Emptying the Vessel by Yasmin Mogahed

Note: This article is taken from Suhaibwebb and it is written by sister Yasmin Mogahed.

Before you can fill any vessel, you must first empty it. The heart is a vessel. And like any vessel, the heart too must be emptied—before it can be filled. One can never hope to fill the heart with God, so long as that vessel is full of other than Him subhanahu wa ta`ala (exalted is He).

To empty the heart does not mean to not love. On the contrary, true love, as God intended it, is purest when it is not based on a false attachment. The process of first emptying the heart can be found in the beginning half of the shahada (declaration of faith). Notice that the declaration of faith begins with a critical negation, a crucial emptying. Before we hope to reach true tawheed (true monotheism), before we can assert our belief in the one Lord, we first assert: "la illaha" (there is no illah). An illah is an object of worship. But it is imperative to understand that an illah is not just something we pray to. An illah is what we revolve our life around, what we obey and what is of utmost importance to us—above all else.
It is something that we live for—and cannot live without.

The Role of Muslim Students

This is a bookmark for me. I have heard about this video many a times on web. But I have searched it out and storing it for watching later. Going with busy time today. Sh. Suhaib Webb talked about the role of Muslim students in this video.

http://www.suhaibwebb.com/society/dawah/the-role-of-muslim-students/

5 Short & Sweet Ways to Make Dua

the writing was originally posted in Productive Ramadan website
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As we all know, Ramadan is a great time to spiritually recharge! It's also a great time to make Dua.
Every year for the past 3 years I've made a Dua list. At the start of Ramadan I write down a list of 7 to 8 things that I want the most and I memorize them. I make dua for each item on the list every day of Ramadan at the times that dua are more likely to be accepted. I can personally tell you all that it does wonders. Honestly, things I've asked for persistently and I did not think would, have come true.

It's incredible. I look back and can't believe I've gotten so many of things I asked so desperately for, Allah truly does not leave the hands of a believer empty when raised to Him. I get excited every year around this time because I get to make that wish list again.
I would highly recommend making a personal dua list of your own! As an incentive, our Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: "Allah is angry with those who do not ask Him for anything" (Tirmidhi). Why incur His wrath?
Some things to consider when writing your dua list:

1. Write it all down

Put down what you want to ask for on paper or on your phone so for the first few weeks you don't miss a single item. It can be as long as you want! It can be private and you don't need to share it with others so feel free to only make a list of keywords to remind you of each item.

2. Ask anything & everything that is good

When choosing your items, imagine that Allah is asking you to ask Him for anything and everything you've ever wanted! Imagine the possibilities. Write down everything you want to ask Allah with no limitations (but keep it halal!). Remember folks, you're asking Al Mujeeb – the One Who Responds and is the Supreme Answerer.

3. Organize

Try separating your duas into categories so you know that you've properly hit each one. I would recommend: dunya, akhirah, ibadah, the ummah, and
relationships. For each category, think about what you would like the most and start listing them.

4. Make the dua when duas are most likely answered

These times include right before breaking the fast, during your salah in sujood and after the obligatory prayers, Qiyam ul layl, the last 10 nights etc. I personally make mine right before breaking my fast during iftaar.

5. Remember the etiquettes of dua

There is a right and proper way to make dua. Remember that we must praise Allah first, ask for peace and blessings upon our Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and then make our dua.
I pray you all have a meaningful and successful Ramadan full of barakah. May Allah preserve you all to reap the benefits of such a Holy month and bring you closer to Him. May He give you all strength, knowledge, patience and humility. Ameen!
Note from the Author:
Most of this article was inspired by: My-Ramadan-Preparation

The Dream Of Life by Yasmin Mogahed


It was only a dream.  For a moment, it overtakes me. Yet the suffering I feel in my nightmare is only an illusion. Temporary. Like the blink of an eye. Why do I dream? Why do I have to feel that loss, fear, and sadness in my sleep?
On a greater scale, it's a question that has been asked throughout time. And for many people, the answer to that question has determined their path to—or away from—faith.  Faith in God, faith in life's purpose, faith in a higher order or a final destination has often all rested upon how this singular question has been answered. And so, to ask this question is to ask about life, in the most ultimate  way.
Why do we suffer? Why do 'bad' things happen to 'good' people? How could there be a God if innocent children starve and criminals run free? How can there be an all-loving, all-powerful deity who would allow such misfortunes to happen?
And if God is indeed Just and Good, shouldn't only good things happen to good people and only bad things happen to bad people?