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Wednesday, 25 October 2017

The Peaceful Souls

As the setting sun said goodbye,
And shut his eyelids for the night,
The moon said, 'Salam! It’s time to rise!'
Called to the stars, 'Lets fill the skies!'

'On a long adventure let us go
Cities and towns let's go explore!'
Off she sailed across the sky,
By low valleys and mountains high.

Silver she painted the roofs and trees
Silvery waves making silvery seas.
As she looked upon cities fast asleep,
Towns and villages in slumbers deep;
All of a sudden from the edge of her eye,
A tiny gold light, in the distance she spied.
Who could be up at this late, late hour?
Over this window she paused to hover.

Two faces were shining, emanating light.
Two hands raised in prayer, a wonderful sight.
One face: a lady’s so peaceful and calm.
The other: a little boy, quiet by her arm.
The moon looked around this simple, small room
Two millstones, a stove, a mat and a broom
And nothing besides - the room was bare
Yet shining! She thought - rich beyond compare!

The moon waited - patient. She heard the lady say:
'God help my neighbours each step of the way.
The hungry the poor the lonely the needy
The traveller the orphan, the sick and weary.
God, feed them and keep them all safe from harm’s way
God, ease their pain, I beseech you, I pray.'

A beautiful prayer, thought the moon as it lingered
And heard the little boy, soft, as he whispered,
'What about us mum? Shall we pray for us?'
His mother smiled gently, 'Yes, let’s pray for us …
Now that we’ve asked God for peace on our neighbours
It is time to beseech Him for Mercy on ours.
Remember, it’s selfish to pray for ourselves
Before we seek God’s blessings for those around us.'

Faces lifted, hands rose, lips parted again
In prayer for self: Allah, You hold the rein
Of life. Control our thought, action and speech;
Steer and direct our course so we may reach -
You – O Fashioner, O Origin and Destination –
Perfected: forged, hammered, shaped - patient
Worthy, tranquil souls, at peace with Your Will.'
The moon tarried longer  - curious and still.
'Who are these two graceful people?' she thought               
Who've traded their sleep, seeking closeness to God?'
A passing star whispered: 'Fatima and Hasan.'
The Prophet's daughter and her little son.'
What a privilege it is thought the moon in a daze
To witness this amazing moment of praise
'May Allah's peace be on them.' the star heard her say.
As once more on her journey she drifted away.



Allah's Justice

Allah's Justice

Bismillah hir Rahman nir Raheem
When it says in the Quran that Allah punishes transgressors  - it is referring to the system of Justice that Allah (swt) has established. - This means that, inevitably, when someone breaks a law, he deprives himself of his privileges - which is his 'punishment'.

Forexample in 2:7 the Quran says:

Allah has set a seal on their hearts and their hearing, and there is a blindfold on their sight, and there is a great punishment for them.

It is Allah's (swt) system of Justice which is being referred to - which states that a person who turns away from guidance, who is not watchful of his own actions and who does not acknowledge that there is accountability - he has blinded and deafened himself. Now he can't see truth or justice even if you show it to him.

A drowning man comes up desperately for air ... that is, of course, the one who has trained his body to swim. He will surface. What about the one who has not? He will drown. This is the accepted law of life. Can anyone question it? No.

Can anyone save him? An expert perhaps - someone who has trained in the art of saving drowning people - can drag him by his hair and pull him to the surface. Otherwise, it is a well known fact that if you are trying to save a drowning man: keep your distance - or he will drag you down!

My question now is: Even this saviour, this expert who is trained in the art of saving people - can he teach a drowning man to swim? No. Even if he tries his best he will not be able to teach him to swim. The decree will be: He should have learnt to swim when he could, when he had the opportunity. Now, it is too late. Now, he is destined to be drowned.

And who would you blame for his death? Who is responsible for his situation? He himself.

Coming to the Ayat 2:7 then, if a man's heart is 'sealed', it is because he did not open it up to guidance, if he is 'deaf' it is because he did not train himself to hear things he ought to have; if there appears to be a 'blindfold' on his eyes, it is because they are weak and have not been exercised enough to be able to 'see'. Therefore, it is he who has deprived himself of privileges granted to him. That is, undoubtedly, Allah's Justice. 

Finally, it is important to remember that, so long as you are alive you have to work on preparing for the moment when you will have to be able to 'swim' to be the survivor.
Iltemase dua

Prophet Nuh (as)

Prophet Nuh (as)


A long time ago in a far away land
Lived a prophet named Nuh - a pious man.
He was good, he was honest and truthful and fair
Prevented the town's folk from going astray.


He spoke about Allah, his wonderful Lord
Who spread out the earth; who pegged in  the rocks
Who made rivers flow through green valleys and plain
And raised lofty mountains; brought down the rain.

Who studded the sky with the sun and the stars 
With Jupiter, Uranus, Mercury and Mars
The birds and the flowers, the animals and trees
The wild roaring typhoons and soft gentling breeze.

The towns' folk, they mocked him, 'Be silent!' they said.
'We have our cool stone gods, We love them!' they said.
Nuh, Allah's Prophet, tried hard day and night
To teach them good manners, to do what is right.

Nine hundred and fifty long years - all in vain
Nuh Allah's prophet tried again and again.
Do you think that they changed? No Sir, they did not!
They lied and they cheated, they killed and they fought.

Till Nuh, Allah's Prophet, had had quite enough
He raised his hands high and he call to his Lord:
I've tried my very hardest, o my Lord, I complain
I have begged, I have pleaded - not one man will change. 

'Stand firm, dearest Nuh,' said Allah, 'Have faith,
There will soon come a flood that will swallow the earth.
It's time to prepare now, for the looming deluge
To build a huge ark; and in it take refuge.

Nuh, Allah's Prophet said: Let's build an Ark!
That is roomy and ready for us to embark
When ice caps are melting and rain pelting down
We'll be safe in our vessel - no one will drown!

But the town's folk? they laughed. 'What do you mean?
Rain, did you say? There's not a cloud to be seen!
And as for the fast melting icecaps you talk of -
The North pole and South pole are a bit too far off!
Nuh, Allah's Prophet was patient, he said:
You have time. Think on it - while I plan ahead.
He sowed in the seeds. He waited. He waited.
Saplings soon grew into trees. He waited.

He chopped down foliage; sawed planks. He waited.
Made gables and rafters and floor boards - he waited.
''Let's build it! Time's flying!'' He waited. He waited.
''Is  there any one at all who'll give me a hand?
To build this huge ark and save all mankind???''

Few answered - the ones who were true and honest
They worked day and night until they had done it.
The ark! It was big; it was wide; it was layered
In the exact dimensions that Allah had ordered.
Exhausted but pleased Nuh's friends slept that night
And woke up next morning to an amazing sight!
Surrounding the ship were stood big and small
Animals and birds: the tiny, the tall!

Gophers and tigers and geese and flamingos
Beetles and bears, baboons and the rhinos!
All two by two they marched in, they trundled
Into the ark, side by side they were bundled.
At last Nuh and his few friends boarded the bark
The doors were shut tight and were bolted fast
The towns folk still laughed though - doubled with mirth
At Nuh and his ark sitting silent on earth.

Their laughter dried up soon, theirs smiles slowly froze
When thunder rolled in, It RAINED! Waters rose.
In panic they hurried, climbed mountains and trees
But the waters rose higher; lands turned to seas.
Till all was submerged, and what could be seen
Was the wide ocean's surface - all blue, all green.
Wait! What do you think happened to Nuh's big Ark?
With its peacocks, and parrots and pigeons and larks?
It was safe! It was floating high up with the waves!
Nuh and his band of true friends had been saved!

When it did stop raining and the water subsided
The ark stopped floating, it silently landed.
The sky once again was bright and blue
And the sun warmed the earth for fresh life anew.

The gates were unbolted - left open wide
 for the travellers to step off the tumultuous ride.
There was peace, there was joy in every heart
In high spirits - ready for a brand new start
They stretched, they crawled, they flew, they ran
Spread, built homes - The Divine Plan!

Prophet Nuh and his followers prostrated low
Humbled, amazed; cries rang out in awe:
'There's no god but Allah!' clamoured voices devout.
All Praise is for Him, Him alone - without doubt!


Afshan Ali

Friday, 24 February 2017

Ya Allah!
You are far Greater
than my worship
can endeavour to praise.
Indeed, it is a privilege
to even be allowed
to prostrate before You.

Friday, 27 January 2017

The test

In my RE lesson last week, we were discussing the purpose of our creation - Why did Allah (swt)create us? was the question. There were various answers of which one was: He created us so he may test us.
This was met with incredulity and disdain from one of the students who said: Why would Allah need to test us? Does he not know everything?
And an argument ensued. She was not convinced. I asked everyone to think about it and the lesson ended.

I started the next lesson with the following story...

Once there was a teacher. She was a hard working woman. She loved her job and enjoyed teaching her students. She wanted the best for them. She wanted them to be successful in all their ventures. Therefore, she taught them well and prepared them for life. She taught each one of them how to be a good student, a good human being; she taught them to be disciplined, to differentiate good from bad, right from wrong - in fact, she gave them in knowledge, everything she knew.

She had mentored her class for such a long time, she had grown to love them all. She was familiar with each and every one of them and knew them thoroughly well. She knew their likes and dislikes, their good moods and bad moods, their strengths and weaknesses - she knew everything that was to know about them.

Soon their time with her came to an end. They had to move on with their lives. They came to her and thanked her for all she had done for them. Then they said: We have been with you for a very long time and you know us very well. Please give us a testimonial - so we can show people where ever we go what we have accomplished.  

She agreed.

She proceeded to write a testimony of their abilities and their accomplishments. She examined and reflected  on each student - taking pains to be fair and just as she recorded her assessment of them. After many a sleepless nights the testaments were all done. Her students came to her and she gave them each their report.

They settled down to read what had been put down on paper  - and very soon they were at her door!

'This is unfair!' they said. 'Our reports are all different! You have not judged us equally well. What did you base your comments on? Where is the evidence ? We are disappointed in our results - and will not accept them!'

'But I know you well.' said the teacher. 'I know exactly what you are capable of and what you are not capable of. What you are very good at and what you are not so good at. The result is based on what I know if you.'

'We can't see that!' said the students.

At this point I turned to my class - and ask them what advice they would give the teacher and how did they think the problem could be solved.

And sure enough, it was the very Miss Cheekyone who said: The teacher should have given them a test. How can she give them a report without testing them first!?.

I smiled, 'You see people need to be tested so there may be reason for reward or punishment!'