Tag Archive | jihad al-Shaytaan

Wake up call

Assalamu alaykum and welcome.

 

While making efforts to stay productive I found this interesting article. In general it’s talking about how shaitan whispers to people to delay important matters. The article begins with giving some hadith about how shaitan tries to hinder believers from fajr. Do you or someone you know have trouble waking up for fajr? It is because shaitan whispers that the night is long, so do not hurry you have plenty of time. He probably points out how comfy and warm your bed is too in the wintertime. It is something I struggled with personally when I first entered Islam but after reading the article I found it much easier to wake up on time. It was probably the part about shaitan urinating in your ears that got to me. Whether literally or metaphorically, it’s something I don’t want to even think about getting into my ears.

 

I pop right up for fajr but it takes the better part of 20 minutes to get my husband up most days. Shaitan tries to deter me from helping my husband as well. At first I didn’t realize it but then I got wise to what was going on. Often at first I would try to wake him but he would shout at me or ask me to wake him up later. Defeated, I would often pray alone and wake him up just before sunrise. But once, as I tried to wake him, as usual my husband quite convincingly said he is awake to get me to stop trying to wake him. Once it became clear he was falling back asleep I decided to persist. He began to shout angrily at me as I became louder and more aggressive in shaking and waking him. Finally he sits up, swearing as he does and telling me how annoying I am. (For the record, I may be loud but I always keep a sweetness in my voice.) But once he made wudu and we prayed he did not remember his earlier reactions. I tell him what mean and hurtful things he said but he swore he did not recall saying such things. A more cynical viewer may think he is simply lying but I know my husband in his waking life does not even think to say such things. I realized it was shaitan that had a strong grip on my husband in the early hours of the morning and he was trying to keep my husband from fajr by deterring me from waking him up. Although it still takes close to 20 minutes to wake my husband, I am no longer deterred or hurt by his words as he slowly wakes. He will still sometimes shout or tell me not to annoy him but I know that is not truly my husband speaking.

 

My husband is a fine man with strong iman and I know he wants to pray fajr. It’s simply that shaitan tries much harder to deter people who are doing good and following the path of Allah. Another good example is when I first started to make wudu before bed. It was not long after I had said my shahada that I learned of this sunnah and decided to try and start it. The first night I did it I had a vivid nightmare. I’m no stranger to the occasional nightmare so I thought nothing of it. The next night I make wudu right before bed again and once again had a severely violent dream. This continues for the whole week. I have never had so many nightmares in a row. I begin to consider stopping making wudu before bed since it seems to be what brought on these nightmares, but I first consult on of my sisters on the matter. I still remember her eyes opening wide as she realized and explained to me what was going on. My friend explained that when you are far from Allah, shaitan does not bother you much since you are already doing what he wants you to do. But when you begin to draw closer to Him, he will try his utmost to keep you from the straight path. She explained how shaitan tries by any means to keep you from doing things that are good for you. So my doing wudu before bed was something good he was trying to prevent me from doing. She suggested I begin reading ayat al-kursi before bed as well. Wouldn’t you know it, the next night I was free from nightmares!

 

My point here is twofold. When you first want to start doing something good you will most likely hear the whispers of shaitan in the form of “You can do it later,” “It’s not that important,” “Take your time” etc. But once you have overcome that first hurdle you may still have to deal with whispers like “Here is something more interesting!” “This isn’t worth it, just quit,” or “It’s too hard, you’ll never be able to finish it” etc, ad nauseam. Sometimes just knowing where these thoughts are coming from is enough to get through them. Realizing it’s not your own voice telling this to you can help you get to your task and not be deterred from it, like how once I realized it was not really my husband saying those things I was no longer hesitant about waking my husband for fajr. And if the knowledge is not enough to shut down those voices, there is the power of dua and the Qur’an. So don’t delay! Start memorizing more Qur’an, revive that sunnah, study for that test, do more voluntary fasts, make that complicated meal to break you fast, learn some fiqh, listen to that lecture, and show to shaitan you live for Allah and he has not power over you!

I am incredibly LAZY!

Assalamu alaykum and welcome.

 

Almost all of us know that our idle time often goes to waste.

Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas: The Prophet said, “There are two blessings which many people lose: (They are) Health and free time for doing good.” (Bukhari: 8: 76: 421)

What causes the loss of these blessing? It is often laziness, doubt, and the ego. And one does not have to look far to find the origin of these maladies.

Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Apostle said: “Satan puts three knots at the back of the head of any of you if he is asleep. On every knot he reads and exhales the following words, ‘The night is long, so stay asleep’…” (Bukhari: 2: 21: 243)

 

Well then, what can be done to overcome this? Firstly, the Qur’an offers this advice:

And if an evil whisper comes to you from Shaitân then seek refuge with Allâh. Verily, He is All-Hearer, All-Knower. Verily, those who are Al-Muttaqûn (the pious), when an evil thought comes to them from Shaitân, they remember Allâh, and (indeed) they then see (aright). (7: 200-201 Dr. Mohsin)

And the rest of the latter hadith is in agreement:

“…When one wakes up and remembers Allah, one knot is undone; and when one performs ablution, the second knot is undone, and when one prays the third knot is undone and one gets up energetic with a good heart in the morning; otherwise one gets up lazy and with a mischievous heart.”

 

Even with reminding myself of the rewards of obedience the temptations of the dunya are strong and made stronger still by Shaitan. That is why I want to set a few goal for myself. It will combine my continuing jihad al-nafs with jihad al-shaytaan. “Jihad against the Shaytaan is of two types: 1 – Warding off the doubts that he stirs up to undermine faith. 2 – Striving against him to ward off the corrupt desires that he provokes.” (source) I want to overcome this laziness and strive against Shaytaan to better myself as a Muslim.

 

First and foremost I want to memorize more of the Qur’an. But not just memorize it, I want to understand it as well. This means memorizing how to say it in Arabic and memorizing the English meaning. There have been times when I pray and I feel like I’m merely “going through the motions” because I have stopped paying attention to what I am saying and I need to refresh my memory of the meaning of what I’m saying. Prayer should not be robotic, it should be sincere. Learning more verses will keep prayer from getting boring and the knowledge of these verses can help me be a better Muslimah in my everyday life as well.

 

I need a refresher on how to read Arabic as well. When I first reverted I started to learn Arabic with great enthusiasm. Then, after I learned the alphabet and began reading the Qur’an, I stopped studying Arabic to any extent. Later, I became lazy in reading the Qur’an and have lost much of the ability to read it. I need to remedy this. For me, I cannot simply memorize the Qur’an by repeating sounds. If the sounds are meaningless to me I will not retain it in my memory very well. But If I am actually reading letters in Arabic that I understand I know I will retain more of what I read.

 

I think these first two goals work together very well. This will help me in making Islam more the way of life it should be and not just my religion. The better I understand it, the better I can live and teach it. “We must understand that Islam is not simply possessing a Muslim name or being born to Muslim parents, or saying that one comes from a certain part of the world.  Rather, Islam is a way of life, a methodology for living, not only dealing with religious matters but addressing one’s conceptual outlook on worldly matters as well.” (islamweb)

No Four Letter Words

Assalamu alaykum my Muslim sisters and brothers; Welcome to all non-Muslims

 

I would just like to quickly note, while I should have been perfecting what I want to say over the past few days I was instead spending time with my husband who had been away for a month. So please pardon me for being a little incomplete in my thoughts today.

 

I have a few goals in mind for improving myself as a Muslim which I will be sharing soon. But first I’d like to talk about a few things I already do in my everyday life that I see as part of my striving to be a good Muslimah. And trust me, I do have to strive for these things sometimes because they aren’t always easy to do, either for personal reason or simply because of the environment I am in. Anyway, our first topic: Swearing! I bring this up first because I want to make it clear here and now that cursing and swearing will not be tolerated here.

 

Growing up my mother would not allow any sort of obscenities to be spoken in the house. At it’s most extreme, when my sister and I were quite young we didn’t even talk about heaven and hell in the house. We talked about heaven and heck. Or heaven and “the other place.” That passed as we grew a bit older but the big ones you still can’t say on TV were still out of the question as well as damning anything or using hell out of context. We still weren’t allowed to say anything “sucked” unless we were talking about the vacuum cleaner and the words “this sucks” was followed by “up dirt really well.” Even some of the swearing alternatives were not allowed. “Crap” was still considered too vulgar but “crud” was acceptable. “Friggin’” or “fricken” (or however one might spell it) though not strictly forbidden was strongly disliked. “Freaking” could be used instead but still preferable only to refer to “freaking out.”

 

My point being I was raised not to use curse words. Being raised this way it was pretty much inevitable I went through a stage where I learned just about every swear there was and used them as often as I could out of a misplaced sense of maturity. This was roughly around 5th grade (about 11 years old.) Some time in middle school (junior high school – around 13 or 14 years old) I grew weary of the senseless use of these words and started being more sparing with them. Somewhere along the line I became disenchanted with them all together and gradually tried to drop them out of my vocabulary. Nowadays, I do my best not to say any vulgar words but in rare moments I have dropped an inappropriate “damn” and in a rather embarrassing incident a rather passionate “son of a bitch.”

 

In the Quran Allah says what  means: “Tell My servants that they should speak that which is best. Surely, Satan creates discord among them. Indeed, Satan is an open enemy to mankind.” (17:53 – Mufti Taqi Usmani traslation) And the prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The Muslim does not slander, curse, speak obscenely or speak rudely.” (Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, who said, this is a ghareeb hasan hadeeth; it was classed as saheeh by al-Albaani). So not swearing is largely a personal struggle and a goal one should try to achieve. We should strive to say only what is good and avoid speech which may cause harm. It could even be said the struggle not to swear is also part of jihad al-Shaytaan (which I’ll insha Allah discuss more next week.) It is difficult, however, to avoid bad talk here in the US. It’s just so commonplace and those who try to avoid swearing are often made fun of as “prudish” and “old fashioned.”

 

But despite these challenges I try my best to speak only beautiful words and not curse anything or anyone who does not deserve it. For the most part if I find myself about to swear I will try to not even let out the first sound of the curse word and just say very, very random words or garbled nonsense. Generally I find it very easy to say what I need to say without curse words, even if I’m very angry. While I do my best not to say these words, I still think these words in my head and that is my biggest challenge. Those words are still there, looming, tempting me to use them, making every day a challenge to continue speaking only that which is best. Insha Allah my struggle does not go unnoticed.