CIE Oct/Nov 2018 session papers, marking schemes and other resources have been updated in our papers section.
Furthermore, we have also updated resources for Edexcel, OCR, IB, TOEFL, SAT, GMAT and more.
Click here for more information.
Good luck with your exams.
Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by XPFMember, Dec 21, 2010.
Dealing with the Guilt of Sin | By brother Nouman Ali Khan
Excellence encompasses all aspects of life, not just religion, but relationships, work, sports, business, the whole lot. That's why the Prophet (upon whom be peace) said, "Allah has obligated excellence (ihsan) to be done in everything." (Muslim)
Excellence can never remain hidden, and will always be appreciated as long as you are patient. Whether you are Imam al-Bukhari and want to set the standard in Deen, or whether you are Apple and want to set the standard in business, be patient and your ihsan and itqan will always be recognised one day.
Here's a classic (Whatsapp!) story that illustrates this nicely:
A little boy went to a telephone booth which was at the cash counter of a store and dialled a number.
The store-owner observed and listened to the conversation:
Boy: “Madam, can you give me the job of cutting your lawn?”
Woman: (at the other end of the phone line) “I already have someone to cut my lawn.”
Boy: “Madam, I will cut your lawn for half the price than the person who cuts your lawn now.”
Woman: “I’m very satisfied with the person who is presently cutting the lawn.”
Boy: (with more perseverance) “Madam, I’ll even sweep the floor and the stairs of your house for free.”
Woman: “No, thank you.”
With a smile on his face, the little boy put the receiver down. The store-owner, who was listening to all this, walked over to the boy.
Store-owner: “Son….I like your attitude; I like that positive spirit and would like to offer you a job.”
Boy: “No thanks.”
Store-owner: “But you were really pleading for one.”
Boy: “No Sir, I was just checking my performance at the job I already have. I am the one who is working for that lady I was talking to!”
- sh. Abu esa
"We're lost. We've lost our paths. We want to go back to Him, because at the end of the day we've realized nothing is worth it. But then its not easy. Every time we try, we get stuck somewhere. We almost give up. We're let down. Why? Because we're weak. And so we have to ask Him to help us. We have to make Dua again and again and again and we have to ask 'Him' to guide us. And He WILL help us. Even when we feel we're far faaar away,
-"And your Lord says, 'Call upon Me; I will respond to you.'." [40:60]
And we sit on the prayer mat, tears running down our cheeks, admit all the darkness that we're in, and ask Him to help us come out of the darkness into light.
-"Allah is the Wali (Protector or Guardian) of those who believe. He brings them out from darkness into light." [2:257]
....and when we walk one step to Him, He walks ten towards us. When we make a little effort, He makes it easy for us. How disconnected feel. How far, how lost we feel. But when we take our first step, He shortens that distance. Because He loves us. He is always near. He is forgiving. He is Merciful.
Its never too late as long as our hearts are still beating, He is giving us chances. And we will try. We will not give up. And He is near, 'always'. He'll help you and protect you.
Don't be upset, everyone goes through that phase of life when nothing seems to be right. But all what matters is you stand up back again, repent, re-connect to Him and keep trying.
-"And He found you lost, and guided you." [93:7]"
the reconnect part reminded me of this:
On the authority of Anas (may Allah be pleased with him), who said:
I heard the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) say: Allah the Almighty said: O son of Adam, so long as you call upon Me and ask of Me, I shall forgive you for what you have done, and I shall not mind. O son of Adam, were your sins to reach the clouds of the sky and were you then to ask forgiveness of Me, I would forgive you. O son of Adam, were you to come to Me with sins nearly as great as the earth and were you then to face Me, ascribing no partner to Me, I would bring you forgiveness nearly as great as it. It was related by at-Tirmidhi (also by Ahmad ibn Hanbal). Its chain of authorities is sound.
When we commit ourselves to walk through all the three stages of Islam( islam, iman, ihsan) we are infact walking towards our ultimate purpose on earth. In the Quran Allah says, ‘ I have not created the invisible beings (Jinns) and the mankind except to worship me’ (51:56)
In essence Allah created us to know to know us first, to love Him second, and from that place of experience and love to be pulled into the orbit of worship. Islam is the station of ‘knowing’ Allah through how he revealed Himself in the literal and other words of the Quran. Iman is when we delve passed the surface to the spirit of the revelations allowing God’s majesty to open our hearts like the petals of a spring flower to the love that breathes between every word of inspiration that streamed into the heart of the Prophet
And lastly the stage of true worship, the station of Ihsaan and excellence, is when we die to ourself and all multiplicity to awaken in the reality of God’s singularity, enfolding our will in the will of God, surrendered like the dead in the divine gravity of the love into the worship from a state of complete annihilation in the ecstasy of God’s Greatness.
It is only when the sun of ego sets that the true everlasting light of the soul and innate beauty within the human being can rise. We are not called to follow Islam we are called to become it. We are called into the infinite ocean of God’s grace and abundance. When we surrender like this, when we surrender our will, mind, heart and soul we are not losing ourselves but rather becoming receptive to all that God seeks to create through us. This is the purpose of our creation, to die to everything but God’s everlasting love...
This hadith is really beautiful. Have you heard afasy reciting this one?
no.. indeed... it is powerful...
may Allah s.w.t forgive us.. ameeen
The Prophet (ﷺ) said to 'Ali (May Allah be pleased with him), "By Allah, if a single person is guided by Allah through you, it will be better for you than a whole lot of red camels."
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
No one wants just an “okay” spouse, just a minimum wage job, or just second-rate health. When you ask Allah (swt), ask Him for the best of everything.
Don’t ask for something mediocre, or even something that would just be “pretty cool” – ask Him for the absolute best.
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said “When you ask Allah (for something, ask for al-firdaws which is the best and highest part of Paradise.”
When we ask for Jannah, we should always ask for the highest level. No one would ever make Dua to be the last person to enter Jannah after being punished!
We all want to enter Jannah swiftly and be raised to the highest part of it. Apply the same attitude of excellence to everything you aim for: the best health, the best job, the best spouse.
Allah (swt) is able to give you all of that and more! - Muhammad alshareef
Allah gives us gifts, but then we come to love them as we should only love Him. We take those gifts and inject them into our hearts, until they take over. Soon we cannot live without them. Every waking moment is spent in contemplation of them, in submission and worship to them. The mind and the heart that was created by Allah, for Allah, becomes the property of someone or something else. And then the fear comes, the fear of loss begins to cripple us. The gift—that should have remained in our hands —takes over our heart, so the fear of losing it consumes us. Soon, what was once a gift becomes a weapon of torture and a prison of our own making. How can we be freed of this? At times, in His infinite mercy, Allah frees us…by taking it away.
As a result of it being taken, we turn to Allah wholeheartedly. In that desperation and need, we ask, we beg, we pray. Through the loss, we reach a level of sincerity and humility and dependence on Him which we would otherwise not reach—had it not been taken from us. Through the loss, our hearts turn entirely to face Him.
What happens when you first give a child a toy or the new video game he’s always wanted? He becomes consumed by it. Soon he wants to do nothing else. He sees nothing else. He doesn’t want to do his work or even eat. He’s hypnotized to his own detriment. So what do you do, as a loving parent? Do you leave him to drown in his addiction and complete loss of focus and balance? No. You take it away. Then, once the child has regained focus of his priorities, regained sanity and balance, once things are put in their proper place in his heart and mind and life, what happens? You give the gift back. Or perhaps something better. But this time, the gift is no longer in his heart. It is in its proper place. It is in his hand.
Yet in that process of taking, the most important thing happened. The losing and regaining of the gift is inconsequential. The taking of your heedlessness, your dependence and focus on other than Him, and the replacing it with remembrance, dependence and focus only on Him was the real gift. Allah withholds to give.
- Yasmin Mogahed
Our thinking is very important, but so is our action. Our thinking affects our action, but many forget that our action also affects our thinking. For example, I read a profound article on depression which said that *some* movement is better than no movement. We are a people of progress. To stay still is to drown. So making even small, positive, achievable goals can have immense impact on our state. - Yasmin Mogahed
Allah mentions in His book that it isn't only eyes but also hearts that can become blind. Furthering that notion in the 24th surah, He gives the example of someone drowning at sea during a thunderstorm with a giant wave that has slammed over him (or her...) and before he could make his way to the top another comes and pushes him even deeper down to the bottom of the ruthless sea. You'd think by the time you get to this part of the divine painting, you'd be learning of being out of breath or terrified. But no, the depiction is
إذا أخرج يده لم يكد يراها
"When he take his hand out, he almost doesn't even see it!"
The deeper down he goes the darker it gets. The greatest horror in Allah's divine parable is an almost inability to even see your own hand right in front of you. Of all our limbs, the hand is commonly used in the Quran to describe our actions in life.
I was talking to someone recently about their "bad days", the days before they repented and changed course in life. They told me that even at the worst times, sneaking out of the house, making the way to the night club, right before walking into it, they'd turn to God and say, "I'm sorry I'm about to do this, please don't let me die here".
That moved me so deeply. There are people that can be so far from being good, seeped in sin, so many doses of drugs, illicit relationships, filthy environments and all manner of terrible choices later, through all of those crushing waves of darkness that have slammed them deeper and deeper into the merciless ocean of sin, where they are surround only by devices of their own destruction, where every time they even try to come up for air a new set of temptations and forces drag them back down ensuring they will be in so much darkness that they'll stop thinking about what they're doing and just do it, through all of that, they can still barely make out their hand and still aren't completely blind. Some voice inside them still says you need to get out of this. Some part of them can see right past all the make up, all the loud noise, all the animal stares, all the fake smiles, all the mind numbing thumping of music telling you to "throw your hands up in the air and wave 'em like you just don't care", and yet they still care. As weak as it may have become, their vision still works.
Vision is a function of light. In easy English, without light you can't see. It doesn't matter how far the party road you've traveled. It doesn't matter how much darkness you've surrounded yourself in. It doesn't matter how much you've told yourself I'm in too deep. I'm as good as drowned, a lost cause. None of that matters. The fact that something inside you can still see the wrong in what you do means there is light somewhere. But where? Where did this light come from and why is this flimsy candle not put out by the drowning sea?
The same parable that describes this depth of darkness will teach you that there's a light inside you. You keep looking for a good influence on the outside thinking if only someone good would come along and change your life and bring it light, you'd become a good person too. You don't realize that good person is you. A prisoner deep inside your own self, whose light you've been suffocating. You are the greatest oppressor to your own enlightened soul deep in your heart. This starving prisoner should have died by now but Allah is keeping it alive. He ends the ayah,
فمن لم يجعل الله له نورا فما له من نور.
"Then anyone for whom Allah wouldn't have furnished light, they wouldn't possibly have any light at all!"
That light inside you is Allah's biggest gift to you. You've been ignoring it because swimming against giant waves isn't easy. It's painful, requires you to exhaust yourself and the alternative is so so much easier. Just drown. Just throw your hands up and stop caring. But if you have the strength of will left, He will never abandon you. His rope is always there to pull you up. He'll also describe it like the anchor of a ship whose giant links in the chain can't be broken. You will make your way up and when no one around you is a source of light, He will be from within you. The fact that you can still see your hand, albeit barely, is proof that He hasn't given up on you. It's on you now. Happy swimming!
~ Nouman Ali Khan!
'' There are two blessings which many people do not make the most of and thus lose out: Good health and Free time''---Bukhari
Harshness is nit found in anything except that it disgraces you. Verily, Allah is kind and He loves kindness...
You must be gentle.Verily, gentleness is not in anything except that it beautifies it, and it is not removed from anything except that it disgraces it
- Muhammad (saw)
A boy said to a man, ' I want happiness. the man said, remove 'I' that is your ego.then remove 'want' that is your desire and what remains is your happiness
- Yasmin Mogahad
The world is a strange place where those who lack modesty are considered beautiful, cheaters are considered clever, and the loyal and considered fools
- Hazrat Ali
Separate names with a comma.