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Monday, May 31, 2010

6 steps to inner peace from Mufti Muhammad ibn Adam lecture at RIS

Hadith: Laisal ghinna an kathratil arad wa la kinnal ghinna ghinnan nafs (Richness is not to have an abundance of what you want, but rather richness is inner contentment of the heart.)

6 Steps to Gain Inner Peace/Contentment:


1) Look at who is lower than you not the ones above you, if you do that you'll never be ungrateful for the bounties of Allah upon you (hadith)

hadith: if you come upon someone who is blessed with more than you in wealth and health, immediately look at people below you

2)  Remove love of dunya from our hearts.

hadith: Hubbud duniya ra'su kulli khateea (love of dunya is the root of every sin)

3) Don't have any expectations from the creation of Allah.

Even when being good to family, you do it for the sake of Allah, not for people to be good to you in return. Expect nothing from anyone.

4) Constantly remember death.

If you remember how short life is after which there is eternity, no amount of tribulation in this world will bother you.

Hadith: kun fid dunya ka annaka ghareebun aw aabirus sabeel (be in this world as if you are a stranger or traveller).

5) Recite the book of Allah everyday (especially in the morning)

6) Be optimistic and try to smile as much as possible.


Notes collected by a family member.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Family Tree




A wooden piece under 7 square small canvases.

A gift I made for Shaykh Hamza and his family. I was very nervous to present this to him and the first few encounters were fruitless. The man is just too buy and people constantly hover around him. When I was given the chance, I had a change of heart. I still have it in wrapped in it's original a gift bag with a signed note.

It just wasn't meant to be.

One day I will change the names of this tree. And at this time, I do not know what those names will be. I'll be patient. :)


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Nikkah







A child busy rearranging the flower petals from the Masjid's fountain.



My first (and hopefully not my last) trip to Masjid Al-Farooq for a most blessed occasion. It's truly the most beautiful masjid I've set foot in the U.S. I wanted to capture more of the intricate and ordain architecture, but I wasn't able to.
I was; however, able to capture something that's even more important. I've come to truly realize--physically and emotionally that even the most basic things we demand and desire for ourselves should never be thought of as "basic" Getting a job, getting married, having children are all on everyone's "to-do" list and we expect that eventually we'll reach that phase in our lives because we tell ourselves it's a basic need. In reality, it's a tremendous blessing from Allah. As is being able to breath, being able to swallow food, being able to wiggle your toes, being able to sense your toes...and so on. My epiphany seems very self-evident, and of course I knew of my blessings and the blessings of others...but's it's another thing to be actually sense them and feel the tremendous bounty from your heart, to your shoulders, and into your eyes.

Allah is so gracious.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Amish Country. Lancaster, PA








I wasn't not able to pray side by side with my fellow friends of faith, but I was able to pray Dhur on an empty country field... in solitude. And that was probably a better spiritual experience. The earth was warm and the wind was powerful yet gentle. Visiting Lancaster was a surreal and peaceful experience. Balance is a difficult concept to understand and obtain. But so is simplicity. The inhabitants of this town are hardworking, friendly and beautiful. And surprising the fresh smell of horse manure makes me want to inhale longer. I don't understand it either :)