the effort I put into the relationship?)
  • Work (am I meeting work KPIs?)
  • Health (am I doing any form of exercise and am I eating healthy?)
  • Finances (am I sticking to my monthly budgets and am I hitting my savings goals?)
  • Spirituality (am I meeting my religious obligations on a daily basis?)
  • Contribution (how much of my time, skills and finances am I giving back to the community/society?)

Because of my inability to focus on more than one goal, I usually end up focusing on one aspect across that particular year, neglecting pretty much every other area in the process.

This year though, I’ve never felt more content. The irony is that I’m fumbling in every aspect of my life right now. I’d rate my work, relationships, health, spirituality and personal development as average, nothing really spectacular. I’m NOT on course to meeting my financial goals this year and for my usual standards, I’m nowhere near my contribution goals.

However, I feel as a person, I’m actually more balanced as I’m feeding every aspect of my life as opposed to just one part of it. I’ve also accepted the fact that I’m never going to be excellent in every area and have stopped aiming for perfection in each of them.

In the past I would feel high levels of stress, anxiety and a massive sense of inadequacy if I’m not at my best in a particular area I was focusing on that year. If it’s health I have to run a half a marathon within a particular pace and time; if it’s relationships, I have to do a grand gesture of love so I feel like I’m doing my part as a husband or a friend; if it’s work, I have to know everything in my field and have the highest level of skill and expertise over everything within my remit, if it was spirituality I have to go over and beyond what is required to feel worthy, if it’s finances I have to make sure I’m maximizing my savings and cutting down every wasted expense while optimising every dollar.

Now, my pursuit is about balance. It’s been tough treading this path. I constantly feel like a failing husband, father, son, brother, friend, employee, boss etc. however, strangely, in my failings I‘ve actually found contentment. I know that I’m doing the best I can in every area of my life. Each area is being somehow fed, regardless of how badly I’m doing the feeding.

I only have 24 hours in a day and 7 days in a week and 12 months in a year. So I’m never going to master all areas of my life. But as long as I know I’m being the best I can in each area, maintaining balance consistently throughout my life then I think I’d be a truly content and fulfilled man.
#authenticlife #authenticliving #contentment #fulfilment

Share this:
Facebook Twitter Stumbleupon


December 30, 2017
by Shaad Hamid

2017 year in review

This year has been a tough year to say the least.

At the start of the year Rizmiya and I hadn’t yet received our visas while living in Dubai, which meant I was technically working illegally. My passport was with a PRO who was extremely irresponsible and highly unprofessional, so much so that when I asked for my passport back he gave it to me with a piece of paper saying I have 30 days to leave the country. Upon closer inspection, the paper actually said I have until midnight to leave the country. I had to leave and come back on a visit visa after 3-4 days. I cut my finger and needed to get stitches which wasn’t covered by insurance. Rizmiya lost and found the car key-fob, which would have costed us at least AED2000 from the price of the car we had to sell. We didn’t have money to cover the difference between the car’s resale value and the remaining car loan. This was primarily due to my employer not paying me 2 months of my salary.

Add to all of that, I got ulcers in my eyes which meant that I lost my eye-sight and was in excruciating pain. I had to wear shades even in the dark as I was sensitive to any light. We had to re-home 5 cats Rizmiya rescued. We were going to adoption day after adoption day. We had a few failed adoptions. We had to go through difficulty at the customs in Sri Lanka when getting down two of our cats. Rizmiya’s ankle was pretty bad.

After moving countries from Dubai to Singapore, we misplaced our baggages. One of the baggages had all the money we had brought from Dubai. Pretty much all our money was in that suitcase, and we managed to lose it.

Cotton fell ill and was at the vets for over 45 days. We ended up spending a 3rd of our total savings on his vet bills.

So 2017 was hard. It traumatised me to such an extent that I am still emotionally recovering from its after-effects.

But through the pain, there was beauty too.

Rizmiya and I learnt that our parents still have our backs. Rizmiya’s mom came over to Dubai to help us clean and arrange all our stuff so we can sell them for a good price.

My parents lent us money in a heartbeat. With no questions asked. I crossed paths with Saara, who was born in Pakistan, educated in Canada and moved to Dubai to join her husband Elvan. She and I are from completely different countries, we’ve not grown up together, our paths crossed simply due to working at DLBi. I had known her for possibly a little over a year. When she knew I was struggling with my car payment, she didn’t hesitate to lend me the money. I didn’t even ask her for it, she offered… A relative stranger, came to my rescue at a time I was going through one of the most difficult time of my life.

The cleaner, who found our luggage and returned it to the security staff at the Singapore airport. This stranger who I haven’t had the chance to meet, saved our family from ruin.

I had the opportunity to save Cotton’s life without getting into debt. I also managed to pay off AK, My parents, Rizmiya’s parents and Saara within 3 months of moving to Singapore. This year was also the year I’ve travelled most within a 12 month period. Most of them were paid for. I am completely debt free and on my way to building a fully funded emergency fund. I’ve also managed to work with an amazing boss and employer. Probably the best boss I’ve ever worked for.

I’m also grateful to my colleagues at work who happen to be a group of talented individuals whom I am proud to work alongside. I am also grateful to my clients.

Although I didn’t manage to achieve all my financial goals this year, I am currently in the best financial shape I have ever been.

Although 2017 was one of the most painful years I’ve every experienced, I am grateful to God for seeing me through and for guiding my heart through the pain. I look back and am shocked at what my wife and I had to endure this past year and we look  forward to 2018 where – insha’Allah – we will experience our biggest achievement yet… welcoming Daria into this world.

I ask Allah to accept from all those who helped us this year, forgive them their shortcomings and grant them abundance in wealth, health and unceasing joy in this world and the next.. Ameen

I ask Allah swt to make the coming year the best year to date.. Allahumma ameen

Share this:
Facebook Twitter Stumbleupon


November 5, 2017
by Shaad Hamid

What I didn’t say – how I’d like to be remembered

So last week my boss asked me to present to the entire office 10 slides about me. It went really well and I kept it as light-hearted as I possibly could. Everyone had a laugh.

The truth is, I hate talking about myself. Especially in front of colleagues. It puts you in an extremely vulnerable place. People prefer shallow interactions, surface level discussions. So anything deeper is just too heavy or too hard to stomach. So if I were super honest, what would I actually say about me?

To answer this question, I do something that may come across as deeply morbid. I like to visualise people describing me at my deathbed. This exercise although may seem a bit extreme, helps remove all of the facade and unearths what the real me aspires to be and why.

So, when I breath my last, this is what I hope people would say about me:

Shaad was someone who lived by his values. He tried his best to do right by God, by his family and to leave a legacy that shaped the world in his own small way.

Shaad looked after his parents, his wife, his daughter and extended family to the best he could. He touched all those who crossed his path with a smile. He dreamed big and was ambitious.

His beginnings never influenced how he wanted to finish. He believed that with God’s help, he could achieve anything. Not a friend would reach out to him except he would graciously help them.

All he hoped for was that his seeking of forgiveness and efforts would be accepted by God. That he would be able to achieve financial abundance so that he and his family could have security, so he could support his parents in their old age, so he could send his daughter to school and university, so he could give her a head start in life and he could give back to society. Shaad was a giver, especially to help people who were debt ridden with no end in sight or for kids who had the potential of a bright future ahead who didn’t have the means to reach them due to financial constraints. 

He planned his future as though he’ll live forever but he lived every day as though it were his last.

May Allah swt grant me and you the ability to live according to our best selves, serving our purpose on this earth, and may He accept it from us. Allahumma Ameen!

Share this:
Facebook Twitter Stumbleupon


November 8, 2014
by Shaad Hamid

Shirk – The Five Forms of Shirk

Bismillah wassalathu wassalamu ala rasulillah

A word many of us have heard and yet not fully understand is Shirk. I find many Muslims getting confused over this in daily and practical life. Theoretically, it makes sense. During the dars, or the lesson with the usthad, it makes sense, but in day to day life the lines of shirk get blurry. Insha’Allah I have put together the five forms of shirk that were outlined by Ibn Taymiyyah rahimahumullah along with practical examples so you can easily follow insha’Allah.

Broadly there are 5 forms of shirk. Let me go over them with you one by one insha’Allah.

1.       Shirk in worship

We only worship Allah, we only pray to Him, we only do sajda & ruku, to Him and we only say certain praises and glorifications to Allah subhanahu watha’ala and we cannot use them for anyone else. When someone is elevated the way Allah subhanahu watha’ala should be elevated, or if people praise someone or something in a way that Allah subhanahu watha’ala should be praised, then you will not accept it.

You can praise people, but there are certain kinds of praises that are only for Allah subhanahu watha’ala. For example, Allah subhanahu watha’ala says in Surah Jinn:


And the mosques are for Allah (Alone), so invoke not anyone along with Allah.

So inside the masjid, the only one you should call out to is Allah subhanahu watha’ala. If anyone else is being called out, then deep inside it shouldn’t sit right with you.

Sadly some Muslims hold the view that if they go to a specific masjid, a shrine or a gravesite of a saint or pious person and give sadaqa or recite Qur’an at that site then it’s going to count for more. Or that when you ask dua through them the chances of Allah subhanahu watha’ala answering the dua is greater. Know dear reader, that no one is going to come between us and Allah. Even habibina Muhammad sallallahu alaihiwassallam does not come “between” us and Allah. His sallallahu alaihiwassallam’s mission was to connect us to Allah directly, the sahaba radhiallahu anhum never sought Allah’s help “through” rasulullah sallallahu alaihiwassallam.  They asked him sallallahu alaihiwassallam  to make dua for them when he was alive, but never did they go to his blessed grave (sallAllahu alaihi wasallam) and ask him to ask forgiveness from Allah on their behalf.

The primary difference between us and Christians is that when they say they pray to God, what they actually mean is that they pray to God “through” Jesus. We as Muslims, when we pray to God, we pray to God “through” no one. We pray directly to Him subhanahu watha’ala.

So that’s the first thing, direct worship ONLY to Him and we DO NOT ascribe partners or people in any way to the level of divinity. This means we only do sajda, ruku, glorifications and praises to Him alone. I hope this is all clear?

2.       Shirk in Obedience.

In this world, whom do we obey? Think.

We obey parents, we obey teachers in a classroom, we obey elders, we obey laws, the police (if the police ask you to pull over, you pull over), your boss at work, your coach on the playing field etc. so there are lots of different people we obey in life.

But to be a slave of Allah, we say we obey Allah. The question is we obey Allah and we obey others too! So is that a kind of shirk?

No it’s not a kind of shirk…. UNLESS you break ONE rule.

That rule is, if obeying someone else means that you’re going to disobey Allah, then it is shirk.

I’ll say that again: if you have to obey someone else. But obeying that someone else means that you disobey Allah, then it is shirk.

I’ll give you an example:

You’re supposed to pray. Whose command is that?


Your dad says “don’t pray” or he says “pray later… pray in an hour”. Now you have a conflict of obedience to parent or obedience to Allah.

Guess what you got to do?

No matter how much trouble you get in, you have to obey Allah subhanahu watha’ala.

I’ll give you another scenario just so I know you’re thinking in the correct lines.

You’re just about to bite into some delicious HALAL KFC. If you have lived in the west, you’d know how rare it is to find halal KFC.

Just when you try to bite into the chicken your dad says “come here! I need you to help me with the laundry right now”. Who do you obey in that case?

Your answer shouldn’t be “but daaaad! The chicken is halal!”

Allah didn’t command you to eat the halal KFC.

The only time you get to disobey your dad (or anyone else for that matter) is when obeying him means that you are clearly disobeying Allah.

Similarly the obedience to a king, a country, a government, a boss, a friend, all of it is fine, unless it means disobedience to Allah.

So that’s what we mean by disobedience to Allah.

Now the third….

3.       Trust

Third element of being slaves of Allah is trust. Do I trust my parents? Yes! Do I trust my teachers? Most of them yes. Do I trust my employer? In many cases, yes. Do I trust my friends? Sure! Do I trust my wife? Of course!

So we are saying you have to trust Allah. But is it true that we can ONLY trust Allah? In some things yes….

When it comes to the unseen…

And when it comes to really defining what is best for you, or the future, when it comes to defining what is right and what is wrong, what is priority and what is not priority, then you have to trust whose decision? Allah’s decision is the best decision. You have to trust it.

You also have to trust Him in that whatever you’re going through right now is better for you.

You have to trust Him that no matter what, you must be grateful.

That takes a lot of trust. That type of trust may not be possible with other people. It may be that your boss fired you and then said to you “this is good for you, trust me”, you will have a tough time trusting him on that.

Also with everyone else, trust is earned. Everybody else, trust isn’t free. I don’t trust anyone. I trust my mother with my life. Because at one point, my life was in her hands. She literally had my life in her hands. Worst case, she could have dropped me. I could not have survived without her. So I absolutely trust my mother.

I trust my father, he raised me; he has worked tirelessly all his life to put a roof over my head and food on the table and give me the tools I need to succeed in my life. So I have to trust him.

Trust with a wife or husband doesn’t come naturally. You don’t know this person, and all of a sudden they are now half your life. It takes time to build trust.

If the husband says I’ll be home at 8pm and he comes back at 11pm and the second time he does the same thing, then the third time will the wife be able to trust the husband about it?

Trust with friends. Is it natural or is it earned?

It’s earned.

Most relationships, trust is earned. You can’t just have it, it’s earned over time.

Business partners can build trust over time. At first they will have strong contracts and they will ‘lawyer-up’ to protect themselves, but after 10 years of doing business together and after going through a lot of difficulty together, they become friends and they realise that they can trust each other.

Thing is we don’t have to have a back and forth with Allah so we can build a trust with Him subhanau wa tha’ala. It is already supposed to be there, because if you think your life was in the hands of your mother, you didn’t realise, your mother’s life and yours has always been in the hands of Allah.

We have left our entire life to Him anyway, the heart beats in my chest are actually left to Him. I forget to recharge my phone batteries; but without my own doing, Allah controls my heartbeat, it never goes out of charge, my digestive system, my cognitive abilities etc. none of them are in yours or my hands. They are entrusted to Him already.

So Allah subhanahu watha’ala does not need to earn your trust. He should be trusted. In Arabic, it’s called thawakkul. We must have thawakkul or reliance and trust in Allah and His decisions.

Also, on a side note. Every other person whom you trust today, will disappoint you or hurt you in some way. Even though you trust them. It’s possible that they will not be able to come through for you. Maybe someone you look up to or your own parents.

But the only one you can always rely on no matter what is Allah subhanahu watha’ala.

Now we come to the fourth:

4.       Love.

We have to love Allah. And the love for Allah needs to be intense.

This one is a hard one to explain, so I need your full attention.

Allah subhanahu watha’ala says:


“And of mankind are some who take (for worship) others besides Allah as rivals (to Allah). They love them as they love Allah. But those who believe, love Allah more (than anything else). If only, those who do wrong could see, when they will see the torment, that all power belongs to Allah and that Allah is Severe in punishment.”

Love is to do with who or what occupies your heart and your thoughts throughout the day. If you love someone, you love thinking about them, you want to be with them, if you love something, you want to have it, you want to consume it, that’s what love is, practically speaking.

The question is though, what do we spend most of our time doing?

Fiddling with our phones, playing mind numbing games, listening to music, watching movie after movie or TV series after TV series, isn’t that what’s taking most of our time?

Think of a little boy who loves a girl. He took a picture of her when she wasn’t even looking and he stares at it all day. He thinks of her all the time. He thinks about her, even when he’s praying.

He made wudhoo, he’s doing sajda, and he‘s doing sajda in the direction of the ka’aba; allegedly he’s doing sajda to Allah, but his heart is doing sajda in a different direction.

Do you understand this problem? The heart is for someone else.

And this is a kind of shirk that you can do even when you’re at the ka’aba. You could be standing in front of the ka’aba in the first row doing sajda to Allah and still be doing this Shirk. That’s the shirk of love.

Trust me when I say that this is a scary shirk. To me personally, it’s the scariest of all the types of shirks.

Allah subhanahu watha’ala says:


Say: If your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your wives, your extended families, the money that you have worked so hard to save, the businesses that you keep worrying about that they’ll go down, and the homes that you love decorating; if you love any of these stuff more than you love Allah and His Messenger, and striving hard and fighting in His Cause, then wait until Allah brings about His Decision (torment). And Allah guides not the people who are Al-Fasiqun (the corrupt people).

So Allah subhanahu watha’ala in the strongest terms warns us about loving anything more than Loving Him and His messenger sallAllahu alaihi wasallam and His cause.

My dear brothers and sisters, this love thing is a tough one. Because if we don’t figure this thing out, then we are falling under shirk.

So what is the shirk of love? It is committed when my love for my parents, my children, or my wife, or my job, or my car or my house is not based on the love I have for Allah. I’ll say that again:

You can love your friends, you can love your wife, the husband, the children, you can love the parents….

So what does that mean practically? How do you understand that concept?

Out of love for them, you do things Allah doesn’t like, or you do things Allah hates, then that is shirk in love. That love is making you turn away from Allah and from what He loves.

Let me elaborate.

It’s OK in Islam to love money. It’s not haram. Allah actually says among the things that man loves is money. So it comes naturally to us to love money. Also, do you know why people love money? Not just because you can buy lots of stuff. But because you have to give up a part of your life to earn it. You have to slave away at an office or a farm or a truck, you have to do work to earn money. To give up a part of your life to earn it. So that money you have in your hands is actually a part of your life that you gave up. It’s hard to let go of it. Have you ever heard people say “this is my life’s savings”? Sounds familiar? So you have to have a love of it, it’s natural.

But when that money takes you away from what Allah loves then you’ve got yourself a problem. Then you’re committing the shirk of love. Allah doesn’t deny you love.

Allah doesn’t say you can’t have love for anything else. It’s part of being insan human is to love people, pets, money, things etc. But Allah is saying that if that love takes you away from Me, then that’s unacceptable.

There are people who LOVE their house, they can’t even think of leaving it, they’ve spent so much time building it, cleaning it and decorating it. They can’t imagine losing the house.

What they don’t realise it is that whether they like it or not, one day, very soon, they will be leaving that house and someone else is going to occupy that house and they won’t be anywhere near it.

As much as you love that house today, one day you’re going to look back and regret that love that you had. You’ve got your love placed in the wrong place.

Is it Okay to love a house? Of course! I actually love my tiny little apartment I live in. But it becomes a problem if I love my apartment so much that I forget that there’s another house awaiting for me in the hereafter created by Allah. Instead I say.. “nooo I don’t want that house, I just want to stay here forever”.  Nauzhubillah!

Some of you may even take haram loans in order to finance your homes upon your wife’s request. She keeps pestering you for a home and you can’t afford it; but she keeps saying, “don’t you love me enough? Don’t you want to see me happy?” So you go on a mortgage to pay for it. Completely disregarding that Allah says you will be waging war against Allah and His Rasul sallAllahu alaihi wasallam by taking interest.

Isn’t that a problem? That’s shirk in love.

How can you say you love Allah when your heart truly doesn’t love Allah?

My brothers and sisters, this is a warning to myself first and foremost, this is something that we need to seriously watch out for.

I cannot test this one for you, nor can you check this for me. Because it is deep down inside and you have to watch out for it yourself.

Here’s a good litmus test to figure out if you’re committing this type of shirk. Think of what you love the absolute most; maybe it’s a toy, maybe it’s a device, maybe it’s the house, it’s the car, maybe it’s the person…. The object of what you love in this world, which is more than anything else in this world to you, once you’ve got that thing in your head, now in your imagination deprive yourself of it. Imagine it’s no longer there.

That person is no longer there, the money, the house, or whatever that thing is, is no longer there……., and you’re still totally fine, you’re completely OKAY. It’s not a problem to you…., why? Because you still have Allah. Then you’re fine. Alhamdulillah

But if that thing that you love is taken away, and you’ve just lost it mentally and emotionally… and you don’t know what to do with yourself, you don’t want to live anymore, or you’re in serious depression, then you have a shirk problem.

You know, the love of Allah above all else, having this love will save your life. Wallahi.. I will say this again… IT WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE. There are people who love their career, there are people who love their appearance, they work out 10-12 hours a day, they love seeing themselves in the mirror, they post shirtless pictures of themselves on facebook and twitter, and if those same people get sick, if those same people get hospitalised, and they lose their physique; or the people who love their money and love their job, lose their job and lose all their savings, and they no longer have the status that they used to enjoy, they no longer have the car they used to drive, the house they used to have, the school their children used to go to, if they no longer have those things, you know what a lot of those people do when they lose it?

They lose Iman. They cannot take it anymore. Or worse, they commit suicide.

In other words, our love of all things, actually makes us weak. The only one love that you can survive no matter what happens to you in this life and you’ll still survive, you’ll still be fine, is the love of Allah, because:


Everything will perish and is meant to perish except the face of Allah (it’s an expression to mean Allah subhanahu wa’tha’ala Himself – Note. I have only translated the words highlighted in yellow).

Your parents are not going to be here forever and neither are you. We don’t know which one Allah will take first. We don’t know. We are grateful that our parents are alive and that our children are alive, but life is not in my hands and it is not in your hands.

But the idea that everything we have around us and everyone we have around us is temporary, so love it, but love it to an extent, but the love we have for Allah is beyond limit. The house He has built for us in Jannah in His company, is beyond limit. If you can internalise this truly, then life will become easy for you. And when you do internalise that, I can tell you from personal experience, if you internalise that even a little bit, Allah will open the doors of this world for you.

You’re not obsessed with this world and Allah will give you and will give you and will give you. He will give you because He knows you want something far bigger. Not a stupid car, or a mortgage or a million dollars, all these things in this world to you means nothing except earning the love of Allah subhanahu watha’ala.

So love is a big one.

Finally we come to the last form of shirk.

So there are four types so far that we discussed. Can you jog your memory?

What was number one? Number two? Number three? And number four?

If you can’t remember, scroll up and gloss over very quickly.

Done? OK let’s move on.

Here’s the fifth and final one.

Instead of giving you the word for it, I want to explain the concept first and then I’ll give you the name for it.

Pretend you got a job, you got a new job. On this job, you have to do five tasks. They give you your contract, and the contract says, here are the five things you need to do. a, b, c, d and e. these are the five things I need you to do every single day. Spend an hour each on a, b, c, d and e. you have a 5 hour job. Fine.

At the end of the day you go to your manager, and he asks you “how was your first day”? So you say, “it was pretty good”. So the manager asks, “how was your work? Did you do, a, b, c, d and e”? So you say, “yeah it was pretty good, I did e, f, t, w, z”.

The manager is a little confused, because he didn’t ask you to do e, f, t, w, and z. he asked you to do a, b, c, d and e. the manager asks “why didn’t you do what I told you to do?”

You say “well, I felt more comfortable with e, f, t, w, and z. and a lot of the others in the office were doing e, f, t, w, and z. I really enjoyed the work. Thank you for the job”.

If you keep doing this, are you going to be keeping that job for long?

You better get your act together. Because when you get a job, what you have to do at that job is not determined by you.

What you have to do is determined by your employer.

When you take a class at school, your professor says you have to do two mid term exams and two assignments on a topic specified by him and they need to be handed in on time. If none of the above criteria is met, then you will fail the class.

So if you want to survive his class, do you say, “no I feel like doing one assignment and I really hate exams”? Or do you have to follow by his terms?

My teacher and I have a relationship. What the terms of that relationship are, are defined by the teacher, not me.

I hope you are following me so far?

At my job, I have a relationship with my employer, but the terms of those relationship are primarily defined not by me but my employer.

BUT in all of these cases, there is still room for some negotiations. Isn’t that true?

For example in a marriage where there are two people, that relationship is actually almost entirely made up of negotiations. You have to figure out who picks up the kids from school, who is going to drop them off, who’s doing the groceries, who’s doing the laundry, who’s doing the cooking and then who is doing the dishes? You divide the responsibilities. That’s what you have to do. At least in a normal relationship.

Now we have a relationship with Allah. He is Rabb (master) and we are His abd (slaves). Who gets to decide what my responsibilities are as a slave? Do I have any say in this? Actually none. I have no say in what this relationship will look like.

So this last item is “the terms of the relationship”. In other words, I don’t get to decide what worship means, what obedience means or what trust means or what love means. I don’t get to decide what any of it means. He will decide that for me.

I don’t come up with my own definition.

Now this is very important.

Are there people who believe in God? Sure. But they say “to me worshipping God means to be a good person, I don’t have to pray to show it”. Are there people who when they talk about their relationship with God, they start with “well, to me….”

So we have a relationship with Allah, but the terms of the relationship will not come from whom? YOU.

Your can’t say “to me this is what this relationship means”. It’s NOT up to you.

He’s the Master (Rabb), He gets to decide. You are a slave, which mean you have NO say in it whatsoever.

So you can’t say “to me one prayer is enough” or “to me, I worship God through dance”. “Hajj is interesting, but to me Hajj should be more about going to New Zealand because there are mountains and breath-taking landscapes and I will appreciate Allah’s creation more if I went to New Zealand instead of Makkah”.

Well that’s nice you feel that way, but it’s not up to you. The terms of what is expected of you will not come from you, it will come from Allah subhanahu watha’ala. And I can tell you with a huge amount of confidence that there are a vast number of Muslims in the world who do not understand this concept. Who feel that their relationship with Allah is based on what they feel it should be.

Some of them go “I am willing to give Him Friday prayer, I am going to give Him that much, but what I do during the rest of the week is my business”. Or “I will recite Qur’an everyday but I will still earn my living by working at the bar”. So some people decide when they listen to Allah and when they won’t listen to Allah subhanahu watha’ala.

Some think “I am willing to give Allah a long beard, but I am not willing to give my sisters their share of the inheritance” even though that’s in the Quran. But a beard I’ll give Him.

What are people doing? They are taking things that they feel like taking and rejecting things that they feel like rejecting. Well, this accepting and rejecting isn’t up to us once you have accepted Allah’s slavery.

So if you start defining the terms of the relationship, then this is also a form of shirk.

So let’s recap, there is shirk in worship, obedience, trust, love and there is shirk in who gets to define slavery to Allah. The definition of it, the expectations of it have to come from Allah. If you put yourself on the negotiation table with Allah, then that means you have put yourself at the same level as Allah. So that is Shirk.

Bi’iznillah, I hope this is all clear to you now and I pray that Allah guides us and keeps us guided on His path and we pray that Allah azzawajal grants us clarity and the courage to be His slaves at all times and that Allah protects us from falling into any form of Shirk.

Allahumma ameen.

Share this:
Facebook Twitter Stumbleupon


June 7, 2014
by Shaad Hamid

Making this Ramadan your best ever!

The ultimate objective of Ramadan is to get closer to Allah.

Getting closer to Allah is relative, I don’t care if you perform salah only on Jumuah, I don’t care if you pray 3 times a day and miss Fajr and Isha during other days, and I don’t care if you’re someone who wakes up everyday to pray Qiyam. Whatever your level of Emaan is, ensure that at the end of this Ramadan, your relationship with Allah is better than when you began the blessed month of Ramadan. This is the least you can achieve in this blessed month.

The second objective is to earn Allah’s forgiveness. The month of Ramadan is full of bounties and blessings. Don’t miss out on Allah’s extended mercy toward those who fast in this month. Constantly seek forgiveness and ensure that at the end of this month, you are forgiven. Imagine concluding the month of Ramadan being fully cleansed and forgiven and you come out of it sinless like a new born baby?

The third objective is to earn protection from the fire. This is the highest objective for those who want it. what this means is that on the day of Qiyama (judgement) when everyone will be worried about their destiny, you will be stood there, given VIP access into Jannah because Allah Al-Kareem released you from the fire of Jahannam. Also, in the Shariah, there are instances where you can’t go back on your word even if you were joking. For example, if you say “I divorce you” to your spouse even as a joke, you can’t go back on your word. It means you have divorced the person (or given your first thalaq for those who want to be more technical!). Also when you have said “I release you” to your slave, even as a joke, you cannot go back on your word from the point of the Shariah. So my dear brothers and sisters, would you think Allah the Most High, would ever go back on His word when He has given you freedom from the hell fire? If He says this Ramadan that “you, O My servant, I have freed you from the fire”, Allah Most High would never go back on His word! Can you imagine what a huge achievement that is? SubhanAllah, only a fool will let this month pass away without trying to earn the freedom from hell fire.

Having said that, I am aware not everyone’s motivation will be the same. So in order to achieve at least the minimum goal this month, let us put together an action plan.

This is aimed at those wishing to go for the lowest objective in this month of Ramadan. May Allah Azzawajal make me among those who have gotten closer to Him even by a foot-span. Ameen!

1) Make sincere intention that this year, you will connect with Allah in a deep and meaningful way. Actions are judged by intentions, so make sincere intention.

2) Set a target of attending Fajr and Isha in congregation. This one is for the men. Please don’t be among those who miss Fajr and Isha in congregation but pray all of the prayers of tharaweeh in jamath. Your 5 fardh salah is your first priority. The tharaweeh is to add to the 5. If you offer Fajr and Isha in congregation, then ensure you also pray tharaweeh. I don’t care if you pray 4 rakath, 6 rakath, 8 rakath or 20 rakath. The important thing is to pray Fajr and Isha in congregation. You ask why? Because Habibina Muhammad sallallahu alaihi wasallam said that the one who prays Fajr and Isha in congregation, will get the reward of praying the whole night. So even if you went to sleep and didn’t pray tharaweeh, you will get the reward of praying all your tharaweeh and more! Also imagine that you slept through the laylathul Qadr, based on this hadith of our beloved Nabi sallallahu alaihiwasallam, you will still get the reward of praying the whole night of laylathul Qadr just by offering Fajr and Isha in the masjid in congregation. Sounds like cheating right? This is how important these two fardh salaths are in the Shariah. The Ummah has lost focus on priorities, so aim to offer these two fardh salath in congregation!

3) Use this month to memorise 60 ayath of the Quran. This would amount to memorising 2 ayath a day. I don’t care if you have never memorised an ayath of Qur’an before. Trust me, memorising 2 ayath a day is extremely easy! Allah Himself promises that this Qur’an has been made easy to memorise! Just imagine getting 2 ayath a day closer to Allah’s book? By memorising the ayath of Allah, you are taking the Quran which is preserved in the Lauwhul Mahfooz which is above the seven heavens right into your heart? SubhanAllah, there is no relationship with Allah Most High without a relationship with His book. Also, when you start memorising know that for every letter you recite you receive 10 good deeds recorded. So when you try to memorise an ayath, you end up repeating an ayath over and over again. This means your rewards are multiplied by 10 good deeds PER LETTER every single time you repeat it. Also, you will notice that when you are going about doing your daily routine, you will still recite the ayath you memorised in the morning, so throughout the day you will be earning ajr (rewards). It’s amazing how the rewards for memorising Qur’an are multiplied during a regular day; so can you imagine the rewards during the month of Ramadan? SubhanAllah! So please don’t ever let this month go by without being able to look back and say this month, I have gotten closer to Allah’s book in a meaningful way.

For those of you who have never memorised, here’s a quick tip on how to. Recite the first ayath 10 times while looking at the Qur’an’s text and once you have done that, then recite the ayath 10 times without looking at the Qur’an’s text. Once you are able to recite this ayath without looking at the text, then go to the next ayath and recite it 10 times by looking at the text. Then recite the first ayath and the second ayath together another 10 times. That’s it! Wallahi it’s that easy. Now just like an annoying song stuck in your head throughout the day, you will automatically be repeating these two ayath throughout the day without even trying. It really is a miracle that Allah Most High has made memorising the Qur’an easy. 2 ayath are obviously the bare minimum, so if you can do 3 instead, go for it. Trust me, you yourself will realise that memorising 2 ayath a day is a joke and is super easy. Try it!

 4) Makes lots of dua. Fasting is enjoyable when you make lots and lots of dua. Allah promises to answer the dua of the one who fast right up until she breaks her fast. So make dua abundantly. When you make dua our Habibina Muhammad sallallahu alaihiwasallam siad three things happen. The first is that his dua is answered. The second is that a calamity that was meant to befall the person is averted, and finally if it is not answered in this world then Allah Most High keeps it until the day of qiyamah in order to protect you from the hell fire! The sahaba radhiallahu anhum who heard our beloved nabi say this replied by saying “By Allah! This is amazing! No dua is ever lost so we will make dua abundantly!” Also Allah is Al-Hayyiy! He is the One who when His slave raises his hands to ask Him something is “shy” to return him empty handed. Imagine, when someone asks you a favour and you are in a position to help (if you have a heart) you will feel bad turning that person away without helping that person right? Imagine Allah Most High – who is above any example – the one who has power and control over all things, how “shy” would He feel to not respond to your dua? It is important to stress that the word Habibina Muhamad sallahllahu alaihiwasallam used was Al Hayyiy when describing Allah swt’s characteristic here. Hayyiy comes from the word Hayah which means shyness. But shyness in English is a sign of meekness. However, this particular shyness of Hayyiy, does not come from a position of meekness but from a position of power and honour. It is like a ruler who has power to help his subjects and doesn’t do it, is considered a bad ruler, Allah Most High takes it upon Himself to answer your dua because not answering your dua does not befit His Majesty. I hope my attempt at trying to explain this word was successful and Allah is above all examples.

So please do ask Allah for everything and anything you can imagine (which is halal obviously!). If you want a Lamborghini, ask Allah, if you want to pass your exams with flying colours, ask Allah, if you want a righteous spouse, ask Allah, if you want your debts to be repaid, ask Allah, if you want to go to Jannah ask Allah, if you want to go on Hajj ask Allah, if you want pious kids and progeny ask Allah, you want world peace, ask Allah, you want forgiveness, ask Allah, you want hidaya for your brothers, sisters, uncles aunties, neighbours, colleagues, ask Allah, you want barakah in your work, in your time, in your health, in your wealth, ask Allah. Ask Allah if you don’t have salt in the house, ask Allah if your shoe broke, ask Allah if you want to migrate to another country. Wallahi no dua is too small for Allah and no dua is too great for Allah azzawajal!

I hope the above 4 tips will help you make this month of Ramadan your best ever! Also when you make dua, please don’t forget to remember me in them too!

Baarakhallahu lee walakum!

Thaqabballahu minna waminkum!

Wasaalamu alaikum warahmathullahi wabarakathahu!

Share this:
Facebook Twitter Stumbleupon


May 12, 2014
by Shaad Hamid

Barakah – What is Barakah?

We all ask Allah for Barakah, we all want Barakah, but what exactly IS Barakah?

In English we translate it to mean ‘blessings’. Unfortunately, this is a highly problematic translation as such a translation limits it’s actual deep and beautiful meaning.

Arab linguists break down the word Barakah into three main parts or meanings.

The first part of the word Barakah is to do with increase and growth:

Annamaa’ooh waz-ziyadah, fawqa thawaqqua” – Don’t worry I’ll explain what they mean one by one, insha’Allah.

It means for something to grow (numoo) and increase in number or volume (ziyadah).

So when something has barakah it grows and it increases.

Fawqa thawaqqu“: above and beyond expectations.

So part of what Barakah means is that logic says when you plant one seed in the ground, you expect one tree to come out of it; but in return you get ten trees! Or after 10 years you come back and you get a forest in return! That is barakah…

You may have heard people say “I remember I started my business in my garage with only 5 thousand rupees my dad gave me, today after 15 years I have branches of my company in 5 different countries”.

That is barakah.

You may hear some people say “in my first year, I struggled to find one student to come to my classes, but today my school has grown so much that I have to turn away students because I don’t have capacity even though I have expanded three times already!”

That is barakah.

The second part of Barakah is “Ibtharakath as-sama” – it’s like when something keeps coming continuously, like when the rain keeps on coming and it keeps on coming and it doesn’t stop. So continuity is also part of the meaning of barakah. It’s not something that is temporary.

Usually when something grows or increases such as a huge building that keeps growing, or the economy suddenly improves beyond expectation, the fear is that the crash is also around the corner. Economies that grow too fast are at a risk of crashing fast too. Or what was fashionable yesterday is outdated today! The companies yesterday have gone bankrupt today!

However,  the third part of the meaning of Barakah has something to do with camels. The Arabs call a camel that kneels or sits down as Barakah. This is because anyone who has had any experience with a camel will know that when a camel sits down it’s very difficult to get the camel to stand back up again, and when the camel has sunk in the sand, the camel is extremely stable and stays in its place. Meaning, there is no risk in the camel or the rider falling down, it doesn’t go anywhere.

Similarly, Barakah is something that is stable. It’s not like an economy that rises and crashes, it’s not like the fashion that comes and goes, it is something that stays.

In Surah Ar-Rahman, the first ayath of that Surah is “Ar-Rahman“.

In the last Ayah of that Surah Allah says something about that name.

Allah Rabbul Izzath says “Thabarakasmu Rabbika zil Jalali wal Ikram“, which directly means “The name of your Rabb is full of Barakah, owner of Glory/Majesty and Honour!”

So anything that we do, invoking Allah’s name will have Barakah… Because the name of Allah is full of Barakah.

Finally, when Barakah from Allah comes, know that there is no end to Allah’s Barakah…

May Allah grant you Barakah in your time, in your families, in your health, in your work, in your income, in your food, in your clothes, in your studies and in all endeavours that you pursue… Ameen!

BaarakAllahu lee walakum,

Thakabbal Allahu minna waminkum,

Wassalamu alaikum Wa-Rahmathullahi Wa-Barakathahu!

Share this:
Facebook Twitter Stumbleupon


March 17, 2014
by Shaad Hamid

Aam-ul-huzn – What did our Nabi (Sal) Lose?

Bismillah wassalathu wassalamu ala rasoolillah

When reading the story of the life of our beloved nabi-e-kareem sallallahu alaihiwasallam (sal), it really saddens me when people just go over his blessed life as if it’s some story or a series of events. I’m especially talking about the Aam-ul-huzn…

This was the year that Rasul sal named Aam-ul-huzn.. Or the year of sorrow.

Why? Because he sal lost his beloved wife and uncle.

But then the storytellers just fast forward on to Al Isra Wal Mi’raj..
SunhanAllah, that’s an amazing journey no doubt!

But can we please stop and pause for a moment and just ponder over why our nabi sal was so sad and heartbroken?

Can we please stop for a moment and ponder on what habinina nabi Muhammad sal lost?

Let’s rewind the story for a bit…

Let’s go back to that wondrous day when our Nabi sal received Waheeh through Inzaal.. We know he sal ran back to his home trembling in fear. Many messengers before received revelation too, but he sal just received the Qur’an… The most powerful and the most amazing revelation ever!
So he’s understandably trembling after this whole experience.. So he sal runs home and says to Kadija ral “zammilooni zammilooni,” (cover me up, cover me up – wrap me up in a blanket)

Then when he sal related what happened to Seyyidah Kadija radiallahu anha, what does she say to him sal?

15 years of marriage,
6 children later,
death of two of those children,
everything they’ve been through together
Listen to what she says… Listen to what our mother, ummul mo’mineen seyyidah Kadhijathul Kubrah Radiallahu tha’ala anha says about her husband.
This is her summary of her husband (sal)
She says:
Kalla! Wallahi!
I swear by Allah,
You have nothing to worry

La Yuhk’zeeka Allahu abadan
God will never ruin you… He will never abandon you

Why am I so confident in saying this?

What do I know about you? After 15 years of sharing morning and evening, day and night, after sharing a life with you what can I say about you?

Innaka la thaseelul raheem
You are a great family man, you take care of your family, you love your family.

Wathakree addhaif
You honour your guest
Somebody shows up at your doorstep you go above and beyond any type of social obligation, to honour somebody who comes to your door.

Wathahmilul kalla
You look for people, you go out searching for people, who have fallen through the cracks, who are overlooked and neglected, and downtrodden by society, and you go and you grab them by the hand and you lift them back up

Wathaqsimul ma’doom
You take care of people who can’t take care of themselves and you look out for those people.

Wathu’eenu ala nawaibil haqq
You’re always the first person waiting, standing there, ready, whenever there’s a good cause.

That’s who you are!

There’s no way that Allah would ever abandon you, that God would ever forsake you, and I refuse to believe that.

Think about the conviction she has? What is her husband telling her? That he sal hears voices and that he sal saw an angel speak to him? He has doubts about himself, but here is a woman who is ready to follow him to the moon!

He sal asks “yes, but who will believe this message”? Who will believe me?

She says “I believe in this message” -

Asshadu anlailaha illallah wa’ashhadu annaka rasoolillah

My brothers and sisters, THAT is who our Nabi sal lost…

So whenever you hear of the Aam-ul-huzn, don’t ever think of it as some phase our nabi had to go through and move on.. Wallahi, our nabi sal never got over Kadija radiallahu anha’s passing away even as the years passed.

She is the wife of the greatest man to ever walk the earth, mother of the leader of the women on the day of Qiyamah, Fathima Az Zahra Bint Muhammad Radiallahu anha, Grandmother to Hasan and Husein ibn Ali radiallahu anhum and mother of the Ummah of Muhammad sallallahu alaihi wasallam, our mother..

That was who our Nabi-e-kareem sallallahu alaihi wasallam lost in the year Aam-ul-Huzn Sallallahu alaihi wasallam..

Share this:
Facebook Twitter Stumbleupon


January 17, 2014
by Shaad Hamid
1 Comment

Letter to my nieces and nephews

Bismillah wasSalatu was Salaamu ‘ala Rasoolillah – In the Name of Allah, I begin by asking Allah to send Greetings and Peace upon our Messenger (Sal).

My darling nieces and nephews, masha’Allah I can’t imagine how fast and how much you all have grown. Some of you are already adults and more mature than I ever was at your age, some of you are in your teens (may Allah help your parents :) ) and some of you are at the age I’m not too embarrassed to say you’re a niece or nephew of mine :) (you guys make me feel so old!).

First of all, know how awesome you all are! I thank Allah for blessing me with nieces and nephews who have so much concern, care, love and affection for me. Know that you all are in my duas and that each and every one of you is special to me. In every storm I’ve faced, you guys have been the shade that’s eased my pain (whether you guys know it or not). I ask Allah to grant you pure hearts and to keep your hearts filled with concern, care, and love for others in a way that truly pleases Allah.

I don’t know what made me put these following words together for you, but I had a deep urge to share them with you and I pray that these words will be a part of you as long as you may live. I must warn you that this letter is slightly long and may be boring, but I hope and pray that you will stick along till the end, I promise it gets better :)

My darling children, know that there is only One God. I know you already know this, but I want you to truly know this. I want you to truly know who our Allah is. How loving He is, how caring He is, how perfect He is, how powerful He is. That He alone is our best friend, that He alone is our protector, He alone is our provider, He is the Creator of all things big and small. Out of nothing, He, subhanahu (Most Glorious), made everything. He has knowledge of all things, not even a seed in the ground grows without His knowledge. He, subhanahu, knows what was, what is, what will be, and what would be. He is the one who opens doors for you when you think there is no way out. He is the one who mends hearts and feelings that are broken. Know that His door of mercy, love and forgiveness is always open, no matter how far away you feel you may be from Him.

No matter what you do in life or how busy you feel, ensure that you establish your prayers regularly and with humility. Nothing in your life is more important than your salah. It is a gift from Allah from above the seven heavens and is one of the greatest gifts Allah has ever given us. Prayer is your connection to Allah. It is your weapon. There will be times when your faith fails and your salah begins to slip away from you. Know that this is normal and that every single one of us goes through such dips (even the scholars). But when this happens, return to Allah quickly and make up that which you miss. Do not let shaithaan deceive you. I pray for your success in this. For if you’re successful in this, then Wallahi you will be successful in everything else in this life. Without salah, life itself is meaningless.

My darling children, if we are prosperous now, thank and praise Allah. Tomorrow may not be the same as today. If you are less fortunate in days to come, be patient and equally thank Allah and praise Him. Put your trust in Allah and work hard as taught to us by His Messenger (Sal). Give to others from what Allah has given you, treat your mother and father well, and spend your money in only that which is permitted (halal). Give loans to those who ask, and repay quickly those you owe. All the while, be content with whatever little Allah has given you and be generous with whatever in excess Allah has given you. Speak well of all the gifts Allah has given you and be charitable to your neighbours, family and community. Ask forgiveness from those you harm and do taubah to Allah regularly.

I pray that Allah grants you a true appreciation of Allah’s Book – the Sacred Truth. It is through the Qur’an that you must see the world. It will lead you upon the straight path. The limits you set for yourself and the boundaries you need to set yourself are of that of the Qur’an. The Qur’an is Truth. Know that a time will arrive when you may try to fill your heart with something, be it your work, your sporting careers, your children, your husband/wife, etc. but also know that the only thing in this world that can truly fill your heart is the Qur’an, so make extra effort to learn it and make it a huge part of your life. You will never ever go wrong…

My darlings, as you mature you will come to realise that life is not easy and Allah will test you every so often. He has tested me in many ways, He has tested your parents and maybe even yourselves too. When you are tested, make sure you read of the life of the Messenger Muhammed (Sal) and seek to follow his tradition of life. This will help you be more resilient and strong in the face of trouble. Any kind of hardship you can imagine was shouldered by him, Salaa allahu ‘alihi was Salim. He experienced, in his 63 years of blessed life more tribulation than you and I can ever imagine. He, Salaa Allahu ‘alihi was Salim, was an orphan, a widower, battle scarred, and unjustly outcast. He outlived many of his children and buried some of his grandchildren. His uncle, Hamza, may the Mercy of Allah be upon him, was martyred and his body desecrated. He, Salaa allahu ‘alihi was Salim, was defamed, mocked, lied to and about. He was poisoned, stoned, and had to witness his companions tortured on account of their faith in his Message, Salaa allahu ‘alihi was Salim. So know that whatever trial you go through, it could always have been worse and thank Allah that our tests are easier than that which He tested those that came before us. Also never forget to send our master, our nabi-e-kareem (Sal), salawath everyday at least once. Know that your salawath reaches our Nabi and Allah makes sure that he knows it was sent from you :)

My darlings, know that our Islam is not in the books we read, not in the Qur’an we memorise, not in the number of classes or bayans we attend but in our character. Our Islam is in how we deal with people and how we portray ourselves to others. Speak the truth always, even if against yourself. Avert your eyes from immorality, pornography and junk TV. Keep your chastity and guard yourself from any stage of immorality. Know that a friend is a window to your soul, so choose your friends wisely. Follow your heart and be true to your firasah (instinct). Be just, firm and gentle in your dealings. When you are hurt, recover quickly and thank Allah for the difficulty that extinguishes sin. When you are well and all seems to be at peace, don’t relax, be on guard and anticipate a brewing storm.
When you err, repent to Allah. The greatest lessons you will learn will be through your naive misjudgement of peoples’ character, your over confidence and because you did not heed our advice as your parents and elders :) . When you err, we are there. As bad as you may think it is and as embarrassing as you may find it, step up to your parents and they will come running over to you. If you want, I’m only a text message or an email away :)

My darlings, remember that your mother carried you and sustained you in her own body. For nine months she protected you and nurtured you. She loved you with an amazing intensity all throughout. The day of your birth and all that days that followed have only increased that love. Your illness is her illness, your success is her success. Know my dearest darlings that your mother and father possess nothing of the dunya that is equal to you. They love you and will continue to love you as long as they live. Eventually, insha Allah, you will have children of your own. Make sure you write them a letter too :)

I ask Allah to forgive you, guide you, and protect you. I ask Allah to put love in your hearts for humanity and to use you in the assistance of others. I ask Allah to protect you and honour you with the Qur’an. I ask Allah to increase your rizq, lifespan and allow you happiness in this dunya and in the akhira. I ask Allah to make you the coolness of your parents eyes. I ask Allah to make you role models for others to follow; may Allah through you guide others. I ask Allah to grant you all palaces in Jannah. If palaces sound boring, may Allah grant you awesome theme parks in Jannah so you will never get bored :) May the theme parks have no long queues, and May all the rides be better than the last! :)  May Allah grant us bowling alleys in Jannah where we will all be awesome however much we sucked in this world :) May Allah grant you children and spouses who will be the coolness of your eyes. May your children be on the straight path up until the day of Qiyama. May your children be among those who will fight in the army of Hadhrat Easa alaihissalam. I ask Allah to protect you from a heart that does not tremble in the fear of Allah, from a dua that will never be answered, from a self that will never be satisfied, from an eye that does not cry for Allah’s sake and from knowledge that does not benefit. I ask Allah to reunite us all in Jannah and may He make us from those who are truly successful!


Share this:
Facebook Twitter Stumbleupon


December 25, 2013
by Shaad Hamid
1 Comment

Lessons & Reflections From 2013

May God’s peace, blessings, mercy and guidance be upon you, your family, your children and upon your progeny up until the day we meet our Lord.

I begin by praising and thanking God for all that He has bestowed upon me and my family. He is independent of all need; whether we praise Him or not, He is the one on whom all praise and all thanks are due. He is the reason my mother loves me and cares for me. He is the reason my father and my brother love me and care for me. He is the source of real peace, real contentment, and real success. So I thank God that He granted us the opportunity to recognise Him, praise Him and thank Him for all that He has bestowed upon us. We praise and thank Him for all the victories, the failures, the sweetness of success and the pain of loss; and for all the good and all the bad, for we praise Him and thank Him in all situations. And we say, we are of those who are to Him, grateful.

O Allah! Shower your peace and blessings upon our beloved prophet Muhammad sallallahu alaihi wasallam, upon his household and upon his descendants up until the day of judgement. He is Your most beloved, the greatest soul to ever walk this earth, the teacher, the mercy and the guide to all mankind. He called us to your path and those who followed him have held on to a handhold that will never be broken. O Allah! Grant us his intercession, on a day where no intercession will be granted except by your permission.


As we bid farewell to another year, I thought it befitting that I paused for a moment to reflect on all the lessons that Allah has taught me during this past year. For me, personally, this year began as a year of sorrow, a year of despair and loss. But through the deceptions and the drama of this life, this year has truly ended as a year full of guidance, patience and success. Alhamdulillah!

These lessons I hope I can etch them in my heart so that I continue to grow and continue to uphold them and take these lessons through to 2014 and beyond insha’Allah.

The lessons:

  1. Everything in the heavens and on the earth is owned by Allah. This includes your own selves, your siblings, your parents, your spouse, your children, your house, your car and all that your eyes can see and all that your mind can imagine. Whatever that you ‘have’ and all that you ‘own’ is a gift directly from Allah. The place of a gift is to be held in the hand, not in the heart. The only thing the heart can truly be filled by is the giver, the owner of your hearts. Not by the gift. Never make the mistake of putting the gift in your heart and leaving Allah in your hand. So your children, your parents, your spouse, your job, your house and all that you own are His. He has given these to you as a an amanah (a trust) for a period of time so that you will recognise Him. Also since He is the owner of all things, He has set a timeline on all things. Our time with our parents, our grandparents, our children, our jobs and our time on this earth are limited. Indeed our lives are limited and of that none of us disagree on. Upon His will, He gives and upon His will He takes. So truly understand what it means when we say: to Allah we belong and to Him is our final return. If you can truly grasp the essence of it’s meaning, you will be liberated from the shackles of deception and your eyes will truly open to the ultimate reality. The reality that time is running out and with every second that passes by, we are at loss. Except those who recognise that they are at a state of loss, who try to rectify their paths and who help others to the truth. They are also patient, persistent, and consistent in their pursuit toward their Lord. These are those who will have real happiness in this life and eternal bliss in the hereafter, these are the truly successful and those who are truly guided.
  2. Guidance is a gift from Allah, it is not something that enters the heart upon whom you will. You can wish it upon as many people as you like, but if Allah hasn’t willed guidance upon them, and if they are not willing to open their hearts in order to allow the light of Allah to enter, then they will never receive guidance whether you like it or not. Be grateful that Allah has given you the gift of guidance, the gift to see the reality of this world for what it really is; but don’t expect everyone you meet, that all your loved ones will have a share of Allah’s guidance. Your job is not hidaya (guidance), but to convey. Nothing more, nothing less. So don’t despair.
  3. Improve your relationship with Allah’s book. If your Qur’an has gathered dust on your shelves, weep for yourselves. This book is a hope for those who are in despair, glad tidings to those who are doing good, a guide for the lost, a mercy for the suffering, a warning to the heedless, and an act of true love from Allah. This book is a gift from above the seven heavens, a real gift of the highest value. No price could ever be placed on the benefit that a single verse from it brings upon the heart. So make extra effort in learning the teachings of the Qur’an and may the Qur’an be the light of your life.
  4. The weapon of the believer is dua and tawakkul. The one who has placed his trust in Allah has entrusted his affairs upon the greatest waqeel (disposer of affairs). Allah is the one who parted the ocean for Moosa alaihissalam (Moses pbuh), cooled the fire for Ibraheem alaihissalam (Abraham pbuh), let the sleepers sleep for over 300 years, reunited Yusuf alaihissalam (Joseph pbuh) with his father (Ya’qoob alaihissalam or Jacob pbuh), who saved nabi Yunus alaihissalam (Jonah pbuh) from the belly of the whale, who sent the angels down to support the believers at Badr. He is Al- Mujeeb, the one who responds immediately to the one who calls out to him. When you ask Allah (swt), it means you know Him. Knowing He responds means knowing that He is All-Seeing (As-Baseer), All-Knowing (Al-`Aleem), All-Hearing (Al-Samee`), that He is the Most-Loving (al-Wadud), that He gives us even if we don’t deserve it (al-Wahhab), that He is not in need of anyone or anything but we are in need of Him (al-Ghaniyy). If we don’t ask, then we truly do not know Him, and we are missing out on an amazing act of worship. So ask Allah, ask Him wherever you are, whatever you do, whatever the state of your imaan is, keep asking for indeed, He is truly the one who responds.
  5. Listening to shaithan’s whispers (waswasa) even in minor things (why pray an additional nawafil prayer? You have prayed all your fardh and sunnath muakkadar’s so relax) gives him power over you. To truly be free from the deception of shaithan is to continuously seek Allah’s refuge against the chief deceiver and to keep your tongue moist with the remembrance of you Lord for it shames him and breaks his back. Be on guard at all times, he has lost hope in deceiving us in great things so be conscious of the little things.
  6. Allah is Al-Fatthah – We need to know al-Fatthah when we feel that things are impossible or too difficult because Allah (swt) necessarily invites you to know Him by this Name in those circumstances. When you feel as though all doors are closed, when you see no way out of your predicament, when you have no options, the one who opens new doors for you, doors you think are impossible to open or doors that you never thought existed, is Al-Fattah. He is the one who sends you solutions to problems you think are too great. And when Allah sends us a solution, He gives us that which exceeds our expectations. When Hajar salamun alaihima (Hagar pbuh) was running between Safa and Marwa, all she hoped for was some nourishment for her baby, or to see people who could help. And she didn’t give up, going back and forth 7 times. So Allah did not just give her nourishment for the day or week or month – He gave her the well of zamzam, which we still drink from today. Zamzam brought people to settle in the area and this was where the Ka’aba was built. That is an opening from Allah! Subhana Rabbiyal a’ala!
  7. Allah is Khabeer – Not only do we refer to this attribute everyday of our lives, but, when truly understood, it is a Name that brings tranquillity and confidence to every person who is overwhelmed. It is a Name that reminds us of our priorities, of where true greatness lies and who is ultimately in control. Another Name from the same root is al-Akbar (the One who is Greater). Al-Akbar simply calls us to understand that Allah is greater than whatever we can imagine. So it is no coincidence that the words used to call us to prayer are “Allahu akbar“—basically telling us to drop whatever it is we are doing because God is greater. We are told to come to what really gives us success (hayya ala al-falaah). Allahu akbar! The Prophet ﷺ (peace be upon him) tells us that one of the most beloved deeds to God is to pray on time. Because we are prioritizing: God is greater.
  8. Ya Latheef! Sometimes there is that one moment when someone says something that you need to hear. Perhaps you are sad, and your friend texts you randomly saying, “You know, I really wish you the best,” for no apparent reason. Or you are going through a difficulty and attend a talk, and the sheikh says something that particularly resonates with you. How did these people know to say these things, to remind you of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala (may He be glorified and exalted), when they had no idea what you were feeling or going through?That is Allah al-Lateef—He who is Benevolent, Gentle and Subtle with His servants.
  9. Allah is the light of the heavens and the earth. The light with which you see things for what they really are. When the light of Allah enters your heart, everything makes sense! You experience ‘Noorun-ala-Noor” – Light upon Light. Where you came from, where you’re heading, the purpose of your life and existence, the dramas of this life, of loss or victories… it will all makes sense. When you experience this level of ihsan, Allah becomes the eyes with which you see, the ears with which you hear and the tongues with which you speak. May Allah grant us such a high station in our imaan. Ameen!
  10. Salah the ultimate protection – man has walked many paths and on many journeys, even to space and up to the moon! Alhamdulillah! But there is one journey no man has ever taken. No man, but one. On a vehicle no man has ever seen and to a place no creation has ever set foot before. This was the journey of a man who went from the lowly earth to the highest heaven. A feat no man has ever achieved. This is Isra-wal-mi’raj (the magnificent journey). Where our beloved prophet Muhammad ﷺ was taken by Allah to give him a commandment. A commandment so great that instead of sending Jibreel alaihissalam (Archangel Gabriel pbuh) down with it, Allah jalla jalalahu brought our nabi-e-kareem ﷺ up to Himself. That commandment was salah. It was a gift to us from the highest heavens. This is a treasure that whosoever unlocks will find victory and success in it.
  11. Everything shall perish – if you are going through a tough time or a calamity, rejoice with the knowledge that this calamity is not permanent. Verily, with difficulty comes ease. And the promise of Allah is true! If you are going through good times, Alhamdulilah! Be grateful and know that this too shall perish. As the seasons come and go, Allah teaches us through nature that after the toughest winters is spring and after the most beautiful summers comes autumn. Tests don’t merely come in the form of calamities. Sometimes success and wealth is given as a test to see if you are of those who are grateful.
  12. What’s the message? – Know that nothing in this life that you experienced was ever meant to miss you and nothing in this life that was missed was ever meant for you. Allah speaks to us every single day through His creation and through His signs. In every situation get into the habit of asking yourself what’s the message for me? Your friend may have lost his mother, but what lesson is Allah teaching you? Your cousin may have died unexpectedly at an extremely young age, but what lesson or lessons was it meant to teach ME? Everything you experience in your life are lessons and messages from the Most High. Make sure to clean your hearts and prepare to receive these messages.
  13. The best way to overcome calamity is to look at serving others. It may be that you are finding it difficult with finances, but even when times are tough, give. Give of your wealth, give of your talents and give of your time. Be of service and benefit to your community. In the act of service to others you will earn Ajr (reward) and you will earn purification. Give so that your wealth gets purified and give so that Allah blesses you with soft hearts.
  14. The path to God is not linear. One day you will feel your salah was amazing! Every word you uttered meant something to you. You felt Allah’s rahma enshroud you. On another day you may have felt as though you never had it. We all go through such spiritual ups and downs and they are normal. The challenge is to continue making the effort no matter how you feel.
  15. All the ibadah that we do, all the Qur’an we learn, all the Arabic that we try to learn, all the hifdh, the dhars and the tafseer classes we go to and the salah we try to perfect (salah with khushoo) are all meant to help us with one thing. And one thing alone. You would have heard the cliché answer whenever someone asks you what’s the point of going to a bayan or getting closer to the Qur’an or memorising the Qur’an etc. the usual answer is so that we get ‘guidance’. But what IS guidance? From what I’ve learn’t, true essence of Salah, learning Qur’an etc. are all so that it will help you make better CHOICES. Every single day you will be presented with choices, “should I go to the office party or not? Should I look down or should I catch that secret gaze? Should I wake up for fajr or stay asleep a little more? Should I post this picture on FB or should I not? Should I say what I am about to say or not? Should I go to the concert or not? Should I go to the movies or not?” and many many more choices. How you respond to them will show your true level of understanding and imaan. If the bayans, the blogs you read, the Qur’an you read and the very many salats you offer don’t help you make better choices, then there is a problem inside your heart that needs mending.
  16. The morning glory – the sun is beautiful in the early morning, it does something to the trees that you don’t see at any other time of the day. It almost feels like all of creation, at this time celebrate the praises of their Lord. All of creation in submission and worship to their Lord, Cherisher, Provider, Sustainer and Protector. I think we all want the same thing, a quiet peace. Maybe just a single moment of it. To close our eyes and just be OK. For even a single second, to not feel worried about something, sad about something. To crave about something we don’t or can’t have. Just to be there, OK. Still. Silent. On the inside. Maybe that’s what’s so beautiful about this time of the day. The absolute stillness.
  17. Not for nothing - 

    Men who celebrate the praises of Allah, standing, sitting, and lying down on their sides, and contemplate the (wonders of) creation in the heavens and the earth, (With the thought): ”Our Lord! not for nothing have You created (all) this! Glory to You! (Subhanak!) Give us salvation from the penalty of the Fire.
    And that’s just it! All of this, the sadness, the accidents, the smiles, the peace, the pain, the love, the loss and the sacrifice: it’s not for nothing. It’s not a mistake, some sort of oversight, or a random course of events, it’s certainly not without purpose.
May Allah instil these lessons in me in the years to come and may it be a catalyst for you to get to know your Lord and your life’s true mission. May we be among those whom Allah describes in Surah A’ala :
(To the righteous soul will be said:) “O (thou) soul, in (complete) rest and satisfaction!
“Come back thou to thy Lord,- well pleased (thyself), and well-pleasing unto Him!
“Enter thou, then, among My devotees!
“Yea, enter thou My Heaven!
May Allah grant our souls the above station of ‘Muthma’inna’! For nothing else really matters…
Enhanced by Zemanta
Share this:
Facebook Twitter Stumbleupon