One day I decided to quit…I quit my job, my relationship, my Spirituality…I wanted to quit my life.
I went to the woods to have one last talk with God. God, I said. Can you give me one good reason not to quit His answer surprised me…
Look around, God said. Do you see the fern and the bamboo? Yes, I replied.
When I planted the fern and the bamboo seeds, I took very good care of them. I gave them light. I gave them water. The fern quickly grew from the earth. Its brilliant green covered the floor. Yet nothing came from the bamboo seed.
But I did not quit on the bamboo. In the second year the Fern grew more vibrant and plentiful. And again, nothing came from the bamboo seed. But I did not quit on the bamboo.
God said, in the third year there was still nothing from the bamboo seed. But I would not quit. In year four, again, there was nothing from the bamboo seed. I would not quit.
God said, and then in the fifth year a tiny sprout emerged from the earth. Compared to the fern it was seemingly small and insignificant…But just 6 months later the bamboo rose to over 100 feet tall. It had spent the five years growing roots.
Those roots made it strong and gave it what it needed to survive. I would not give any of my creations a challenge it could not handle.
God said to me, did you know, my creation, that all this time you have been struggling, you have actually been growing roots. I would not quit on the bamboo. I will never quit on you.
Don’t compare yourself to others. God said, the bamboo had a different purpose than the fern. Yet they both make the forest beautiful. Your time will come, God said to me. You will rise high.
I left the forest and bring back this story. I hope these words can help you see that God will never give up on you. God will never give up on you!
Moral: In life never lose hope and never give up or quit in life and Success will come to you later in life.
Source : Inspirational Stories
“Carpe diem. You only live today once, so don’t waste it. Life is made up of special moments, many of which happen when caution is thrown to the wind and people take action and seize the day.”
RULE 54 : The Essential 55 by Ron Clark
Many of us have addictive relationship with Facebook. We check our accounts compulsively, multiple times a day. It is sometimes the last thing many of us do before we sleep and the first thing we do when we wake up; time flies when we’re on it, and it is obsessive.
Yet how many of us have an addictive relationship—have any relationship—with the Qur’an? This is the Book that transformed alcoholic, oppressive, baby-girl-burying people into callers for justice, defenders of the oppressed, soft-hearted, humble worshippers of the Lord of All the Worlds. If what is contained in this Book brought eternal peace to the hearts and freedom to the souls who were chained to the whims of their own desires, it undoubtedly can emancipate us from our own problems, heartaches and stresses. However, its ability to powerfully impact us may go a lifetime unrealized if we continue to decide that other relationships are more important.
Some of us want to establish a relationship with the Qur’an, but may find it… boring, difficult to understand, or simply not fast enough. We’re used to status updates, pictures and vivid virtual conversations. We prefer fun captions and vivacious images. We prefer real people, an interchange of words and tangible friendships—or at least, Facebook friendships. A lot of us don’t even really know the people we add as friends.
In reality, what we prefer is what the Qur`an already offers and more; it’s just up to us to experience the paradigm shift, with God’s help. Here are a few ways we can tangibly work to establish our relationships with the Qur’an and in doing so, elevate ourselves in this life and in the Next, by the will of God.
From Facebook to God’s Book
What is it about Facebook or other forms of social or popular media that makes you come back, over and over, sometimes multiple times a day—at a minimum? Is it the novelty of reading ever-changing statuses or finding new pictures? Is it feeling appreciated when others comment on your posts? Is it the fun of having instantaneous connections? Is it just boredom? Whatever it is, identify why you keep going back. Then, tweak your reasons for that connection and apply it to the Qur’an.
When you read stories about Noah, Moses, Jesus, Mary, Lot—when you read about their struggles or the people who they called to the worship of God, recognize those as the Qur’an’s updates. The conversations that God quotes in the Qur’an, the arguments of the people to their Messengers, those are all comments to posts in the Qur’an’s feed.
Mary `alayha assalaam (peace be upon her) says something, then God Almighty responds. Jesus `alayhi assalaam (peace be upon him) tells his disciples something and they all start tweeting him back. Moses (as) posts on Pharaoh’s wall, Pharaoh responds with his henchman and is finally completely deleted from Facebook—and the world—in its entirety. God’s Book is more intense, exciting and novel than anything on Facebook. We just need to add it and tag it as our Best Friend.
Sometimes we find Facebook addicting because of our ability to interact with our friends. So let’s find the Qur`an addicting because of our ability to interact with God. When reading God’s Book and you want to like something, say alhamdulilah (all praise is to God)! You’ll get rewards and be increased in what’s good (Qur`an 14:7). When you personally want to respond to a status, put up your hands and make du`a’ (supplication)! Instead of aimlessly commenting, you’ll be strengthening your connection with the One Who can hook it up for you, Who can hear you and will answer you! When you read the descriptions of Paradise and Hell, know that Allah Most High is uploading images for you to focus on and be impacted by; when you’re captivated or horrified by the image, comment through your actions! Do the actions which will include you amongst the chillers in Paradise and keep you from being in the excruciating fire. That type of commenting will bring everlasting results in this life and the Next and, God willing, Allah subahanahu wa ta`ala (exalted is He) will tag you as His homies in this life and the Hereafter.
Make the Qur`an Our Best Friend
Oftentimes, when we’re sad or lonely, when we’re bursting with joy or excitement, when we’re apathetic or just need some down time, we post it. We let everyone know how we’re feeling, what we’re thinking, something that went down in our day or what we wished didn’t go down. We often treat Facebook as a best friend; checking it and reconnecting frequently. Here’s our opportunity to start shifting that connection; let’s start calling Allah’s Book our BEST FRIEND. With ourselves, let’s start using the term, “Best Friend,” for the Qur’an.
If you have a human best friend, think about the way you run to answer their call when you know they’re about to tell you the outcome of a life-changing decision. Think about the way you laugh when you’re chilling together at the beach or having a conversation over dinner. Think about the way that you dial their number before anyone else’s, knowing almost with certainty that they will pick up the phone and be there for your comfort.
Now, apply that same understanding of your best friend relationship to the Qur’an. If you take the Qur’an as your Best Friend, you’ll run to it when you see it near, knowing it’s calling you, ready to listen to whatever it wants to share for your own benefit, guidance and happiness. When you’re distraught, feeling lonely or at loss, you’ll go to your Best Friend, hold it to your heart, open it and begin reading it, reciting from it, reveling in its mind-blowing empathy, its heart-warming sympathy, it’s perfection of wisdom which relates directly to your situations. When you’re excited beyond measure; ready to jump through the roof because you finally got into that school, got that job, regained your health, going to get married to your dream person or had the blessing of your child, you’re going to pick it up and shed tears of joy or words of elation with it, knowing that in reality, you’re going back to the One Who gave you all that you’re excited about in the first place.
Making the Qur’an your best friend begins with a paradigm shift; this is not simply a Holy Book; it’s the pinnacle of your life, it’s your first supporter, your constant companion, your guide, the keeper of your secrets—it’s your Best Friend.
Building Our Relationship
Having taken the Qur’an as a best friend, we must also make a commitment to building our relationship with it. Best friends don’t happen overnight; we become continuously attached to the person we’ve already connected with because of our consistent ability to reconnect and re-align. So too, with the Qur’an. The Qur’an is always there, waiting to be your closest homie! Why? Because when we establish a relationship with the Qur’an, we are, in reality, establishing a relationship with the One Who created us and knows us best. He tells us, “I am as My servant thinks I am. I am with him when he makes mention of Me. If he makes mention of Me to himself, I make mention of him to Myself; and if he makes mention of Me in an assembly, I make mention of him in an assembly better than it. And if he draws near to Me an arm’s length, I draw near to him a fathom’s length. And if he comes to Me walking, I go to him at speed,” (Hadith Qudsi, Bukhari). When we think about God, when we make an effort to draw nearer to Him, He comes to us with speed. Therefore, let us run to Him through our relationship with the Qur’an!
Set a certain amount of Qur’an that we must read, regardless of the circumstances, every day. Make sure this amount is in a language that we understand. If we can read Arabic and understand some of it, then read the Arabic but also read a translation. Allah (swt) revealed the Qur’an in the language of the Arabs for them to understand it so that they can live by and be transformed by it. Thus, read it in a language that will impact your life, and do it daily. From 20 pages to only 1 verse, do whatever amount you can do consistently and stick with it because the Prophet ﷺ (peace be upon him) taught us that the best actions are those that are small, but consistent (Bukhari). Reading the Qur’an daily, year-round, is better than reading a ton only in Ramadan and then disregarding it. How can a relationship flourish to its fullest if it is only maintained once a year?
Facebook can be a great networking tool, but if used obsessively, we can become addicted to a media which often brings minute tangible benefits to our lives. Allah’s Book is an incredible networking tool which will connect us to the Creator of the Universe, the One through Whom we can gain tangible benefit in this life and the eternal hereafter. Let’s go to Allah’s Book—to our Best Friend—to the Qur`an—because the best “like” is when Allah (swt) likes your life.
“… Allah is pleased with them, and they are pleased with Him – those are the party of Allah . Unquestionably, the party of Allah – they are the successful.” (Qur`an 58:22)
Writer : MARYAM AMIR-EBRAHIMI
Source : Suhaibwebb.com
‘What was that?!’
That was the sound of a once sound heart, shattering into a million pieces. Imagine you are the person carrying that heart: covered in pain and soaked in tears. Maybe you don’t have to imagine, because maybe that is your heart. We are the broken-hearted. Betrayal, oppression, deception, whatever it may be that happened to us—the result is the same, a broken heart at the hand of a human.
A broken heart that feels like it can never be fixed, and it was entirely someone else’s fault. It would be enough if they had just hurt us, and all we had to do is deal with the pain that came from their actions, but no. Rather, the hurt, the pain, the brokenness…it brought out the worst in us, allowing us to see our own faults, and painful ones at that. How do we go on? How do we move on with life and shift our focus back to the One who deserves it? How do we stop obsessing over the wrongs that occurred and start focusing on the only One who should be obsessed over? One word: Forgiveness.
When a person is soaked in sin and wants to return to Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala (exalted is He), they begin with repentance. The person whole-heartedly turns to Allah, asking Him to forgive utterly and completely, even though the asker may not be deserving. Likewise, the path back to Allah (swt) after a severely broken heart, at the hand of a human, is forgiveness. When it comes to forgiveness, the key is shifting how we see forgiveness. As always, Allah (swt) has given us a beautiful tool to make this shift, and that is the story of Prophet Yusuf `alayhi as-salaam (peace be upon him). Of the many fruitful parts of the story of Prophet Yusuf (as), is that of his being wronged by the wife of his master. She attempted to seduce our beloved Prophet Yusuf (as). Not only did she attempt to seduce him, but she landed him in jail by blaming him of the unthinkable instead of taking the blame! IMAGINE! This is a woman whom, as the wife of his master, he was supposed to be able to trust. This was a woman whom he served during the day. Yet when her desires took over, she wronged him many times over!
Despite all of this, Prophet Yusuf (as) did not act wrongfully, nor did he hold a grudge. Why? Prophet Yusuf (as) knew the reality of forgiveness. When all was exposed and the truth revealed, Yusuf (as) made a revolutionary statement. He said: “I do not free myself from all blame. Truly, the nafs (base self) is inclined to evil, except for those who my Lord grants His Mercy. Truly, my Lord is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” Allahu Akbar! (God is Greater!) A huge, humbling, life-changing lesson we can take from his statement is: You are not the oppressor in this situation only because Allah (swt) has blessed you with His Mercy.
Every soul has the ability to wrong others, every soul has the ability to be the oppressor, and only Allah’s mercy prevents that. The next time we begin to feel this immense and absolute anger towards the person who has harmed us—let’s make that shift, and forgive. Forgive the one who has wronged us not because that person deserves it; rather, forgive them as a sign of gratitude to Allah (swt). Forgive as a symbol of our thanking Him for blessing us to be of those who have never thought of hurting a person in the manner that we have had to endure. Forgive as a symbol of our thanking Him for making us the oppressed and not the oppressors.
There is no sin in being the oppressed; rather, Allah tells us that He is with the one who has been wronged and is constantly answering their du`a’ (supplication). But what of the oppressor? They have the anger of Allah (swt) and the displeasure of Allah (swt). And realize that the one who has oppressed you has oppressed themselves more. For it is that person who will have to stand in front of Allah (swt) on the Day of Judgment and have their oppression accounted for, if they are not of those who have repented. So on that Day, they will be their own greatest victims. Forgive as a statement that says, ‘Oh Allah I’m not forgiving them for their own sake, rather I am forgiving them as a sign of gratitude to You for steering me clear of those desires. I’m forgiving them out of my love for You. I’m forgiving them because I know You love it when a slave of Yours is merciful to others and I want to be of the ones that You love. My desires tell me to wish evil for them and to hold this grudge, but I put You over my own desire and I forgive them.’
Pray for those who hurt you. Pray for those who do not accept you. Love them for the sake of God. Pray that they realize their wrongs before they face their Lord. Pray that no one ever has to go through the same thing you did at the hands of this person. Love your oppressor for the sake of God, because love is the only emotion that is strong enough to penetrate a hardened heart, but know it will take time. Perhaps years, but you will be a better person because you chose to take the higher route: Forgiveness.
By : REEHAB RAMADAN
“When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everybody will respect you.”
One destructive habit is to constantly compare your life and yourself to other people and their lives. You compare cars, houses, jobs, shoes, money, relationships, social popularity and so on. And at the end of the day you create a lot of negative feelings within. And perhaps also outside of yourself.
But how can you stop doing it? Or at least get control of it and use it in a better way? Well, here are five tips that have helped me.
1. Be kind.
The way you behave and think towards others seems to have a big, big effect on how you behave towards yourself and think about yourself. Judge people more and you tend to judge yourself more. Be more kind to other people and help them and you tend to be more kind and helpful to yourself.
A bit counter intuitive perhaps, but that has been my experience. The more you love other people, the more your love yourself.
So focus your mind on helping people and being kind. This is very helpful to move away from judging yourself and others so much. And instead focus on the positive things in yourself and the people around you. You become more OK with yourself and the people in your world instead of ranking them and yourself and creating differences in your mind.
You are OK and so are they.
2. Don’t fall into the trap of hero worship.
When you start to make myths out of people – even though they may have produced extraordinary results – you run the risk of becoming disconnected from them. You can start to feel like you could never achieve similar things that they did because they are so very different. So it’s important to keep in mind that everyone is just a human being no matter who they are.
When you have some heroes you are likely to think more about the opposite too. And place people into neat and tidy folders. You may create villain-like images of people in your world.
But in truth, things can be kinda messy. Putting someone on a pedestal or making a villain out of them create barriers in your head and life. It may give you a sense of being right. But it can hold you back from positive experiences too.
Openness is in the long run more fun than being judgemental.
3. Just realize that you can’t win.
Just consciously realizing this can be helpful. No matter what you do you can pretty much always find someone else in the world that has more than you or are better than you at something. Yes, you may feel good for a while when you get a nicer car than you neighbour. But a week or two later you’ll see someone from the next block with an even finer car than yours.
4. Give up both sides of comparing.
If you can’t stop doing the negative comparisons then stop doing them both.
Because if you’re in the headspace where you compare to feel better about yourself then it’s hard to stop it and not also start to compare in way that make you feel worse and inferior. So you may need to step out of that whole comparing habit because the two sides are often connected. Give up the upside to be able to move away from the downside.
5. Compare yourself to yourself.
Instead of comparing yourself to other people create the habit of comparing yourself to yourself. See how much you have grown, what you have achieved and what progress you have made towards your goals.
This habit has the benefit of creating gratitude, appreciation and kindness towards yourself as you observe how far you have come, the obstacles you have overcome and the good stuff you have done. You feel good about yourself without having to think less of other people.
Bonus tip: Use helpful comparisons.
So are there no helpful comparisons that you do between yourself and other people? Sure there are. One exercise I use when I for example feel sorry for myself is to ask myself:
“Does someone have it worse on the planet?”
The answer may not result in positive thoughts, but it can sure snap you of a somewhat childish “poor, poor me…” attitude pretty quickly. I understand that I have much to be grateful for in my life.
This question changes my perspective from a narrow, self-centred one into a much wider one. It helps me to lighten up about my situation.
But if doing such helpful comparisons also leads you to constantly compare yourself to others in a negative way then you may need to stop and give up the comparing habit altogether as I mentioned in tip # 4.
And then later on, sometime in the future, when your mind is more peaceful and positive, you may want to incorporate questions like the one above. Or not. Experiment and find a balance and way that works for you.
The Positivity Blog to me
It is a well-known fact that the Prophet of Islam (p.b.u.h.) was the supremely successful man in the entire human history. But he was not just a hero, as Thomas Carlyle has called him. According to Quran, he was a good example for all mankind. He has shown us the way of achieving supreme success in this world.
By studying the life of the Prophet (p.b.u.h.), we can derive those important principles which were followed by the Prophet (p.b.u.h.). In short, the Prophet of Islam (p.b.u.h.) was a positive thinker in the full sense of the word. All his activities were result-oriented. He completely refrained from all such steps as may prove counter-productive.
First Principle: (To begin from the possible) This principle is well explained in a saying of Aishah. She said: “Whenever the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) had to choose between two options, he always opted for the easier choice.” (Al-Bukhari). To choose the easiest option means to begin from the possible, and one who begins from the possible will surely reach his goal.
Second Principle: (To see advantage in disadvantage) In the early days of Makkah, there were many problems and difficulties. At that time, a guiding verse in Quran was revealed. It said: “With every hardship there is ease, with every hardship there is ease.” (94/5-6). This means that if there are some problems, there are also opportunities at the same time. And the way to success is to ignore the problems and avail the opportunities.
Third Principle: (To change the place of action) This principle is derived from the Hijrah. Hijrah was not just a migration from Makkah to Madinah. It was to find a more suitable place for Islamic work, as history proved later on.
Fourth Principle: (To make a friend out of an enemy) The prophet of Islam (p.b.u.h.) was repeatedly subjected to practices of antagonism by the unbelievers. At that time Quran enjoined upon him the return of good for evil. And then, as Quran added, “You will see your direst enemy has become your closest friend” (41/34).
It means that a good deed in return of a bad deed has a conquering effect over your enemies. And the life of the Prophet is a historical proof of this principle.
Fifth Principle: (To turn minus into plus) After the Battle of Badr, about 70 of the unbelievers were taken as the prisoners of war. They were educated people. The Prophet (p.b.u.h.) announced that if any one of them would teach ten Muslim children how to read and write, he would be freed. This was the first school in the history of Islam in which all of the students were Muslims, and all of the teachers were from the enemy rank. Here I shall quote a British orientalist who remarked about the Prophet of Islam (p.b.u.h.): “He faced adversity with the determination to wring success out of failure.”
Sixth Principle: (The power of peace is stronger than the power of violence) When Makkah was conquered, all of the Prophet’s (p.b.u.h.) direst opponents were brought before him. They were war criminals, in every sense of the word. But the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) did not order to kill them. He simply said: “Go, you are free.” The result of this kind behavior was miraculous; they immediately accepted Islam.
Seventh Principle: (Not to be a dichotomous thinker) In the famous Ghazwa of Muta, Khalid Bin Walid decided to withdraw Muslim forces from the battlefield because he discovered that the enemy was disproportionately outnumbered. When they reached Madinah, some of the Muslims received them by the word “O Furrar” (O deserters!) The Prophet said: “No. They are Kurrar (men of advancement).”
Those Madinan people were thinking dichotomously, either fighting or retreating. The Prophet said no. There is also a third option, and that is to avoid war and find a time to strengthen yourself. Now history tells us that the Muslims, after three years of preparation, advanced again towards the Roman border and this time they won a resounding victory.
Eighth Principle: (To bring the battle in one’s own favorable field) This principle is derived from the Ghazwa of Hudaibiyya. At that time, the unbelievers were determined to engage Muslims in fighting, because obviously they were in an advantageous position. But the Prophet (p.b.u.h.), by accepting their conditions unilaterally, entered into a pact. It was a ten-year peace treaty. Until then, the meeting ground between Muslims and non-Muslims had been on the battlefield. Now the area of conflict became that of ideological debate. Within two years, Islam emerged as victorious because of the simple reason of its ideological superiority.
Ninth Principle: (Gradualism instead of radicalism) This principle is well-established by a Hadith of Al-Bukhari. Aishah says that the first verses of Quran were related mostly to heaven and hell. And then after a long time when the people’s hearts had softened, the specific commands to desist from adultery and drinking were revealed in Quran. This is a clear proof that for social changes, Islam advocates the evolutionary method, rather than the revolutionary method.
Tenth Principle: (To be pragmatic in controversial matters) During the writing of Hudaibiyya treaty, the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) dictated these words: “This is from Muhammad, the Messenger of God.” The Quraishi delegate raised objections over these words. The Prophet (p.b.u.h.) promptly changed the word and ordered to write simply Muhammad, son of Abdullah.
These were the principles through which the Prophet of Islam (p.b.u.h.) gained that success which has been recognized by historians as the supreme success.
In the end, I would like to repeat those ten principles of success:
1. To begin from the possible
2. To see advantage in disadvantage
3. To change the place of action
4. To make a friend out of an enemy
5. To turn minus into plus
6. The power of peace is stronger than the power of violence
7. Not to be a dichotomous thinker
8. To bring the battle in one’s own favorable field
9. Gradualism instead of radicalism
10. To be pragmatic in controversial matters
By: Maulana Wahiduddin Khan
Source : Principles of Success