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What No One Would Dare Say About Ramadan!

“Mommmmmmm! I’m so hungry! How long till Maghreb?” The kids asked for the 36th time (But you know, who’s counting!)
“Four hours and 17 minutes!” I reply in an automated-service tone.

A hot summery Ramadan and it’s like 100 degrees outside so the kids are staying indoors, and with no caffeine in my system, I feel my crankiness slowly turning me into an intolerable ‘Hulkette’! But then again, it’s the Holy month, where your heart, mind, soul and body are being purified while going through the ultimate test of patience. It’s the month of blessings and serenity. I can do this…
Yes I can.

“Mommmmmm! It’s been forever! How long till Maghreb now?”
“Four hours and 16 minutes!”

Hmmmm on second thought… I so CAN’T do this!

With Satan and all the horrible little devils chained away for 30 days and nights I’m not sure who to blame my grumpiness on.
Me? Noooooooo! Come on people I’m a very pleasant person.
Okay fine, I’ll take responsibility for my own bad mood and today I’ll be the devil’s advocate to mess with your minds a little bit (yeah I’m mean I know). As much as I like Ramadan, I’m one of those people who worry about its arrival 11 months before it’s here. Between the loss of sleep, no food or water, no entertainment, and kids whining endlessly, I must say these 30 days are challenging.

What’s So Special About Ramadan?

1- The Ultimate Delete Button

Yes you heard that right! In the Holy month, you literally start a new page and all your sins are deleted.
Aha even if you did HORRIBLE things.
Yup! Even those nasty sins too.
Yes I’m totally serious, literally EVERYTHING and ANYTHING bad you did is deleted. Listen to this:

“Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) said: ‘Whoever fasts Ramadan out of faith and in the hope of reward, he will be forgiven his previous sins.” (Sunan an-Nasa’i 2205)

The devil’s advocate starts fidgeting then suddenly gets up: “It doesn’t mean you’ll go to Jannah you know. Satan is a genius and he’ll definitely lead you to sin after Ramadan is over and you’ll hopefully die during the act and go to hell! Sorry to burst your bubble guys! What else do you got?”

2-The Big Save Button:
So if you’re worried that your fasting and prayers weren’t perfect, or that you’ll sin again, there’s another getaway that makes Ramadan extra special. It’s Allah’s extreme mercy and kindness. Check this out:

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “In every day and every night, during the month of Ramadan, there are people to whom Allah grants freedom from the Fire, and there is for every Muslim a supplication which he can make and will be granted”. [al-Bazzaar, Ahmad and Ibn Majah; Sahih]
And God Almighty doesn’t go back on His word. Once you’re granted freedom for Hellfire it’s a lifetime guarantee. Congratulations, you’ve been saved.
The devil’s advocate sweats uncontrollably and his eyes widen double their size. “Whoa easy there buddy. Careful what you say! Besides you’ll never know you’re saved for sure till Judgment Day, and it still doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be in a high level in Heaven. Nah, I’m thinking that’s not enough to make Ramadan so special!
3- The Instant Multiplication Button

Alright! You want special I’ll give you special.
I’m pretty sure you’re familiar with the Holy verse 6:160 which explains that Allah multiplies each good deed by 10. And we also know that praying in Jama’a or groups multiplies the reward by 27. Not just that, but the Prophet (PBUH) also said this about Ramadan: “Every deed of the son of Adam will be multiplied for him, between ten and seven hundred times for each merit. Allah said: ‘Except for fasting, for it is for Me and I shall reward for it.'” (Bukhari).

Now let the Mathematicians step forward please.
1 prayer X 5 times a day X 10 X 700 X 27 X 30 Days = 28, 350,000 points.

More than 28 million Hasanat for prayers alone. And Salat Taraweeh (Night prayers), reciting Qur’an (which by the way is 1 point for each LETTER you read- that’s 323,671 points) and add the charity money, acts of kindness and the sunnah prayers before and after obligatory Salat, feeding the poor, hospitality… Etc. As for the reward for fasting, God said He decides on that, and when the Most Kind and Most Generous rewards His slaves, I don’t think my brain can absorb the amount of points He’s talking about.
So yeah, put all together, that’s math I can’t even do! But I know it’s more than enough to raise your status in Jannah!

“Hmmmmm! Let’s see what the devil’s advocate has to say about THAT!” I cross my arms triumphantly.
Oh my God, wait! He’s having a seizure. Help!
4- The Humongous Power Button

And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for! The night of nights, when thousands of angels including the great angel Jibreel himself, descend from the sky to visit our world. The once a year opportunity that’s literally worth your whole life! Ladies and gentlemen, it is with great pleasure that I announce the ‘Night of Power’ and its glory! But before I do that, let me ask the audience here a question.
“Sir, what do you think is the average life span of a human being?”
“Ummmm I don’t know, 80 years?”
“That is correct! And how many months would that be sir?”
“960 months?”
“Exactly! But now get this!”

The Night of Power is better than a thousand months.” (97:3, Holy Qur’an)

Also known as Laylat Al Qadr, sincere worship of the Great Lord on the Night Of Power is equal to more than a lifetime of non-stop praying. And that is every single year. So we’re talking about at least 50 lifetimes of zero sins and oceans of endless rewards!
Who’s your mama now?

Sirens of ambulances invade the sound systems and nurses with gurneys and oxygen masks run to the rescue of the poor devil’s advocate, who is now on the ground motionless after a massive stroke.

Later that evening, still chained to the hospital bed and wearing that funny green gown, the devil’s advocate lifts his oxygen mask and growls….
“I thought I could depend on you to distract the humankind! You let me down! You put the name of evil to shame!”
“Yeah whatever” I laughed
“On Eid we meet again! I will be revenged! You’ll see! You’ll ALL SEE!”

Driving home, I see Muslims handing out bottles of water and dates on the streets, helping each other and setting out iftar tables for the poor. There’s a soothing kind of serenity in the air… I can’t explain it. It’s like an 11 month tornado has gone by and kindness is all that survived. There’s still good in this world… I swear to God there is…

“Sorry kids. I had to run to the hospital. Long story!” I apologized as I walked in.
“Mommy come on! One minute till Maghreb! Oh my God we are so excited!” The kids jump happily.

Excited to eat food they eat all year long….
Eager to sit down with the family they see everyday….
Hurrying to the mosque to pray with the friends they always hang out with….
Every single ordinary moment is appreciated in the most extraordinary ways… and I can’t help but think that this is the real meaning of happiness….
Blessed light cleansing our souls like a pure waterfall on a hot burning day…
Our Lord’s mercy is overwhelming… fulfilling and recharging…
And yet that’s not even a fraction of how special and glorious this Holy month is… Compared to that, our love for it isn’t enough…
It never will be… until the angels greet us with open arms at the gates of Paradise…and we finally see the Face of our Lord…
The Owner of Majesty and Honor….
Because that was and always will be, the truest love of all….

Lilly S. Mohsen

Follow me on Twitter @lillymohsen

Why Everything Is For Sale (Yeah Baby, Even You!)

Muslim Words

Calling on my wild imagination to proceed to the front desk please!
Wild imagination. Front desk. Thank you!

I’m a purple genie in a bottle and your wish is my command. Dream of anything you like and I’ll make it come true, free of charge and with a lifetime guarantee.

View original post 1,094 more words

Rare Moments: Confessions Of A Mother With A Special Needs Child

Published my (Suhaib Webb)
12 Jan, 2015
This is the original uncut version

Rare Moments
Confessions Of The Mother Of A Child With Special Needs


There come those rare moments when out of nowhere, and when we least expect it, something truly magical happens…
Perhaps some of us are too wrapped up in the mucky puddles of our lives to actually notice those moments…
But one way or another… One chance or another…
Whether we want to admit it or not… We all get glimpses of dreams coming true…
Fairytale wedding nights and surprise birthday parties…
A baby’s first step and a child’s heartwarming smiles…
A hug from the right person at the right time…
A moment of success under the spotlight… Or genuine appreciation from our loved ones…
A kiss that melts souls and weakens knees…
First days of school and rose-colored graduations…
A thought or an idea that boosts our minds and hearts with hope and energy…

True submission… Under the sparkling light of faith…

There come those rare moments when suddenly, and out of nowhere… Something truly magical happens…
And I was one of the lucky few to see it and feel it… And here I am placing it lovingly in my cherished box of beautiful memories…
The magical moment when my son became part of our family…
And we got to enjoy him for one whole hour…

My daughter and I froze in place… Mesmerized by the beauty of this unity… For 60 blessed minutes…. each second was worth a lifetime of happiness…
My son, who had been living with us for eleven years…
Blended with us tonight… And for the first time…
In a very long time…
We were finally a family…

I got to answer his smart questions…
I got to cuddle with him and his sister on our couch and watch a movie…
A new movie he’s never seen before…
And yet he never acted up…
He never banged his head against the wall and never punched me in the face when I looked at him…
He didn’t slap his sister or try to break the TV…
He didn’t…
He laughed and joked and told us how much he loves us…
He walked to his room
All by himself…
And fetched his blue blanket…
All by himself…
And came back with messy hair and a big adorable grin that shined like a full moon on our lives…We were there to see it and feel it…We were there to enjoy that blessing tonight…And even though it might sound so simple and normal…
To me… It was one of the most beautiful moments of my life…

My eleven-year-old son was behaving like an eleven year old for the very first time…

With no extra doses of medication or midnight calls to doctors…
With no worries about seizures and panic attacks and excessive drooling from excitement…
With no wondering how I’ll manage tomorrow and how I survived yesterday…
With no apologies to people around me and explaining his condition to his sister over and over..
I didn’t have to hold back my tears… And I didn’t have to shield everyone with my body from his sudden blows..
I didn’t….
And only now I realize that something ‘not happening’ could be the greatest most amazing blessing of all…
A pleasant normal side of my son was given to me as a gift tonight…
For one whole hour…
He sat and talked to us like a young man and then fell asleep on my lap like an innocent little baby…
Just like that…
And as I glanced at the look on his sister’s face…
Absorbing her smile and serene feeling of long lost security…
As I watched her fall asleep peacefully without fearing that her own brother was in the same room…
My heart sang a beautiful lullaby I’ve never heard before…
I sat alone with both my children asleep in my arms… Hoping there was a pause button for this rare magical moment that would make it last forever…
The whole world smiled back at me… Basking in my newfound happiness…
For a brief moment I got to experience a daily event of a normal life…
And not in my wildest dreams did I think that something so simple could be so glorious and fulfilling…
Even when I knew deep down that come morning…
I’ll have to return my ordinary special gift back..
It was worth every magical second…

If only we could stop running… Just for a little bit…
If only we could stop and appreciate those rare normal moments that make our lives extraordinary…
If we could stop chasing the unknown for just a little bit and take the time to absorb the beauty we hardly notice anymore…
A sparkle in loving eyes… And a silence of true understanding…
Masterpieces made from cereal boxes and play dough… And life-changing art drawn by little messy hands…
If only we could allow those rare cherished moments to invade our busy empty lives for just a little while…

Perhaps that’s when our dreams will twinkle brightly in the night…
And we will finally realize that happiness is lined with appreciating the simple things in life… that are ever so great…

Thank you Allah for letting me see what ordinary means…
It’s truly and magnificently….

Lilly S. Mohsen

UNCOVERED: Why More Women Are Taking Off Their Hijab



UNCOVERED! – Why More Women Are Taking Off Their Hijab
Posted on January 26, 2015 by Ink Of Faith


“Oh My GOD! You’re still wearing the veil! Congratulations!”


That’s the new greeting my friends and I share now. We joke about it, but coming to think of this newly disclosed trend, I suddenly realize it’s so NOT funny! Off the top of my head, I can name over twenty women who have removed their Hijab in the past year, and as one by one of my family and friends throw in their scarves, it gets harder to be amongst the few girls still standing.


This comes from nowhere near a high horse! I’m not here to judge or criticize. I know these ‘uncovered’ women. I love them and respect them and I’ve witnessed their struggles for years. I’ve seen them fight invisible battles before giving up, and if God didn’t give me the stamina and strength, perhaps I might have been one of them.

I make no condemnations, assumptions or speculations. I’m only here to unveil the truth shared by Muslim women brave and honest enough to explain why they took off their Hijab.




Veiled women make the conscious decision to cover their beauty, and for the most part, feel like they’ve become unattractive in the process. It’s a feminine instinct to take pride in our looks. We go bankrupt buying anti-aging creams, designer outfits and high-heeled shoes because the way we present ourselves is part of who we are. We strive on compliments and hidden glances of admiration, and losing that makes us feel old, rejected or excluded. Deep down we all love attention and we all want to be noticed.

Letting down your hair and showing off the body you’ve been starving for the past month makes you feel powerful and sexy. It beats wrapping a scarf around your head and looking like Granma, doesn’t it?

Curvy, sensual, pouty, toned, with a full mane flowing around your perfectly made-up face…. Isn’t this the glamorous definition of beauty the media is slowly engraving in our minds?


Muslim women are taking off the Hijab because they have a suffocating need to ‘fit in’. They want to feel young and pretty and desirable. If uncovering themselves gets them the attention or the acceptance they yearn for, then that’s their choice, but does it really? All I know, me being a psychologist, is that self-confidence doesn’t derive from how others make you feel, but rather from how you feel about yourself, regardless what the rest of the world thinks. Confidence is the main source of attractiveness. I know veiled women who walk into the room and enthrall people with their elegance, and other women in provocative clothes who arouse disgust instead of splendor. If you think about it, covering up is actually the essence of confidence. I pray women would stop blaming Hijab for their insecurities, and develop the attitudes of ‘leaders’. We all seek admiration, and you would be lying to yourself if you disagree, but the question is, will you get that love if you displease your Lord?


The Prophet () said, “If Allah loves a person, He calls Gabriel saying, ‘Allah loves so and-so; O Gabriel! Love him.’ Gabriel would love him and make an announcement amongst the inhabitants of the Heaven. ‘Allah loves so-and-so, therefore you should love him also,’ and so all the inhabitants of the Heaven would love him, and then he is granted the pleasure of the people on the earth.” (Sahih al-Bukhari 6040)




Confession: I’ve been postponing writing this article for a while, fearing I wouldn’t be able to maintain my calm in this section, where we actually ‘DISCUSS’ and ‘PROVE’ whether Hijab is an Islamic obligation or not. Apparently, this is one of the reasons why Muslim women are taking off their headscarves. They doubt it’s a Quranic command to start with. Not only that, but they’re going around justifying and convincing others of their new ‘findings’. I’m sorry but I can’t help being horrified and a bit nauseated by this absurdness to be perfectly honest. Even my eleven-year-old daughter was appalled by the fabrication! She said, and I quote: “Like hello! Gag me with a spoon!”

Taking off the Hijab is between a woman and her Lord, but debating the clear requirement of it is between her and the rest of us Muslims! No one can force you to do something you’re not convinced of, but spreading that doubt and shaking the ground under other steadfast women isn’t something we can take lightly. I’m pleading with all the analytical, philosophical minds out there, keep your opinion of how you ‘choose’ to understand the Qur’an to yourself. Trust me, you don’t want to take responsibility for those who listen and follow. You don’t want to take other women down with you to feel better about your decision. We all have a huge load of sins to carry; we don’t need other people’s loads too! Ask Allah to guide you instead of guiding others away from Him.



Aisha (God be pleased with her) said: “May Allah have mercy on the early immigrant women. When the verse “That they should draw their veils (head covers) over their bosoms” was revealed, they tore their thick outer garments and made veils from them.“ (Sahih (Al-Albani)- Sunan Abi Dawud 4102)






There’s a link today between the desire to get married and the decision to take off the headscarf. Women are starting to believe they’re out of the running if they’re veiled, because handsome, successful, rich Muslim men are looking for ‘hot babes’. Single women fear their lives would be doomed if they presented themselves as good, devout Muslim brides.

(Okay, I just heard someone slam the table and yell “OBJECTION”. I guess I hang out with too many lawyers LOL)

My apologies. Let me rephrase. Single women worry they’ll end up old and alone if they don’t step up and ‘flaunt’ what they’ve got. They think covering their beauty will slim down their chances of finding the ‘right’ guy. But where is the fear of attracting the wrong guy? The man who only cares about appearances and is embarrassed of his own religion? Isn’t ending up with a man like that worse than any other nightmare?


It’s not just single women; it’s the married ones too. Many husbands are making their wives’ lives miserable because they suddenly resent their veil. Instead of showering these women with love and compliments, they make them feel small and inadequate. I see beautiful veiled wives struggling every day, trying their best to look good for an outing with their husbands, hiding their tears and heartache of feeling like they’re not ‘good enough’. I’ve heard Islamic scholars advise some wives to take off their Hijab if their husband threaten them with divorce! This is as sad and shameful as it gets. The constant fear of being rejected or cast aside simply because you’re obeying God’s rules is beyond painful. Instead of taking pride in being modest and shielding their beauty like a precious gem, veiled wives are being emotionally blackmailed into taking off their Hijab to ‘save’ their marriage!


These are the battles happening in our Muslim homes, and I pray from the bottom of my heart for God to heal men’s hearts, and take the blindfolds off their eyes. Part of a man’s job is to protect his woman, make her feel loved and appreciated, and be possessive and jealous over her heart, soul and beauty. (Yes we find such men extremely charming by the way!)






“It’s just not who I am!”

This is one of the common denominator for most uncovered women today. A woman innocently wraps a scarf around her head, eager to fulfill her obligation and please Allah, only to end up feeling like she’s becoming someone she’s not. Sometimes the aggravation of losing your identity or being stereotyped into a certain sector reaches a point of explosion. Let’s face it; some non-Muslims are losing sleep over their obsession with destroying Islam. It’s all carefully planned out and the poison is spreading subtly within us. Terrorists, narrow-minded, bigots, extremists, bombers… Aren’t these the labels many of us are constantly bombarded with nowadays?

The truth is, the frustration mostly arises from the lack of passion. A lot of Muslim women wear the headscarf for all the wrong reasons. Some of them were forced into it at a young age, and grew up detesting it. Others felt the need to dress up the part, not really pondering on why and how it affects them deep inside.


Like praying and giving charity and all the other beautiful Islamic practices that purify our souls, if you don’t let yourself fall in love with the act and the concept behind it, you’ll never find peace. Yes we seek love and appreciation, but it’s not through ‘fitting in’ that we will ever get what we are looking for. We need to live up to the teachings of our own religion, because even if the ‘wrong’ has become so normal, it still doesn’t make it ‘right’.


The Messenger of Allah () said: “Islam initiated as something strange, and it would revert to its (old position) of being strange. so good tidings for the stranger.” (Sahih Muslim 145)



Some of the lucky and blessed veiled women have made their Hijab part of who they are instead of what they’re not. The dress code blends in with their lives like a beautiful ray of light. They understand that the essence of Islam is acceptance, obedience and peaceful submission to the One and Only Creator. The struggle is subdued when they remember to take pride in being Allah’s slaves and in being representatives of Islam, not only through wearing a headscarf; but through kindness, compassion, modesty and humility. It’s not that piece of cloth they wrap around their heads that makes them better people; it’s the choice to stay on the right path, even if they have to do it alone. Allah looks at the heart, not the head cover. He looks at our intentions and the purity of our faith. Allah alone is the final Judge and that’s all that matters in the end.


To all the women who took off their Hijab because they couldn’t do it anymore… I ask your forgiveness if I have offended you in any way, and I pray you find the peace you are looking for… The kind of peace that brings you closer to the Most Merciful God….


To all the men who watch their women struggle day in and day out, I hope you’ll put that extra effort and time to show them your love and support, and make them feel special … The best husband is the one who makes his woman feel like the perfect wife…


And to all of the beautiful strangers, the true icons, the confident women who hold on to their faith and beliefs, and who still find peace in wearing the Hijab… I humbly applaud your strength and I pray God fills your lives with blessings and joy…

May you always shine….

And may we all see the light


Lilly S. Mohsen


What About OUR Thanksgiving?

What About OUR Thanksgiving?

The Ultimate Secrets To Wealth, Love, Joy And Wisdom

Thank You

“No honey” I sighed, “We are Muslims! We DON’T celebrate Thanksgiving”

“But why?” My daughter wondered. “I mean it’s a good reminder to be thankful!”

“That’s the beauty of Islam my love. We are taught to thank Allah every day!”

“Wow! You remember to thank Him EVERY SINGLE DAY?”

“I do!”

Do I…?

Well, we thank Allah during prayers when we read the Fatiha, right?

And ummm you know, when someone asks how we’re doing we automatically say, “I’m good thanks to Allah”, or “AlhamduleAllah”

Hmmmmm what else? Oh I got one! In Ramadan, we thank Allah A LOT!

See? We don’t need a huge roasted Turkey to remind us to be thankful to the Great Lord. It’s in our system, it’s in our hearts and souls and minds to praise Allah every chance we get.

So why are you writing this article, Missy?

Honestly? Because for the first time I realize that being grateful isn’t just about mumbling words of seeming appreciation and then moving on. Thankfulness is a life style, a consuming feeling that Allah wants us to absorb to the fullest because He knows that’s the only way we will feel better. Anyone can say “Thank you”, but it’s the emotion that accompanies the words that makes all the difference…

Nothing Is Ours!

Gratefulness To Allah Is The Secret To Wealth

I remember my mom told me a story about a friend who reminded her to thank Allah for saliva. I was like ‘huh?’. This woman couldn’t secrete liquids in her mouth and had to sip on water day and night to be able to talk or eat. Oh my God how many blessings do we take for granted?! The ability to see, hear, walk and talk effortlessly are all things we need to be thankful for everyday. Renewing the appreciation helps us look at life differently. Imagine being surprised you still have your sight intact every time you wake up! Now apply that concept to everything else like your health, money, family…etc, and you’ll realize nothing is really yours. It was all given to you and you alone. Making a choice to have a grateful attitude interrupts our anxiety and gives us a huge sense of power. But if you’re not thankful for what you already have, what makes you think Allah would be prompted to give you more?

“And [remember] when your Lord proclaimed, ‘If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favor]; but if you deny, indeed, My punishment is severe.”(14:7 Holy Qur’an)

Most of us are not really big on the words. It would help if there were practical ways of showing gratitude to Allah, and who is better than the Prophet (PBUH) himself to be our guide…?

Abu Dharr reported Allah’s Apostle (ﷺ) as saying:

“In the morning charity is due from every bone in the body of every one of you. Every utterance of Allah’s glorification is an act of charity. Every utterance of praise of Him is an act of charity, every utterance of profession of His Oneness is an act of charity, every utterance of profession of His Greatness is an act of charity, enjoining good is an act of charity, forbidding evil is an act of charity, and two rak’ahs (Duha) which one prays in the forenoon will suffice for all”. (Sahih Muslim)

Who Comes First?
When Allah Is Your Top Priority, Love Will Follow
Most of us have had loved ones get extremely sick, and have went through the panic attacks of calling doctors and running to the nearest ERs with no shoes. We’ve paced the waiting rooms and pleaded with nurses for more information, and put all our faith in legendary surgeons known for their high success rates. And when we held our loved ones again in our arms, we cried tears of joy and said “Thank God you’re okay!” but did we really feel the appreciation in our hearts, or did we somehow attribute the miracles to the doctors and the medication? Do we idolize the creations that have helped us and forget the Creator? Only you will know the answer to that…

When you put ALL your faith and trust in Allah, He will never let you down. Being grateful to Allah increases the love in your heart, and makes it reflect on everyone around you. That doesn’t mean we don’t thank people, too. We must remember that Allah uses us as tools to help one another. There’s a middle ground between giving people all the credit and giving them nothing at all. Appreciation is the most feeling people seek. It creates a beautiful type of love that shrouds our good deeds and makes us want to help more and work harder to ease each other’s pain.

Abu Hurairah narrated that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said:

“Whoever is not grateful to the people, he is not grateful to Allah.” (Jami` at-Tirmidhi, Book 27, Hadith 60)

You need more clues, don’t you? Try showing your thankfulness to others with little gifts. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) explained on many occasions that exchanging presents brings about genuine love between people.

It’s Not You, It’s Him!

Humbleness Is The First Step To Wisdom

So you’re driving on the highway really fast and then with an expert’s swerve, you avoid a horrible accident. (Men will relate to that one LOL)
“A rookie driver would have been dead by now!” He will boast. “Man I’m GOOD!”

(While we’re on the subject, I advise women looking for happy marriages to never criticize their husbands’ driving like ever! BELIEVE ME!)

We can’t help but give credit to ourselves, and that’s okay, as long as we don’t forget that it’s all Allah’s command after all. So the next time you’re a bit smug about an achievement, or find yourself condescendingly giving charity to a poor person, remember that it’s not your money you’re giving away, and it’s not your smartness alone that made you ace that test. Modesty and humility lead to pure gratefulness to Allah and that is the essence of wisdom… Perfecting such perception gives you a rare kind of knowledge the world is more than thirsty for today…

“He gives wisdom to whom He wills, and whoever has been given wisdom has certainly been given much good. And none will remember except those of understanding.” (2:269, Holy Qu’ran)

Thank Him For Thanking Him!
True Joy Is When Allah’s Blessings Leave You Speechless…

Don’t judge me but I’m a bit biased to Muslims. I believe those who have been guided to and properly practice Islam are already blessed with good hearts, and even though I’m preaching about the importance of praising Allah, I know on some level most of us have a deep innate gratitude for their blessings. So what do we do to show it? We thank Allah from the heart. But isn’t that genuine feeling of gratitude a gift from Allah? Isn’t that another blessing that needs a whole lot of gratefulness? Thank You God for letting us remember to thank You, and thank You again for reminding us to thank You for remembering to thank You. (Okay this could take a while. Help!)

Islamic scholars explain that it’s when you’re totally baffled on how to show your gratitude to the Great Lord, that’s when you reach true and genuine enlightenment.

A good example of struggling to show appreciation for your blessings is by sharing it! Giving charity makes both the giver and the receiver happy… and leaves us with double the amount of joy when we realize we have the power to change someone’s life to the better. It makes sense that Allah gives more to the people who are busy thanking Him, be it more wealth, better health, wisdom or success. The root of joy is gratefulness, and it’s a psychologically proven fact that you can rewire your brain to be happy by simply recalling three things you’re grateful for everyday.

“Yay! Let’s do that! I’ll go first. I’m grateful for hot meals in this freezing winter. I’m grateful my brother didn’t act up today, and I’m grateful for my mommy’s warm hugs! Thank you Allah.” My daughter smiled before closing her eyes to sleep.

As I tucked my kids in bed I thought about my three things. Am I more grateful for everything I have, or for all the horrible things that could have happened but never did?

Before you go, promise yourself this, will you? With every warm embrace from a loved one, with every meal you set on the table, with every time you make your comfy bed and with every night you sleep safely in your own home… Remember how much Allah loves you and takes care of you. Remember to be thankful for the little things and grateful for escaping the tragedies others are suffering from. Promise you’ll cherish every single blessing with all your heart…

And don’t forget to smile… For the daily smiles of joy are what makes our whole lives a constant celebration of Thanksgiving…

Forgive Yourself… Before It’s Too Late!

How To Pardon The Past Even If You Think You Don’t Deserve It
(Published in, November 2014)


Have you committed a sin or a crime that you’re unbelievably ashamed of…?

Have you made a horrible mistake or let your loved ones down…?

Are you terrified of God’s punishment or of being humiliated…?

Are you having nightmares about scandals that might ruin your life…?

“Everybody makes mistakes. Forgive yourself, you’re only human”

There I said it!

So? Do you feel better…?

Yeah, didn’t think so. As much as people will try to help us move forward, and as much as we try to let the past go, it’s truly easier said than done. Most often than not, you’ll find yourself blocking the guilt out and submitting to numbing denial, pretending like nothing happened. Or worse, you’ll dwell on the mistakes you’ve made, magnifying them in a way that makes you believe you don’t even deserve forgiveness. Am I close…?

Yes we are all humans and we all make mistakes, but somehow it’s easier to forgive others than it is to forgive ourselves, simply because we hold ourselves to higher standards! Other people don’t live inside our heads the way we do. We can’t help but listen to that creepy voice in our minds that relentlessly reminds us of our failures and puts us down, no matter how hard we try to move on.

If you’re stuck in the mire of guilt, know that you’re not there alone. Some people choose to stay held back, others throw in the towel and follow the steps of Satan, while the smartest, most determined to help themselves, pursue a path of true redemption, by grasping the answers to these questions:

  • Did you say it…?

    Throughout the years of working as a therapist, I’ve seen my patients struggling to hide their crimes, and adamantly refusing to face what they did. Perhaps it’s shame or regret, but unless you acknowledge your mistake, you will never be able to fix it. Defending your actions and giving excuses to why you slipped seems like the safest remedy at the time, but that only means, given the same situation in the future, you’ll definitely make the same mistake again!

Stop hiding and running away! Sit alone with God and confess what you did. Talk to Him like you’re talking to your best friend. Explain what you did in detail, say how sorry you are, what you’ve learnt and what you’ll try to do to fix it. If your sin is irreversible, then confide in God and promise Him you won’t do it gain. Sense and accept the immensity of your guilt, as you let your tears melt your frozen heart. Because the truth is… you can’t heal what you don’t feel…

  • Do you know why?

    We’ve all heard it from our parents when we were younger, but still defied the number one reason why we go astray down the road.


If you’re in the wrong crowd, you can repent till you’re blue in the face, but unless your friends support your faith, you’ll keep slipping! I remember my mom clenching her jaws when she met one of my ‘loose’ friends. She made it very clear that I was not allowed to hang out with that girl anymore. After a couple of tantrums and crying out the famous words ‘that’s so unfair!’ I finally listened, and I’m glad I did. I now do the same with my daughter…. And I know she will thank me one day, too.

The Prophet () said: “A man follows his friend’s religion, you should be careful who you take for friends.” (At-Tirmidhi and Abu Dawud)

Finding the source of what led you to commit this sin is a crucial part of your repentance. Friends are the primary culprits, but there are other reasons, too. Sometimes being overconfident and careless can lead to the wrong path. Psychologists call it the ‘snow-balling’ effect. It starts with a simple “it’s no big deal” but ends disastrously. The small mistakes you ignore pile up to make you someone you’re not. You start chatting with a married man, or go out for an ‘innocent’ coffee with a coworker, and before you know it, you’re having an affair! You take something that’s not yours, ‘it’s just five bucks!”, or cheat someone and say “come on it’s a while lie!” Trust me, soon enough, your heart will be stained, and you’ll find yourself doing the unspeakable.

It was narrated from Abu Hurairah that the Messenger of Allah () said:

“When the believer commits a sin, a black spot appears on his heart. If he repents and gives up that sin and seeks forgiveness, his heart will be polished. But if (the sin) increases, (the black spot) increases. That is the Ran that Allah mentions in His Book: “Nay! But on their hearts is the Ran (covering of sins and evil deeds) which they used to earn.” [83:14]

  • Are you back yet?

Imagine a world where there was no forgiveness…

What would happen to humans if their mistakes define who they are? What would become of you if you had no hope for another chance? Would you strive to be better, or will you end up hurting yourself and everyone around you?

There’s a reason God loves those who have sinned and repented, for they have the softest of hearts. They embrace new beginnings, and are driven by a force to become better people, to make up for their mistakes. They are compassionate and forgiving towards others, because they’ve been there and they’ve been humbled by their own experiences. Those are the people who convey hope, show mercy and guide others to the right path. Their sins become blessings in disguise because they renew their promises to Allah, and work harder to please Him than they ever did before. They are reborn in the most beautiful of ways…

“The Messenger of Allah () said: ‘The one who repents from sin is like one who did not sin.’” (Sunan Ibn Majah Vol. 1, Book 37, Hadith 4250)


Those with the worst past can create the best future, and some of the sinners of yesterday did actually become the leaders of tomorrow. I’m sure you’ve heard many stories about Islamic scholars who were once dubbed as ‘lost souls’ or ‘wrongdoers’. Their crimes and mistakes were in fact wake-up calls! Pardoning your sins is the only gateway to being productive, because you breakoff those strains bolting you down to the past, and move on with renewed hope. Guilt left unresolved scars our souls. It’s the same as breaking your arm (even if you were doing something wrong at the time) and refusing to cast it. You must heal your emotional injuries the same way you would physical one. Eternal punishment isn’t the solution, it’s only a pause button on life, where you miss the chance to erase your bad deeds by doing good deeds and helping others.

Your sins don’t hurt Allah…they only hurt you. And Allah loves us too much to watch us damage ourselves. God is Merciful and Kind; He forgives His salves when they ask for forgiveness… and gives them countless chances over and over.

Do yourself a favor and start a new page….
Because if there is anyone in this world worthy of your forgiveness…

It’s you….

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.” (Holy Qur’an, 39:53)

By Lilly S. Mohsen

Why Do We Run To ‘The Cave’?

Uncovering the 4 Secrets of Life
(Published in Al Jumu’ah Magazine, October 2014)


While we were baking our signature chocolate chip cookies one morning, my daughter asked me a simple question.

“Mommy? Why do you have to read “Surat Al Kahf “ every Friday?”

“I don’t have to honey. I choose to for many reasons. One of them is because our Prophet (PBUH) said reading the chapter of ‘The Cave’ protects Muslims from the evil of the Anti-Christ, which is the most difficult trial humans will ever have to face.” I said knowingly.

“But the whole chapter says absolutely nothing about the Anti-Christ! I don’t get it! Where’s the connection?” She asked.

“If I give you all the answers then how will you ever learn? Figure it out!”

Yeah, that’s what I usually say when I’m stuck! I suddenly realized I had no idea why we read Surat Al Kahf on Fridays, why the Prophet (PBUH) said it illuminates the whole week and how that would prevent us from the world’s worst tribulations!

So after nights of hiding from my daughter to do my research, I finally uncovered the secrets of the four stories related in this beautiful chapter of the Quran…

  • The Secret Of Faith

The first story is about six or seven teenage boys, who leave their families and lives behind to take refuge in a deserted cave. Armed with nothing but their faith in Allah, they escape atheism, only to wake up 309 years later to an entire city of believers. Their faith had been tested and they passed with flying colors, didn’t they?

This story is a reminder that our faith will be tested too! Make no mistake about that! Even with Islam being the fastest growing religion in the world, Muslims today are being shunned and degraded like they’re second class citizens. Our faith is put to the test every time we step outside our comfort zone. How many times have you been detained at an airport with the blatant insinuation of being a terrorist? I, for one, was spit on at Disney Land, just because I wear the veil! And while the trials can be minimal or extreme, Allah gives us the guidelines to passing this specific test right after telling the story. The verses explain the secret to preserving your faith is patience and to surround yourself with believers. Good company is the main key to safeguarding our faith….

  • The Secret Of Money

The next story speaks of the rich man who bragged about his possessions to his other less-fortunate friend. The man’s wealth made him arrogant, forgetting that it can all disappear in the blink of an eye. The truth is, nothing in this world lasts forever, and remembering this fact is our key to surviving the test of wealth. This generation is all about ‘who drives the latest car model’, and ‘who bought the limited edition designer bag that WASN’T on sale!’. Seriously, what difference does it make? We will all be buried underground completely alone!
God gives us the answer to this test right after the story. The secret to not letting fortune blind you, is to do more good deeds and help others.

  • The Secret Of Knowledge

    During his journey with Al-Khidr, Prophet Moses (AS) learns the greatest lesson of all: Divine wisdom can sometimes be disguised in what we perceive as wrong or bad, so don’t believe everything you hear and half the things you see.

Just like one can lose his faith and be blinded by wealth, one can surely be consumed with the ‘know-it-all’ syndrome, and that alone is a difficult test. How do we overcome this kind of conceit? Allah gives the solution within the story, telling us how the blessed prophet himself, the messenger of God, was humble enough to follow orders and learn from each encounter. Humility has always been, and always will be, the golden path to knowledge and success.

  • The Secret Of Power

It’s the story of a great king who was given immense power. He traveled around the world with the sole purpose of helping people and spreading the word of Allah. The secret to sustaining supremacy is to use it for good, and remain aware of the fact that you can’t do it alone. The king was only able to restrain ‘Gog and Magog’ with the help of people whom he could hardly even understand. It’s the unity that makes us overpower the enemies, which is, sadly, not the case with Muslims today.

The subsequent verses tell the secret to maintaining our powers, which is sincerity in all our actions and remembering that on Judgment Day, we will have no authority against Allah’s word, The Most Powerful of all.
While these secrets pose as a weekly source of light to all of us, the dots are finally connected to form the ultimate shield. For the Anti-Christ (Al Dajjal) will arrive with exactly those four enticing allures…

Our faith will be tested when the Anti-Christ asks people to worship him instead of Allah.

We will be tempted by his wealth when we see the earth’s treasures’ follow him like a swarm of bees.

His knowledge will overwhelm people when he brings back the dead.

And his power to command the sky and control most parts of the earth will blind people to his toxic mission.

That’s the thing about the Holy Qur’an, it’s never random or irrelevant. The more you read it, the more you uncover its secrets. And with its overwhelming beauty and serenity, I can’t help but run to ‘The Cave’, that safe embrace where Allah unlocks the doors to His Mercy…

Say, “I am only a man like you, to whom has been revealed that your god is one God. So whoever would hope for the meeting with his Lord – let him do righteous work and not associate in the worship of his Lord anyone.” (Holy Qur’an 18:110)

Lilly S. Mohsen