10 Reasons Not to Make a New Year’s Resolution This Year – Sidi Tushar Imdad

10 Reasons NOT to Make a New Year’s Resolution This Year

Every year the anticipation builds before January 1st to set a new habit or a new goal. And for 2020, it feels even more important. 2020 is such a nice, round number, right? We don’t want to miss out on ‘2020 Life Vision’ (get the pun?).

I’m giving you permission NOT to set any goals or resolutions or habits this January. You can relax. Your anxiety levels are probably rising at the thought, but here are 10 reasons why it may well be better to give New Year’s resolutions a miss:

#1 – It Doesn’t Work
How many times have you set a New Year’s resolution (NYR) to exercise more, or tidy up your home, or save more money – only to give up, even without realizing – a few months or even weeks into the habit?

Einstein defined insanity as ‘doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.’

So, this year, instead of reinforcing a self-fulfilling prophecy of failure (studies show that 92% of people fail to keep their resolutions), let’s do something different.

#2 – Resolutions are Typically Not Actionable
More often than not, resolutions are just vague intentions: ‘I will lose weight’, ‘I will make more money’, ‘I will eat more vegetables.’

David Allen in his hugely successful ‘Getting Things Done’ gives the simple example of clearing up your garage. If you give yourself the ‘task’ of ‘clear up the garage’, you’re highly likely to put it off until kingdom comes!

Instead, one should break down the task (which in this case is really a project) into much smaller actions and focus simply on the ‘Next Action.’ For example, ‘Get three boxes ready for garage clear out’.

#3 – Unrealistic Expectations
NYRs tend to be lists of hopes, wishes and vague goals. So in addition to not being actionable, there are simply too many goals to realistically achieve.

People who have achieved extraordinary results, and changed their lives around, almost always focussed on ONE habit or goal at a time. This allows you to harness all your energy on one habit and achieve success.

With multiple habits, you spread yourself thin and risk failing in all of them. Less is more with habit forming.

#4 – Weak External Motivation 
Even if you made an elaborate SMART plan for your NYR, you are still likely to fail as your motivation may well be wrong.

We tend to make resolutions because we think we should rather than because we want to. Perhaps it’s because it’s what we’ve always done, it’s tradition, or since everyone else does it, or countless articles/posts fill you with false hopes.

None of these are good reasons. These reasons rely on weak exernal motivation whereas you need strong, internal reasons for change.

No wonder that we lose steam after a few weeks when all the excitement dies and you realize, too late, that your why wasn’t strong enough.

#5 – Reverse Accountability
Habit forming experts are unanimous that accountability to a group is one of the strongest means for making your resolutions stick. There is a caveat. The group should be filled with inspiring people on a similar journey with plenty of role models.

With NYRs, you have the reverse of this: failing to meet resolutions is so common in society, you may subconsciously expect to fail before you begin!

#6(a) – Problematic Timing (1): Holidays Just Over
Ironically, the new year is actually a BAD time of year to form a goal or habit. This point is so fundamental, it expands to two reasons!

Firstly, you’ll be just finishing the holidays. Psychologically, it can be hard enough motivating yourself to return to work, let alone adding the pressure to meet a challenging NYR.

#6(b) – Problematic Timing (2): Winter
Secondly, January is in the heart of winter for most of us. Have you ever tried forming a walking habit in winter only to put it off for spring?

It’s not just with exercise. Since January is one of the most depressing months of the year, it will be an uphill emotional battle to make any major life change.

Dark, cold, wet. Sound motivating to you?

#7 – Long Year Ahead
If you start a habit in January, you can see the whole year stretching ahead of you with sunny days many months away. This makes it so easy to procrastinate as it’s hard to focus on one goal for so long.

We want lasting change, not just a short-term fix. New Year’s resolutions can often be like crash diets which rebound as soon as we hit our target weight.

If we want true lifestyle change that lasts a lifetime, then we need to be more systematic and intentional with our goals.

#8 – Unnecessary Stress
Setting an arbitrary date to set resolutions forces you to panic and think up of goals when you may not be ready – especially when there are 364 other perfectly good days to decide to change.

Furthermore, the mindset encouraged is a state of entering the new year wanting more in your life than you have right now. Wouldn’t it be great, instead, to be more grateful and present with what you have?

#9 – Tradition Divorced From its Origins
The practice of NYRs go back to the Babylonians and Romans who ‘celebrated’ the new year by offering sacrifices and pledges to their gods.

Interestingly, this is more in line with the Muslim philosophy of celebration. Eid, Jum’a, Dhul Hijjah and other holy times in the Muslim calendar are not marked with fireworks or secular goal setting. Rather, they are times for repentance (tauba), thanksgiving (shukr) and ibaadah (worship).

#10 – Distraction From the Most Effective Means of Change
Some people do nothing all year except the same lame, half-hearted resolutions every January 1st – which they inevitably break. It’s probably a deliberate ploy by our inner chimps (nafs) to avoid doing the real work of forming challenging habits.

New Year’s Resolutions can be trendy, convenient band-aids to real change. Sure, it’s possible to set realistic, time-specific, mission-driven and achievable goals in time for the new year. But for all the reasons above, you’re more likely to succeed in simply starting another time. When you’re truly ready and self-motivated.

What to Do Instead?
Having said all that, I appreciate that New Year’s Day is still a symbolic, memorable time and therefore there is emotion attached to the occasion. It’s a great excuse to do something important.

So, yes, we should leverage the beginning of 2020. But how?

That is the perfect topic for a special New Year’s Eve article to be sent only to my mailing list this coming Tuesday. If you’re not on my mailing list, sign up via the link below. You’ll get the article and access to much more.

If you enjoyed this article, you can sign up to Tushar’s mailing list for his weekly Jum’a articles, free content about Islamic Time Management as well as updates for exciting courses and services: https://mailchi.mp/5879bd7982eb/tusharimdad


Biography:
Tushar Imdad (aka Tushar Mohammed Imdad-ul-Haque Bhuiya) is an Islamic Time Management Coach and Educational Entrepreneur. Professionally trained as a high school English teacher, Tushar has taught or managed prominent Islamic schools in Leicester, UK, between 2007-2016. With a flair for managing multiple roles, Tushar is also a GCSE English examiner, a teacher trainer for AMS UK; professional proofreader; former lead instructor at Madrasa Manara; and is currently the Director of Shaykhspeare’s Online English Academy and High Impact Tutors.  

A long-term student of knowledge, Tushar has studied a range of Islamic sciences at the feet of scholars such as Shaykh Nuh Keller, Umm Sahl, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, Maulana Ilyas Patel and Ustadh Tabraze Azam. In 2015 he completed Level 5 of the Classical Arabic Program from the prestigious Qasid Institute, Amman.   

Throughout his varied career, Tushar has always been driven by a passion for time management. Starting in 2009, he has delivered a mixture of workshops, webinars, web-coaching and client visits, attracting delegates as varied as CEOs, corporate professionals, housewives, dentists and scholars from places spanning the UK, US and Middle East. Tushar has published articles and delivered training for ProductiveMuslim.com, SeekersGuidance.org and Qibla.com (now Kiflayn). In recent years he has immersed himself in productivity systems, learning from world-class experts such as Demir Bentley, the authors of The One Thing, Leo Babuta and James Clear. His recent courses have included ‘Principles of Islamic Time Management’, ‘Time Tactics 101’ and ‘The Breakthrough Habit’.


A Poem for Personal Problems – Novid Shaid

A Poem for Personal Problems

 

One day I awoke

Aching head and broke

Someone shaking me

Cursing deafeningly:

 

“Time to get angry!

Irascibility!

 

You’ve been hurt and tricked!

People take the mick!

You don’t deserve this!

So, give them all a miss!

 

Time to feel despair!

Your life has no repair!

 

Double-dealing spouse!

Children wreck your house! 

Relatives are war!

And friends just make you poor!

 

Devils in their blood!

They drag you in the mud!

 

Not enough money!

This is not funny!

Others get the breaks!

But your problems just bake…

 

Allah hates your face!

You’re such a big disgrace!

 

Might as well give up

You’ll never have the luck

Prayer is just pointless

Your life is just a mess…

 

Might as well end it…

Do it and do be quick!”

 

I arose provoked

By the one who spoke

Devil with a key

With which he’d made entry

 

In my house he came!

My discontent his game!

 

Then I wept, praying

To the Only King

Send me some relief!

From all this pain and grief!

 

Give me harmony!

Through Mustafa’s bounty!

 

Suddenly, a wind

Subtle, sweet and thin

Irresistible

It soothed all my troubles

 

And the devil screamed!

It tumbled in the breeze!

 

Flying out the door

Devil cried and swore

I replaced the lock

And let the wind unblock

 

All the hurt within

Flew out upon the wind!

 

Then I read and prayed

Crying out His name

Clearing up my rooms

So, Presence could imbue

 

When my house was clear

The Lights said: “There’s no fear,”

 

He is always there

He is ever near

Troubles still arise

But the Lights galvanise!

 

“There’s no fear nor grief

Allah is the relief!”

 

By Novid Shaid, 2019

www.novid.co.uk

From the Dawn of History – Stories of Light

From the Dawn of History

Join award-winning author Mehded Maryam Sinclair with your family as she takes you on a breath-taking journey through:

  • The Formation of the Universe and Planet Earth
  • The Creation of the First Human
  • The Divinely-Intentioned Establishment of Human Life on Earth
  • The Procession of the Divine Messengers
  • The Fulfillment of the Message in the Prophet Muhammad,
    may Allah bless him and give him peace

Foster in your hearts a true, deep certainty in our Divinely inspired history. Foster in your family a deep bond of shared listenings and meanings.

Register Here

Islamic Time Management (1) : The Ultimate Hack in Islam – Sidi Tushar Imdad

The Ultimate Hack in Islam

Did you know that any good deed you do could be rewarded anywhere between one, to 10X, to 700X or ‘even more’?

Two people could both be working at a task, let’s say writing a report for work. One gets the reward of 1 and another gets 700!

The reality could be even more extreme. One person could be getting a NEGATIVE, by committing a sin through this report (for example, by recommending a haram transaction) and the other could be getting MILLIONS of hasanat (good deeds) for the same amount of effort.

The reason for the difference is the ultimate hack in Islam. And it’s something we all know, but seldom utilize to its INFINITE potential.

I’m talking about INTENTION (niyyah).

In one of the most foundational hadiths of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), we learn that ‘Actions are judged according to their intentions.’

Now we all know that we must make an intention before fasting, or getting married, or praying a particular salah. But do we make strong intentions for all the other actions which make up 95% of our time?

Imagine, if you knew a friend doing the same job as you. You both put in the same hours, the same effort and actually do the same thing. Yet you get paid £10/hr and she gets paid £100,000/hr! Talk about not meeting your potential! You’d feel utterly cheated, squandered and robbed of your time, right?

Well this could be happening to us right now! Imagine if for 95% of our time – our sleep, our eating, our 8-10 hours of daily work – we were only gaining 1 or even 0 good deeds (because we had no intention – just going through the motions). When we could have been gaining 700X for all of these same deeds!

The bottom line: if you don’t actively make good intentions then you are literally firing blanks on most of your days, most of your nights and most of your life.

The good news? This incredible gift from Allah is the most powerful hack imaginable as it means you can gain tens, hundreds and even 1000X more profit in this world and the next – with the same deed.

Think of it as the amount of return on investment (ROI) for your deeds. Someone puts £1 in a bank and it stays the same. Another person invests it into a halal enterprise and gains £1000s from the same £1.

You can do this with your deeds, and it’s much more valuable than money.

Now the question remains, HOW do you ensure a deed gets 10X or 100X or 700X or more?

That’s too much to answer for now, but it requires an understanding of the issues of QUANTITY and QUALITY of intentions – in order to cover all your bases. We’ll look into that in the next installment of this mini-series on ‘The Ultimate Hack in Islam’.

This is the type of knowledge what I term ‘Islamic Time Management’. It’s priceless and that’s why I’m so passionate about it.

If you enjoyed this article, you can sign up to Tushar’s mailing list for his weekly Jum’a articles, free content about Islamic Time Management as well as updates for exciting courses or services: https://mailchi.mp/5879bd7982eb/tusharimdad


Biography:
Tushar Imdad (aka Tushar Mohammed Imdad-ul-Haque Bhuiya) is an Islamic Time Management Coach and Educational Entrepreneur. Professionally trained as a high school English teacher, Tushar has taught or managed prominent Islamic schools in Leicester, UK, between 2007-2016. With a flair for managing multiple roles, Tushar is also a GCSE English examiner, a teacher trainer for AMS UK; professional proofreader; former lead instructor at Madrasa Manara; and is currently the Director of Shaykhspeare’s Online English Academy and High Impact Tutors.  
 
A long-term student of knowledge, Tushar has studied a range of Islamic sciences at the feet of scholars such as Shaykh Nuh Keller, Umm Sahl, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, Maulana Ilyas Patel and Ustadh Tabraze Azam. In 2015 he completed Level 5 of the Classical Arabic Program from the prestigious Qasid Institute, Amman.   
 
Throughout his varied career, Tushar has always been driven by a passion for time management. Starting in 2009, he has delivered a mixture of workshops, webinars, web-coaching and client visits, attracting delegates as varied as CEOs, corporate professionals, housewives, dentists and scholars from places spanning the UK, US and Middle East. Tushar has published articles and delivered training for ProductiveMuslim.com, SeekersGuidance.org and Qibla.com (now Kiflayn). In recent years he has immersed himself in  productivity systems, learning from world-class experts such as Demir Bentley, the authors of The One Thing, Leo Babuta and James Clear. His recent courses have included  ‘Principles of Islamic Time Management’, ‘Time Tactics 101’ and ‘The Breakthrough Habit’.

Scholars of the Subcontinent – Shaykh Hamzah Maqbul

In this inspiring and informative lecture, Shaykh Hamzah Maqbul discusses how knowledge and scholarship flourished in the Indian subcontinent. The subcontinent became a vibrant and illuminating center of Islamic scholarship which produced many erudite scholars. From Shah Waliuallah to the founding scholars of the world renowned Deoband seminary, Shaykh Hamzah elaborates on the immense sacrifices the scholars of the Indian subcontinent made for the preservation and dissemination of Islam.

Parents Matter More Than Peers – Shaykh Hamza Karamali

* Courtesy of basiraheducation.org

Muslim Reflections on Leonard Sax’s The Collapse of Parenting

We want to transfer our religious values to our children. We want them to love Allah and His Messenger, to live moral lives, to be responsible and hardworking, to pray for us after we leave this world, and to bring joy to the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) on the Day of Judgment.

But our surrounding culture works against us.

Leonard Sax argues that our surrounding culture works against us because (a) it teaches our children to value their same-age peers more than their parents and (b) it teaches us to treat our children like grown-ups.

Here’s an example from his book.

“Megan and Jim, both forty-something parents, had planned a four-day ski vacation between Christmas and New Year’s. Their 12-year-old daughter, Courtney, politely declined to join them. “You know I’m not crazy about skiing,” she said. “I’ll just stay at Arden’s house for those four days. Her parents said it’s OK. They have a spare guest room and everything.” So her parents went on the ski vacation by themselves, and Courtney spent four days at the home of her best friend. “I didn’t mind. In fact, I was pleased that Courtney could be so independent,” Megan told me.” (Leonard Sax, The Collapse of Parenting (Basic Books, New York: 2016 ), pp. 27-8)

Because of her surrounding culture, which teaches her to value her peers more than her parents, Courtney valued spending time with her friend more than with her parents. Because of the same culture, which teaches parents to treat their young children as grown-ups, her parents thought they were doing a good thing by letting her be independent. Because Courtney’s parents validated her belief that her friends matter more than her parents, she will be drawn to her friend’s values more than her parent’s. And because the surrounding culture has also cut her friend off from her parents, both Courtney and her best friend Arden will learn the “values” of the “culture of disrespect” that I described in my previous post.

The culture that surrounds us as Muslim parents is the same as the culture that surrounds Megan and Jim. The challenges that we face raising our children are the same as theirs. And the solutions, too, at a high-level, are the same.

The high-level solution is for us to develop a strong family culture in which both parents and children believe that parents (in a Muslim context, the mother even more than the father) are more important than the children’s same-age peers. If Courtney (you can replace her name with “Fatima”) had been part of that strong family culture, she would not have wanted to spend those four days with her friend; she would have wanted to spend them with her parents on their ski-vacation. And her parents would understand that if she wanted to spend those four days with her friend rather than with them, that was not a sign that she had grown up and become independent; it was a sign that they were failing in their goal to transfer their values to her.

That is why, when a man asked the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace), “Who is most deserving of my good companionship?” He replied, “Your mother.” When he asked, “Then who?” he replied, “Your mother.” When he asked again, “Then who?” he replied again, “Your mother.” When he asked a fourth time, “Then who?” he replied, “Your father.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

Leonard Sax argues that the key to developing this strong family culture is building parental authority. That, insha’Allah, will be the subject of my next message.

I encourage all of you to buy the book, read it, follow along as I explain, and please ask your questions here. Every week, I will select one of your questions to answer in this message.


Basira Education

Our mission is to develop intelligent and conservative Muslims whose grounding in the Muslim scholarly and spiritual traditions enables them to critically integrate modern science and culture into their religious worldview.


 

Knowledge Without Barriers: A Heartbreaking Story About A Student in Need

I just wanted to share a quick story that reflects the importance and blessings of SeekersGuidance and the Knowledge Without Barriers initiative.

This is a short story about one of the sharpest students in our class, who always looked exhausted. Every half an hour or so, he would stand so that he wouldn’t doze off in class.

Every chance he got, he would ask me about the ‘ulema in Pakistan and Canada. He would lament about the state of his people but was hopeful that one day they would reclaim the legacy of the likes of Imam Bukhari, Baha’udin Naqshaband and Imam Tirmidhi.

One morning, I saw him sitting on a bench outside the masjid waiting for Fajr to come in. As I greeted him and saw the exhaustion on his face, I wondered how many nights he had spent on a park bench, and if that was the reason he was always so tired… That was also the last day I saw him in class, he stopped attending.

I ran into him today, and asked him where he’s been… He smiled and said he’s been attending a reading of Sahih al Bukhari. I asked him when he’ll be returning to class… Sadly, he informed me that he wouldn’t be able to, and that he plans to start at another mahad(institution). Why? I asked, ‘this mahad is known to have a much better program and teachers’… He looked down and said ‘I know, but its too much money.’ I asked, how much? ‘200 lira per month ($35 USD), but the other one I can study for free.’ I told him not to worry, let’s figure something out’, he just smiled and said ‘it’s difficult.’

Often times I hear people referring to programs that cost thousands of dollars. It’s not a lot of money! If people really valued knowledge they’d make it a priority!

This brother left his country to seek knowledge, he likely often sleeps on a park bench, doesn’t own a cell phone.. $35/month is his barrier to entry… $35/month. We may lose a future ‘Alim, one who shows deep concern for the umma, loves the ‘ulema and the tradition, and is more than capable, for just $35/month.

Knowledge Without Barriers is critical.

Daily Checklist for the Spiritual Traveler to the Divine – Compiled by Shaykh ‘Abd al-Rahmān al-Sha‘ār

Any individual wishing to turn to Allah on a daily basis should try their upmost to implement the following checklist and advice.This daily checklist was compiled by Shaykh Abd al-Rahman al-Sha’ar, son of Sidi Abu Munir, the longtime personal attendant of the great Damascene scholar of Islamic spiritually, Shaykh Abd al-Rahman al-Shaghouri.

صلاة ركعتين في السحر
1. Performing 2 units (rak‘a) of prayer in the last part of the night

أداء الصلوات الخمس جماعة وخصوصاً الفجر مع الخشوع والحضور في الصلاة
2. Performing the five obligatory prayers in congregation, especially Fajr, with presence and humility before God ﷻ

المحافظة على الوضوء
3. Consistency upon ablution (wudū’)

المحافظة على السنن الرواتب وأربع ركعات الضحى
4. Consistency upon the supererogatory prayers (sunan) associated with the obligatory prayers and four units of the morning prayer (duhā)

قراءة جزء من القرآن مع قراءة (الواقعة, الملك, أواخر البقرة والحشر) كل ليلة
5. Reciting a juz’ of Qur’ān every day, as well as al-Wāqi‘a, al-Mulk, and the endings of al-Baqara and al-Hashr every night

وقراءة (100) استغفار – (100) صلاة على النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم –       (100)  لا إله إلا الله – (100) سبحان الله وبحمده صباحا ومساء
6. Reciting 100x istighfār, 100x prayer on the Prophet ﷺ (salawāt), 100x lā ilāha illā Allāh, and 100x subhān Allāhi wa bi hamdihi every morning and evening

صلاة ركعتي التوبة كل يوم قبل النوم مع البكاء من خشية الله
7. Performing 2 units of the prayer of repentance (tawba) every night before sleeping, crying out of humility before God ﷻ

التصدق ولو بشيء يسير كل يوم
8. Giving in charity, even very little, every day

صيام الاثنين والخميس على قدر الاستطاعة
9. Fasting Mondays and Thursdays as much as one is able

الجدية التامة وقلة الخلطة وعدم الانشغال بسفاسف الأمور
10. Maintaining complete solemnity, spending little time intermingling with people, and not wasting time in trivial matters

حسن الخلق والتزام الآداب الشرعية
11. Having good character and maintaining the etiquette (adab) of the sacred law

الاضطرار والحرقة للوصول إلى الله تعالى وإشغال الفكر بالتقدم في السلوك وترقية الحال
12. Having a deep, burning need to arrive at God ﷻ and busying one’s thoughts with spiritual advancement and the elevation of one’s state

إحكام الصمت الشرعي واغتنام الوقت
13. Staying silent in accordance with the law and taking advantage of one’s time

النصيحة لكل مسلم
14. Advising every Muslim

محاسبة النفس كل يوم
15. Taking oneself to account every day

مسامحة الخلق أجمعين
16. Forgiving all people

التواضع والشعور بأنك أقل الناس قدراً
17. Being humble, feeling that one is the least worthy of people

الحرص على تتبع السنة في كل الأمور
18. Covetousness in following the Sunnah in all matters

التفاني وبذل النفس للدين
19. Spending and exhausting the self in service of the religion

ملازمة مجالس العلم
20. Constantly attending gatherings of sacred knowledge

قراءة أصول الطريق كل أسبوع مرة على الأقل
21. Reading the foundations of the spiritual path at least once a week

الابتعاد عن الأمور التالية
Avoiding the following matters:
– Love of being seen and of leadership | حب الظهور والرياسة
– Anger | الغضب
– Tale-telling | النميمة
– Backbiting | الغيبة
– Lying | الكذب
– Deceit | الغش
– Ostentation | الرياء
– Letting others hear of one’s religious works | السمعة
– Conceit | الغرور
– Mentioning immoral acts | الخوض في الباطل
– Arguing | الجدال
– Reliance on oneself | الاعتداد بالنفس
– Being intimate and delighted with the people of heedlessness | الانبساط والاستئناس مع أهل الغفلة
– Satisfying one’s hunger beyond filling one-third of the stomach | الشبع بمجاوزة ثلث المعدة
– Looking down upon other people | التعالي على الخلق
– Coveting this world | الحرص على الدنيا
– Sloth in acts of worship | الكسل في الطاعات

The Necessity of Islamic Institutions in the Modern Age – Imam Khalid Latif

The Need

“With modernity, people lose a depth of perspective that you can only see in one direction, either outward or inward… we’re supposed to be people who can see in both directions.”

Qualified Teachers

“Where you move from having somebody who is just a professor to a teacher: that they embody a sense of ethics, a sense of values, that you’re able to now recognize that they’re not just talking at you, but they live what it is that they’re inviting you towards.”

Traditional Learning

“You build and you grow and you increase through a systematized method of learning because it has an ends—that is not just about the learning itself but what the learning brings you towards and what it allows for you to do.”

Scale

“But the beauty of light is that it just takes a little bit of it to push away darkness.”

Global Impact

“You have men and women like those who run this facility… people have come up to me and mentioned them by name, saying that if not for them and what it is that they speak about and what it is that they give us access to and what it is that they teach us about religion—in countries where religion is heavily corporatized—I wouldn’t know how to deal with the depression that I had that was bringing me to a place where I was thinking of ending my life in this world, because I couldn’t find any way of getting out of it until I learned about God through a different prism.”

“They help us to deal with the challenges that our students bring us, our community brings us every day, rooted in realities that require us to see what it was that we were taught through a different prism through a different perspective. That’s the kind of work you’re being invited to support today; those are the kind of individuals who are building institutions that are set to live much much more beyond them… but where you have benefited become the means through which others can benefit, and to allow and understand for yourself that the house of God, the path of God, the book of God, anything that is qualified of God, is meant to not draw attentiveness to it but to draw attention towards God.”

Beautiful Facility

“You can come to places and spaces like this, and you walk into it and the remembrance of God is not something that gets forced upon you but you just feel it all around you. I walked in the SeekersGuidance facility today—and it was the first time that I’ve ever been in it—and every part of it just made me feel a familiarity and a recognition that turned me towards the Divine. There’s not a lot of places like that, especially in the world that we live in today. And it’s a testament to those who built it, but also those who frequent it. And what you have is unique, but you have to care for it, and you have to build it and grow it, so that it reaches beyond what even you can imagine it to become.”

 

Donate at SeekersGuidance 

Parenting Question of the Week – Shaykh Hamza Karamali

* Courtesy of Basira Education

How do I answer my five-year old daughter when she asks, “Where is Allah?”

15-year olds in my Why Islam is True class learn how to answer this question. They learn that God is not in a space because space is a property of things in the created universe. Since God created the universe and is not something inside it, He exists without needing any space to exist in. The question is thus a loaded question that mistakenly assumes that God exists in a space. The correct way to answer a loaded question is to deny the mistaken assumption. The answer to this question is therefore, “God does not exist in a space.”

But five-year olds have simpler minds than 15-year olds. Your five-year old isn’t confused about whether or not God exists in a space. She is confused about something else.

When she asks you where her sister is, you point somewhere and say, “There she is,” when she asks where her father is, you point somewhere and say, “There he is,” and when she asks where her pet hamster is, you point somewhere and say, “There it is.”

When she asks, “Where is Allah,” she wants you to point somewhere and say, “There He is.”

Your job is to explain in simple language that: (a) God is not like the things that she sees around her, (b) that God’s relation to those things is a relation of creation, not a relation of location, and that therefore (c) God is “with” everything in the sense that He sustains it and keeps it in existence.

Based on that, here’s an answer you could give: “God is not like anything else. He created everything. He is with you wherever you are.”