How I’ve been robbed of the Prophet Muhammad (saw)

One thing that sucks as a convert is the defensive way in which we have to learn about the Prophet (saw), and about Islam in general.  

Unfortunately, my appreciation and love for the Prophet grows slowly, because my view of him did not begin in a positive–as is likely the case for many Muslims around the world–or even neutral fashion at all.  Since the time people knew I was interested in Islam to this day, I am bombarded with difficult and allegedly controversial questions, myths, and slanders regarding his life.  “Why did he have multiple wives?”, “Did he behead Jews?”, “Would he go on raids?”, “What about ‘Aisha’s young age?”, etc.

So, in a sense, we’re pushed by many of our non-Muslim friends–including our family, who are at best skeptical of his authority as prophet and at worst appalled at the horrible slanders about him–to learn about his life in a defensive way, starting with the worst claims about him.  

They expect to us to be ready to answer these questions.

And even when you can tell apart the myths from the truth, and when you know the context of the time in which he lived, and when you’re sure in your heart that he was a wonderful person, you’re still haunted by these and many more questions.

And this is all very jading.  Refuting these things are not the first thing I want to learn about my prophet.  I want to hear about how he would smile to people; how he would help clean up around the house; how he would sprinkle water on ‘Aisha’s face to wake her to pray; how he would foot race her; how he would solve disputes between peoples; how he was known before becoming a prophet as a gentle, just, and righteous person; how he would make sure everyone was fed before he ate his meals; how he would pamper his grandchildren; etc.

Alhamdulillah, he is still one of my biggest heroes.  But I can’t help but wonder what it would have been like to grow up listening to those and many more sweet stories about the Prophet (saw) before hearing the more “controversial” claims about his life.  (And they’re only ever “controversial” when you don’t understand the context in which he lived–not to mention that many of these stories are either exaggerated or fabricated altogether).

I pray that my love for the Last Prophet of God only increase and that my efforts to imitate his beautiful character help me strengthen my connection to God.  Finally, I sincerely pray that non-Muslims also get to appreciate Muhammad (saw) as we Muslims understand him, and that the slanders against his character vanish.  Ameen.

It is so important to feel genuine happiness for others without making comparisons to yourself or your life. The way to achieve this is to accept, embrace & celebrate your destiny knowing that it is the best for you. This happiness is a demonstration of your trust in the Master Plan.
—  Halel Banani

silenti asked:

Hello. I am Fatima. I was born into Christianity but I want to be educated and I want to understand as much as I can about Islam, the faith and the people. I live in the Philippines and we have Islamic brothers & sisters here too, but I have not been privileged enough to be taught about their culture and beliefs. I don't think the internet is a reliable source, so if you could be so kind to educate me, or to lead me as to where I could begin learning? Thank you so much! :)

Fatima! Thanks so much for reaching out to me. So cool because you have a Muslim name (Fatima was the name of Mohammed’s first daughter!) I think that’s really beautiful and I’m so happy/impressed and wished there were others like you that explored religions outside of their own just for learning. It would help us all if we invested in others as much as we do ourselves.

I think a good resource would be the Al-Ghazali and Zaytuna institute. Also Hamza Yusuf is a very smart articulate speaker as well as Tariq Ramadan—who writes so eloquently about Muslims in the West. is run by my friend Amani who is a genius and it provides a space for Muslim women to talk freely and openly. LoveInshallah is a great publication that talks about diversity of the Muslim experience i.e love, sex, etc. 

Other than that I love Muslim history—from the Age of Renaissance where scholars like Ibn Sina studied science, medicine, mathematics, etc—to someone like Rumi who was a devout Muslim poet whose poetry is all a dedication to God. Hafiz is a great poet too. The history of Muslim women is unbelievable!

I hope this is a good start. Good luck!

The danger in living between obedience and sin is that you don’t know in which state you will die.


Writer/Motivational Speaker

Ask forgiveness of Allah by Shaikh Dr. ‘Abdur-Razaq al-badr  حفظه الله

Allaah, the Most High, in encouragement of seeking forgiveness, and in making clear its excellence and its fruits both in this worldly life and in the Hereafter, refer to what Nūh عليه السلام‎ said:

“I said (to them): 'Ask forgiveness from your Lord; Verily, He is Oft-Forgiving; 'He will send rain to you in abundance; 'And give you increase in wealth and children, and bestow on you gardens and bestow on you rivers.’ ” [Surah 71; Verses 10-12]

This tremendous āyah promises numerous benefits and offers important lessons for those who seek forgiveness and for those who constantly ask forgiveness for their sins.

It is related that a man came to al-Hasan al-Basrī رحمه الله‎ , the noble Taabi'ee, and complained to him of poverty. So he said to him,

“Ask forgiveness of Allāh”.

Another man came to him complaining that he did not have any children. So he said to him,

“Ask forgiveness of Allāh”.

A third man came to him complaining of the barrenness of his garden. So he said to him,

“Ask forgiveness of Allāh”.

He then recited to them the saying of Allāh, the Perfect and Most High:

“I said (to them): 'Ask forgiveness from your Lord; Verily, He is Oft-Forgiving; 'He will send rain to you in abundance; 'And give you increase in wealth and children, and bestow on you gardens and bestow on you rivers.’ ” [Surah 71; Verses 10-12]

These then are some of the fruits of seeking forgiveness and some of its benefits in the worldly life.

The Explanation of The Dua of Seeking Forgiveness (Sayyidul Istaghfar) - Shaikh Dr. 'Abdur-Razaq al-badr  حفظه الله

شرح حديث سيد الاستغفار - للشيخ عبد الرزاق البدر حفظه الله


Truly in the heart there is a void that can not be removed except with the company of Allah. And in it there is a sadness that can not be removed except with the happiness of knowing Allah and being true to Him.

And in it there is an emptiness that can not be filled except with love for Him and by turning to Him and always remembering Him.

And if a person were given all of the world and what is in it, it would not fill this emptiness.

—  Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyya
والإيمان هو الذي يحرك الإنسان ويوجهه ويولّد فيه طاقات هائلة، لم تكن لتظهر بدونه، بل هو ينشئه خلقًا جديدًا ويولّد فيه طاقات هائلة، لم تكن لتظهر بدونه، بل هو ينشئه خلقًا جديدًا، بروح جديدة، وعقل جديد، وعزم جديد، وفلسفة جديدة. كما رأينا ذلك في سحرة فرعون حين آمنوا برب موسى وهارون، وتحدّوا جبروت فرعون، وقالوا له في شموخ واستعلاء: “فَاقْضِ مَا أَنْتَ قَاضٍ إِنَّمَا تَقْضِي هَذِهِ الْحَيَاةَ الدُّنْيَا”. ـ

al-Iman (faith) is that which puts man into motion; it directs him and creates in him tremendous powers that wouldn’t manifest without it. It rebuilds him into a new creation, with a new spirit, a new mind, a new resolve, and a new philosophy in life. We saw this in the story of the magicians of the Pharaoh when they believed in the Lord of Moses and Aaron, challenged the tyranny of the Pharaoh, and with all the confidence in the world they said to him: “Then decide (regarding us) whatever you want to decide, your decision can only affect this worldly life.” (Quran 20:72)

Page 210
How can we strengthen our eemaan?

Response by Shaykh Maahir al-Qahtaani: 

Ahlus Sunnah wal Jama’ah are in agreement that eemaan increases with obedience and it decreases with disobedience.  

Allah says what is translated to mean:

As for those who believe, it has increased their Faith, and they rejoice.

(at-Tawbah 9:124)

In order for your eemaan to increase, you have to increase in your worship to Allah subhanahu wa ta’aala. Actions, like the recitation of the Qur’an and pondering over its meaning, standing in the last part of the night prayer, fasting during the day, obedience to your husband and not using your tongue for disobedience will increase your eemaan.  

It is the removal of all of those things which are evil, and to purify yourself from those things, that will increase your eemaan. If a person wants to do a particular sin and their soul inclines towards that sin, if he leaves it off then, this is a cause for your eemaan to increase. If a person is commanded to do some type of worship and he does it seeking the face of Allah, then that increases your eemaan also.

From: The Rectification of the Muslim Women in the West with Q&A in London with Shaykh Maahir al-Qahtaani (Hafidhahullaahu ta'aala) - 02/12/2011

My first day out in hijab. This is a huge step for me. I haven’t declared my faith publicly yet but I’m doing that very soon. I know I needed to make this step first because wearing hijab is something I believe in, and I had to be certain I could deal with the publics view of me wearing it. If you’re a Muslim please be gentle with me. I’m new, I’m learning, and I’m beginning a new life. I know I’ll probably mess things up along the way but this is my journey, and I know my heart is pure. And I know Allah can see what’s inside my heart. Inshallah I’ll continue to grow and learn more about Islam and hopefully along the way I’ll be able to inspire people the way modesthijabi has inspired me.