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Inspiration and Spirituality

The Resonating Soul




By Muhammad Awais Tahir

What happens when you move the knob of the radio dial? You are tuning it to a particular station. When the frequency of the internal circuitry matches frequency of the station you wish to listen to, it starts to resonate. This resonance enables you to clearly hear the station you desire. What happened to Najashi (ra) when Jabir (ra) recited the Holy Quran to him? The inscription on his soul began to resonate with the words of the Holy Quran and he started weeping. The effect the Holy Quran had on his heart made it crystal clear to him that it had the same source as the Taurah and Injeel.

All of us are born on true nature (fitrah). The moral laws within us, the divine verdicts inscribed on our soul are enough for our guidance but this world takes us away from our real essence. We start to forget our purpose in life. At that time, the Az Zikr (Holy Quran) reminds us why we were sent to this world. The non-believers, if they posses fitrat e saleema (sound nature), their souls experience a shiver as they go through the Holy Quran. Many non-believers enter into the fold of Islam upon simply hearing the Holy Quran. Many get convinced on the truth of Islam when they listen to the recitation of the Holy Quran even when they don’t understand it. This divine melody has the power to penetrate into the soul and shake it, and its meanings have the muscle to influence sound minds.

There is a constant battle between our soul and animalistic body. The soul continually forces us to associate ourselves with Allah, as the soul has direct connection with Allah. The animalistic body only focuses on its material wants. A successful person is one whose soul wins, and the loser is one who listens to the animalistic needs alone. We are made to go through various exercises which make us understand our true selves. “We are not human beings on a spiritual journey; we are spiritual beings on a human journey.” A soul, which influences more than the body, with which it is merged, can experience more of the marvels of Holy Quran. For the believers, when the Ayaat of Quran are recited to them their Imaan increases. The soul (ruh) starts resonating with the words of the Holy Quran, which in turn moves the spiritual heart (qalb) and that brings a shiver in the human body through the physical heart (fuaad).

Some say music is the food for the soul and that musical instruments, which come from the materials of the earth are able to move the human body alone. No wonder you see people dancing while listening to the music. Even the one who’s not paying any real attention to it starts to tap his feet. This feeling of resonance is something that gives you an illusion of sukun (tranqulity). The dancing body, the resonating body feels that it is experiencing sukun, but the musical instruments only move the outer body. The inner body still awaits its food. You continue feeding the body, and forget the soul. The soul does complain in the beginning. The anxiety you experience after listening to the music, when you are new to it, is because of the protest of the soul. Later on you become immune to it. You put so much dirt on your spiritual heart (qalb) that it forgets to resonate or protest. The real food of the soul is divine music. Those who don’t even know the reality of the soul cannot devise a melody that will shake it. We are given very little knowledge concerning the soul. Only the creator of the soul, Allah, can give us the melody that will move it.

نغمہ وہی ہے نغمہ جس کو روح سنے اور روح سناۓ

The true song is the one which is sung by the Ruh and heard by the Ruh.

The sukun experienced by the dancing soul is inimitable. Each and every Ayah of the Holy Quran is truly a sign. Its unique genre, its literary perfection, its brave challenges and its accuracy are truly perfect miracles, but perhaps the greatest miracle of all is its ability to bypass the material world and reach the soul and tell it directly “I am nothing else except the word of God.” When you want Allah to talk to you, open up the Holy Quran and read it. Beautify it with your voice, and make it the hub of your thoughts. If at once you don’t feel the resonating soul, don’t worry, the Holy Quran is doing its job. It has the remedy to all problems. It is removing the dirt which is already there. When the dirt is removed, you will experience the soul resonating.

Have you solved many mysteries of knowledge and still you are unable to reach the soul? Are you still unable to feel your connection with Allah? If you want to experience the sweetness of faith, if you want to have supernatural proofs for the truth of Islam, open up the Quran and recite! Recite the divine words. Feel that this Ruh (Quran) has been sent by Allah through the Ruh (Angel Jibreel) and is descending directly on your Ruh (soul). A time will come when with each word of the Holy Quran your spiritual heart (qalb) will resonate and your soul will dance with the divine music and your human self will become purified and it will experience an unimaginable sukun.

The Resonating Soul for Dummies:

1- Learn Tajweed: Learn at least as much tajweed that will enable you to say the Arabic letters from the correct articulation points so that you are able to avoid Lahn e Jali (clear cut errors) that change the meaning of the Holy Quran if recited incorrectly.

2- Beautify the Quran with your voice: Learn to recite Quran in a beautiful manner. Listen to the famous Quraa (recitors) of the world. The more beautifully you recite, the deeper you can penetrate into the soul.

3- Learn Arabic: Learn enough Arabic so that you are enable to understand the general theme and meaning of an Ayah without the need of any translation.

4- Learn Tafakur: Learn how to contemplate on the Ayaat of the Holy Quran

5- Learn Tadabur: Learn how to meditate on the Ayaat of the Holy Quran

6- Be Patient: The Divine Book will itself make you capable of experiencing this resonance.

7- Be Regular: If you are reading, understanding, contemplating on the Holy Quran regularly, in sha Allah, soon you’ll experience the sweetness of resonance.

8- Action: When your soul starts to resonate. It will definitely force you into action. Listen to it.



  1. Avatar

    Swaying in the Wind

    March 30, 2010 at 1:52 AM

    Asalamu alaykum,

    SubhanAllah Just what I was looking for … JazakAllahu khairan!

    How does one learn tafakur and tadabur? A future article focusing on those two would be quite wonderful and beneficial! inshaAllah


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      April 1, 2010 at 10:22 AM

      >> How does one learn tafakur and tadabur? A future article focusing on those two would be quite wonderful and beneficial! inshaAllah

      True :>

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    March 30, 2010 at 8:11 AM

    Subhanallah! I am so thankful that you wrote this piece. Jazakallahu khair.

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    March 30, 2010 at 8:36 AM


    Mashaallah.Jazakallahu khairaa .Be patient..That`s so important..Sabr in learning tajweed, word meanings and in learning tafsir..Seek help from Allah through sabr and salah..Jazakallahu khairaa.


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    March 30, 2010 at 8:38 AM

    jazakAllahu kairan for this beautiful article. I concur with the view of Swaying in the Wind that an article on Takafur and Tadabur in detail will be beneficial, insha Allaah.

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    Muhammad Awais Tahir

    March 30, 2010 at 10:00 AM

    It is pretty important to ask ALLAH SWT to bless us with Tadabur and Tafakur in the right direction. The famous duaa of Umar bin Khattab RA goes :

    اللهم ارزقني التفكر والتدبر لما يتلوه لساني من كتابك ، والفهم له ، والمعرفة بمعانيه ، والنظر في عجائبه ، والعمل بذلك ما بقيت ، إنك على كل شيء قدير
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    March 30, 2010 at 10:08 AM

    Make the above mentioned dua in easy readable Arabic font :). jazakAllaah

    • Avatar

      Muhammad Awais Tahir

      March 30, 2010 at 12:05 PM

      Akhi…I cant alter the font in comments…Simply copy paste it note pad and increase the font for easy reading…JazakAllah :)

      • Avatar


        March 30, 2010 at 12:23 PM

        Would it be possible for someone to post a transliteration of this du’a, for those who either can’t read Arabic (yet, inshaAllah), or who can’t read without the diacritical markings (fatha, kasra, dhamma, etc). It would help a lot. JazakumAllahu khayran

    • Avatar

      Ify Okoye

      March 30, 2010 at 12:21 PM

      Increased the font size for you.

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    March 30, 2010 at 3:27 PM

    May Allah reward the person who wrote this article because it is SUPER BENEFICIAL.

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    March 30, 2010 at 10:24 PM

    THis was truly a wonderful article. MashAllah. I see very few writings like this. Most Islamic Literature is very rigid and kind of has a “not very inviting feel” THis is Aweseome.


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    Abu "Ubuaidah

    March 30, 2010 at 10:49 PM

    Jazakhallah Khair for the reminder!

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    March 31, 2010 at 12:41 AM

    Would be better if you did not use the term dummies and list such great deeds after.

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    March 31, 2010 at 3:34 AM

    Jazakallahukhair for this!

  12. Avatar


    March 31, 2010 at 10:11 AM

    Transliteration request:

    اللهم ارزقني التفكر والتدبر لما يتلوه لساني من كتابك ، والفهم له ، والمعرفة بمعانيه ، والنظر في عجائبه ، والعمل بذلك ما بقيت ، إنك على كل شيء قدير

    Allahumma urzuqni attafakura watadabbura lima yatloohu lisani min kitabika, walfahma lahu, walma3rifata bi ma3aneehi, wannadhara fi 3ajai’bihi, wal3amala bidhalika ma baqeetu, innaka 3ala kulli shay’in qadeer.

    May Allah make it easy for me to memorize it.

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    March 31, 2010 at 10:26 AM

    Masha Allah the article was amazing, it explained things I’ve been thinking about lately.

    Could it be that sometimes things other than the Quran can resonate with the soul? Like an advice someone gives you, or a story you hear or witness. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala communicates with us through the Quran and sometimes we don’t understand the verses not because of the language but because we have not shed light on the issue in hand.

    Like for example a few weeks ago I went to Friday khutbah and the lecture was about death. It was a really good one, very moving. But I did not shed a single tear. The sister sitting in front of me though was weeping. I understood all the verses and the ahadeeth the shaykh mentioned, I even had most of them memorized, but they did not move me. I found myself wondering the whole time what it is that she had and I lacked that made her cry and weep in that manner. Maybe I thought too much about her crying and me not crying and did not imagine myself in a grave like the shaykh intended, but I still feel like there is a level of understanding that I have not reached yet. There is a barrier and I don’t know what it is. So how do I look for something when I don’t know what it is? Am I confused?

    Fi Amaani’Laah

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    April 1, 2010 at 3:17 PM

    mashallah that was sweet.

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    April 1, 2010 at 9:16 PM

    I thank you for writing this article but I could not disagree with you more.

    It has become so easy for those who have not faced true hardship to simply say turn to the Quran and your answers will be found. Well I haven’t found the answers and the one I constantly hear is, “it resides with Allah and his plan,” well when your son is taken from you this plan no longer makes and sense. Or when your forced to remember a life you have taken in war things don’t seem to make much sense. And these are only my problems…

    How about the Muslims that still deal in child slavery or Saudi’s who abuse their servants? Why can we so easily say these wonderful things about Islam in the “West” but in real life most of these things never come to fruition in “real” life. As a Westerner who has travelled the world, I think “Western” Muslims need a huge wake up call that action is needed more than words.

    What about us who can’t find the answers, what are we left with? I’m sorry to bring negativity but I really feel this site sometimes brings such a false sense of reality that the “real” Muslim world is such a wonderful place. If I’m wrong please tell me. Thanks.


    • Avatar


      April 1, 2010 at 10:06 PM

      Just because a person is Muslim does not mean that their actions are those prescribed by their religion. It is not God that makes bad things happen, it is people. We are given the greatest gift by God and that is free will. We choose war over peace, we choose luxury over saving the lives of countless millions who starve. A true Muslim, and similarly any person who prescribes to any faith under God should live a peaceful life and not be selfish.

      But then there’s that questions we all want an answer to, why does God allow bad things to happen? Losing a child or any loved one is difficult and I am truly sorry for your loss. There is no answer any human being can give as to why such things happen. When we have no answer we say it is part of God’s plan, but it’s a sour pill to swallow when it is your loved one that is lost and it offers no help! I have thought many years about this and I have come to some resolution. You may or may not agree…

      I’m a scientist and as such I am aware of the forces of nature- genetics, evolution, etc. I have come to the conclusion that when people die naturally due to illness, disease or old age it is a mechanism of the balancing forces of nature. In other words, it is a random mechanism to keep population at a sustainable level. These causes of death are not a punishment from God. God doesn’t make bad things happen to test us, they just happen. However, there is consolation in the knowledge that our loved ones have gone to a better place.

      When a person is killed in war, as seems to be in your case, then this is a mechanism of human action. How can God affect such things without compromising our free will?

      In conclusion, when a Muslim kills a person, or oppresses, etc it is not a Muslim that is doing these things, it is a human. It is the same when a Christian/Jew/etc commits such acts. We as humans are still primitive and we will only be true to God when these things no longer occur but that utopia is far away. It is sad when people use the pure and beautiful words of God in a corrupt manner to justify such actions.

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Etiquettes of Praying For Your Brother And Sister | Imam Omar Suleiman

Level up your duas by including those who least expect to be in your most private moments and get angels to say Ameen

Imam Omar Suleiman



It’s very common to find in the stories of the pious predecessors those who kept lists of people they prayed for on a nightly basis. This was a testimony to their sincerity, selflessness, and sacrifice. The basis of the act comes from a famous hadith:

وعنه أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم كان يقول‏:‏ ‏ “‏دعوة المرء المسلم لأخيه بظهر الغيب مستجابة، عند رأسه ملك موكل كلما دعا لأخيه بخير قال الملك الموكل به‏:‏ آمين، ولك بمثل‏”‏ ‏(‏‏(‏رواه مسلم‏)‏‏)‏‏.‏

“The supplication of a believer for his brother in his absence will certainly be answered. Every time he makes a supplication for good for his brother, the angel appointed for this particular task says Ameen! May it be for you too’.” [Sahih Muslim].

Since the supplication of the fasting person is accepted, this is the best time to do it. But it’s also important to be intentional about how you pray for someone. Any prayer for your brother or sister is accepted if sincere, but it becomes even more blessed when made personal and customized. Under normal circumstances, It’s also best to keep your personal prayers to yourself and without the knowledge of the person you’re praying for. Sometimes it’s ok to tell someone you’re praying for them for the sake of solidarity. But the general rule is that it’s best to conceal it even from them for the sake of sincerity. Also, make sure to include in your prayers people who would never expect you to pray for them.

Then as you start to make dua for someone, think about how you can diversify the supplications and people you make dua for so that you are 1. Touching numerous lives 2. Covering different issues and ailments 3. Guaranteeing that the return on your prayers is also comprehensive.

So, in particular, think of a person in each of the following categories and make dua for them daily:

  1. A person who has good qualities but hasn’t been guided to good faith. Make dua for guidance for that person so that perhaps Allah grants you further guidance.
  2. A person who is involved in good work, that Allah accepts from them and keeps them sincere so that perhaps Allah uses you for His cause and keeps you sincere.
  3. A person who is committing a public sin. Make dua that Allah forgives that person. Imagine if the dua is accepted for a major public sin, then the angels will say Ameen for you also and perhaps Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) will forgive you for both your public and private sins.
  4. A person who is ill, that Allah grants him or her full health so that perhaps Allah will either heal you if you are sick or preserve your health for you if you are healthy.
  5. A person who is struggling financially or suffering a worldly hardship, ask Allah to help that person so that perhaps Allah will help you in that same situation.
  6. A person who has a particular blessing that you wish for, that Allah maintains that blessing upon that person without making it a means of taking him or her away from goodness in the hereafter so that perhaps Allah will grant it for you or maintain your blessings upon you without making them a means of harm for you.

This is how you bring together the Prophetic tradition of praying for your brother/sister, and the other tradition about not truly believing until you love for your sister or brother what you love for yourself.

May Allah accept your Ramadan and Laylatul Qadr, as well as all of your good deeds. And may He forgive you for your sins, and distance you from all that distances you from Him. Ameen

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5 Duas For Ramadan Therapy | Sh Yahya Ibrahim

Use these precious days and night to ask Allah in the best of ways

Shaykh Yahya Ibrahim



Dua 01 – #RamadanTherapy – The Magnificence of Ayat ul Kursi and its Power with Yahya Ibrahim


Allahu laaa ilaaha illaa huwal haiyul qai-yoom; laa taakhuzuhoo sinatunw wa laa nawm; lahoo maa fissamaawaati wa maa fil ard; man zallazee yashfa’u indahooo illaa be iznih; ya’lamu maa baina aideehim wa maa khalfahum; wa laa yuheetoona beshai ‘immin ‘ilmihee illa be maa shaaaa; wasi’a kursiyyuhus samaa waati wal arda wa la ya’ooduho hifzuhumaa; wa huwal aliyyul ‘azeem

“Allah! There is no god but He – the Living, The Self-subsisting, Eternal. No slumber can seize Him Nor Sleep. His are all things In the heavens and on earth. Who is there can intercede In His presence except As he permitted? He knoweth What (appeareth to His creatures As) Before or After or Behind them. Nor shall they compass Aught of his knowledge Except as He willeth. His throne doth extend Over the heavens And on earth, and He feeleth No fatigue in guarding And preserving them, For He is the Most High. The Supreme (in glory).”

Dua 02 A Treasure from Jannah – Last two verses of Al-Baqarah

The Messenger has believed in what was revealed to him from his Lord, and [so have] the believers. All of them have believed in Allah and His angels and His books and His messengers, [saying], “We make no distinction between any of His messengers.” And they say, “We hear and we obey. [We seek] Your forgiveness, our Lord, and to You is the [final] destination.”

Allah burdens not a person beyond his scope. He gets reward for that (good) which he has earned, and he is punished for that (evil) which he has earned. “Our Lord! Punish us not if we forget or fall into error, our Lord! Lay not on us a burden like that which You did lay on those before us (Jews and Christians); our Lord! Put not on us a burden greater than we have strength to bear. Pardon us and grant us Forgiveness. Have mercy on us. You are our Maulâ (Patron, Supporter, and Protector) and give us victory over the disbelieving people.” (Al-Baqarah 2:286)

Dua 03 Salawat & Durood upon our Nabi ﷺ help us in all hardships & circumstances

Allahumma salli `ala Muhammadin, wa `ala aali Muhammadin, kama sallaita `ala aali Ibrahima, innaka Hamidum Majid. Allahumma barik `ala Muhammadin, wa `ala aali Muhammadin, kama barakta `ala aali Ibrahima, innaka Hamidum Majid
[O Allah, exalt the mention of Muhammad and the family of Muhammad as you exalted the family of Ibrahim. You are Praised and Glorious. O Allah, bless Muhammad and the family of Muhammad as You blessed the family of Ibrahim. You are Praised and Glorious.]”’ [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

“Believers! Send your Blessings on him” | Resource for Salawat on the Prophet

Dua 04 The Greatest #Dua of Seeking Forgiveness

اللَّهُمَّ أَنْتَ رَبِّي لا إِلَهَ إِلا أَنْتَ خَلَقْتَنِي وَأَنَا عَبْدُكَ وَأَنَا عَلَى عَهْدِكَ وَوَعْدِكَمَا اسْتَطَعْتُ أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ شَرِّ مَا صَنَعْتُ أَبُوءُ لَكَ بِنِعْمَتِكَ عَلَيَّ وَأَبُوءُ لَكَ بِذَنْبِي فَاغْفِرْ لِي فَإِنَّهُ لا يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ إِلا أَنْتَ 

“The Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) used this particular expression – Sayyid al-Istighfar – literally, ‘the master of supplications’ to indicate that this is the best of supplications for those in need, and which will fulfil the need—sincere seeking of forgiveness”>Allahumma anta Rabbi la ilaha illa anta, Anta Khalaqtani wa ana abduka, wa ana ‘ala ahdika wa wa’dika mastata’tu, A’udhu bika min Sharri ma sana’tu, abu’u Laka bini’matika ‘alaiya, wa Abu Laka bidhanbi faghfirli innahu la yaghfiru adhdhunuba illa anta

O Allah! You are my Lord! None has the right to be worshipped but You. You created me and I am Your slave, and I am faithful to my covenant and my promise as much as I can. I seek refuge with You from all the evil I have done. I acknowledge before You all the blessings You have bestowed upon me, and I confess to You all my sins. So I entreat You to forgive my sins, for nobody can forgive sins except You.)

Shaddad ibn Aws raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) relates that the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said that he (Sayyid al-Istighfar) most superior way of asking for forgiveness from Allah is to say (the above du’a). That “If somebody recites it during the day with firm faith in it, and dies on the same day before the evening, he will be from the people of Paradise; and if somebody recites it at night with firm faith in it, and dies before the morning, he will be from the people of Paradise.”
[Sahih al-Bukhari; 8,75,318, at-Tirmidhi; 3393, an-Nasa’i; 5522, Ahmad; 16662]

Dua 05 When the Prophet’s ﷺ daughter felt weak he taught her this Zikr

حَدَّثَنَا سُلَيْمَانُ بْنُ حَرْبٍ، حَدَّثَنَا شُعْبَةُ، عَنِ الْحَكَمِ، عَنِ ابْنِ أَبِي لَيْلَى، عَنْ عَلِيٍّ، أَنَّ فَاطِمَةَ ـ عَلَيْهِمَا السَّلاَمُ ـ شَكَتْ مَا تَلْقَى فِي يَدِهَا مِنَ الرَّحَى، فَأَتَتِ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم تَسْأَلُهُ خَادِمًا، فَلَمْ تَجِدْهُ، فَذَكَرَتْ ذَلِكَ لِعَائِشَةَ، فَلَمَّا جَاءَ أَخْبَرَتْهُ‏.‏ قَالَ فَجَاءَنَا وَقَدْ أَخَذْنَا مَضَاجِعَنَا، فَذَهَبْتُ أَقُومُ فَقَالَ ‏”‏ مَكَانَكِ ‏”‏‏.‏ فَجَلَسَ بَيْنَنَا حَتَّى وَجَدْتُ بَرْدَ قَدَمَيْهِ عَلَى صَدْرِي فَقَالَ ‏”‏ أَلاَ أَدُلُّكُمَا عَلَى مَا هُوَ خَيْرٌ لَكُمَا مِنْ خَادِمٍ، إِذَا أَوَيْتُمَا إِلَى فِرَاشِكُمَا، أَوْ أَخَذْتُمَا مَضَاجِعَكُمَا، فَكَبِّرَا ثَلاَثًا وَثَلاَثِينَ، وَسَبِّحَا ثَلاَثًا وَثَلاَثِينَ، وَاحْمَدَا ثَلاَثًا وَثَلاَثِينَ، فَهَذَا خَيْرٌ لَكُمَا مِنْ خَادِمٍ ‏”‏‏.‏ وَعَنْ شُعْبَةَ عَنْ خَالِدٍ عَنِ ابْنِ سِيرِينَ

Narrated `Ali:

Fatima complained about the blisters on her hand because of using a mill-stone. She went to ask the Prophet for servant, but she did not find him (at home) and had to inform `Aisha of her need. When he came, `Aisha informed him about it. `Ali added: The Prophet (ﷺ) came to us when we had gone to our beds. When I was going to get up, he said, “‘Stay in your places,” and sat between us, till I felt the coolness of the feet on my chest. The Prophet (ﷺ) then said, “Shall I not tell you of a thing which is better for you than a servant? When you (both) go to your beds, say ‘Allahu Akbar’ thirty-four times, and ‘Subhan Allah’ thirty-three times, ‘Al hamdu ‘illah’ thirty-three times, for that is better for you than a servant.” Ibn Seereen said, “Subhan Allah’ (is to be said for) thirty-four times.”

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Optimism in Times of Adversity: How The Prophet Did It

Shaykh Abdullah Waheed



A man passed by al-Miqdaad ibn al-Aswad raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him), one of the most distinguished Companions of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him). The man said, “How lucky your two eyes that witnessed the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him)”. Ibn al-Aswad profoundly responded by saying,

Why should anyone wish to witness a scene that Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) did not wish him to see? He does not know what it would have been like if he had witnessed it or which party he would have been among if he went back in time.

By Allah! Allah’s Prophet saw people who were thrown right into Hell, so you should thank Allah that you were spared such a trial and were honored by firm belief in Allah and his Prophet”.

As human beings, we all struggle with adversity especially in societies which are driven by competition and materialistic pleasure. This drive creates difficult expectations, labels, and stigmas that breed unhealthy communities which spur widespread stress and pain. As Muslims, many of us struggle to define our role and place in societies where Muslims are the minority. We are horrified and worried when atrocities seem to occur so often solely because of the faith we believe in, such as in Burma or Central African Republic. Across the world, many countries with Muslims as the majority population are crippled by war such as Syria and Yemen. Our faith is abused by twisted minds to create chaos. In addition, random terrorist attacks in Mali and New Zealand have us wondering whether we will be attacked at our local masjid, or even in public settings such as offices and schools.

Our Ummah has always faced adversity and we will continue to do so as we struggle to be on the path of Islam. However, Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) has given us the Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) as a guide to this Ummah on how to deal with adversity and keep our optimism. His life is a means for us to be inspired and motivated to strive for excellence. Indeed, the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) was tested more than any other prophet that preceded him. The rapid spread of Islam and the change it brought to the world was built upon a prophet and his companions who endured an extraordinary amount of adversity, all in order to provide a means of salvation for the generations that would come after them.

Many Muslims know the basics of the Prophet’s life such as his birth in Makkah, the migration to Madina, some of the battles, and the conquest of Makkah. However, if one were to read the Seerah of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) in-depth, one would be astonished to the sheer amount of trauma, pain, and grief the Prophet (ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) experienced. He was subject to intense verbal/physical abuse, public humiliation, family deaths, and more. Depending on the physical and emotional toll, we know different people are more or less sensitive to adversity. For the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him), the adversity of establishing the Deen was immensely troubling as he had the purest and softest of characters. In addition, the prophets who came before him were comforted in knowing that they had a successor. Some of them were their children in Ismail 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) to Ibrahim 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) and Yahya 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) to Zakariyya 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him). But the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) had no prophet to follow him, therefore his Message would be the last that mankind could benefit from.

The Quran says in Surah al-Ahzab:

مَا كَانَ مُحَمَّدٌ أَبَآ أَحَدٍ مِن رّ‌ِجَالِكُمْ وَلَكِن رَّسُولَ اللَّهِ وَخَاتَمَ النَّبِيّـِينَ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ بِكُلّ‌ِ شَيْءٍ


Muhammad is not the father of (any) of your men, but (he is) the Messenger of Allah and last of the prophets. And God has full knowledge of all things. (Verse 33:40)

To proclaim the Divine Message to a resistant society has shown through the history of the Prophets to yield hardship and extreme difficulty. To be the final messenger was an increased burden. One example was when the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) was praying in front of the Kaaba and a member of the Quraysh named Uqbah ibn Abu Mu’ayt placed the intestines, dung, and feces on the back of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) while he was in sujood. The weight of the filth was so heavy that the Prophet could not get up until he received the assistance of his daughter Fatima raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her), who was a pre-teenager at the time. How hurtful must that scene have been for the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him)? How did he deal with the humiliation the leaders of his city displayed in front of his child? How disheartening must have it been for his resolve to establish the worship of Allah?

This type of treatment was a regular occurrence in the pre-Hijrah era of Islam. Eventually, the treatment spurred into a boycott against the Muslims and the Hashemites who were the Prophet’s clan. According to Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources by Martin Lings:

A document was drawn up according to which it was undertaken that no one would marry a woman of Hashim or give his daughter in marriage to a man of Hashim; and no one was to sell anything to them, or buy anything from them. This was to continue until the clan of Hashim themselves outlawed Muhammad, or until he renounced his claim to prophethood.

In those three years of boycott, many of the followers of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) such as Abu Bakr raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) lost their statuses in society. Public humiliation, poverty, malnourishment, torture, molestation, and even murder were perpetrated against the small community of Muslims around the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him). There are narrations which talk about the fact that they would hear the cries of babies going to sleep at night. They buried so many children and babies at that time who died due to disease, malnourishment, and starvation. They could hear the mothers crying who had buried their babies the day before. It was a time of great suffering and sacrifice.

Shortly after the ban was annulled, Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) increased the test of His beloved Messenger at a time called ‘Ām al-Ḥuzn (عام الحزن), the Year of Sadness. In 619 AD, Khadijah bint Khuwaylid raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him), the wife of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) for 25 years passed away. When the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) was in shock after the first revelation descended, it was Khadijah raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) who comforted him and consoled him. She was one of the first believer, mother of the Prophet’s ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) children, and a caretaker to the Prophet’s ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) cousin Ali and adopted son Zayd (RA). She was his main confidante and his closest friend. Her death was considered to be the greatest personal tragedy to the Prophet (SAW). In fact, his later wife ʿĀʾishah bint Abī Bakr raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) said that she was never jealous of the co-wives of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) except for Khadijah who had passed before she had wed the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him). The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him), who would usually stay quiet in disputes with Aisha, stated when ʿĀʾishah voiced her upsetness at the Prophet’s lingering love for Khadijah:

Make this clear Aisha, you are not better than Khadijah. She believed in me when no one did and she testified to my truth when people said I was a liar. She gave everything she had to give me support.

Shortly afterward, Abu Talib, the Prophet’s ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) uncle and chief tribal protector in Makkah passed away. Abu Talib had been the caretaker of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) after the Prophet’s ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) mother and grandfather passed away. But the situation before the passing of both these allies to the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) was poor and it was now going to become unbearable. Abu Lahab, another one of the Prophet’s uncles and one of his bitter enemies, arose as chieftain of the Hashemites would not give the Muslims adequate protection.

When adversity brought the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) to his knees, he put his trust in Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) and continued to push forward. It was in this moment of desperation that the Prophet was sent his ultimate test; the Day of Taif. The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) described the Day of Taif more testing than the Battle of Uhud. In his desperation, the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) traveled to the nearby city of Taif in order to seek the city’s protection. When the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) met with the three leaders of the city, they feverishly rejected him and decided to turn the public against him. The representatives of the community gathered the youth, slaves, and others and to stone the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) and Zayd ibn Harithah raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him). The people of Taif purposely targeted the Prophet’s ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) feet, severely damaging them. His blessed body was profusely bleeding and the crowd pursued both the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) and Zayd ibn Harithah for an excruciating three to six miles until he settled in a private orchard. It was in this moment where all hope had vanished. Now pushed to his extreme limits of endurance, he raised his hands and called out to his Lord:

اللهم إليك أشكو ضعف قوتي وقلة حيلتي وهواني على الناس

ياأرحم الراحمين أنت أرحم الراحمين

أنت رب المستضعفين وأنت ربي

إلى من تكلني إلى عدو يتجهمني أم الى عدو ملكته امرى

إن لم يكن بك غضب علي فلا أبالي ولكن عافيتك هي أوسع لي

أعوذ بنور وجهك الذي أضاءت له السموات و الأرض

وأشرقت له الظلمات وصلح عليه أمر الدنيا والأخره

أن ينزل بي غضبك أو يحل علي سخطك

لك العتبى حتى ترضى ولاحول ولاقوة إلابك

To You, my Lord, I complain of my weakness, lack of support and the humiliation I am made to receive.

Most Compassionate and Merciful! You are the Lord of the weak, and you are my Lord.

To whom do You leave me? To a distant person who receives me with hostility? Or to an enemy You have given power over me?

As long as you are not displeased with me, I do not care what I face. I would, however, be much happier with Your mercy.

I seek refuge in the light of Your face by which all darkness is dispelled and both this life and the life to come are put in their right course against incurring your wrath or being the subject of your anger.

To You, I submit, until I earn Your pleasure. Everything is powerless without your support.

When we struggle with adversity, calling out to our Lord is one of the last things that comes to our mind. Even if it does, we struggle to motivate ourselves to learn how to make dua to Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) and we struggle to raise our hands. The amount of sincerity and power of this dua to Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) was so great that Jibril 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) came down to the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) and reported that the Prophet’s ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) appeal shook the heavens. Here, the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) seeks only the pleasure of his Lord and he will do whatever he can to fulfill his Lord’s pleasure. However, the pleasure of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) only comes with Allah’s subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) own support and we should be seeking it with every trial or tribulation that we face.

There are three lessons that we can take away the way the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) dealt with adversity. First, how can we sincerely put our trust in Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) to give us guidance when we have little to no relationship with our Lord to begin with. Therefore, the struggling believer must consistently engage in self-reflection. He or she should be asking, “Am I praying my five daily prayers?”, “Am I consistent in my prayers?”, “How much attention and effort do I give my five prayers?”, “Do I engage in the remembrance of Allah in my daily actions?”, “How often do I ask Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) for help”, “Am I trying to learn what is halal and haram?”. “Am I trying to inculcate more good deeds in my life?”, “Am I trying to leave sinning?”, “If I am still struggling in my relationship with Allah (SWT), am I reaching out to someone more learned?”, etc. These are the first things we need to be fulfilling in our struggle to be optimistic. If we still need help, we should not have fear in asking a professional such as a counselor or mentor.

Second, we need to be active in making our society a better place. The prophets were not just scholars, but they were changer-makers. They sought to make society a better place. Not only is our duty as Muslims to others who are struggling, but it alleviates a lot of burden on us when we help others. We are reminded of the hadith,

“Whoever relieves a believer’s distress of the distressful aspects of this world, Allah will rescue him from a difficulty of the difficulties of the Hereafter.”

Lastly, be comforted in Allah’s subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) everlasting control over all the affairs of humanity and beyond. Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) was there before us, when we die, and for eternity. Everything is in accordance with His Will. When we set our intentions right and make sacrifices in our lives to please Him, Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) will replenish the believer with something equal or better. After this painful period in the Seerah, Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) gifted His devout Messenger with two things, the miraculous journey of the Isra wal M’iraj and the story of Prophet Yusuf 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him). The story of Prophet Yusuf 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) was sent down to show the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) that he was not the first prophet who experienced difficulty. In Surah Yusuf, the Quran reminds us that Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) is عَلِيۡمٌ and حَكِيۡمٌ, the All-Knowing and All-Wise. In the verses of the Surah, these words were mentioned before the adversities in Yusuf and Yaqub’s 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) life, during the adversity, and after Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) had rewarded Yusuf and Yaqub for their resolve. There is light at the end of every tunnel of adversity and only Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) can give us the guidance to get there, we only have to turn to him.

We ask Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) to grant us the ability to maintain our optimism in our adversities. We ask Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) to grant us an understanding of Islam so that we may help others overcome their adversities. We ask Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) to relieve the adversity of the Ummah.


Shaykh Abdullah Waheed was born and raised in the suburbs of Detroit, MI. Shaykh Abdullah commenced his studies at the age of 10 in Toronto, Canada where he went to memorize the Quran.  He completed the memorization of the Holy Quran by the tender age of 12 and then went on to study in the 7-year extensive Shariah program in Toronto, Canada. Shaykh Abdullah then continued his research and studies, which took him on global journeys, such as Pakistan, Kuwait, and England.

Shaykh Abdullah specialized in Tafseer of the Quran. Sheikh Abdullah spent years to study the details and beauty of our Holy book since understanding and mastering the language of Holy Quran was always the primary goal.

Shaykh Abdullah is serving as an Instructor at Miftaah institute and is also the Director of Islamic Affairs at Flint Islamic Center. Shaykh Abdullah travels across North America for khutbas, workshops, and seminars. He is known for his motivational and enthusiastic style of speaking which leaves the audience focused and learning.

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