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  1. #1
    Kintsukuroi
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    Icon14 How to achieve tranquility of the heart?

    Asalaamu alaikum

    Theres 20 parts which I'll post overtime inshaAllah - but soooooooo worth the read, like it's amazing how just a few words can impact your heart so much mashaAllah tabarakAllah


    Part 1


    Sometimes it feels like it’s just too much – these fluctuations in our iman, the repeated sinning, the feeling that “I just don’t deserve Allah’s mercy.” The tests always feel like punishments. There is a constant worry about the future: my marriage, my money, my career, my Ummah… And some difficulties just feel like they are too great to overcome. We know we’re not supposed to ask this, but the question at the back of our minds is, “Why me?”


    We have all heard that we should never despair of Allah’s Mercy. And on the surface, we try not to, but Shaytaan (the Devil) has a trick. We tend to despair of ourselves and our incapacity to change things, especially the inner turmoil that we feel. And the effect of this is basically the same as despairing of Allah’s mercy. We do not always accept that Allah can take us out of the situation we are in and we don’t need to ‘deserve’ the trouble; Allah isn’t punishing us and we don’t need to be perfect.


    This doesn’t mean, however, that we shouldn’t strive, or take ourselves to account when we do mess up. The key is to develop our relationship with Allah during that trouble. If we know Allah, no situation is too hopeless. No sadness is ever permanent. We perceive trials as they are meant to be perceived – as tests of our trust in Allah, forcing us to put our knowledge into practice and bringing us closer to Him. These trials could potentially be a punishment too, that is if we let it affect us negatively by completely turning away from Him because of our sadness. But our awareness of our own state and our understanding of Allah’s Mercy allows us to turn the punishment into something positive that is manifested through repentance to Allah, alongside increasing in hasanat (good deeds) in order to erase the bad deeds.


    The first exercise is for us to consciously realize that Allah knows. Whatever grief we go through, whatever hardship we endure, we must understand that we are never alone. Even if we feel abandoned by the world and those closest to us, Allah is there. He reminds us in the Qur’an,




    “Fear not. Indeed, I am with you [both]; I hear and I see.” (20:46)


    As long as we begin by recognizing that Allah is with us and He is close to us, there remains a solution to our inner worries. There are things we need to know in order to develop our relationship with Allah. Then there are things we need to do in order to maintain that closeness to Allah. And finally, there are things we need to aspire for to achieve the ideal relationship with our Lord. We pray that by the end of the series, we will all have developed a stronger relationship with Allah.
    ...And he who fears Allah - He will make for him a way out. [65:3]
    "Put your trust in Allah, certainly, Allah loves those who put their trust (in Him)."
    [Al-Imran 3:159]

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    SubhanAllah there is soo much widom in our deen


    Looking fwd to the next part

  3. #3
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    Re: How to achieve tranquility of the heart?

    Next please..
    Allah will ask on the Day of Judgment: “Where are those who loved each other for the sake of My glory? Today, on a day when there is no shade but Mine, I shall shade them with My shade.”(Muslim)

    "Zendagi Migzara..."

  4. #4
    Kintsukuroi
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    Re: How to achieve tranquility of the heart?

    Part 2

    Why am I tested?

    In July 2006, I was watching the news report on Israel’s devastating attack on Lebanon. As I saw the images of severed bodies and heard the cries for help, the frustration and helplessness I felt was overwhelming. So I decided to pray while reciting from themus’haf (hardcopy of the Qur’an, which is the word of God). As I was reading, I arrived at the verse:


    “Or do you think that you will enter Paradise while such [trial] has not yet come to you as came to those who passed on before you? They were touched by poverty and hardship and were shaken until [even their] messenger and those who believed with him said, ‘When is the help of Allah?’ Unquestionably, the help of Allah is near.” [Qur’an, 2:214]

    And that was the answer. As human beings, we will be tested. But this doesn’t mean that we are going to live our lives in perpetual hardship, because ‘unquestionably, the help of Allah is near.’ So what does it mean when we are going through hardship? Is Allahsubhanahu wa ta`ala (exalted is He) angry with us? What if there is no way out?

    Whenever we go through hardship, there are things we need to know with certainty. Allah (swt) tells us in the Qur’an:




    “[…] Allah will bring about, after hardship, ease.” [Qur’an, 65:7]

    Certain hardships are so consuming that we cannot focus on anything but the difficulty. But we have to remember that if we were to enumerate the blessings of Allah (swt), we would not be able to count them. Reminding ourselves of the other blessings in our lives helps us to see the test within the context of the grand scheme of things. Just the fact that you can make sajda (prostration), and call out, “O Allah!” is a blessing that surpasses all others.

    But why?


    There is a purpose behind the trial, and this purpose corresponds to our internal state and our relationship with Allah (swt). Allah (swt) has 99 Beautiful Names, and it should suffice us to know that He is the Most Merciful, the Most Just and the Most Wise. Your test is not being put upon you by a random being, but by the Almighty Allah, who is closer to us than our jugular vein.

    Tests are a way to purify us. The Prophet said, “No fatigue, nor disease, nor sorrow, nor sadness, nor hurt, nor distress befalls a Muslim, even if it were the prick he receives from a thorn, but that Allah expiates some of his sins for that,” [Bukhari]. Our ultimate aim is to earn Allah’s pleasure and Jannah(paradise), and all of us fall short in truly worshiping Allah (swt) as He should be worshiped. Many of us fail to ask for forgiveness regularly, or to reflect on our state and return to Allah (swt). These tests, as burdensome as they are, ease our burden on the Day of Judgment, if we respond with patience.


    Trials also have a way of reminding us of our purpose. If we are far from Allah (swt), the test is usually to bring us close to Him. Whatever heedlessness we are engaging in, the test should make us realize we have no one, no one at all, but Him.


    Sheikh Ratib an-Nabulsi related a story about a man in Syria. This man would always mock Islam. He thought people who ‘wasted their time’ praying were silly. No matter how much da’wah (calling, used to refer to inviting people to learn about Islam) the sheikh gave him, the man remained in this state. He then had a daughter, and this daughter became very sick. He went to so many doctors, even traveling abroad to Europe, but no one could help him. After that, he started praying and turning to Allah (swt). Years later, his daughter was better and healthy. Both his dunya (this life) andakhira (the next life) were saved.


    If we are close to Allah (swt), it is to test our resilience. Are we only close to Allah (swt) in times of ease, or does our trust extend to the times of hardship? When we are tested, do we leave the good deeds that we used to do? Allah (swt) describes such people in the following verse:




    “And of the people is he who worships Allah on an edge. If he is touched by good, he is reassured by it; but if he is struck by trial, he turns on his face [to the other direction]. He has lost [this] world and the Hereafter. That is what is the manifest loss.” [Qur’an, 22:11]

    This may seem counter-intuitive, but tests are also out of Allah’s love. The Prophet said, “When Allah loves a servant, He tests him,” [Tirmidhi]. In a hadith qudsi (a hadithrelating the words of Allah [swt]), Allah (swt) tells Jibreel to delay the response to thedu`a’ of a servant because Allah (swt) loves hearing his voice [Tabarani]. Sometimes the answer to a test is that need for Allah (swt), those long hours spent in the night, and the tears of sincerity.

    May Allah (swt) make us of those who constantly turn to Him, in hardship and ease.

    ...And he who fears Allah - He will make for him a way out. [65:3]
    "Put your trust in Allah, certainly, Allah loves those who put their trust (in Him)."
    [Al-Imran 3:159]

  5. #5
    Odan
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    Re: How to achieve tranquility of the heart?

    Quote Originally Posted by RaNdOm View Post
    Asalaamu alaikum

    Theres 20 parts which I'll post overtime inshaAllah - but soooooooo worth the read, like it's amazing how just a few words can impact your heart so much mashaAllah tabarakAllah


    Part 1


    Sometimes it feels like it’s just too much – these fluctuations in our iman, the repeated sinning, the feeling that “I just don’t deserve Allah’s mercy.” The tests always feel like punishments. There is a constant worry about the future: my marriage, my money, my career, my Ummah… And some difficulties just feel like they are too great to overcome. We know we’re not supposed to ask this, but the question at the back of our minds is, “Why me?”


    We have all heard that we should never despair of Allah’s Mercy. And on the surface, we try not to, but Shaytaan (the Devil) has a trick. We tend to despair of ourselves and our incapacity to change things, especially the inner turmoil that we feel. And the effect of this is basically the same as despairing of Allah’s mercy. We do not always accept that Allah can take us out of the situation we are in and we don’t need to ‘deserve’ the trouble; Allah isn’t punishing us and we don’t need to be perfect.


    This doesn’t mean, however, that we shouldn’t strive, or take ourselves to account when we do mess up. The key is to develop our relationship with Allah during that trouble. If we know Allah, no situation is too hopeless. No sadness is ever permanent. We perceive trials as they are meant to be perceived – as tests of our trust in Allah, forcing us to put our knowledge into practice and bringing us closer to Him. These trials could potentially be a punishment too, that is if we let it affect us negatively by completely turning away from Him because of our sadness. But our awareness of our own state and our understanding of Allah’s Mercy allows us to turn the punishment into something positive that is manifested through repentance to Allah, alongside increasing in hasanat (good deeds) in order to erase the bad deeds.


    The first exercise is for us to consciously realize that Allah knows. Whatever grief we go through, whatever hardship we endure, we must understand that we are never alone. Even if we feel abandoned by the world and those closest to us, Allah is there. He reminds us in the Qur’an,




    “Fear not. Indeed, I am with you [both]; I hear and I see.” (20:46)


    As long as we begin by recognizing that Allah is with us and He is close to us, there remains a solution to our inner worries. There are things we need to know in order to develop our relationship with Allah. Then there are things we need to do in order to maintain that closeness to Allah. And finally, there are things we need to aspire for to achieve the ideal relationship with our Lord. We pray that by the end of the series, we will all have developed a stronger relationship with Allah.
    Salam,
    This is a beautiful article mashallah. Could you please post the author/source? Jazakallah khair

  6. #6
    Kintsukuroi
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    Re: How to achieve tranquility of the heart?

    Asalaamu alaikum

    Part 3

    Tawakkul - Reliance upon Allah swt



    “[He is] the Lord of the East and the West; there is no deity except Him, so take Him as Disposer of [your] affairs.” (Qur’an,73:9)

    Have you ever had that feeling of anxiety in your heart? What if it doesn’t work out? What if you never get over it? The truth is, we have all felt this way at some point in our lives. Sometimes, the uncertainty is just too much to bear, or the hardship of a moment prevents us from seeing any light at the end of the tunnel. At times we desperately want some kind of medicine, a pill perhaps, to miraculously take these worries away.

    But we do have that. This pill is called tawakkul. Like any pill, it’s sometimes hard to swallow. There are moments when we wonder whether this medicine even works, or if it is just some tool to make us simply believe we can be better. But Allah, the One – the only One – in control of this universe has said:



    “…And whoever relies upon Allah – then He is sufficient for him.” (Qur’an, 65:3)

    So what does it mean to rely on Allah; to have tawakkul in Him?

    It means to be firm in your heart. Ibn Ata’illah stated:

    “Relieve yourself of worry after you have planned; do not concern yourself with what Allah has undertaken on your behalf.”

    With tawakkul, our external burden or outward struggle is to plan, to use our means, and to work hard, but in our heart there is no longer the worry of this burden. If you are sick, you seek out the best option: a professional doctor. If you are applying to university, you take your time in preparing your application to meet the criteria. But also know that after you have done your daily work and faced struggles, you should feel a resounding rest in your heart. Why?

    Allah is Al-Wakeel; this means that it is He who controls His worshipers’ affairs and takes care of them. He never abandons them nor leaves them to another source. He has given Himself this Name and made it known to us, so that we know this is an essential attribute of His; thus, we will never be let down insha’Allah. Even if things do not go according to plan, we know that Allah will give us something that is better. We could not have entrusted our affairs to anyone better than Him. This is why, whenever the idea of relying on Allah is mentioned in the Qur’an, Allah reminds us of His power:



    “[He is] the Lord of the East and the West; there is no deity except Him, so take Him as Disposer of [your] affairs.” (Qur’an,73:9)

    And Allah says,


    “…Rely upon the Ever-Living who does not die…” (Qur’an, 25:58)

    Allah is telling us in Surat Al-Muzzammil that He is the Lord of the East and the West, so will our needs ever go outside of the East and the West? He tells us in Surat Al-Fuqan to put our complete trust in Him, Who never dies, so how can we put our trust in people who do?

    But if the condition of tawakkul is that we use our provisions and resources, what if we lack the means?
    Imam Ahmad said the happiest day of his life was when he woke up one morning only to find no food in his home, because he knew that on this day he had to rely completely on Allah. Imam Ahmad was very, very poor since he didn’t have the means as we do to just go to the market and buy what his heart desired.

    Tawakkul also requires training. We are human, and every now and then, we will feel this uncertainty, a loneliness, this knot in the stomach that maybe our situation won’t work out. And it’s ok to feel like this because it is about reminding ourselves to trust Allah at that precise moment. If we truly rely on Allah, in the way we rely on our doctor when we know we have the best one around, this trust can only give us the peace of mind and tranquility of heart knowing that Allah is always doing the best for us. This tranquility is developed when we face situations of discomfort and uncertainty. When we truly have tawakkul, we will never seek haram means to escape our situation, because we believe it is only Allah who determines the result.

    Whenever we feel uncertain, let’s take a dose of tawakkul. Do what you can, but have trust in the guarantee that Allah will give you the result you need.
    ...And he who fears Allah - He will make for him a way out. [65:3]
    "Put your trust in Allah, certainly, Allah loves those who put their trust (in Him)."
    [Al-Imran 3:159]

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    Re: How to achieve tranquility of the heart?

    Subbed and thank you

  8. #8
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    Re: How to achieve tranquility of the heart?

    Part 4

    Thinking well of Allah swt

    “I am as My servant’s opinion of Me.”(Bukhari)

    “Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala (swt) probably hates me. I am so bad; I always mess up. I don’t deserve any good from Allah (swt), and as punishment, I probably will not be given success in my other endeavors.”

    How many people have felt this way at some point? Sometimes, our sins weigh heavily on us. We recognize our mistakes but instead of turning back to Allah (swt), we turn away. We feel that we must be so bad that even the All-Merciful will reject us. Other times, we do not see the fruits of our perseverance and believe that we will not be given what we have worked so hard for. Perhaps we do not even begin an endeavor, thinking there is no use.

    Unfortunately, when we do this, we attribute human qualities to Allah (swt). We act as if Allah (swt) has some grudge against us that will heal as soon as He punishes us or rejects one of our requests. We act as though Allah (swt) is just waiting for us to slip up and say “Ha! Caught you!” We assume that we have to “deserve” the mercy of Allah by being almost perfect. This sounds absurd when articulated, but our actions unfortunately indicate that we believe otherwise.

    What does this thought process actually tell us about ourselves? It tells us that we did not really have hope in Him to begin with. Rather, our hope was in what we believed to be our own good deeds or abilities. Once we slip up or feel that we do not have the strength to continue, we do not think well enough of Allah (swt) to believe that He will guide us through. We must understand that when we think well of Allah, that is what we will find.

    Think well of Allah (swt) when embarking on something difficult, even if you fail
    When the most beloved person to Allah (swt), the Prophet , was thinking of migrating to Madina, he started talking to all of the different tribes that came for Hajj in the hopes that one of them would accept Islam or at least offer the believers protection. He spoke to twenty-six different tribes and was rejected by all of them. Some of the tribes even cursed and mocked him. Let’s stop here. He made da`wah (calling to Islam) to twenty-six tribes. Can you imagine the feeling of being rejected by five? What would happen after ten rejected you? How low would your morale be? When would you have given up?

    Finally, he met a few youth from Madina who believed in his message. He did not despair because he had a good opinion of Allah (swt), which motivated him; he knew Allah would not leave him.
    Many people give up in the face of something seemingly impossible. Sometimes, we give up on an individual level: getting married, getting that job we want; sometimes it is on a global level, such as injustice in the Muslim world. The point of the struggle is to realize who is in charge. It is Allah (swt). Allah (swt) has told us that He is as His servant’s think of Him. If we think well, then that is what we will find. If we do not, then that is what we will find. Your opinion should be that Allah (swt) is so Merciful that He will come to your aid.

    What happens when we are faced with failure? When one does not get something, even if their intention was for the sake of Allah (swt), they should not feel disheartened. You have a good opinion of Allah (swt); “failure” is just a minor setback. You need to be tested to strengthen your resolve. If you do not get that amazing job you want, know that Allah (swt) has saved something better for you. Only He knows what is best for you.

    Think well of Allah when you sin
    What about when we constantly slip-up and cannot leave a certain sin? For some of us, this makes us give up on ourselves; we believe we don’t deserve any good from Allah. We have to remember that Allah (swt) is al-Wadud (the Most Loving). His Mercy overcomes His blame. It is not about deserving. If you thank Allah, He gives you more. It is not because we deserve more, it is because Allah is that Great. He is thatGenerous. Shaytan (the devil) makes us focus on how bad we are in order that we despair of Allah’s mercy, when the Prophet taught us: “All the children of Adam constantly err, but the best of those who constantly err are those who constantly repent.” [Tirmidhi]

    The Prophet said that “One of the signs of excellence of one’s worship is thinking well of Allah (swt).” [Ahmad] This does not mean that we should not reflect on our state. Al-Hasan al-Basri said “A true believer is one who thinks well of Allah (swt) and therefore does good, whereas the disobedient one thinks bad of Allah (swt) and therefore does bad.” If we think well of Allah, no matter how bad we are, we also have hope that we can be better and thus we strive to do good deeds. If we think badly of Allah, we assume that He will never forgive us nor can He make us better; so we continue to sin. However, we should not make a mockery of this concept and deliberately sin, thinking Allah (swt) will forgive us anyway. One of the key principles of repentance is regret. If we do not truly regret the sin, and simply ask for forgiveness to have that sin erased, we are paying lip service. Remember, “You will only get what you intend.” [Bukhari]

    When we do wrong, let us feel guilty, but let us also flee to Allah (swt). Have a good opinion of Allah (swt). If you are sincere, He will forgive you. He is that forgiving. He isthat Great. He is that Magnanimous. Even when we commit the same sin again and again and again, our good opinion of Allah (swt) should let us know that as long as we constantly strive against our nafs (lower self) and against that part of us that wants to indulge in that sin, we have already been forgiven. At the end of the day, it is shaytanwho wants us to go to hell, not Allah. Allah tells us in the Qur’an:


    “Allah wants to accept your repentance, but those who follow [their] passions want you to digress [into] a great deviation.” (Qur’an,4:27)

    Shaytan does not just want you to go to hell, but also wants to ensure you live in hell in this world. Just like he despaired, he wants you to despair. Our good opinion of Allah (swt) should never allow us to do that. Allah (swt) wants to accept your repentance, because your repenting is recognition of His Name al-Ghaffar (the One who constantly forgives).

    Just as the Prophet told us that Allah (swt) is too gracious to turn away the hand that asks Him , He is also too Merciful to disappoint you and your good opinion of Him.

    Think well of Allah when you are tested
    Tests come to us in a myriad of ways. We have already discussed why tests happen in a previous post, so I will not discuss it too much here. We should just know that thinking well of Allah (swt) should make us look beyond the test. This test is something from Allah (swt), and He wants to teach us, to purify us from sin, to strengthen us, and to bring us closer to Him. We do not have a cruel God; our God is the Most Merciful of those who show Mercy. When we approach our tests with that frame of mind, we cannot but gain from our experience, insha'Allah.

    So what does it mean to think well of Allah?
    It means to take that step. When we mess up, even if we messed up in a major way, we return to Him. We return to Him recognizing that what we did was truly horrible, but we ask for His forgiveness because we know He is that forgiving, and that His Mercy encompasses everything. When we mess up again and again, and feel sick of ourselves, we return to Him with a sincere du’a (supplication) to help us stop, knowing that He will respond. It means having grand hopes and aspirations, and working towards them knowing that Allah (swt) “will not allow to be lost the reward of any who did well in deeds.” (Qur’an, 18:30)
    ...And he who fears Allah - He will make for him a way out. [65:3]
    "Put your trust in Allah, certainly, Allah loves those who put their trust (in Him)."
    [Al-Imran 3:159]

  9. #9
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    Re: How to achieve tranquility of the heart?

    My Allah is so Merciful. Alhamdulillah.

    Quote Originally Posted by RaNdOm View Post
    “I am as My servant’s opinion of Me.”(Bukhari)
    A line I hold very close to my heart.

    Jazakillah Khayr for the posts.

  10. #10
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    Re: How to achieve tranquility of the heart?

    Asalaamu alaikum

    Part 5
    Al Jabbar - Mending the broken heart


    In our journey to gain tranquility of the heart, we explored what we need to know when faced with difficult situations. We need to understand that Allah has told us we will be tested, that these tests are for a reason, and that there will be relief insha’Allah (God willing). When we are worried thinking about the future, we need to work hard but have full trust in Allah that He will not leave us, and we must always think well of Allah because that is what we will find.

    Yet in certain circumstances we just feel… broken. Perhaps it is the death of someone close, perhaps a hurtful word, or perhaps a reason we can not pinpoint. Yet this feeling of brokenness can be an invitation to be better acquainted with al-Jabbar.

    But isn’t al-Jabbar one of the Names that indicates Majesty and Strength, not Mercy and Beauty?

    The root of al-Jabbar is ja-ba-ra and has a wide variety of meanings indicating Allah’s strength and majesty. One of the basic meanings of this name is the One who compels and restores, and demonstrates Allah’s Majesty and Strength over His servants. This is a Name for the tyrants and oppressors to be aware of, because their misdeeds will not go unpunished.
    Yet this Name has another dimension: al-Jabbar is the One who is able to restore and mend what is broken. Some of the great scholars would supplicate “Ya Jaabir kul kaseer” when they were faced with overwhelming difficulty, meaning “Oh You who mends everything that is broken.” The Arabic word for a splint that is used to help an arm heal when it is broken is “jibeera” from the same root ja-ba-ra. Thus, when we feel broken, we need to go to the only One who can mend our state–al-Jabbar. Sometimes when we get this broken feeling,shaytan (satan) tells us not to go to Allah because we are being hypocritical by only going to Allah when we are down. Yet this is untrue– Allah has named Himself al-Jabbar and given Himself this attribute; you cannot go to the One whose attribute is mending what is broken, and not be healed by Him.

    The example of the Prophet is a beautiful one. Imagine being 50 years old, having just lost both your wife of twenty-five years and your uncle who took care of you as a child. Imagine walking into a town in order to ask people for their protection, and instead have them throw stones at you until your feet bleed. How would you have felt? How exhausted, both spiritually and physically, would you have been? And yet, the Prophet calls out to Allah in one of the most beautiful and heartfelt du`a’ (supplication):

    “O Allah! To you alone I complain my weakness, my scarcity of resources, and the humiliation I have been subjected to by people. O Most Merciful of those who have mercy! You are the Lord of the weak, and You are My Lord too.To whom have you entrusted me? To a distant person who receives me with hostility? Or to an enemy to whom you have granted authority over my affair?But as long as You are not angry with me, I do no care, except that Your favor is a more expansive relief to me. I seek refuge in the light of Your Face by which all darkness is dispelled and every affair of this world and the next is set right, lest Your anger or Your displeasure descend upon me.Yours is the right to reproach until You are pleased. There is no power and no might except by You.”
    Read those words carefully. The du`a’ of the Prophet was not “O Allah, please give me x and y.” It was literally the call of someone broken– complaining to Allah of his situation and expressing to Allah how he felt. What did Allah give him? A young boy by the name of Addaas saw the Prophet , came to him with some grapes and kissed his bleeding feet. That is al-Jabbar. Imagine how the Prophet must have felt after that, the relief he must have felt after the cruelty he was subjected to. And al-Jabbar healed the broken heart of the Prophet in another way – He bestowed upon him the miraculous journey of al-Israa wal Mi’raaj (when the Prophet traveled from Makkah to Jerusalem, and from Jerusalem to the Heavens in one night).
    If we think about the journey, it did not accomplish a great victory nor did it help to convince the Quraysh that he was a Prophet. Rather, Allah honored him after all the hardship he had gone through. Think of the resolve the Prophet must have had in his heart and the tranquility he must have felt after such an experience.

    Therefore, we have to always remind ourselves of this blessed name al-Jabbar; Allah will mend your broken heart. It may be through a kind word from someone that brightens your day or it may be a talk that you attend. It may even be something greater. But call on Allah like the Prophet did, recognizing this attribute, and know that He will manifest this Name in your life.
    ...And he who fears Allah - He will make for him a way out. [65:3]
    "Put your trust in Allah, certainly, Allah loves those who put their trust (in Him)."
    [Al-Imran 3:159]

  11. #11
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    Re: How to achieve tranquility of the heart?

    Part 6

    What the Prophet knew

    The Prophet ﷺ and his companions knew something that is not often displayed today. They were able to face difficulty with a certain determination in their heart; they were grateful for even the seemingly small blessings; they took pleasure in praying at night while the people were asleep. What they knew was this: if they sought Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala (exalted is He) they would not be let down. This is the secret to the statement of Abu Bakr radiAllah `anhu (ra) to the Prophet ﷺ during the battle of Badr, when the Prophet ﷺ was crying out to Allah (swt) in an impassioned du`a’(supplication) until his cloak fell from his shoulder. Abu Bakr (ra) said, “O Messenger of Allah, this prayer of yours to your Lord will suffice you, and He will fulfill for you what He has promised you!” And He did- the battle was won by the Muslims.

    Human desires are insatiable. And for this reason, the more we chase after the dunya (physical world), the less we are satisfied. If we chase after the love of a human being, especially in ways that are not halal (lawful), inevitably we will be let down because no human being is perfect. We may chase after compliments, praise and attention – but after that momentary pleasure, it will fade away. What will be left is mere emptiness. We go after money, power and status – but it won’t end there, because we will always want more. And our hearts will always be perturbed because these things are temporary. Once we have reached the goal, the pleasure we feel will wear away and we will want something else or something more.

    If we find ourselves in that position, these words are hard to read because, in a sense, we don’t want to give up the chase. We think, perhaps, somehow, we will find that which we are looking for. It bothers us to have to prioritize Allah and His religion in our lives, because that might get in the way of worldly pleasures. But “truly it is in the remembrance of Allah that hearts find rest.” (Qur’an, 13:28)

    We may have heard this verse a hundred times before. However, the one thing that we must know is that if we truly want that comfort in the heart, it must be through seeking Him.

    To be more specific, what is meant here is not that we shouldn't seek to be successful in the dunya, or that we shouldn’t seek companionship. Rather what is meant is the way in which we do it. Look at the Prophet ﷺ. He could have compromised his principles when Quraysh offered him power, wealth and women for him to tone down his message. They even tried to negotiate a power-sharing agreement whereby the other gods would be worshiped on some days and the One would be worshiped on others. Declining these offers caused the Prophet ﷺ physical hardship, but he was at rest in his heart. Why? Because he knew that ultimately to seek dunya for the sake of dunya was not the goal, no matter how tempting it might be. He knew that whatever he gave up was temporary, because the real comfort in this world is with Allah. And he was not let down.

    So when we read the Qur’an, and Allah tells us He is with the patient – let us take comfort in that. When the Prophet ﷺ tells us that Allah is too shy to turn away the hand that asks Him with nothing, let our hearts find rest in that Allah indeed has heard our du`a’ and will give us something.

    Therefore, as we near the end of this section of things to know in seeking tranquility of the heart, let us take the Prophet ﷺ as the example we should aspire to. He knew that if he followed the path to Allah, no matter the physical hardships, Allah’s promise would prevail. And that gave him ultimate peace at heart.
    ...And he who fears Allah - He will make for him a way out. [65:3]
    "Put your trust in Allah, certainly, Allah loves those who put their trust (in Him)."
    [Al-Imran 3:159]

  12. #12
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    Re: How to achieve tranquility of the heart?

    Part 7

    Nothing is ever wasted

    “[And it will be said], ‘Indeed, this is for you a reward, and your effort has been appreciated.’” (Qur’an, 76:22)


    Failure can take a toll on a person: that feeling of trying and trying, over and over, yet somehow never getting where you want to be. Or sometimes the task just seems too huge to achieve; is there even any use?


    We touched upon this a little when discussing thinking well of Allah and tawakkul. But this aspect involves knowing that nothing ever goes to waste. In the verse above, Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala tells us our sa’y (effort) is appreciated; it is recognized. That is what we get rewarded for. Whether or not we succeed, it is ultimately the effort that we put in that Allah (swt) takes into account. One of Allah’s Names is Ash-Shakoor: He is Appreciative of what you do, no matter how small, and He rewards it abundantly. Imagine: Allah (swt) is so appreciative, He even rewards our intention! Therefore, we know that those who intend to do well, but cannot do it, are still rewarded. This feeling of failure is actually a deception from shaytan to deter us from trying. He promotes neglect: “Don’t work on your relationship with your parents, they’ll never change,” and makes us doubt: “do you really think that your tiny effort is going to have an effect?” But Allah (swt) rewards you when you try because your trying is testament to the fact that even though you know you are a minor player, you are doing it for His sake.


    Look at this verse from Surat al-Baqarah:


    “Or take the one who passed by a ruined town. He said, ‘How will God give this life when it has died?’ So God made him die for a hundred years, and then raised him up, saying, ‘How long did you stay like that?’ He answered, ‘A day, or part of a day.’ God said, ‘No, you stayed like that for a hundred years. Look at your food and drink: they have not gone bad. Look at your donkey- We will make you a sign for the people; look at the bones: see how We bring them together and clothe them with flesh!’ When all became clear to him, he said, ‘Now I know that God has power over everything.” (Qur’an, 2:259)

    This verse describes Prophet Uzayr (`alayhi assalam) when Allah (swt) sent him to revive deserted Jerusalem. Jerusalem was ruined by an unjust king, and when Uzayr (as) arrived, it was so barren and deserted that he wondered how Allah would give life to this dead place. It seemed impossible. Still he worked the whole day, doing what he could with the little tools that he had, and laid to rest. As an example to him and to us, Allah (swt) caused him to die and brought him back to life 100 years later. Not only was this a miracle as his food and drink did not rot either, but Jerusalem was filled with new people and life. The Prophet Uzayr (as) would never have known that his small effort would culminate, by the will of Allah (swt), in bringing the town back to life. But Allah (swt) shows him how it does, as an example to us – so that we never say “it’s a waste of time.”


    Subhan’Allah. Sometimes we deal with Allah (swt) as though He is a human being Who doesn’t know about the worry we feel, the stress, the striving. When we fail to see the results of our effort, we think that we failed and that it was a waste of time. But Allah (swt) tells us:

    “And never is your Lord forgetful…” (Qur’an,
    19:64)

    If you try to work on your relationship with your family members but to no avail, remember, Allah knows about your pain. He won’t forget it, and He will give you compensation for it accordingly. If you want to work into making your community better, but something happens whereby everything you invested in it is suddenly gone, Allah always knows. The point is that we are not just about dunya even though we’re in it. When we fall, we pick ourselves back up again because we are also about theakhirah – our ultimate hope is in Him.


    However, this doesn’t mean that we do the same thing over and over again knowing that it’s not working. What it means is not being defeated internally. We are Muslims, when one thing in our lives fails, it doesn’t make us feel down for an extended period of time because we know that even a step taken for the sake of Allah (swt) is rewarded. Let’s keep moving insha’Allah.


    Don’t think that your efforts have been wasted. They have not. They are recorded with Ash-Shakoor, and if you don’t see the fruits of your labor in this life, surely Allah (swt) is keeping something amazing for you in the next.
    ...And he who fears Allah - He will make for him a way out. [65:3]
    "Put your trust in Allah, certainly, Allah loves those who put their trust (in Him)."
    [Al-Imran 3:159]

  13. #13
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    Re: How to achieve tranquility of the heart?

    This made me cry subhanAllah.

    It's true. Allah swt does mend broken hearts Alhumdollilah. And makes it stronger than it was. And then causes it to break again and slowly bit by bit strips the soul from all its distractions, so the heart knows, focuses on and loves Allah swt the most.

    But a part of this, is that the slave takes his broken heart and empties it of everything except Allah swt. Our hearts only break because we fill them with love of ephemeral things. In loving the Eternal there is no heart break, only contentment and peace

    If Allah swt created the heart, subhanAllah it is not difficult for him to mend every scar, erase every hurt and replace every tear with waves of his mercy.

    Alhumdollilah.

    sis
    Last edited by Jenicca; 04-04-12 at 11:32 PM.
    وَالْعَصْرِ

    إِنَّ الْإِنسَانَ لَفِي خُسْرٍ

    إِلَّا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ وَتَوَاصَوْا بِالْحَقِّ وَتَوَاصَوْا بِالصَّبْرِ

    "If Allah (swt) only sent this Surah to us, for the guidance of Mankind, this will be enough for us” - Imam Shaafi'ee r.a.

    "Yeh dunya daar e faani hain, Tum apna dil mat lagaon, Ganimat samaj zinadagee ki bahar, aana na hoga, yahaa baar baar......"

    Khanqah Habibiyah

  14. #14
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    Re: How to achieve tranquility of the heart?

    Asalaamu alaikum

    Jenicca

    Part 8

    Yaqeen - Certainty

    Abu Darda radiAllahu `anhu (may Allah be pleased with him) was one of the righteous companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him). Once, a man came running to him saying, “O Abu Darda, your house has burned down!” He said: “No, it cannot be burned!” The man insisted that a fire had engulfed the whole neighborhood and his house was of the ones that had burned down. Abu Darda (ra) responded, with full certainty, “Allah will never allow this to happen because of the words that I heard from the Prophet . Whoever says these words in the beginning of a day, the Prophet told us, will not be afflicted by a misfortune until the end of the day, and whoever says these words in the evening will not be afflicted until morning.” He told him the words that he had recited that day as he had learned from the Prophet , and when they both went to inspect the neighborhood, it turned out that most of the other houses had burned down, except the house of Abu Darda (ra). [Ibn As-Sinny, Tabarani]



    This is a remarkable story. It is not simply remarkable because his house did not burn down – for Allah subhanahu wa ta`la (swt) is capable of all things. It is remarkable because Abu Darda (ra) was so sure of the words of the Prophet , that even someone telling him that he saw the whole neighborhood burn down did not shake his faith. It is similar to the faith of Abu Bakr (ra), who said “If he [the Prophet ] has said it, then it is true.”


    Truly yaqeen (certainty) is the soul of faith.


    This is the final article in the section on things to know, and thus we have to conclude with this topic – the topic of certainty. That is because simply knowing we have to think well of Allah, or have trust, won’t truly help us when we need it if we are not sure. Being sure (having yaqeen) means certainty in the Strength of Allah, in His Mercy, in His promise, and in everything that we talked about in the past seven articles. It is certainty that He can make us better, save us and help us. We need to ask ourselves – how firm is that certainty?


    We discussed how shaytan makes us doubt – that is the best he can do. And that is precisely what we must fight, because the first description of those who have taqwa (God-consciousness) in the Qur’an is:


    “Who believe in the unseen…” (Qur’an, 2:3)


    Our faith should be as strong as if we can see. If you visited a certain place and saw it with your own eyes, chances are no matter what, no one can tell you it doesn’t exist, especially if you have souvenirs. The Qur’an and the sayings of the Prophet should be as true to us as though we have visited a place – it should be that real. Many of us have experienced the bounty of Allah (swt) – these are our souvenirs. So when things go wrong in our life, we need to be able to go back to that place and hold onto those souvenirs as our anchors – and for that certainty, the reward is immeasurable.


    Does that mean nothing bad will ever happen? Of course not. But you will able to see beyond the immediate. Your certainty in Allah (swt) means you know; when bad things befall you, you will reflect on why tests happen and try to learn from the experience. When things turn out well, you know to fall into prostration because that result could not have occurred except by the will and grace of Allah (swt).


    There is a beautiful du`a’ (supplication) in this regard. The Prophet used to supplicate:
    “O Allah! Grant us such fear of You as will come between us and acts of disobedience to You; such obedience to You as will bring us to Your Garden; and such certainty that the calamities of this world will be made easy for us by You. “1[Tirmidhi]


    Calamities without doubt test our faith, and this is why the Prophet taught us to pray for certainty – so that these calamities are made easier.


    Be like the companions. Their faith never wavered because they were certain in Allah’s Words in the Qur’an, and they were certain in what the Prophet taught them. They never stopped asking Allah, because they knew it is only Allah that responds to the du`a’ of the distressed.2 They never stopped seeking forgiveness, even when they felt their sins were like mountains, because they knew that Allah’s Hands are open to accept the repentant sinner, over and over again.3 They knew to work hard even if they never saw the fruits of their labor, because they knew that every drop of sweat was recorded with Allah and would never ever go to waste.4 They didn’t let other people’s rudeness get to them, because if they were patient and said words of peace, they were of the people that Allah praised in the Qur’an.5 They fled from Allah, only to Him.


    Be like the companions. Have faith.




    Insha’Allah next we will begin with the things we have to do in our journey to achieve tranquility of the heart.

    1. Part of a longer du’a which continues: “Let us enjoy our hearing, our sight and our faculties as long as You grant us life, and let it be the last to be taken away from us. Avenge us from those who have wronged us and help us against our enemies. Let no calamity be fall our religion; let not worldly affairs be our greatest care or all about which we know; and let not those who have no fear of You and who do not show mercy toward us rule over us.”
    2. “Is He (not best) who responds to the desperate one when he calls upon Him and removes evil and makes you inheritors of the earth? Is there a deity with Allah? Little do you remember.” (Qur’an, 27:62)
    3. The Prophet said “Verily, Allah extends His hand out at night in order to accept the repentance of the sinner by day. And He extends His hand out during the day in order to accept the repentance of the sinner by night, until (the day) when the sun will rise from its west.” (Muslim)
    4. “Indeed, those who have believed and done righteous deeds – indeed, We will not allow to be lost the reward of any who did well in deeds” (Qur’an, 18:30)
    5. “The servants of the Merciful are those who walk upon the earth easily and when the ignorant address them harshly, they say words of peace,” (Qur’an, 25:63)
    ...And he who fears Allah - He will make for him a way out. [65:3]
    "Put your trust in Allah, certainly, Allah loves those who put their trust (in Him)."
    [Al-Imran 3:159]

  15. #15
    speak good or be silent the_middle_road's Avatar
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    Re: How to achieve tranquility of the heart?

    "And thus have We willed you to be a community of the middle way."
    (al-Baqarah: 143)

    Allahumma innaa na'udhu bika min an nushrika bika shai-an na'lamuh; wa nastaghfiruka limaa laa na'lam.

  16. #16
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    Re: How to achieve tranquility of the heart?

    Part 9

    Give us rest with it, Oh Bilal


    Before we embark on the next stage of this journey, I want to mention two things. First, much of what you read here will not be radically new. The reason for that is that Allah (swt) has equipped us with ways to achieve tranquility of the heart, yet we seldom use them in that way. Therefore, these articles will be reminders of tools that we already have. As Allah (swt) says:





    “And remind, for indeed, the reminder benefits the believers.” [Qur'an, 51:55]


    Secondly, what is different, however, is that this article should be read in light of the things we need to know. The past couple of articles were meant for us to see our relationship with Allah (swt) in a different light. Thus, when we perform certain acts such as prayer, dhikr, reciting Qur’an etc., they should be done with a heart that knows the amazing attributes of Allah (swt).

    Prayer – the Support of Faith

    How many of us seek refuge in prayer? Not only when things are bad, but also in every prayer of every day. Subhan’Allah, doctors recommend eating five fruits a day to keep healthy, yet we have forgotten that Allah (swt) has given us these five prayers as a refuge, a cleansing, and a way for our hearts to find peace in the midst of all the distractions we find ourselves surrounded by.


    If we are serious about wanting to achieve tranquility of the heart, we need to start with prayer. A righteous man called Hatim Al-Asamm recognized how crucial prayer is to the state of our hearts. He said, “When the time for prayer is at hand, I make a proper ablution, go to the spot where I intend to pray, sit there until all my limbs and organs are in a collected state. Then I stand up to perform my prayer, placing the Kabah between my brows, the Bridge over Hell (sirat) beneath my feet, Paradise to my right and Hell to my left, and the Angel of Death behind me, thinking all the while that this is my last prayer. Then I stand between hope and fear. I carefully pronounce ‘Allahu Akbar!’ Then I recite the Qur’an harmoniously, bow in humility, and prostrate myself submissively. I then sit back on my left haunch, spreading out the top of my left foot and raising my right foot on the toes. I follow this with sincerity. Then I wonder whether or not my prayer has been accepted.”


    Subhan’Allah, can we imagine the state of the heart of a person who prays like this?


    Al-Qareeb (the Near One)


    Sometimes we feel far from Allah (swt), and our prayers are nothing more than chores. Yet think of the difference in our prayer if we recognized that when we start the prayer, we are actually going to al-Qareeb – the Near One.


    Allah’s Name al-Qareeb comes in three formats in the Qur’an:

    1. Alone: “And when My servants ask you, [O Muhammad], concerning Me – indeed I amQareeb [near].” [Qur'an, 2:18]
    2. With as-Samee’ (the All-Hearing): “Indeed, He is Hearing and near.” [Qur’an, 34:50]
    3. With al-Mujeeb (the One who responds): “Indeed, my Lord is near and responsive.” [Qur’an, 11:61]
    This teaches us something: Allah is close to us, He hears us, and He responds to ourdu`a’ (supplication). He hears our inner thoughts even when we do not articulate them, and He hears our silent du`a’. Imagine that Allah (swt) knows everything about you and all the things you reflect on; that is how near He is to you. Sometimes even your best friend won’t understand the turmoil you are going through, but al-Qareeb does.


    Now imagine when you are going to the prayer, you are going to the One who understands everything you are going through. You may have just had the worst day of your life: seek refuge in your prayer, tell Allah (swt) you need His help. Perhaps you had an amazing day: use your prayer for recognition that the good was from Allah (swt) and for thanks. Perhaps it was a day like any other: use your prayer as a reminder of purpose.


    When we say that we find being devoted in prayer (having khushoo‘) is difficult, it is because we have not yet realized the meaning of Allah’s Name al-Qareeb. When we live our lives with the knowledge that Allah is indeed close to us, closer than our jugular vein, our prayer will reflect that. After all, the prayer is our intimate conversation with Allah.


    An Intimate Conversation


    The Prophet said, “When anyone of you is engaged in the Prayer, he is holding an intimate conversation with his Lord.” [Muslim]


    Imagine, as soon as we say “Allahu Akbar” to commence the prayer, the barrier between us and Allah is lifted. He remains looking at you, facing you, and responding to you when you recite al-Fatiha as long as you are not distracted. When you say Allahu Akbar, you are throwing away the worries of the world and fleeing to Allah (swt) who is greater than it all, and is the only One who can remove your distress. When you go intoruku’, you are demonstrating your humility before Him. And when we go into sujood, it is the closest that we are to Allah (swt). How many of us, myself included, fail to realize this?


    In order to have better khushoo‘, the Prophet advised “When you pray, pray like a person who is saying farewell.” [Ibn Majah, Hakim, Bayhaqi] If we knew that this was our last prayer before the Angel of Death seizes us, would it be the same?


    Remember that the Prophet saw his prayer as a source of tranquility. When telling Bilal (ra) to pronounce the adhan (call to prayer), he said, “O Bilal, give us rest with it.” [Abu Dawud]


    May Allah (swt) enable us to find tranquility in our salah.
    ...And he who fears Allah - He will make for him a way out. [65:3]
    "Put your trust in Allah, certainly, Allah loves those who put their trust (in Him)."
    [Al-Imran 3:159]

  17. #17
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    Re: How to achieve tranquility of the heart?

    Asalaamu alaikum

    Part 10

    The Best Companions

    The Prophet (peace be upon him) was reportedly asked: “Which of our companions are best?” He replied: “One whose appearance reminds you of God, and whose speech increases you in knowledge, and whose actions remind you of the hereafter.”1


    Who do we spend the most time with? Chances are for many of us (especially if we are students), they are our friends. Friends are the people we share things with, talk to regularly, and experience a large part of our life with. This is why the Prophet said: “A person is on the religion of his companions. Therefore let every one of you carefully consider the company he keeps.” [Tirmidhi]


    While the previous article talked about something personal between us and God (prayer), an integral part to gaining tranquility of the heart is to be mindful of our surroundings and the people we spend most of our time with. Is it any wonder that we find our hearts perturbed, when it was reported that the Prophet said: “Do not speak much without mentioning Allah, for too much speech without mentioning Allah hardens the heart, and the hard-hearted are the farthest of all people from Allah Most High.” [Tirmidhi]


    We need to be mindful of this because part of the reason for our lack of khushoo’(devotion) in salah (prayer) is precisely because the time spent between prayers is spent in heedlessness. While wudhu(ablution) and prayer wash away our minor sins, at times our hardened hearts prevent us from truly tasting the sweetness of prayer, due to the fact that we hardly remember Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala(exalted is He) outside of prayer.


    The Prophet reminds us of the importance of good company in this hadith(record of the Prophet ): “A good friend and a bad friend are like a perfume-seller and a blacksmith: The perfume-seller might give you some perfume as a gift, or you might buy some from him, or at least you might smell its fragrance. As for the blacksmith, he might singe your clothes, and at the very least you will breathe in the fumes of the furnace.” [Bukhari, Muslim]


    Most of us know this hadith, but we rarely see it from the perspective of gaining tranquility of the heart. We may have amazing friends whom we have shared much with, yet we have not developed spiritually with them. When things go wrong in our life, we turn to people for advice but we are not reminded of the ultimate Source of Peace—as-Salaam [Allah]. Thus we need to try to create an environment. We can start with something simple, such as waking each other up for fajr (the pre-dawn prayer), or starting a book club by reading something about the Prophet


    Subhan Allah (glory be to God), if we start here, we could be of the people who are under the shade of Allah on the Day of Judgment, as the Prophet told us that one of the seven categories of people promised the shade of Allah are two persons who loved each other for the sake of Allah (swt), got together, and departed on this basis. [Bukhari, Muslim]


    Good friends who prioritize their relationship with Allah will help us on the spiritual path. It is easier to pray and to do our everyday acts of worship because we have company to help us. Even when we face difficulties, these friends will support us; ultimately they will remind us of Allah during these tests and help us to rely on Him. No one is perfect, and this is why it is important to be around people who want to improve themselves, and in the process will help you to improve yourself too. Ibn Hazm stated: “Anyone who cares about your friendship is willing to criticize you, while those who make light of your faults show they do not care.” Allah (swt) reminds us of this in the Qur’an, when He says:





    “And keep yourself patient [by being] with those who call upon their Lord in the morning and the evening, seeking His countenance. And let not your eyes pass beyond them, desiring adornments of the worldly life, and do not obey one whose heart We have made heedless of Our remembrance and who follows his desire and whose affair is ever [in] neglect.” (Qur’an, 18:28)


    Some of us face a problem—we would like to have such friends, but due to circumstances outside our control, we don’t have that tight-knit group of people that help us on our path to Allah. Does that mean we will never be able to achieve tranquility of the heart? No, because Allah (swt) does not test us with more than we can bear, and truly we get what we intend. The first thing we should try to do is be that friend to others. If we find that we do not have religious people around us, then we should try to influence our environment. This does not mean being over-bearing; rather, we should try to make our existing friendships more meaningful. The Lebanese poet, Khalil Gibran, said, “Let there be no purpose in friendship save the deepening of the spirit.” And the harder it is, the more our effort is appreciated by Allah.



    Secondly, we should constantly seek avenues where we will meet such people. Whether it’s at a local masjid, or driving for an hour to attend a talk, this effort on our part shows that we are serious in trying to follow the advice of the Prophet , andinsha’ Allah (God willing) Allah will reward that.



    Thirdly, du`a’ is key. We should never forget that when we recite, “You alone do we worship, and You alone do we seek for help,” (Qur’an 1:5) we are in essence reminding ourselves that we cannot do anything except through seeking the help of Allah . So if we truly desire good company, and friends who remind us of our purpose and of Allah, we should ask the One who possesses the hearts to bring us closer to hearts that remember Him often.
    ...And he who fears Allah - He will make for him a way out. [65:3]
    "Put your trust in Allah, certainly, Allah loves those who put their trust (in Him)."
    [Al-Imran 3:159]

  18. #18
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    Re: How to achieve tranquility of the heart?

    Part 11

    Forgiveness


    The Prophet said: “All the children of Adam constantly err, but the best of those who constantly err are those who constantly repent.” [Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, Ahmad, Hakim]

    We come to the next stage of gaining tranquility. Sometimes we don’t know why we feel down. We talked about al-Jabbar, and how we should go to Allah to help mend our broken hearts. But sometimes it’s more than that – it is the heavy weight of sins on our hearts. This topic may make us uncomfortable, because it is something we don’t like to be reminded of. It is difficult to think of and face up to our sins – and it makes us even more depressed! But the Prophet taught us something very profound about the link between sins and the state of our heart. He says:


    “When a slave commits a sin, a black spot appears on his heart…”


    Subhan’Allah. When we commit sins, they weigh heavily on our hearts. Imagine a spiritual darkening of the heart due to the wrongs we commit – is it any wonder that we cannot pinpoint why we feel down? Yet the Prophet also told us of the cleanser for this:


    “But if he gives it up, seeks forgiveness and repents, his heart will be cleansed…”


    Of course, because it is difficult to pinpoint every wrong that we do, prayer is also a cleanser, as is wudhu. But for a targeted cleansing, we need something more, because the Prophet continues:


    “…but if he repeats it, (the blackness) will increase until it overwhelms his heart.” [Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah]


    What we need is istighfaar (seeking forgiveness) and tawba (repentance) as the Prophet said. Setting aside some time to sit back and reflect, seek forgiveness, and try not to commit that sin again is a way to improve ourselves and to realize how Allah is Merciful and Forbearing. Despite the fact that we commit wrongs, He has not punished us.


    Sometimes we avoid apologizing to a human being because we feel we will be rejected, or that that person will make it very hard for us to be forgiven – so we end up just avoiding the situation. Sometimes the shame makes us unable to say sorry. But with Allah, there should be no fear of that. When we admit to our wrongs and make a conscious and sincere effort to ask forgiveness, Allah (swt) is ready to forgive our sins even if they are like mountains. It is amazing how the very act of returning to Allah, after we have committed a wrong, is itself an act of worship that Allah loves. Allah says in ahadith qudsi:


    “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.” [Tirmidhi]


    Sometimes we assume that it is only those who have committed grave sins that need to return to Allah. But the Prophet said: “Beware of minor sins. For they add on until they destroy a person.” [Ahmad, Tabarani]


    Whatever stage we are at, we needistighfaar and true repentance. If the Prophet himself would seek forgiveness 70 times a day, why do we feel that we have to commit something that is especially egregious in order to ask Allah to forgive us? If we think about it, every sin is a black dot. These black dots accumulate until our hearts become hard and do not feel anymore. An example of this is with cussing or swearing. The first time we say something we shouldn’t have, we feel this twinge of guilt in our heart. Then when we keep repeating it, it becomes normalized. Why? Because our hearts become enveloped in these black dots.


    Yet when we constantly go back to Allah, seeking his forgiveness, we are reminded. We become humble, because we are forced to face these minor sins that weigh heavily on our heart s- and through that our hearts are cleansed, insha’Allah. Because we face our sins, we are constantly trying to improve; we do not become complacent. It may seem hard, but a load will be taken off our shoulders with this constant returning to Allah. By doing this, we will have realized Allah’s Names al-Ghaffar (the oft-Forgiving), al-Ghafoor (the Forgiving), at-Tawwaab (the One who constantly accepts repentance), ar-Raheem (the all-Merciful) – and we are essentially re-affirming our belief in His attributes. Look at this example of Allah’s mercy when we commit sins. The Prophet tells us in this hadith: “The Scribe on the left delays registering the sin of a Muslim for six hours. If he repents (within these six hours), and seeks Allah’s forgiveness, they drop if off. If he doesn’t, they write is down as a single sin.” [Tabarani]


    Moreover, if we seek forgiveness sincerely and Allah accepts our repentance, not only does He forgive us, but He turns those bad deeds into good – imagine that YEARS of sinning could turn into years of REWARDS. How? Allah says in the Qur’an:




    “Except for those who repent, believe and do righteous work. For them Allah will replace their evil deeds with good. And ever is Allah Forgiving and Merciful.” [Qur'an, 25:70]

    How could we not want to return to Allah, who is truly the Most merciful of those who show mercy?
    Some ways of seeking forgiveness


    The Prophet taught ‘Aisha (ra): “Verily tawba (repentance) from sin is regret[ing the action] and seeking forgiveness.” [Bayhaqi]


    The internal component is to regret what we have done – whether it is a small lie, a glance at something we shouldn’t be looking at, being heedless or even something greater. The external component is to ask Allah for forgiveness. The Prophet taught us a few ways how, and these are two of them:


    1. The Prophet said: “Whoever says it during the day with firm faith in it, and dies on the same day before the evening, he will be from the people of Paradise; and if somebody recites it at night with firm faith in it, and dies before the morning, he will be from the people of Paradise.


    اللَّهُمَّ أَنْتَ رَبِّي لا إِلَهَ إِلا أَنْتَ خَلَقْتَنِي وَأَنَا عَبْدُكَ وَأَنَا عَلَى عَهْدِكَ وَوَعْدِكَ مَا اسْتَطَعْتُ أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ شَرِّ مَا صَنَعْتُ أَبُوءُ لَكَ بِنِعْمَتِكَ عَلَيَّ وَأَبُوءُ لَكَ بِذَنْبِي فَاغْفِرْ لِي فَإِنَّهُ لا يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ إِلا أَنْتَ


    “O Allah! You are my Lord! None has the right to be worshiped but You. You created me and I am Your slave, and I am faithful to my covenant and my promise as much as I can. I seek refuge with You from all the evil I have done. I acknowledge before You all the blessings You have bestowed upon me, and I confess to You all my sins. So I entreat You to forgive my sins, for nobody can forgive sins except You.” [Bukhari]


    2. The Prophet also said: “Whoever commits a sin, and then performs wudhu, then offers prayers seeking forgiveness of God, God will certainly forgive him.” After this the Prophet recited the verse: “…those who remember God and implore forgiveness for their sins if they do something shameful or wrong themselves – who forgives sins but God? – and who never knowingly persist in doing wrong.” (Qur’an,3:135) [Tirmidhi]


    May Allah make us of those who constantly return to Him for forgiveness as a means to achieve tranquility in our hearts, so that when we finally meet Him on the Day of Judgment, we are of those “who come to Allah with a sound heart.[1.“The Day when there will not benefit [anyone] wealth or children, But only one who comes to Allah with a sound heart.” (Qur’an, 26:88-89)]”

    ...And he who fears Allah - He will make for him a way out. [65:3]
    "Put your trust in Allah, certainly, Allah loves those who put their trust (in Him)."
    [Al-Imran 3:159]

  19. #19
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    Re: How to achieve tranquility of the heart?

    Part 12

    Earning His Love :'(


    “Indeed, good deeds do away with misdeeds. That is a reminder for those who remember.” (Qur’an, 11:114)

    Last week we talked about reflecting on our states and relieving our hearts of burden by seeking forgiveness from Allah. This week we look at forward-looking actions. The verse above tells us that if we want cleanse our hearts further, we should do good actions, because they also help to wipe away our sins. When we feel guilty because we committed a sin, in addition to seeking forgiveness, we should consciously go out and try to do good; perform a rewarding deed that is beloved to Allah. This can be anything from giving charity, helping our family out with the chores to reading Qur’an; anything that is deemed praiseworthy in Islam. And obviously, this is not only for when we feel guilty.

    But how does this help us to achieve tranquility of the heart? Allah says in the Qur’an, “Indeed, those who have believed and done righteous deeds – the Most Merciful will appoint for them wud.” (Qur’an,19:96)


    Allah uses the word “wud” for love in the above verse, and one of Allah’s Names isAl-Wadud (the Most Loving). What is the significance of the word wud? Why did Allah not use a more common word, such as “hubb” or even “`ishq“? They each mean a type of love but the emphasis is different. Wud is a love that is manifest. For example, someone can really love you, but not show it. Their love may be pure and true, but you don’t know about it because they never show their love for you in their actions. Yet Allah is Al-Wadud, and for those who do good, He will bestow upon them wud, a love that is apparent, that is shown. And as long as we do good we are within the realm of Allah’s love. Subhan’Allah! (Glory be to Him).

    How will Allah show this love towards us?

    Subhan’Allah, by performing the acts that Allah loves, we receive His love and affection. This love and affection is manifested by His placing acceptance for us with other people. And how could it be any other way? A believer is not only one that performs the acts of worship that are solely between him and God, such as prayer or fasting, but a true believer is one that is in the service of people. The crucial point though is that when the believer serves people, his intention is for the sake of Allah; so if people do not appreciate his work, he is still content with the pleasure of Allah, and strives to do more good because his ultimate transaction is with His Lord and Sustainer.

    The Prophet (Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) told us,


    “When Allah loves someone he calls to Jibreel (as) saying, ‘O Jibreel, I love such and such a person, so love him.’ Then Jibreel will call to the (angels) of the heavens, ‘Allah loves such and such a person so love him.’ And the angels will love [that person]. And then Allah will place acceptance on earth for that believer.” (Bukhari, Muslim)


    Every human being has a need for love and sometimes we put countless hours of effort in order to receive that love from people. This is not necessarily bad, but by naming Himself al-Wadud, Allah is telling us that He is the Most-Loving – and that we should vie for this love by doing work that is deemed good by Allah.


    How else does Allah manifest this love? Allah tells us in a hadith qudsi:


    “Nothing endears My servant to Me than doing of what I have made obligatory upon him to do. And My servant continues to draw nearer to Me with the supererogatory(nawafil) so that I shall love him. When I love him, I shall be his hearing with which he shall hear, his sight with which he shall see, his hands with which he shall hold, and his feet with which he shall walk. And if he asks (something) of Me, I shall surely give it to him, and if he takes refuge in Me, I shall certainly grant him it.” (Bukhari)


    All of the above is a result of Allah’s love. We start with the obligatory and add on the recommended and the voluntary. As long as we are doing what is deemed good by Allah, we are receiving love from Al-Wadud. What could give us more tranquility than the knowledge of that?


    Tricks of Shaytan
    When we feel down spiritually, it is easy to feel and believe that our good deeds don’t matter, because we are so bad. But the verses mentioned above and the ahadithshow us that this is not the case. Even if we are sinning, we should not give up good deeds. These good deeds help to wipe away the bad, and they are a means to get closer to Allah. We will never be perfect, and the key is to recognize our faults in order to remind ourselves to be humble and to seek forgiveness, but to never despair because of them. Al-Wadud brought a prostitute into the realm of His love because she gave a dog water – and for that she was given Paradise. But we have to remember to strike a balance between refraining from belittling our sins and not giving up because of them.


    The best way is to look at the example of the Prophet and the companions. Although the Prophetﷺ was faultless, he sought forgiveness from his Lord on a daily basis. He prayed while people slept, and he was their aid when they needed him, may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him.


    He taught people not to take their sins lightly. In the story of Ka’b bin Malik (ra), for example, the Prophet forbade all the Muslims from talking to him for a total of 50 days because he did not join them for battle and had no excuse (this was an order from Allah). Imagine if you were Ka’b: you deserted your fellow Muslims when they needed you the most (it was the battle of Tabuk, which was an especially tough battle). That is enough to make someone feel guilty and worthless. But on top of that, when you tell the truth about what you did, the Messenger of Allah is ordered not to speak to you, as are the rest of the Muslims, as punishment. How would you have felt? Ka’b (ra) felt extremely guilty, and a part of him wished he hadn’t told the truth about why he did not join them for battle, but he remained steadfast. He prayed and turned to his Lord and he resisted the temptation of those who sought to capitalize on the opportunity to take someone away from Islam. So what happened after 50 days? Allah reveals in the Qur’an that He has forgiven him! As well as the two other companions who had committed the same mistake he did (see Surat at-Tawbah, verses 118-119).


    Ka’b bin Malik knew that the key to redemption was to continue doing good andseeking forgiveness of his Lord. And for that, he is recorded in the Qur’an as one whom Allah has forgiven, so that we all take heed and emulate this behaviour.


    So whenever you are feeling down and troubled in your heart, give yourselves a boost by immersing yourself in deeds that are beloved to Allah. Because the one who has named Himself Al-Wadud, the Most Loving, will bestow upon you love and affection, insha’Allah.

    ...And he who fears Allah - He will make for him a way out. [65:3]
    "Put your trust in Allah, certainly, Allah loves those who put their trust (in Him)."
    [Al-Imran 3:159]

  20. #20
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    Re: How to achieve tranquility of the heart?

    Part 13

    A Source of Healing




    “O mankind, there has to come to you instruction from your Lord and healing for what is in the breasts and guidance and mercy for the believers.” (Qur’an, 10:57)

    Some things uplift us because they touch our hearts. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala (glorified is He) knows what hurts us or causes us to feel down; for each of our diseases, there is a cure. The Qur’an is one such source of healing. The Prophet (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “Make use of the two cures, Qur’an and honey.” (Ibn Majah)

    How is the Qur’an a cure? The Qur’an is comprised of the complete, eternal Words of Allah. If we receive a letter from someone we love, our hearts are soothed by reading their words. Because we love them, and especially if it is someone we respect, we take their words seriously and know they have our best interests in mind. If it is someone we are longing to meet, we read their words over and over again, seeking refuge in them, until we meet them. Now imagine that the Qur’an is made up of the Words of Allah, directed to you. Imagine the longing of the heart for the Words of its Most Beloved, of its Master. From personal experience, if ever I woke up shaken from a bad dream and my heart feels scared and uncomfortable, I recite the Qur’an. It always calms me down. The same is true whenever I have felt sadness; there is something about when the Qur’an enters your heart that takes away any worldly negativity.

    The Qur’an also takes us back to what is important. We read that Allah is One, and that He possesses everything, and He is the Lord of the worlds – so how can we ever believe humans work outside of Allah’s Will when we see injustice? We read about the trials of those before us, how they remained steadfast and Allah (swt) was with them – how then can we give up? We read that whoever trusts in Him, then He will be sufficient for him, that He answers all du`a’ (supplication) – how then can we despair? When we are reminded that there is a Day of Judgment, and we can only take with us our good deeds, how small should our worldly desires be to us?

    In order for the Qur’an to heal us, we need to read it with that understanding, and with the intention of receiving guidance. Sheikh ash-Sha’rawi in his book of tafseer (commentary on the Qur’an) quoted a beautiful statement of Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq, who he said was the most knowledgeable of the secrets of the Qur’an:

    “I am amazed at the one who has been afflicted with fear, and he does not flee to the Words of Allah:

    ‘Sufficient for us is Allah, and [He is] the best Disposer of affairs’ for verily Allah has said after it
    ‘So they returned with favor from Allah and bounty, no harm having touched them.’ (Qur’an,
    3:173-174)

    And I am amazed at the person who is afflicted with sadness, and he does not flee to the Words of Allah:

    ‘There is no deity except You; exalted are You. Indeed, I have been of the wrongdoers,’ for verily Allah has said after it

    ‘So We responded to him and saved him from the distress. And thus do We save the believers.’ (Qur’an,
    21:87-88
    )

    And I am amazed at the person who is afflicted with betrayal and deception by people, and he does not flee to the Words of Allah:

    ‘I entrust my affair to Allah. Indeed, Allah is Seeing of [His] servants’ for verily Allah has said after it:
    ‘So Allah protected him from the evils they plotted, and the people of Pharaoh were enveloped by the worst of punishment.’ (Qur’an,
    40:44-45
    )

    And I am amazed at the person who is afflicted with sickness, and he does not flee to the Words of Allah:
    ‘Indeed, adversity has touched me, and you are the Most Merciful of the merciful,’ for verily Allah has said after it:

    ‘So We responded to him and removed what afflicted him of adversity. And We gave him [back] his family and the like thereof with them as mercy from Us and a reminder for the worshippers [of Allah].’” (Qur’an,
    21:83-84)


    If we read this and feel that we are far from the Qur’an and that it does not touch our hearts, then we should make the effort to recite it until the words enter our hearts. Plead with Allah for the Qur’an to touch your heart. We have to remember that the Qur’an is truth- if Allah tells us that it is a healing for what is in the hearts, then it certainly is. We have to have yaqeen(certainty) in this. We should also develop our relationship with the Book of Allah by trying to understand it. We should listen to tafseer and read tafseer books if we have access to them. In the age of the internet, there should be no excuse.
    To end with a du`a’ of the Prophet , who said that if a person suffers anxiety or grief, they should say:

    “اللهم إني عبدك وابن عبدك وابن أمتك ناصيتي بيدك ماض في حكمك
    عدل في قضاؤك اسألك بكل اسم هو لك سميت به نفسك او انزلته في كتابك
    أو علمته أحدا من خلقك أو إستأثرت به في علم الغيب عندك أن تجعل القران
    ربيع قلبي ونور صدري وجلاء حزني وذهاب همي

    ”“Oh Allah! Indeed I am Your servant
    Son of Your male servant and female servant
    My forelock is in Your Hand (i.e. You have control over me)
    And Your Judgment upon me is assured, and Your Decree upon me is just
    I ask you with every name that You have named Yourself with
    Or revealed in Your Book (Quran), or taught to any of Your creation
    Or kept with Yourself in the knowledge of the unseen that is with You
    That You make the Quran the life of my heart, and the light of my chest
    And the banisher of my sadness and the reliever of my distress.”

    And Allah (swt) will take away their sorrow and grief and give them in their stead joy. (Ahmad)
    ...And he who fears Allah - He will make for him a way out. [65:3]
    "Put your trust in Allah, certainly, Allah loves those who put their trust (in Him)."
    [Al-Imran 3:159]

  21. #21
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    Re: How to achieve tranquility of the heart?

    Part 14

    All you need to do is ask

    “Is He [not best] who responds to the desperate one when he calls upon Him…” (Qur’an, 27:62)

    For whatever problem we have, whatever difficulty we find ourselves in, we have the most powerful weapon to ward off the pain that plagues us. It is the weapon of du`a’. We know with certainty that Allah is Al-Mujeeb (The Responsive). We have read many articles telling us about the importance of du`a’, but in order for our du`a’ to be truly meaningful, we must accompany that du`a’ with a certain brokenness in the heart. This brokenness is the feeling of utter need, submission and surrender to Allah, and realizing that truly it is only He who can get us out of our state. In a beautiful hadith qudsi, Allah says:

    “O My servants, I have forbidden oppression for Myself and have made it forbidden amongst you, so do not oppress one another.
    O My servants, all of you are astray except for those I have guided, so seek guidance of Me and I shall guide you,
    O My servants, all of you are hungry except for those I have fed, so seek food of Me and I shall feed you.
    O My servants, all of you are naked except for those I have clothed, so seek clothing of Me and I shall clothe you.
    O My servants, you sin by night and by day, and I forgive all sins, so seek forgiveness of Me and I shall forgive you.
    O My servants, you will not attain harming Me so as to harm Me, and will not attain benefitting Me so as to benefit Me.
    O My servants, were the first of you and the last of you, the human of you and the jinn of you to be as pious as the most pious heart of any one man of you, that would not increase My kingdom in anything.
    O My servants, were the first of you and the last of you, the human of you and the jinn of you to be as wicked as the most wicked heart of any one man of you, that would not decrease My kingdom in anything.
    O My servants, were the first of you and the last of you, the human of you and the jinn of you to rise up in one place and make a request of Me, and were I to give everyone what he requested, that would not decrease what I have, any more that a needle decreases the sea if put into it.
    O My servants, it is but your deeds that I reckon up for you and then recompense you for, so let him who finds good, praise Allah, and let him who finds other than that, blame no one but himself.” (Muslim)

    Subhan’Allah (exalted is Allah), this hadith requires us to read it more than once to truly grasp its meaning. In essence, Allah is telling us that everything is from Him – He possesses this whole world and all that is in it, therefore we should seek all of our needs from Him.

    Allah has named Himself Al-Mujeeb, which means the One who responds. Just as we are certain that the Qur’an is true, we must be certain that Allah, Al-Mujeeb, will answer our call. We should never think that Allah will not answer, because by feeling so, we are denying this attribute (siffat) of Allah. Whenever we are feeling down, we should not hesitate to ask Him over and over again, and to go into sujood (prostration) and plead because that is the closest that we are to Him. If we realize this, the doors of mercy have been opened for us, because the Prophet said, “For whoever the door of du`a’ opened, for him the doors of mercy are opened.” (Tirmidhi).

    Your du`a’ is deposited with Allah, and as was narrated from the Prophet , your du`a’ does something. Either Allah will speedily answer your du`a’ or He will save it for you until the Hereafter, or He will avert something bad equal to the value of the du`a’ (Ahmad). So we should never leave du`a’. The Prophet told us, “Do not stop making du`a’, because nobody who makes du`a’ is forsaken.” (Hakim)
    Insha’Allah, you will be answered. The Prophet said, “Verily your Lord is Generous and Shy. If His servant raises his hands to Him (in supplication) He becomes shy to return them empty.” (Ahmad, Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi)

    Remember: our Lord is not forgetful. Sometimes you might even forget that you once made du`a’ for something, but He might give it to you years later.

    No answer?

    We must always have certainty that Allah answers. But sometimes doubt enters one’s heart: “…But I asked, I made du`a’... and I don’t see anything?” Firstly, just as we know that Allah is Al-Mujeeb, we must also know He is Al-Hakeem (the Most Wise).

    He may delay answering your prayer for a number of reasons; one is to test your trust in Him. We all say we believe Allah is the Al-Mujeeb when everything lands at our feet, but what about when we don’t immediately see the fruits of our du`a’? I knew a woman who was telling the story of how her husband did not pray. When she married him, she didn’t know, and as the marriage progressed she discovered that he was skeptical of religion as well. So she would wake up every night for qiyam al-layl (the night prayer) and plead with Allah to guide Him. Do you know how long she prayed for? Two years. And she says it was so unexpected; he came home from a business trip with a complete change of heart. It turns out that on the plane he was seated next to a great sheikh who began talking to him. And that is how he changed.

    Another reason is that Allah knows when it is best to answer. Perhaps you are asking for a job and He could give you a job at this very moment, but He will delay it because He knows that in a couple of months, a better job will come along. Perhaps what you are asking for is not good for you, or He will give you something better in the Hereafter.

    Allah also may delay the answer to make us work harder so we are prepared for it. If we look at Palestine, we may think, “Wow, the Muslim Ummah prays so much and we don’t see anything changing.” But in truth, although the majority of theUmmah prays intensely during Ramadan, many do not make du`a’ with true pleading. It is almost an afterthought. And if we do (such as when we see the carnage that happened in Gaza) we do not follow up our words by utilizing the means to change the situation; we forget (as is happening now). There are some genuine people who work for change, but they are a minority. So we need to be patient because we need to know that Allah is training the Ummah. The answer is being delayed so that we become worthy of this task.

    There is a beautiful hadith qudsi which states that Allah sometimes delays the answer because He loves hearing the sound of His servant (At-Tabari). Many of us would ask and then when we get what we want we stop going to Allah; but imagine that when the answer is delayed, Allah loves to hear YOUR voice again as you call Him. Wow.

    Allah does not place a burden on us greater than we can bear. If the answer to your du`a’ has been delayed, it’s because Allah KNOWS you can handle it. He tests those whom He loves, so keep asking and remember that Allah makes with hardship ease. And remember, as with tawakkul, we need to exert effort as well.

    Four conditions
    Ibn Al-Qayyim said he who fulfills the following conditions should know that Allah will surely answer his du`a’:
    1. Have certainty that Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala will answer your du`a’. The Prophet ﷺ said, ”Ask Allah with certainty that He will answer your prayers.” (Tirmidhi)
    2. Show submissiveness and devotion during your du`a’. The Prophet said, ‘Know that Allah will not accept the supplication from an absent heart.’ (Tirmidhi)
    3. Be patient and do not hasten for an answer. The Prophet said: ‘The du`a’ of any worshipper will continue to be responded to, as long as… he is not hasty’ i.e. as long as he doesn’t lose patience. [Muslim]
    4. Continue to gain a lawful means of living. The Prophet narrated a story about a man asking Allah, saying “O Lord! O Lord!” but his food was unlawful, his drink was unlawful, his clothing was unlawful, and he was nourished unlawfully; so how can he be answered?!” (Muslim)
    ...And he who fears Allah - He will make for him a way out. [65:3]
    "Put your trust in Allah, certainly, Allah loves those who put their trust (in Him)."
    [Al-Imran 3:159]

  22. #22
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    Re: How to achieve tranquility of the heart?

    Part 15

    Remember Me and I will remember you

    “Unquestionably, by the remembrance of Allah hearts are assured.” (Qur’an, 13:28)

    In the last article in this section, we wrap up the things we have to do in our journey to gain tranquility of the heart with the remembrance of Allah.

    When we try to figure out why we are so often bothered, why we feel disturbed internally, or why we feel sad – we need to go back to our hearts. The Prophet (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Do not talk too much without remembering and mentioning Allah, for too much talk without mentioning Allah hardens the heart, and the person farthest from Allah is the one with a hard heart.” (Tirmidhi)

    SubhanAllah (glory to Allah) – our heart hardens when we do not remember Allah. The heart’s nourishment is the remembrance of Allah, and when we fail to remember Him, it is no wonder that we feel down for no apparent reason. Ibn al-Qayyim stated, “In the heart there is hardness which can only be softened by remembrance of Allah. So the slave must treat the hardness of his heart with the remembrance of Allah.” For those of us who feel that Islam itself has become heavy upon us, look at the answer the Prophet gave to a man who said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, the laws of Islam seem to be a lot for me (to remember), so tell me something that I should stick to.’ He replied, ‘Let your tongue never cease to be moist with the remembrance of Allah’. (Tirmidhi)

    And what is the effect of this remembrance? It acts as a polish for the hearts from its rust, and causes us to be remembered by Allah the Most High. Allah tells us in this amazing hadith qudsi:

    “I am to my servant as he expects of Me, I am with him when he remembers Me. If he remembers Me in his heart, I remember him to Myself, and if he remembers me in an assembly, I mention him in an assembly better than his…” (Bukhari and Muslim)

    So what exactly is remembrance?
    Remembrance of Allah includes specifieddhikr (such as saying subhan’Allah, la ilaha ila Allah, etc.), but it is also anything you do related to Allah or mentioning Allah. Anything that you do with Allah in mind – whether it is thinking well of Him, giving charity with the specific intention of doing it for His sake, making du’a’ (supplication) and so on is within the realm of dhikr.

    Ways of dhikr
    Let’s get more specific. What are the things we can do that are included in dhikr?

    Intention
    Like we said in the article on earning Allah’s love, we need to immerse ourselves in good works. That said, when we do good, we must always try to be conscious of the fact that we are doing it for Allah. Talk to Allah as you are doing the good deed, ask Him to accept it from you, and to enable you to do more good. Add intentions – such as doing it for Allah, following the sunnah (tradition of the Propeht ), helping fellow Muslims and people – the more you remember Allah, the more He will remember you. And inevitably you will feel that in your life.

    Remember, when we do good, we need to do good with the heart. We probably do certain things anyway – such as giving charity here and there, making du`a’ and so on. But we do them without heart, without any feeling or emotion that this is for Allah. We need to do these things knowing that in them is a cure for what is in our hearts, and that when we feel down, we go to these things – whether it is helping out others or pleading with Allah in our sujood(prostration).

    Turning to Him
    “Whoever comes to me walking, I go to him at speed.” (Bukhari)
    It is impossible for you to return to Allah and He rejects you. Look at all these ahadeethon those who return to Him:

    ” Allah is happier when a servant of His repents to Him than a man who was on his camel in a waterless desert and the camel escaped from him with his food and water. When he has lost hope of finding it, he retired to a tree and lied down under its shade. As he was there, the camel suddenly appeared in front of him. He took hold of its halter and said in his state of excessive joy: ‘O my Lord You are my servant and I am Your Lord.’ He uttered this erroneous statement as a result of his being overjoyed.” (Muslim)

    Allah says in a beautiful hadith qudsi:

    “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 its.” (Tirmidhi)

    Finally Allah says:
    “Remember Allah during times of ease and He will remember you during times of difficulty” (Tirmidhi)
    Thanking Him

    “And [remember] when your Lord proclaimed, ‘If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favor]…” (Qur’an, 14:7)

    Thanking is recognizing and appreciating. The more you thank, the more you will see. The more you see how Allah has blessed you, you see His presence in your life and this in itself should create a certain soothing of the heart. By thanking Allah, you are recognizing He is al-Wahhab (the Giver of gifts), ar-Razzaq (the Sustainer), al-Wadud(the Most Loving) and insha’Allah (God willingly) you will be able to recognize how He manifests His attributes and Names in your life.

    Take the time out every evening to thank Allah for the blessings in your day – not only will you be overwhelmed because you will never be able to enumerate them, but you will truly recognize Allah’s presence in your life.

    Daily Wird
    “And remember your Lord much and exalt [Him with praise] in the evening and the morning.” (Qur’an, 3:41)

    We know that the Prophet always remembered Allah – this is why we havedu’a’ and adhkar for almost everything we do: from entering into the restroom to what to say when someone compliments us. The Prophet:saw also had specific remembrances that he said every morning and every evening (they can be found here). Each of these words and phrases are precious – not only do they polish your heart and cleanse them of their disturbances, but the Prophet would say them for protection, and that in itself should give us peace of mind and heart. Yaqeen is so important – if the Prophet has told us that saying certain words will have an effect – we should have no doubt.

    We should take the time to understand these words, so that they truly enter our hearts.

    May Allah make us of people “who remember Allah while standing or sitting or [lying] on their sides and give thought to the creation of the heavens and the earth, [saying], “Our Lord, You did not create this aimlessly; exalted are You [above such a thing]; then protect us from the punishment of the Fire.” (Qur’an, 3:191)
    ...And he who fears Allah - He will make for him a way out. [65:3]
    "Put your trust in Allah, certainly, Allah loves those who put their trust (in Him)."
    [Al-Imran 3:159]

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    Re: How to achieve tranquility of the heart?

    beautiful thread, jazaakAllahu khayran for sharing

  24. #24
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    Re: How to achieve tranquility of the heart?

    Asalaamu alaikum

    Part 16

    To become Allah swt Wali


    Today we will move on to a new section: the things we should aspire to. In our journey, what we have tried to do is change the way we think about Allah and our relationship with Him. We started with things that we need to know, and moved on to the things that we have to do. Once we achieve those, we need a goal to aspire to so that we do not become complacent.

    “I want to be of those who are close to Allah“. Imagine being like Ibn Taymiyyah, who stated, “What can my enemies do to me? I have in my breast both my heaven and my garden. If I travel they are with me, never leaving me. Imprisonment for me is a chance to be alone with my Lord. To be killed is martyrdom and to be exiled from my land is a spiritual journey.”

    We need to have high aspirations, and we need to have the desire to be someone special to Allah. Once Allah becomes our main concern, we caninsha’Allah be in the same mindset as Ibn Taymiyyah. What can people do to us when we carry paradise in our hearts?

    One of the Names of Allah that should inspire us is Al-Wali, The Ally. Allah says in the Qur’an:

    “Allah is the ally [Wali] of those who believe. He brings them out from darkness into the light…” (Qur’an, 2:257)

    What do you feel when you read this verse? Many of us have read this verse again and again, and some of us have contemplated over the meaning of being a wali of Allah. Whenever we think of someone being a waliof Allah, we think of great devoted scholars, courageous fighters, people truly close to Allah… but not us. “We could never be His awliya… could we?”

    Allah tells us in this verse that He is the Waliof those who believe. As believers, we are already part of that group, insha’Allah. But to truly earn the status of Allah’s Wali, to be at that elevated level, we have to aspire towards it.

    What does Al-Wali mean?
    Al-Wali has different translations; the ‘ally’, ‘protector’, ‘guardian’ or ‘patron’. In Arab countries, schools usually request the permission of “wali amr” (the Wali of the affairs) of a child for anything concerning him or her, meaning the child’s guardian. What are the characteristics of a child’s guardian?

    It must be a person who a) is close to the child, and b) takes care of the child.

    If Allah is your Wali, then He is close to you and takes care of you.

    Allah took care of the affairs of the Prophet Yusuf `alayhi sallatu wa sallam (may Allah send His peace and blessings on him). When Yusuf (as) was alone in the well, Allah made specific travelers thirsty at that particular time so that they could rescue him and take him on their journey with them. Later, the people who bought Yusuf (as) as a slave turned out to be a couple who were infertile. At every step of the way, Allah was with Yusuf (as). No doubt, he faced hardships, but Allah is always protecting.

    So, there are going to be problems even if you are a Wali of Allah, but at the end of the day, He is still taking care of you. At the end of Yusuf’s (as) story, he proclaims, “Creator of the heavens and earth, You are myWali in this world and in the Hereafter.” (Quran, 12:101).

    Truly, it is an impoverished person who does not have Allah as their Wali, the person who takes his Wali as the dunya.

    What happens if you are a Wali of Allah?

    1. You have no fear in this dunya, no sadness in akhirah.


    “Unquestionably, [for] the awliya of Allah there will be no fear concerning them, nor will they grieve”. (Qur’an, 10:62)2. He will put light in your life.


    “Allah is the ally of those who believe. He brings them out from darkness into the light.” (Qur’an, 2:257)3. Allah will give you victory

    Allah says in a hadith qudsi: “Whoevertakes a Wali of Mine as an enemy, I will wage war on him…” (Bukhari)

    Would’nt you want to be one of these people? Be ambitious. Why couldn’t it be you?

    So how can I be a Wali?
    “Unquestionably, [for] the awliya of Allah there will be no fear concerning them, nor will they grieve. Those who believed and had taqwa of Allah” (Qur’an, 10:62)

    Striving for taqwa gives us the status of a Wali inshaAllah.

    So how do we get Taqwa?
    Some scholars have defined taqwa as when Allah finds you where He has ordered you to be, and does not find you where He has forbidden. The following hadith qudsi sheds more light:

    “Whosoever acts with enmity towards a closer servant of Mine (Wali), I will indeed declare war against him. Nothing endears My servant to Me than doing of what I have made obligatory upon him to do. And My servant continues to draw nearer to Me with the supererogatory (nawafil) so that I shall love him. When I love him, I shall be his hearing with which he shall hear, his sight with which he shall see, his hands with which he shall hold, and his feet with which he shall walk. And if he asks (something) of Me, I shall surely give it to him, and if he takes refuge in Me, I shall certainly grant him it.” (Bukhari)

    Another thing to be inspired by: Jannah
    Sometimes we forget about Jannah, Paradise. But Paradise is a reality.

    I’m supposed to travel to Granada tomorrow insh’Allah (if Allah wills). Everyone has been telling me how amazing and beautiful it is. A part of me is really excited to explore it and its history, but another part of me is just looking forward to having a break. I’ve been preparing: I will take two books, one spiritual and one political. I’ve made sure I’ve tied up all the ends here. Just as Granada is a reality for me and something to look forward to, Jannah should be just the same for us since we have its description.
    Imagine this: you’ve just crossed the sirat(bridge over hell) and made it to the other side. You are waiting for the doors of Jannah to open. Finally they open to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and you are in awe. Truly this place is as the Prophet described which “no eye has seen, no ear has heard, and the mind of no man has conceived”, [Bukhari]. What is the ground made of? It smells a little like saffron, subhan’Allah! What are those trees with huge fruits? Is that a river of honey? Dip your finger in it, that can’t be honey! You’ve never had anything like it in your life. You try it again and it tastes even better. How is that possible? Ok, enough honey. Where is my house? As you are being escorted to your home, you see it’s not just a house. It’s a mansion! Not even Bill Gates had it this good, and you are told you earned it because you donated $10 for that masjid1. If only you had donated more! Well this mansion is enough. You’re eager to start exploring.

    You enter from the front door with a texture that feels pearly. Are the doors made of pearls? Subhan’Allah! You walk in and there’s someone there. Is that your spouse from the dunya? But they look different. They’re so beautiful, you’re mesmerized. You take their hand and walk out and you see that person who wronged you in the dunya. Even though you forgave on earth, whenever you saw them, you’d still get a bit frustrated. But for some reason it’s ok now. It’s all good. Actually- you’re happy to see them. In fact, you can’t stop smiling.

    This place is awesome. You feel so light and airy. You feel as though nothing bad has ever happened to you in your life. You have peace.

    It can’t get better than this, right?

    Yes it can. As you walk outside your mansion, you see people rushing to go some place. They’re crowding around someone. Is that RasulAllah?! Without realizing, tears stream down your face, it IS Rasul’Allah! And he is more beautiful than any of the descriptions you’ve read. You embrace him. He smiles at you, and then you invite him to dinner at your house. You walk away, still in awe that you’ve just seen the final Messenger of God, and… Is that Abu Bakr (ra)? With `Umar (ra)! And over there is Fatima (ra), sitting with her mother Khadija (ra)! And there’s Mariam (as)! You overhear a conversation and it’s someone asking Salaah ad-Deen how it felt to liberate Jerusalem.

    Finally, it’s the pinnacle of Jannah. Being with Allah. You actually get to see Allah. The highest, greatest most amazing pleasure that surpasses everything we’ve just talked about. Seeing your Lord, Most High.
    I want that! What should I aspire to?

    We were all created differently for a reason. Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror known in Arabic as Muhammad al-Fateh, was inspired by something. He heard the hadith of the Prophet “Verily you shall conquer Constantinople. What a wonderful leader will he be, and what a wonderful army will that army be!” [Ahmad] and he wanted to be that person. He had the opportunity and the skill. He persisted and Allah gave him success. We don’t all have to be Sultan Mehmet II, but we should all desire to be something special to Allah.

    So read the Qur’an and find something inspirational. I knew someone who was inspired by the hadith where the Prophet names the categories of people who are protected under the shade of Allah on Judgment day. The category that they were inspired by was “the person whose left hand doesn’t know what his right hand has given (in charity)”. So they decided to apply that hadith. They would give money every Friday atsalaat al-jumu`ah, without looking at how much they were giving. Whatever was in their wallet, they would give. The person said, “SubhanAllah. Never did I give money but that it came back to me!”

    There is so much to look forward to and so much to have hope for. We should not be satisfied with a basic level of faith and doing extra only once in a while. Rather we should say, “this is who I want to be!” and live every day wanting to become the Wali of Allah.

    1. “He who builds a Masjid for Allah (swt), even as small as a bird’s nest or smaller, Allah (swt) will build for him a house in Paradise .”
    2. of course only Allah knows who will be in Jannah, but this is just so we can imagine.

    ...And he who fears Allah - He will make for him a way out. [65:3]
    "Put your trust in Allah, certainly, Allah loves those who put their trust (in Him)."
    [Al-Imran 3:159]

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    Re: How to achieve tranquility of the heart?

    This is a fantastic thread sister

    وَالْعَصْرِ

    إِنَّ الْإِنسَانَ لَفِي خُسْرٍ

    إِلَّا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ وَتَوَاصَوْا بِالْحَقِّ وَتَوَاصَوْا بِالصَّبْرِ

    "If Allah (swt) only sent this Surah to us, for the guidance of Mankind, this will be enough for us” - Imam Shaafi'ee r.a.

    "Yeh dunya daar e faani hain, Tum apna dil mat lagaon, Ganimat samaj zinadagee ki bahar, aana na hoga, yahaa baar baar......"

    Khanqah Habibiyah

  26. #26
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    Re: How to achieve tranquility of the heart?

    Part 17

    Allah is with the patient




    “O you who have believed, seek help through patience and prayer. Indeed, Allah is with the patient.” (Qur’an, 2:153)

    In this stage of seeking tranquility of the heart, we will be building upon the verse the above. When we talked about things we need to know – such as thinking well of Allah and trying to understand tests, as well as things to do – such as connecting to Allah through our salah, making du`a’ – some comments that were received were along the lines of “I’ve already done that. But it doesn’t seem to be working.” No doubt, knowing we will face tests and trying to understand the reason behind them is crucial, because it enables us not to feel hopeless. However, difficulties sometimes make it hard for us to continue with the practice of doing things that get us close to Allah. So we must seek help not only in prayer, but in aspiring to be of the patient.


    Patience – an Aspiration?
    The Prophet said that patience is a light (Muslim). The characteristic of light is that it shows us the way and allows us to see clearly. How does patience do this? Patience is linked with hope and trust in Allah. When something bad happens, we can force ourselves to be patient by reminding ourselves that with hardship comes ease and that after a period of hardship Allah gives relief. We can only be truly patient when we realize that everything is from Allah, and that is how everything is illuminated. It is the opposite of darkness and impatience. Impatience is darkness because it frustrates us, we can behave rashly and we do not see the wisdom in the delay. The Prophet said “And whoever remains patient, Allah will make him patient. Nobody can be given a blessing better and greater than patience.” (Bukhari)


    Patience is an aspiration because it is not just something that we do, but rather something that we need to build in ourselves and adapt to different situations. Its importance is highlighted in the fact that it has been mentioned in the Qur’an over ninety times. We all know that nothing in the Qur’an is without purpose, so reflect on the fact that Allah is reminding us of this characteristic numerous times. Ali (ra) said, “Patience’s position to faith is similar to the position of the head to the body. If the head is cut off, the body dies.” Then he raised his voice saying, “There is no faith, for a person who doesn’t have patience.”


    It won’t come easily, because we are humans and get tired. This shouldn’t be a cause for despair, because with hardship comes ease. At the same time, being of the patient is what we aspire to, because when we do reach that level, Allah is with us. What does Allah being with us mean? Imam ash-Shawkanitalks about this and he says Allah can be with us in a general sense (as He is with all human beings) and in a specific sense, which entails a higher level of care and love for those whom He is with. So when we read “Allah is with the patient,” know that when you embody the characteristic of patience, Allah is taking care of you in ways that you cannot even imagine, and that He is with you every step of the way.


    Why should I aspire to be of the patient? It’s just too hard!


    Allah says in the Qur’an: “Indeed, the patient will be given their reward without account.” (Qur’an, 39:10)

    Subhan’Allah, at-Tabari states that you will be given your reward without having to go through the meezan (scale) that other people will. Imagine! Another interpretation is that the reward you will be given is one without measure – only Allah knows the greatness of the reward for those who are patient.


    Allah (swt) also says, “And Allah loves the steadfast.” (Qur’an, 3:146) Remember how we said Allah treats those He loves? Because He is al-Wadud, Allah’s Love is not silent; it will be manifested. Not only will Allah love you, but He will show you that love.


    Moreover, the Prophet said, “There is no Muslim who is stricken with a calamity and says what Allah has enjoined – ‘Verily to Allah we belong and unto Him is our return. O Allah, reward me for my affliction and compensate me with something better’ – but Allah will compensate him with something better.” (Muslim) Recall the story of Um Salamah, who was so grief-stricken when her husband was killed. The Prophet taught her these words and she said “Who could be better than Abu Salamah?” So Allah gave her the Prophet

    Does patience mean I just have to wait around?


    Sometimes we think being patient means doing nothing. Someone tells us “be patient!” and we say “give me something practical to do!” but if patience was not practical, Allah would not have told this to all of the Prophets (as) in the Qur’an. We just need to understand what patience really is.


    Firstly, we need to know that there are different kinds of patience:


    Patience with Doing Good
    This means perseverance. The Prophet told us “Know that with patience comes victory” (Tirmidhi). Does this mean victory comes by sitting and waiting for it? Of course not. The sunnah of the Prophet shows us that this is not the case, because he strived to do good, and as he persevered (i.e. he was not impatient in the sense that he expected the result to be immediate) Allah gave him victory. Patiently persevering in doing good takes many forms: it can be anything that is praiseworthy in the religion – whether it is acts of worship, our relationships with people, etc. It is sometimes tempting to return like with like. If someone is rude to us, let’s try to be like Allah’s Name As-Saboor (The Patient). Despite all the wrong that we commit, He is patient with us and does not punish us immediately. If we appreciate this patience from Allah, should we not try to have the same kind of patience with people?


    Allah (swt) wants us to strive for this kind of patience. For example, with the issue ofqiyam al-layl (the night prayer), the Prophet has told us, “Whoever goes to his bed intending to get up and pray at night, then his eyes overwhelm him and (he sleeps) until morning, the (reward of) that which he intended will be written for him, and his sleep is a charity for him given by his Lord.” (An-nasai, Ibn Majah) Why did the Prophet tell us this? So that we never give up; we are patient with our weaknesses and continue to strive. This is what patience is.


    Patience with Stopping Ourselves from Doing Bad
    One of the types of people who is given shade on the Day of Judgment is the person who is tempted into fornication but resists and says “I fear Allah!” (Bukhari) It is much easier to fall into sin. But one who constantly prevents himself from doing bad, can be of the people who is beneath the shade of Allah. This requires patience and conviction; despite the hardship, we are doing something that is beloved to Allah. Nowadays we are taught to strive to achieve what we want no matter what. Although having ambition and drive is good, it should not be by compromising our ethics. We may have to face setbacks now and then, but when we remember that our aim is for theakhira and not simply the dunya, patience is easier to inculcate.


    Patience when Something Bad Happens
    The Prophet ﷺ taught us that “patience is at the first stroke of a calamity.” (Bukhari) It is not easy to bear bad news and not lose it or break down. It is even harder to prevent ourselves from questioning something that is so, in our eyes, blatantly bad. Why? But as we said before, there is a reason for tests. This is why we are taught in the Qur’an to say “To Allah we belong and to Him we return” so that when are afflicted, we remember that nothing is outside the realm of Allah’s knowledge, power and mercy. He knows this is happening, and there is a higher purpose to it.

    Examples of Those Who are Patient
    The Prophet is the best example. Despite being exiled from his home, losing his loved ones, being abused and suffering near starvation, he never wavered in his character. He was patient in doing good, patient in refraining from evil even when he was tempted with wealth and women, and he was patient when afflicted with calamity. All of his children died in his lifetime except Fatima (ra). He lost his wife and two of his uncles whom he loved dearly. Those who followed him were tortured. Yet he persisted in praying in the night, was described as always smiling and never hesitated to help people. His patience was in perseverance and never questioning the will of Allah.


    Look at Prophet Ayyoub (as), who was not only patient with his affliction but he was content! He lost all fourteen of his children, his wealth and the companionship of the people because of his disease. Yet when he was asked to supplicate for Allah to heal him, he said “Allah gave me 50 years of blessings, should I not be patient with the same number of years of hardship?” He never complained of his illness. Of course, we should always ask Allah to help us (and Ayyoub (as) finally did) but what we should take from this is he wasn’t angry with Allah and never questioned His will.


    Finally, ‘Urwah ibn al-Zubair (ra), one of the companions, had to have his leg amputated. While he was being visited by a friend, he said, “If you came to give me condolence for the loss of my leg, I already submitted to Allah with patience to reward me for its loss.” But the guest told him, “I came to inform you that your son fell down in a stable, and the animal stepped over him, and he passed away.” What would be the response of ‘Urwa of that moment? He said: “O Allah! You took one child, and left me many…You took one organ from my body, and left me many organs…O Allah! You tested me with my body, and you were kind to leave me with good health. You tested me with the loss of my son, but you were kind in leaving me the rest of my children.” Subhan’Allah. May we all be of the patient!
    ...And he who fears Allah - He will make for him a way out. [65:3]
    "Put your trust in Allah, certainly, Allah loves those who put their trust (in Him)."
    [Al-Imran 3:159]

  27. #27
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    Re: How to achieve tranquility of the heart?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jenicca View Post
    This is a fantastic thread sister

    BarakAllah feek

    I know mashaAllah makes me feel whenever I read it
    ...And he who fears Allah - He will make for him a way out. [65:3]
    "Put your trust in Allah, certainly, Allah loves those who put their trust (in Him)."
    [Al-Imran 3:159]

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    Re: How to achieve tranquility of the heart?

    OMG..sister Random...I think I have fallen in with you!!...don't worry I'm a sis obviously!

    Thank you soooooooo much for this thread...I can't put into words how much I this thread! All your posts are so amazing MashaAllah!...Keep up the good work!


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    Re: How to achieve tranquility of the heart?

    Quote Originally Posted by {f~h} View Post
    All your posts are so amazing MashaAllah!...Keep up the good work!
    They are. MashaAllah.

    sister.

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    Re: How to achieve tranquility of the heart?

    Quote Originally Posted by {f~h} View Post
    OMG..sister Random...I think I have fallen in with you!!...don't worry I'm a sis obviously!

    Thank you soooooooo much for this thread...I can't put into words how much I this thread! All your posts are so amazing MashaAllah!...Keep up the good work!

    Lol aw but it's not meee u need to thank, it just made me feel so when I read it that I just wanted everyone else to feel the same way and he fact that u feel like that makes me feel so happy mashaAllah I'm a natural worrier which means I have to read these over n over and everytime I do it's a different piece of the article that touches my heart
    ...And he who fears Allah - He will make for him a way out. [65:3]
    "Put your trust in Allah, certainly, Allah loves those who put their trust (in Him)."
    [Al-Imran 3:159]

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    Re: How to achieve tranquility of the heart?

    Asalaamu alaikum

    Part 18

    The key to your station with Allah is ikhlas.



    There is a frightening hadith about a scholar, a martyr and a charitable man on the Day of Judgment. They all expect to enter Paradise because of their good deeds. Instead, they are sent to the Fire, because their deeds were done with the intention of pleasing people – not pleasing Allah. They wanted people to see them as they were doing good because they wanted people’s praise.

    What is Ikhlas?
    Ikhlas is to do everything, internal and external, only desiring the pleasure of Allah. It is to forget the eyes of the people, and whether they view your deeds or not, with the only thing on your mind that Allah is watching you. There are beautiful verses in the Qur’an in this regard, where Allah describes the Abraar in Jannah:



    “They [are those who] fulfill [their] vows and fear a Day whose evil will be widespread. And they give food in spite of love for it to the needy, the orphan, and the captive, [saying], “We feed you only for the countenance of Allah. We wish not from you reward or gratitude.” (Qur’an, 76:7-9)

    Imam al-Ghazali said that if you want to know whether something you did was purely for the sake of Allah or not, you should test your reaction when someone acts ungratefully. Do you feel self-righteous, like you were doing the person a favor? Do you feel angry that they did not appreciate your work? It may not mean that your act was ostentatious, but it points to the fact that it was not solely for the sake of Allah. We were expecting, at the very least, recognition and respect from the person as a result of the good we did to them.


    We all know the famous story of the prostitute who was rewarded with Paradise for giving a dog water – but what truly got her into Paradise? Was it just that simple act? It could not have been, because as we mentioned above, there are scholars, martyrs and charitable people who will be thrown in hell because they were insincere. But she was helping the dog for Allah only. Look at how your intention elevates your deeds. This is why the scholars have said that it is the most important act of worship of the heart – to have the driving force of your acts be to please Allah.


    This is closely linked to ihsan – that you are worshipping Allah as though you see Him and you know that He sees you.


    Khurram Murad states that “purpose and intention are like the soul of a body or the inner capability of a seed. Many seeds look alike, but as they begin to grow and bear fruit, their differences become manifest. The purer and higher the motive, the greater the value and yield of your efforts.”1


    Ikhlas is the foundation of any work that we do – if the foundation is corrupt, then the building can easily be broken.


    Does this only apply to specific acts of worship or can it also apply to regular habits?
    Allah (swt) says in the Qur’an:



    “Say, “Indeed, my prayer, my rites of sacrifice, my living and my dying are for Allah, Lord of the worlds.” (6:162)

    This verse tells us that everything can be for the sake of Allah. Moreover, Khurram Murad reminds us of something crucial. He states,

    “People are in the habit of classifying life’s activities into those which are mundane and those which are religious. Remember, though, only those things done for the sake of Allah are the ‘religious’ things. Everything that is done for other than Allah – however ‘religious’ it may seem – is a worldly act… If he earns thousands of pounds to support his family and to spend for the cause of Allah, seeking only Allah’s pleasure, it is a highly spiritual act.”


    Even your sleep can be for Allah; if you say you will sleep at a certain hour so you can wake up for Fajr, then your sleep is for Allah. Imagine being rewarded for 6-8 hours of sleep!
    Importance of Ikhlas


    Allah (swt) says in the Qur’an:




    “And they were not commanded except to worship Allah, [being] sincere to Him in religion, inclining to truth…” (Qur’an, 98:5)

    If we look at the story of Yusuf (as), it wasikhlas that saved him. Allah describes him in Surat Yusuf:



    “And she certainly determined [to seduce] him, and he would have inclined to her had he not seen the proof of his Lord. And thus [it was] that We should avert from him evil and immorality, for he was one of Our servants, sincere and purified.” (Qur’an,12:24)

    Subhan’Allah. And moreover, Satan can get to all humans except those who have ikhlas. In the Qur’an, Allah tells us:


    “[Satan] said, “My Lord, because You have put me in error, I will surely make [disobedience] attractive to them on earth, and I will mislead them all. Except among them Your sincere servants.” (Qur’an,15:39-40)This should remind us of what the Prophet said about ‘Umar: Satan would avoid the path that ‘Umar was on because he was afraid of him. Imagine being at that level!


    The more complete the ikhlas becomes, the more the person is upright. We are prone to making mistakes, and we may find that sometimes our intentions are mixed; sometimes there may not be an apparent intention behind whatever act we are doing. That is why we need to aspire to be of the sincere. As long as we are constantly reminding ourselves of doing things for Allah, He will even reward us for thatinsha’Allah.
    We should not despair and be paranoid. It is narrated by ‘Amr bin al-Aas, that the Prophet said “A person from my Ummah will be summoned in the presence of all creatures on the Day of Judgment. Ninety-nine records (of his deeds) would be unfolded, each extending as far as the eye can see; then he would be asked: ‘Do you deny any of these deeds?’ He will reply: ‘No, My Lord.’ He will be asked: ‘Do you have any excuse or any good deed?’ The man will say: ‘No.’ It will be said to him: ‘Yes you have some good deeds. No iniquity will befall you.’ A card will then be shown to him. On it will be written: ‘La ilaaha ila Allah, Muhammad Rasul Allah.’ He will say: ‘O Allah! What cards and records are these?’ It will be said to him: ‘No injustice shall befall you.’ The (ninety-nine) records will then be placed in one pan of the scale and the card on the other. The card will then outweigh the records.” [Tirmidhi]


    This is due to his sincerity with la ilaaha ila Allah – there is no deity other than Allah.


    Secrets of Ikhlas
    Ikhlas is something that Allah puts in the heart of worshipers who seek it. Sheikh Omar AbdelKafy said that there are 3 secrets of Ikhlas:
    1. The servant who has ikhlas does not look at it, because that would make him arrogant. For example, if we pray in a small room where no one can see us and yet due to that we feel that we are better than others because ‘obviously’ have ikhlas, we fall into the trap of arrogance. At the end of the day, success is only from Allah.
    2. Ikhlas is between the servant and His Lord; even the Angels don’t write it down because they don’t know it. Reflective of this is the story of the martyr, scholar and charitable man that we mentioned above – the Angels had written down the good they did, but it was Allah who exposed their intention.
    3. Satan cannot get to you if you have ikhlas

    Examples of those with Ikhlas
    There is a beautiful example in the mother of Mariam (as). “When the wife of ‘Imran said, “My Lord, indeed I have pledged to You what is in my womb, consecrated [for Your service], so accept this from me. Indeed, You are the Hearing, the Knowing” (Qur’an,3:35). She was having a beautiful private conversation with Allah. She told Him the child that was in her womb was solely for Him. She would raise it in the way of Allah, so that the child would be a worshipper of Allah, not for any reason save His pleasure. And for that sincere conversation, Allah rewarded her with one of the best women: Mariam (as), who fulfilled her mother’s pledge, by the grace of Allah.


    Another example is Khalid bin al-Walid (ra). He was removed from his post as commander of the army by ‘Umar. Imagine being the head of a youth group, captain of a sports team, or a manager at a company. Suddenly there is a change of management – you are removed from your position and demoted to a regular team member or employee. How would you react? How would that affect your work? Instead of being offended and refusing to fight, Khalid fought with even more vigor. When he was asked why, he said: “I fight for Allah and not for Umar.” He wanted to ensure that he was not working hard because he was put in a specific position – rather wherever he was, he would work hard for the sake of Allah.
    May Allah help us attain ikhlas.



    1. In the Early Hours, p. 63.
    2. See Qur’an 15:40
    ...And he who fears Allah - He will make for him a way out. [65:3]
    "Put your trust in Allah, certainly, Allah loves those who put their trust (in Him)."
    [Al-Imran 3:159]

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    Re: How to achieve tranquility of the heart?

    SubhanAllah. Beautiful words.

    Ikhlaas is usually there when praises and criticisms mean the same thing to you (i.e. you feel no different towards either).

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    Re: How to achieve tranquility of the heart?

    Asalaamu alaikum

    Part 19

    Contentment, A paradise on earth


    As we mentioned in previous articles, worship can be divided into two categories: the worship of the heart and worship of the limbs. The worship of the heart can be dearer to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala(glorified is He) because they give meaning to the worship of the limbs.


    Ridaa (contentment with the decree of Allah) is one of the acts of worship of the heart. Ibn Taymiyyah said about contentment:


    “Contentment is the greatest door that one enters to Allah, it is the source of tranquility for the worshiper and paradise on earth. Whoever does not enter it will not enter the Paradise in the Hereafter.”


    Are you content with the actions of Allah?
    One way whether to know whether we haveridaa is to ask ourselves if we have bitterness in our hearts when we are tested or when things don’t go our way.


    It does not mean that we shouldn’t be ambitious or have big goals. We should work hard, and when we fall, we should pick ourselves back up and try to work harder or find alternatives. It does not mean to stop when difficulties come – but for example, if there is someone we want to marry and they marry someone else, then that is the end of the matter. Or if we are after a certain job and it goes to someone else, then it was not written for us at that time. It may mean we should apply at another time, or for another job – only Allah knows. But the point of contentment is that we do not have resentment in our hearts. For example, if we are doing all of our acts of worship and are generally good Muslims, yet we are faced with calamity or we feel that our du`a’ (supplication) has not been responded to, we do not harbor anger in our hearts: “I did everything, but Allah did not give me what I want!”


    How to achieve contentment?
    The Prophet (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “He has tasted the sweetness of faith: he who is content with Allah as his Lord, Islam as his religion, and Muhammad as his Prophet.” (Muslim)


    We need to know first and foremost that Allah (swt) has portioned for us our provision. As long as we work, we will get what is written for us. Moreover, the Prophet said: “Know that even if the whole community were to gather together to benefit you with something, they would not benefit you with anything except that which Allah has already recorded for you, and that if they gather together to harm you with something, they would not be able to harm you with anything except that which Allah has already recorded against you.” (Tirmidhi)


    Simply possessing this knowledge should empower us, because we know that everything that happens is by the permission of Allah (swt). This should not prevent us from reflecting and trying to figure out how our actions played a role, but learning from an experience is also part of contentment because you trust that Allah (swt) is teaching you a lesson through trial.


    The Prophet reminds us of something profound, “Whoever wakes up safely in his home and is healthy in his body and has provisions for his day, would have acquired all the worldly possessions he is in need of.” (Tirmidhi)


    Subhan’Allah (glory to God) – none of know when our last day could be. But if we wake up in the morning with those three things, then we have all that we need. We should not look at people and question why Allah (swt) has given certain people success over ourselves. We have all that we need.


    Du`a’ for contentment
    The Prophet said: “There is no Muslim servant who says in the morning and the evening three times: I am pleased with Allah as my Lord, with Islam as my religion and with Muhammad as my Prophet, except that it will be a right upon Allah to please him on the Day of Judgment.” (Ahmad)


    The Prophet also said “Whoever says when he hears the caller to prayer: ‘And I bear witness that there is no God save Allah, He is alone and has no partner and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and messenger. I am pleased with Allah as Lord, Muhammad as Prophet and Islam as religion’ all his sins will be forgiven.” (Muslim)


    It is as though we are told to say these statements so that they may enter our hearts.
    The Prophet would also make this du`a’: “O Allah, make me content with Your decree, so that I may not hasten what You have delayed, or to delay what You have hastened.”

    How do you know if you have ridaa?


    You have ridaa if:

    1. You pray istikhara when you have a decision to make. The du`a’ of istikhara literally asks Allah (swt) to choose what is best for us.
    2. You have no resentment after something has been decreed by saying Alhamdulillah (all praise is due to Allah).
    3. Your love for Allah does not decrease when you are tested

    Examples of those who were content with the decree of Allah
    Imagine the devastation of the Prophet when he lost his son Ibrahim. He was around 60 years old when he had him, and he was so happy that he would take Ibrahim to companions just so they could see him. When he passed away the Prophet wept. But what did he say? “The eyes shed tears and the heart is saddened, but we do not say anything except that which pleases our Lord. Indeed, O Ibrahim, we are bereaved by your departure from us.”


    This teaches us that being content with Allah (swt) does not mean that we cannot feel sad or disappointed; but we carry no anger or resentment towards Allah.


    Whenever ‘Umar radi Allahu anhu (may Allah be please with him) was stricken with calamity, he would thank Allah for four things:

    1. That the test was not in his religion;
    2. That the test was not greater than it was;
    3. That if he responded to the test with patience, he would be given an immeasurable reward;
    4. That he would remember the greater calamity of losing the Prophet.

    Then he would say “I do not care what happens to me as long as I am Muslim.”
    A final example is the companions ‘Umran bin Hussayn (ra). He was one of the companions who took part in the battles with the Prophet and was a fierce fighter. However, he got paralyzed from the waist down for thirty years until he passed away. Some of the other companions saw him and cried – because they knew what he used to be. But he replied to them, saying: “You cry, but I am content. I love what Allah loves, and I am content with what Allah is content with, and I am happy with what Allah chooses. I remain in this state and by Allah I can feel the Angels around me glorifying Allah. Allah is testing my contentment with Him, so bear witness that I am content.” When I read this story, I was reminded of the film “Million Dollar Baby.” The boxer had risen to stardom but was paralyzed after her opponent knocked her out after she won the match, breaking her neck. After that, she lost the will to live – she did not want to live in that state after all she had achieved. But the example of ‘Umran is inspiring, because he knew that nothing was outside the realm of Allah’s Power, Knowledge and Mercy, and if this is what Allah decreed, then he was content.


    May Allah (swt) give us a heart filled with contentment.

    ...And he who fears Allah - He will make for him a way out. [65:3]
    "Put your trust in Allah, certainly, Allah loves those who put their trust (in Him)."
    [Al-Imran 3:159]

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    Re: How to achieve tranquility of the heart?

    Quote Originally Posted by RaNdOm View Post
    Lol aw but it's not meee u need to thank, it just made me feel so when I read it that I just wanted everyone else to feel the same way and he fact that u feel like that makes me feel so happy mashaAllah I'm a natural worrier which means I have to read these over n over and everytime I do it's a different piece of the article that touches my heart
    Oh doesn't matter...sharing is caring, may Allah swt reward you for your good work, Ameen!

    Yeah it's great to try quickly read these articles on daily basis...yeah I get a spiritual boost also Alhamdullilah!...We humans can't remember or recall everything we have learnt so yeah we have to keep reading certain articles over and over again!...and we tend to read articles we love numerous times just because we love them LoL!

    Oh this thread should be made a sticky or moved to poetry section...so it doesn't get hidden by other less useful (to put it nicely ) threads!!

    Sister! <3

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    Re: How to achieve tranquility of the heart?

    Asalaamu alaikum

    Last article in the series...

    Part 20

    Loving Allah swt - the greatest aspiration

    Finally we come to the crux of the matter and what should be the pinnacle of our aspirations: Loving Allah. We need to put this love into perspective—why should we love Allah (swt) more than anything else? How can we do that? How do we know if we love Allah (swt)? What will this love give us?
    What do people love?

    It is probably impossible to find a human being who does not love. Most people love their families, spouses and friends. Others love status and money. You can tell a person’s love for something or someone by what they do and how they act.

    And we love all of these things despite their temporary nature, despite the fact that they disappoint us sometimes. It is almost an intrinsic part of a human being. And we all love for similar reasons—we love people for the perceived good qualities that we see in a person or the way they treat us. We love things because of the way those things make us feel.

    Why should we love Allah (swt)?
    How can we not? If we put together all the reasons why we love other people or things, and then apply it to Allah (swt), we should see that truly it is Him that deserves our love. And because human beings are naturally inclined to love, it is only the love of Allah (swt) that can satisfy this need. Ibn Taymiyyah radi allah `anhu (may God be pleased with him) said: “The heart will not find complete happiness except by loving Allah and by striving towards what is dear to Him.”

    Amongst the things to aspire to when striving for tranquility of the heart, loving Allah (swt) above all else is the greatest. When we direct our love and our emotions towards Allah (swt), everything else follows. Our actions follow because they reflect what is in our heart. It is liberating because our love is directed at the source of all our blessings, not merely the means. We see everything as coming from Allah (swt), and because we love Him and think well of Him, we know that everything is for a purpose.

    The first thing the Prophet (peace be upon him) said to the people of Madina was “O people! Love Allah with all of your hearts for what He has given you from blessings…” Allah (swt) says in the Qur’an: “And if you should count the favor of Allah, you could not enumerate them.” [14:34]

    Try to count everything good in your life, and everything that seemed bad but turned out to be good. All that is from Allah (swt). The fact that you are Muslim. The fact that, as the Prophet told us, everything that happens in the life of a Muslim is good, and this is only for the believers. If you are given blessings, then it is an opportunity to be thankful, and if you are tested, it is for you to be patient. And what is amazing is that we have been guaranteed things for patience in the face of calamity, and we know that nothing will go to waste insha` Allah (God willing).

    If we find that we don’t love Allah (swt), it is because we don’t know Him. All the pleasures of the world are not an ounce of what the pleasure of what Allah (swt) has prepared in jannah (paradise), and the greatest pleasure is to see Him and be with Him.

    Are we true in our love for Allah (swt)?
    Many of us would say without hesitation that we love Allah (swt). But there are different levels of love. Some of us may love our parents more than our siblings. We love all of them, but our love for our parents is over and above the love for our siblings. Yet the love that will give us true tranquility in our hearts is the love that prefers Allah (swt) over all else. Allah (swt) tells us in the Qur’an:

    “Say, [O Muhammad], “If your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your wives, your relatives, wealth which you have obtained, commerce wherein you fear decline, and dwellings with which you are pleased are more beloved to you than Allah and His Messenger and jihad [struggle] in His cause, then wait until Allah executes His command. And Allah does not guide the defiantly disobedient people.” [9:24]

    Allah in this verse is not telling us we should not love. On the contrary, Allah (swt) tells us in another verse that He has made between spouses “love and mercy”. We are encouraged to love each other. The Prophet told us, “When one of you has love for his brother, he should inform him that he loves him,” [Bukhari].

    But we should not love them more than Allah (swt), because love tends to mean preference. We do things for our loved ones because we know that they will like it or appreciate it. And when we prefer others over Allah (swt), or make them equal to Allah (swt), that is when we find difficulty because we are putting our hope in something finite and fallible. Allah (swt) says in the Qur’an:

    “And [yet], among the people are those who take other than Allah as equals [to Him]. They love them as they [should] love Allah. But those who believe are stronger in love for Allah [...]” [2:165].

    This doesn’t mean we won’t make mistakes. We will, because the children of Adam constantly make mistakes. And sometimes we will choose things over Allah (swt). The key is to seek forgiveness. The key is to realize and work on improving. It is that act that is so beloved to Allah (swt).

    There are some ways for us to know if we truly love Allah (swt). We are told in the Qur’an:

    “Say, [O Muhammad], “If you should love Allah , then follow me, [so] Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” [Qur'an 3:31]

    We know that the Prophet is the best example and he is the beloved of Allah (swt). How far do we follow the Prophet ? And we shouldn’t only think of the outward things, such as the way he dressed or growing a beard. Rather we should look atwho the Prophet was, what was the essence of his character and how he treated people. Once the love for Allah (swt) and His Messenger grows, we will want to follow everything.

    Another way to test ourselves is to look at all of the different types of people that Allah (swt) loves in the Qur’an—for example, Allah (swt) says that He loves the patient. Then we should ask ourselves—Do we strive to be that person to receive the love of Allah (swt)?

    Sweetness of Faith
    Moreover, if we find that Islam is difficult, know that loving Allah (swt) is the key to tasting the sweetness of faith. The Prophet told us, “There are three things which if a person finds them, he has found the sweetness of faith: when Allah and His Messenger are dearer to him than all else; when he loves a person for no other reason than for the sake of Allah; and when he hates to return to kufr after Allah has saved him from it as he would hate to be thrown into fire,” [Bukhari].

    How can I make my heart love Allah (swt)?
    • Read the Qur’an with reflection;
    • Perform more nawaafil (voluntary acts of worship): “Nothing endears My servant to Me than doing of what I have made obligatory upon him to do. And My servant continues to draw nearer to Me with the supererogatory [nawaafil]so that I shall love him.” [Bukhari]
    • Always remember Allah (swt): The righteous used to say that if you awake and sleep remembering Allah (swt), then you awake and sleep without a sin. Not that we will not make mistakes, but sins are erased by constantdhikr; (remembrance of Allah, swt) and good deeds, insha’Allah.
    • Choose what Allah (swt) prefers over what you prefer.

    This is the last article in this series, and I pray we have all benefited. May Allah (swt) enable us to find tranquility through loving Him. Ameen.

    ...And he who fears Allah - He will make for him a way out. [65:3]
    "Put your trust in Allah, certainly, Allah loves those who put their trust (in Him)."
    [Al-Imran 3:159]

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    Re: How to achieve tranquility of the heart?

    good advice. sometimes you have frustrations in you, because something feels wrong or unnatural or you want to fix something and you can't because there's so much you can do on your own. or you miss your loved one and they're not with you etc. so many reasons as to why some things hurt and cause that imbalance and this looks good to help with that.

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    Re: How to achieve tranquility of the heart?

    bump

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    Re: How to achieve tranquility of the heart?

    sister ,, what an amazing thread

    Barakaa Allahu Feeki

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    Re: How to achieve tranquility of the heart?

    bump!

    This should be made a sticky!

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    Re: How to achieve tranquility of the heart?



    BUMP!!


 

 

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