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Who Is the Richest Person In the World?

According to this year’s Forbes Rich List, there are 1,210 billionaires on the planet. Bill Gates, who has given away a large chunk of his fortune to charity, no longer reigns as the wealthiest among them as he did from 1996 to 2008. Gates lost his place two years ago to Carlos Slim Helu, a Mexican telecom magnate. Warren Buffett comes in at a close third behind Helu and Gates… if, in fact, you can call a gap of $6 billion “close.”

Here’s the latest top-10 line-up, as seen at Forbes.com:

ABOUT THEM

1. Carlos Slim (Mexico) – $74 billion, telecommunications

Slim, 71, first showed a business talent as a 10-year-old selling drinks and snacks to his family. After studying engineering, he founded a real estate company and worked as a trader on the Mexican stock exchange. Cigar-smoking Slim is known for a “Midas touch” in acquiring struggling firms and turning them into cash cows.

His enormous wealth contrasts starkly with his frugal lifestyle. He has lived in the same house for about 40 years and drives an aging Mercedes Benz, although it is armored and trailed by bodyguards.

He has become involved in combating poverty, illiteracy and poor healthcare in Latin America and promotes sports projects for the poor, but has never voiced plans to give away large chunks of his wealth to charity.

2. Bill Gates (USA) – $56 billion, Microsoft

Sensing the start of a personal computer revolution, Gates, 55, dropped out of Harvard University in 1975 to start Microsoft and pursue a vision of a computer on every desk and in every home. Microsoft went public in 1986 and by the next year, the soaring stock made Gates, at age 31, the youngest self-made billionaire.

In 2008 he stepped down from what is now the world’s largest software firm to work at The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He has given $28 billion to it.

Together with his wife Melinda and Warren Buffett, he has also convinced 57 U.S. billionaires to sign up to the Giving Pledge and publicly vow to give away at least 50 percent of their fortune during their lifetime or upon their death.

3. Warren Buffett (USA) – $50 billion, Berkshire Hathaway

Buffett, 80, has run his Omaha, Nebraska-based conglomerate since 1965. Its interests run from railroads to ice cream.

In 2006 he pledged to give away 99 percent of his wealth to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and family charities. So far he has given $8 billion to the Gates Foundation.

4. Bernard Arnault (France) – $41 billion, LVMH

Arnault, 62, a friend of French president Nicolas Sarkozy, was educated at the prestigious Ecole Polytechnique and joined his father’s construction company at 25. He earned the reputation of a ruthless corporate raider after pushing out shareholder rivals when he started building the LVMH group in the 1990s with the Louis Vuitton, Moet and Hennessy brands.

It is now the world’s biggest luxury goods group. His image as a predator stuck to him afterward when he fought in vain to acquire Gucci in 1999 and 2000. Then this week he snapped up Roman jeweler Bulgari for $5.18 billion.

5. Larry Ellison (USA) – $39.5 billion, Oracle Corp

Ellison, the flamboyant Oracle founder and CEO, is known for his free, public outbursts against rivals such as German software maker SAP AG. The executive, supposedly a model for the “Iron Man” movie character Tony Stark, late last year attacked Hewlett Packard and its board for the abrupt and — he said — unfair sacking of longtime friend Mark Hurd. Ellison then hired him.

Ellison, who won yachting’s America’s Cup last year, is considered one of the “old guard” of Silicon Valley.

6. Lakshmi Mittal (India) – $31.1 billion, steel

London-based steel tycoon Mittal, 60, runs ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steel manufacturer.

Mittal’s firm is largely funding a $29 million spiraling red tower, designed by Turner prize-winning artist Anish Kapoor and taller than New York’s Statue of Liberty, that will soar over London’s Olympic Park for the 2012 games.

In 2005 he spent $10 million to promote sporting talent and encourage potential Olympians in his homeland after he was disappointed by India’s lone medal at the Athens Games.

7. Amancio Ortega (Spain) – $31 billion, retail

Amancio Ortega, 74, started his clothing business in the 1960s making dressing gowns in his garage in La Coruna. His company Inditex owns the Zara fashion house and is now the world’s biggest clothing retailer. Ortega closely guards his privacy and does not give media interviews. He announced in January that he plans to step down as chairman of the company.

8. Eike Batista (Brazil) – $30 billion, mining, oil

A half-German college dropout who for years struggled to emerge from the shadow of his well-known father, Batista has long said he wants nothing less than to be Brazil’s and the world’s richest person. Everything about the 53-year-old — from the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren sports car he keeps as decoration in his parlor to the “X” in the name of all his companies that represents wealth multiplication — screams of unashamed ambition.

A top-class speedboat racer who was married to a famous Rio de Janeiro Carnival queen, Batista dined with U.S. pop star Madonna in Rio last year and, according to local reports, handed her a check over dinner for $7 million as a donation for her social projects.

He has a burning ambition to transform Rio into a modern, thriving city. Just before Rio was awarded the 2016 Olympic Games, he bought up a nearby marina that will be a hub of the games — an example of his eye for a well timed deal.

9. Mukesh Ambani (India) – $27 billion, petrochemicals, oil and gas

A chemical engineer by training, Mukesh, 53, dropped out of an MBA from Stanford University and joined Reliance in 1981.

Mukesh, who said in 2009 he would take a two-thirds pay cut after the Indian prime minister’s comments on “vulgar salaries,” gave his wife a private jet on her birthday. He also splashed out $1 billion on a 27-story home. He has a volatile relationship with his younger brother Anil, and they have fought over interests from oil and gas, retail, telecoms, entertainment, financial services to infrastructure.

10. Christy Walton & family (USA) – $26.5 billion, Wal-Mart

Christy Walton is the widow of John Walton, who was the son of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton. Sam Walton built the global Wal-Mart empire from a single dime store in Arkansas. It is now the world’s largest retailer

 

InsyaAllah..my name must be there someday !!!

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These Five Great Quotes Weave the Story of Our Lives

“Happiness, that grand mistress of the ceremonies in the dance of life, impels us through all its mazes and meanderings, but leads none of us by the same route.”
Charles Caleb Cotton

“If it is to be, it is up to me.”
William H. Johnson

“If one advances confidently in the direction of one’s dreams, and endeavors to live the life which one has imagined, one will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”
Henry David Thoreau

“When you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

“For all sad words of tongue and pen, the saddest are these, “It might have been.”
John Greenleaf Whittier

 

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Lagu Semangat

Bila bertalu rentak dikalbu
Hasrat yang tersirat semakin kuburu
Bila bergema laungan gempita
Harapan bernyala nadiku berganda

Gemuruh jiwa semangat membara
Dari puncak ingin ke angkasa
Berkalungkan bintang berkelipan
Menyerlah jauh dari yang biasa

Bila bertalu rentak dikalbu
Hasrat yang tersirat semakin kuburu
Bila bergema laungan gempita
Harapan bernyala nadiku berganda
Gemuruh jiwa semangat membara
Dari puncak ingin ke angkasa
Berkalungkan bintang berkelipan
Menyerlah jauh dari yang biasa

Ungkapan ini bukan sekadar bermimpi
Segalanya pasti kan terbukti nanti

Gemuruh jiwa semangat membara
Dari puncak ingin ke angkasa
Berkalungkan bintang berkelipan
Menyerlah jauh dari yang biasa

Gemuruh jiwa semangat membara
Dari puncak ingin ke angkasa
Berkalungkan bintang berkelipan
Menyerlah jauh dari yang biasa
Menyerlah jauh dari yang biasa

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Antara jari dan tasbih?

Jangan guna tasbih, tasbih tu bid’aah? Pakcik tak boleh guna” kata seorang pemuda dengan keras dan lantang kepada pakcik imam sebuah surau kampung. Pakcik imam menjawab sambil tersenyum, ”Takpe, saje je nak guna tasbih ni, biasanya pakcik guna jari”.

Begitulah gambaran satu senario yang mungkin berlaku dalam masyarakat kita. Tulisan ini tidak mahu membincangkan soal cara dan uslub pemuda tersebut menegur pakcik imam tadi. Situasi di atas agak keras, kasar dan tidak sesuai. Agak keterlaluan jika terus membidas seseorang dengan kata-kata bid’ah. Jika ingin menegur ada cara dan uslub yang lebih baik. Tulisan sederhana ini hanya ingin mengenengahkan isu penggunaan tasbih dan jari dalam zikir, antara kedua-dua cara manakah yang lebih baik? Alat tasbih di sebut subhah dalam bahasa Arab dan dikenali dengan nama tasbih dalam masyarakat Melayu. Ada segelintir orang memang suka menggunakan tasbih, sehingga setiap masa dalam poket baju melayunya ada tasbih. Manakala segelintir lagi, langsung tidak suka menggunakan tasbih, bahkan dia mampu juga berzikir. Zaman sekarang sebagai ganti kepada rantai, muncul rekaan terbaru sejenis alat yang diperbuat daripada besi mengandungi nombor, orang yang berzikir hanya memetik dengan ibu jari atas butang yang disediakan mengikut bilangan yang dikehendaki. Tetapi, antara penggunaan jari dan alat-alatan seperti itu yang manakah lebih baik?. Guna rantai tasbih atau guna jari? Walaupun tujuan kedua-duanya adala sama, iaitu untuk membilang zikir yang dibaca, tapi ia tetap ada perbezaan.

Sebenarnya ramai cendekiawan Islam yang menulis berkenaan hukum atau sejarah penggunaan rantai tasbih. Mungkin yang terawal ialah Imam al-Suyuti (wafat 911H) dalam tulisan beliau yang bertajuk ”al-Minhah fi al-subhah”. Kemudian diikuti oleh muridnya Ibn Tulun (wafat 953H) dengan nama ”al-Mulihhah fi ma warada fi asl al-subhah”. Selepas itu, muncul al-Sheikh Abd al-Hayy al-Laknawi (wafat 1304H) yang mengarangkan kitab ”Nuzhat al-Fikr fi subhat al-zikr”. Beliau hanya menyebut riwayat dan hukumnya. Namun kesemua karangan tersebut cenderung kepada pensyariatan menggunakan alat tasbih itu. Satu karya semasa yang menarik minat penulis ialah ”al-Subhah tarikhuha wa hukmuha” karangan al-Sheikh Bakr Abu Zayd. Beliau mengkaji sejarah kewujudan penggunaan tasbih dalam peribadatan umat-umat lain seperti Budha, Hindu dan Nasrani serta bagaimanakah kemasukannya dalam Islam melalui puak Rafidah, dan ahli sufi. Menurut beliau, dalam sejarah orang Arab sebenarnya mereka tidak pernah mengenali nama ’al-subhah’. Penggunaan tasbih adalah tashabbuh (meniru) cara puak-puak agama lain sedangkan sunnah mengajar kita menggunakan jari.

Berzikir menggunakan jari adalah satu sunnah dalam Islam sama ada jari kanan atau kiri. Ini adalah amalan turun temurun di kalangan orang-orang Islam. Selepas zaman sahabat dan zaman awal tabi’in baru masuk penggunaan zikir dengan biji atau batu yang disusun dengan benang. Kemudian ia dikenali dengan nama al-subhah dan menjadi lambang gerakan sufi yang melampau atau rafidah. Lebih teruk lagi, ada yang mendakwa elok digantung pada leher dan menjadi lambang para malaikat.

Hal yang perlu diketahui ramai ialah, sabit dalam sunnah sama ada secara qawli, fi’li atau taqriri bahawa yang diajar ialah mengira zikir dengan menggunakan jari. Cara inilah yang dilakukan zaman berzaman. Ia membuktikan bahawa Islam ini mudah dan hukum-hukumnya berada dalam lingkungan kemampuan umat Islam. Namun, apakah penggunaan alat tasbih yang diamalkan oleh kebanyakan masyarakat kita itu salah dan terus boleh dilabelkan sebagai bid’ah? Tidak sesekali perlu dilabelkan seperti itu, bahkan ini mungkin akan mengundang perbalahan dan pertelingkahan dalam masyarakat.

Dari segi sejarahnya, Rasulullah s.a.w. mengajar umat Islam membilang zikir dengan jari jemari. Tiada satu hadis sahih yang diriwayatkan tentang zikir menggunakan batu atau biji-bijian. Kebanyakan hadis yang disebut adalah hadis yang lemah. Selepas itu muncul alat subhah atau rantai tasbih. Sumber-sumber sejarah menyatakan bahawa subhah ini adalah benda baru yang dimasukkan dalam agama Islam. Ada pendapat mengatakan bahawa ia mula dikenali sejak 800M. Ia adalah antara cara peribadatan kalangan penganut budha, hindu dan lain-lain. Banyak sumber-sumber sejarah yang dikemukakan oleh Syeikh Bakr Abu Zayd r.h antaranya ialah al-mawsu’ah al-arabiyyah al-muyassarah, dairah al-ma’arif al-Islamiyyah dan fatawa Rashid Rida.

Maka, ditegaskan bahawa rantai tasbih atau biji tasbih yang digunakan untuk membilang tasbih atau zikir yang dilakukan oleh seseorang tidak wujud pada zaman Rasulullah s.a.w. Bahkan pada zaman sahabat ataupun tabi’in rantai tasbih ini masih tidak digunakan. Oleh kerana itu, sesetengah pakar sejarah berpendapat ia mula dikenali dalam masyarakat Islam apabila dibawa masuk oleh masyarakat non muslim. Justeru, sebahagian ulama mengkategorikan ia sebagai bid’ah. Dalam Islam, semenjak zaman para al-salaf al-soleh, mereka membilang bilangan tasbih dan zikir mereka dengan menggunakan jari jemari. Ada riwayat yang mengatakan sebahagian al-salaf membilang tasbih dan zikir mereka dengan menggunakan batu-batu kecil. (Al-Sharbasi, Yas’alunaka fi al-Din wa al-Hayah 6/477). Namun riwayat-riwayat tersebut dihukumkan lemah oleh ulama. (Bakr Abu Zayd, al-Subhah 7-16).

Justeru, kesimpulan yang saya boleh buat di sini, tidak perlulah dilabelkan seseorang pembawa bid’ah sekiranya niat dan tujuan ia menggunakan alat tasbih adalah hanya untuk membilang zikirnya. Sheikh Uthaimin dan al-Sharbasi ada menegaskan sekiranya seseorang mempunyai niat ikhlas menggunakan rantai tasbih untuk membantunya membilang jumlah tasbih dan zikir, maka ia tidak salah. Manakala jika sekiranya, seseorang menggantungkan rantai tersebut pada tengkuk dan lehernya semata-mata kerana tujuan riya’, menunjuk-nunjuk atau sebagainya, ia adalah perbuatan yang dilarang. Begitu juga sekiranya ia sentiasa memegang rantai tasbihnya untuk menunjuk-nunjuk atau hanya untuk bermain-main tanpa berzikir sebagaimana yang dilakukan oleh kebanyakan orang awam, maka ia wajib dihindari. InsyaAllah, mudahan-mudahan masyarakat Islam di Malaysia tidak ada yang melakukan perbuatan seperti itu.

Namun yang perlu ditekankan ialah lebih afdhal baginya menggunakan jari jemarinya sendiri. Hal ini kerana menggunakan jari adalah cara sunnah yang diajarkan Nabi s.a.w. serta ditunjukkan oleh para sahabat r.a. Tambahan pula, jari-jari yang digunakan untuk membilang zikir-zikir tersebut akan menjadi saksi untuk kita pada hari akhirat nanti. Firman Allah Taala (Yasin : 65) :
Maksudnya : “Pada waktu itu Kami meteraikan mulut mereka (sejurus); dan (memberi peluang kepada) tangan-tangan mereka memberitahu Kami, dan kaki mereka pula menjadi saksi tentang apa Yang mereka telah usahakan”.
Sabda Nabi s.a.w kepada wanita :

يَا مَعْشَرَ النِّسَاءِ اعْقِدْنَ بِالْأَنَامِلِ فَإِنَّهُنَّ مَسْئُولَاتٌ مُسْتَنْطَقَاتٌ

Maksudnya : “Wahai sekalian wanita, gunalah jari jemari (untuk membilang zikir) kerana sesungguhnya ia akan disoal dan berkata-kata”.
Oleh itu, untuk memperbaiki dan mencantikkan lagi zikir kita, seeloknya kita mengikut cara tunjuk ajar sunnah Nabi s.a.w. Mudah-mudahan Allah Taala menerima segala amalan dan niat ikhlas kita untuk menjadi pengikut setia Rasulullah s.a.w.

http://albaruhiyy.wordpress.com/2009/04/01/antara-jari-dan-tasbih/

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Tony Blair reads the Koran daily to stay ‘faith literate’

London:  

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has said that he reads Islam’s holy book, the ‘Koran’ every day as it keeps him ”faith literate”.

“To be faith-literate is crucial in a globalize world, I believe. I read the Koran every day. Partly to understand some of the things happening in the world, but mainly just because it is immensely instructive,” the Daily Mail quoted Blair, as saying.

Blair believes that the knowledge of the faith helps him in his current role as Middle East envoy for the Quartet of the United Nations, United States, European Union and Russia.

Blair had earlier praised the Muslim faith as ‘beautiful’ and said the Prophet Mohammed had been ‘an enormously civilizing force’.

In 2006 he said the Koran was a reforming book, which extols science and knowledge and abhors superstition.

He had added that the Koran is practical and way ahead of its time in attitudes to marriage, women and governance.

source

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How to Sleep Less and Stay Healthy

How much sleep do we really need? Of course it’s very personal, but “seven to eight hours should be enough” is what we keep hearing from most sources. But is it possible to shorten this time, without hurting your health?

Indeed, sufficient sleep time is important for your body to function well during the day. Sleep helps your body to recover from illness, minimizes the effect of stress, increases ability to concentrate, and improves memory and coordination. You don’t want to put these abilities at risk, do you?

The good news is that it is possible to shorten sleep time by up to 1 hour without the risk of sleep deprivation if you understand and follow these two simple rules.

How to Sleep Less

Rule 1. It’s not just the quantity of sleep that counts, but also the quality.

Everyone has woken up after 10 hours sleep and felt fatigue, as well as getting up after 6 hours of sleep feeling completely refreshed and rested. There are many factors that may influence how long you need to sleep to feel rested, but the rule is simple. The higher is the quality of your sleep, the smaller amount of sleep time you need. This is the first recipe in shortening your sleep time. It seems to be logical, but how you can improve the quality of your sleep? There are a number of ways to do it but the most practical are:

  • Do not eat before going to bed (at least 2 hours before sleep time).
  • Sleep in dark, quiet room.
  • Try using a sleep optimization program. These work wonders for some people.
  • Sleep with fresh air (open windows or get air refresher).
  • Exercise during the day. If you don’t exercise, go for a 15 minutes walk before the sleep time.
  • Do not watch TV in the bed before going to sleep. Read a book, take a bath, do something relaxing.
  • Don’t drink coffee or other stimulants within 6 hours of bed time.
  • Don’t take long naps (more than 30 mins) during the day.

Follow these simple tips and within one or two weeks you will notice how your sleep starts improving.

Rule 2. Any habit can be changed, slowly

There is an old African proverb. “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” The same is true for changing your sleep habits. When do you go to sleep, how long you sleep, where you sleep –- it’s all part of the sleeping pattern that your body is accustomed to. Like any habit, it can be changed by taking small but regular steps.

Start waking up 5 minutes earlier every 2-3 days. In one week, you’ll be waking up 15 minutes earlier. In one month, you’ll be waking up 1 hour earlier! To make it even easier, you can take slower steps and extend your experiment for 2 or 3 months by shifting your sleep time by 5 minutes a week. To succeed in this experiment, you should try and go to bed at about the same time every day. It requires discipline, but result is well worth it.

As you start sleeping less and less, it’s crucial to remember and follow the first rule about quality sleep. This is your only way to compensate for less sleep.

Just imagine what you can do with all the free time you can get from waking up earlier. If you can manage to get one extra hour per day you’ll end up with 365 hours per year –- that’s equal to 9 work-weeks of productive time! By utilizing this time you could learn a new language, read dozens of books (or even write some!) and start exercising regularly. Morning time is also the most productive time. No wonder the early rising habit is so common among successful people. Become one of them!

***

This guest post is contributed by Y. Graf, the author of the How to Wake Up Early blog. His blog is loaded with tips, tricks and strategies to help everyone in building the early wake up habit and becoming an early riser.

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Network Marketing – How To Be A Good Sponsor (part 1)

How many times have you been approached by someone who wants to get you on a three way phone call? Better yet how about the person who wants to tell you about a great system they are using that will show you how to get hundreds of leads daily to your network marketing business? Unfortunately you may have just come across anetwork marketing recruiter. These folks are very quick to tell you how great their compensation plan.

They will also tell you in their 20 years in network marketing they have never seen any comp plan compare to it. They will even tell you that timing is everything. They will fill your head that you are in the right place at the right time and your prayers have been answered.

The problem is that network marketing recruiters know exactly what hot buttons to hit to tap into your emotions. These people are pushy. Have you ever tried to say no to something only to have the salesperson keep asking you and then they try and make you feel bad because you are saying no. You know the jerks I am talking about.  These people don’t care if your behind on your bills. Their only focus is to get you into a buying decision.

Network Marketing Isn’t All Bad

There are many benefits to being an independent distributor. You have tax benefits for owning your own business. You can set your own hours of work. You income is only limited by your own efforts.  In the network marketing industry you will earn what you are worth guaranteed. To some this is a great thing, to others not so good.  The thing is most people who join a MLM join because they think they are going to get rich quick.

They think that if they just do xyz the money is just going to materialize right before their eyes.. Even worse they think that their *sponsor is going to do it for them.  The one and only reason why these folks think this way is because they just got suckered by the professional recruiter. Then after the smoke clears and they realize that there sponsor is no where to be found. They quickly tell the world how network marketing is a scam. This happens every single day of the week.

NETWORK MARKETING – A GOOD SPONSOR IS A GOOD TEACHER

Ever hear the saying if you want something done right you have to do it yourself? This applies to building a strong network marketing team. You are the example the person that joined your business has. To often you join a business and never hear from the person that brought you into the biz.

A good sponsor is a person who loves to teach and help others. If you want to see true residual income in your network marketing businesses you need to attract other people who are interested in network marketing.

You are not looking for new customers. You are looking for other folks who want to start a home based business. It is these “Home Business Folks” that you have to mentor on ways to build their business.

I am a big fan of Internet Network Marketing. To make money online requires that you learn how to market like Internet Marketers do. The reason why so many people fail in the network marketing industry online is because they end up getting recruited and not sponsored.  A good sponsor knows that they build their business 1 person at a time.

Network Marketing Recruiters SUCK!

The best way to learn how to be a good sponsor is to find someone to sponsor you. Once you have a good teacher, pay attention to what they are teaching you.  You will start to make money online in your business once you know what you are doing.

Many people make the mistake of thinking first the money will come then they can learn how to be an expert. Unless you are actively pursuing your education you will end doing one of two things.

1. Spending way more money than you have too. (Been there done that!)

2. Simply give up defeated, broken and angry.

So do yourself a huge favor and learn how to be a good sponsor.  The better sponsor you are the more money you can make. Don’t rely on systems to get you better. A good sponsor will spend time on the phone with you, reply quickly through email response etc..

To be continued…

 

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How to Fight the Satanic Whispers

Life is full of ups and downs – we have times of joy and times of disappointment, we have our eman increase or decrease, sometimes we feel close to Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala, and sadly at other times we turn away. We must identify if it is our nafs or Shaitan that’s deviating us or decreasing our faith, thus directing us to prepare the appropriate weapon.

If it’s your nafs stop the habit and replace it with a good habit as Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) said: “And establish prayer at the two ends of the day and at the approach of the night. Indeed, good deeds do away with misdeeds. That is a reminder for those who remember.” (Surah Hud Verse 114)
It is important to educate ourselves about the sin or reflect upon the detrimental habit and then think about the akhirah.

To fight Shaitan’s whispers, Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala gave us a strong system of defense and the best of it is our faith:

Increase in Knowledge

The Qur’an and Sunnah are our reference and guides for knowing what is permitted and forbidden in life as Muslims, it is therefore an obligation to learn about Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala and thus increasing in our pursuit of knowledge strengthens our faith. We should also turn to scholars when in doubt or needing clarification. Try to read The Noble Qur’an, ahadith, various books about Islam to increase your eman to put into practice, and to increase your reliance of Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala as that knowledge will bithn’illah be your protection next time Shaitan tries to make you deviate.

 

Rely on Allah

Know that there is no might nor power except with Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala and without Him you can not succeed.

Seeking Refuge: Al-Istiadah

Sincerely seek refuge with Allah from the accursed; do so before entering the toilet, entering your house, when leaving the house, when having bad thoughts, when beginning to recite The Qur’an, so on.

Du’a:

Make du’a for help and protection, and find the Sunnah du’a which can be found in the supplication book Fortress of the Muslim.

Remembrance of Allah:

Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, “Allah the Exalted says: `I am as my slave expects me to be, and I am with him when he remembers Me. If he remembers Me inwardly, I will remember him inwardly, and if he remembers Me in an assembly, I will remember him in a better assembly (i.e. in the assembly of angels).”
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Read, Recite, Reflect on the Qur’an:

You can listen to the Qur’an on your mobile phone, your iPod or MP3, or in your car, on your way to work or school or at home. Make a habit of reading the Qur’an daily, even if it is just a few verses. It is our source of guidance and protection for our eman.

Finally, Shaitan is our enemy and let us wage a war against him and our nafs by devoting ourselves to increasing our eman and serving Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala. At the end of the day, Shaitan does not make us do something, he whispers. If you fall, which we are all bound to do as humans, don’t give up and turn back to Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala:

Say: ”O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful.” (Az-zumur 53)

 

About the Author:

Hend Mohamad is an Egyptian Computer Engineering student. She is learning about parenting in Islam and striving to be an ideal Muslim mother for her children insha’Allah. She was a part of a charity aiming to eliminate illiteracy among the elderly, and is now a team leader in a charity organisation which donates clothes to poor people. She loves to write and share a positive message with the intention for even just one word to inspire someone and may help her get to Jannah insha’Allah. Visit her blog: www.hendmohamad.blogspot.com

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The Urgency of Personal Change

We live in an era in which the world is mired in great challenges. It is no longer possible to ignore the turmoil that surrounds us, be it the instability in many countries or the problems associated with the millions struggling to make a living. Whatever be the reasons that led the world to this stage, it’s clear that a change is essential to get out from this chaos.

Our personal lives are not immune from this turmoil. Many times we all seek to correct the course of our lives to maximize our share of worldly and spiritual fulfillment. Whether its to inculcate better Islamic habits or others related to secular aspects of our lives, the process of personal change provides us with an opportunity to improve ourselves.

The ability to come out of this state – to change – also gives us hope for a better future. Fortunately, we live during times where good advice surrounds us. The Internet and its support structure have provided us with a way to gain instant access to stores of knowledge and words of wisdom. The problem, however, has been that our pace of change hasn’t kept up with what we learn from this knowledge. You see, there comes a point in our lives where we need to go beyond learning and to eventually change and start living that wisdom.

Bringing lasting personal change however, isn’t that easy and many of us give up trying. But since change is important to get us out of our current states, we simply can’t quit. So, the struggle must go on until we find a way to overcome barriers to personal change.

We may wonder about why we fail to change? For those of us who have attempted to change with not much to show for, the process can be frustrating. Understanding reasons that lead to this failure can help us overcome these obstacles. Let’s review those below.

Desensitization to time

Procrastination is known to be one of the biggest hurdles to change. Psychologists refer to procrastination as “the act of replacing high-priority actions with tasks of low-priority, and thus putting off important tasks to a later time.” Whether one procrastinates in worldly or spiritual matters, it has its consequences. Procrastinators falsely assume that time will be available in the future, which may not be true. For example, we see that in the Quran Allah mentions numerous nations who were given time to heed to His message and change. The ones who didn’t were suddenly taken by surprise at their appointed time. In the Chapter of Al-Anaam (verse 44), Allah says, “So, when they forgot (the warning) with which they had been reminded, We opened for them the gates of every (pleasant) thing, until in the midst of their enjoyment in that which they were given, all of a sudden, We took them (in punishment), and lo! They were plunged into destruction with deep regrets and sorrows.” while they will bear their burdens on their backs; and evil indeed are the burdens that they will bear! ”

The message above couldn’t be clearer. Allah gives us the time to reform ourselves. When we postpone indefinitely, we shouldn’t be surprised if our conditions worsen. Allah says in the Quran, “Verily, We sent (Messengers) to many nations before you (O Muhammad). And We seized them with extreme poverty (or loss in wealth) and loss in health (with calamities) so that they might humble themselves (believe with humility).” (Chapter #6, Verse #42)

We should, therefore, urgently start facing up to our spiritual and worldly imperfections which may be manifesting as sins. Accordingly, we need to make the connection between those imperfections and our undesirable conditions. Remember, the price of putting off change can come in the form of tough times and future regrets. Let’s not procrastinate until tomorrow because even if we had the extra time, tomorrow could bring additional challenges thus increasing the load of our burdens.

 

Desensitization to falsehood and imperfections

Change of any type first requires clearly identifying and recognizing the negative behavior, habit, thought, or belief. However, when one gets desensitized to such imperfections, the need for such a change is no longer felt. The “negatives” become part of our existence and we become complacent about them. For example, many amongst Muslims pray Fajar prayers after the prescribed time (or miss it altogether) and no longer see it as a sin or feel the impulse to correct such a behavior.

Today, we live in trying times where guidelines driven by personal interests rather than based on divine teachings are being used to decide the lawful (halal) and the unlawful (haram). This is slowly blurring the dividing lines between falsehood and truth. As a direct consequence, though unknown to many of us (including Muslims), we have slowly begun to be more accepting of wrong behaviors leading to devastating consequences. This is similar to the boiling water and frog analogy, which states that if a frog is placed in boiling water, it will jump out. However, if it is placed in cold water that is slowly heated, it will fail to feel the change and thus will never jump out, dying in the process.

This loss of our sense to distinguish between falsehood and truth makes Shaytan sneak into our lives, further hindering our efforts to improve. Allah says in the Quran, “And whosoever turns away blindly from the remembrance of the Most Gracious (Alláh) (i.e., this Qurán and worship of Alláh), We appoint for him a Shaitán (Satan/devil) to be a Qarin (a companion) to him. And verily, they (Satans/devils) hinder them from the path (of Alláh), but they think that they are guided aright!” (43:36,37).

Islamic teachings thus warn us against getting into such traps and instead instruct us to never lose sight of the distinction between right and wrong. Just because we chose to ignore rectifying the wrong to suit our situations doesn’t transform wrong into right. By maintaining that distinction we can still expect to rectify it someday

 

Lack of commitment

Commitment to change is essential for any major change of attitude to take place in the long run. Research has proved that things such as “will power” can take us only so far and for so long. We need a more stable “inner resource” to sustain our change efforts for the long run.

One way to ensure that you stay committed to any change effort is to clearly define the outcome that you envision from that change. Envisioning the outcome for a change is quite different from simply having the desire to change. Although desires may provide the emotional fuel behind our change efforts, they don’t manifest the underlying complexities to drive an actual change process. Outcomes from the intended change must therefore be envisioned clearly, e.g. the new person that you will become after you give up a certain negative behavior, to ensure continued commitment levels.

Take the example of the prophet’s commitment when he started propagating the Islamic message during the early days of Islam. When the prophet’s uncle warned him of the risks of doing so, he clearly stated, “O my uncle, by Allah, if they put the sun in my right hand and the moon in my left in return for my giving up this cause, I would not give it up until Allah makes Truth victorious, or I die in His service.” It was that kind of a commitment that kept him going for the rest of his life and to bring about the change that he did.

To motivate us to do good deeds and to put our temporary stay in this life in perspective, Allah and His prophet have very clearly defined the outcomes of our actions in this life and the hereafter. The detailed account they have provided us about our stay in this world and after we take the last breath, show us a clear path from now until our final destination. For us to make any change therefore, we should commit ourselves and clearly envision the outcome that we expect from our change.

 

Lack of a personal change system

Islam constitutes a system of obligatory ibadat such as prayers, fasting, etc., that helps a Muslim adhere to a discipline of maintaining his or her relationship with Allah. No one would disagree that if such ibadat were instead optional, most of us wouldn’t be able to maintain our current levels of spirituality. So, just as methodical and disciplined systems help us perform effectively in both our spiritual and worldly matters, instituting a methodical “personal change system” is equally important to help us follow through on the changes that we want to make in our lives. Such a system will help us to make, track, and sustain changes throughout our lives.

Parting words

Finally, let’s remember that to seek a change in our conditions we must do things differently from the way that initially led to where we stand today. So, the road from misery to fulfillment, from good to great, and from Allah’s displeasure to seeking His pleasure starts with you getting on the process of change. As Allah says in the Quran:“Verily, Allah will not change the condition of a people as long as they do not change their state themselves” [al-Raa’d 13:11].
Points to ponder:

What in your opinion are other barriers to change, especially when we know the truth. What can be done to overcome such barriers? Share your thoughts below.

-END

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Aku Mencintaimu Tanpa Alasan – ^_^

As-salamu `alaykum wa rahmatullah…… Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim…

Seorang gadis mengeluh,setiap kali ia bertanya kepada kekasihnya,”Kenapa kau mencintai aku?”. Kekasihnya tak pernah menjawab, hanya diam dan tersenyum. Padahal teman-temannya yang lain selalu mempunyai alasan mengapa kekasih mereka mencintai mereka.
Semakin lama, gadis ini semakin marah dan kecewa. “Setiap kali aku bertanya, dia selalu diam… bererti kekasihku tidak mencintaiku lagi..! Akan ku putuskan saja baru dia tahu!”, berkata si gadis di dalam hati.. Akhirnya, dia memutuskan hubungan dgn kekasihnya.
Beberapa bulan kemudian, si gadis pergi ke bandar dgn menaiki bas namun bas yg dinaiki telah terlibat dlm kemalangan dahsyat dan si gadis… wajahnya menjadi cacat, dia menjadi bisu, dan kakinya terpaksa dipotong. Si gadis begitu sedih..
“Mana ada lagi laki-laki yang mahu mendekati seorang gadis cacat dan tak lagi bererti seperti diriku ?”, fikirnya di dalam tangis.
Suatu hari, kekasih yang dulu pernah diputuskannya datang. Karena si gadis sudah tak lagi boleh berbicara, dengan menulis di atas kertas ia bertanya kepada bekas kekasihnya : “Mengapa kamu masih datang kemari, kan aku sudah cacat dan sudah tak bererti lagi…?”
Sambil tersenyum bekas kekasihnya berkata : “Dulu, aku tak bisa menjawab ketika kamu selalu bertanya, mengapa aku mencintaimu..
Kalau dulu ku katakan aku mencintaimu karena kamu pandai menyanyi, tentu setelah kau bisu, tak ada alasan lagi bagiku untuk mencintaimu.
Kalau ku katakan aku mencintaimu karena kamu pandai menari, masih adakah cintaku padamu setelah kakimu dipotong?
Dan kalau ku katakan karena wajahmu yang cantik dan menarik, tentu cintaku hilang setelah wajahmu cacat dan menjadi hodoh. Jadi,dari dulu,sekarang,hingga nanti,aku mencintai kamu tanpa alasan, aku mencintai kamu seadanya..!”
Mendengar kata-kata yang terucap dari bekas kekasihnya, si gadis hanya tertunduk dan menitiskan air mata.. air mata bahagia, menyedari bahawa masih ada lelaki yang tulus mencintainya. Kemudian dia menatap wajah bekas kekasihnya … dan menulis di atas kertas :
“Maafkan Aku”