Tricks of Shaytaan: Procrastination & Laziness Thursday, Mar 27 2008 

This is a nice reminder from As-Sunnah Newsletter.

Shaytaan attempts to make people negligent or exaggerate in the religion;
and causes them to be lazy and delay performing good deeds

Shaytaan attempts to either make people negligent or exaggerate in their religion: 

Ibnul-Qayyim said, ‘There is nothing that Allah has enjoined, but Shaytan has ways of dealing with it, either by inclining (people) towards falling short and being negligence or excessive and exaggeration. He does not care which of these two mistakes a person makes. So he may come to a person’s heart and check it out, and if he finds that he is lazy, negligent and looking for concessions, then he goes along with that. He holds him back and stops him from doing things; he makes him lazy, indifferent and negligent, and encourages him to seek alternative interpretations and hope for forgiveness etc., until a person may give up doing all things that have been enjoined.

However, if he finds that a person is cautious and serious, and that he is enthusiastic and capable, he despairs of succeeding with him on that front. So he urges him to strive to excess, and makes him think that this is not sufficient and that he has higher ambitions than that, and that he has to do more than others do. So he tells them, do not go to sleep, when they go to sleep; do not break your fast when they break their fast; do not flag when they flag; if one of them washes his hands and face three times, then you should wash them seven times; if he does Wudhu for every prayer then you should do ghusl for it, and other kinds of exaggeration and excess.

He makes him go to extremes and go beyond the straight path, just like he makes the first person fall short and not come anywhere near it. His aim in both cases is to steer both of them away from the straight path, one by not letting him approach it or come anywhere near it, and the other by making him go too far and overstep the mark. In this way, most people have been tempted and nothing can save a person from that except deeply rooted knowledge, faith and power to resist him (Shaytan) and adherence to the middle course. And Allah is the One Whose Help we seek.’ [al-Wabil as-Sayyib, p.19]

Shaytaan causes people to procrastinate, be lazy and delay performing good deeds: 

One of the ways in which Shaytan does this is mentioned in the hadeeth recorded in Saheeh al-Bukharee from Abu Hurayrah (radhi allahu anhu), who said that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said,

‘Shaytan puts three knots at the back of the head of any of you if he is asleep. On every knot he reads and exhales the following words, ‘The night is long, so stay asleep.’ When one wakes up and remembers Allah, one knot is undone; and when one performs ablution, the second knot is undone, and when one prays the third knot is undone and one gets up energetic with a good heart in the morning; otherwise one gets up lazy and with a mischievous heart.’ [Saheeh al-Bukharee (21/243)]

Shaytan causes people to forget the truth and the Commands of Allah. ‘Shaytan has overtaken them. So he has made them forget the remembrance of Allah. They are the party of Shaytan…’ [Soorah al-Mujadilah (58): 19] But as soon as we remember, we should strive to leave that which distracted us from the remembrance of Allah and His Commands as the Qur’aan commands us, ‘If Shaytan causes you to forget, then do not sit after the remembrance in the company of the wrong-doers.’ [Soorah al-An’am (6): 68]

Ibn Jawzi (rahimahullah) mentions how Shaytan makes one procrastinate and lazy, ‘…he makes sinner put off repenting, and he keeps him indulging in his desires, telling him that one day he could repent… Perhaps, a faqeeh intends to revise some topic, but he says, ‘Rest for a while,’ or he sees a worshipper waking up at night to pray, and he tells him, ‘You have plenty of time.’ He keeps on making people like being lazy, or put off doing good deeds, and he deceives them by telling them that they have plenty of time and a lot of hope.

So the one who wants to do some good deed should carry out his action with determination and resolve. Resolve means not wasting time and not delaying things. He should forget about the idea of having plenty of time because the one who has been warned (of the punishment of Allah) should not be assured. What you miss, you cannot make up for it. The reason for every shortcoming or inclination of evil is the belief that there is plenty of time and a lot of hope, because man keeps thinking of giving up evil and turning towards good, but delays. No doubt, whoever thinks that he has the whole day ahead of him will take his time, and whoever has the hope that he will still be there in the morning will do very little during the night, but the one who thinks of death as imminent will strive harder.’ [Talbees Iblees, p.458]

Taken from As-Sunnah Newsletter – http://www.qsep.com  As-Sunnah Vol. 2 Issue No. 11

 

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Children & Vegetables Sunday, Mar 23 2008 

My children always have a problem with eating vegetables. Although, I tried to feed them vegetables from a young age, it seems like we are always struggling.
They eat salad (mainly cucumbers and lettuce), carrots at times, corn, spinach, peas but that’s about it.

My mother used to cook vegetables, when I was small, but it would always be with meat. So my diet, as a child, was more meat and a very small quantity of vegetables. My husband, on the other hand, didn’t eat vegetables and still doesn’t like them but is trying to (and has a lot) change his diet and he wants our children to get used to eating vegetables. But it is not easy picking out their food for them and forcing them to eat something they don’t want to!

Here is a nice article from about.com by: Vincent Iannelli, M.D

If there is one thing that parents could change about their child’s eating habits, it would usually be to get them to eat more vegetables. Most kids, even picky eaters, do fine with all of the other food groups – but vegetables are often an issue in many households.

How do you get kids to eat more vegetables?

Do your kids need to eat vegetables?

Vegetables

Vegetables are an important food group and a key part of the food pyramid, so ideally, your kids would eat some each day.

In addition to being high in fiber, most vegetables are low in calories, low in fat, and don’t have any cholesterol. Most are also important sources of many vitamins and minerals, including calcium, potassium, vitamin c, and vitamin A.

Eating fruits and vegetables can also decrease a person’s chances of developing many chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, stroke, some types of cancer, and may even help prevent cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure. 

Vegetable Recommendations

One of the first questions parents have about vegetables is how many do their kids actually need to eat each day.  

Following the food pyramid, some general recommendations include that:

2- to 3-year-old children eat 1 cup of vegetables each day
4- to 8-year-old children eat 1 1/2 cups of vegetables each day
9- to 13-year-old girls eat 2 cups of vegetables each day
14- to 18-year-old girls eat 2 1/2 cups of vegetables each day
9- to 13-year-old boys eat 2 1/2 cups of vegetables each day
14- to 18-year-old boys eat 3 cups of vegetables each day  

When thinking of serving sizes and daily recommendations for vegetables, keep in mind that 1 cup of vegetables is usually equal to:

  • a medium baked potato
  • a large ear of corn on the cob
  • 3 spears of 5-inch long broccoli
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 2 large stalks of celery
  • 1 cup of cooked vegetables

And since that can be spread over two or three of your child’s meals and perhaps even at a healthy snack, it becomes much more reasonable to think about your kids eating their vegetables each day. 

List of Vegetables

In addition to eating their recommended serving of vegetables each day, it can be important to try to vary the types of vegetables that your child eats so that he gets all the nutrients that different vegetables have to offer. For example, it would be better if your child eats, broccoli, peas, lettuce, carrots, celery, beans, and potatoes, instead of carrots being the only vegetable that he eats.

When serving vegetables to your kids, try to vary their diet and choose different ones from this list of vegetables: 

  • Dark green vegetables (broccoli, greens, spinach, dark green leafy lettuce)
  • Orange vegetables (carrots, pumpkin, sweet potato, winter squash)
  • Dry beans and peas (dry beans, black eyed peas, tofu)
  • Starchy vegetables (corn, green peas, white potatoes)
  • Other vegetables (cabbage, cauliflower, celery, cucumbers, peppers, lettuce, mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, zucchini)

Vegetable Recipes 

You may have to do some experimenting, but you can likely find some fun ways to get your kids to eat more vegetables. For example, it often works to buy fresh vegetables and not overcook them. These vegetables will have a lot of flavor and will still be crunchy, which is a big plus for many kids.

Some popular and kid-friendly vegetable recipes include:

  • vegetable soup
  • vegetable lasagna
  • pizza with vegetable toppings
  • egg omelet with bell peppers, broccoli, spinach, mushrooms or tomatoes
  • sandwiches with lettuce, tomato, cucumbers, bell peppers, or onions as toppings
  • whole grain pasta with vegetables added to the sauce
  • carrots and broccoli with a dip as a snack
  • vegetable wraps  

It can also help to let your kids choose vegetables at the grocery store or farmer’s market, or even grow their own in your backyard.

What about hiding vegetables in your child’s food? This is one way to get your kids to eat more vegetables, but you aren’t really teaching them healthy eating habits. Instead, it can be better to offer your child small amounts of vegetables at each meal, don’t force him to eat them, and model healthy eating habits yourself. 

(See the complete article here) http://pediatrics.about.com/od/nutrition/a/0308_vegetables.htm

Your Relationship with Allah azzawajal Friday, Mar 21 2008 

I was going through some of the old Daughter of Adam magazines and found some really inspirational articles. I thought it would be nice to post them here. This article is by Haleh Banani, mashaAllah, not only she has a Masters in Clinical Psychology but she even knows how to inspire her readers!

——

The experience of having a genuine friend is one of the most precious gifts in the world. However, sometimes that special friend may move thousands of miles away. At times a friend may be disappointing and there are even times that a compatible friend is no where to be found. That is when one realizes that a friendship with Allah azzawjal is the most complete and fulfilling friendship there is.

“Behold! Verily on the ‘Awiliyas’ of Allah there is no fear, nor shall they grieve; those who believe and constantly guard against evil.” (10:62-63)

Having Allah azzawjal as a companions is empowering – imagine the Creator of the heavens and earth, the Most Compassionate, the Most Benevolent, and the most Powerful, is the source of one’s strength.

“To Allah belongs the forces of the heavens and the earth; and Allah is Exalted in Power, Full of Wisdom.” (48:7)

Having Allah azzawjal as a friend means never feeling lonely even when on is alone.

“He is with you whosesoever you may be.” (57:4)

It means feeling safe, secure and serene.

“It is He who sent down Tranquility into the hearts of the believers, that they may add faith to their faith.” (48:4)

The ever-lasting stability of Allah azzawjal establishes a firm sense of security and comfort in a world filled with instability and inconsistency.

“For Allah is Lord of Power-steadfast forever.” (51:58)

A friendship with Allah azzawjal has no limitations, no hidden dangers and no risks. It is pure and unadulterated. The more we call upon Allah azzawjal the more eager He is to help us. He is the only one truly capable of forgiving.

“He is the One that accepts repentance from His servants and forgives sins: And He knows that you do.” (42:25)

“Despair not of the Mercy of Allah: For Allah forgives all sins: for He is oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (39:53)

He azzawjal not only gives us a second chance, He gives us hundreds and thousands of chances. He is the Ever living, the all Seeing, the all Hearing.

“It is He who hears all things, and is ever near.” (34:50)

Friendship with Allah azzwajal means never being misunderstood for He hears the inner thoughts. In a world where people judge so harshly Allah azzawjal is the only One that looks deep within our hearts to see our intentions.

“He knows what you conceal and what you reveal: Allah knows well the secrets of all hearts.” (64:4)

Allah azzawjal is the “trustworthiest” Companion. He listens earnestly to our complaints and provides answers and eases our hearts.

“He listens to those who believe and do deeds of righteousness, and gives them increase of His Bounty.” (42:26)

When one turns to Allah azzawjal in sadness, anger or at times of disappointment one can avoid the sins of gossiping, yelling and wailing. Turing to Allah azzawjal when the heart is filled with joy is a manifestation of gratitude and appreciation. As dependence on Allah azzawjal increases one gains independence from His creation.

“And He found you in need, and made you independent.” (93:8)

This newfound independence liberates us from the shackles of society and from being a slave to a multitude of masters.

There is full confidentiality when sharing secrets and aspirations with Allah azzawjal. By putting all trust in Allah there is a feeling of protection.

“There is no god but He: and on Allah, therefore, let the believers put their trust.” (64:13)

Unlike the masses, Allah azzawjal will always keep His promises.

“Allah’s promise is true and whose word can be truer than Allah’s.” (4:122)

The unique friendship with Allah azzawjal is free of all the obstacles that usually exist in a relationship and is filled with endless benefits. May we all discover the hidden treasures of choosing Allah azzawjal first and foremost as our closest friend, amen.