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What are we working for?

We sometimes get so immersed in our lives that we forget what we are working for. Is it to gain high status? Money? Marriage? Or is it to get the pleasure of Allaah (glorified and exalted be He)? Allaah says in the Glorious Qur'aan:
إِنَّ سَعْيَكُمْ لَشَتَّى
"Your efforts and deeds are certainly diverse (different in aims)". [Surah al-Layl, 4]

The scholar As-Sa'dee (may Allaah have mercy on him), says in his commentary of this verse (see translation below):

أي: إن سعيكم أيها المكلفون لمتفاوت تفاوتا كثيًرا، وذلك بحسب تفاوت نفس الأعمال ومقدارها والنشاط فيها، وبحسب الغاية المقصودة بتلك الأعمال، هل هو وجه الله الأعلى الباقي؟ فيبقى السعي له ببقائه، وينتفع به صاحبه، أم هي غاية مضمحلة فانية، فيبطل السعي ببطلانها، ويضمحل باضمحلالها؟

English translation:
The verse means: O those who are responsible (to keep your duty to Allaah)! Your efforts certainly differ from one another a great difference. And that includes even similar deeds according to their amount and the activity (of the person in performing them), and also according to the intention behind performing that deed; is it for the sake of Allaah, Who is the Eternal, so that the effort will not be lost and the person benefits from the deed? Or is it for the sake of some lowly mortal (creature), such that the deed will be null and void as soon as that creature (for whom it was intended) perishes?
We should always think about this in order to purify our intentions in our deeds; if we are intending the pleasure and recognition of people (this behavior is known as Riyaa'), we should remind ourselves that all those creatures will some day die and our actions by which we intended their pleasure will also die and become null with their death. But if we are intending by our deeds the pleasure of Allaah, then it is Him only who does not perish, and our deeds shall remain and be rewarded by Him.

We ask Allaah for the purity of intention and the acceptance of deeds.

Locating Allah's mercy

إِنَّ رَحْمَةَ اللَّهِ قَرِيبٌ مِنَ الْمُحْسِنِينَ
Indeed, Allah's mercy lies close to good-doers. [Holy Quran, 7:56]

Surah al-Hajj verse 40

A gem I found today inside my Quran:
لَيَنْصُرَنَّ اللَّهُ مَنْ يَنْصُرُهُ
Indeed, Allah helps the person who helps His cause. [Holy Quran, 22:40]

'All Natural' food is not organic

Organic food is good for you, 'all natural' is not.

This post is to inform our readers that 'All Natural' is just a meaningless and dishonest marketing term. Companies use it on their products to make buyers feel better about what they buy. Never trust a product to be natural and healthy if it doesn't say Organic.

Organic food is a meaningful label since it refers to a special type of farming, one that doesn't use pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers and hormones. Here is a chart (found on Organic Valley's website) to make this more clear:

Natural vs Organic food chart

To be Muslim, you need to live like one

This is reminder to myself and everyone that Islam is meant to be a way of life:

I've seen people who live as non-Muslims, think and behave like non-Muslims, but try to make up for it by giving money to Islamic charities, or by staying up on the night of Qadr. This misses the whole point of Islam.

What is the use of an Islam that doesn't purify your heart, that doesn't change your behavior? Doing Islamic acts of worship when a person doesn't live as a Muslim doesn't come from piety, it comes from greed: The person thinks he or she can enjoy this world in non-Muslim ways, and still have a good afterlife by doing these Islamic acts.

One cause of this problem is our imams, they keep telling us about these huge acts of worship that put prostitutes and all kinds of evil people into Paradise.

My advice to you: Get your Islamic knowledge and inspiration from the Quran, not from speakers and imams. I'm not saying imams are bad (far from it), they mean well, but their words can be very confusing, and they may cause you to focus on the wrong things (doing 'good' deeds instead of living like a Muslim).

Salaam.
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