Tag Archives: Religion

Reflections on passing away of Junaid Jamshed

The alert popped up on my Whatsapp, a plane had gone missing on the way from Chitral to Islamabad somewhere near Abbotabad. Minutes later, the same sender informed that the plane had crashed with 47 people on board. Like to many such alerts from this friend, who is a security expert and hence often the harbinger of bad news, the response was Inna Lillahi Wa Inna Ilaihi Rajeeoon followed by a forward of this tragic news to others on various groups etc. Yet those 47 people remained just numbers that often pass on my screens. Then came the news that Junaid Jamshed and Saeed Anwer might have been on their way back from Chitral. Suddenly the numbers became real people, a connection that made the tragedy all so real. Soon the passenger manifest was all over the media and it was confirmed by connections in the Tableeghi Jamaat that Saeed Anwer was still in Chitral but alas Junaid and his wife along with several other members of the Jamaat had indeed been aboard that ill-fated flight.

Like many who grew up in the 80s and 90s, Junaid Jamshed was a common name. From the time the Pakistani pop band Vital Signs rose to prominence by releasing what became a prominent Pakistani anthem, the handsome Junaid Jamshed become an idol for young boys and a heart throb for the girls. His voice crooned out songs that stirred the soul and were often listened to on repeat throughout my teens. Concerts were aplenty in those days and I would never miss a chance to catch Vital Signs live on stage.

As I entered college in the fag end of the 90s and subsequently went on journey of religious awakening, I stopped listening to music and then restarted as I struggled with a new me. It seems in the years that as I was struggling so was Junaid. After Vital Signs broke up, there were rumors abound that Junaid seemed to have drifted away from music but then the year after he suddenly was back in the industry as a solo artist and it was not until 2002 that he officially announced he had left music for good. The man who had inspired many subsequent names to join the industry was no longer a part of it.

His renouncement of music led to the start of a successful business career as he entered the fashion field with the help of an entrepreneur Sohail Khan. This business venture now gave Junaid the support he needed and soon the poster-boy of Pakistani pop became the public face of the Tableeghi Jamaat.

(The last Jumuah Prayer led by Junaid Jamshed a few days before. His choice of ayat, in hindsight, seems very profound)

Wrapping up that little history lesson up there, what did Junaid Jamshed mean to me? Junaid to me characterized the struggle to surrender. The same struggle that started for me somewhere in 1998 and that to some extent still goes on today: the struggle to bend my soul to follow the Commands of Allah (SWT); the struggle to mute the Disco side and to enhance the Maulvi side of me. I never got a chance to properly meet Junaid after he became a Maulvi. I did reach out to him when I was asked by some friends in the Learning & Development industry to invite him to one of their upcoming youth sessions which they wanted to have a spiritual side as well. Sadly that event never materialized and Junaid and I never met. However, during our brief interaction for the youth event he came across as a very caring and helpful person.

Today as I write this, I wonder that maybe I should have taken a bolder initiative and connected more aggressively with him. Maybe I would have learnt much from him, from his struggle to give up fame for religion and his struggle to handle a different fame that came as a religious figure and the many issues that seemed to hound him after he did so. I could have also learnt much from his struggle to contribute more to society. Sadly that chance is gone. All that is now left is to learn from his death. How he was out in the path of Allah (SWT), trying to inspire people to turn to Allah (SWT) —- and how eventually Allah (SWT) chose to take him back while he was on that Path: a martyr in sha Allah.

A talk that blew me away

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Youtube and other streaming video providers provide an amazing collection of talks and lectures on a broad range of subject. Since my free time in front of the screen is limited and most of these are primarily audio clips that do not require the visual part, I download them and convert to MP3 to be listened to on my Blackberry whilst driving.

This morning I started listening to a talk by Nouman Ali Khan that BLEW ME AWAY! My first reaction was I know just who all this would be perfect for. Then I caught hold of myself. I realized that the only one I should be worried about is myself. And at that point NAK said that exact thing. Don’t think of who this lecture would be perfect for; it is perfect for you. You need to listen and act on it!

Taken from http://ilianidolphin.blogspot.com/2010/09/ego-and-islam.html

While I only heard the first 20 minutes or so of the lecture it had a great effect on me and I thought I would share it with everyone as it would be extremely beneficial for all. May Allah help us listen, understand, and implement the advice in this talk. Aameen.

Taqwa – Consciousness of Allah

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Originally posted 15/09/2009

Qari Muhammad Qayyam (may the mercy of Allah be upon him) related that a great deal of fighting and bloodshed had started prior to the Indo-Pakistan partition of 1947. He said that a very beautiful daughter of a very rich man in a certain community stepped out of her house to visit her aunt, who lived no more than a few streets away. Suddenly a riot erupted as she had gone halfway and she found herself trapped with apparently nowhere to go. She saw a mosque nearby and quickly went inside, sitting in the women’s section. The rioting continued late into the night and this girl did not know what to do.

The custodian of the masjid was a very young student there and late at night when he walked through the masjid before locking up he noticed this beautiful young lady. He was a respectful young man who feared Allah and so politely asked her to leave, saying that if she was found there then both would be dishonored and thrown out. She pleaded with him because of the extreme danger outside and so he agreed that she could spend the night, and sat down to study at the opposite end of the masjid.

The girl was unable to sleep with the events of the day in her mind and so watched the young man sitting studying by candle light at the opposite end of the masjid. She kept watching him and was very surprised at something she saw. From time to time this young man would extend his hand and keep it over the open flame, only withdrawing it when the flame obviously became unbearable. He then would resume his studies and continued this throughout the night until the dawn broke.

The young man called the adhan and asked the girl to leave before the congregation started coming to pray since now everything was calm outside. She agreed on the condition that he tell her why he was placing his hand on the candle flame throughout the night. The young man said that that was his own business and so the girl refused to leave until he told her what she wanted to know. The young man gave in and said, “I am at the age of youth and strong desire. We were alone and my desire was increasing, and although I was studying the shaytan would occasionally put temptation in my heart. Hence whenever I would feel any temptation I would put my hand on the flame and my fingers would burn. I would say to myself that this flame is nothing compared to the fire of Hell.”

The girl left the masjid and reached home, calming her parents’ fears as to what had happened to her. She also confided in her mother that she wanted to marry the custodian of the mosque near their house. She related the night’s events to her parents and said that only such a man with true fear of Allah in his heart can be true to his wife. Only such a man who truly fears Allah can fulfill a wife’s rights properly.

Hence the poor custodian of the mosque earned the daughter of a rich household in marriage. He received this honor not because of his looks but because of his character. Everything disintegrates and turns to dust but character remains strong. Honor is not bestowed because of handsome clothes or beautiful jewelry but because of what is in the heart. Knowledge is only beneficial when it is captured within the heart, and not merely written in books.

 The above account was received via e-mail (from Tayyab Abid of Active Saturdays) with no source attributed to it. It highlights the importance of Taqwa which is a vital part of faith. Allah (SWT) says in the Quran (3:102):

Oh you who believe, fear Allah as He should be feared and die not except as Muslims.

Traditionally most translations of the Quran have an interpretation similar to the above. However, the real meaning of the Arabic word Taqwa can not be summed up as fear alone. It is a combination of fear, respect, love, and obedience. The concept of Taqwa is both a motivation factor to do good and a deterrent to stay away from all that is evil. Thus, it is best summarized as “Consciousness of Allah (SWT)”.

A person who has Taqwa has the firm belief that Allah (SWT) is watching all that he does. Thus, any and all actions are thus controlled and done from a conscious level of thought.

There are many parts of the Quran that talk of Taqwa and attaining Taqwa. For example Allah (SWT) says in verse 183 of Surah Baqarah regarding Ramadan and fasting:

O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, so that you may develop taqwa.

If one were to take the traditional translation of “fear” it would not make sense since fasting should not incite fear. However, fasting does help man attain consciousness of Allah and the things around him.

Ramadan is a month where taqwa of all muslims increase, as they fast and increase their prayers, their charity, and other forms of worship.

As Ramadan draws to a close and we enter the bottom of the ninth so to say, let us  pray that Allah (SWT) makes us among the Muttaqun (those who have Taqwa). Aameen.

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Also check out on From The Pulpit:
Ramdan Memories
This year on Pakistan’s Independence, mend some Broken Windows

Sabr ( Patience ) By Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah

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Patience

The Definition of Patience

Sabr is an Arabic word which comes from a root meaning to detain, refrain and stop. There is an expression in Arabic, “so-and-so was killed sabran,” which means that he was captured and detained until he died. In the spiritual sense, patience means to stop ourselves from despairing and panicking, to stop our tongues from complaining, and to stop our hands from striking our faces and tearing our clothes at times of grief and stress.

What scholars have said about patience

Some scholars have defined patience as a good human characteristic or a positive psychological attitude, by virtue of which we refrain from doing that which is not good. Human beings cannot live a proper, healthy life without patience.

Abu ‘Uthman said: “the one who has patience is the one who has trained himself to handle difficulties.”

‘Amr ibn ‘Uthman al-Makki said: “Patience means to keep close to Allah and to accept calmly the trials He sends, without complaining or feeling sad.”

Al-Khawwas said: “Patience means to adhere to the rules of the Qur’an and Sunnah.”

Another scholar said: “Patience means to refrain from complaining.”

Ali ibn Abi Talib said: “Patience means to seek Allah’s help.”

Is it better to have patience at a time of difficulty, or to be in a situation which does not require patience?

Abu Muhammad al-Hariri said: “Patience means not seeing any difference between times of ease and times of hardship, and being content at all times.”

I (Ibn Qayyim) say: This is too difficult, and we are not instructed to be like this. Allah has created us in such a way that we feel the difference between times of ease and times of hardship, and all that we can do is refrain from panicking at times of stress. Patience does not mean feeling the same at both easy and difficult times. That is beyond us, and is not part of our nature. Having an easy time is better for us than having a difficult time.

As the Prophet (SAAS) said in his well-known du’a: “If You are not angry with me, then I do not care what happens to me, but still I would rather have Your blessings and favour.” This does not contradict the hadith which says, “No-one has ever been given a better gift than patience,” because that refers to after a test or trial has befallen a person. But ease is still better.

Patience and Shakwah (complaint)

Shakwah (complaint) falls into two categories:

The first type means to complain to Allah, and this does not contradict patience. It is demonstrated by several of the Prophets, for example, when Ya qub (AS) said:

“I only complain of my distraction and anguish to Allah.” (Yusuf 12:86).

Earlier, Ya’qub (AS) had said “sabrun jamil” which means “patience is most fitting for me.” The Qur’an also tells us about Ayyub:

“And (remember) Ayyub (Job), when he cried to his Lord, ‘Truly distress has seized me. (al-Anbiya 21:83).

The epitome of patience, the Prophet (SAAS), prayed to his Lord:

” O Allah, I complain to You of my weakness and helplessness.”

Musa (AS) prayed to Allah, saying:

“O Allah, all praise is due to You, and complaint is made only to You, and You are the only One from Whom we seek help and in Whom we put our trust, and there is no power except by Your help.”

The second type of complaint involves complaining to people, either directly, through our words, or indirectly, through the way we look and behave. This is contradictory to patience.

Opposing forces

Psychologically speaking, every person has two forces at work within him or her. One is the“driving force”, which pushes him towards some actions, and the other is the “restraining force”,which holds him back from others. Patience essentially harnesses the driving force to push us towards good things, and the restraining force to hold us back from actions that may be harmful to ourselves or others. Some people have strong patience when it comes to doing what is good for them, but their patience is weak with regard to restraint from harmful actions, so we may find that a person has enough patience to perform acts of worship (Salah, Sawm, Hajj), but has no patience in controlling himself and refraining from following his whims and desires, and in this way he may commit haram deeds. Conversely, some people may have strong patience in abstaining from forbidden deeds, but their patience in obeying commandments and performing ‘ibadah is too weak. Some people have no patience in either case! And, needless to say, the best people are those who possess both types of patience. So, a man may have plenty of patience when it comes to standing all night in prayer, and enduring whatever conditions of heat or cold may be prevalent, but have no patience at all when it comes to lowering his gaze and refraining from looking at women. Another may have no problem in controlling his gaze, but he lacks the patience which would make him enjoin the good and forbid the evil, and he is so weak and helpless that he cannot strive against the kuffar and mushrikun. Most people will be lacking in patience in any one case, and a few lack it in all cases.

Further definition of patience

A scholar said: “To have patience means that one’s common sense and religious motives are stronger than one’s whims and desires.” It is natural for people to have an inclination towards their desires, but common sense and the religious motive should limit that inclination. The two forces are at war: sometimes reason and religion win, and sometimes whims and desires prevail. The battlefield is the heart of man.

Patience has many other names, according to the situation. If patience consists of restraining sexual desire, it is called honour, the opposite of which is adultery and promiscuity. If it consists of controlling one’s stomach, it is called self-control, the opposite of which is greed. If it consists of keeping quiet about that which it is not fit to disclose, it is called discretion, the opposite of which is disclosing secrets, lying, slander or libel. If it consists of being content with what is sufficient for one’s needs, it is called abstemiousness, the opposite of which is covetousness. If it consists of controlling one’s anger, then it is called forbearance, the opposite of which is impulsiveness and hasty reaction. If it consists of refraining from haste, then it is called gracefulness and steadiness, the opposite of which is to be hotheaded. If it consists of refraining from running away, then it is called courage, the opposite of which is cowardice. If it consists of refraining from taking revenge, then it is called forgiveness, the opposite of which is revenge. If it consists of refraining from being stingy, then it is called generosity, the opposite of which is miserliness. If it consists of refraining from being lazy and helpless, then it is called dynamism and initiative. If it consists of refraining from blaming and accusing other people, then it is called chivalry (muru’ah literally “manliness”).

Different names may be applied to patience in different situations, but all are covered by the idea of patience. This shows that Islam in its totality is based on patience.


Above received via the Al-Huda Canada mailing list

The Unjust Killing of a single human …

Pakistanis have been subjected to extreme violence over the years since independence, increasingly so in the recent years since we got dragged, screaming and protesting, in the Global War on Terror. Whether it is gruesome suicide bombs or the senseless ethnic violence that seems to erupt in Karachi every now and then, violence and unjust killing of the innocent seems to be on the rise.

The issue whether it is that of Mohajir / Pathan / Balochi / Sindhi / Punjabi or whether it is that of Barelvi / Deobandi / Ahl-e-Hadith / Shia, at the end of the day it is often the innocent that end up in the morgues.

Attacks on holy places (of any religion) are forbidden in Islam and the harming of civilians, women, and children declared a transgression by the Quran. Why then in this country that our forefathers demanded on the name of Islam are we blindly ignoring what Islam commands?

A recent billboard campaign was spotted in certain areas of Karachi (not the posh areas most of you frequent but the area of the masses) that hopes to highlight this issue of the death of the innocents. It is part of a larger effort to educate the masses by this medium.

The billboard is the gist of the message of verse 23 of Surah Al-Maida of the Holy Quran:

“O People! Whosoever kills a human being unjustly it is as if he has killed all mankind, and whoso saves a life it is as if he has saved all mankind.”

 

The group behind this campaign is a bunch of friends whose aim is seeking the pleasure of Allah (SWT). You may contact them through me if you feel you would like to contribute to such campaigns in the future (either financially or intellectually).

 

May Allah (SWT) protect us from the evil of those who spread hate and sectarianism amongst us and guide these people to the truth. Aameen!

Everybody Draw Mohammed Day – A run away roller coaster?

You may remember a couple of years ago, there was a series of mass protests all over the Muslim world, when a Danish newspaper published cartoons of the Prophet (SAW). Some Muslims chose to take the way of violence, some burnt flags and took out rallies, and many economically boycotted all things Danish. The issue boiled the blood of almost all who claim to be Muslim.

Recently the South Park controversy came and went, but no one really noticed it much since Comedy Central decided they didn’t want to risk it after an extremist group sent a gruesome picture of Theo Van Gogh (a Dutch film maker who was killed for his film Submission).

After being invited to one too many groups declaring war against Facebook for not banning the fan page of “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day”, I figured i would read up on just what everyone was so antsy about and put in my two cents worth (and hopefully being able to kill the Writer’s block that has been troubling me for the past few months).

Everybody Draw Muhammad

Molly Norris, a cartoonist based in Seattle couldn’t understand why anyone would resort to threats of violence on the South Park depiction of Prophet Muhammad. Such extremism must be voiced out against; we have a right to draw whatever we want; our wonderful First Amendment gives us the right, blah blah blah. So Molly set out her thoughts in a way that she knew best: in a cartoon. Little did clueless Molly know it would go “viral” and take a life of its own.

 

I did NOT ‘declare’ May 20 to be "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day." I made a cartoon about the television show South Park being censored. The cartoon-poster, with a fake ‘group’ behind it, went viral and was taken seriously. I never started a FaceBook page; a stranger did and there is nothing I can do about it.

My one-off cartoon of a fictional poster does not work well as a long-term plan. The vitriol this ‘day’ has brought out, of people who only want to draw obscene images, is offensive to the Muslims who did nothing to endanger our right to expression in the first place. Only Viacom and Revolution Muslim are to blame, so write to them instead!

I apologize to people of Muslim faith and ask that this ‘day’ be called off. Thank you to those who are turning this crazy thing into an opportunity for dialogue, education and solutions.

Sincerely,
Molly

(I regret going on a local radio show on April 25th; my ego took me there, it was a mistake. I meant for this to remain a fictional CARTOON, an artistic IDEA, never to catch fire as an actual ‘event’.)

 

Something doesn’t quite add up here. Molly meant this as a cartoon, her own voice against extremism. So why did her “ego” take her on air of a local radio show? (In this day and age of super connectivity and broadband internet, is anything really “local” any more?) And why did she pass on the image to Dan Savage, a Seattle based blogger and a nationally syndicated columnist, in the first place? Oh sure, now she claims in interviews that she was an idiot, but if she meant this never to go viral why did she start spreading it in the first place? Dan Savage served as a promoter and his network of readers served as the means to disseminate this graphic out to the world and mothball this into the controversy it is.

"This particular cartoon of a ‘poster’ seems to have struck a gigantic nerve, something I was totally unprepared for"

Seriously Molly, have you been hibernating all these years? What cartoonist wouldn’t have heard of the controversial cartoons of the Prophet that sparked off worldwide protests?

We also find Jon Wellington, who created a Facebook event for this non-existent day, has backed out. He created the event on Facebook because he "loved [Norris’s] creative approach to the whole thing — whimsical and nonjudgmental." So why is he backing out? And now that he is backing out why not just delete the event and all its content? Instead of writing

New game: Be super-nice to everyone! Enough of this drawing nonsense.

just get rid of the event and remove the controversy! Because the wall on the event is looking like a duel between Muslims and those who are intent on bashing Islam and spreading hate.

And now the event has spawned into splinter Fan pages and what not where the extremists are having a blast in bashing Muslims and spawning hatred.

So while Molly may have washed her hands off this mess by posting an apology and a revised version of her cartoon, Molly Norris’ monster is still out there, growing rapidly and embroiling all in this controversy.

750_DrawMohammedPosterTellingSm

Facebook is also playing its part in feeding this monster. Instead of acting responsibly and shutting down all such events and fan pages that are clearly in violation of their terms of service particularly item 3.7 which states

3.7 You will not post content that: is hateful, threatening, or pornographic; incites violence; or contains nudity or graphic or gratuitous violence

So should we boycott Facebook for a day?

A campaign has started to call for banning Facebook on May 20 as a protest against Facebook’s inaction against the “Everybody Draw Mohammed” pages on Facebook.

 

boycott facebook may 20

But why stick to just a one day boycott? Why not boycott until Facebook sits up and notices? Is our love for the Prophet so meager that it warrants staying off Facebook for just 24 hours? And where does this love for the Prophet disappear to when we blatantly ignore his teachings day in and day out? Do we boycott ourselves for not loving and respecting the Prophet by obeying his teachings? And does not the Quran tell us that all Prophets are equal and we should not distinguish between any single one? So why don’t we protest when South Park regularly depicts Jesus (AS) in its cartoons? Just some food for thought for us all as we stay off Facebook on 20th May.

The Struggle To Continue The Momentum Of Ramadan

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The ceasefire is over!

As Ramadan draws to a close, Satan and his band of devils are now released. Having had an entire month to reflect and plan their strategy, they’re back with a vengeance.

We too had a month of training and discipline to raise our level of Taqwa, to condition us for the fight. We went 29 days without food and water from Dawn till Sunset, we prayed every prayer on time and often in congregation. We went for Tarawih prayers and recited the Quran. Some even went to a higher level and got up in the middle of the night for  Tahajjud and Qiyam-ul-Lail. Unfortunately, for most of us this was an effect of the environment around us and we did not condition our souls to incorporate this in our lives. Shawwal Moon by SKDurrani

There are some that say that creating a habit takes 21 days. This theory arose from the work of Dr Maxwell Maltz who noticed that it took amputees 21 days to cease feeling phantom sensations in the amputated limb. from further observations he extrapolated his findings to conclude that it takes 21 days to create a habit. Thus, the 21 Day Habit Theory came into existence and was quickly picked up by several self-help books and websites.

We just went through an entire month of repetitive fasting, prayers, recitation of the Quran, Charity, and other acts of worship. Then the moon was sighted for the new month and for most of us it all evaporated into nothingness. Most failed to go to the Masjid for Isha prayer (which they had been doing for 29 days), several skipped it altogether as they thronged the streets to do last minute shopping for Eid or to hangout with their friends. Music blared from car stereos and boys hung out on the streets for some Poondi (check out the fairer sex). Fajr, the next day, was ignored by yet more as they struggled to wake up for Eid prayers, suffering from a hangover of the previous night’s festivities. A friend recounted how the Imam at his local masjid delayed the start of the Eid prayer, instead asking those who had not prayed Fajr to get up and make up the missed prayer. He asked those who had prayed to lower their heads so as not to look at those who missed the prayer. Almost 50% of the congregation got up to pray. However, even with this rather embarrassing reminder, some preferred to just sit there and not make up that prayer. And this is barely 12 hours since the end of Ramadan!

Check out these tips by Hesham A. Hassaballa on Avoiding Post-Ramadan Letdown

While it is true that repetitive carrying out of a task makes it a habit, there is more to it than just mechanical robotic actions. It requires being on a higher conscious level to be able to take a mechanical motion and instill it in your inner self to make it stick as a habit. Dr Stephanie Burns of the Leadership Labyrinth writes in Installing a new habit and breaking an old one:

To create a new habit there a only a few steps and these are steps we all possess the firepower to do.

1. You have to decide on what you want to be a habit. It is important that you be as specific as possible. A habit of drinking more water is problematic whereas a habit of drinking 6 glasses a day is easier to install.

2. You have to set up triggers to help you remember the action at the time you want to do it.

It is hard to install a new habit if you keep ending up at the end of the day remembering that you were meaning to take the stairs at work instead of the elevator. 

During the time before the action becomes a habit (perhaps the first few weeks) you will need to use external triggers or reminders. Make it easy to remember what you are trying to do.

Alarms, notes, friends to call you, rubber bands on your wrist, padlocks or obstacles.

Rituals support remembering – do it in the same place, same time, same surroundings if possible for the first few weeks.

3. Once you have remembered you have to be able to motivate yourself to act. Before we discuss how to do that we should discuss the issue of repetition.

Installing new behaviors of any type take repetition over time. How much repetition and for how long depends on what it is you are trying to install.

Creating positive habits is harder than a falling into a bad habit since bad habits are often the path of least resistance. Similarly, Satan makes the path to sin easier by showing us dreams of enjoyment and good times. Heading to the Masjid at dawn for Fajr (or even getting out of bed to pray at home) seems a daunting task when the bed beckons. Yet it is so easy to stay up all night watching a new movie, or to sit and play cards with friends. My late Grandfather (May Allah forgive him and grant him paradise) used to say:

Satan keeps us up all night in merriment but as the time for Fajr (the prayer at dawn) approaches he starts to massage us to sleep.

I myself lost a battle this morning when I failed to get up for a post-dawn meal to fast the Six Recommended Fasts of Shawwal. What was worse was that I failed to get up at all for Fajr as Satan sung a lullaby and led me down the path of easy sleep.

 One of the tricks that Scott Young gives in 18 Tricks to Make New Habits Stick, is to get a buddy to go along with you in this quest and for each be a motivator for the other. Thus, when one slacks a little, the other is there to push back to the path and run the course so to say.

People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing –that’s why we recommend it daily. – Zig Ziglar

Muhammad Al-Shareef’s Post-Ramadan “Get it Done” Boot Camp

Another great trick is to associate with role models. Indeed, my own personal experience highlights this point as well. The Prophet (SAW) said (as reported by Bukhari and Muslim):

The likeness of a righteous friend and an evil friend, is the likeness of a (musk) perfume seller and a blacksmith. As for the perfume seller, he may either bestow something on you, or you may purchase something from him, or you may benefit from his sweet smell. And as for the blacksmith, he may either burn your clothes, or you may be exposed to his awful smell.

Ultimately, it is a war between you and Satan, and a struggle by you against your Nafs (inner self). Keeping the right company will help you fortify yourself in this and help you in winning battle after battle.

May Allah (SWT) guide us to the Straight Path and give us the strength and courage to form great habits in the footsteps of the Prophet (SAW) and the righteous. May He give us their company in Paradise.

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