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A Mother’s Ibaadah: Lessons From The Story Of Hajar




By Naureen Aqueel

I let out an exhausted sigh as I sat down in the Masjid al-Haram after Asr prayers. My toddler had fallen asleep on the carpet. My body ached.

I was exhausted after many rounds of running in between the hotel and masjid and bathrooms, sometimes pushing him in his stroller and sometimes just carrying him in my arms as strollers are not allowed inside the masjid. My toddler seemed to have developed an upset stomach hence the bathroom runs, but nonetheless he had the hunger of a growing toddler so we also had to get out to eat. We had still not recovered from the jet lag from travelling for the Umrah from the other side of the globe, so we needed to schedule in naps at the hotel during the day as well. In addition, there was a windstorm blowing fiercely during that time in Makkah, making pushing the stroller up the incline to our hotel even harder. It was our last day in the holy city, and I wanted nothing more than to make the best of it. I wanted to perform every prayer at the masjid, I wanted to be able to pray close to the Ka’aba, I wanted to be able to just sit there in peace, make dua’ and read the Quran. But things just did not seem to be going as I wanted them to.

On that last day I had to push my child’s stroller up and down the steep incline to our hotel, having to carry him in my arms all the while because he did not want to walk, as we reached the masjid just as the adhan was being called, and search for a women’s prayer area that was not already full (that meant a lot more walking than you would think). I had to then push the stroller halfway to the hotel during the windstorm when he wanted to use the bathroom before realizing that did not seem possible, go back and park the stroller at the masjid, and finally take him to a public restroom. Then I had to carry a sleepy toddler back inside the masjid to find a place for prayer again.

I felt drained. My arms hurt, my legs hurt. I felt I was missing out on making peaceful ibaadah at the masjid, especially on the last day I had left there. I felt devastated. And then as if by inspiration, a thought crossed my mind. I remembered the story of Hajar raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him). She ran from Mount Safa to Mount Marwa, up and down and back and forth – so many times – just to find water to nurse her thirsty, crying baby. And Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) made that struggle of hers an ibaadah that millions upon millions reenact every time they make Hajj or Umrah. An ibaadah without which no Hajj nor Umrah is complete. An ibaadah that every pilgrim without distinction – man or woman, young or old – partakes in.  An ibaadah which commemorates the true struggle, sacrifice, faith and resilience of a mother.

Ibaadah is not just Salah nor only praying in front of the Ka’aba, making dhikr, or reading the Quran. Ibaadah in Islam is not just confined to the ritualistic acts of worship or the five pillars we learn about. Getting through the tests Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) puts you through is ibaadah, caring for your child and your family is ibaadah, having patience in the hardships you face is ibaadah, the steps you take to and from the masjid are ibaadah, making a meal for your family is ibaadah, lending a helping hand, and even smiling at your fellow Muslim is ibaadah.

The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said:

“Charity is due upon every joint of the people for every day upon which the sun rises. Being just between two people is charity. Helping a man with his animal and lifting his luggage upon it is charity. A kind word is charity. Every step that you take towards the mosque is charity, and -removing harmful things from the road is charity.” [Bukhari]


“Every good deed is charity. Verily, it is a good deed to meet your brother with a smiling face, and to pour what is left from your bucket into the vessel of your brother.” [At-Tirmidhi]

In yet another hadith, Abu Dharr raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) has reported: “Some people among the companions came to the Messenger of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) and they said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, the rich have taken all the rewards. They pray as we pray, they fast as we fast, and they give charity from their extra wealth.’ The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessing be upon him, said: ‘Has not Allah made for you ways to give charity? In every glorification of Allah is charity, in every declaration of His greatness is charity, in every praise of Him is charity, in every declaration of His oneness is charity, enjoining good is charity and forbidding evil is charity, and in a man’s intimate relations with his wife is charity.’ They said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, is there a reward for one who satisfies his passions?’ The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said: ‘You see that if he were to devote himself to the forbidden it would be sin. Likewise, if he were to devote himself to the lawful he will have a reward.’” [Sahih Muslim]

Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) gives us all different opportunities for ibaadah based on the situations He puts us in. For some of us, our ibaadah might be struggling through sleepless nights caring for our newborns, for others it may be waking up to pray tahajjud, and for others still it may be practicing patience in the face of a calamity. We all get chances to make different forms of ibaadah throughout different periods of our lives.

So, to my fellow mothers who are struggling to meet the needs of their children thinking that they are ‘missing out’ on all the extra ibaadah they could have made, remember the example of Hajar raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him). Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) honored her and elevated her status for her faith, perseverance and her struggle for her child. Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) made her struggle an act of ibaadah that every pilgrim must perform to complete their pilgrimage. The prerequisite however, was faith and sincerity. Hajar raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) had unshakeable faith in Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) and was ready to bear the hardships for Him.

Alone in that barren desert with no food, water nor anybody to help her, Hajar raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) ran back and forth between the hills of Safa and Marwa, trusting Allah’s subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) plan for her when Ibrahim 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) left her and their infant son Ismail 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) in the desert upon Allah’s subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) command. When Ibrahim 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) was leaving her in the desert she asked him “Is it Allah who has commanded you to do this?” He said “Yes.”. She said: “Then He will not forsake us.” [Bukhari].

Hajar raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) had complete trust in Allah’s subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) plan for her. Yet she did not sit down passively without making an effort herself. She knew Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) had a greater plan for them, but she was proactive in seeking water and help for her and her son. Because of her faith and tawakkul (trust) in Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He), her struggle and effort became an act of worship. Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) made that physical struggle an act of ibaadah for her. She was not just sitting down peacefully and making dhikr, she was struggling to find sustenance and help for herself and her baby.

How many times do we as mothers run around trying to meet the needs of our children? How many hours do we spend on our feet trying to care for our families? In those moments, do we trust Allah’s subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) plan for us? Do we have faith in Him? Do we keep our obligations to Him (like the obligatory prayers, zakah, following His commands, etc.)? If we have faith and sincerity, we can have hope that our struggles are not in vain. When we ‘miss out’ on praying those extra nawafil because our child needed to be put to bed, when we ‘miss out’ on those extra pages of Quran we could have read because our children had to be fed, when we ‘miss out’ on the tahajjud prayer because we are just exhausted after many night nursings, remember that Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) can make those struggles of ours an act of worship if we only have faith and if we are sincere.

Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) says in the Quran:

“Say: Lo! My worship and, my sacrifice and my living and my dying are for Allah, Lord of the Worlds.” [Surah Al Anam;162]


Mu’aadh raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) said: “I sleep and I get up (to pray at night), and I seek reward for my sleep as I seek reward for my getting up.” [Bukhari]

The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) is also reported to have said: “You will never spend anything that you spend for the sake of Allah, but you will be rewarded for it, even the morsel of food that you put in your wife’s mouth.”  [Bukhari]


So to all the mothers who are exhausted running around meeting the needs of their families and constantly feeling that they are missing out on ‘peaceful’ ibaadah, just think about Hajar raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him). May be Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) is giving you the chance of an act of ibaadah just like that of hers.



  1. Avatar


    April 6, 2017 at 1:30 AM

    Good one! May Allah bless you and your child

  2. Avatar


    April 6, 2017 at 3:43 AM

    Masha Allah
    this applies to all – men and women

    • Avatar


      April 6, 2017 at 10:20 AM

      I beg to differ. How does this apply to men ? Do men even realize how insanely difficult it is to take care of a baby.
      I think it is completely lost on them.

  3. Avatar


    April 12, 2017 at 1:47 PM

    Jazakillahu khayran katheera for the beautiful reminder, especially the bit about sincerity and taqwa, may Allah ta’ala bless us with these characteristics.
    Also wanted to share that I know of a few people who used a baby carrier during Umrah and found that more convenient than a stroller.

  4. Avatar

    Umm Musa

    April 13, 2017 at 3:29 AM

    AsA sister

    This article’s content and style was wonderful. MashAllah it was an excellent read and amazing reminders. As a mother, this completely and totally resonated with me. I love how you kept mentioning how mothers feel bad about missing those extra pages of Quran and nawafil. We must remember that motherhood is a different stage of life that Allah SWT calls us to and His SWT expectations from usnare different than what they would have been had we not have had kids. We need to learn that there are other forms of ibada aside from worship acts like reading Quran and praying extra nawafil. A lot of mothers miss the time they used to have in the past to partake in such acts of worships but they must remember that now they are being called to perform a different act of worship which is being a mom! JazakAllah for this amazing article

  5. Avatar


    April 16, 2017 at 1:29 PM

    Wow ! That’s such a comforting article mashaAllah !

  6. Avatar


    October 27, 2017 at 12:00 PM

    Very motivating article.. life is a test all the way so nothing we do should be treated as pointless … jazakAllah

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Lesson 11 From Surah Al-Kahf

Tafsir Verses 72-81

Shaykh Furhan Zubairi



Alhamdulillah last session we were able to explore the meanings and lessons of verses 60-70. InshAllah, we’ll try our best to cover the meanings of verse 71-82. As we learned in the last session, this passage of the Surah deals with a very unique and interesting episode from the life of Musa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him). It’s the story of his encounter and journey with a man of God known as Khidr or Khadir. We reached the point in the story where Musa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) finally finds Khidr and asks with the utmost humility and respect to allow him to be his student. This highlights Musa’s 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) sincerity in seeking knowledge, his lack of pride and his willingness to humble himself in front of Khidr despite his own status as a Prophet.

But Khidr initially declined his request telling him, “Truly you will not be able to bear patiently with me. And how can you be patient with that which you have no knowledge?” Khidr recognized that he would do things that Musa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) would find to be illogical, irrational and even impermissible. Things that on the surface level seem to be horrible and despicable. Musa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) was sent as a Prophet of Divine Law, while Khidr had been entrusted with some unique knowledge and actions that seemed to be contradictory to that law. So he explained to Musa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) that he wouldn’t be able to be patient with him and his actions. But Musa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) was extremely eager to learn. He resolved to be patient and obedient while relying upon the will of Allah ﷻ.

He tells Khidr, “You will find me patient, if Allah wills, and I shall not disobey you in any matter.” Khidr finally gave in and both of them set off on their way. This is where we’ll pick up the story again. Allah ﷻ says,

Verse 71: So they both went on till, when they had embarked upon a ship, he made a hole in it. He said, “Have you made a hole in it to drown its people? Certainly, you have done a grave thing.”

They set out walking together along the shore looking for a ship to ride. As they were walking a ship of sailors passed by them and Khidr asked for a ride. The sailors knew Khidr so they let both him and Musa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) come on board without any charge. After traveling for a while Khidr got up and pulled out one of the planks from the bottom of the ship using an ax making a hole in it. This placed everyone on the ship in danger of drowning. Obviously, this seemingly absurd and cruel behavior surprised Musa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him). He was literally in shock. He couldn’t understand why Khidr would do such a thing to someone who helped him out. This went against his moral compass of what’s right and wrong. Musa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) forgot about the conditions of his teacher and objected. These people gave us a free ride and you’re pulling a plank to drown their ship. You’ve done something bad. “Have you made a hole in it to drown its people? Certainly, you have done a grave thing.” Khidr then reminded him gently with patience.

Verse 72: He said, “Did I not say that you can never bear with me patiently?”

Didn’t I tell you that you wouldn’t be able to be patient with me and my actions? The way he says this shows that he was willing to overlook and tolerate Musa’s (as) impatience. Musa (as) felt a sense of regret and apologized to Khidr telling him that he completely forgot about his deal.

Verse 73: He (Musa) said, “Do not hold me responsible for what I forgot, and do not make my course too difficult for me.”

Basically he apologized. He said please don’t hold me responsible for what I forgot and allow me to continue travelling in your company. While telling the story the Prophet ﷺ says, “the first (question) was out of forgetfulness. While this conversation was taking place a bird came and sat on the side of the boat and took a sip of water from the ocean. Khidr said to Musa, ‘my knowledge and yours combined in comparison to the knowledge of Allah is like the sip of water compared to the ocean.’” Khidr accepting his apology and they continued travelling on their way.

Verse 74: So, they moved ahead until when they met a boy, he killed him (the boy). He (Musa) said, “Did you kill an innocent soul while he did not kill anyone? You have committed a heinous act indeed.”

“So they continued…” They both got off the ship and started walking along the shore until they came across a young boy playing with his friends. Khidr went up to this young boy and killed him by either strangling him to death or striking him on his head. This was too much for Musa (as) to handle. He objected even more vehemently. How can he kill an innocent young boy for no reason whatsoever? To Musa (as) this seemed absolutely absurd, cruel and unjustified. It was too much for him to tolerate patiently despite his promise not to question anything that he saw. So he said, How can you kill a pure innocent child for no reason whatsoever? You have done something unjustified and have committed a heinous act. Once again Khidr reminds him of the condition that he made and the promise that Musa (as) had given.

Verse 75: He said, “Did I not tell you that you can never bear with me patiently?”

Didn’t I warn you that you wouldn’t be able to handle what I would do? Didn’t I tell you that you wouldn’t be able to remain silent when I do certain things? In this reminder, Khidr added the word “laka” to show that this time his reminder is more severe and clearer. The first time someone forgets and makes a mistake it’s overlooked. The second time it’s also overlooked but with a sense of hesitation. Musa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) again feels a sense of regret for breaking his word and not sticking to the conditions of Khidr. He’s now done this twice so he apologizes by saying,

Verse 76: He said, “If I ask you about something after this, do not keep me in your company. You have had enough excuses from me.”

Musa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him)(as) again apologizes but this time gives himself one last chance. He said if he questions Khidr one more time then Khidr can choose to part ways with him. Once again Khidr accepts his apology and they set off on their way. After commenting on this part ibn Kathīr narrates a hadīth from the Prophet ﷺ. He writes, “Ibn Jarir narrated from Ibn `Abbas that Ubayy bin Ka`b said: “Whenever the Prophet ﷺ mentioned anyone, he would pray for himself first. One day he said:

  • «رَحْمَةُ اللهِ عَلَيْنَا وَعَلَى مُوسَى لَوْ لَبِثَ مَعَ صَاحِبِهِ لَأَبْصَرَ الْعَجَبَ، وَلَكِنَّهُ قَالَ:
  • ﴿إِن سَأَلْتُكَ عَن شَىْءٍ بَعْدَهَا فَلاَ تُصَاحِبْنِى قَدْ بَلَغْتَ مِن لَّدُنِّى عُذْراً﴾»

May the mercy of Allah be upon us and upon Musa. If he had stayed with his companion he would have seen wonders, but he said, (`If I ask you anything after this, keep me not in your company, you have received an excuse from me.’))” That brings us to the third and last adventure they had together.

Verse 77: Then, they moved on until they came to the people of a town and sought food from them. But they refused to show them any hospitality. Then, they found there a wall that was about to fall down. So he (Khidr) set it right. He (Musa) said, “If you wished, you could have charged a fee for this.”

Musa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) and Khidr continued traveling until they came upon the people of a town that most commentators identify as the ancient city of Antioch. Being tired and hungry they asked them for some food but they refused to give them any or show them any hospitality whatsoever. As they were leaving the city they came across a wall that was about to fall down. Khidr stopped by it and repaired it. Now, this situation is also bizarre; Khidr is a complete stranger in a town that refused to give them food or host them yet he still stops and fixes their wall for nothing in return. Musa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) finds the situation full of irony. Why should a stranger exert so much effort in rebuilding a wall in a town where they were denied even a little food and all hospitality? He should have at least demanded some money for his labor and then they could have bought some food to eat.

Musa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) couldn’t hold himself so he objected, “If you wished, you could have charged a fee for this.” And that was the end of their relationship. Khidr responded,

Verse 78: He said, “This is the parting between me and you. I shall inform you of the meaning of that which you were unable to bear with patiently.”

Meaning, this is the end of our relationship and this is where we’ll part ways. But before we go our separate ways I’ll explain to you the wisdom and hidden meaning behind everything I did. Up till this point in the story, we’ve probably been just as impatient as Musa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him); we have no clue why Khidr did the things he did. But he then explains everything is detail; why he pulled a plank out of the bottom the ship, why he killed an innocent child and why he rebuilt the wall without taking anything in return.

Verse 79: As for the ship, it belonged to some poor people who worked at sea. I wanted to damage it, for just beyond them was a king who was seizing every ship by force.

Khidr is explained that his act of damaging the ship was, in reality, a means of saving it. It comes in a narration that these poor people were ten brothers, 5 of them were handicapped while the other five worked. The ship was their only source of income. The king was a cruel, tyrannical oppressor who would take ships by force. The damage done to the ship made it undesirable for the king and ultimately saved it for its owners. Had it been seaworthy, it would certainly have been confiscated by the tyrannical king. Perpetrating some small damage to the boat saved it from the greater harm and ruinous injustice which was certain to take place without it. Hence, causing such damage was a good and kindly action. So damaging the ship actually turned out to be a good thing.

Verses 80-81: And as for the young boy, his parents were believers and we feared that he would make them suffer much through rebellion and disbelief. So we desired that their Lord give them in exchange one who is better than him in purity, and nearer to mercy.

Although the young child seemed to be pure and innocent in reality the seeds of disbelief and wickedness were entrenched in his heart. If he had grown up he would have been a source of grief and sorrow for his parents who were believers. Their love for this child would have led them towards evil and wickedness as well. They would suffer because of the rebellion and disbelief. So Allah told Khidr to kill this boy to spare them that grief and to replace him with a child that would be better and more dutiful. Now obviously the parents weren’t aware of this at this time so to them this was a huge loss and tragedy. They weren’t aware of the future difficulties that they were saved from by his death.

Qatādah said, “His parents rejoiced when he was born and grieved for him when he was killed. If he had stayed alive, he would have been the cause of their doom. So let a man be content with the decree of Allah, for the decree of Allah for the believer, if he dislikes it, is better for him than if He were to decree something that he likes for him.” That’s why in connection to these verses ibn Kathīr رحمهم الله quotes the hadīth, “Allah does not decree anything for a believer, save that it is better for him.”

  • «لَا يَقْضِي اللهُ لِلْمُؤْمِنِ مِنْ قَضَاءٍ إِلَّا كَانَ خَيْرًا لَه»

It is mentioned in a narration that the parents were blessed with a pious daughter who gave birth to a Prophet. So the murder of this child actually turned out to be something good in the long run.

Verse 82: And as for the wall, it belonged to two orphan boys in the city, and beneath it was a treasure belonging to them. Their father was righteous, and your Lord desired that they should reach their maturity and extract their treasure, as a mercy from your Lord. And I didn’t do this upon my own command. This is the meaning of that which you couldn’t bear with patiently.

Khidr explained to Musa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) that the wall that was about to fall that he rebuilt was covering a treasure that belonged to two orphan boys. If the wall had fallen down the treasure would be exposed and the orphan children would’ve been deprived of their wealth. By rebuilding the wall Khidr made it possible for them to access their treasure when they grew up. This was done partially because their father was a righteous and pious man. Khidr then explains to Musa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) that he didn’t do any of these things based on his own accord or understanding. Rather he did them according to the Divine command, decree, and will of Allah ﷻ. “And I didn’t do this upon my own command.” He concludes by saying, “This is the meaning of that which you couldn’t bear with patiently.” Meaning, this is the explanation of my actions that you didn’t understand and weren’t able to be patient with.


1) One of the most powerful and profound lessons we learn from this entire episode is that oftentimes a tragedy is a blessing in disguise. Everything that happens in this world, whether good or bad, happens according to the Divine will and decree of Allah ﷻ. There’s some deep divine wisdom behind every single thing that happens in this world. When something good happens we recognize it as a blessing. For example, if we get a good job, get a raise at work, purchase a new car or are blessed with the birth of a child. All of recognize this as something positive. On the other hand whenever we face setbacks, difficulties, hardships and tragedies we tend to lose patience.

This incident is teaching us that difficulties, tests, trials, and hardships are oftentimes blessing in disguise. The first thing to understand is that Allah isn’t sending these difficulties our way to break us or destroy us. Rather he’s sending them our way to test our patience and faith, as a source of mercy and a reminder. As a way of nurturing and training us. He’s reminding us to turn back to Him, to hold on to our faith, to be steadfast, patient, strong, and to persevere. When we’re struggling and going through difficult times we shouldn’t assume that somehow Allah is displeased with us. Similarly, when we’re comfortable and enjoying life we shouldn’t assume that Allah is pleased with us. The opposite can be true. The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said,

  • « إِذَا أَرَادَ اللَّهُ بِعَبْدِهِ الْخَيْرَ عَجَّلَ لَهُالْعُقُوبَةَ فِى الدُّنْيَا وَإِذَا أَرَادَ اللَّهُ بِعَبْدِهِ الشَّرَّأَمْسَكَ عَنْهُ بِذَنْبِهِ حَتَّى يُوَفَّى بِهِ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ

“If Allah wants good for his servant, He hurries on His punishment in this world, and if He wills ill for a servant, he holds back punishing him for his sin so He can give it to him in full on the Day of Resurrection.”

Everything we face in this world is actually a source of blessing for us. The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said:

  • «مَا يُصِيبُ المُسْلِمَ مِنْ نَصَبٍ،وَلاَ وَصَبٍ، وَلاَ هَمِّ، وَلاَ حُزْنٍ، وَلاَ أَذًى، وَلاَ غَمِّ، حَتَّىالشَّوْكَةِ يُشَاكُهَا؛ إِلاَّ كَفَّرَ الله بِهَا مِنْ خَطَايَاهُ»

“No fatigue, illness, anxiety, sorrow, harm or sadness afflicts any Muslim, even to the extent of a thorn pricking him, without Allah wiping out his sins by it.”

Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) tells us that the main tool, the key to deal with the world and all the problems it contains is through patience and turning towards Him. When we’re dealing with our problems we should turn to Allah. We should make dhikr, read Quran, spend time in prayer and reflection and try to be around good company. We should try to focus our attention, our spiritual and emotional energy on our relationship with Allah instead of our problem. By doing so we’ll find peace and comfort. True contentment. Part of patience is recognizing that whatever we’re going through is something that we can handle. Whatever we’re going through will not last forever. That’s why throughout the Quran whenever Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) consoles and comforts the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) He reminds him to be patient and to turn to him. “So be patient over what they say and exalt [Allah] with praise of your Lord.” (20:130) “So be patient. Indeed, the promise of Allah is truth.” (30:60) “So be patient, [O Muhammad], over what they say and exalt [Allah] with praise of your Lord before the rising of the sun and before its setting.” (50:39)

2) Being content with the Divine decree of Allah ﷻ.

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Why I Turned to Tech to Catch Laylatul Qadr

Make sure you maximize your sadaqah





By Ismael Abdela

My life, just like yours, is sooo busy. So naturally, as the tech nerd I am, I turn to tech to help me manage my regular routine including project management apps to manage my daily tasks. I even have a sleeping app that wakes me up at the optimum time (whatever that means!). But even though tech has changed everything in all sectors and helped make efficiencies in my daily life, it had had little impact on my religious activities.

A few years ago, whilst I was preparing for the last 10 nights of Ramadan, it hit me – why doesn’t something exist that automates my donations during these blessed nights to catch Laylatul Qadr. Rather than putting a reminder on my phone to bring out my bank card every night and inputting it into a website – why doesn’t something exist that does it for me, solving the problem of me forgetting to donate. After all we are human and it’s interesting that the Arabic word for human being is ‘insan’ which is derived from the word ‘nasiya’ which means ‘to forget.’ It is human nature to forget.

So the techie in me came out and I built the first scrappy version of MyTenNights, a platform to automate donations in the last 10 nights of Ramadan (took two weeks) because I wanted to use it myself! I thought it would be cool and my friends and family could use it too. That same year, nearly 2000 other people used it – servers crashed, tech broke and I had to get all my friends and Oreo (my cat) to respond to email complaints about our temperamental site!

I quickly realised I wasn’t alone in my need  – everyone wanted a way to never miss Laylatul Qadr! Two years down the line we’ve called it MyTenNights, and our team has grown to 10, including Oreo, senior developers, QA specialists, brand strategists, creative directors and more. It fast became a fierce operation – an operation to help people all over the world catch Laylatul Qadr!

Last year alone we raised almost $2 million in just 10 days – and that was just in the UK. We’ve now opened MyTenNights to our American, Canadian. South African and Australian brothers and sisters and we’re so excited to see how they use it! We’ve made it available through all the biggest house name charities – Islamic Relief, Muslim Aid, Helping Hand, Penny Appeal, you name it! All donations go directly to the charity donors choose – all 100% of it.

Looking back at the last couple of years – it feels surreal: The biggest charities in the world and tens of thousands of users who share my need to be certain they’ve caught Laylatul Qadr. Although I hear many impressed with the sheer amount MyTenNights has raised for charity (and that excites me too!), it’s not what motives me to go on. What excites me most is the growing number of people who catch Laylatul Qadr because we made it easier.

I often tell my team that the number of people that use MyTenNights is the only metric we care about, and the only metric we celebrate. It makes no difference to us whether you donate $1 or a million – we just want you to catch Laylatul Qadr and for you to transform your Akhirah, because (after Allah) we helped you do it.

To catch Laylatul Qadr with MyTenNights, visit their website

Ismael Abdela is a Law & Anthropology graduate from the London School of Economics. He spent some years studying Islamic Sciences in Qaseem, Saudi Arabia. He is now a keen social entrepreneur. Ismael likes to write about spiritual reflections, social commentary, and tafsīr. He is particularly interested in putting religion in conversation with the social sciences.

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