Tuesday, December 29, 2009

~ Lessons of Life ~

Pain .........

Pain is one of the lessons of life. A lesson waiting to be learned. And by paying heed to the lesson, we can transcend the pain.

If you touch a hot iron, it is painful. If you neglect to learn anything from the experience, the pain keeps coming back each time you touch the hot iron. When you learn the lesson that the pain has to teach, and avoid touching the hot iron, you never have to endure that pain again.

What can you learn from the pain in your life? In every pain there is a lesson. Sometimes it's a lesson of avoiding mistakes. Other times it is a lesson of learning to accept, value and triumph over the challenges we face.

Have you learned that you can't get something for nothing, or is your pain still trying to teach you that? Have you learned to live with purpose and focus, or are you still enduring the pain of learning that lesson? Free ourself from pain, by learning what it has to teach.

(This was written by a guy named Brett who writes columns for The Plain Dealer, a newspaper in Cleveland , Ohio..........come and share with me ....I found it very interesting )

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
4. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.
9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.
12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.
13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.
15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.
16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.
19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.
21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.
24. The most important organ is the brain.
25. No one is in charge of your happiness, except you.
26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: 'In five years, will this matter?'
27. Always choose life.
28. Forgive everyone everything.
29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
30. Time heals almost everything. Give time, time.
31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
32. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.
33. Believe in miracles.
34. God loves you because of whom God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.
35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
36. Growing old beats the alternative--dying young.
37. Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable.
38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.
41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
42. The best is yet to come.
43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
44. Yield.
45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

~ Listen For Love ~

Listen for Love...........

There are times when we are timid and shy about expressing the love we feel. For fear of embarrassing the other person, or ourselves, we hesitate to say the actual words "I love you." So we try to communicate the idea in other words.

We say 'take care' or 'don't drive too fast' or 'be good.' But really, these are just other ways of saying 'I love you,' 'you are important to me,' 'I care what happens to you,' 'I don't want you to get hurt.'

We are sometimes very strange people. The only thing we want to say, and the one thing that we should say, is the one thing we don't say. And yet, because the feeling is so real, and the need to say it is so strong, we are driven to use other words and signs to say what we really mean. And many times the meaning never gets communicated at all and the other person is left feeling unloved and unwanted.

Therefore, we have to LISTEN FOR LOVE in the words that people are saying to us. Sometimes the explicit words are necessary, but more often, the manner of saying things is even more important. A joyous insult carries more affection and love within the sentiments which are expressed insincerely.

An impulsive hug says I LOVE YOU even though the words might be saying very different.

Any expression of a person's concern for another says I love you. Sometimes the expression is clumsy, sometimes even cruel. Sometimes we must look and listen very intently for the love that contains. But it is often there, beneath the surface.

A mother may nag her son constantly about his grades or cleaning his room. The son may hear only the nagging, but if he listens carefully, he will hear the love underneath the nagging. His mother wants him to do well, to be successful. Her concern and love for her son unfortunately emerge in her nagging. But it is love all the same.

A daughter comes home way past her curfew, and her father confronts her with angry words. The daughter may hear only the anger, but if she listen carefully, she will hear the love under the anger. "I was worried about you," the father is saying. 'Because I care about you and I love you. You are important to me.'

We say I love you in many ways - with birthday gifts, and little notes, with smiles and sometimes with tears. Sometimes we show our love by just keeping quiet and not saying a word, at other times by speaking out, even brusquely. We show our love sometimes by impulsiveness. Many times we have to show our love by forgiving someone who has not listened to the love we have tried to express.

The problem in listening for love is that we don't always understand the language of love which the other person is using. A girl may use tears or emotions to say what she wants to say, and her boyfriend may not understand her because he expects her to be talking his language. Thus, we have to force ourselves to really listen for love.

The problem with our world is that people rarely listen to each other. They hear the words, but they don't listen to the actions that accompany the words or the expression on the face. Or people listen only for rejection or misunderstanding. They do not see the love that is there just beneath the surface, even if the words are angry. We have to listen for love in those around us.

If we listen intently we will discover that we are a lot more loved than we realize. Listen for love and we will find that the world is a very loving place, after all.

LOVE is a happy thing.
It makes us laugh.
It makes us sing.
It makes us sad.
It makes us cry.
It makes us seek the reason why.
It makes us take.
It makes us give.
Above all else it makes us LIVE.

It is not the presence or absence of people that makes the difference because a person need not be lonely even if he is alone. Sometimes it is good to be alone. But that does not make us lonely. It is not a matter of being present WITH someone. It is a matter of being present TO someone.

So remember...If you love someone, tell them. Remember always to say what you mean. Never be afraid to express yourself. Take this opportunity to tell someone what they mean to you. Seize the day and have no regrets.

Most importantly, stay close to your friends and family, for they have helped make you the person that you are today and are what it's all about anyway.

Monday, December 14, 2009

~ Flu Fighting Foods ~

Technically, there are no known cures for the common cold or flu, but a healthy lifestyle can work in your favor. First things first….wash those hands! That can really help to limit the spread of germs.

Here are a few things to consume that can help fight off infections and boost the immune system:

1. Fruits and veggies (dark green, red, orange, and yellow fruits and vegetables) 2. Foods with vitamin B6 (lean meats, fish, nuts, seeds) 3. Vitamin-E rich foods (nuts, mango, blueberries, papaya, pumpkin) 4. Omega-3 fatty acids (salmon) 5. Garlic (go for the raw garlic) 6. Yogurt (usually recommended to avoid dairy, but studies show that it can help reduce susceptibility to colds)

Besides eating some of the foods above, there are a few other ways to build up that immune system: - Exercise: This is probably one of the last things your body wants to do when it's run down, but it can definitely help in terms of prevention. Aerobic exercise helps the heart pump harder, makes you breathe faster and you begin to sweat once your body heats up -- this helps to increase the body’s natural virus-killing cells.

- Water: Flush out that system and stay hydrated.

- Supplements (like Vitamin C or Zinc): Taking too much isn’t necessarily going to help shorten the duration or prevent flu or colds from happening, but they do play a role in immunity. Your best bet is to eat more zinc and vitamin-C rich foods and take that multivitamin.

Finally, these are the most important actions this season in defending yourself: RELAX, DON’T STRESS and SLEEP! We could probably all pay attention to this one!

Evidence shows that your interleukins (leaders in the immune system response against cold and flu viruses) increase in your bloodstream if you stimulate relaxation.
For those of you who say they don’t know how to relax , take a moment, and breathe deep. .Think of something calming or anything pleasant in your mind. Don’t fake it though -- your body knows!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

~ On-the-Go Thigh Toning Workout ~

If you want toned legs, there is no substitute for eating right, performing rigorous cardio, and doing squats with weights. But what happens when you are traveling or only have 20 minutes for a quick workout--with nothing but your own body weight for resistance?

This simple collection of exercises to target your glutes, tummy, and thigh areas. If you want to make it more difficult just add more reps, or you can even circle back to the beginning once you have completed the entire round of moves. Start out with as many reps as you can but aim for at least 20.

It's okay if you feel a bit goofy while performing these moves. Ballerinas are some of the hardest working athletes out there, and look at their bodies! Don't forget to blast your music for a little extra motivation.

1. Toe Squat
Raise up onto toes, arms out to the side for balance, squat down and squeeze your knees together while balancing on toes and lifting your heels on the way down. Hold for 2 seconds before raising back up, balancing on toes continuously.


2. Leg Forward Lunge

Place one leg out front, hands on hips (or hands crossed at chest), squat back and down onto the back leg, slowly rise back up.2.BB-300.jpg 2.-B-300.jpg

3. Side to Side Hops
Balance on one leg and push off to land on opposite leg. Gain your balance before pushing off back to the original leg, hands at chest level.


4. Plea Jumps
Stagger feet so one leg is slightly in front of the other, jump up and switch feet. Balance, push off and switch back.

4. 4.B-300.jpg

5. Outward Calf Raises
Position feet away from each other, slowly rise up and squeeze calves, lower back down and repeat.


6. Soldier Toe Touch
Balance on one leg, hold same arm out parallel to the floor, lift the opposite leg up and touch the tip of your toe to your hand keeping leg straight.

6.-B-300.jpg 6.A-300.jpg

7. Open Faced Side Lunge
Extend your arms out to the side, step one leg out and squat into that leg, push off and back to starting position. Switch legs keeping your arms out continuously.


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

~ Wow ! Not Just a Banana ~


After reading this, you'll never look at a banana in the same way again.

Bananas contain three natural sugars - sucrose, fructose and glucose combined with fiber. A banana gives an instant, sustained and substantial boost of energy. Research has proven that just two bananas provide enough energy for a strenuous 90-minute workout. No wonder the banana is the number one fruit with the world's leading athletes. But energy isn't the only way a banana can help us keep fit. It can also help overcome or prevent a substantial number of illnesses and conditions, making it a must to add to our daily diet.


According to a recent survey undertaken by MIND amongst people suffering from depression, many felt much better after eating a banana. This is because bananas contain tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin, known to make you relax, improve your mood and generally make you feel happier.


Forget the pills - eat a banana. The vitamin B6 it contains regulates blood glucose levels, which can affect your mood.


High in iron, bananas can stimulate the production of hemoglobin in the blood and so helps in cases of anemia.

Blood Pressure:

This unique tropical fruit is extremely high in potassium yet low in salt, making it perfect to beat blood pressure. So much so, the US Food and Drug Administration has just allowed the banana industry to make official claims for the fruit's ability to reduce the risk of blood pressure and stroke.

Brain Power:

200 students at a Twickenham (Middlesex) school were helped through their exams this year by eating bananas at breakfast, break, and lunch in a bid to boost their brain power. Research has shown that the potassium-packed fruit can assist learning by making pupils more alert.


High in fiber, including bananas in the diet can help restore normal bowel action, helping to overcome the problem without resorting to laxatives.


One of the quickest ways of curing a hangover is to make a banana milkshake, sweetened with honey. The banana calms the stomach and, with the help of the honey, builds up depleted blood sugar levels, while the milk soothes and re-hydrates your system.


Bananas have a natural antacid effect in the body, so if you suffer from heartburn, try eating a banana for soothing relief.

Morning Sickness:

Snacking on bananas between meals helps to keep blood sugar levels up and avoid morning sickness.

Mosquito bites:

Before reaching for the insect bite cream, try rubbing the affected area with the inside of a banana skin. Many people find it amazingly successful at reducing swelling and irritation.


Bananas are high in B vitamins that help calm the nervous system.

Overweight and at work?

Studies at the Institute of Psychology in Austria found pressure at work leads to gorging on comfort food like chocolate and crisps. Looking at 5,000 hospital patients, researchers found the most obese were more likely to be in high-pressure jobs. The report concluded that, to avoid panic-induced food cravings, we need to control our blood sugar levels by snacking on high carbohydrate foods every two hours to keep levels steady.


The banana is used as the dietary food against intestinal disorders because of its soft texture and smoothness. It is the only raw fruit that can be eaten without distress in over-chronicler cases. It also neutralizes over-acidity and reduces irritation by coating the lining of the stomach.

Temperature control:

Many other cultures see bananas as a "cooling" fruit that can lower both the physical and emotional temperature of expectant mothers. In Thailand, for example, pregnant women eat bananas to ensure their baby is born with a cool temperature.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD):

Bananas can help SAD sufferers because they contain the natural mood enhancer tryptophan.

Smoking & Tobacco Use:

Bananas can also help people trying to give up smoking. The B6, B12 they contain, as well as the potassium and magnesium found in them, help the body recover from the effects of nicotine withdrawal.


Potassium is a vital mineral, which helps normalize the heartbeat, sends oxygen to the brain and regulates your body's water balance. When we are stressed, our metabolic rate rises, thereby reducing our potassium levels. These can be rebalanced with the help of a high-potassium banana snack.


According to research in The New England Journal of Medicine, eating bananas as part of a regular diet can cut the risk of death by strokes by as much as 40%!


Those keen on natural alternatives swear that if you want to kill off a wart, take a piece of banana skin and place it on the wart, with the yellow side out. Carefully hold the skin in place with a plaster or surgical tape!

So, a banana really is a natural remedy for many ills. When you compare it to an apple, it has four times the protein, twice the carbohydrate, three times the phosphorus, five times the vitamin A and iron, and twice the other vitamins and minerals. It is also rich in potassium and is one of the best value foods around. So maybe its time to change that well-known phrase so that we say, "A banana a day keeps the doctor away!"



~ Silence ~

"....When speech is controlled, the eyes speak; the glance says what words can never say..."

What is silence? Silence is something which we consciously or unconsciously are seeking every moment of our life. We are seeking for silence and running away from it, both at the same time. Where is the word of God heard? In silence. The seers, the saints, the sages, the prophets and masters, they have heard that voice which comes from within by making themselves silent. Its does not mean by this, that because one will have a silence that he will be spoken to. Its mean that, he will hear the word which is constantly coming to him once he is silent.

Once the mind has been made still, a person gets in communication with every person one meets. He does not need too many words, when the glance meets he understands. Two persons may talk and discuss their whole life and they will not understand one another; and two persons with still minds look at one another in one moment there is a communication. Where comes the difference between persons? It is by their activity. And when comes agreement? It comes by the stillness of mind.

Not very long ago in Hyderabad there was a mureed, rather an intellectual pupil, and he liked to talk. His teacher was interested in his intelligent inquiries, and so he encouraged him to talk, whereas it is the custom in the East for the pupil to remain silent before his teacher. One day the teacher was in a condition of exaltation and his pupil as usual wanted to discuss and argue, which was not agreeable to the teacher at that time. He said in Persian, 'Khamosh,' which means silence. And the pupil became silent; he went home and remained silent. And no one heard him speak after that, no one in the house nor outside; he never spoke anywhere. Years passed by and the man still kept silent. But there came a time when his silence began to speak aloud. His silent thought would manifest and his silent wish would become granted; his silent glance would heal, his silent look would inspire. His silence became living. It was the spoken words, which had kept him dead all this time. The moment the lips were closed the silence in him began to live. His presence was living.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

" Forever Love............"

~ Forever Love ~

People call love blind, but love in reality is the light of the sight. The eye can only see the surface; love can see much deeper. All ignorance is the lack of love. As fire when not kindled gives only smoke, but when kindled, the illumination flame springs forth, so it is with love. It is blind when undeveloped, but, when its fire is kindled, the flame that lights the path of the traveler from mortality to everlasting life springs forth. The secrets of earth and heaven are revealed to the possessor of the loving heart, the lover has gained mastery over himself and others, and he not only communes with God but also unites with Him.

A heart lightened by love is more precious than all the gems and jewels of the world. ... Love is like the fire; its glow is devotion, its flame is wisdom, its smoke is attachment, and its ashes detachment. Flame rises from glow, so it is with wisdom, which rises from devotion. When love's fire produces its flame it illuminates the devotee's path in life like a torch, and all darkness vanishes.

When the life-force acts in the soul it is love, when it acts in the heart it is emotion, and when in the body it is passion. Therefore the most loving person is the most emotional, and the most emotional is the most passionate, according to the plane of which he is most conscious. If he is most awake in the soul he is loving, if awakened in the heart he is emotional, if he is conscious of the body he is passionate. These three may be pictured as fire, flame, and smoke. Love is fire when in the soul, it is a flame when the heart is kindled by it, and it is as smoke when it manifests through the body.

Love must be absolutely free from selfishness, otherwise it does not produce proper illumination. If the fire has no flame it cannot give light, and smoke comes out of it, which is troublesome. Such is selfish love. Whether it be for man or for God it is fruitless, for though it appears to be love for another or love for God, it is in fact love for the self.

If one asked: Where is the soul? Where can we see the soul manifest to view? Where is paradise? Where is heaven? Where is joy and pleasure? If one asked: Where is love? Where is God? We can answer each of these questions by saying: it is in the heart.

Imagine how wonderful and at the same time how obscure to our view! If we call the heart the spark of fire then we can see its different aspects: as sympathy in the form of heat, as longing in the form of fire, as affection in the form of glow, as devotion in the form of flame, as passion in the form of smoke that blinds the eyes. ... One may ask: How to cultivate the heart quality? There is only one way: to become selfless at each step one takes forward on this path, for what prevents one from cultivating the loving quality is the thought of self.

Friday, November 13, 2009

" What Soft Drinks do To Your Body ?.........."

Soda, pop, cola, soft drink — whatever you call it, it is one of the worst beverages that you could be drinking for your health. As the debate for whether to put a tax on the sale of soft drinks continues, you should know how they affect your body so that you can make an informed choice on your own.

Soft drinks are hard on your health
Soft drinks contain little to no vitamins or other essential nutrients. However, it is what they do contain that is the problem: caffeine, carbonation, simple sugars — or worse, sugar substitutes — and often food additives such as artificial coloring, flavoring, and preservatives.

A lot of research has found that consumption of soft drinks in high quantity, especially by children, is responsible for many health problems that include tooth decay, nutritional depletion, obesity, type-2 diabetes, and heart disease.

Why the sugar in soft drinks isn’t so sweet
Most soft drinks contain a high amount of simple sugars. The USDA recommendation of sugar consumption for a 2,000-calorie diet is a daily allotment of 10 teaspoons of added sugars. Many soft drinks contain more than this amount!

Just why is too much sugar so unhealthy? Well, to start, let's talk about what happens to you as sugar enters your body. When you drink sodas that are packed with simple sugars, the pancreas is called upon to produce and release insulin, a hormone that empties the sugar in your blood stream into all the tissues and cells for usage. The result of overindulging in simple sugar is raised insulin levels. Raised blood insulin levels beyond the norm can lead to depression of the immune system, which in turn weakens your ability to fight disease.

Something else to consider is that most of the excess sugar ends up being stored as fat in your body, which results in weight gain and elevates risk for heart disease and cancer. One study found that when subjects were given refined sugar, their white blood cell count decreased significantly for several hours afterwards. Another study discovered that rats fed a high-sugar diet had a substantially elevated rate of breast cancer when compared to rats on a regular diet.

The health effects of diet soda
You may come to the conclusion that diet or sugar-free soda is a better choice. However, one study discovered that drinking one or more soft drinks a day — and it didn’t matter whether it was diet or regular — led to a 30% greater chance of weight gain around the belly.

Diet soda is filled with artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, sucralose, or saccharin. These artificial sweeteners pose a threat to your health. Saccharin, for instance, has been found to be carcinogenic, and studies have found that it produced bladder cancer in rats.

Aspartame, commonly known as nutrasweet, is a chemical that stimulates the brain to think the food is sweet. It breaks down into acpartic acid, phenylalanine, and methanol at a temperature of 86 degrees. (Remember, your stomach is somewhere around 98 degrees.) An article put out by the University of Texas found that aspartame has been linked to obesity. The process of stimulating the brain causes more cravings for sweets and leads to carbohydrate loading.

Carbonation depletes calcium
Beverages with bubbles contain phosphoric acid, which can severely deplete the blood calcium levels; calcium is a key component of the bone matrix. With less concentration of calcium over a long time, it can lower deposition rates so that bone mass and density suffer. This means that drinking sodas and carbonated water increases your risk of osteoporosis.

Add in the caffeine usually present in soft drinks, and you are in for even more trouble. Caffeine can deplete the body’s calcium, in addition to stimulating your central nervous system and contributing to stress, a racing mind, and insomnia.

Skip the soda and go for:

• Fresh water

Water is a vital beverage for good health. Each and every cell needs water to perform its essential functions. Since studies show that tap water is filled with contaminants, antibiotics, and a number of other unhealthy substances, consider investing in a quality carbon-based filter for your tap water. To find out more about a high-performance filtration system, click here.

On the go? Try using a stainless steel thermos or glass bottle, filled with filtered water. Enhance the flavor of your water with a refreshing infusion of basil, mint leaves, and a drop of honey.

• Fruit Juice
If you are a juice drinker, try watering down your juice to cut back on the sugar content. Buy a jar of organic 100% juice, especially cranberry, acai, pomegranate, and then dilute three parts filtered water to one part juice. You will get a subtle sweet taste and the benefit of antioxidants. After a couple of weeks, you will no longer miss the sweetness of sugary concentrated juices.

• Tea
Tea gently lifts your energy and has numerous health benefits. Black, green, white, and oolong teas all contain antioxidant polyphenols. In fact, tea ranks as high or higher than many fruits and vegetables on the ORAC scale, the score that measures antioxidant potential of plant-based foods.

Herbal tea does not have the same antioxidant properties, though it is still a great beverage choice with other health benefits, such as inducing calming and relaxing effects.

If tea doesn’t satisfy your sweet tooth, try adding cinnamon or a little honey, which has important health benefits that refined sugar lacks. For a selection of healthy teas that promote total body wellness, Drink up!

I hope you find the ways and means to avoid soft drinks.

May you live long, live strong, and live happy!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

" Alphabetical order.................."

~ Alphabetical order ~

A plane is flying over the United States at night.

The pilot says "Ladies and gentlemen, the plane is losing altitude and all the luggage has to be thrown out."
After a while, the pilot says "We are still losing altitude, we have to throw something out of the cabin."
Eventhough things are thrown out, the plane continues to lose altitude.
The pilot "We are still going down! We need to throw out some people... "
The passengers sigh.
The pilot "But to do tht, the passengers will be thrown out in alphabetical order!
So... A... are there any africans aboard?"
Nobody moves. "B... any blacks aboard?"
No movement. "C... any caribbean aboard?"
Nobody moves again.
A black kid turns to his father and asks "Dad? What are we?"
The father: "Son, tonight we're Zulus... "

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

" Within Our Reach................."

~ Within Our Reach ~

It was quiet and relaxing, just sitting there with my thoughts. I let my attention shift for a moment from the trees to the sky. It was a bright, cloudless day. Not even a balmy breeze -- just a cool, wonderful afternoon. As I looked up again at the sky, I wondered where all the stars were. I couldn't see even one.

Of course, I couldn't see them because they were all hidden by the brightness of the sun. But the stars hadn't gone anywhere. They were always there. They do not run and hide or just disappear into nothingness when the sun comes up. They seemed to have been lost. We just cannot see them when our vision and perception are blocked by clouds or the sun or a roof or even deep thought.

Even on a clear, moonless night, we may not see stars if we are looking down at the ground. To see stars, we generally have to lift our eyes and our vision. We have to look up from where we are.

So it is in life. The noise of daily problems, the worries of making a living or our focus on the struggle may block our view to the glories of making a life. We do not only need to rely on our sight, but on our insight as well.

Sight is seeing with our physical eyes, insight is seeing with our inner eyes, our heart and soul. Sight is a storehouse. It gathers data and stores it for current or future needs. Insight is a powerhouse. It takes the data and combines it into ways that are most helpful to us.

The solutions to every problem we have are within our reach if we could see them clearly. Just like the stars seem to be hidden by the brightness of the sun, so the solution to our problem may be hidden by the intensity of our struggle or our focus on worrying.

Perhaps the world is waiting for us to take the solution that best fits us. Our attitude definitely determines how we solve our problems. If we sit back and say that there's nothing we can do, the Universe would show us a face, which says there's nothing you can do.

If we stand up and say that maybe there's a solution to our problem, the Universe would say that, perhaps, there is a solution. But if we grab life boldly and look it straight in the eye and say that the solution is there for the taking, life responds by giving you what you demand.

If we've been plagued by the frustrations of everyday living, let us look at the world slightly differently from the way we've been looking at it. Perhaps the solutions to all of our problems are waiting for us, within our reach, ready for us to grab them.

You are bigger than your problems. You have within you the power to live life fully and gloriously.
Your problems are nothing until you give up your power to change them. So, as Sir Winston Churchill once said, "Never give in. Never, never give in."

Friday, October 30, 2009

" The Missing Rib.................."

~ The Missing Rib ~

A girl in love asked her boyfriend.

Girl: Tell me. Who do you love most in this world?

Boy: You, of course!

Girl: In your heart, what am I to you?

Boy: The boy thought for a moment and looked intently in her eyes and said, "You are my rib. It was said that God saw that Adam was lonely, God took one of Adam's rib and created Eve. Every man has been searching for his missing rib, only when you find the woman of your life, you'll no longer feel the lingering ache in your heart."

After their wedding, the couple had a sweet and happy life for a while.

However, the youthful couple began to drift apart due to the busy schedule of life and the never-ending worries of daily problems, their life became mundane.

All the challenges posed by the harsh realities of life began to gnaw away their dreams and love for each other. The couple began to have more quarrels and each quarrel became more heated.

One day, after the quarrel, the girl ran out of the house. At the opposite side of the road, she shouted, "You don't love me!"

The boy hated her childishness and out of impulse, retorted, "Maybe, it was a mistake for us to be together! You were never my missing rib!"

Suddenly, she turned quiet and stood there for a long while. He regretted what he said but words spoken are like thrown away water, you can never take it back. With tears, she went home to pack her things and was determined in breaking-up.

Before she left the house, "If I'm really not your missing rib, please let me go." She continued, "It is less painful this way. Let us go on our separate ways and search for our own partners."

Five years went by................

He never remarried but he had tried to find out about her life indirectly. She had left the country and back. She had married a foreigner and divorced. He felt anguished that she never waited for him.

In the dark and lonely night, he lit his cigarette and felt the lingering ache in his heart. He couldn't bring himself to admit that he was missing her.

One day, they finally met. At the airport, a place where there were many reunions and good byes. He was going away on a business trip. She was standing there alone, with just the security door separating them. She smiled at him gently.

Boy: How are you?

Girl: I'm fine. How about you? Have you found your missing rib?

Boy: No.

Girl: I'll be flying to New York in the next flight.

Boy: I'll be back in 2 weeks time. Give me a call when you are back. You know my number. Nothing has changed.

With a smile, she turned around and waved good bye.

Good bye.............

One week later, he heard of her death. She had perished in New York, in the event that shocked the world.

Midnight, once again, he lit his cigarette. And like before, he felt the lingering ache in his heart. He finally knew. She was the missing rib that he had carelessly broken.

(Sometimes, people say things out of moments of fury. Most often than not, the outcome could be disastrous and detrimental. We vent our frustrations 99% at our loved ones. And even though we know that we ought to "think twice and act wisely", it's often easier said than done.

Things happen each day, many of which are beyond our control. Let us treasure every moment and everyone in our lives.

Tomorrow may never come.....)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

" Which One Are You?..........."

~ Which One Are You? ~

Once upon a time a daughter complained to her father that her life was miserable and that she didn't know how she was going to make it.

She was tired of fighting and struggling all the time. It seemed just as one problem was solved, another one soon followed.

Her father, a chef, took her to the kitchen. He filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire.

Once the three pots began to boil, he placed potatoes in one pot, eggs in the second pot and ground coffee beans in the third pot.

He then let them sit and boil, without saying a word to his daughter. The daughter, moaned and impatiently waited, wondering what he was doing.

After twenty minutes he turned off the burners. He took the potatoes out of the pot and placed them in a bowl. He pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. He then ladled the coffee out and placed it in a cup.

Turning to her, he asked. "Daughter, what do you see?" "Potatoes, eggs and coffee," she hastily replied.

"Look closer", he said, "and touch the potatoes." She did and noted that they were soft.

He then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg.

Finally, he asked her to sip the coffee. Its rich aroma brought a smile to her face.

"Father, what does this mean?" she asked.

He then explained that the potatoes, the eggs and coffee beans had each faced the same adversity-the boiling water. However, each one reacted differently. The potato went in strong, hard and unrelenting, but in boiling water, it became soft and weak.

The egg was fragile, with the thin outer shell protecting its liquid interior until it was put in the boiling water. Then the inside of the egg became hard.

However, the ground coffee beans were unique. After they were exposed to the boiling water, they changed the water and created something new.

"Which one are you?" he asked his daughter. "When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a potato, an egg, or a coffee bean?"

In life, things happen around us, things happen to us, but the only thing that truly matters is what happens within us.

Which one are you? When problems come (and they will) how will we react? Will they make us weak, hard hearted or will they cause us to change into something worthwhile?

"Happiness is not something you find, it's something you create."

Inspirational Quote: "Smile in pleasure, smile in pain; Smile when trouble pours like rain; Smile when someone hurts you, Smile coz someone cares for you."

Monday, October 26, 2009

" Take A Break.............."

(recite this as often as you can........especially after daily prayers........7x)

"Be not like the hypocrite who,
when he talks, tells lies;
when he gives a promise, he breaks it;
and when he is trusted, he proves dishonest."

(Bukhari & Muslim)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

" Life .................."

- Life begins each morning whether we have succeeded or failed or just muddled along. Life is a school to learn, not to unlearn.

- Life is a great teacher of truth. What is truth to one is not truth to another. What is true in one country may be false in another.

- Life is short but the influences of what we do or say is immortal. There needs to be much more of the spirit of fellowship among us and more forgiveness. The power of gentleness is little seen in the world.

- Remember that life's length is not measured by its hours and days, but by that which we have done therein. A useless life is short if it lasts a century.

- There are greater and better things in us all if we would find them out. There will always be in this world — wrongs. No wrong is really successful.

- The day will come when light and truth and the just and the good shall be victorious, and wrong as evil will be no more forever.

- The mystery of the world remains unknown. Our maker alone is the key which unlocks all the mysteries of the universe.

- The world is neither a prison nor a palace of ease, but rather for instruction and discipline.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

" I Wonder...................."

I wonder.........

It is difficult to know if we make the right decisions sometimes.

Even though we try to listen to our hearts, and when

we make decisions when totally at peace with ourselves?

How many times have you made a decision you totally believed was right?

And, how many times did something happen to cause you to back up and change course?

The last several years various circumstances have made me question “why?”

why did I have to change the course of a decision I had made,

and totally believed was the right thing to do.

I use to trust my gut feelings,

but these days......... I just wonder.

Monday, October 19, 2009

" We Are Travellers.................."

~ We are travellers ~

We are all travelers in the wilderness of the world,
and the best that we can find in our travels is an honest friend.

In order to reach heaven we have to walk through hell first
so that we can appreciate the gift that awaits us at the end of the journey.
We cannot expect Allah to answer our prayers,
before we have made a sincere commitment to change.

Remember, it is only when our hearts have changed then Allah will change our condition.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

" Acceptance.................."

~ Acceptance ~

Listening is a form of accepting.
Accept whatever comes and the only important thing is that ,you meet it with courage and with the best that you have to give.
Everything in life depends on how that life accepts its limits.
Once we accept our limits, we go beyond them.
Everything in life that we really accept, undergoes a change.
Accept the things to which fate binds you, and love the people with whom fate brings you together,
but do so with all your heart.

Monday, October 12, 2009

" Will Power................"

~ Will Power ~

Will power is not mental power, but it appears in the form of a mental power: the mind, as a globe, gives out the light of the will.
Will power, plainly speaking, is soul-power. Therefore the more one realizes its source, the more one develops the power of will. No doubt the mind is an instrument, also the senses are instruments of the will power, and if these instruments are not sound and well developed, the will power cannot work properly. It is just like a blunted sword in the hand of a skillful warrior.

Will power is like a battery of life, and as difficult as it is to deal with a strong mechanism, and as dangerous as it is to work with a battery of enormous power, so difficult and dangerous it is to develop and to work with the will power. In the first place, power is blinding, beauty is revealing. Wrong and unjust and unreasonable tendencies may rise from power, and one may destroy oneself in its expression.

Hafiz says, 'Do not let yourself be fooled by the patched sleeve of the dervish, you do not know if under this patched sleeve a mighty arm is not hidden.'

No better use of will power can be made than for self-control, for control of the body, and control of the mind. One who controls his body will control his mind. The one who controls his mind will control his body. The best use one can make of will power is to use this power for self-discipline, on passion, on anger, on all things, which abide in man's nature as his great enemies. In other words, by will power one must build up a force to fight with oneself, with that part of oneself which offends us.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

~ Relationships ~

3 kinds of relationships :

According to ancient philosopher Aristotle, there are three kinds of relationships, only one of which will bring you true happiness.

1.) Relationships of pleasure.

Partners who are about sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll. You share soulless, passionate sex and playful banter -- but they're about the body or ego. They never soul-nurture you with insight and growth, so they never bring real-deal happiness.

2.) Relationships of utility.

Partners you spend time with in hopes of garnering status, power, money and beauty like the rich guy with a trophy girl. Again, this is about body or ego and doesn't bring true joy.

3.) Relationships of shared virtue.

Partners who challenge and inspire you to grow into your highest potential and nurture your soul. A good example is when Jack Nicholson's character in "As Good As It Gets" says, "You make me want to be a better man." When you prioritize seeking a partner who supports you becoming your best self -- instead of crushing on "superficial lures"(hotness, funniness, smartness, success, etc.) -- you wind up with a soul mate/a Prince Charming/a definite keeper!

With this in mind, if you want to be happy in love, you must take time to see past a guy's "superficial lures" and look inside his "superinsidehimself." Unfortunately, those fumes of chemistry can often dizzy a gal into making stupid love choices. That's why it's important to remember: Hot, steamy chemistry eventually fades -- and what's always left beneath is a person's true soul.

If you want to be happy, you must seek a good-hearted, ethical soul who brings you great growth -- not simply a hottie who brings great grope.

For the record: Aristotle wasn't against finding someone friggin' funny or friggin' sexy or friggin' rich. He believed these pleasure-bringing qualities were good for stirring up passion, which humans need to be our fullest selves! But Aristotle recognized "superficial lures" and material goods were simply what he called "means to the ends" of happiness, not "the final ends," which is always to grow into your most esteemed self. As Aristotle said: "Men imagine the causes of happiness lie in external goods. That is, as if they were to ascribe fine and beautiful lyre playing to the quality of the instrument rather than the skill of the player."

A big secret to happiness? Stop focusing on finding a Mr. Right! Start focusing on finding Life Plan Right. When a Mr. Potential Right comes along, you must ask yourself if this guy will lead you to Life Plan Right or Life Plan Wrong.

As you get to know the guy, look to see if he:

1. Offers you exciting growth as well as exciting grope

2. Has developed good character -- so he'll be a positive influence on your character development.

If the guy scores two for two, you're likely in Prince Charming territory.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

~ Something ....Someone ~

Leave ’something’ for ’someone’;
never leave ’someone’ for ’something’!

In life, ’something’
will leave you, but ’someone’ will
always be with you.! …

Thursday, September 3, 2009

" Life is differentiated by the pairs of opposites......."

~ Life is differentiated by the pairs of opposites.~

Joy and sorrow both are for each other. If it were not for joy, sorrow could not be; and if it were not for sorrow, joy could not be experienced....."

There is the sun and there is the moon, there is man and woman, there is night and there is day. The colors are distinguished by their variety and so are the forms. Therefore to distinguish anything there must be its opposite; where there is no opposite we cannot distinguish. There must be health in order to distinguish illness; if there were no health and only illness then it would not have been (distinguished as) illness. ... Life is a puzzle of duality. The pairs of opposites keep us in an illusion and make us think, 'This is this, and that is that'. At the same time by throwing a greater light upon things we shall find in the end that they are quite different from what we had thought.

If there was no pain one would not enjoy the experience of joy. It is pain which helps one to experience joy. Everything is distinguished by its opposite. The one who feels pain deeply is more capable of experiencing joy. And if you were to ask about pain, I should say that if there was no pain, life would be most uninteresting. For it is by pain, the heart is penetrated, and the sensation of pain is deeper joy.

Without pain the great musicians and poets and dreamers and thinkers would not have reached that stage which they reached and from which moved the world. If they always had joy, they would not have touched the depths of life.

Monday, August 31, 2009

" LADIES BEWARE.............."


Designer faces life sentence in sex assault case :

LOS ANGELES –Fashion designer Anand Jon Alexander will learn what his sentence will be for sexually assaulting aspiring models he lured to Los Angeles, only to be turned around and sent to New York where he faces similar charges.

Alexander, 35, is scheduled to be sentenced Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court. Prosecutors have asked that he be imprisoned for the maximum possible under the law — three terms of 53 years and six months to life.

He was convicted in November of 14 counts including forcible rape. Some of his victims, who ranged in age from 14 to 21, are expected to speak.

Prosecutors said Alexander often found women online, baited them with promises of glamorous photo shoots and other modeling work, only to fondle or rape them at his Beverly Hills apartment.

His sentencing caps a tumultuous post-verdict saga that included allegations of juror tampering by his sister, Sanjana, juror misconduct and Alexander's decision to represent himself.

In July, Superior Court Judge David Wesley found juror Alvin Dymally and Sanjana Alexander in contempt of court after determining Dymally appeared to want a romantic relationship with her when he spoke to her by phone twice during the trial and offered his help.

Dymally also gave her a note in a courthouse cafeteria, asking her to call him. She did but refused to meet with him alone.

The judge held her in contempt for contacting the juror and failing to report the misconduct. A hearing will be held in September.

Wesley, however, did not grant Alexander's motion for a new trial, saying there wasn't any proof the phone conversations swayed the verdict.

The designer has been featured on the television show "America's Next Top Model" and worked with such celebrities as Paris Hilton and Mary J. Blige. His Web site lists dozens of celebrity A-listers as clients, including Hilton, who is described as a fan of Alexander's hand-printed jeans, which sold for more than $700.

Beverly Hills police began investigating Alexander in March 2007 when a woman reported she had been sexually assaulted in his apartment.

During the trial, prosecutors relied heavily on the testimony from women who made the accusations against Alexander. Defense attorneys argued many of women were lying about what happened to them and sought revenge against Alexander when they didn't get modeling jobs.

He is under indictment in New York on similar charges involving nine women.

Born in India, Alexander graduated from the Parsons School of Design in New York and launched a fashion line in 1999.

" The Truth.............."

~ The Truth ~

" ........Learn to live a true life and you will know the truth......
You can fool some of the people all of the time,
and all of the people some of the time,
but cannot fool all of the people all of the time.....
We know the truth, not only by the reason, but also by the heart...."

Sunday, August 30, 2009

" The Sea of Life..............."

~ The Sea of Life ~

The sea of life is in constant motion,
no one can stop its ever-moving waves.

The Master walks over the waves;

the wise man swims in the water;

but the ignorant man is drowned in his effort to cross.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

" Faith..............."


The Prophet says, 'Every soul when born is a faithful follower, it is afterwards that he turns to the contrary.' This really means that every soul is born on earth with a simple faith, and it is only afterwards that he doubts. If it were not so, we should never have been able to learn the language we speak. Was it not learned by faith, from infancy? When the mother says, 'This is a tree', the child says 'tree'; when she says, 'This is water' the child calls it 'water'. And there are many things which the parents speak of apart from ordinary every day matters, and the child believes them, as they want him to believe. Whether the names given to the things are right or wrong, the child takes them as his guardians wish him to take them, for that is his natural tendency.

In the beginning every soul has faith. Then how is it that man loses this quality which nature has bestowed on him? He loses it by the knowledge of names and forms. As he grows he covers up his faith with the knowledge of names and forms, calling that 'learning'. At every step in his progress towards knowledge he compares things and considers some things better than others, saying of one thing, 'This is true', of another, 'This is false', 'That is what I can believe and rely upon' and 'This is what I cannot believe and rely upon'. The one thing he calls true, the other false; but in reality neither is true or false. It is only at the beginning of knowledge that man passes through this stage. Later, when a person has raised himself above ordinary knowledge, he arrives at a stage when he is able to say, 'All that I have called true is not true, and all I have called false is not false.' He finds that whatever difference there is, is only a difference of comparison. This point of view is difficult and vague, and everybody does not perceive it.

The course of human life involves so many disappointments, so many failures, so many heartaches, that no one can avoid doubting.

When a man has been deceived by one person, he distrusts ten people; when he has found one person unreliable, he may perhaps consider a hundred others to be so too. After failing in one thing he suspects he will fail in a thousand things. So many things take away that natural and powerful quality which was at first present, that faith which is the secret of the whole creation, the secret of all success that can ever be attained in life. This faith is broken by life's discouraging experiences. When confidence in others is lost, then confidence in self is lost also; and the more it is lost, the more failures one meets. A doubting person considers himself to be wise and one of simple faith to be a fool. Whoever he sees he suspects; whatever he hears he questions whether it is right or wrong. He will doubt even his friend in business, waiting for the time to come when he can trust him. But that time never comes. His very doubts create doubts in the mind of the suspected person; and often the doubts come true as the effect of the doubter's thought; or at least it creates an illusion which for the moment shows the picture of his doubts.

We can experience the same thing with dogs. If we have the least fear of a dog barking or biting, He will bark and come up to us and bite us. If there is no fear in us, the dog will not come towards us. The fear which makes us suspect that that a dog will bite is enough to give the dog the desire to bite, because we are looking for it to do so.

Friday, August 21, 2009

" A Blessed Ramadhan Al-Mubaraq .............."


Important Lessons to be learnt from Ramadhan :

Fasting has been legislated in order that we may gain taqwa, as Allah - the Most High - said:

"O you who believe! fasting is prescribed for you, as it was prescribed upon those before you in order that you may attain taqwa." [Surah al-Baqarah 2:183].

Talq ibn Habib (d.100H) - rahimahullah - said:
"When fitnah (trial and tribulation) appears then extinguish it with taqwa." So he was asked as to what taqwa was, so he replied: "Taqwa is to act in obedience to Allah, upon a light (i.e. iman, faith) from Allah, hoping in the Mercy of Allah. And taqwa is leaving acts of disobedience to Allah, upon a light from Allah, due to the fear of Allah."3

"This is one of the best definitions of taqwa. For every action must have both a starting point and a goal. And an action will not be considered as an act of obedience, or nearness to Allah, unless it starts from pure iman (faith in Allah). Thus, it is pure iman - and not habits, desires, nor seeking praise or fame, nor its like - that should be what initiates an action. And the goal of the action should be to earn the reward of Allah and to seek His good pleasure."4 So fasting is a means of attaining taqwa, since it helps prevent a person from many sins that one is prone to. Due to this, the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam said: "Fasting is a shield with which the servant protects himself from the Fire."5 So we should ask ourselves, after each day of fasting: Has this fasting made us more fearful and obedient to Allah? Has it aided us in distancing ourselves from sins and disobedience?

The Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam said:
"Allah said: Whosoever shows enmity to a friend of Mine, I shall be at war with him. My servant does not draw near to Me with anything more beloved to Me than the obligatory duties that I have placed upon him. My servant continues to draw nearer to Me with optional deeds so that I shall love him."6

The Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam said:
"Whosoever reaches the month of Ramadhan and does not have his sins forgiven, and so enters the Fire, then may Allah distance him."7

So drawing closer to Allah - the Mort Perfect - in this blessed month, can be achieved by fulfilling one's obligatory duties; and also reciting the Qur'an and reflecting upon its meanings, increasing in kindness and in giving charity, in making du'a (supplication) to Allah, attending the tarawih Prayer, seeking out Laylatul-Qadr (the Night of Power and Pre-Decree), a night which is better than a thousand months, attending gatherings of knowledge, and striving in there actions that will cause the heart to draw closer to its Lord and to gain His forgiveness. Our level of striving in this blessed month should be greater than our striving to worship Allah in any other month, due to the excellence and rewards that Allah has placed in it. Likewise from the great means of seeking nearness to Allah in this month is making i'tikaf (seclusion in the mosque in order to worship Allah) - for whoever is able.

Imam Ibn al-Qayyim (d.751H)- rahimahullah - laid:
"Allah also prescribed i'tikaf for them, the objective being that the heart becomes fully preoccupied with Allah - the Mort High - concentrated upon Him alone, and cut-off from being preoccupied with the creation. Rather, the heart is only engrossed with Allah - the Most Perfect - such that loving Him, remembering Him, and turning to Him takes the place of all the heart's anxieties and worries, so that he is able to overcome them. Thus all his concerns are for Allah, and his thoughts are all directed towards remembering Him and thinking of how to attain His Pleasure and what will cause nearness to Him. This leads him to feel contented with Allah, instead of people. This in turn prepares him for being at peace with Allah alone, on the day of loneliness in the grave, when there will be no one else to give comfort, nor anyone to grant solace, except Him. So this is the greater goal of i'tikaf."8

Imam Ahmad (d.241H) - rahimahullah - said:
"Allah has mentioned sabr (patience) in over ninety places in His Book."9

The Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam said:
"The month of Patience, and the three days of every month, are times for fasting."10

Ibn 'Abdul-Barr (d.464H)- rahimahullah - said:
"What is meant by the month of Patience is the month of Ramadhan ... So fasting is called patience because it restrains the soul from eating, drinking, conjugal relations and sexual desires."11

He sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam said:
"O youths! Whoever amongst you is able to marry, then let him do so; for it restrains the eyes and protects the private parts. But whoever is unable, then let him fast, because it will be a shield for him."12

So fasting is a means of learning self restraint and patience. With patience we are able to strengthen our resolve to worship Allah alone, with sincerity, and also cope with life's ups and downs. So - for example - with patience we are able to perform our Prayers calmly and correctly, without being hasty, and without merely pecking the ground several times! With patience we are able to restrain our souls from greed and stinginess and thus give part of our surplus wealth in Zakah (obligatory charity). With patience we are able to subdue the soul's ill temperament, and thus endure the ordeal and hardships of Hajj, without losing tempers and behaving badly. Likewise, with patience we are able to stand firm and fight jihad against the disbelievers, hypocrites and heretics - withstanding their constant onslaught, without wavering and buckling, without despairing or being complacent, and without becoming hasty and impatient at the first signs of hardship. Allah - the Most High - said: "O Prophet, urge the Believers to fight ... So if there are one hundred who are patient, they shall overcome two hundred; and if there be one thousand, they shall overcome two thousand, by the permission of Allah. And Allah is with the patient ones." [Surah al-Anfal 8:65-66].

Thus, without knowledge and patience, nothing remains, except zeal and uncontrolled emotions, shouts and hollow slogans, speech that doer not strengthen, but rather weakens, and actions that do not build, but rather destroy! So in this month, we should strive to develop a firm resolve for doing acts of obedience, and to adorn ourselves with patience - having certainty in the laying of our Messenger sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam: "And know that victory comes with patience, relief with affliction, and ease with hardship."13

The Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam said:
"Whosoever doer not abandon falsehood in speech and action, then Allah the Mighty and Majestic has no need that he should leave his food and drink."14

He sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam also said:
"Fasting is not merely abstaining from eating and drinking. Rather, it is also abstaining from ignorant and indecent speech. So if anyone abuses or behaves ignorantly with you, then ray: I am fasting, I am fasting."15

There narrations point towards the importance of truthfulness and good manners. Thus, this blessed month teacher us not only to abstain from food and drink, but to also abstain from such statements and actions that may be the cause of harming people and violating their rights - since the Messenger sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam said whilst describing the true Believer: "A Muslim is one from whom other Muslims are safe from his tongue and his hand."16 Thus it is upon us as individuals, to examine the shortcomings in our character, and to then seek to improve them - modelling ourselves upon the character of the last of the Prophets and Messengers, and their leader, Muhammad sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam - aspiring also for the excellence which he mentioned in his saying: "I am a guarantor for a house on the outskirts of Paradise for whosoever leaves off arguing, even if he is in the right; and a house in the centre of Paradise for whosoever abandons falsehood, even when joking; and a house in the upper-mort part of Paradise for whosoever makes his character good."17 So by shunning oppression, shamelessness, harbouring hatred towards Muslims, back-biting, slandering, tale-carrying, and other types of falsehood, we can be saved from nullifying the rewards of our fasting - as Allah's Messenger sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam said: "It may be that a fasting person receives nothing from his fast, except hunger and thirst."18

The Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam said:
"Fast when they fast, and break your fast when they break their fast, and sacrifice the day they sacrifice."19

Imam at-Tirmidhi (d.275H) - rahimahullah - said:
"Some of the People of Knowledge explained this hadith by saying: Its meaning is to fast and break the fast along with the jama'ah and the majority of people."20

Thus, in this blessed month we can sense an increased feeling of unity and of being a single Ummah due to our fasting and breaking our fast collectively. We also feel an increased awareness about the state of affairs of the Muslims and of the hardships that they endure, because: "During the fast, a Muslim feels and experiences what his needy and hungry brothers and sisters feel, who are forced to go without food and drink for many many days - as occurs today to many of the Muslims in Africa."21 Indeed, the units of the Muslims - and their aiding and assisting one another - is one of the great fundamentals upon which the Religion of Islam is built, as Allah - the Mort High - said: "And hold fast altogether to the rope of Allah and do not be divided." [Surah al-'lmran 3:103]. Allah - the Most High - also said: "The Believers - men and women - and friends and protectors to one another." [Surah al-Towbah 9:44].

Shaykhul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (d.728H)- rahimahullah - said:
"The welfare of people will not be complete - neither in this world, nor in the Hereafter - except with ijtima' (collectiveness), ta'awun (mutual cooperation), and tanasur (mutual help); mutual-co-operation in order to secure benefits, and mutual help in order to ward off harm. It is for this reason that man is said to be social and civil by nature."22

Thus we see that Islam lays great importance in bringing hearts together and encouraging ijtima' (collectiveness). This is not only reflected in the month of Ramadhan, but also in the other acts of worship as well. So, for example, we have been ordered by the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam to pray the five daily Prayers in congregation, and that it has been made twenty-seven times more rewardful than praying it individually.23 Likewise, this similar collective spirit is demonstrated in the act of Hajj (Pilgrimage). Even in learning knowledge and studying it, blessings have been placed in collectiveness, as Allah's Messenger sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam said: "No people gather together in a house from the houses of Allah, reciting the Book of Allah and studying it amongst themselves, except that tranquility descends upon them, mercy envelops them, the angels surround them, and Allah mentions them to there that are with Him."24 Likewise, even in our everyday actions such, as eating, Islam teacher us collectiveness. Thus, when some of the Companions of the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam said to him: O Messenger of Allah, we eat but do not become satisfied. He replied: "Perhaps you eat individually?" They replied: Yes! So he said: "Eat collectively and mention the name of Allah. There will then be blessings for you in it."25 Indeed, even in the etiquettes of sitting the spirit of collectiveness is demonstrated. So, one day the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam came across the Companions who were sitting in separate circles, so he said to them: "Why do I see you sitting separately!"26 Similarly, Abu Tha'labah al-Khurhani radiallahu 'anhu said: Whenever the people used to encamp, they used to split-up into the mountain passes and valley's. So Allah's Messenger sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam said: "Indeed your being split-up in there mountain passes and valley's is from Shaytan." Thereafter, whenever they used to encamp, they used to keep very close together, to such an extent that it was said: If a cloth were to be spread over them, it would cover them all.27

Thus, Ramadhan is a time to increase our sense of unity and brotherhood, and our commitment to Allah and His Religion. And there is no doubt that this sense of unity necessitates that: "We all work together as required by Islam as sincere brothers - not due to hizbiyyah (bigotted party spirit), nor sectarianism - in order to realise that which is of benefit to the Islamic Ummah and to establish the Islamic society that every Muslim aspirer for - so that the Shari'ah (Prescribed Law) of Allah is applied upon His earth."28 So we must examine ourselves during the month of Ramadhan and ask: What is my role - and each of us has a role - in helping this precious Ummah to regain its honour, and return to the Ummah its comprehensive unity and strength, and victory that has been promised to it! Likewise, we should reflect upon our own character and actions and ask. Are they aiding the process of unity and brotherhood, or are they a harm and a hindrance to it!

So we ask Allah to grant us the ability to change ourselves for the better, during this blessed month, and not to be of there who are prevented from His Mercy and Forgiveness. Indeed He is the One who Hears and He is the One to Respond.