Alhamdulillah I was blessed with the chance to go for sister Yasmin Mogahed’s talk in Masjid Wilayah Persekutuan, Kuala Lumpur recently, despite my busy work schedule(yes, I was working that day) and home commitments. As expected, the lecture hall was full, with about 95% female attendance. Which is a sign of how much she speaks to the hearts of the ladies.
These are amongst the points that I managed to gather during the talk:
(1) Partners and children are gifts
Many of us make the above du’a everyday.We ask Allah to give us gifts of a partner and children who are the coolness (comfort) of our eyes. We asked for gifts. We do not not deserve gifts. Nobody does. In this ayat, partners and children are considered gifts, given to those whom Allah wanted.
Therefore we should not look down on those who do not have the gifts. Those who are married should not look down on those who are not, be it never married or divorces. Just because you have your gift does not mean it will not be taken away. Those who have children should not look down upon those who do not.
Allah has chosen some of us to receive His gifts, and some others, not. He has His reasons, and we don’t know what they are. We have no rights to speculate. He could also choose to take the gifts away whenever He decides that the time is right. It is in His calendar, His plans, not ours. We have no rights to judge those whose gifts have been taken away.
And we shall not despair if we have not been given the gifts yet. While waiting, we shall work on point number two:
(2) We could only give if we are rich ourselves.
It is human nature to dislike the needy. People, on general, do not like it when others are too dependant, always asking but never giving.
Those who always give are always loved.
In our relationships, we should all strive to be givers. We shall not come into a relationship empty inside, and expecting to be filled by that relationship. We should not expect to be ‘saved’ by another person.
We should strive for our own fulfilment, increase our knowledge of the deen and this life, fill our hearts with love for humanity, be healthy, feed ourselves full with energy. We do not depend on others to do that, we should do it ourselves. We must only depend on Allah SWT to help us in achieving all this, to make it easy for us. For only Allah love beggars – beggars for His help and His strength and His power, for He has endless strength, endless knowledge, limitless power.
It is only by being rich inside that we could give in a relationship. The generous will be loved, and the generous would usually get back even more – it is the rule of life. Although we don’t give expecting to get back; it will happen anyway.
(3) When she asked, “Do you notice that whenever we ask Allah for patience or strength, things get more difficult for us?”, most of us laughed and thoroughly agreed. “It is like going to a fitness instructor asking to make us strong. Of course, the instructor would give us more weights to lift.
She said, there is a way around it. Instead of asking for patience, we should ask for ease in whatever we do. If it is our temper that we are concerned about, then we should ask Him for ease in controlling our temper. If we are concerned about difficulties in life, then ask Him to make it easy for us to overcome those trials.
It is ok to re-word our du’as. Prophet Ibrahim AS did that when he completed the building of Kaabah and he asked Allah to bless all his offsprings. When his du’as were partially answered, he re-worded his prayers so that somehow all of his offsprings would be successful. Of course, Allah had other plans.
(4) The five languages of love. Gary Chapman wrote about five languages of love in his book. They are gift giving, quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service and physical touch.
We often hear people in relationships saying things like this:
Wife, “You never said you love me.”
Husband, “But I fixed your car.”
Many women love to hear words of affirmation, and men often show their love with physical touch, or acts of service. Showing different languages of love is like speaking two different languages, and often couples do not understand each other.
Therefore it is important to learn each others’ language of love, and at the same time try to ‘speak’ in all five languages as proof of our love. Then perhaps our relationships will become stronger.
(5) Believe in Allah. He is the Perfect Planner. We need to trust Him, and get closer to Him.
She launched her latest book that weekend:
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The Power of Du’a
Like I said, I was working that morning. My job is such that I could not promise anyone whether I could finish on time. Patients get very sick anytime, those who are admitted can be very sick and need a lot of attention, sometimes there are just too many patients. So, although it was a Sunday, and I was supposed to work from 8am to at most 12 noon, it could drag until 2pm.
Sister Yasmin’s talk was scheduled to start at 3pm. Although the masjid is very near my workplace, if I finish work at 2pm, I still needed to perform solat, have lunch, and brave through the possible traffic. So I did what a Muslim has got to do: make lots of du’a to Allah that I would finish early that day, that is before 12pm.
That day, the specialist who was supposed to do rounds was the kind of person who sometimes has too much attention to details. Well, attention to details is only good to certain extent; we don’t want to over-treat, over-investigate or over-judge our colleagues for not doing certain things that we might have done. That’s a different story altogether.
Anyway, after praying hard a few days prior to the event, I came to work that morning putting all my trust in Allah that He will grant my prayers. It was not even 8am that I received a text message that another specialist replaced her that day. Indeed he helped us see half the ward himself (with the house officers), and we finished our rounds by 10.45am!!
I learnt fairly recently that we can be as specific as we want in making our du’as. Allah is Rich, He is Powerful, He could grant us anything.
And yes, pray for others too.
After the talk, I drove home in heavy rain.
It rained in my car too.
You see, I also prayed for something else when I asked Allah to make my job easy. It is for something out of ordinary, something that I could not possibly do on my own or with help of other human beings that I know of. Only Allah could help me with it.
I remember beginning to ask Allah for it because of a lecture I heard from Sister Yasmin back in 2015. The talk of which I brought my mom and sister along.
I cried thinking about how my du’as were easily answered that morning.
I cried thinking about the other du’a that I made together.
I cried thinking of the day it comes true.
Indeed Allah is Great.
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After all that spiritual experience, I just had to stop at Masjid Tengku Ampuan Jemaah in Bukit Jelutong, Shah Alam for maghrib prayers. It was a beautiful evening, with heavy rain making me make du’a even more obsessively.
Which ayat did the imam choose to read that evening? These were the ones: