Monday, October 14, 2013

When the whole world is squeezed to serve you

I received an amazing comment as a response to yesterday's post. Because its so amazing, i decided to turn it into a post for the benefit of all of us:

"there was one time, during jaulah in Indonesia, we met an ikhwan who is:
1. a governor of the province where we were jaulah-ing.
2. a father of ten kids of varying ages.
3. a husband.
4. a murabbi for a lot of circles (in Indonesia, it's normal for a murabbi to hold ten or more circles)
5. a mutarabbi himself.
6. a writer.

and a whole lot more.

When we asked him, how in the world did he manage to manage his time?

His answer: if you do D&T, you will get quality of time, masa yang berkah*, insyaAllah."

*time that is blessed

That is absolutely true. These people can do a lot of things because Allah blessed their time. It is as the Prophet said:

"Take care of (your duties with) Allah, Allah will take care of you".

When you squeeze every ounce of your energy and time to serve Allah, Allah will squeeze the world to serve you. 

New highways will be built to connect the ports inside your brain, until you can understand more than anyone else, faster than anyone else and understand them in ways no one thought about before.

You will be given inspiration to do things in new ways, combine two things at one go or do things in a simpler fashion.

You will be helped when all roads are blocked.

This is barakah, blessing. This is something that, unfortunately, we have forgotten in the present materialistic, calculative world.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Squeeze: The art of being in 5 places at 1 time

The Qur'an is fascinating. In a short sentence or even in one word it can convey a thousand meanings.

"Indeed, We have made it an Arabic Qur'an that you might understand." (Az Zukhruf:3)

I was initially puzzled by the verse above. We made the Qur'an in Arabic so that "you may understand"? That is logical in the beginning centuries of islam, when a majority of muslims were Arabs. But how can an arabic Qur'an be understood when the majority of muslims now are non-Arabs?

But the Qur'an is true every time, all the time.

Allah made the arabic language special. It is a very subtle language and beautiful to listen to as well. Arabic is a language where you can say a lot by saying a little, making it the best language in which to reveal the Qur'an. One word in Arabic can have many meanings, and all these meanings are true. That is why Arabic is used so 'you might understand', because if it was revealed in any other language people might have trouble understanding this religion fully.

we'll look at the meaning of ONE WORD used in The Book to understand the secrets of time management.

Du'at have a heavy burden on their backs. We have to be active in da'wah, while excelling in whatever studies/jobs we're involved in, AND at the same time be good children/fathers/mothers/brothers/sisters/friends. AND try to save the world from global taghut-ism while being steady like a boss.

Which means we have to do DOUBLE the work of everyone else. So time management is absolutely crucial.

I know of one brother who handles at least 10 projects at work, has a family to take care of, has a blog, and managed to write a book. And I heard that in addition to bringing up children and circle-buddies, he also farms lobsters. 

"my man, you must be joking!"
No joke. And the secret to time management is simple. We just look at the meaning of a word used to describe time in the Qur'an.

العصر (Al 'Asr)

"I was expecting a ground-breaking theory, and you give me one word from the Qur'an" 
Aha, let's see how special this one word is.

'Asr doesn't necessarily mean time. 

 عصر - pressing, squeezing out, wringing; age, era, time; period; epoch; afternoon; afternoon prayer

To squeeze out. In surah an Naba' clouds are described as المعصرات, i.e "the squeezers" (of rain). The use of the term 'Asr to describe time is appropriate because time is always being squeezed, its always running out, that's why disbelieving people are in a state of loss.

That is the nature of time. It is squeezed. We can derive from this two simple steps to use time wisely:

1. SQUEEZE OUT bad/useless things, SQUEEZE IN good things
By promising to sell ourselves to Allah, we have understood that the enjoyment of this life is temporary and paradise is better and more everlasting. Forget about doing clearly bad things, we should even be cutting down on things that are permissible but are of no real benefit.

"From the (signs of) goodness of a person's Islam, he abandons what does not concern him" (Tirmidhi)

We sometimes hear people say 'i don't have time to study Islam' or 'i don't have time to read qur'an', but these same people can spend hours 'catching up with friends' on facebook (stalking) or defeating imaginary trolls and goblins. Du'at should have little or no idle time.

Allah created 24 hours to be enough for our needs. We just need to defeat our inner trolls and goblins and focus on doing things that can save us when we meet Allah.

2. SQUEEZE MORE out of your daily schedule
Be more efficient. Get more out of doing the same thing.

"I don't have time to exercise. I'm a desk potato at the office".

Here's a suggestion: Don't take the elevators. Walk up the stairs. Even better, run up the stairs! 

"I'm tough as bricks. And I also memorise the Qur'an. Hasta la vista iblis"

You can recite the ma'thurat while ironing clothes in the morning. You can download quran recitations and memorise qur'an while driving or taking the train. You can listen to recordings whilst being stuck in the traffic jam, rather than listen to random stuff on the radio.

"Give me a break can you? Only crazy and obsessed people can follow these punishing schedules. Rilek-rilek sudeh" (let me relax)

You have to be crazy and obsessed to change something as big as the whole world. Yes, the schedule of a du'at is tight and 'punishing'. But on the day of judgment, there's no bigger punishment for a person than the time he wasted on Earth.

Let's repeat that again: Squeeze Out, Squeeze In, Squeeze More.

Easy peasy lemon squeasy.

Great men throughout history practised these time management principles: they commit themselves fully to their causes, leaving little time for anything else. And they have razor-sharp precision and effiency in carrying out their actions.

Take charge and squeeze your time, otherwise it will squeeze you dry.

Friday, October 4, 2013

What if - green britannia

*If the muslims overtook france and reached britain, would we be reading english in arabic letters? *wink* ;)

Something to think about.

Fact:in the 8th century, muslim armies blitzed through spain and france until they reached Tours, 200+ kilometres from paris. At the battle of tours (732), muslims were winning when the tables turned. Some muslims within the army were more concerned with guarding the spoils of war, creating an opportunity for the Franks to counterattack. If they had won, my alma mater would probably be called 'al madrasah al- ittisadiyah london' instead of the london school of economics

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

in the not-too-distant future: exams