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Being Patient Despite Financial Hardship

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat advises on how to bear the trials and hardships that one faces with patience and acceptance.

 

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I’m a young adult and it seems my family and I have never ending financial difficulties. I feel we are all doing our best, yet we struggle even with meeting our daily needs sometimes. The fact that money controls a lot in your life is taking a toll on me.

This question can go much deeper because everyone has different circumstances but what I”m trying to get at is how do I make sure I’m being patient, pleased with, and grateful when I feel so beaten down by life.

Is there a specific dua you would recommend? At times I do get angry and discontented with my situation. and often at myself because I feel like I’m not helping out in my family financially as much as I should. What limits me is my mental illness, I can’t really function due to it. Any advice will be appreciated.

Thank you.

 

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I pray you are well.

Everyone is tested in life. The tests are not necessarily a bad thing. Allah changes us through the tests for the better. Sometimes we feel pain because others hurt us, and sometimes our situation in general pushes us to the limit of what we can bear.

Throughout all of this one should remember the words of the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, “[I am truly] amazed at the affair of the believer. Everything that happens to him is the best for him – and that is not the case for anyone except the believer! If good times come to him He is grateful and that is best for him. And if difficulties come to him he is patient and that is better for him.”

It is important to note that the one expressing wonder here in this hadith is the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace. He was granted more knowledge of the reality of things than anyone else created by Allah. If he was amazed by the great consequences of the tests a believer faces in life, then we should realize that everything that happens to a believer is a gift from our Loving Lord.

Allah Makes Us Grow Through Trials

Our difficulties do not leave us as the people we were before we were tested with them. This growth is on many levels – but most importantly, it is a means of drawing closer to Allah. The key to it is patience.

Patience (Sabr), in many prophetic narrations, is connected to expecting a reward from Allah (Ihtisab). This means that one of the means to getting through a difficulty is to keep your focus on the rewards Allah has promised His believing servants. This will help you look beyond your immediate difficulties and see the bigger picture.

Maryam – the Mother of Isa

It is possible to become overwhelmed with emotions when in very difficult situations, as was the case with Sayyidi Maryam when she was giving birth the prophet Isa, Allah bless them and our Messenger, and give them all peace.

She was from a family of righteous people with prophets as relatives and ancestors. She had been known for righteousness, and had been pledged to worship in the synagogue by her mother from before her birth. She was the paragon on virtue, religiousness, and chastity. And suddenly she found herself all alone, giving birth to a child who had no father.

Imagine all her feelings, her pain, her worry, her fear of people leveling accusations against her out of ignorance, and what her family must endure because of it. All of this, combined with the difficulties of labor made her say, “O how I wish that I had died long before this, or that I was some worthless object, forgotten.” (Sura Maryam 19:23).

Shaykh Ahmad ibn Ajiba, when commenting on this verse said that it is possible to say something unbecoming when overwhelmed by a situation, but one should not stay in such a state. How? By looking at those before us, and how their trials ended up being the means of them being raised above others.

She gave birth to one of the greatest of the prophets, and someone through whom Allah will give the ultimate victory to the Muslims through at the End of Times. She attained the highest rank of iman a believer can be blessed with and was used as a role model for believing women in the Qur’an. She is fortunate to be the mother of Isa, and he is also blessed to be her son.

Where are all these virtues, and where is the pain she experienced in those fleeting moments?

Practical Steps

Keep reminding yourself that Allah – the All-Merciful – is using this test as a means of making you draw closer to Him. He has been giving you blessings all your life. In reality, if we think about matters, we live better than many kings did in the past. Just the blessing of being able to flush your waste down the toilet, and not having to haul it outside to dispose of it is something many people could not do without.

Shaykh Ahmad b. Ataʾillah advised us, “Let the pain of your tribulation be lightened by your knowing that it is He – Transcendent beyond imperfections is He  – who is the one testing you. The one from whom the blows of fate have come is the very same being who has accustomed you to Him choosing the best for you.” (Ibn Ataʾillah, al-Hikam).

If he has granted you priceless gifts such as faith, He certainly has a plan for you. Watch it unfold.

Seek Treatment

You mental issues clearly play a part in your difficulties. Seek medical treatment and try to keep the company of people who will inspire and support you. This is critical. You cannot rise if you spend time with people who kick you down.

One Day at a Time

Don’t worry about the next week, month, or year. Live each day with your concern being the five prayers, and thanking Allah for what you do have in them. Worrying about the long term leads to anxiety.

Part of the trick here is letting things unfold as they do. Resisting leads to pain. Let things happen. Allah will take care of you. Remembrance of Allah helps a great deal with this. Send blessings on the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, with the focus on Allah raising His rank and giving him more blessings. This will help avert your focus on your own pain.

Ask Allah

Whatever the difficulty is – financial or otherwise – the only one who can fix things in reality is Allah. Turn to Him, pray for others in a similar situation, and you’ll see a response. Even if it takes a while to come. It will come.

May Allah grant you the best of both worlds.

Abdul-Rahim.

 

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

 


 

Driving Test and Examiner

Shaykh Jamir Meah is asked if feeling that one has been “let off lightly” during a driving test means that one should contest the result.

 

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I took my driving test today. I live in the UK and the examiner passed me, yet I am very sure that I had a serious fault (fail) when talking with my instructor. I also feel that I was let off and given minors when I think I would have deserved a major, so I think it was the discretion of the examiner. Now, is it okay for me to accept the license or shall I contact them to let them know my view?

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I pray you’re well insha Allah. Congratulations on passing your driving test.

Driving test examiners are obliged to measure tests by a set standard, and have a duty to ensure that all people that they pass on the driving test have demonstrated themselves to be sufficiently competent and responsible drivers.

If you have passed your test, then the pass and your driving license is valid. You do not have to analyze or question the examiner’s decision.

However, if you feel that there are certain areas of your driving that you feel need improving, perhaps you could arrange a few additional lessons with your instructor to perfect these skills, so you feel assuredly confident and safe on the road.

Don’t forget, driving is a skill and it takes times to perfect. New drivers are rarely accomplished at the wheel and are prone to mistakes, even when they have got their license. However, with enough practice, very soon it will become second nature to you.

Lastly, don’t forget to say the supplication for boarding a vehicle when entering your car:

سُبْحَانَ الَّذِي سَخَّرَ لَنَا هَذَا وَمَا كُنَّا لَهُ مُقْرِنِينَ وَإِنَّا إِلَى رَبِّنَا لَمُنْقَلِبُونَ

Glory be to Him who has brought this under our control whereas we were unable to control it. Surely we are to return to Him.

and Bismillah when starting to drive. Use the stereo for beneficial things! Cars and the ability to drive, like every thing else we have been given, are blessings, and the best way to show gratitude for a gift is by utilizing and benefiting from it in the way that it was intended for use, namely, in obedience and for good.

May Allah give you success in your driving and make it a source of ease and blessing for you.

Warmest salams,

Jamir

 

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.


 

 

Reflections on the Walk of Doom at the SeekersHub Retreat

Fatimah Gomez reflects on her time at the SeekersHub Retreat, and what the Walk of Doom taught her about faith and spirituality.SeekersHub Retreat

The night was still and quiet, pinched with a slight crisp coolness that hung in the air calmly. The gentle echo of my footsteps bounced off the surrounding trees as I made my way to the Pavillion to join everyone for Fajr prayer. I wasn’t used to waking up this early at 4:30 in the morning. The cold air made my teeth chatter and my sleepy eyes hardly had any room to blink because they were already more than halfway closed.

My gaze travelled upwards to the sky and my eyes suddenly were wide open, drinking in the scene above where it was lit with millions of stars that clustered it. If my eyes lingered for long enough, I could make out the glittering pathway of the Milky Way. So many winking stars peppered the heavens above me, unseen to those who live in the city.

I recalled what one of our scholars had told us the day before about Allah’s creation. Shaykh Waleed Mosaad had mentioned that when the revelation of the Qur’an ceased, Allah’s communication with us humans didn’t. But rather, all of Allah’s creation that surround us is a sign from Him, and it is up to us as servants of Him to interpret what they mean. Right now, I was dazzled by the scene above. Imagining all those stars and planets to fill the universe, and myself as an individual was like nothing compared to the beauty of Allah’s creation.

I hurried along my way, not wanting to be late. As we prayed in congregation, standing side by side, I was moved by the strong and firm pact of sisterhood that wedged itself between our hearts. I’d never felt the love of sisterhood to be so strong, so non-judgmental and caring.

After praying Fajr and wishing a good morning to many of us there, I would go down by the rocks that hung themselves over the lake below, where in the afternoon many of us would go swimming and kayaking. There at the rocks,a few of us would sit together in complete silence, with the undisturbed water beneath our feet. The misty fog crawled silently like a floating ghost across the surface of the lake, fast disappearing as the minutes ticked by, taking along the night as it was extinguished by the breaking sunrise.

SeekersHub Retreat

I mean really, where can you get to unwind and reflect in such a way when you’re living in the depths of the city? Out here we were being forced to disconnect, as there was no Wi-Fi and limited network service We were able to disengage from the distractions of our modern-day world, all the while being gently led to the focus that all of us shared deep within ourselves—Allah as the Ultimate Goal.

The Walk of Doom

A number of sisters, myself included, would later take an hour-long hike around the lake, after being challenged by Shaykh Riad Saloojee. We were to find something along the way, and many of us debated whether it would be something physical or spiritual.

The hiking trail, called the Walk of Doom, proved to be a difficult one. We tripped over hidden roots, climbed steep and rocky hills, and got very sweaty.  Every time one of us wanted to give up and turn back, we would remind each other of the mysterious gain that was said to be achieved at the end of our journey.

And then, the truth behind the purpose of our hike hit me. Our hike came to an end and the path through the trees broke out into an opening that led to a small, sandy beach that lay in the glimmering water, gleaming with the sun’s reflection. The sun warmed our shining faces as it glowed down on us, and we all breathed a collective sigh in realisation that our journey was finally over.

Our hike on the path had not only taken us on a physical journey, I realised, but also a spiritual one. Shaykh Riad Saloojee had been trying to show us an example of the trials and tribulations of this life. We had to go through ups and downs, stumbling and supporting each other along the difficult path, but it all had been temporary, it wasn’t made to last, like anything else in this Dunya. I realised this as I gazed across the shining lake, realising how much I had learned just by listening to the advice and instruction of our teacher, taking the time to reflect on the signs of Allah’s creation. The struggles and tests of this world will eventually come to an end the day we meet our Lord.


Fatimah Gomez is 15 years old, and the second eldest  of five. She’s currently in high school and has had a passion for writing since age 9. Recently, she completed her first book for Muslim youth, which she intends to publish soon. She enjoys playing and watching soccer, training for taekwondo, jdm cars, discovering the beauty in art and poetry and connecting with Allah’s creation.


Resources for Seekers

If God Is Good, Why Is There So Much Evil In The World?

Why would Allah, who is the Source of all that is pure and good, allow evil and injustice to thrive in this world? Why does He test us with trials and tribulations?

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani goes back to the drawing board on this perennial question.

Is It Haram to Like One’s Beauty and Appearance?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: Is it haram to like one’s beauty and appearance, because it can be classified as arrogance? Is it also arrogant to wear nice clothes, put on makeup and do our hair in front of women in order to show off our beauty?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for your concern, grant you clarity in this matter, and guide you to what is pleasing to Him.

Definition of Arrogance

“No one with an atom’s worth of arrogance will enter paradise.” A man asked, “But a person loves that his clothes are seemly and his sandals are seemly.” The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) replied,” Indeed Allah is Beautiful and loves beauty. Arrogance is denying truth and holding people in contempt.” (Muslim)

It is in our nature as human beings to enjoy beauty in its myriad forms. However, it is sinful to look down on others by because we feel superior to them in beauty, wealth, intelligence etc – that is a form of arrogance.

Vanity vs Dignity

“Vanity is when a person deems them self to have some blessing and forgets that it is from Allah and it does not require that a person is looking down on another person. Dignity (‘izzah) is when a person recognizes the blessings that Allah has bestowed upon them (faith, life, health, beauty, wealth, knowledge, prestige, etc) and walks humbly with a recognition of those blessings while not deeming themselves better than others.” From Balancing Confidence and Humility and the Wisdom of Trials from Allah

I strongly recommend that when you feel pleased about your beauty, you immediately remind yourself that this is a blessing from Allah Most High. InshaAllah, this will protect you from vanity.

Showing Off

“And [remember] when your Lord proclaimed, ‘If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favor]; but if you deny, indeed, My punishment is severe.'” [Qur’an, 14:7]

It is unwise to show off anything we have been blessed with. The appropriate attitude to have towards blessings is that one of gratitude (shukr) towards Allah. He is the One who bestows all of our blessings upon us. Whatever Allah grants, He can take away as a means of testing us. The best way to secure our blessings is through having continual shukr, inshaAllah.

Please refer to the following links:

Balancing Confidence and Humility and the Wisdom of Trials from Allah
What is the Difference Between Self Respect and Arrogance?
What is the Islamic Understanding of Pride?

Wassalam,
Raidah

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Afraid to get groceries? Ustadha Anse Tamara Gray on being a Muslim woman in today’s turbulent climate

Each time a high profile act of violence is committed by a Muslim or in the name of Islam, the fear of reprisal attacks rises acutely in Muslim communities. It has become almost par for the course, and the statistics prove the threat is real. Often, women who are visibly Muslim find themselves the primary soft target. Ustadha Anse Tamara Gray has been inundated with concerned messages from many who are directly and indirectly affected. From being afraid to leave the home to do basic, every day errands to fearing for their lives – this has become the sad reality for many. Ustadha Anse has some much needed advice.

Resources for seekers:

In Times of Need Turn to and Rely on Allah

Allah has told us that He has created this world as a test, and He has promised us that we will be tested – of this there is no doubt.

The question is, how do we respond? Allah gives the answer to this too. Shaykh Faraz Rabbani explains in this podcast.

Supplications for Having Children and For Dealing With Pain

Answered by SeekersGuidance Answers Service

Question: Assalamu Alaikum,

I want to know if there is any Dua for having a baby as well as to cure backbone pain. Can you help me?

Answer:Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.

A Du’a to have children is:

رَبِّ هَبْ لِي مِن لَّدُنْكَ ذُرِّيَّةً طَيِّبَةً إِنَّكَ سَمِيعُ ٱلدُّعَآءِ

“Rabbi hab li min ladunka dhurriyyatan tayyibah innaka sami`ud du`a'” (My Lord! Grant me from You upright offspring, for You hear all prayers)” [3: 38]

In times of difficulty, follow the Qur’anic advice, “Seek help through patience and prayer” [2:45]. In such situations, it is a call and a reminder from Allah to turn back to Him, to be grateful for one’s blessings and to re-focus one’s heart on the Bestower of everything.

Anas reported that he said to Thabit, “May Allah have mercy on you, shall I give you the talisman of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace?” He said, “Yes.” He said, “O Allah, Lord of people, remover of hardship, heal – for you are the Healer other than whom there is no healer – with a healing that does not leave illness behind.” [al-Bukhari]

أَلَا ‏ ‏أَرْقِيكَ ‏ ‏بِرُقْيَةِ ‏ ‏رَسُولِ اللَّهِ قَالَ بَلَى قَالَ فَقَالَ‏ ‏اللَّهُمَّ رَبَّ النَّاسِ مُذْهِبَ الْبَأْسِ اشْفِ أَنْتَ الشَّافِي لَا شَافِيَ إِلَّا أَنْتَ اشْفِهِ شِفَاءً لَا ‏ ‏يُغَادِرُ ‏ ‏سَقَمًا

Ibn ‘Abbas reported that Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Anyone who visits a sick person whose time has not yet come and says seven times in his presence, ‘I ask Allah the Immense, the Lord of the Immense Throne, to heal you,’ Allah will heal him of that illness.” [Abu Dawud and at-Tirmidhi]

أَسْأَلُ اللَّهَ الْعَظِيمَ رَبَّ الْعَرْشِ الْعَظِيمِ أَنْ يَشْفِيَكَ

One should make one’s supplications in a heartfelt manner, in need of Allah and with a living heart. Don’t feel obliged to make a supplication in Arabic, use any language you feel comfortable with and ask as He loves to be asked.

Also, it would be pertinent to work on fulfilling any obligations that are due – either to Allah or other people – and make a firm resolve to complete them. Another thing one could do is to gather some people and do a complete recitation of the Qur’an together with the intention of granting recovery to the sick person. As Allah says, “Those who believe, and whose hearts find satisfaction in the remembrance of God: for without doubt in the remembrance of God do hearts find satisfaction. [13:28]

Please see: Struggling to Have Children: Ten Key Etiquettes of Du’a and: How Does One Perform The Prayer Of Need (salat al-haja)? and: Prophetic Supplications to Cure Illnesses

And Allah alone gives success.

Wassalam,

SeekersGuidance Answers Service

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Balancing Confidence and Humility and the Wisdom of Trials from Allah

Answered by Shaykh Rami Nsour

Question 1: How can we balance self-esteem with humility? To me self-esteem means one loves oneself and consider themselves to be mostly good, yet Islam requires us to consider ourselves weak, broken and full of faults. Is it ok to do ‘affirmations’ by looking in the mirror and repeating statements like ‘I am good’, ‘I am carefree and joyous’ etc. for 2 minutes a day? This is what some self-help non Muslim people recommend.

Answer 1: Before analyzing the various practices that one can do to improve their self esteem, it is important to note the Islamic understanding of how we view ourselves.

The Islamic Understanding of Self-Esteem

There are terms to know and they are arrogance (kibr), vanity (‘ujb), dignity (‘izzah), debasement (dhul), and humility (tawadu’). Knowing these terms and what the definition is is important so that one does not fall into the prohibited. Arrogance (kibr) is when a person deems themselves to be good but in relation to others as in saying, “I am better than him/her/them.”

Vanity is when a person deems them self to have some blessing and forgets that it is from Allah and it does not require that a person is looking down on another person. Dignity (‘izzah) is when a person recognizes the blessings that Allah has bestowed upon them (faith, life, health, beauty, wealth, knowledge, prestige, etc) and walks humbly with a recognition of those blessings while not deeming themselves better than others.

If a person allows others to walk over them and take away their rights, this is called dhul and it is haram. So you have to hold your head up high with dignity, not with arrogance. All people have to remember that they have God-given rights and it is an obligation to protect their dignified state (muru’ah). If a person voluntarily gives up their owed rights and is not demanding, then this is humility (tawadu’) and it is a praiseworthy trait.

A person must therefore protect his self-esteem especially since our greatest enemy, the Shaytan, who has declared war on mankind, hates our God-given dignity. Allah says, “And we have ennobled the children of Adam.” It was this honor, nobility and dignity that cause Iblis to refuse to bow and caused him to become rejected. Iblis hates us for this and will try everything to remove our dignity.

He will make us remove our clothes, tattoo ourselves, wear undignified clothing, speak filth hurt ourselves and others. He works day an night to sink us into a state of depression and then into a state of despair. In the state of despair, we end up hurting ourselves and others, leaving faith, and taking our lives or the lives of others. So, we must have a fortress of strong self esteem to protect ourselves against the shaytan.

Mentioning the blessings that Allah has given us is actually a good practice. In Sura Duha it states, “And as for the blessing of Allah then speak.” At the same time, we do not want to allow a recognition of the blessings of Allah turn into arrogance or vanity. One way to do this is to remind ourselves of our nature, which includes the fact that we carry najasah in our bodies, we create filth in our ears (wax), eyes (sleep), nose (mucous), mouths (saliva), etc.

Hasan al Basri once saw a man he did not know walking with arrogance The many saw Hasan looking at him and said, “Do you know me?” to which Hasan al Basri said, “Yes, you began as a clot of blood, then at the end your life you become a rotten corpse and in between that you caryy filth in your body.”

The science of understanding the intricacies between all of these states is called Tassawuuf and is an accepted part of Ahlul Sunna wal Jama’ah. I encourage you to study this science but to begin by gaining a firm grounding in the science of faith (aqida) and law (fiqh).

Question 2: I understand that Allah tests us with suffering as a trial, but what if it is too much for the person to handle?  I suppose I am trying to ask how come we are tested in ways that we can be completely ignorant about? As a child I was beaten, tricked and nearly drowned by other children falsely accused by my parents for things, and told I was stupid.  Were these experiences supposed to benefit me in the long run?

Answer 2: We all experience different levels of trials but we have to be firm in realizing that they are all from Allah. Recognizing Divine Decree (qadr) is a pillar of faith as is mentioned in the Hadith of Jibreel alayhis salam. One of the main ways that the Shaytan gets us to question the existence of Allah is to begin by getting us to question Divine Decree.

How to Deal With the Divine Decree

Many people have left faith in God because of not being able to answer the question, “If there is a God, then why is there evil in the world?” For a Muslim, the answer should be automatic and it is, “Allah does whatever He wills” (Quran 85:16). I myself repeat this ayah when I see or hear things I cannot understand such as the death of children, atrocities against people, oppression, etc.

There is another ayah to repeat and reflect on when we think about things we cannot answer and it is the verse, “He is not questioned about what He does, but they will be questioned” (Quran 21:23). Therefore, do not allow yourself to ask about what has happened unless you first accept it and then you are trying to find wisdom in what happen, as the angels were in asking about the creation of mankind. Also, when reflecting on what you experienced think about the prophets and what they experienced

They lived lives like we did as a consolation to us. We cannot fully relate to angels because they do not experience life as we do. Having prophets as examples allows us to be able to relate to them. We will all experience aspects of the Seera of the prophets or the Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless them and our Prophet).

If you feel rejected by others, reflect on the people’s rejection of their prophets. If you feel betrayed, think of Yusef at the bottom of the well (and a person can drown in a well). If you feel alone, think about Musa alayhis salam in the land of Madyan. You should not feel stupid by thinking about your life and experiences. Your life is a book that Allah gave only to you and He wants you to reflect on your life. Just as we are to reflect on the heavens and earth, we are to reflect on ourselves as Allah says in the Quran (51:21).

Using Life Experience to Strengthen Faith

You need to use your life experience to grow stronger in faith and not be weakened. If you feel weakened by thinking about your life, then you are reflecting on it in the wrong method. Change the method that you are using to think about your life. Also remember, that we can sometimes get depressed and reflection and dhikr can help. Other times the depression becomes clinical and we need medication or therapy. Do not feel embarrassed about seeking out this type of help. There is no difference between seeking medical help or therapy for physical ailments or mental ailments.

Rami Nsour

Understanding Trials

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: I understand that a Muslim is tried either because of something wrong he is doing (or has done) or because Allah is trying to raise his status. So, I believe, the first case would necessitate tawbah and the second case, patience. So if one is undergoing hardship, how can you tell which of the two scenarios applies to him/her?

 

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that you are well, insha’Allah.

Trials occur for one of three reasons:

[1] Due to sins: the sign of which is impatience, restlessness and complaining;

[2] As an expiation for sins: the sign of which is patience and obedience being easy on the body;

[3] To raise one’s rank: the sign of which is calm and contentment along with obedience being easy for the body and heart.

[Nahlawi, al-Durar al-Mubaha]

In any case, one should realize the hidden blessing of the trial. Renew one’s repentance, resolve, and turning to Allah, and seek out the people of knowledge and righteousness striving to be counted amongst them. The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “How amazing is the believer’s affair! Allah decrees nothing for the servant except that it is good for him.” [Musnad Ahmad]

See: How Do You Distinguish Between a Test From Allah and Punishment? and A Reader on Patience and Reliance on Allah

And Allah alone gives success.

Wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani