I am Deah, Yusor, and Razan

We are the Muslim youth in our community.

We grew up here. We went to school here. We made friends here: people of different backgrounds, different cultures, and different religions. We learned what tolerance meant as we grew up. We now have our dreams, our goals and our aspirations that are still yet to come. We dream often of a world where our kids would be happy, safe, and sound. Where resources will be at their hands. This help. Love. And care. And if you ask, who are our kids? Our kids are those who are on the streets, those who need help at school, those who are going through tough times. Be it financial, physical, mental, or emotional. Catering for their needs. This is what we want for our communities. To be there for them. To be strong. To be active. To be the hand that gives.

Yet, in the midst we as Muslims go through a struggle because of the fear people have of our faith due to what exists out there. Deah, Yusor, and Razan were aged 23, 21, and 19. They were young and in their prime to help out their community. Their future and ours as well. Unfortunately, that was taken away from them by a man who took away their lives. This is my story and this is your story. Many of us are either activists in our communities or know people who are. This does hit home. I could see myself as Deah, newlywed and ready at the service of the community. I am not alone, but with the woman I love very much. The spirit is there and so is the zeal. And we are both ready for the challenges that are to come. For His sake, we are in this together in helping and building our community up! And Razan, our younger sister, was to follow our footsteps.

It’s sad that there exists people who can take away your life and the lives of those whom you love. That’s why serious measures needs to be taken on what already exists as a problem in our societies unfortunately. Intolerance. No one should go through this. God speed justice and make things come to rest.

– Deah was a dentist student and was intending to travel to Turkey this year to help out the Syrian refugees by providing them with dental care. Here is his fundraiser: http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/syrian-dental-relief/206249, chip in and contribute what you can. They are gone, and hopefully this project and many other projects they worked on or commenced, continue to grow as a legacy for them. Sadaqah jariya in sha Allah.

The People Syndrome, a bitter truth.

The People Syndrome, a bitter truth.


Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Everyone’s concerned with the people. The usual, “What will the people say?” is a disease far spread into our homes and into our hearts. As though our only concern is for the people. We breathe for the people. We make sacrifices for the people. We are what the people expects us to be. If anything, this is an EGO problem some of us have a harder time battling with than others!

While on the contrary, we are very passive with not being concerned with Allāh. As though again it is the people who elevate and abase us. No. Re read 3:26. It is Allāh who honours whom He wills and humbles whom He wills. What power do people have when it is Allāh who is over all things competent.

Leave the people aside, and I mean this NOT in the sense to completely abandon and cast away your people and never talk to them. You just gotta make the right decision for your accountability in front of Allāh on the Day of Judgement. The day everyone will be to themselves. And the people whom you tiredly tried pleasing or to get a worldly benefit from, will be of no benefit that day. Clearly of no benefit. Did you abide by the “people” or what I have sent you forthwith? For what price was all of that necessary for?

We live for Allāh and His Divine Laws He set aside for us in this life. Please Him, and you will have an elevated status with Him. Talk about ‘Izzah, He got your back for eternity! Let’s change, “What the people will say to what Allāh will say?”

This dunya this, this dunya that.

This dunya this, this dunya that.

How many a times do you see people talking about this dunya, and how fed up they are with it! Of course, I wanna put this out there clearly, I am not here to belittle anybody’s hardship. Just to put things into perspective and kinda explain what I wanna say, there is a quote I wanna share from Pico Iyer who mentioned it at a TED conference this year.

He said, “To step away from the world isn’t to draw back; it is actually a way to tune in.”

So this relates a lot to us, as Muslims, that yes we do want to step away from the world, materialistically speaking. We don’t want to be attached to it and have other attachments other than Allah, or have anything which distracts us from His worship. So to step away from the world is fine, but it does not mean as mentioned above to draw back. Some of us unfortunately including myself, is that we sometime completely draw back and exclude ourselves from the world, from our communities, from the people that we love a lot, and also just from dealing properly with the people by not having proper manners and etiquettes. Sometimes even that is affected by it. We just don’t know how to interact, as though ironically our hardships have blinded us. Which without a doubt is not the purpose of any trial or tribulation, rather it is a mean by which you can now clearly see things better and respond well to everything around you.

“It is actually a way to tune in.” What does that mean? It means that it is actually a way to work with your means, work with what you have already, and see what you can do. Allah has given you this life and many blessings along with it, this dunya it’s there. It does come from Him, and yes we are living in it. There is good in it, everything that Allah gives to you regardless, there is good in it ultimately. So use this, and see it as good. Stop hating the dunya because you are going through something. Work your way around it rather. And simply just learn how to deal with the world. Your hardship should make it easier for you to see things much clearly. Learn how to deal with the society, learn how to deal with the community, learn how to deal with the people, and learn how to deal with your loved one. And never forget at the end, to take care of your self. Realization and inspiration comes from God, and into the self when you take care of it. So when you wanna step away from the world, don’t draw back. This is a way for you to tune in.

It’s normal to feel that way, and it’s very human, but it doesn’t necessarily mean we should act that way. Stay positive and make wonder happen around you.

May Allah make all of our hardships easy for us, and find us a way out. Ameen.

Your worried heart and mind will not rest until

Your worried heart and mind will not rest until you appoint Allāh as your Trustee; it is the best of this world you can ever have and ask for.

Instagram: tariqyusufzai

Instagram: tariqyusufzai

At times we drown ourselves in the future and how we think we will manage it all. How things will happen. Worries and thoughts pacing back and forth, the long sigh, and just this restlessness. I am going to do this and that, while forgetting that it is Allāh who you should ask of and place your trust in Him. That by no doubt will allow your heart and mind to calm down, to relax and be at ease feeling much sakīnah. And who allows that sakīnah?

No one, but Allāh Himself.

You have Allāh and your affairs are in the best of hands, He will do you good most certainly.

A mother’s love you cannot repay

God bless our mothers who serve us with a second plate every single night. “Take a bit more”, she says. And yet I never hesitate because there is always barakah in her offering, her mere kindness and love. It amazes me everyday.

Sometimes I don’t like asking my mom to get things for me, as a way of not bothering her too much. Even though I know she loves it very much whenever I do so. And you can clearly see it, as though it is like if she had you when you were young in her arms once again. You call out to her in the most gentle of ways and she replies, “Yes, my dear.” And she becomes this amazing person that lits up, really, ready to be at your service. It’s very beautiful. I explicitly ask her to bring me things I need, just to see her smile once again and be the mother I always had at my service. Which she always tells me that’s what she lives for.

Your mother loves it when you call out to her―And there is an innate trust right from birth between the child and the mother. A child knows no one but his mother, and he always takes refuge in her, and only relies upon her. When he sees her, he hangs on to her and if something were to happen the first word to come out from his lips would be, “mother”. There he finds this security, provision, and her compassion.

Thought I would share, since it replayed all back to me in that moment. Never will I be able to repay her, and never will I be able to repay Allah. May Allah give our mothers well-being in this world and in the next, and may He make all affairs easy for them, their worries and concerns. Ameen. May He make us good for them every single day.

Luminaries – The End

#Luminaries – The End
Index of all Luminaries covered:

Healing Hearts


As we draw the Luminaries series to an end, we would like to thank everyone that has contributed.
Uniting bloggers from around the globe and delivering this series has been an enriching experience. Furthermore, we really appreciate all the support we received from our teachers and friends who helped promote the series. Allah reward you all abundantly!

The great Shāfi’ī scholar, historian and biographer Imām al-Sakhawi said,
 “Whoever records a biography of a believer, it is as though he has brought him or her back to life.”

That was our intention in this series, to bring a little of their light into your lives. The entire series has been an honour, a privilege, and a blessing.

If anyone has any queries with regards to the references, or indeed incidents that have been mentioned, please contact us.

Luminaries I– Imām Abū Qāsim al-Junayd
Luminaries II–Shaykh Aḥmad ibn ʿAjība
Luminaries III–

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Day 6 – Imām al-Hārith al-Muhasibī (rh)


Imām al-Ḥārith al-Muḥāsibī (rh)

By Tariq Yusufzai

It was during Iʿtikāf last Ramaḍān where I was sitting in our masjids library and I gazed upon a book my friend was reading, “al- Muḥāsibī’s Risāla al-Mustarshidīn” (Treatise for The Seekers of Guidance), by Imām al-Muḥāsibī. As he left, I picked up the book and started reading it.

Imām Abū ‘Abdullāh al-Ḥārith b Asad al-Muḥāsibī (may Allāh be pleased with him) was born in the great city of Baṣra, Iraq in the year 165 A.H./781 C.E – 243 A.H./857 C.E. The city which would plant the deep roots of the beginning of all Islamic Sciences to be. It is in the center of debates regarding new translated knowledge of the Greeks, Romans, and Syrian Christians etc that Imām al-Muḥāsibī would intellectually take part of, exploring the proper viewpoint of alienated knowledge and philosophies in the Islamic worldview.


Alqueria de Rosales – © Riyaad Minty

Both a scholar and narrator of Ḥadīth, he held a high level of legal thought. He was a major speculative theologian (Mutakallim), who authored over 200 books and treatises. He was the teacher of great Luminaries such as: Imām al-Junayd, Sarī al-Saqaṭī, Aḥmad and Muḥammad b. Abi al-Ward, Aḥmad bin Muḥammad ibn Masrūq, and Muhammad b Ya’qūb al-Farajī. He influenced many theologians who came after him, including Imām al-Ghazālī and his Iḥyāʾ ʿulūm al-Dīn. He had a somewhat fractious relationship with Imām Aḥmad b. Ḥanbal for his propensity to respond to the Rationalists using their own methods of reasoning, over the years this has led to some people overlooking his works.

He was called Muḥāsibī due to his constant reckoning of his own self, taken from the word muḥāsib, which means he who takes account of something. Therefore Imām al- Muḥāsibī ‘s major intellectual contribution was in the area of character reformation and human development, used essentially as a means in coming close to God. His work entirely focused on God-consciousness, that act which is necessary if we are to truly know and serve God. On the other hand, he emphasized on Divine Grace; it is Allāh who allows one to be on the path of truth; it is Allah who elevates the maqām of His servants; it is Allāh who allows one to be able to conquer and discipline his soul. Though he did not believe it to be completely passive, that it is through reflection, devotion, humility, and having a good opinion of Allāh that the hearts can become illuminated by the Light of Divine Grace.

His greatest work is considered to be ar-Ri ʿāyah li-ḥūqūq Allāh (Book of observance of the rights of Allāh); most of the themes in that book are dealt in al- Muḥāsibī’s Risāla al-Mustarshidīn (Treatise for The Seekers of Guidance) the book I laid my eyes upon.

Painting by Morteza Katouzian

Painting by Morteza Katouzian

The greatest of miracles, I believe, of Imām al-Muḥāsibī is his discourse on speculative theology and rectifying the self and that in and of itself has brought in much miracles and inspiration to later luminaries and nations to come by. You and I are both transformed by his works, one way or another. I definitely was since Ramaḍān benefited me well.

Selected saying sof Imām al-Muḥāsibī:

“One who rectifies his inner self with an awareness of God’s surveillance and sincerity; God adorns his outer self with devotional acts and adherence to the prophetic way (Sunnah).”

“Knowledge bequeaths fear, divestment from the world bequeaths comfort, and gnosis bequeaths self criticism.”

“Good character is bearing abuse, rarely becoming angry, a pleasant face, and sweet speech.”

“One who does not thank God for a blessing has called for its eradication.”

“The best person is one who does not allow his Hereafter to preoccupy him from his worldly affair nor does he allow his worldly affair to preoccupy him from his Hereafter.”

“The tribulation of the seeker of the world is the idling of his heart from remembrance of the Hereafter.”

“For indeed, the pleasure of the wise scholars is in their intellects, and the pleasure of the ignoramuses and beasts is in their desires.”

Source: Treatise for The Seekers of Guidance, al-Muhasibi’s Risala al-Mustarshidin translation, commentary, and notes by Imām Zaid Shakir.

New Series – Luminaries: Illuminations From The Past

May this letter reach you in the best state of health and imān.


I will be teaming up with a couple of good friends on a new blogging series titled:

“Luminaries: Illuminations From The Past.” A series highlighting the life and work of some of history’s illuminating faithful in the hope of inspiring us towards light.


Mohamed Ghilan- Mohamed Ghilan
Kamran Haikal- Ahlul Bay
Sidra Mushtaq- Healing Hearts
Kamran Shaheen- The Conscious Muslim
Dawud Israel- Muslimology
Zara Nargis- Treasures for the Seeker
Tariq Yusufzai- Tariq the Pilgrim

A 7 days series starting on March 10th. Follow the series on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and WordPress. #Luminaries

May Allah bless this series and make it a source of goodness, amīn.

And success is from Allah,
Tariq Yusufzai.

The dua of our parents – Exam time

The Messenger of Allah, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said: “Three supplications will not be rejected by Allah, the supplication of the parent for his child, the supplication of the one who is fasting, and the supplication of the traveler.”

Before heading out to school for an exam, I asked mom to make dua for me.

A while later after Maghrib came by, we headed to pray in congregation. We waited for mom to finish her prayer. I thought she was praying Maghrib but gave her the benefit of the doubt. And it turned out to be a nafl prayer and she said, “I made dua for you that Allah makes you successful in this world and the next to come”.

“Ameen”, I replied.

Iqamah was made and we prayed our  Maghrib.

Before any difficulty you are going through, ask your parents to make dua for you. Explicitly. Never underestimate it, it will do you wonders. Many of us still have exams left, work hard and tell your parents about it.

And success comes from Allah.

A heart at rest..

“A heart at rest reciprocally beautifies the recitation of Qurʼān.”

Photo Credit: Muhammed Muheisen

Photo Credit: Muhammed Muheisen

It’s a two way experience. When the heart is at rest, spiritually speaking, it beautifies the recitation of the Noble Qurʼān. Such that the recitation becomes very harmonious when recited. The tune, the pace, the pauses, the breath etc. Everything is working together as one. Now reciprocally speaking, if you attempt at beautifying the recitation of the Qurʼān it tends the heart of a person towards calmness, making it come to rest. A divine consequence of the Qurʼān.

Allahu A’lam.