Episode Synopsis:

Ustaad Abdul Ahad joins us for episode 240 discussing the day to day life in a Muslim, from keeping promises to being too inquisitive, and how to gain maximum productivity. He shares incredible advises that we can implement in our speech, and mannerisms that can ultimately change our character for the better. some things that are frowned upon, we may not even realise we do them because we’ve just adapted to bad habits!

At the start of this year, Ustaad was given the opportunity to study amongst some of the top scholars in Somalia. At the time Ustaad was teaching Quran, Arabic, Islamic Studies, as well as having other commitments with work and family life. But he even rescheduled his wedding for such an opportunity. To commit to 5 days a week studying in the masjid, with students from other locations around the African region, he felt, after performing istikhara, that this was not an opportunity to be missed. Having never been to Africa before, he was nervous but he managed to find his feet and settle in well. As most people living in the West assume of Africa, Ustaad had the same reservations of what to expect regarding poverty, safety and quality of life. But he was reassured that anything that is worth having at the end comes with obstacles, just like the Prophets (may peace be upon them) were exposed to. In his first 3 weeks of moving, Ustaad became poorly. Bouts of vomiting and weakness caused him to black out for almost 17 minutes. It took a bit of adjusting to everything before he could settle in. He believes there are loads of lessons to learn from his surroundings which has inspired him to want to write a book about his experiences.

Being a morning person generally, the time he starts his day depends on where he is and what season it is. His daily routine currently involves studying as well as teaching. Ustaad’s advice to those who consider themselves nocturnal, is to push yourself to change your habits. You are what you train yourself to be. You can adapt. Find the barakah of the morning because Allah has definitely mentioned it’s blessings. Faisal reiterates that the identification you give yourself will determine the outcome. If you start telling yourself that you’re a morning person, you can quickly make it a reality. Our predecessors had no choice but to rely on the sun to indicate day time. Whereas nowadays we are able to use technology to know the exact time. So, by default, the blessings are in the morning.

Faisal asks what promises are important to know about? Ustaad replies that the Messenger (S.A.W) mentions that whomsoever doesn’t have the act of keeping promises and sticking to contracts that he agrees on, or even appointments in general, he doesn’t have imaan. Meaning he has a deficiency in his imaan. So keeping promises is connected to one’s imaan. Secondly, Allah told us regarding the signs of a hypocrite, that they are those who would not commit to the promises they would make. As Muslims it’s our duty to have the best character. Allah has commanded us to fulfil our promises. They are huge. Don’t take the responsibility of committing to anything if you can’t fulfil it. Don’t especially take any promise lightly in your day to day conversation. Even agreeing to meet someone tomorrow could be a promise you may not be able to fulfil. A perfect example of a promise we can make so casually would be committing to the same thing to two people at the same time. Such as driving in the car with either person. It’s impossible to fulfil – so why do it? Ustaad actually believes that if people really stuck to their promises and commitments, it would result in a lot more people accepting Islam.

Also, something as naive as scaring someone, even if in a joking manner, is not allowed in Islam. The Prophet (S.A.W) said it’s not permissible for a Muslim to scare another Muslim. It’s not correct etiquette. Even to lie, in a joking manner, is not acceptable. One of the reasons it’s not permissible is because it’s a form of blocking the haram that could actually take place. When someone lies even in a joke, it becomes a habit that one justifies. That justification will eventually turn into lying subconsciously that you wouldn’t even realise that it’s a lie. Ustaad says he knows a brother who said he used to joke so much, and a lot of his jokes would be lies. So he actually started to lie out of habit, which in turn made him forget what the truth really was. The religion of Islam aims to perfect even the littlest of details within us so we uphold excellent akhlaaq.

Faisal brings up the notion about being inquisitive. Where’s the balance between asking too much and not asking enough? Ustaad advises that it depends who you are talking to. If it’s someone very close to you on a personal level, then it doesn’t usually pose as a problem. But when you’re speaking to someone in general, be mindful of giving them their space.

An issue Ustaad says a lot of us fall into, is believing we are on the straight path of being righteous practicing Muslims. We act like we are the ones who are doing good for the benefit of Allah, rather than realising it’s for our own benefit and we are in need of the good we do. An ayah in the Quran states that ‘O you who believe, whomsoever turns away from His religion from amongst you, Allah will come with new people who will love Allah and Allah loves them. We can be easily replaced, so it is of paramount importance to realise your good deeds are for your own benefit.

Concerning yourself with that which only benefits you is also another important principle. A conversation which gets to the point briefly is better. Being too direct with your tongue, such as asking “how are your wife and kids” as opposed to “how’s your family” may pertain to custom. Different cultures say things exactly as they are. But as long as it’s within the boundaries of Shariah, it is acceptable.

A lot of gems were shared by Ustaad in this episode that we can definitely adapt to our character traits, however, Ustaad also mentions it is important to try not to implement every single thing at once such that it will force us to change our life totally in one go and in a robotic sense. The Prophet (S.A.W) encouraged us not to make the religion too difficult upon ourselves all at once, that it becomes too overwhelming to practice Islam. The religion is easy, it’s up to us to take it step by step and be consistent. Eventually, by the will of Allah, we will become better Muslims.