Assalaamu ‘alaykum wa Rahmatullah
Dear sisters,

Recently, a fellow blogger at http://tmr123.wordpress.com/ fowarded me the story of an inspiring account of one sister’s hifdh experience, documenting the impact her faith & her hifdh journey had, both on those who knew her and those who did not.

Read on to be inspired!
Rayhaanah

لَقَدْ كَانَ فِي قَصَصِهِمْ عِبْرَةٌ لِّأُولِي الْأَلْبَابِ

There was certainly in their stories a lesson for those of understanding.

(Yusuf: 111)

Why do we read about and study the lives of the Prophets ‘alaihimus salaam and the lives of our pious predecessors? The ayah above gives the answer to that. It’s not just for entertainment or as a story, but rather we are supposed to take lessons from it. We are supposed to be inspired by them to try and follow in their footsteps, to try and be like them. But I think an obstacle that we might face in trying to do so is that it could at times be difficult to relate their reality. They lived thousands of years before us and the world back then was a very different place to what it is now. The reality of the situation we find ourselves in is not the same as theirs. That’s why I feel that stories of a contemporary nature, of people living in our day and age, can be quite effective in serving as an inspiration for us, as we can better relate to it. And in this post, I’d like to share one such narration.

~*~

This is a true story, of a young woman. Her name was Smira, but I only knew her as “alhamdoulilah“. You see, I didn’t know her personally. In fact, I didn’t know her at all. She lived thousands of miles away from me and I never met her. I only came to know of her through reading her posts on an Internet forum. So what was it about her that affected me, to the extent that I am writing this now?

I think it was the fact that she was a haafizah: she was, by the Grace of Allah, a bearer of the Qur’an. Such people are not the same as others. The People of the Qur’an are the People of Allah on this earth, and His Special ones. [1] They have a special rank and position with Him; and so they have a special rank and position with me as well, and a special place in my heart. More than that, it was her love and devotion to the Qur’an. There are many who may have memorised it, but the ones who have been blessed with the love of the Book of Allah and are sincerely devoted to it – they are but few. She was of Spanish / Bosnian descent and had to struggle more than the rest of us to learn to recite properly. Despite that, after four years of sacrifice she managed to complete the memorisation of the Noble Qur’an. And that day, that moment, was the happiest one of her life, the one she had looked forward to the most. When nearing the completion of her memorisation, she would learn twelve pages a day! Six in the morning before Fajr and six at night after Ishaa!

Her outlook and approach to life was astounding. This is what she said in her introduction on the forum. What kind of a teenager says things like this!?

My goal is to really understand how To be a Muslim…. To walk, talk, breath Islam….

Yh you can call Muslim…. But I wanna know how to reach the condition where your said new levels of faith… To really capture the essence of attaining true taqwa and faith…. To experience true tranquilty in the heart….

I wanna to have enough imaan in myself to achieve a sense of purity in my internal soul …. To reach a real level of seriousness..

So that they day when The Angel of death calls upon my soul to return to its Creator…. I will sincerely feel that I have established the purpose of my life

Walked with modesty, prayed with sincerity, spoke with knowledge, pondered with compassion, lived with etiquette, cried with humility, judged with equality, and strove with character….

All for the pleasure of one moment ….one honour,….one promise….

Seeing His Face, Allah, Lord of the Worlds

Even her choice of username on the forum was amazing: alhamdoulilah. A word of praise and thanks to Allah; and so anyone reading it would be reminded of Him.

She had a kind and friendly disposition. A classmate of hers was interested in Islam, and through her encouragement and answering of his questions, he eventually embraced Islam. Despite her young age and living in a Western society, and despite the opposition from those around her, she adopted the wearing of the niqaab. And all of this, while being a revert to Islam… That too was a struggle. At first, her parents did not take kindly to her embracing Islam and in the beginning her mother did not even allow her to pray in the house. She would then have to resort to praying in a closet!

By the Decree of Allah, she fell gravely ill. Her liver started failing and the doctors gave her only a matter of weeks to live. Even then, she praised and thanked Allah! This is a message she recorded at that time. Listen to it, and you can tell that even in such a difficult situation, she was content with the Divine Decree. She used that time at the hospital to recite the Qur’an. And she completed its recitation in just two days. Two days! Subhanallah. At that time, Allah ta’ala gave her a gift: the acceptance of Islam by her mother. How happy must that not have made her!? If only her brother, with whom she was very close, had followed his mother’s example as well…

On the 7th Dhul Hijjah 1432, the Angel of Death called upon her soul to return to her Creator. She was 19 years old at the time. She passed away to the mercy of her Lord in the ten days of Dhul Hijjah, the greatest days of the year. She passed away at the time of Maghrib on the night of Jumu’ah, the greatest day of the week. She passed away and recited the Shahadah three times, and the one who dies upon that is guaranteed of Jannah. She passed away because of a stomach ulcer, and one who dies because of that is regarded as a martyr! [2] So praise be to Allah who granted her a husnul khitaamah (good ending).

~*~

I have not written this to eulogize her, or to paint her as being some sort of a saint or anything. But it is for us to take a lesson from her. And generally, the lesson people might take is that just as she died at such a young age, so too should we be prepared to die at any moment and not expect to live a long life. But that’s not the lesson I’d like us to take away from this. Instead, it is for us to be inspired by her to try and be better Muslims.

She lived in the same world we live in, went to school and university just like we do, faced the same problems and challenges we do, had the same hopes and aspirations we do. But how many other young girls of her age have the same mindset she had? For many, it seems as if all they care about are the trivial things of this world: boys and relationships, celebrities and movie stars, even things which don’t even exist, like vampires and werewolves.

How many of us have given da’wah and tried to bring people to Islam?How much of the Qur’an have we learnt in comparison to her? What is our relationship with Allah? If we were placed in a situation like that, with only a few weeks left to live, how would we react? Would we really then be able to be content with Allah’s decree? Just some things to think about and ponder on.

And she was Muslim for only a part of her life, whereas we are born into Muslim households and have been living as Muslims for far longer. What have we accomplished in all that time?

~*~

(Note: this dua was written at the time when she was in her final illness.)

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. And the peace and blessings of Allah be upon Muhammad, his family and his companions.

O Allah, You are the One who has said, “When My slaves ask you about Me, then indeed I am near. I respond to the supplication of the one who supplicates when he calls on Me.”

And You are the One who has said, “Call on Me, I will respond to you.”

O Lord! O Remover of afflictions! O Hearer of secret words! Cure her of her illness.
O Allah, cure her of her illness.
O Allah, cure her of her illness.

O Allah, Lord of mankind, remove the illness. Cure her, for You are the Curer and there is cure except your Cure. Cure her with such a cure leaves behind no trace of illness.

O Allah, let her illness be means of expiation of her sins. Whatever pain or difficulty she experiences, let it wipe out her sins for her, such that none are left behind.

O Allah, open the hearts of her family to Islam.

O Allah, accept her good deeds from her, and overlook her faults and evils and shortcomings.

O Allah, accept her with a beautiful acceptance.

O Allah, You are the Giver of Life and You are the Causer of Death. Life and death lies in Your hands, and You are capable of all things.

O Allah, if death is decreed, then send the angels of mercy to take her soul, and do not send the angels of punishment.

O Allah, open the doors of the sky for her soul.

O Allah, cause her to die as a Muslim, and cause her to join the righteous.

O Allah, let the Qur’an be her companion in the grave.

O Allah, resurrect her with the Prophets, the truthful, the martyrs and the righteous.

O Allah, let the Qur’an intercede for her on the Day of Reckoning.

O Allah, allow her to intercede for others on that Day, by virtue of having memorised Your Book.

O Allah, place a crown of dignity on her head because of having memorised Your Book, and place dominion in her right hand and immortality in her left.

O Allah, let it be said to her, “Recite and ascend the ranks of Paradise”; let her recite and not stop until she completes the recitation of Your Book.

O our Lord, grant us good in this world, good in the next world, and save us from the punishment of the Fire.

O our Lord, accept our dua.

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