Nov 24, 2008

The Story of the Man and His Damp Bed

by: Sis Zabrina

I was with my group of friends at a coffee place, happily chatting, when suddenly one of them developed an excruciating pain in her tummy. The pain was so intense for my friend that we had to bring her to the nearest clinic immediately. She was limping, her hands pressed against her abdomen and she was shedding some tears. We tried to hold her steady while she made her way to the doctor’s office.

It turns out that she had not been taking care of her food intake and had developed gastritis. Alhamdulillaah, after a few spoons of medication, she got better and we sent her home.

As I drove back, I kept thinking of the pain my friend had just experienced. I could vividly recall her facial expression, see her tears dropping and her trembling hands, all reflecting the agonizing pain she was feeling. I pray to Allaah to spare me from such agony.

Then, it dawned upon me. If gastritis can put a person in such a pain, I wonder how does a labour pain feels. Yes, I did say labour pain. Brothers, keep on reading. You need to know and understand this. Sisters, we all have heard of it before, some of you may have even experienced it. Bear with me, ok.

Have you heard of RAAM? That’s the acronym for “Race Across America”. It is the toughest ultra-distance bicycle endurance competition held annually in the States. Participants had to cycle from coast to coast covering 3000 miles across the United States in eight or nine days, riding the whole 24-hours in a day. Ok, you may ask me now, so, what is the relevance of this race and a labour pain?

Well, there is one lady who won this competition several times had actually said that pain from a childbirth is much more agonizing that the races she had won! Imagine that. I could not even begin to comprehend the idea of how a 9-day of suffering of these cyclists are cramped into a few hours of labour, and even that, it is nothing compared to the labour pain.

Thanks to her, I think I can better understand and appreciate the meaning of hardship in this ayah...

وَوَصَّيْنَا الإِنسَـنَ بِوَلِدَيْهِ إِحْسَـناً حَمَلَتْهُ أُمُّهُ كُرْهاً وَوَضَعَتْهُ كُرْهاً وَحَمْلُهُ وَفِصَـلُهُ

“And We have enjoined on man to be dutiful and kind to his parents. His mother bears him with hardship. And she brings him forth with hardship.” [al-Ahqaaf 46:15]

May Allaah reward all mothers for enduring such pain and hardship to bring all of us in this world. Ameen

Nov 17, 2008

Seeking Happiness

Dr. Muhammad al-`Abduh|

Everyone on Earth is looking to be happy. However, few ask the question: What is happiness? Is it wealth after poverty? Health after illness? Strength after wretchedness?

Or is it to possess wisdom and sagacity? To indulge in carnal pleasures? To live a life of absolute freedom, not even confined by the dictates of morality and faith?

happiness of mael,umair,aunu,akmal,ejad n da geng during holiday trip at my house

Questions like these come easily to mind, since happiness is something real. It is not an illusion. A person of knowledge finds happiness in knowledge and get 4 flat in their final eaxam... A generous person finds happiness in giving. An industrious person finds happiness in productive work. The pleasure that they feel is far greater than the simple pleasures of eating, drinking, and acquiring wealth.

Yet, the question still remains: Is this is the utmost degree of human aspirations? Is happiness nothing more?

By nature, a human being is never content. There is always a drive to seek after something more, something better. A wealthy person seeks after further acquisitions. A scientist who makes a discovery goes on to another, more ambitious topic of research.

This restless discontent goes on until a person aspires to the Lord, and finds peace in worshipping Him and in knowing that He is protecting and guiding us every step of the way. When `Umar b. `Abd al-`Azîz became Caliph, he wanted to aspire to an even greater triumph. He said: "Nothing remains to achieve except Paradise."

No matter how much we strive and how much we attain in this world, there will always be pain and discomfort. There will always be sorrows that we are unable to bear on our own. However, if we set our sights on the Hereafter and work righteousness, we will find relief and a balm for our worries. There is, in fact, no other way to attain such peace.

This is because true happiness requires us to aspire to a higher purpose, to have a noble meaning that we carry forward throughout our lives. When our sights are set upon such a purpose and we have full confidence in our Lord, then we can be reconciled to whatever befalls us. Then we experience true peace and contentment. We neither feel excessive joy at the good things that come our way nor excessive grief at the losses that we suffer.

If we take the time to look at those around us – really look at them – we will see the worry and concern written in their faces. Their nice clothes and their smiling expressions may not indicate their worries, but those worries will be visible nonetheless. This is because they are engaged in the relentless competition for material gain, and this preoccupies their hearts and prevents them from attaining real happiness. The Qur'ân expresses this truth most eloquently, as if it is speaking about our own day and time.
Allah says: "Rivalry in worldly increase distracts you until you come to the graves." [Sûrah al-Takâthur: 1-2]

Those who are obsessed with worldly pursuits, their weary, worry-filled days on Earth come to an all of the sudden, while they are unprepared.

All the same, happiness is not to be found in leisure and relaxation, like many people suppose. Happiness is found in surmounting difficulties, in solving problems, in overcoming one's weaknesses. An indolent person never experiences the pleasure of achievement. Happiness is found in the pain that is followed by triumph, in the sorrow that is followed by joy. It is found in bringing good to people through our endeavors to develop the Earth. It is found in the noblest expressions of our very humanity.

Nov 16, 2008

Unhappy People Watch Lots More TV – Sat Nov 15, 1:34 pm ETUnhappy people glue themselves to the television 30 percent more than happy people.

The finding, announced on Thursday, comes from a survey of nearly 30,000 American adults conducted between 1975 and 2006 as part of the General Social Survey.

While happy people reported watching an average of 19 hours of television per week, unhappy people reported 25 hours a week. The results held even after taking into account education, income, age and marital status.

In addition, happy individuals were more socially active, attended more religious services, voted more and read a newspaper more often than their less-chipper counterparts.

The researchers are not sure, though, whether unhappiness leads to more television-watching or more viewing leads to unhappiness.

In fact, people say they like watching television: Past research has shown that when people watch television they enjoy it. In these studies, participants reported that on a scale from 0 (dislike) to 10 (greatly enjoy), TV-watching was nearly an 8.

But perhaps the high from watching television doesn't last.

"These conflicting data suggest that TV may provide viewers with short-run pleasure, but at the expense of long-term malaise," said researcher John Robinson, a sociologist at the University of Maryland, College Park.

In this scenario, even the happiest campers could turn into Debbie-downers if they continue to stare at the boob-tube. The researchers suggest that over time, television-viewing could push out other activities that do have more lasting benefits. Exercise and sex come to mind, as do parties and other forms of socialization known to have psychological benefits.

Or, maybe television is simply a refuge for people who are already unhappy.

"TV is not judgmental nor difficult, so people with few social skills or resources for other activities can engage in it," Robinson and UM colleague Steven Martin write in the December issue of the journal Social Indicators Research.

They add, "Furthermore, chronic unhappiness can be socially and personally debilitating and can interfere with work and most social and personal activities, but even the unhappiest people can click a remote and be passively entertained by a TV."