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almansourhariz

A humble Worshiper, struggling with my imperfections in seeking Allah's Pleasure. Acquiring & sharing beneficial knowledge.

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Inspirations

The Role of Television in Social Engineering, Predictive Programming, Culture Creation and Destruction of Children and Society

Source: The Role of Television in Social Engineering, Predictive Programming, Culture Creation and Destruction of Children and Society

8 characteristics of a compassionate person

“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” -Dalai Lama

His remarks capture a simple truth: Despite popular belief that happiness depends solely on you, the way to achieve it may not lie just within yourself, but in your relationships and interactions with others.

“When we have feelings of caring or love for other people, we feel better,” clinical psychologist Lisa Firestone, Ph.D., tells The Huffington Post. “We all think we want to be loved, but what actually feels good to us is feeling loving – and part of what makes us feel more love for other people is doing kind, compassionate things for them.”

The good news is, if you don’t normally identify as someone who is overly empathetic, studies show it’s a habit that can be cultivated. So how can you tell if you are or not?

Below, find eight signs you’re a truly compassionate person.

YOU FIND COMMONALITIES WITH OTHER PEOPLE.
Compassionate people know what it’s like to be down on their luck, and they keep those experiences in mind to develop a more empathetic nature, whether through volunteering or just simply networking. “Compassionate people are very outward-focused because they think and feel about other people,” Firestone says. “They have that ability to feel others’ feelings, so they’re very socially connected.”

And turns out, there’s science behind why we feel compassion toward people who have been in our same boat. In one small study, researchers found that humans’ sense of compassion actually increases when there’s a common connection with the other person. “What these results suggest is that the compassion we feel for others is not solely a function of what befalls them: if our minds draw an association between a victim and ourselves — even a relatively trivial one — the compassion we feel for his or her suffering is amplified greatly,” study researcher and Northeastern University psychology professor David DeSteno, Ph.D., wrote in The New York Times.

YOU DON’T PUT EMPHASIS ON MONEY.
If money doesn’t buy happiness, then according to studies from the University of California, Berkeley, it doesn’t buy compassion, either. In one study, researchers found that as someone grew in social class, his or her compassion for others declined. The findings support previous research that showed that a higher social class also negatively influences a person’s ability to pay attention in interactions wither other people, Scientific American reported.

YOU ACT ON YOUR EMPATHY.
Firestone says a major component of compassion is giving back, even in the smallest ways. “When we take actions that are caring and loving, we feel more love in return,” she explains. This is why compassionate people act on their kindness, whether it’s through volunteering or just being a shoulder to lean on — and overall they’re much happier for it. “If you’re going after happiness, you don’t get as happy as you would if you’re going after generosity,” she says. “A hedonistic way of pursuing happiness really doesn’t work for most people.”

YOU’RE KIND TO YOURSELF.
“Self-compassion is actually really, really key to becoming a more compassionate person overall,” Firestone explains. “It’s hard to feel for other people something we don’t feel for ourselves.”

Practicing self-love is a little different than self-esteem, is also crucial to beating bad habits in other aspects of our lives. “We often think the way to change bad behaviors is to beat ourselves up, But self-compassion is actually the first step in changing any behavior you want to change.” And there’s science to back it up: According to a study from the University of California, Berkeley, those who practice self-compassion are more motivated to improve themselves and go for their goals.

YOU TEACH OTHERS.
Compassionate people don’t want to just keep their gifts to themselves, they want to impart their knowledge onto other people. As motivational speaker and author Jen Groover notes, it’s this desire that lies in the root of all empathetic habits. “True compassion exists when you give your strength, guidance and wisdom to empower another so that you can see who you really are and live in a greater capacity and expect nothing in return,” she wrote. “True grace exists when the ‘teachers’ realize that the gift was really theirs — to be able to teach another.”

YOU’RE MINDFUL.
When you’re exercising compassion, you’re putting yourself in the moment. Compassionate people aren’t listening and checking their smartphones at the same time — they’re present, offering their empathetic response to the story right in front of them.

This awareness is crucial to compassion because it allows you to really focus on others rather than your own reflections. “Mindfulness allows us to develop a different relationship to our feelings,” Firestone explains. “Feelings or thoughts may come up, but with mindfulness we can sort of see them as clouds floating by. Not getting caught up in our thoughts is really helpful.”

YOU HAVE HIGH EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE.
Individuals who are tapped into their own compassion also seem to be tapped into their own emotions. “It’s partly … being able to see what’s going on in your mind and other people’s minds,” Firestone explains. “I think when we can do that we have more compassion toward other people.”

When you’re emotionally intelligent, you also have a greater sense of morality and you genuinely try to help others – which are all crucial components of empathy. Compassionate people “understand that other people have a sovereign mind that sees the world differently than you do — and one isn’t right and one isn’t wrong,” Firestone says.

YOU EXPRESS GRATITUDE.
“Doing things that light us up and make us feel good — people think of that as being selfish, but often that leads us to better behavior toward other people,” Firestone says. One way to do that is to count the positives.

Whether or not you’ve committed a lot of compassionate acts in your life, chances are you’ve been on the receiving end at least once or twice. Empathetic individuals not only acknowledge those acts of kindness done unto them, they actively express gratitude for them. “Just thinking about our gratitude for other people makes us feel happy,” Firestone says. “And it’s slowing down and expressing those types of things that makes us more caring and loving.”

Source: Live Buddhism via The Mind Unleashed

Source: Live Buddhism via The Mind Unleashed – See more at: http://www.thinkinghumanity.com/2014/07/8-ways-to-tell-if-youre-a-truly-compassionate-person.html#sthash.acH3TC7A.N1KUTzk8.dpuf

‘When you smile to your brother’s face…’

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “When you smile to your brother’s face, it is charity.”

[Sunan al-Tirmidhî (1879) & Sahîh Ibn Hibbân (475 & 530) and Musnad al-Bazzâr.]

A man called his friend on the phone thousands of miles away. He said: “So I can be sure of your feelings, I want you to give me smile. And his friend really did smile – a genuine smile from the heart – and the effects of his smile could be heard in his voice while he spoke to his friend overseas. This made the man happy – that someone would smile upon a suggestion, though the other person could not even see him. 

There is great wisdom in the Prophet’s words: “When you smile to your brother’s face is charity.” 

And indeed, the Prophet (peace be upon him) followed this advice in his everyday life, so much so that `Abd Allah b. al-Hârith said: “I have never seen anyone more in the habit of smiling than Allah’s Messenger.” [Sunan al-Tirmidhî (3574)] 

Even on the day he died, while lying in his sickbed, he did not neglect to smile. While Abû Bakr was getting the people lined up for prayer, the Prophet managed to stand up and move aside the curtain of his room. His face was like a page from a Qur’an manuscript. Yet he smiled at them, a bright laughing smile. [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (639) and Sahîh Muslim (636)] 

The prophet (peace be upon him) saw a smile as a gift of joy – an emotional gift, not a material one – a gift whose substance is received by the heart. 

When the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “your brother’s face” he was not implying that smiling is only prescribed upon meeting someone. This advice applies to every occasion where a smile can bring cheer, lighten the mood, or reduce the stress that people are feeling. 

Jarîr b. `Abd Allah said: “Since the time I accepted Islam, the Prophet (peace be upon him) never once failed to notice me. Whenever he saw me, he would smile at me.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (2809 & 5625) and Sahîh Muslim (4523)] 

It was the Prophet’s habit to smile. He even smiled at Fadâlah b. `Umayr – and on that occasion Fadâlah had come with the intention to kill the Prophet (peace be upon him)! 

For a smile to be a habitual part of your personality, the facial muscles must be accustomed to smiling. In this way, the hesitancy that we feel when meeting someone, the uncertainty that often comes with interpersonal dealings, will not prevent us from being able to give a broad, heartfelt smile. 

There are people who consider frequent smiling to show a deficiency in intelligence or social status. Then there are those who try to smile, but are so unaccustomed to doing so that with great effort they barely manage to curl their lips noticeably. Such people should practice smiling on their own if they must. Maybe they should think of a humorous incident to bring a smile to their face and then share that smile with someone else at no extra cost! 

We should not let the differences we might have with people keep us from greeting them with a smile. Likewise, we should not let our possible differences of opinion, or of denomination, or political affiliation, or family background make us stingy with our smiles. 

Smiling aids our mental as well as physical health. Indeed, doctor’s have begun to incorporate smiling into their therapies. Smiling contributes to lowering blood pressure and improved circulation. It boosts the immune system. It works wherever stress and depression cause harm. Smiling relaxes us and improves our emotional stability. 

More than that, a smile is a message about yourself – that your heart is pure and that you are not infected by anxieties, hang-ups, and gloom. A smile is an instant message to those you know as well as those you do not know. It is received and understood even before you speak to or greet someone, and makes that person more receptive to what you have to say. 

A genuine smile is charity that you give to yourself. It dispels arrogance from your heart and pessimism from your outlook. It is also charity for others for the happiness and comfort that it brings them. However, the smile has to be real. A mechanical and forced smile will not do the trick. 

Smiling is something we want to be contagious. We want it to spread amity and friendship among the people. We want it to make people think better of one another, to trust each other, and learn to get along, whatever their other differences might be. Smiling, it can be hoped, will help to establish the value of good conduct among all human beings.

Courtesy: Sheikh Salman al-Oadah

http://en.islamtoday.net/artshow-427-3265.htm

Be ware

“Tests are shown to the hearts like a straw mat, straw by straw. Whichever
heart accepts them, and absorbs them, gets a black spot placed on it, and
whichever heart rejects them, gets a white, clear spot on it. This goes on until
the hearts are of two types: a heart which is white, smooth, and clear like a
polished stone which will not be harmed by further trials or tests for as long
as the heavens and the earth last, and another dark and blemished; it is like
a hook turned over the wrong way on which nothing can be hung – it neither
acknowledges what is right nor rejects what is wrong, except for that which
happens to coincide with its lusts and inclinations with which this heart has
become fully absorbed.”

 

(Bukhari & Muslim)

A man that possessed many values of Islam

Image

The world sees a man that millions loved return to Allah Almighty. 

A man that possessed many values of Islam, that were taught before by the greatest teacher and leader, Muhammed (saw). 

A man that stood up against falsehood in his home country South Africa and stood up against the falsehood present in Palestine. 

A man that was part of team that built their own prison cells and he resided in his during a jail sentence that spanned decades, and when given the opportunity, forgave his oppressors and preached reconciliation 

I visited Robin Island and stood in his cell. Those who have done this will understand the depth of ability to forgive in Mandela, which most definitely was far more difficult than the course of redemption. 

Islam teaches us to take good from wherever it exists, and the life of Mandela in our time cannot help but make us appreciate the importance of having a vision and believing in achieving it, forgiving those who have wronged us, speaking a good word, smiling, having good manners, suppressing anger and hatred, and being sincere, committed, active, proactive and excellent in everything we do. 

Our Prophet (saw) praised Mut’im b. Adi for his values that were worthy, and now we have an opportunity to practice this sunnah. 

Alhamdullah for Islam- which is always upon the middle way.

May Allah Almighty protect our Islam and cause us to die upon Imaan. Ameen. 

Source: Sajid Ahmed Umar

Nelson Mandela’s Journey with Islam and Muslims in the Struggle Against Apartheid in South Africa

The Islamic Workplace

JOHANNESBURG – As millions worldwide bid farewell to Nelson Mandela, many Muslim eyes were turned back to history, reviving memories of a long history of interaction between Muslims and the iconic leader across the past decades.  As the Nelson Mandela himself once said, ““In the face of European colonialism, Islamic communities took their place along the whole spectrum of resistance politics, including the struggle against apartheid.”  Nelson Mandela’s friendship with Muslims and his knowledge of Islam goes back many years before almost to the time of his arrival in Johannesburg when he met many of his comrades the likes of Molvi Cachalia and Molvi Saloojee and many others. ”

“In spite of their small numbers in relation to the total population, Muslims have  made  a profound  contribution to the religious,  social,  economic,  cultural  and  political development  of  South Africa. During the  darkest days  of  apartheid,  Muslims played a…

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Purification of the Heart from Pride

By Shehu `Uthman Dan Fodio

Translated by A`isha `Abd ar-Rahman at-Tarjumana

Pride is one of the blameworthy qualities and it is forbidden to have it. Allah ta`ala said: “I will turn away from My signs those who are arrogant in the earth without right.” As far as its reality is concerned, you should know that pride is divided into inward and outward pride. Inward pride is a quality within the self, and outward pride is action which appears through the limbs.

The name pride (kibr) is more appropriate for the inward quality. As for action, it is the result of that quality, and you must know that the quality of pride demands action. When it appears on the limbs, it is called arrogance (takabbur), and when it does not manifest itself, it is called pride (kibr). Its root is the quality in the self which is satisfaction and confidence at seeing the self above anyone towards whom he is overbearing. Mere self-exaltation does not make someone arrogant. He might well exalt himself while seeing that another person is greater than him or his equal. In this case, he is not overbearing toward him. It is not enough merely to disdain others. In spite of his disdain, a person might see himself as more despicable and therefore, he would not be considered arrogant. If someone sees the other as his equal, he is not considered arrogant. He must see that he has a rank and someone else has a rank, and then see his rank as above the other’s rank. When he exalts his own value in relationship to someone else, he despises the one below him and puts himself above the other’s company and confidence. If it is very extreme, he may spurn the other’s service and not consider him worthy to stand in his presence. If it is less extreme, he may reject his basic equality, and put himself above this other in assemblies, wait for him to begin the greeting, think that it is unlikely that he will be able to fulfill his demands and be amazed at him. If he objects, the proud man scorns to answer him. If he warns him, he refuses to accept it. If he answers him back, he is angry. When the proud man teaches, he is not courteous to his students. He looks down upon them and rebuffs them. He is very condescending toward them and exploits them. He looks at the common people as if he were looking at asses. He thinks that they are ignorant and despicable.

There are many actions which come from the quality of pride. They are too many to be numbered. This is the reality of pride.

The harm it does is immense. The ‘ulama’ can help you but little against it, let alone the common people. How could its harm be other than great when it comes between a man and all the qualities of the mu’minun? Those qualities are the doors to the Garden. Pride locks all those doors because it is impossible for him to want for the mu’minun what he wants for himself while there is anything of self-importance in him. It is impossible for him to have humility – and humility is beginning of the qualities of those who guard themselves out of fear of Allah – while there is any self-importance in him. It is impossible for him to remain truthful while there is self-importance in him. It is impossible for him to abandon anger while there is self-importance in him. It is impossible for him to offer friendly good counsel while there is self importance in him. It is impossible for him to accept good counsel while there is self-importance in him. He is not safe from the contempt and slander of others while there is self-importance. There is no praiseworthy quality but he is incapable of it from the fear that his self-importance will slip away from him.

As far as its cure is concerned, there are two parts: the knowledge-cure and the action-cure. The remedy can only be effected by joining the two of them. The knowledge-cure is to know and recognise yourself and to kno and recognise your Lord. That will be enough to remove your pride. Whoever knows and recognises his own self as it should be known and recognised, knows that it is not worthy of greatness, and that true greatness and pride are only for Allah. As for gnosis of his Lord and His glory, it is too lengthy a subject for us to discuss here […].

Self-recognition is also a lengthy subject. However, we will mention what will help you towards humility and submisiveness. It is enough for you to recognise one ayat of the Book of Allah. The knowledge of the first and the last is in the Qur’an for whoever has his inner eye open. Allah ta`ala said: “Perish man! How thankless he is! Of what did He create him? Of a sperm-drop. He created him, and determined him, and then made him the way easy for him. Then He makes him die, buries him, and then, when He wills, raises him.”

This ayat points to the beginning of man’s creation, his end, and his middle. Let a man look at that if he desires to understand its meaning.

As for the beginning of man, he was “a thing unremembered”. He was concealed in non-existence. Non-existence has no beginning. What is lower and meaner than obliteration and non-existence? He was in non-existence. Then Allah created him from the basest of things, and then from the most unclean thing. He created him from earth and then from a sperm-drop, thena blood-clot, then a lump of flesh. Then He made the flesh bones, and then clothes the bones in flesh. This was the beginning of his existence and then he became a thing remembered. He was a thing unremembered by reason of having he lowest of qualities and attributes since at his beginning, he was not created perfect. he was created inanimate, dead. He neither heard, saw, felt, moved, spoke, touched, perceived, or knew. He began by his death before his life, by weakness before his strength, by ignorance before knowledge, by blindness before sight, by deafness before hearing, by dumbness before speech, by misguidance before guidance, by poverty before wealth, and by incapacity before capacity.

This is the meaning of His word, “From what did He create him? And determined him,” and the meaning of His word, “Has there come upon a man a period of time when he was a thing unremembered? We created him of a sperm-drop, a mingling, trying him. We made him hearing, seeing. We guided him upon the way, whether he is thankful or unthankful.”

He created him like that at the beginning. Then He was gracious to him and said, “We made the way easy for him.” This indicates what He wills for him during the period from life to death. Similarly, He said, “of a sperm-drop, a mingling, trying him. We made him hearing, seeing. We guided him on the way.” The meaning here is that He gave him life after he was inanimate and dead – first from the earth, and then from a sperm-drop. He gave him hearing after he was deaf and He gave him sight after he lacked sight. He gave him strenght after weakness and knowledge after ignorance. He created his limbs for him with all they contain of marvels and signs after he lacked them. He enriched them after poverty, made him full after hunger, clothed him after nakedness, and guided him after misguidance. Look how He directed him and formed him. Look at how He made the way easy for him. Look at man’s overstepping and at how thankless he is. Look at man’s ignorance and how he shows it.

Allah ta`ala said, “Part of His sign is that He created you from earth.” He created man from humble earth and unclean sperm after pure non-existence so that he would recognise the baseness of his essence and thereby recognise himself. He perfected the sperm-drop for him so that he would recognise his Lord by it and know His immensity and majesty by it, and that He is the only one worthy of true greatness and pride. For that reason, He described him and said, “Have We not given him two eyes and a tongue and two lips, and guided him on the two roads?”

He first acquainted him with his baseness and said, “Was he not a sperm-drop extracted? Then he was a blood-clot. Then He mentioned His favour and said, “He created and fashioned and made a pair from it, male and female,” in order to perpetuate his existence by reproduction as his existence was acquired in the beginning by original formation. When you begin in this manner and your states are like this, how can you have arrogance, pride, glory, and conceit? Properly speaking, man is the lowest of the low and the weakest of the weak. Indeed, even if He had perfecteed him, delegated his command to him and made his existence go on by his own choice, he would still dare to be insolent and would forget his beginning and his end. However, during your existence, He has given illnesses power over you, whether you like it or not, and whether you are content or enraged. You become hungry and thirsty without being able to do anything about it. You do not possess any power to bring either harm or benefit. You ant to know something but you remain ignorant of it. You want to remember something and yet you forget it. You want to not forget something and yet you do forget it. You want to direct your heart to waht concerns it and yet you are caught up in the valleys of whispersings and thoughts. You own neither your heart nor your self. You desire something while your destruction may be in it, and you detest something while your life may be in it. You find some foods delicious when they destroy and kill you, and you find remedies repugnant when they help you and save you. You are not safe for a moment, day or night. Your sight, knowledge, and power may be stripped away, your limbs may become semi-paralysed, your intellect may be stolen away, your ruh may be snatched away, and all that you love in this world may be taken from you. You are hard-pressed, abased. If you are left alone, you go on. If you are snatched away, you are annihilated. A mere slave. A chattel. You have no power over yourself or anyone else. What can be more abased? If you recognise yourself, how can you think yourself worthy of pride? If it were not for your ignorance – and this is your immediate state – you would reflect on it. Your end is death. It is indicated by His word, “Then He makes him die and buries him. Then, when He wills, He raises him.” The meaning here is that your ruh, hearing, sight, knowledge, power, senses, perception, and movement are all stripped away. You revert to the inanimate as you were in the first place. Only the shape of your limbs remains. Your form has neither senses nor movement. Then you are placed in the earth and your limbs decay. You become absent after you existed. You become as if you were not, as you were at first for a long period of time. Then a man wishes that he could remain like that. How excellent it would be if he were left as dust! However, after a long time, He brings him back to life to subject him to a severe trial. He comes out of his grave after his spearated parts are joined together, and he steps out to the terrors of the Rising. He is told, “Come quickly to the Reckoning and prepare for the Outcome!” His heart stops in fear and panic when he is faced with the terror of these words even before his pages are spread out and he sees his shameful actions in them. This is the end of his affair. It is the meaning of His word, “Then when He wishes, He raises him.”

How can anyone whose state this is be arrogant? A moment of freedom from grief is better than arrogance. He has shown the beginning and the middle of his condition. If his end had appeared to him – and we seek refuge from Allah – perhaps he would have chosen to be a dog or a pig in order to become dust with the animals rather than a hearing, speaking man, and meet with punishment (if he deserves the Fire). When he is in the presence of Allah then even the pig is nobler than him since it reverts to dust and it is spared from the Reckoning and the punishment. Someone with this state at the Rising can only hope for pardon, and he cannot be at all certain about it. How then can he be arrogant? How can he see himself as anything to which excellence is attached? This is the knowledge-cure.

As far as the action-cure is concerned, it is to humble yourself to people in a constrained unnatural manner until it becomes natural for you.

Taken from the Handbook on Islam, Iman, Ihsan © 1978 by Diwan Press

Bitterness of the break before the sweetness of the mend.

“From the perfection of Allah’s ihsan is that He allows His slave to taste the bitterness of the break before the sweetness of the mend. So He does not break his believing slave, except to mend him. And He does not withhold from him, except to give him. And He does not test him (with hardship), except to cure him.

— Ibn Ul Qayyim (RA)

 

Timing is Everything

The Prophet ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said: ”Take advantage of five matters before five other matters: your youth before you become old; your health, before you fall sick; your wealth, before you become poor; your free time before you become preoccupied, and your life, before your death.” (Tirmidhi)

We would spend hours wondering who we’d marry, what our future careers would be like and what the future would hold for us. It is human nature to believe that the “grass is always greener on the other side.” A sure fire way to wake up each morning with heavy eyelids and an even heavier heart is to focus on that which cannot be changed. We are often so preoccupied with feelings of sadness and regret regarding what has passed and with anxieties surrounding what is yet to come, that we completely devalue a piece of treasure that Allāh subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) provides us every second of everyday: the present moment. Every matter that the Prophet ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) mentions in the hadith above involves taking advantage of the present moment. As imām Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyyah raḥimahullāh (may Allāh have mercy upon him) refers to it- “the time between two times.” He states, “Your attention must be directed to your life in the present – the time between two times. If you waste it, then you have wasted the opportunity to be of the fortunate and saved ones. If you look after it, having rectified the two times – what is before and after it – then you will be successful and achieve rest, delight and ever-lasting” (al-Fawaa’Īd, pp. 151-152). So what is it about living in the present moment that promotes success and happiness? Reaching the point of being content with our current state and what we have can make all the difference in our perception of our lives. This reminds me of a quotation I read in Mitch Albom’s novel, The Time Keeper, “We all yearn for what we have lost. But sometimes, we forget what we have.” We also yearn for what we do not currently have. One common denominator I’ve often noticed about my clients who have been afflicted with anxiety and depressive disorders has been a tendency to ruminate, meaning thinking constantly of negative incidents in the past, and a tendency to catastrophize, meaning expecting something terrible to happen in the future. In doing so, not only have we squandered a precious gift provided to us by Allāh subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He), but we have also underestimated Him subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He). The Prophet ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) related to us Allāh subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) says, “I am as My servant thinks of me” (Sahih Bukhāri & Muslim). The Prophet ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) also said, “None of you should ever die except while assuming the best about Allāh.” (Sahîh Muslim) In ruminating continually on regrets from the past, we underestimate the Mercy and Forgiveness of Allāh subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He). And by catastrophizing about the future, we forget that the One who created us is, indeed, all-Powerful and Able to do all things. Don’t get me wrong, it’s totally normal to worry about the future and to experience feelings of sadness associated with the past at times. Particularly as new life milestones approach (a new job, the birth of a child, marriage, graduation, etc.), we may experience a mixture of apprehension and excitement- apprehension about leaving the comforts associated with the status quo and excitement about the potential for positive change. However, although humans have the capability of thinking outside of the present moment, this does not mean that this is to our advantage. A study conducted by psychologists Matthew A. Killingsworth and Daniel T. Gilbert of Harvard University found that people spend 46.9 percent of their waking hours thinking about something other than what they’re doing, and this results in feelings of unhappiness. Focusing on the here and now can lead us to be increasingly content with our current state- as well as increasingly accepting of the fact that the present moment is all we are truly guaranteed.

With this realization comes the following benefits:

  1. Doing as many good deeds as possible without delaying due to not knowing how many more “moments” we have left.
  2. Repenting for a sin and moving past it by replacing it with good deeds.
  3. Putting forth effort to make the most of the present rather than expecting things to magically change in the future.
  4. Taking personal responsibility for situations rather than wasting our time and energy shifting blame onto others.
  5. Realizing that no benefit arises from focusing on the past due to our inability to change it.
  6. Improving our time management skills.
  7. Savoring the beauty of the sights, sounds, tastes and feelings around us and thanking Allāh subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) for the ability to experience them.

Challenge yourself to live in the present moment. As Omar Ibn al-Khattab raḍyAllāhu ‘anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) said, “Hold yourself accountable before you are held accountable and weigh your deeds before they are weighed for you.” Hold yourself accountable for how you spend each second of this blessed month. Use every moment to draw closer to Allāh subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) and actively seek His pleasure. Show gratitude to Allāh subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) for each breath He grants you during this day by considering ways to positively use every moment of your time, whether it is while you are driving, waiting for an elevator on your way to work, cooking a meal for your family or as you fall asleep at night.

Challenge yourself to live in the here and now and reap the feelings of peace, tranquility and freedom that comes from this achievement.

 

Courtesy: http://muslimmatters.org/2013/08/05/timing-is-everything/

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