My younger sister has a funny hobby – she's always on the lookout for funny or inspiring quotes to add to her collection, using them as appropriate, in  blog posts or sometimes in normal conversation. I found this a little silly at first and often poked fun at it, especially when I noticed the day's newspaper having a page corner (where quotes from famous as well as anonymous people are published daily) torn off for collecting. However, I've recently come to appreciate it as a very worthwhile, even noble, activity.

I think what made me take some famous sayings lightly was the very flowery and 'goody two shoes' feel about them. Too nice. Too sweet. Overdone. In fact, being the motivational-quote-sharing kind of person itself linked you to a certain stereotype. But I soon learned there was a world of wisdom besides them, which, if tapped into, provides ongoing inspiration in everyday matters. After all, the Qur'an and Sunnah, which we take as the highest sources of guidance for our life on this earth, provide motivation and inspiration in the same way – powerful words! And no comparison can be made, of course, with the wisdom that Allah(swt)'s Speech teaches. It doesn't just move you – it pushes you to want to change, move forward and renew your life through repentance and a fresh start.

As for the quotes of human beings that we have with us, many can help in their own way, from time to time. There are two general kinds I read – those from Islamic scholars or generally on the subject of worship, faith and repentance. These are gems, masha'Allah, each unique and inspiring in its own way. The other kind I read are from famous historians, writers, scientists, inventors, etc… not necessarily Muslims. And taking every-day lessons from them isn't in contradiction to Islamic teachings at all, if some have doubts about it, rather, it is a chance to learn something beneficial and grow. Recently, on coming across an interesting article, some words really stuck me and inspired me to write this post today.

“It's never too late to be what you might have been.” – George Bernard Shaw

The simplicity of this message made an impact, especially at a time when there were some personal and professional challenges I was dealing with. I had felt myself going round and round in circles and not in the direction I wanted to head towards. But words like these remind you it's never too late to try and be what you wanted to be, or what you thought you could be. Some of you might have been reminded of those beautiful words from the Qur'an…

Say, “O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah . Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful.” (Qur'an – Chapter 39: Verse 53)

Feelings of low self-esteem and self-worth that plague you when you've done something wrong, committed a sin or failed miserably in one task or another, can make the future seem a bleak prospect. Nothing worth striving for. Or not knowing where to start, if at all. But there's a 'second chance' that lies just beyond the doorway of sincere repentance (Tawbah). And words of wisdom, even though secondary to the Qur'an and coming from human beings like you and I, still have the potential to encourage and support because they come from people who've lived through similar problems as ours, and excelled. Their advice, born out of real experience, is golden.

Here are a couple of quotes I read recently and really liked, among many…

Beware of every hour and how it passes, and only spend it in the best possible way, do not neglect yourself, but render it accustomed to the noblest and best of actions, and send to your grave that which will please you when you arrive to it. – imam Ibn Al-Jawzee

If the lessons of history teach us anything, it is that nobody learns the lessons that history teaches us. – Sheikh Yasir Qadhi

My teacher told me, “If you see one of your students studying with another person, seeking their advice or benefiting from them, and your feel pain in your heart or a bruised ego, know that your claim to sincerity is for nothing.” – imam Suhaib Webb

I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear. – Nelson Mandela

What are some of your favorite quotes? Has anything particular inspired you lately? A verse of the Qu'ran that is your favorite, a Hadith that is your constant guide in life's ups and downs? Or something your parents or other relatives said? Share it here, we'd love to learn about them, insha'Allah. :)

88 Responses

  1. HadithCheck

    I too used to actively look for and read some of the famous quotes, but once you are addicted to the hadith of the Prophet peace be upon him, no words of any other human being can ever match up or really quench your thirst!

    The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Verily, our Lord laughs at the despair that His servants feel, even though His help is so close!” So the companion Laqit bin ‘Aamir asked: “O Messenger of Allah, and does our Lord laugh?” The Prophet (peace be upon him) replied: “Yes!” Laqit said, “In that case, we will never give up hope of receiving good from a Lord that laughs!” [Ibn Majah]

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    • Ameera Khan

      That is true… I hope my interest in other quotes doesn’t lessen my love for the Ahadith in any way. There is a powerful pull in the Words of Allah(swt) and the wisdom He taught through His Messenger (pbuh) that make all the difference. The words of other people, Muslim or Non Muslim don’t have that ethereal quality.

      JazaakAllah khayr for sharing that Hadith – it is so joyful and full of hope! :)

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      • HadithCheck

        I don’t think there is anything wrong in reading quotes or benefiting from any wisdom they might have, so long as they don’t contain anything that contradicts the Quran and sunnah.

        However, it would also be wrong if we start obsessing about such quotes or have an excessive interest in them.

        The Prophet peace be upon him said in one hadith that some poetry has wisdom in it, but in another hadith he said that it would be better for the inside of some one to be filled with oozing pus than to be filled with poetry.

        So occasionally benefiting from the wisdom of such quotes might be fine, but to start memorizing them, collecting them, and obsessing about them would be an extreme which is not good.

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      • Ameera Khan

        However, it would also be wrong if we start obsessing about such quotes or have an excessive interest in them.

        Indeed, that’s the point.

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  2. Nayma

    “Truly in the heart there is a void that cannot be removed except with the company of Allah.
    And in it there is a sadness that cannot be removed except with the happiness of knowing Allah and being true to Him.
    An in it there is an emptiness that cannot 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 Jawziyyah

    Beautiful quotes do brighten your day!

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    • Ameera Khan

      Jazaakillah khayr, Nayma! :) I love this quote, I’m sure I’ve read it before but didn’t remember who had said it or what exactly the words were. It’s perfectly true… whenever I try to seek real, comforting happiness in anything other than remembering Allah(swt), it never works out… SubhanAllah. :)

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  3. M-Anonymous

    There was an incident during Umar (R)’s time. They had just opened up Persia. In Persia, they had dug up a book. In this book, it was said that there were wonderful gems of wisdom. Marvelous advice. SO much so that they sent a messenger to tell Ameer Ul Mu’mineen about this discovery. When the messenger told him about this book filled with amazing “quotes and words of wisdom,” Umar (R) asked him..Is this from other than the Book of Allah (The Qur’aan) ? He said yes it is. Umar (R) commanded him to go tell them to burn this book, because the only “quotes, and words of wisdom we need to live by is already in the Qur’aan, and the sayings of Rasool Ullah (S). This is not to say that this hobby is bad, it is more unnecessary than it is bad. We can always learn from the words and wisdom of others, but these same muslim people who buy advice books and words of wisdom from Western celebrities, do not open the Qur’aan and understand. Sit and understand the millions of Gems offered in the Qur’aan? Wallahi, If people were just to open the Qur’aan and read with understanding, they would be so occupied with the words of wisdom, they would not look for any other source.ever. But nevertheless may Allah bless you through this endevour, and make you a good muslim, and grant you Jannah. Ameen.

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    • mystrugglewithin

      But I am just wondering, what about the sayings and quotes of all the Companions, Successors and other islamic scholars? What about what Umar RA himself advised in his sermons etc.? I think the way it works is that you pick and appreciate whatever is in compliance with the Quran and Sunnah, I see your point though :>

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    • Omar

      Assalamu Alaikum,

      What is the source of this story please? A similar story exists where Umar allegedly ordered the burning of the books of the Alexandria library for the exact same reason, and has been shown by (nonMuslim) historians to be a spurious addition that first came into being centuries after Umar.

      “Wisdom is the lost property of the believer, wherever he finds it, he is most deserving of it” – The prophet Muhammad on whom be peace

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      • HadithCheck

        “Wisdom is the lost property of the believer, wherever he finds it, he is most deserving of it” – The prophet Muhammad on whom be peace

        This hadith is not authentic, it is very weak.

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    • Ameera Khan

      JazaakAllah khayr for sharing your point of view on this. I’m looking for a reference for this story too, would you kindly share it?

      It’s true that the wisdom in the Quran and Sunnah is incomparable but the beauty of our Deen is that it allows you to keep learning from acceptable sources (i.e. in worldly matters, general discussions). Examples include Arab proverbs, the sayings of Luqman A.S. (which were well known with Arabs but then clearly mentioned in the Qur’an too). Sometimes, the simplest advice we receive from a fellow human beings may fall upon a receptive heart and, by Allah’s Will, turn us more towards being a better person, a better Muslim. :)

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    • HadithCheck

      There was an incident during Umar (R)’s time. They had just opened up Persia. In Persia, they had dug up a book. In this book, it was said that there were wonderful gems of wisdom. Marvelous advice. SO much so that they sent a messenger to tell Ameer Ul Mu’mineen about this discovery. When the messenger told him about this book filled with amazing “quotes and words of wisdom,” Umar (R) asked him..Is this from other than the Book of Allah (The Qur’aan) ? He said yes it is. Umar (R) commanded him to go tell them to burn this book, because the only “quotes, and words of wisdom we need to live by is already in the Qur’aan, and the sayings of Rasool Ullah (S).

      This story isn’t authentic. It is found in some books, but it doesn’t have any chain of narration.

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      • Ameera Khan

        JazaakAllah khayr, brother, for verifying both quotations for us! May Allah increase you in Ilm and Hikmah, ameen.

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      • Kashif Naseem Dilkusha

        Assalamoalaikum

        What are your sources for authentication of Ahadees? How do you verify them?

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      • HadithCheck

        Wa Alaikum Assalam Warahmatullah brother. I have many books, sites and resources which I use. Alhamdulillah

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      • Kashif Dilkusha

        Still akhi we need to know this. When you say a Hadith is Sahih or weak, who is your source.? Is he Shiekh Albanee or any body else.

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      • HadithCheck

        The source differs from one hadith to the next. It is not the same source or same scholar for all the different hadiths.

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  4. Amir

    Isn’t it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?
    — Douglas Adams

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      • Omar

        Salam sister Ameera,

        It is always useful to do a little digging to find out who created the quote, in what context, and what he meant, before we praise it. This particular quote is by an author who described himself as a radical athiest, and was reproduced by Dawkins in his infamous “the God delusion”.

        The point being that he compares God to “the fairies at the bottom of the garden” (like his orbiting teapot), and that it is enough to see the world as beautiful without positing any fairies/gods/designers.

        Of course, this strange idea flies in the face of the compelling Quranic argument, which constantly points to the wonder of creation and demands we reflect upon it. Afterall, how could the beauty, the intricacy, the wonder of all we see around us be the product of random chance? How could it be unplanned? How could it be for no purpose? How can it not humble us?

        Amir, I honestly believe anyone who buys into Adam’s argument must lack humility. Just sit amid nature, look at the sky, and think. Reflect upon your own mind and body, whose miracle you take for granted. Ask your creator for guidance.

        So to answer Adam’s question Amir, I would say No, that is akin to admiring the beauty of a sign without bothering to find out where it points.

        peace

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      • sisterindeen

        Salam alaikum brother, I see what you mean about knowing the context and appreciate knowing the history. It is very good to know the source and be cautious. But sometimes a quote can be understood in a different way too. When I first read it, the atheist thing did ring a bell but I chose to interpret it in a different way to smell the roses and enjoy certain moments in life. I don’t see anything wrong with that as the Prophet (salallahu ‘alayhi wassalam) has also said “there is a time for this and a time for that”

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      • Ameera Khan

        JazaakAllah for enlightening us on that. I really didn’t make the connection as I didn’t know Douglas Adam was an atheist. Also, I took his words in other sense as in, why can’t people appreciate the simple things in life?

        I don’t like reading much about what atheists have to say either, because the comments may be laced with atheistic ideas and references – to a believer, this doesn’t impress at all.

        In the light of this comment, yeah, I’d give Douglas Adams a different answer too and not admire his quotation.

        Bottom line: it’s better to know, very basically, who the author of the quote was!

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  5. Muslim Brother

    The world is three days:
    As for yesterday, it has vanished.
    As for tomorrow, you may never see it.
    As for today, it is yours, so work on it.
    –Hassan Al-Basri–

    Nine Words
    Never forget the mine most
    important words of any family-
    I love you.
    You are beautiful.
    Please forgive me.
    -H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

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  6. Muslim Brother

    Hook up with Allah, Allah will hood you up
    Maryam Amir-Ebrahimi

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  7. Syed J

    He has certainly succeeded who purifies himself. And mentions the name of his Lord and prays.
    But you prefer the worldly life, While the Hereafter is better and more enduring. Surah A’la i.e. 87:14-17

    And those who, when they commit an immorality or wrong themselves [by transgression], remember Allah and seek forgiveness for their sins – and who can forgive sins except Allah ? – and [who] do not persist in what they have done while they know. 3:134

    Every soul will taste death, and you will only be given your [full] compensation on the Day of Resurrection. So he who is drawn away from the Fire and admitted to Paradise has attained [his desire]. And what is the life of this world except the enjoyment of delusion. 3:185

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  8. M

    Ooo! I have the same quote collecting habit! Here are some good ones:

    “Nothing records the effects of a sad life so graphically as the human body.” Naguib Mahfouz

    It took me years and years of trial efforts to work out that there is absolutely no knitting triumph I can achieve that my husband will think is worth being woken up for. ~Stephanie Pearl

    They say it is better to be poor and happy than rich and miserable, but how about a compromise like moderately rich and just moody? – Princess Diana

    Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you. – Princess Diana

    Being happy doesn’t mean that everything is perfect. It means that you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections – unknown

    Today is the tomorrow we worried about yesterday.” ~Author Unknown

    “I evaded nostalgia. Tried hard to forget. But one does not forget by trying to forget. One only remembers.” – Richard Rodrgiuez (from the Hunger of the Memory)

    Our greatest glory is not in failing, but in rising up every time we fail. –Ralph Waldo Emerson

    “Whatever does not destroy me makes me stronger.” -Nietzsche

    “Do not force your children to behave like you, for surely they have been created for a time which is different to your time.” – Ali ibn Abi Talib

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    • Ameera Khan

      I love all of these – JazaakAllah khayr for taking the time to share!

      “Do not force your children to behave like you, for surely they have been created for a time which is different to your time.” – Ali ibn Abi Talib

      This one was the first time I’ve heard of it – what wisdom, Masha’Allah!

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  9. Amad

    The believer speaks little, but does much. And the hypocrite talks a lot, but does little… Fudayl bin Iyyad (courtesy daily islamic reminders on FB)

    Anger begins with madness and ends with regret. (Ali RD)

    and my long-time favorite:
    “Today is deed without reckoning and tomorrow is reckoning without deeds” (Ali RD)

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  10. mystrugglewithin

    “Son, if you really want something in this life, you have to work for it. Now quiet! They’re about to announce the lottery numbers.” – Homer Simpson

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  11. mystrugglewithin

    “How honorable is knowledge, that the one who does not have it, says he does. How dishonorable is ignorance, that the one who has it says he does not.” – Ali bin Abu-Talib RA

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    • Omar

      salam sister, quite profound.

      But should that first part read: “How honorable is knowledge, that the one who does have it, says he does not.” (moved the ‘not’)

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  12. ahlam

    One of my father’s advice: ”Never ask of others,be independent!”

    ”Be mindful of Allah, and Allah will protect you. Be mindful of Allah, and you will find Him in front of you. If you ask, ask of Allah; and if you seek help, seek help from Allah. Know that even if the Nation were to gather together to benefit you with something, they would not benefit you with anything except that which Allah has already recorded for you, and that if they gather together to harm you with something, they would not be able to harm you with anything except that which Allah has already recorded against you. The pens have been lifted and the pages have dried.”- Prophet Muhammed(pbuh)

    ”When Allah wants good for a slave,He helps him to do good” -Shaykh Salih Al-Mghamsi<<<<Love him for the sake of Allah!

    And there are tooo many quotes from the Qu'ran and they themselves contain depths of meaning that could take a lifetime to encompass

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    • HadithCheck

      ”When Allah wants good for a slave,He helps him to do good” -Shaykh Salih Al-Mghamsi

      The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “When Allah wills good for His slave, He uses him.” They asked, “How does He use him?” The Prophet peace be upon him said, “He guides him to do good deeds before he dies.” [Narrated by Imam Ahmad, 11625; al-Tirmidhi, 2142; classed as saheeh by al-Albani in al-Silsilah al-Saheehah, 1334]

      The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “When Allah wills good for His slave, He sweetens him.” The Prophet was asked, “What is this sweetening?” The Prophet peace be upon him said, “Allah guides him to do righteous deeds before he dies, then He takes (his soul) whilst he is in that state.” [Narrated by Ahmad, 17330; classed as saheeh by al-Albani in al-Silsilah al-Saheehah, 1114]

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      • ahlam

        BarakAllahu feek!. The Shaykh I mentioned emphasises on Salatul Layl a lot and explains it with this meaning.

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      • Mantiki

        Just to prove that I am not just about arguing HadithCHeck, I rather like that saying! I amounts to my most frequent prayer that God may use me for His good purposes.

        But just to show that I keep my eyes open I also like Ameera’s quote, “Do not force your children to behave like you, for surely they have been created for a time which is different to your time.” – Ali ibn Abi Talib which is good advice to those who wish to lock Islam into its 13th century state.

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      • suhail

        Yeah twist the words to your own whims and desires. You should just stick with your mantik.

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      • Mantiki

        That actually came out more aggressively and arrogantly than I intended. I don’t intend to (nor am I capable of) destroying anyone’s faith. I just wanted to reinforce my point that despite the eternal nature of God, there is a strong cultural element to our beliefs and practices. My argument is that we place too much emphasis on the cultural component of the injunctions of our religious rules (Christians) included.

        As a simplistic example, as parents, we lay down different rules of behaviour for our children according to their age as well as their surroundings (proximity to danger, time of day, formality of the situation etc). This does not imply that we are fickle or arbitrary but that we recognise the growth of our children and the relativity of the circumstances.

        If Christians stuck to the totality of rules laid down in our Old Testament, we would still be stoning aldulters and putting disobedient children to death as instructed in Leviticus. As a more modern religion than Judaism which is at the heart of Christianity, Islam is definitely progressive compared with Judaism and the Christianity of 2,000 years ago (except for a discarded gnostic gospel some attribute to Mary Magdaline). One of the ongoing debates in Christianity is how much we need to remain attached to the Old Testament. Jesus seems to have given conflicting advice – on the one hand saying that he has not come to do away with the Law, yet elsewhere saying that he had come to create a new Covenant.

        PS – If I am a troll, I am pretty bad at it since rather than stir up wasteful debate from others, I usually end up wasting my own time in explanation (laughs to himself).

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      • Umar

        If Mantiki is sincere that he is trying to differentiate between cultural practices and Islam, that desire in of itself is quite noble. Muslims of today are indulging in soooo many things against Islam due to societal pressures and cultural customs.
        e.g. Celebrating the prophets birthday, fornication, adultery, murder, having girlfriends, smoking, nightclubs, worshipping graves, shaving the beard etc. – things which some Muslims have fallen into but are forbidden.

        However, he has issues with two teachings which are concordant with Islam: the burkah and (in the comment above) stoning to death adulterers.
        Yes, there is leeway as to how much of the lady’s face must be covered and scholars of jurisprudence have varied depending on time and place. But Mantiki, you cannot deny that the burkah/niqab is very much a part of Islam, and cannot be dismissed as merely a cultural item.
        In addition, the fact that adulterers are stoned to death provided four reliable witnesses are brought forward (reliable in the sense they must be practitising Muslims who are known for their commitment to the religion – scholars of the past have gone to the extent that a man who shaves his beard’s testament is not to be accepted – that is how meticulous the process of verifying an adulterer is.) These capital punishments are only to be carried out by the state/government. Again, for Muslims to deny that this is part of the religion is a major crime as to deny a word of the Quran is to deny the entire Quran. We cannot pick and choose what suits our desires and label everything else as cultural practices. The moments Muslims start doing that is the moment Islam stops being a religion with boundaries set by Allah. It will become like Christianity, a religion which has abandoned the teachings of the Bible and become a puppet show for the priests and popes- free to toy with the theology and rules as they see fit.

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      • Mantiki

        To Umar

        “you cannot deny that the burkah/niqab is very much a part of Islam, and cannot be dismissed as merely a cultural item.”

        At (great) risk of seeming a fool, I very much consider this is the case. Large wrap around garments are indeed a blessing in the desert as a protection against sandstorms and the cold nights. When your husband and male tribe members are off on business and trade, modesty is an act of self preservation when strangers invade or visit. Fast forward to a 21st century swimming pool on a hot day, and the Muslim mother wrapped from head to toe watches broiling from the side, while her husband and children splash semi-naked in cool innocence. A person to be pitied – trapped by a rule meant for another time and another place.

        On the broader question of stoning and punishment, I really have to confess that despite my Christian based morality that tells me to forgive transgressions and not to judge others, I feel I would cheerfully hurl stones at the perpetrators of certain cruel and murderous acts. The leering idiot Jared Loughner and the self righteous Mumtaz Qadri spring to mind. “We cannot pick and choose what suits our desires and label everything else as cultural practices. The moments Muslims start doing that is the moment Islam stops being a religion with boundaries set by Allah.” This is true, but aside from separating culture from more eternal structures, we really need to look at the heart of religious teachings.

        First and foremost is it REALLY from Allah or only reported as such? I fear I will always be in doubt in this regard because I can never be guided by Faith alone. Others have a different view but as long as one person’s faith contrasts with that of another, in my view BOTH become unreliable.

        Secondly is it the ACT that is evil or the CONSEQUENCE. Sometimes (more often than not) it IS both.. In my country, idiot teenagers often (perhaps once every 2 months nationally) throw rocks at passing cars . Sometimes the result is a broken windscreen and perhaps a couple of cuts, sometimes the result is brain damage or death of an innocent traveller (child, father or mother). Murder or intent to murder is an obvious evil but as we all know, so-called “moral” laws are the most argued over. Since, on the basis of Faith, we can never “know” they are from God, I can only look at the consequences of the act. In the case of adultery, there is usually suffering involved of the cheated on partner. But this is not always simple. Sometimes the partner whose wife / husband has strayed, has themself driven their partner to the arms of another – through neglect or cruelty. Additionally, my own moral compass which I firmly believe is God-given, says that any punishment should be proportionate to the crime. Adultry may or may not have harmful consequences to a victim – including social stability, effect on children if there are any etc. but I can almost never imagine that the suffering inflicted by an adulterer is equivalent to the suffering caused by a death, let alone a violent death. Stoning therefore seems to be a greater evil than adultry.

        Similarly blasphemy may cause offence to people of faith, but since God is omnipotent, does not harm God so why ought it be punishable? Even Jesus said that God forgives blasphemy against the Son of Man and against God (though not against the Holy Spirit).

        One of the hadiths I’ve read here says something about an inscription above Allah’s throne which reads along the line, “My wrath is overcome by My compassion”. If only His followers believed this – apparantly so great a Law that it alone is written on His throne! Allah may be great and unchanging but there seems to be a risk of idolatry here – that is of worshipping laws and rules.

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      • Umar

        You expect me to reject Allah’s law just because according to your superficial analysis this is immoral. I can also post 50 reasons in favour of this rule (yet I refuse to do so as I reject the premises that a command from God should be rejected due to how we in our limited knowledge feel about the law) Even I were to give counter reasons then what?! You reject it or accept it just because in your view finally the good has outweighed the bad. This is an ignorant way of thinking, for your perception of the law comes down to your own subjectivity. At that rate an entire 10 hour debate would take place for every ruling. Why pray 4 rakats, not 5?

        Nevertheless, logic and thinking are appreciated in Islam. The superior, the highest form of logic is once you have established that Allah has made the rule, you submit to it as firstly Allah has ultimate authority to rule due to him being the creator, sustainer, and cherisher. Secondly, Allah has promised a great reward for those who submit. Thirdly in Allah’s infinite knowledge and wisdom – whether we notice the good or not – following the way of life will naturally have great benefits in life. Fourthly, your desire to follow Allah’s command, and this desire manifesting itself in action is a confirmation of your belief in Allah, and His attributes.
        Yes, I am putting emphasis on following the rules for it is what makes Islam a complete way of life as opposed to something one does on a Sunday morning or something hidden in the heart to be kept private from society. Islam is applicable all day every day, and there is no holiday from Islam for Allah is the All Knowing, All seeing, All hearing.

        Perhaps I didn’t answer all parts of your post, but honestly I don’t have the time to do so right now.

        Finally, this is my last post as I’ve just received an interview invitation.
        I pray that Allah guides you to the truth.

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    • HadithCheck

      One of my father’s advice: ”Never ask of others,be independent!”

      Muslim narrated (1043) that ‘Awf ibn Malik al-Ashja‘i (may Allah be pleased with him) said: We were with the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), nine or eight or seven (people) and he said: “Will you not swear allegiance to the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him)?” We held out our hands and said: We swear our allegiance to you, O Messenger of Allah. Tell us on what basis we should swear allegiance to you? He said: “On the basis that you will worship Allah and not associate anything with Him, and (you will perform) the five daily prayers, and you will obey Allah – and he whispered – and you do not ask the people for anything.”

      ‘Awf ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) said: I saw that some of those people, if they dropped a whip, they would not ask anyone to hand it to them.

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      • ahlam

        subhanAllah,I was just going to ask what software do you use?!

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      • Umar

        Whoever (or whatever*) you may be, Hadithcheck, I respect what your subtle but substantial work. May Allah reward you.

        *”whatever”- in the sense you may be a computer system, tracking and correcting fabrications, and approving authenticity.

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      • mystrugglewithin

        He’s Skynet! .. Just kidding, I wish we have 100s of such brothers spread all over preventing people from sharing fabricated ahadeeth, etc.

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      • Ameera Khan

        Jazaak’Allah khayr for the many Ahadith you have shared here – each beautiful and soothing in its own way. SubhanAllah. May Allah increase the love for His Messenger(pbuh)’s life and teachings in our hearts, ameen!

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      • HadithCheck

        Jazakum Allahu kheir everyone for your du’as. Baaraka Allahu feekum!

        For those who asked, there isn’t a certain software available that one can use, but this sounds like an important project that we should develop and make available for everyone.

        Btw, if anyone has a hadith or story that they run across or would like to check, please feel free to email me at hadithcheck@gmail.com

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  13. Abdul Adil

    “Duplicity Is Human Nature…”

    &

    “Holiness is in right action; And courage on behalf of those who can not defend themselves…”

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  14. Jeremiah

    Nice idea, jazakillah khair. I do this myself. Some of my favorites:

    “Service is the rent you pay for room on this earth.”
    Shirley Chisholm

    Imam Ahmad b. Hanbal said, “Zuhd is of three levels. The first is abstaining from the unlawful, and this is the zuhd of the common folk. The second is to abstain from the lawful things that are beyond one’s need, and this is the zuhd of the elite. The third is to abstain from that which distracts one from Allāh, and this is the zuhd of the sages.”

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  15. Hena Zuberi

    FIVE BEFORE FIVE: Narrated by Amr ibn Maymun al-Awdi Radhiallahu anhu Allah’s Messenger Sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam said to a man in the course of an exhortation, “Grasp five things before five others: your youth before your old age, your health before your illness, your riches before your poverty, your leisure before your work, and your life before your death.” (Tirmidhi)

    But learn
    this custom
    from the flower:
    silence
    your tongue.
    Rumi

    Please don’t hound me over this one- just take the good!

    In this era of soundbits if reading a quote can make you reflect for even a few minutes- it is worthy of a share. Ameera love this OT, this one is for you:

    Let there be no purpose in friendship save the deepening of the spirit.
    Khalil Gibran

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  16. Umar

    “So whosoever does good equal to the weight of an atom, shall see it
    And whosoever does evil equal to the weight of an atom, shall see it.”
    Surah 99
    (I think of this ayah everyday when doing wudu; wasting water – may seem trivial but if every last atom is recorded, how many billions of atoms are flowing wastefully in my laziness to turn the tap down.)

    A believer plants a palm tree and fears that thorns will grow. The hypocrites plant thorns expecting ripe dates to grow!
    Al-Fudayl ibn ‘Iyaad

    Also, how about in the next posts people say how the quotes have affected them – helps readers relate to it.

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    • Ameera Khan

      A very important reminder about the wudhu water, JazaakAllah khayr, brother!

      Also, the idea of a follow up post with readers’ opinions is a good one. The next Open Thread will be done by another MM writer but in one of my own posts later, if I get the opportunity, I’ll work on it, Insha’Allah. :)

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  17. Fadumo

    My favorite ayah of all time that I what share with you is ayah 188 of surah Acraf: “Say O Mohamed peace upon him, I possess no power over benefit or hurt to myself except as Allah wills. If I had the knowledge of the Ghaib (unseen) I should have secured for myself an abundance of wealth, and no evil should have touched me. I am but a warner, and a bringer of glad tidings unto people who believe.

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  18. Rafa

    Favourite ayah of the Quran: “Verily, with hardship there is relief” (Qur’an 94:6)
    Although I find that Surah Duhaa and Surah Alam’nashrah are both very inspirational and effect me in a deeply personal way.

    Favourite Hadeeth: “Be in the world as though you were a stranger or wayfarer.” (Bukhari)

    Favourite quote from a public figure: “Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.” – Helen Keller

    By the way, great post Masha Allah :)

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    • Rafa

      Oh, and one more: “I don’t like what you are doing, but I respect who you are. You know why? Because maybe who you are tomorrow will be better than who I am today.” – Tariq Ramadan

      :)

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  19. Salman

    “Life is a tragedy for those who feel, but a comedy to those who think.” – Horace Walpole

    ‎”Experience is a hard teacher because it gives the test first, and the lesson afterwards.” – Vernon Law

    “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle

    Never look down at anyone unless you’re helping him up. ~ Jesse Jackson

    “Life is 10% of what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it.” – John Maxwell

    “And We shall try you until We test those among you who strive their
    utmost and persevere in patience” – Qur’an, 47:31

    “[Are] men whom neither commerce nor sale distracts from the remembrance of Allah and performance of prayer and giving of zakah. They fear a Day in which the hearts and eyes will [fearfully] turn about.” (Holy Qur’an 24:37)

    The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance; it is the illusion of knowledge. ~ D. J. Boorstin

    YasirQadhi: The problem is not in setting too high of a goal and then falling short, the problem is in setting too low of a goal and easily meeting it.

    YasirQadhi: The more heavier the burdens placed on you by Allah become, the more strength He shall give you to carry them.

    I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody ~ Bill Cosby.

    The life of this world and the hereafter, in the heart of a person are like the two scales of a balance,
    when one becomes heavier, the other becomes lighter – ‘Amr ibn Abdullah

    Holy Qur’an (57:20)
    Know that the life of this world is but amusement and diversion and adornment and boasting to one another and competition in increase of wealth and children – like the example of a rain whose [resulting] plant growth pleases the tillers; then it dries and you see it turned yellow; then it becomes [scattered] debris And in the Hereafter is severe punishment and forgiveness from Allah and approval. And what is the worldly life except the enjoyment of delusion.”

    Holy Quran (9:128) There has certainly come to you a Messenger from among yourselves. Grievous to him is what you suffer; [he is] concerned over you and to the believers is kind and merciful.

    “If a million people say a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing.” – Anatole France

    “Where there is a will, there is a way” – Unknown

    ” Acceptance is not submission; it is acknowledgment of the facts of a situation. Then deciding what you’re going to do about it.” – Kathleen Casey Theisen

    “Life is like riding a bicycle – in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving.” – Albert Einstein

    “A word of encouragement during a failure is worth more than an hour of praise after success”- Anonymous

    “Behind every brilliant performance there were countless hours of practice and preparation.” – Eric Buttterworth.

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  20. Ameera Khan

    “One of the signs of relying on one’s own deeds is the loss of hope when a downfall occurs.” – Ibn Ata’ullah

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  21. Abdul-Jaleel Bin Robert

    As-Salaamu Alaikum. Regarding the Hadith posted on Muslimmatters.org about Allah laughing in Ibn Majah. I want to know the authenticity of the Hadith please. Please tell me it’s classification and who graded it. Jazakallahu Khairan. Wa Salaamu Alaikum.

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    • HadithCheck

      Wa Alaikum Assalam Warahmatullah dear brother,

      If you are referring to this hadith which I have posted in my comment above, then yes it is authentic!

      The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Verily, our Lord laughs at the despair that His servants feel, even though His help is so close!” So the companion Laqit bin ‘Aamir asked: “O Messenger of Allah, and does our Lord laugh?” The Prophet (peace be upon him) replied: “Yes!” Laqit said, “In that case, we will never give up hope of receiving good from a Lord that laughs!” [Ibn Majah]

      This hadith is authentic and was classified as hasan by Sheikh al-Albani rahimahullah in Sahih Ibn Majah. If you want to read in details about the authenticity of this specific hadith, refer to Silsilah Saheeha; 2810.

      However, if you are asking specifically about the attribute of Allah that He laughs, then that has been mentioned in many other ahadith that Allah laughs, so we believe in it and we believe that Allah laughs but not like the way we or any of His creatures laugh, and we do not ask how does Allah laughs nor do we compare it to our laughter, for there is nothing like Allah. We just believe that Allah laughs and we affirm the meaning of this attribute that the Prophet peace be upon him have informed us about that Allah laughs.

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      • mystrugglewithin

        Jazakallahu khairun for the explanation, “In that case, we will never give up hope of receiving good from a Lord that laughs!” .. amazing, subhanAllah!

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  22. Hafsa

    =) Such terrific-ness! So many to jot down! Here are a few:

    “Allah will grant a way out for anyone who heeds Him, and provide for him in a manner he could have never anticipated. Allah is enough for anyone who relies on Him; Allah will accomplish His purpose. Allah has granted everything in due proportion.” Qur’an 65:2-3

    Allah’s Messenger, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, said: “If Allah loves someone He calls (angel) Jibreel and says: I love so-and-so, so you love him. Jibreel loves him, and calls the other angels in Heaven to love that person. They love him, then his love will be made upon earth, and he becomes loved.

    “And if Allah hates someone He calls Gabriel and says: I hate so-and-so and you hate him. Jibreel hates him and calls the angels in Heaven and says: Allah hates so-and-so, so you all hate him. They all hate him, and his hatred is made upon earth and he becomes hated.” – Muslim

    (Got this is Sheikh Muhammad Alshareef’s ‘Hadith a week’ email program.)

    On the authority of Abdullah bin Abbas, who said : One day I was behind the prophet and he said to me: “Young man, I shall teach you some words [of advice] : Be mindful of Allah, and Allah will protect you. Be mindful of Allah, and you will find Him in front of you. If you ask, ask of Allah; if you seek help, seek help of Allah. Know that if the Nation were to gather together to benefit you with anything, it would benefit you only with something that Allah had already prescribed for you, and that if they gather together to harm you with anything, they would harm you only with something Allah had already prescribed for you. The pens have been lifted and the pages have dried.”

    All that is gold does not glitter,
    Not all those who wander are lost,
    The old that is strong does not wither,
    Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

    J.R.R.Tolkein

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  23. Hania

    ‘When I was alone & had nothing I asked for a friend to help me bear the pain, No one came except الله.
    When I needed a breath to rise from my sleep, No one could help me except الله.
    When all I saw was sadness & I needed answers, No one heard me except الله.
    So when I am asked who I give my unconditional love to, I look for No other name except
    ALLAH Subhanahu Wa Ta’alaa…’

    ‘When you ask for guidance then be prepared for anything, because He owes you nothing but you owe Him everything’

    “We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark. The real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light” – Plato.

    ‘Improve today from yesterday because tomorrow might not be a day!’

    ‘Becoming Muslim is about changing yourself not changing Islam.’

    AND THE BEST ONE……..

    “When the inhabitants of Jannah enter Jannah, Allah will ask them all, ‘Is there anything more that I can give you?’ They will say, ‘Have you not illuminated our faces? Have you not entered us into Jannah? Have you not saved us from Hellfire?’

    “Then Allah will uncover the veil (and all shall see Allah). After that moment there would be… nothing more beloved to them than seeing their Lord” (Bukhari and Muslim).

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  24. Ameera Khan

    You’ve all shared such wonderful Ayaat, Ahadith and motivational quotes, sayings! JazaakAllahu khairan katheera. I’m going to write print them Insha’Allah and keep them with me so keep sharing. :) If I get the chance, I’ll put them up on the MuslimMatters’ Facebook page too as a ‘note’ so you can share them with friends and relatives easily, Insha’Allah… and of course, put them as as your statuses (which I will do)! :D

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  25. saara

    Assalamu ‘alaykum:

    MashaAllah what a wonderful collection of inspirational and motivational words so far! I humbly wish to share a few quotes from my collection, some of which I post on my blog from time to time as reminders and inspiration, first for myself and for my readers:

    A reminder before taking action:

    “Every person wakes up in the morning with his soul to trade; either he sets it free or seals its destruction.” ~ (Muslim)

    “The slave is free so long as he is content, and the free man is a slave so long as he is greedy.” [Arab poet]

    “I followed my desires and they enslaved me. If only I had been content with my lot, I would be free.” [Arab poet]

    Quoted in Al-‘Ubudiyyah. Being a True Slave of Allah by Ibn Taymiyah

    Seeking the help of Allah:

    “The servant is between the Hands of Allah in two situations. The first is during the time of prayer and the second is on the Day of Meeting (i.e. The Day of Judgement). So, whoever fulfills his duty in the first situation will have ease in the second, and whoever underestimates the importance of the first situation and does not fulfill its rights, will have hardships in the second.” ~Ibn Al-Qayyim

    Rememberance of Allah:

    “The dhikr (remembrance of Allah) to the hearts is as water to the fish. Can you see what happens to the fish when it is pulled out of water? Similarly is the state of the heart which is devoid of dhikr.” ~ Ibn Taymiyah

    And finally:

    “Travel and you will meet new people replacing those left behind,
    And tire yourself out, because it makes life worth living!
    I have seen that water stagnates when it stands still,
    Yet when it runs it is sweet and pure.
    And if the lion left not its land, it would not catch its prey,
    And if the arrow left not the bow, it would not hit its aim.
    And if the sun moved not across the horizon,
    People the world over would have tired of the sky.”~ Imam ash-Shafi’ee

    May Allah help us reap the benefit of these reminders in our daily lives.

    Ma’salaama

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  26. Rida

    You’ve read thousands of books of knowledge but have you ever read your Soul?
    You visit Temples and Mosques abound but have you ever visited the depths of your Heart?
    You go around fighting against Satan but have you ever tried fighting against your Self?

    Baba Bulleh Shah (poet)

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    • suhail

      And how do you go around fighting satan? That should be a question to the poet.

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      • Mantiki

        I am no poet but if Satan is real then I would say fight him by helping others and by laughter, for surely he loves people to feel isolated, without hope and in despair.

        There are some really fantastic quotes from contributors which would certainly give despair to Satan.

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    • ahlam

      hmmm, why would these actions be separate?People may ”read their souls” and hearts in Hajj or in a
      masjid…And both shaytan and our lower self can/should be fought simultaneously….

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  27. La

    A few quotes that have had a huge impact on me lately;

    “We build statues out of snow, and weep to see them melt.”

    - Walter Scott

    “Sin can bring pleasure, but never happiness.”

    I’ve been feeling awfully lazy and lethargic in pretty much all aspects of my life lately –deenwise, schoolwise, workwise, and these have just stuck.

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  28. Shabeer

    “Come to the edge.” “We can’t. We will fall!” “Come to the edge.” And they came. And he pushed them. And they flew. -Guillaume Apollinaire

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