The delights of Paradise surpass the imagination and defy description. They are like nothing known to the people of this world; no matter how advanced we may become, what we achieve is as nothing in comparison with the joys of the Hereafter. As is mentioned in several reports, there is nothing like Paradise:
“It is sparkling light, aromatic plants, a lofty palace, a flowing river, ripe fruit, a beautiful wife and abundant clothing, in an eternal abode of radiant joy, in beautiful soundly-constructed high houses“. [Ibn Maajah, as-Sunan, Kitaab az-Zuhd, Baab Sifaat al-Jannah, 2/1448, no. 4332. Ibn Hibbaan narrated it in his saheeh]
The Sahabah asked the Prophet (saw) about the buildings of Paradise and he replied with a wonderful description:
“Bricks of gold and silver, and mortar of fragrant musk, pebbles of pearl and sapphire, and soil of saffron. Whoever enters it is filled with joy and will never feel miserable; he will live there forever and never die; their clothes will never wear out and their youth will never fade.” [Ahmad, at-Tirmidhi, ad-Daarimee, Mishkaat al-Masaabeeh, 3/29, sahih].
Allah (swt) indeed spoke the truth when He (swt) said: “And when you look there [in Paradise] you will see a delight [that cannot be imagined]. and a great dominion” [76:20]
What Allah (swt) has kept hidden from us the delights of Paradise is beyond our ability to comprehend: al-Bukhaari reported from Abu Hurayrah (ra) that the Prophet (saw) said that Allah (swt) said, “I have prepared for My slaves what no eye has seen, no ear has heard and no human heart can imagine”. Recite if you wish, “No person know what is kept hidden for them of joy as a reward for what they used to do.” (32:17).
In the version reported by Muslim from Abu Hurayrah, there is the addition, “Never mind what Allah has told you; what He has not told you is EVEN greater”.
MUSAB was born into a wealthy family headed by a mother whose strength of personality and dominating character were well-known in Makkah. Musab was given everything a young person could dream of. He wore the most fashionable clothes and shoes, mixed with the most popular and notable people of his area, and was greatly admired by all. Added to this was his natural personality: he was a good communicator; he had a bright intelligent mind; he was quick and alert and so was allowed to attend the most prestigious meetings with intelligent, elderly, and noble people. Musab had everything a young person of his time could ever dream of. So what could ever make him consider giving it all up?
Musab had grown up without fear of anything or anyone. He was sure of himself, kind, confident, and clever but nevertheless he was just a human being. The one thing that Musab feared was his own mother. She was a strong and fierce woman and was well-known as such. After considering his situation for some time Musab decided to keep his acceptance of Islam a secret for a while until the best way showed itself. In the meantime, he continued to visit the house of Al-Arqam where he received knowledge about Islam and learnt the Qur’an.
Makkah was full of spies and informants and so it wasn’t long before Musab’s comings and goings were noted and reported. His mother wanted to beat him and degrade him to compensate herself for the sorrow and humiliation she felt. But then she thought of something better and perhaps more lasting. She ordered her servants to take her son and bind him tightly; keep him a prisoner in his own home.
As usual Musab remained calm but sought the first opportunity to escape. Allah the Almighty opened the way for him and he left with a group of the Muslims who were heading for Abyssinia seeking safety there from the persecution of the Makkans. So Musab left his mother, his home, his wealth, the city of the childhood and headed off to the unknown. His sure and strong faith in Allah made him strong, determined, and peaceful.
Anas b. Malik reported: A tailor invited the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) to a meal which he had prepared. Anas b. Malik said: I went along with the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) to that feast. He presented to the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) barley bread and soup containing pumpkin, and sliced pieces of meat. Anas said: I saw the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) going after the pumpkin round the dish, so I have always liked the pumpkin since that day. [Muslim Book #023, Hadith #5067]
Our beloved Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him and his family) liked to eat this type of vegetable and although it’s not exactly the orange pumpkin we find at our grocery stores today , it is a vegetable from the same family as pumpkins and sqashes.
The following are facts about orange pumpkins, including tips & recipes for a variety of dishes!
Fast Facts about Pumpkins
The pulp from this low-fat, low-sodium vegetable is an ancient, healthful power food.
One cup of cooked pumpkin has 564 mg of potassium, 2650 IU of vitamin A (providing an amazing 310% RDA) and just 80 calories. A half cup serving gives you a day’s worth of these protective pigments. Pumpkin also provides fiber, vitamin C, potassium, and phosphorus.
Note: Vitamin A deficiency is the leading cause of preventable blindness and a major cause of infant deaths.
Pumpkins are orange because they contain massive amounts of lutein, alpha- and beta-carotene. These nutrients turn to vitamin A in the body.
Adding beta carotene to your diet could reduce your risk of developing certain types of cancer, including prostate, and protect against heart disease. In the past, this staple was used to treat various ailments, including snakebites and…freckles!
Pumpkin seeds contain protective compounds called phytosterols, which may be responsible for shrinking the prostate. They also contain chemicals that may prevent some transformation of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT). High levels of DHT are associated with enlarged prostate.
90% of all pumpkins sold in the United States are used for Jack-o’-lanterns.
It is He Who produceth gardens, with trellises and without, and dates, and tilth with produce of all kinds, and olives and pomegranates, similar (in kind) and different (in variety): eat of their fruit in their season, but render the dues that are proper on the day that the harvest is gathered. But waste not by excess: for Allah loveth not the wasters. [Qu’ran 6:141]
When Abu Bakr Siddique (may Allah be pleased with him) was once asked about man’s enemies in this life, he answered “Satan, human nature, life and caprice.” I intend to throw some light on these four enemies hoping to know them well will help us discover how to overcome them.
As for Satan, he was the first one to commit a sin when he refused to prostrate to Adam as Allah ordered him. Allah says in the Qur’an: “And (remember) when We said to the angels: ‘Prostrate yourselves before Adam.’ And they prostrated except Iblis (Satan), he refused and was proud and was one of the disbelivers.” (2:34)
The Satan also instigated Adam and Eve to eat from the Forbidden Tree and as a result, they were dismissed from Heaven. “But Satan whispered evil to him: he said, “O Adam! Shall I lead thee to the Tree of Eternity and to a kingdom that never waste away?” Then they both ate of the tree, and so their private parts became manifest to them: and they began to cover themselves with the leaves of the Paradise for their covering. Thus did Adam disobey his Lord, so he went astray.” (20:120-121)
Then Satan vowed to instigate the progeny of Adam to commit sins in moments of passion, weakness, temptation and seduction. However on the Day of Judgment, Satan would let his followers down by claiming that they were fully responsible for their mistakes, that is, his role was only tempting and alluring them. “And Satan will say when the matter has been decided: ‘Verily, Allah promised you a promise of truth. And I too promised you, but I betrayed you. I had no authority over you except that I called you and you responded to me: So blame me not, but blame yourselves. I cannot help you, nor can you help me. I deny your former act in associating me (Satan) as a partner with Allah. Verily, there is a painful torment for the Zalimun (polytheists and wrong-doers).” (14:22)
As for the second enemy, namely, human nature, it can be said that since his birth a man lives in the midst of a conflict, a conflict between good and evil and it is for his human nature to make the choice. Also it is his deep faith in Allah that makes him able to resist the weakness of human nature and look down upon the transient pleasures of life.
Life is man’s third enemy. Life here simply means all the worldly pleasures that tempt man to move away from the path of Allah. The most tempting pleasure that may make man commit sins is money. A lot of people think that money talks, money walks, meaning that money can do anything. They simply see the bright side of money but they forget or tend to forget that money is the root of all evils. However, this does not mean that people should not earn money or try to be rich. They simply have to strike a balance between earning money and abiding by values and principles.
Caprice is man’s fourth enemy; it refers to the whims and fancies that lead man to go astray in this life. Man has to remember what Imam Ali Ibn Abi Talib said: “Life is short, spend it in obeying Allah and your human nature is greedy, teach it to be contented.” In this respect, Al-Hasan Al-Basri also said: “Your life is just a number of days, once a day passes, part of your life is taken away.”
The Messenger of Allah (saw – may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “God has placed truth upon Umar’s tongue and heart.”
‘Umar’s (may Allah be pleased with him) Life
During his last illness Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) had conferred with his people, particularly the more eminent among them. After this meeting they chose ‘Umar as his successor. ‘Umar was born into a respected Quraysh family thirteen years after the birth of Muhammad (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). Umar’s family was known for its extensive knowledge of genealogy. When he grew up, ‘Umar was proficient in this branch of knowledge as well as in swordsmanship, wrestling and the art of speaking. He also learned to read and write while still a child, a very rare thing in Mecca at that time. ‘Umar earned his living as a merchant. His trade took him to many foreign lands and he met all kinds of people. This experience gave him an insight into the affairs and
problems of men. ‘Umar’s personality was dynamic, self-assertive, frank and straight forward. He always spoke whatever was on his mind even if it displeased others.
‘Umar was twenty-seven when the Prophet Muhammad proclaimed his mission. The ideas Muhammad was preaching enraged him as much as they did the other notables of Mecca. He was just as bitter against anyone accepting Islaam as others among the Quraish. When his slave-girl accepted Islaam he beat her until he himself was exhausted and told her, “I have stopped because I am tired, not out of pity for you.” The story of his embracing Islaam is an interesting one. One day, full of anger against the Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him), he drew his sword and set out to kill him. A friend met him on the way. When ‘Umar told him what he planned to do, his friend informed him that ‘Umar’s own sister, Fatimah, and her husband had also accepted Islaam. ‘Umar went straight to his sister’s house where he found her reading from pages of the Qur’an. He fell upon her and beat her mercilessly. Bruised and bleeding, she told her brother, “Umar you can do what you like, but you cannot turn our hearts away from Islaam.” These words produced a strange effect upon ‘Umar . What was this faith that made even weak women so strong of heart? He asked his sister to show him what she had been reading; he was at once moved to the core by the words of the Qur’an and immediately grasped their truth. He went straight to the house where the Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him) was staying and vowed allegiance to him.
To prevent family disorders, married men and women need to keep certain points in mind and practice them in their lives, as below:
1) One of the basic points for successful family life is self-knowledge. Every man and woman has certain capabilities and limitations, which they need to discover within themselves. The husband and wife, who are clearly aware of their good and bad points and the reality of their personalities, will have fewer disputes in their family lives. Then it is necessary that the husband and wife accept one another and love one another with all his/her faults and finer points.
2) The husband and wife should respect one another and should not do anything to cause disrespect or hate in the other party. Married couples should hold themselves and their spouses in high regard and should be aware that if they want or like their spouses to be or act according to their own opinions, it is only going to be a waste of time and effort. People are all different. Married couples should accept one another as they are, and not try to compare one another to others, because this only inflicts psychological injury.
3) Married couples should foster their talents. Couples can become acquainted with their particular talents in various fields, for example, sports, physical expertise, interest in study, and other fields. The more that couples study and read about different topics, on a daily basis, the more valuable their lives will become.
4) Couples need to form close relationships with others. The reason for many family disputes lies in separation and seclusion from others. A husband and wife, who like others are part of the society, need the support, calm and assurance that come from others – ( e.g., family members, friends, neighbors, etc.). For this reason it is necessary to have close, active affectionate and at the same time healthy and well-rooted relationships with others in order to prevent family disputes.
It’s interesting how we correct our mistakes while scribing with different tools of writing. What’s even more interesting are the different ways we employ to correct our mistakes.
- Some of us would simply strike out the mistake and continue with writing.
- Some would use the correction pen and rewrite over it.
- Some would tear off the whole page and rewrite the whole thing from the beginning.
This perhaps to some extent tells us about the way we correct the mistakes we make in our lives.
There is no doubt that man by his nature is compelled to correct himself and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. What is fascinating is the way one adopts to do it.
Those among us who would simply strike off a mistake leaving it noticeable for others to see it clearly are perhaps those who believe ‘to err is human.’
Although, some would cover up their mistake with the ink of the pen so much so that nothing can be seen or understood from it except the knowledge that there was a mistake. What was it will remain a mystery.
Those who use the correction pen are one step ahead and are more organized i.e. their mistakes should not be seen while their correction should be clearly seen.
The strangest of all are those who would tear off the whole page on realizing that somewhere while writing they made a single mistake.
Now, if life were to be substituted with paper and our actions were words written on it then which type of a person will we prefer to be?
Without a doubt, we won’t want others to know the mistakes we’ve made. The words that Islam has stipulated to seek forgiveness certainly make sense about this nature. We say ‘Astaghfirullah’ (I seek Allah’s forgiveness) when we commit a mistake. The word ‘Ghafara’ linguistically means ‘to cover’ and by saying “Astaghfirullah” we’re asking Allah to cover up our sins!
Seek Allah’s Forgiveness, for when Allah covers up none can expose it!