Is the Glass Half Empty or Half Full for You?

Jamilah's reflections

I am often asked about how I could have given up the promise of eternal life as a Christian believing that Jesus died on the cross for my sins, to one that supposedly offers me no hope of salvation.

When you first look at the Qur’an it does seem to be full of discussion about hellfire and Allah our Creator may seem to be full of warnings about it. However, I don’t see it as a doom and gloom book and that was why I chose to become a Muslim. It for me is a love letter that is even more a love letter than the Bible ever was. Why? Because of words like this hadith.

Ibn Umar (radi Allahu anhum) reported: I heard the Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) saying, “A believer will be brought close to his Rubb on the Day of Resurrection and enveloping…

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Remembering Sawda RA

Jamilah's reflections

When I think of Sawda I think of a lady who was willing to put her faith “on the line”. She was one of the first to embrace Islam and she made hijrah with her husband. When he died she did not complain, but accepted this despite the tremendous hardship it placed her in. She had five children by him, and she missed him greatly

In a narration by Aisha (May Allah be Pleased with her), reported by Khawlah Bint Hakim Alsalmiah- Sawda’s companion in the migration to Abyssinia-: “when Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)was looking for a wife to run the household and take care of Fatima al-Zahra’(his daughter), he was told to marry Aisha, but he refused at that time because of her young age”. So Khawla told him about Sawda Bint Zam’a. She was a conscious middle aged lady, full of faith, even if her youth was gone and…

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Re posted .. khadijah.. Mother of the Believers.

Jamilah's reflections

I was thnking about her the other day.. masha’Allah I love both her and Sawda (RA) so much for what they did in supporting the Rusoolulah (SAW ) .

We hear so much about the other wives, specially Ayesha RA but one thing struck me as I was thinking of her and her life with him

Muhammad SAW was 25 years old when he married Khadeejah and he was 40 years old when he began to receive the revelations.

We know that he often went and prayed and sat by himself in the cave of Hira.. and I’ve heard it said by Yasir Qhadhi and others that he would sometimes go for a month or more

In that time, she was alone, looking after children and concerned about her husband. We know she looked after his needs, posted servants to watch over him and even climbed the cave herself to…

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International World Day of Peace

2d20cd91d48d20c3b9b3c46efbbc302fWe are living in a time in history where there is little or no peace .. either on a national level or on a personal level.  So many people are feeling stressed.  Life is not easy for most people and peace is one of the last things that people would use to describe a way they feel.

Every day as Muslims we say some of the most beautiful words that man will ever utter..  “As salaamu alaykum”.    These are words spoken as a greeting when we meet another Muslim.   We so often say these words without realising that not only are we giving rights to another Muslim that they have over us,  but we are uttering a prayer for them.  When we say these words we are literally saying to the person we give the greeting to   ”  Peace be upon you” and we say “Peace”  we are not meaning just a feeling of peace.

One of the names of Allah Al-Salām (Peace) . Allah says: “He is Allah, besides whom there is no God, the King, the Holy One, Peace, the Giver of Security…” [Sūrah al-Hashr: 23]

Allah is the bringer of peace who spreads peace throughout creation. Since life was first created, it has been predominated by long stretches of peacefulness, security, tranquility, and contentment. Allah is Peace and from Him emanates all peace. It is as the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “O Allah! You are Peace and from You is peace. Blessed be You, possessor of glory and honor.” [Sahīh Muslim (091)]

When a Muslim says “a salaamu alaykum” to another Muslim,  we are literally asking for the Giver of Peace..  who Himself is Peace..  to give that peace to another Muslim.   The response  “Wa Alaykum Salaam” is equally as important.. as the reply offers the same prayer  to the one who originally said it  ” And to you Peace also”..

What a beautiful thing to remember today when the International Day of Peace is meaningless to so many many people around the world..  even here in Australia..  and yet for every Muslim who knows the peace of Al Salaam.. everyday is the Day of Peace.

tumblr_lx4zsixeEk1r86zjto1_500   Every day as Muslims.. indeed as humans, we are faced with changed plans.  When those plans are just small ones.. like deciding whether to go ahead and have chicken for dinner or something else, or if friends don’t show up for a planned visit, we can usually accommodate them without it really being an issue or causing us much if any stress.

When those plans are major life plans, it can be extremely stressful.  In thinking about what it is that creates that stress, I have decided that it’s all about expectations not being met and being left with  a sense of disappointment, frustration or even anger towards the situation, the one who caused it (if anyone)  and sometimes maybe even subconsciously even towards Allah Himself. (though maybe we don’t admit that to anyone, not even ourselves.

Changed plans and unmet expectations are a part of being human.   An inevitable part of our tendency to make plans and expect them to remain unchanged.  We build our futures around those plans and when they fail to materialise we are left feeling shattered.  What does this teach us about our knowledge of qadr of Allah?   Or our understanding of Tawhid and what that means to us, not as a belief system, but as something that directs our thinking about our lives and the things that happen to us.

We say La ilaha illallah many times a day in our salaat. Like so many things  we repeat  we don’t often reflect on it’s meaning.  In repeating those words we are stating as fact that we believe that Allah is not only ONE.. but that He is the  Creator of the heavens and the earth, the Master of the East and the West and Sustainer of the entire universe.It should and must challenge our thinking and our responses to the difficulties and problems we face daily.  No more do we see ourselves as victims to chance.. or at the mercy of the consequences of changed plans and their outcomes.  These are but an opportunity to wait patiently with sabr to see what HIS SWT better plan is.  We surrender and accept, yet not as a victim but a victor.   We are fully conscience of our Lord.  Each time we pray or repeat the Kalimah we are invigorated with humility and gratitude and accept all that happens as a benefit to us, as He the Creator of the Universe has promised it’s for our benefit.. if not in the dunya then in the Akhira.. or maybe in both.

Suhaib said that, ‘we were sitting with the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and suddenly he laughed. . He asked his companions: ‘Won’t you ask me what I am laughing about?.’ So they asked the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) ‘what are you laughing about ?’ So he said : ‘I laughed because I was astonished at the affair of a believer.’  All of his affairs, all of his circumstances are good, all of it. If something happens to him that he loves, if Allah blesses him with something that he loves, then he praises Allaah and this is good. And if something happens to him, if he is put into some difficulty, test or tribulation or hardship or something that he hates, he is patient and that is good for him. And no o­ne’s situation is totally good except the believer. And no o­ne else’s affair, no o­ne else’s circumstance, no o­ne else’s condition, no o­ne else’s situation is totally good except the mu’min, except the believer.’

May we be among those who are the Mu’min the true believers  who understand and submit to Tawhid.. ameen.

Ramadhan Day 12


There is a time for most Muslims during Ramadhan when things become a little less exciting.  When the body is tired and drained and the momentum begins to fade.  This is the real time of benefit for Muslims during Ramadhan.  This is the time when the self discipline and real change can begin and take place.

It is not easy to face another day of fasting, or to even get out of bed early to make suhoor when outside the bed, it’s cold.  Every part of your body is asking for “reprieve” and being allowed to give into the most basic of needs.. that of sustenance and rest.

At Tarawih last night, it was evident the imam was very tired and it made me think to remind Muslims who are reading my blog, to remember to pray for those in leadership in the Mosques  (Masjids) around the world who are especially drained at this time as they balance the extra activities at the Masjid, whilst also fasting, spending time with their family and friends and also increasing their own ibadah (worship).

Ramadhan is not called the “month of training” for no reason.  Just like athletes around the world whose minds are fixed on being selected for the upcoming Olympic Games have to throw their whole selves on the line to achieve the goal.. so also.. infact how much more so should Muslims want this for their own spiritual development.

Twelve days into the fast we have completed the preliminary training.  Now our bodies are adjusting/adjusted to the changes imposed .. now we can focus on acts that will increase our spiritual development. Now we should be looking for ways of increasing our giving in charity, praying, helping others,  We are setting ourselves up for attitudes and actions and good habits that should continue well beyond Ramadhan.. infact should never stop.  We are in a training regime that doesn’t stop with Ramadhan, but will in sha Allah continue in our lives, seen by others as part of our nature.. of who we are.

As someone said to me recently. It’s scary.  When we sin, get angry, are selfish.. we can’t blame Shaytaan’s whispers any more.  We now plainly see who we are inside. Our Nafs are speaking (our inner self).  Those harsh words we spoke to our spouse.. they are an issue we need to deal with..  they are the part of us that is not listening to the command to “speak good or remain silent”.   That desire to be always right is our nafs speaking..  and we forget the promise that “Jannah is promised to the one who gives up arguing even if they are right”.

This time of lethargy and apathy is a last ditch attempt by our nafs to still “rule our actions and reactions”.. Shaytaan doesn’t cause these thoughts and behavious, he simply whispers to them as the weaknesses that dictate who we present ourselves as t both to the world and to Allah. The Shaytaan are chained during this month helping us gain a clear awareness of who we are and what needs to be dealt with in our lives..  We have completed the days of Mercy.. now we are entering the days of forgiveness where we can lay ourselves totally open to our Lord ..

A reminder to myself first..  that these are the days where the hard work on becoming a better version of myself as a slave of Allah is being accomplished by His Mercy and Help in sha Allah. It would be easy to give up now and say it’s all too hard.. but just like an athlete.. who finds the tough training regime to difficult and misses out on the coveted goal of being selected on the Olympic Team will ultimately regret his moments of weakness and loss of stamina.. so also will we if we give up.  Our goal is much greater.  Allah SWT has said that Fasting is for Him.. and He will reward.  What a prize!!!

Al-Bukhaari (1761) and Muslim (1946) narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Allaah said: ‘Every deed of the son of Adam is for him except fasting; it is for Me and I shall reward for it…’” 

“Only those who are patient shall receive their reward in full, without reckoning”

[al-Zumar 39:10] 


Ramadhan Day 11


As I was doing the dishes after sahoor this morning and will listening to a lecture by Yasir Qadhi on the Names and Attributes of Allah  a thought came to my mind.   Who is Allah/God and what do we think about Him.  I wasn’t thinking of it in terms of myself or Muslims at this moment since I was hearing about Him through the lecture.  I was thinking of it in terms of modern day Christians and Jews and other monotheistic believers.

I have been talking to people of Jewish background recently and in many ways I can relate to the Jewish concept of God much more than the concept of God as seen in modern day Christianity.  In my journey to Islam .. which took many years,  I know that my own submission to Allah as an 11 year old girl found it’s home when I embraced Islam as a 46 year old woman.  The God I submitted to at that young age was Almighty, All knowing and all powerful.  The longer I stayed in Christianity the more frustrated I became at the watering down of this understanding. Over 35 years of Christianity I struggled constantly with the concept of God that was being weakened as Jesus was elevated to places he himself never wanted to be taken..

God is Almighty ..  Creator of All things.. the One who alone is the Source of all life.  There is nothing that is not created by God.time, life, everything is not only created by Him, everything is in His control.  We don’t serve a weak God who is “our friend”.. We don’t serve a God who can’t forgive sin without blood sacrifice. We don’t serve a God who needs to manifest Himself through a man in order to be known.  We serve a God who is known by His Names and Attributes and Who reveals Himself through Creation as signs for those who reflect.

Surah Ikhlas is the most comprehensive and beautiful description of Allah SWT  to be found anywhere..  Prophet Muhammad SAW said that if we read this.. it’s like we have read 1/3rd of the Quran.  Such an important verse as it’s a declaration of Tauhid.. “Oneness of Allah”.. the most important concept in Islam.

My thoughts today, which I plan to reflect on in tomorrow’s blog.. is the concept of God in each major monotheistic religion in sha Allah.