God’s Code: Overwriting the Faulty Code & Maladaptiveware in Our Hearts

Originally posted on Tending Hearts:

Bismillahir-Rahmanir-Rahim, may Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala forgive my mistakes and omissions, and may He ta’ala protect my readers from any misguidance in the following words, ameen.

(Note: This post was written for the sake of a couple sisters who asked me today how to find the authentic Islam that purifies hearts, transforms characters and elevates spirits, while bringing one closer to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala and filling one with His Love and Mercy. If you’re not interested in my musings on the subject of internal coding and the Islamic tradition, then just scroll to the bottom for the links to what I’ve found to be authentic, purifying and transformational “programming,” or at least what has worked for me so far on my Journey of transformation and seeking of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala :)

Throughout our lives we pick up “coding” about how we should live, who we should be, what…

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365 Days of Light

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Bismillah Al-Rahman Al-Rahim –

What an incredibly emotional moment this is for me… a year ago, today, I accepted Islam and became part of a family that consists of billions of people, all around the world. And I thank Allāh that it has fallen on one of the most blessed days of the year. First and foremost, may Allāh make it a blessed Ramadan for all of us, and may He allow us to strengthen our imān, as well as our bonds with one another. May we make the most of every precious moment, and act not without the intention of doing good deeds for the people around us. And may Allāh allow us to begin a new chapter within our worship. Ameen.

If I had to offer only one bit of advice to reverts and born-Muslims, alike, it would be to stay away from underestimating the blessings and rewards of maintaining patience. For many months, my family was worried about me. For many months, I was worried about them. For many months, my life was floating, somewhat chaotically, between the Masjid and my home life, and I struggled greatly to balance the two. For many months, I prayed alongside YouTube videos, hoping that I would someday be able to pray, in Arabic, on my own (which seemed nearly impossible). For many months, I cried everyday, because I am the only Muslim in my family, and I yearned so deeply for companionship and understanding from the people that I love. For many months, I questioned if I was capable of continuing with Islam. For many months, I wondered… “Is it worth it?”

The main characteristic of patience is resisting the temptation to give up, and I’ve wanted to give up so many times. BUT… something within my heart didn’t let me. My love for Allāh, subhanahu wa ta’ala, didn’t let me. And with every effort in resisting temptation, for the sake of Allāh, a deeper sense of awareness is gained, as well as a realization that everything has been worth the struggle.

Now, after a year, all I can do is thank Allāh for not allowing me to go astray, and potentially ending up back at square one, which was a place where I was bound to destroy my heart and my soul. All I can do is thank Allāh for granting to me the ability to find ease within my struggle. Not only does my family now support me, but the people who are closest to me are proud that I am a Muslim, including my beloved mother. Alhamdulillah.

My intention, within this message, is to speak to those who are struggling with imān – please, don’t give up. No matter what hardship you may be facing, if you are striving to live for the sake of Allāh, you are bound to succeed, you are bound to persevere, and you are bound to attain what you seek; after all, what you seek, is seeking you.

May Allāh be with us all.

Assalamu alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu.

Be a Source of Light

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There are three types of people in this world: those who know nothing about the world, and do nothing; those who know about the world, and do nothing; and those who know about the world, and do something to make it better – by spreading awareness, enhancing wisdom, teaching others, and helping those in need. Where do you stand?

“Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good, enjoining what is right, and forbidding what is wrong. They are the ones to attain felicity.”
Qur’an – Surah Al-‘Imran [3:104]

This world is filled with so much darkness and sadness; we should not spend even a single moment without the determination to be a source of light for those around us. We must believe, have courage, and act; after all, even a small act of kindness can change somebody’s entire perspective. We need more people working toward a better world. Let us not oppress ourselves by pointing out our differences. Within our hearts, we all share the same yearning for love and unity. Good deeds lead to happiness and prosperity, so let’s do good for each other. In doing so, we are doing good for ourselves.

One love.

Reconstruct the Broken Bridge

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We are so incredibly blessed to have each other. Even those relationships that consist of a “Hello, how are you?” every once in a while. I’ve noticed that, as we get older, we develop a tendency to break ties with the people we love. In other words, we lose touch with one another. Of course it’s not intentional, but we settle comfortably into our own lives, forgetting about the bonds that took us years to delicately assemble. The process of discovering the person that we see in the mirror doesn’t have to overshadow the people that were involved before it became important to pursue that discovery. If there’s someone that you haven’t spoken to, if there’s someone that you miss, or if there is a relationship in your life that needs healing.. There’s no better time than right now to act. We only have so much time here.. Let us not waste it. Even if you don’t really know what to say… it’s amazing what a simple “Hey, I love you” text can do.

Peace, love, and blessings to all. Assalamu alaykum.

Happiness

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Happiness isn’t about material. It isn’t about money or status. Happiness comes to those who understand the true meaning of life. We weren’t given blessings to become selfish or arrogant. We were given blessings to establish appreciation, and to determine how much of those blessings we share with others. The heart becomes heathy once we begin to focus on giving rather than accumulating. Make peace with your brothers and sisters, family and friends, acquaintances and strangers – because the aspects of our lives that define us cannot be seen. The aspects of our lives that define us have everything to do with what remains in the hearts of others, while we are away. Peace, love, and blessings to all. La ilaha ilallah. Assalamu alaykum!

Purify the Heart

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Awesome things happen when we strive to purify our hearts, and it goes without saying that this can be achieved in so many ways. Be a keeper of peace and a giver of joy. We must always be mindful of our duty to share what we have, regardless of what it may be, with those around us. We must recognize that which is not of benefit to our hearts, and do away with it. We must strive to see the bigger picture and acquire a deeper sense of self-awareness. We must speak gently to others, and only choose words that would respectfully leave our lips in the presence of our mothers. Most importantly, we must always remember that the best way to mend and purify our own hearts, is to help mend and purify the hearts of others. Spread peace. Spread love.

My thoughts, as a revert to Islam

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Sometimes I imagine how my life would be if I had been born into a Muslim family. Having the honor of praying with my Mother, and learning to embrace the heart of Islam from my Father. I imagine how differently I would be experiencing Ramadan, as I wouldn’t be fasting completely on my own. I cannot help but feel envious of those of you who have been blessed with Islam since the day you were born. But then I realize that I will have the honor of creating a Muslim family of my own someday, In Sha Allah. It only takes a few moments of reflection to reassure myself that I wouldn’t change my experience for the world. You see, those of you who have been guided by Islamic teachings your whole life are incredibly blessed, because you have been on the correct path since day one. But… my situation is a blessing, as well. Why? Because I sought Islam for myself. I was not born into it, or taught by my parents. I have not been surrounded by Muslims my entire life. I haven’t always known what Allah’s presence feels like. But when I discovered Islam for myself, when I felt Allah’s love within heart, and when I took these teachings into my own hands… I knew, to the very core of my soul, that I would never let go. Your parents are Muslim, mine are not, but we both are fortunate enough to have Allah’ s presence in our everyday lives. This is why we are brothers and sisters, and even though I am a revert, this is why we are the same. Assalamu alaykum!

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