A 5 month spiritual workout plan for Ramadan 2012


In the Name of Allah, the extremely Merciful at this very moment, and the extremely Merciful at all times.

With the Name of Allah, the extremely Merciful at this very moment, and the extremely Merciful at all times.

Introduction

USMLE Step 1: every medical student’s nightmare.  If you go to an off-shore school, Step 1 basically determines if someone can become a physician stateside.  For this reason, many of my classmates started to study as soon as they landed on the island (“Gunners”).  Others started 1 year in advance (Still Gunners).   And even the worst procrastinators started at least 8 weeks in advance.

We go through great lengths to prepare for important tests and occasions, especially if they involve things that determine our future.  If you had to take one test that would single handedly determine how you spend the rest of your life, you would probably start preparing months in advance.  Similarly, if you have a job interview, personal statement for college, or a big game, you take time to prepare well in advance- because it would be a serious loss if you didn’t do well.

Ramadan 2012 is about 5 months away.  For us, that’s a long time, but for the Companions, they would already be “behind” in their preparation, since it has been narrated that they used to prepare for Ramadan 6 months in advance! Continue reading A 5 month spiritual workout plan for Ramadan 2012

Why we should be paying attention to Linsanity


In the Name of Allah, the extremely Merciful at this very moment, and the extremely Merciful at all times.

With the Name of Allah, the extremely Merciful at this very moment, and the extremely Merciful at all times.

 Introduction

On February 4th 2012, Jeremy Lin of the New York Knicks scored 25 points to go along with 7 assists and 5 rebounds in a victory against the New Jersey Nets.  In his first career start 2 days later, he netted 28 points and dished 10 assists- without the help of All Stars Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire.  On February 14, with the opposing crowd on their feet, Lin calmly dribbled the ball at the top of the circle and hit a game winning three against the Raptors with less than a second left. Continue reading Why we should be paying attention to Linsanity

Remembering a Hero: Malcolm X


In the Name of Allah, the extremely Merciful at this very moment, and the extremely Merciful at all times.

With the Name of Allah, the extremely Merciful at this very moment, and the extremely Merciful at all times.

Introduction

On Feb. 21, 1965, assassins charged the Audubon Ballroom in the Washington Heights district of NYC and shot an innocent man on stage.

Such was the end to the short life of Malcolm X.

Malcolm X- born Malcolm Little- was anything but “little.”  The impact he had while he was alive and continues to have after his death is a testament to the power of intelligence, sincerity, and purpose. Continue reading Remembering a Hero: Malcolm X

Lessons from The Cave: Prologue


In the Name of Allah, the extremely Merciful at this very moment, and the extremely Merciful at all times.

With the Name of Allah, the extremely Merciful at this very moment, and the extremely Merciful at all times.

“Whoever reads Surah Al-Kahf on the day of Jumu’ah (Friday), will have a light that will shine from him from one Friday to the next.”

(Narrated by al-Haakim, 2/399; al-Bayhaqi, 3/249. Ibn Hajar said in Takhreej al-Adhkaar that this is a hasan hadeeth, and he said, this is the strongest report that has been narrated concerning reading Surah Al-Kahf. See: Fayd al-Qadeer, 6/198. It was classed as saheeh by Shaykh al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’, 6470) 

I stumbled upon this hadith 5 or 6 years ago around the time I started to become serious in learning to recite and memorize Qur’an.  Surah Al-Kahf is the 18th chapter of the Qur’an and totals 11 pages.  At the time, this seemed like a daunting task to ask someone to do every Friday, especially if they were like me and read Qur’an at a snail’s pace with difficulty. Continue reading Lessons from The Cave: Prologue

On Basketball


In the Name of Allah, the extremely Merciful at this very moment, and the extremely Merciful at all times.

With the Name of Allah, the extremely Merciful at this very moment, and the extremely Merciful at all times.

Abu Hurayrah (ra) narrates in Sahih Bukhari (Volume 8, Book 73, Number 135):

Allah’s Apostle said: “The strong is not the one who overcomes the people by his strength, but the strong is the one who controls himself while in anger.”

The point of basketball is to put the ball in the hoop, and whoever does it the most wins.  Yet, beyond this simple premise, there is underlying complexity that might forever be obscure to those who don’t play or watch the game.  What’s the point of watching 10 people run around trying to put a ball in a hoop anyway? Continue reading On Basketball

My intention


In the Name of Allah, the extremely Merciful at this very moment, and the extremely Merciful at all times.

With the Name of Allah, the extremely Merciful at this very moment, and the extremely Merciful at all times.

The first hadith from Imam An-Nawawi’s (rah) “40 Hadith”, from Bukhari and Muslim:

On the authority of Ameer ul-Mu’mineen (the Commander of the Faithful), Abu Hafs `Umar ibn al-Khattaab (ra), who said: “I heard the Prophet (saw) say”:

“Actions are but by intentions, and every man shall have only that which he intended.  Thus, he whose migration was for Allah and His Messenger, his migration was for Allah and His Messenger, and he whose migration was to achieve some worldly benefit or to take some woman in marriage, his migration was for that which he migrated.”

I travel a lot.  For someone like me, who takes advantage of his mother’s cooking and his father’s work ethic, it’s a depressing feeling.  But it’s probably one of the natural consequences when a person makes the decision to pursue education far from home, like I did.  School alone has taken me to Riverside, St. Maarten, New York City, and now Bakersfield.

Another consequence of traveling is that you meet a lot of people and you see a lot of things along the way.  A person living alone away from home is forced to make important decisions as he enters crossroads in his life- which types of people he wants to be associated with, what kinds of activities take up his time, and especially what kind of food he eats, since his mom doesn’t cook for him anymore ;). Continue reading My intention