Monday, September 28, 2009

Some comments on Eric Weiner's The Geography of Bliss


So, as I was recovering from my knee surgery, I read a review of a book, The Geography of Bliss, by Eric Weiner, and subsequently, read the book. Eric Weinder, a NPR correspond travels to different countries all over the world trying to establish common themes on happiness and how it is achieved in different cultures. (review)

Here is my comment on the review above:

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. This book was an interesting read. Eric Weiner’s journey to find the path to happiness is intriguing and brings out common themes about people who consider themselves happy. One of Weiner’s statements at the end of book sheds light on his conclusions from his worldwide travels:

“Money matters, but less than we think and not in the way we think. Family is important. So are friends. Envy is toxic. So is excessive thinking. Beaches are optimal. Trust is not. Neither is gratitude. “

As a Muslim, reading this book made me think about one of my favorite prophetic (peace be upon him) sayings: “Wondrous are the believer’s affairs. For him there is good in all his affairs, and this is so only for the believer. When something pleasing happens to him, he is grateful, and that is good for him; and when something displeasing happens to him, he is patient, and that is good for him."

Reflecting on this saying provides peace and contentment of hearts. Happiness is a state of mind, and is a gift from our Lord.

Although Weiner discusses many different facets of happiness (e.g. avoidance of envy, tolerance, family, friends, etc.), he does not discuss the role of community service in depth. I would make the argument that community service/serving others is paramount in dealing with symptoms of depression/sadness and achieving a sense of lasting purpose/fulfillment.

Anyhow, be safe and keep bring interesting topics to the table ,iA.


Friday, September 25, 2009


Ramadan is over, and I feel it. May Allah forgive all our sins and keep us on the straight path. Ameen! Have you read Sura Kahf?

So, one step towards staying strong... More than anything else, this is a reminder for myself..

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:“Whoever fasts Ramadan and follows it with six days from Shawwal it is as if they fasted the entire year.”

Be safe and Jummah Mubarak.


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Good Manners


Abdu-Darda reported: The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "Nothing will be heavier on the Day of Judgement in the scales than good manners. Allah hates one who utters foul or coarse language. (Ar-tirmdhi)

My take:

1. Be kind and courteous to the people around you. Good manners is paramount in practicing this religion/way of life well.

2. It is important not to use foul language in our daily discourse.

3. We should consider this hadith during moments of irritation/jealousy/miserliness/etc.

May Allah bless us with the best of manners and make us the ambassadors of proper conduct in and outside our homes. Ameen!


Friday, September 18, 2009

End of Ramadan Khutbah from different sources

Praise be to Allaah, we seek His help and His forgiveness. We seek refuge with Allaah from the evil of our own souls and from our bad deeds. Whomsoever Allaah guides will never be led astray, and whomsoever Allaah leaves astray, no one can guide. I bear witness that there is no god but Allaah, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger).

This khutbah has been adapted from 'Shaykh Abdur-Rahmaan as-Sudais from the Harram and a khutbah from the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Shaykh Sudais Khutbah) (Victory at the End of Ramdan)

This khutbah will a call to reflect on the month of Ramadan, to make lots dua in these remaing hours of Ramdan in hopes to gaining Allah’s forgivness, to use the lessons learned in this month for the rest of the year.

Know that, among the signs of the acceptance of a good deed is to continue and be steadfast in performing that deed.

"So, we are at the end of Ramadan. This month of blessings and rewards will soon be leaving us. Will we meet Ramadan again? None of us knows. Ramadaan is the month of righteousness and generosity, the month of forgiveness and liberation from Hell. It is all but gone now and nothing remains of it but a few moments. Therefore, a fortunate Muslim during this month is one who is able to improve his acts of worship with sincerity and self-examination and end it with sincere repentance, for acts have value if they are accepted by Allah T’ala"

"Brothers in faith! Our righteous predecessors used to exert maximum effort in perfecting their acts of worship and had grave concerns regarding their acceptance or rejection. ‘Ali Ibn Abi Taalib warned: “Have a greater concern for the acceptance of your deeds than you do for the amount of deeds you have performed. Do not you hear the saying of Allaah: ‘Indeed, Allaah accepts only from the righteous” (Al Maa’idah: 27). "

"It is important to reflect on our present condition in light of the effects Ramadaan had on us. Let us compare our condition at the start of Ramadaan to our condition now: Was the advent of Ramadaan something that made us become pious? Did it reform our actions and conduct? Did it remove the hatred and rancour between us? "

In another hadith Qudsi, Allah the Almighty said:"I am as My servant thinks I am. I am with him when he makes mention of Me. If he makes mention of Me to himself, I make mention of him to Myself; and if he makes mention of Me in an assembly, I make mention of him in an assemble better than it. And if he draws near to Me an arm's length, I draw near to him a fathom's length. And if he comes to Me walking, I go to him at speed."

Know that, among the signs of the acceptance of a good deed is to continue and be steadfast in performing that deed. May Allah fill our lives with taqwa (God consciousness)and may we attain success in this world and the hereafter.

Lets always keep our brothers and sisters in our prayers, for the Prophet (p) "The dua of a Muslim for his brother (in Islam) in his absence is readily accepted, an angel is appointed to his side, whenever he makes a beneficial dua for his brother the appointed angel says "aameen and may you also be blessed with the same".

The Prophet s.a.w once said, The best deed that is loved by Allah is the one that is consistent, although it is small in quantity. (Narrated by Muslim). Let us try to take some of our habits from this month into the rest of the year. Know that, among the signs of the acceptance of a good deed is to continue and be steadfast in performing that deed.

May this Ramadan be a success for all of us as we strive to obey Allah’s commands. May Allah help instill in us the understanding of the following hadith. The Prophet (S) said that the Muslim is always a winner. When something good happens to him, he is grateful, and when adversity strikes, he is patient, and that is good for him.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Drivers of Health Care Costs


National health spending is expected to reach $2.5 trillion in 2009 (

(Wall Street Journal Video Clip)
Dr. Robert Levine, author of "Shock Therapy for the American Health System," tells Kelsey Hubbard that while he supports comprehensive reform, he does not believe that President Obama's plan goes far enough.

Dr. Levine believes that Washington's health care plans does not address costs.

1. Unnecessary care: 30% of total costs (CBO estimate)
2. Administration Costs: 15-20% costs

He cites main drivers of health care costs and suggests that the health care reform should work towards to decreasing these cost buckets. In terms of next steps, he suggests that physicians should be salaried to prevent incentives to order more tests (fee for service model).


Sheikh Negm's advice on last days of Ramadan


My younger brother listened to a short talk by Sheikh Negm, who is serving as a representative of Sheikh Ali Goma, The Grand Mufti of Egypt and is teaching at al-Azhar University.

Sheikh Negm gave 6 advices for the remaining nights of Ramadaan.

1. Perform Tahajuud (night) prayers

2. Read More Quran than usual

3. Make lots of Dua

4. Give Extra Charity

5. Make extra Dhirk (remembrance of Allah)

6. Maintain Family Relations

May Allah keep us on the straight path and help us take full advantage of these last days of Ramdan. Ameen!


Friday, September 11, 2009

Last 10 days of Ramadan- Are you taking advantage?


Have you read Sura Kahf today?

So, we are upon the last 9 days of Ramadan. I'm sure we have heard of the significance of the last 10 days of Ramadan, and we will be reminded at Jummah (friday mid-day prayer) and, then again, at tarawih (nightly) prayers, iA.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "Whoever prays during the night of Qadr with faith and hoping for its reward will have all of his previous sins forgiven."

This night of Qadr is supposed to fall during the last 10 days of Ramadan, iA. The Prophet (peace be upon) was known to exert himself in worship during these last 10 days.

So, what is your plan? Have you made a list of your duas? Have you set some goals for these last days? Do you feel closer to your Lord?

May Allah give us the strength to increase our worship/sincerity in these last 10 days, accept our prayers, and make us among the ones who achieve the highest level of Jannah. Ameen!

Jummah Mubarak and peace-

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Show Mercy to receive God's Mercy


The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "Allah will not be merciful to those who are not merciful to mankind."

My take:
1. Show mercy, give back to your community, friends, family, and know that your Lord will take care of you, iA.

Take care and be safe.


Sunday, September 6, 2009

Make lots of dua (supplication)


The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "Duas (supplication) of three persons are not refused: a fasting man when breaking the fast, a just ruler, and an oppressed person."

My Take:

1. We need to take full advantage of this month and continuously make dua (especially, right before breaking our fast at sunset) and trust that Allah will always keep his promise.

May the most Merciful bless us with God consciousness and contentment of hearts through our worship and faith. Ameen.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Sura Kahf + Actions are judged on intentions


Have you read sura kahf today?

Umar bin al-Khattab related that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "Actions are (judged) by motives, so each man will have what he intended. Thus, he whose migration was to Allah and his Messenger, his migration is to Allah and his Messenger, he whose migration was for some worldly thing he might gain, or wife he might marry, his migration is to for which he migrated." Related by Bukahri and Muslim

My take:
1. We need to be careful with our intentions and regularly renew/re-evaluate our intentions

2. We will be judged according to our intentions and the best actions are ones that are done for the sake of pleasing our Lord

2. I found it is very easy to talk about past good actions and subhanAllah, why would we try to lose the blessings in our good deeds by showing them off?

May Allah saves us from insincerity and help us accomplish our goals and aspirations for the right reasons. Ameen.

Peace and Jummah Mubarak

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Good Manners


Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
"Let whosoever believes in Allah and in the Last Day either speak good or be silent. Let whosoever believes in Allah in the Last Day honour his neighbour. Let whosoever believes in Allah and in the Last day honour his guest." (Related by AlBukhari and Muslim)

My take:

1. Engage in useful/positive talk or keep quiet.

2. Be kind to your neighbours and hospitable to your guests.

3. Good manners is paramount to this religion, the Prophet (S) has said that the heaviest matter on the Day of Judgment is Good Manners.

May Allah always bless us with good manners and give us the ability to be amazing influences on our communites. Ameen.


Muhammad Alshareef has a nice khutbah (sermon) on the importance of good manners:

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Fwd: Wisam Sharieff's Ramadan Qur'aan Class

A class to strengthen our connection with the Quraan.

Begin forwarded message:
AsSalamu Alaykum Warahmatullah

Br. Wisam Sharieff is a Hafidh, Qari, and instructor for Bayyinah Institute and currently teaches Arabic and Tajweed with them. He teaches side-by-side with Br. Nouman Ali Khan in many cities throughout the USA. See more of his videos here.

InshaAllah, he'll be holding a class which will be broadcasted live via the internet and phone on the word-by-word meaning of the Qur'aan. Everyone is encouraged to listen in, inshaAllah. See flyer below.
104 copy by you.

Mckinsey's Accounting for the cost of U.S. health care: A new look at why Americans spend more

Click on the link below to see Mckinsey's take on US's health care costs relative to other developed countries'. You will have to register (its free, you just have to create a profile).

The report gives insight on the main cost drivers of the health care system in the United States. It takes a bit of time to read the whole report, but the report provides an interesting quantiative analysis of health care costs.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "He who provides for the breaking of the Siyam (fast) earns the same merit as the one who was observing Siyam without diminishing in any way the reward of the latter."

My take:

1. Feeding ones who are fasting has a ridiculous multiplier effect in terms of rewards, mA.

May Allah give us the opportunity to provide for ones who are fasting during this blessed month of Ramadan. Ameen!


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Trust in your Lord


The person whose desire is for Allah alone, Allah with suffice him from every concern, take on all of his affairs, deflect from him what he is not capable himself to deflect, protect him like the protection of a father to his child and preserve him from all afflictions.(Ibn AlQayyim)
My Take:
1. Trust in your Lord, work hard, and don't stress, you will be fine.