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When stuck between bankers, lawyers and debt…

I had planned to not blog at all until next Ramadan. So I could pick up from where I left off in “The Waning Dusk Series”. But an incident tonight compelled me to login to my old WordPress again. I simply had to share this:

I am a freebie junkie. Whoever offers services of interest online, especially if they give a free trial, I always sign up and check them out. Even if I can do without them. I collect free templates from here and there, free sound effects, free software, countless trial versions, free stock images, free vector art, free fonts… you get my drift.

It so happened that I wanted legal consult and documentation for a website I am currently working on. Of course I googled. And of course there was a particular site that was offering legal services on a 1-week free trial. By default, I ventured there. I created my documents but to access them, I had to have either a paid account or a partially free account that bills users after a week of signing up if they don’t cancel their subscription.

So I entered my credit card details (my dad’s card details actually) fully intending to cancel the subscription within one week of usage. But as fate had it– I typed in the wrong fields. I typed in the ones that billed my card immediately to Rs. 40,000. The second I saw the $ sign, I killed all my browsing tabs in cold blood. All puns intended. It was one of those moments when the world stops moving before it comes crashing down. And I hoped against hope that the card was not processed. But then came the dreaded mail notification “Thank you for purchasing…” and it had the godforsaken invoice too.

I don’t think my world has ever come crashing down like it did at that moment. After taking a few seconds to make myself start thinking straight, I asked my father to call the bank to explain the situation and cancel the payment. The bank apologised that it cannot be stopped and suggested I call the people I made the payment to. At the same time, I was googling how long it takes for an online credit card transaction to actually appear as a purchase. And I was figuring out how long it would take for the bank to deactivate the card to render this payment null and void before it gets fully processed. While I was at it, I downgraded my mistakenly upgraded account pronto and sent a quick email to the said lawyers’ agency requesting a cancellation and profusely apologising for my blunder.

Having done all that, I stood up to pray 2 really intense raka’ahs of nafl prayers to get out of the fix. And an awful fix it was too. Stuck between bankers and lawyers. And debt that I would owe to my parents for something that I never really needed. Enough said.

No sooner had I finished supplicating when I heard the mailbox beep again. And guess what it said.

“We confirm that your membership access has been downgraded as of 12/31/2014. The xxxxx pending charge to your credit card ending xxxx has been reversed. Please allow up to 7 to 10 business days for the reversal to be reflected in your account.”

Subhanallah.

Allah accepted the prayer faster than it took for the amount to hit the credit card.

That’s the power of a nafl prayer. That’s what the Prophet (pbuh) used to do in difficult situations. And that’s something we need to do more often as well. Imagine if we pray two nafl raka’ahs every morning…

Also, the most important thing is to not panic in such devastating situations that appear seemingly irreversible. There is always a backdoor. Do your part, then pray like your life depends on it. Had I not downgraded my account immediately, contacted customer support and prayed for Ctrl-Z to happen, I might have ended up paying a lump sum for nothing. I am glad I did not sleep in utter depression and misery like my brain initially advised me to.

Alhamdulillah.

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Loving people is stupid

It can turn you into a philosopher, a poet, a stalker and even a diabolical murderer.

Love is dumb.

There, I’ve said it.

It makes you go weak at the knees, robs you of the little sanity you were born with, makes you think of Yours Truly, keeps you up waiting, makes you bring up Yours Truly in random conversations when everyone could’ve done without an ode to this said person- simply put- it makes others around you want to throw up.

It’s that strong. And such a total waste of heartbeats.

Fast forward>> the inevitable that happens when Cupid is bored- it makes you burn letters, toss and turn in the night. Little scraps of paper with doodles on it, all crumbled up. Makes you delete text messages, wipe out your mail box and burn your camera’s memory stick. All e-memories reset but yours. It turns to hate now.

And it breaks you up from the inside.

Was that love at all or serotonin overdose? I’d gladly go with option B. I can’t really tell anyway. For all I’ve ever “loved” anything mortal is my cellphone and everything that keeps me in cyberspace and my bookshelf (sans the textbooks) and my love has never wavered, I kid you not. And I refuse to believe it has anything to do with hormonal imbalance, thank you very much. In fact, I think it is a real feeling in only very rare cases- and a physiological response in most (and the latter in my opinion is not even fit to be categorised as love. Yeah, the poets had it all wrong.)

Love (I wish we had a synonym for this), when pure, is that drive that once produced a generation of people so passionate that they changed the world. Oh yes, I’m talking about the Muslim Renaissance, aka the Dark Ages in many European textbooks.

Love happens when the heart reunites with its Master. Love is when you Remember Him. Love is when you stand up in prayer all night. When you think of little else. When nothing else really matters. When you bring Him up in conversations. When you seal a commitment till the worlds collide. And when you finally meet Him, He has a thousand doors open for you. That’s what love is.

The rest can be sent to literature compost bin.

Let not the devil dance again…

It was one of those days when a friend of mine was musing over something unpleasant and the discussion took a spiritual turn. We were texting back and forth when she sent me a message which said something along these lines: “God is unhappy with me, He has not forgiven. If I were meant to be on the right path, He would have guided me so, for I feel no conviction.” I noticed there were two things noticeably wrong here. First, her guilty conscience had driven her to believe that Allah had not forgiven her. She had applied human psyche to her relationship with the Almighty. And secondly, she was under an impression that guidance (hidayah) is supposed to come to her. I kept my reply short and sent her a hadith along with it that beautifully addressed her distress, and it is just not applicable in this case, it is for everyone who is seeking to strengthen his ties with the Lord, and especially for new Muslims who have newly embraced the bond and are struggling to overcome their demons.

Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (May peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) as saying that Allah, the Exalted and Glorious, thus stated:

 I am near to the thought of My servant as he thinks about Me, and I am with him as he remembers Me. And if he remembers Me in his heart, I also remember him in My Heart, and if he remembers Me in assembly I remember him in assembly, better than his (remembrance), and if he draws near Me by the span of a palm, I draw near him by the cubit, and if he draws near Me by the cubit I draw near him by the space (covered by) two hands. And if he walks towards Me, I rush towards him. (Muslim)

It’s simple to comprehend how things work with Allah- unlike the people around us with whom it is exhausting to keep things stable. You have to pussy-foot around their sensitivities, remember their big days, keep track of their likes and dislikes, be wary of their mood swings and in some cases with particularly complicated mortals- you have to read between the lines to understand them better. And even then you do not know where you stand with them. It’s just “complicated”, don’t you think?

On the other end, we are in this remarkable relationship with our Creator where nothing is “complicated” because you do not have to “figure” anything out nor bear the brunt of moodiness. In fact, Lord Himself has declared in the above tradition how you are supposed to hold your end of the rope. Yet, time and time again, we erroneously apply human psychology to our ties with Allah (swt). When we wrong ourselves, we further plunge into our miseries sentencing ourselves to doom- guilty as charged. We feel that we have “lost face” and somehow repenting would be like hitting a nerve somewhere and that we stand no chances of forgiveness anyway. And hence, we attribute Him, who is Ar-Rahman and Al-Haleem, towards our own incapability of profound forbearance. And this is exactly what the Almighty says in the beginning of this hadith qudsi that He is compatible with His servant’s opinion of Him. His response to our deeds would be according to our presumptions about Him. So we should expect goodness, always (though lulling ourselves into a false sense of security is another story). For this relationship to thrive, Allah (swt) has disclosed some very important pointers. Point one being that the relationship is to exist on good hope which has been just elaborated upon.

Next comes the part of commitment or “remembrance”. They say, in a relationship, the power lies with the person who cares the least. How true! It is worth noticing here that Allah (swt) has made it pretty clear that it all depends on His slave on how he steers this bond. He has to take the first step and Allah’s response would be according to the magnitude of that initiative. We are indeed the ones who care less in this two-way affair, for He is Al-Wadud, the fount of love, and we are erring humans with many shortcomings. And this is exactly why He (swt) also assures us of His unceasing two-fold support along the way lest we begin to tire out.

We are pretty much aware of what “remembering Allah” entails- it’s about daily prayers, regular Quran, fast, enjoining good and other obligations. But what Allah (swt) narrates here is growing in this relationship. And to grow in this relationship such that Allah comes rushing to you, there are two things that need to be taken care of: consistency in worship, and leaving all that can turn you away from His remembrance. It’s a continuous climb. For a new Muslim, it is undoubtedly a great struggle. In his case, for example, he starts small by keeping his newly found faith a secret from his friends. And then he takes it to the next level by coming out in the open with it. Allah (swt) responds to this by praising him in the gatherings above, among his angels. That is an honor indeed. For when a person obeys Allah on all fronts, he encounters opposition from his own kind and when he chooses Allah over them, they make life harder for him. So to aid this person Allah (swt) sends angels as his allies who bring with them tranquility and glad tidings.

إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ قَالُواْ رَبُّنَا ٱللَّهُ ثُمَّ ٱسۡتَقَـٰمُواْ تَتَنَزَّلُ عَلَيۡهِمُ ٱلۡمَلَـٰٓٮِٕڪَةُ أَلَّا تَخَافُواْ وَلَا تَحۡزَنُواْ وَأَبۡشِرُواْ بِٱلۡجَنَّةِ ٱلَّتِى كُنتُمۡ تُوعَدُونَ – نَحۡنُ أَوۡلِيَآؤُكُمۡ فِى ٱلۡحَيَوٰةِ ٱلدُّنۡيَا وَفِى ٱلۡأَخِرَةِ‌ۖ

“Verily those who say: our Lord is Allah, and have thereafter stood fast by it, – upon them there shall come down the angels: ‘fear not, nor grieve; and rejoice in the tidings of the Garden which ye have been promised. We are your friends in the life of the world and in the Hereafter…’” (41:30-31)

No wonder we do feel inner peace and serenity whenever we outdo a wrong and our faith grows and gains momentum. We feel this divine intervention in our daily routine and we know that Allah is keeping his end of the rope. At the same time temptations continue to tantalize us. In the beginning, it is easier to ward them off for the rush of devotion is too great. And then, the lagging phase follows, for reasons better known to the person himself. They say old habits die hard. Sometimes it is the murky past that threatens to catch up, and at times it is our inner demons that roar to be unleashed and in a few cases, mere negligence of important matters. At this point, the believer’s grip on the rope slackens. His heart becomes a battlefield. Satan comes armed with all that he had once loved but given up for Allah. He tries to get his guard up but corruption seeks to find an opening, a crack in the armor, to seep in like venom and snub the enlightened spirit. If the person continues to draw his strength from the remembrance of Allah, he remains protected. But if he gives in to his whims and desires, he weakens, his spark wanes and his heart blackens for the devil to dance again.

 وَمَن يَعۡشُ عَن ذِكۡرِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ نُقَيِّضۡ لَهُ ۥ شَيۡطَـٰنً۬ا فَهُوَ لَهُ ۥ قَرِينٌ۬

“And whosoever turns away blindly from the remembrance of the Most Gracious (Allâh), We appoint for him Shaitân (Satan devil) to be a Qarîn (an intimate companion) to him.” (43:36)

(For another perspective on this verse, check this post- “Of Angels and Demons“)

To make sure we don’t lose this connection, we have to keep fighting for it. And it can’t be done alone. Company of the righteous is a must. Tough decisions have to be taken, sacrifices be made, desires to be burned, bitterness to be laid to rest and egotism be buried. This is the great jihad that will go on till we breathe our last. But it will be worth it in the end.

وَٱلَّذِينَ جَـٰهَدُواْ فِينَا لَنَہۡدِيَنَّہُمۡ سُبُلَنَا‌ۚ وَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَمَعَ ٱلۡمُحۡسِنِينَ 

“And those who strive hard in us, We shall surely guide them in Our paths; verily Allah is with the well doers.” (29:69)

This post was recently published on one of the most expanding islamic portals- ‘Onislam.net’. You can view it here.

The Becoming- II

Such sweet compulsion doth in music lie. -John Milton

You turn up the volume. Slow, sad, passionate songs that speak of betrayal and hurt, you sink into them. Or try to. Maybe it’s your conscience you’re trying to drown that keeps nagging you that you’re sinning. Or maybe it’s your own problems you’re running away from. Or it could be the sadistic pleasure that you get from amplifying your own pain while listening to such music- ‘for what passion can not music raise and quell?’

You have at your hands a sad state of affairs; There were people you had some hopes pinned on. These people mattered but they didn’t quite turn out the way you expected and everything just went wrong. Anger, bitterness and grudges all balled up into a fury and wrecking havoc in your mind. [Coleridge puts it best hence, quoted previously. In my earlier post I had passed on a way to kill these leeches.] Consequently, your parayers get affected, your relationships with other people start spiralling downhill while you’re struggling to tame your own storm. So, then you have this guilt to take care of as collateral damage. It’s a lot of messed up things actually. So you switch on the self-destruction mode. Despair is another way by which Satan attacks. You’re left in a state moping around, dispassionate towards everything and incapable of doing any good- with music pulsing in your eardrums to keep you in a drunken stupor.

So how do you go about picking up the pieces? One of my favorite speakers, Yasmin Mogahed, puts it this way-

“Often what makes us fall into despair is focusing on the wrong things. For example, if we’ve sinned, we focus on the sin, rather than the Most Merciful. If we’re broken, we focus on the break instead of Al Jabbar, the One who mends. If we are in pain, we focus on the pain itself, instead of on the One who removes all pain. If we are wounded, we focus on the wound instead of on the One who heals al…l wounds. If we’re scared, we focus on the fear, instead of the Protector. And if we’re facing a problem, we see the problem, but not the One who can solve it. We see the lion, but not the lion tamer. We see the imperfections of dunya, but not the perfection of Allah. We see the immediate, but not the Tomorrow, the tree, but not the fruit, the thorn, but not the rose. All our pain, all our despair, all our hopelessness, stems from looking at the creation, instead of the Creator. Ask yourself: what is your heart looking at?”
وَيُؤۡمِنۢ بِٱللَّهِ فَقَدِ ٱسۡتَمۡسَكَ بِٱلۡعُرۡوَةِ ٱلۡوُثۡقَىٰ لَا ٱنفِصَامَ لَهَا‌ۗ وَٱللَّهُ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ (٢٥٦)
Whoever disbelieves in Tâghût [the Rebel, the Satan] and believes in Allâh, then he has grasped the most trustworthy handhold that will never break. And Allâh is All-Hearer, All-Knower. (02:256)
 The bottomline: “Let go of your grudges. Let the bitterness die tonight. Make a decision today that it’s time to move on. And begin again. New, this time. Never forget that what has passed you by was never meant to befall you. And what has befallen you, was never meant to pass you by. Know that sometimes Allah withholds from you, in order to give you something better. Keep your heart focused on Him, and He will take care of the rest. And remember: you will stumble, but that’s part of the path. Keep going. Keep rising, and refuse to give up.”

The Twilight Zone

We all have dark secrets. We all have emotional turmoils raging inside. It’s like everyday we’re fighting these great battles in total silence. And sometimes it gets kind of hard to keep it all buried deep down- you have this strong urge to let it all out. And there’s always this one person in your life who you turn to, who understands and who’s always there.

I lost myself a few days back. I’ve been spinning in a twilight zone- between what is right and what I like. At dusk, everyday, I would look up at the sky, look back at another day I wasted- I would shake my head, sigh and would silently tell myself to start over the next day. That next day never came easily. I’ve been looking for a way out all along- to end the guilt that was weighing me down. My will had weakened, my vision fogged up, and that drive to choose the right over wrong was fading away. I did not know who to turn to. I did not know who to talk it out with. A part of me was scared. I definitely did not want to go back to my old days robbed of reason and conscience. And a part of me had this lay-it-back-and-let-it-be attitude…enjoy the moment, make amends later. Oh, Satan’s sweet whispers…

وَإِذَا سَأَلَكَ عِبَادِي عَنِّي فَإِنِّي قَرِيبٌ أُجِيبُ دَعْوَةَ الدَّاعِ إِذَا دَعَانِ فَلْيَسْتَجِيبُواْ لِى وَلْيُؤْمِنُواْ بِى لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْشُدُونَ

“And when My servants ask you, (O Muhammad), concerning Me – indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me (by obedience) and believe in Me that they may be (rightly) guided.” [Al-Baqarah, 2:186]

This is how I found my way back home. And it wasn’t my soul-person who I turned to. I’ve always found this a bit overrated though. I mean, it’s really nice to have a particular someone to share your vibes with- but no one can always be there for you. No one can always read you right. You just cannot share everything with this one person. There are certain things you’ve bottled up inside yourself, things you cannot tell but you need them to be sorted out. So pray. Pour your heart out- the guilt, the anguish, the fear…let it all out. Let your heavy heart pull you down to prostration. And believe that Allah (swt) is watching over you. Believe that He has the power to set things straight. Stay obedient to Him and you’ll be guided right- you’ll know what to do.

Last-minute hype

Can’t belive I’m blogging via cellphone connection this time. You would be amazed at how much a person can do with limited resources. This post is proof that even when you’re stripped off your broadband connection, you can still blog live on wordpress with an ordinary java-enabled cellphone.:D   Yes, I own no iPhone or a smartphone with Symbian or android operating system. Just a simple handset with a browser that’s powered on java and a measly GPRS connection that you can make do with in desperate times. Yeah, I’ve made my cellphone into a GPRS modem at the moment!

Anyway, I’ve been itching to post about the Night of Power ever since the last ashra of Ramadan rolled in. But unfortunately so, my broadband died. And I’ve been waiting for the connection to resume since then- Though I should’ve known better than to rely on customer-care that just doesn’t care unless you vainly threaten them about not using their services altogether.

It’s the 29th of Ramadan already, so I guess I’ll just save my posts on laylat-ul-qadr for the next year. J I’ve been looking back at this Ramadan and thinking if it has been better than last year’s. But then, it’s a new Ramadan every year. Different times, different circumstances, and you find yourself struggling to adapt to the routine and trying to pray a little harder. And by the time you start to get it right, you realize it’s time to say goodbye…

What you can do now is to make a mental checklist of everything you had wanted to achieve this Ramadan but couldn’t. Or all those good things you could’ve done but didn’t, for some reason. Then let your feelings go into an over-dive today. Allah’s Mercy is calling.

If you haven’t cried once before Him, then do so now. Just don’t let this month go without emptying out your inner unrest to Someone Who can really do something about it. Pour your heart out.

If you haven’t repented REALLY REALLY earnestly yet, then do so now. Forgiveness is nearby. Believe me, you’ll get a good feeling about everything once you’re done. And you’ll feel a lot lighter too!

If you haven’t been praying long hours (long qiyaam) all those days, then don’t walk out on the opportunity just yet. Put your soul into the prayers and you’ll feel a burst of imaan coursing in your veins. Remember, you’ll only get to stand before the Almighty on two occasions; once in your prayers, and the second time on the day of Resurrection. So, if you’ve been standing and standing well in your first interval (your prayers), then second standing will be a lot easier on you. J Make sure you bag as many reward points as you can this way! Pray your heart out!

And not just on Ramadan, make sure every good thing you’ve tried to get accustomed to, sticks with you through life. All those quran classes you attended, those pre-dawn nafl you prayed, those times you stopped yourself form badmouthing, slander or untruthfulness… may their imprints remain.

At dusk today, as you step out on your rooftop to welcome the new moon, and as you wave farewell to this blessed month, make sure it doesn’t leave you with your heart filled with regrets or deeds left undone.

Al Baqarah, 21-25: Get the best of both worlds.

Now that’s the Righteous, disbelievers and the hypocrites covered. What next? How can the Righteous live up to their label, the disbelievers switch off their disbelieving mode and the hypocrites- well- let go of their hypocrisy? Quran does not just mirror our potential weaknesses, it gives us a to-do list to work on if we’re willing to change for the better.

Here’s how the Three Categories of Mankind can get the best of both worlds-

يَـأَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اعْبُدُواْ رَبَّكُمُ الَّذِىْ خَلَقَكُمْ وَالَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ – الَّذِى جَعَلَ لَكُمُ الاٌّرْضَ فِرَاشاً وَالسَّمَآءَ بِنَآءً وَأَنزَلَ مِنَ السَّمَآءِ مَآءً فَأَخْرَجَ بِهِ مِنَ الثَّمَرَتِ رِزْقاً لَّكُمْ فَلاَ تَجْعَلُواْ للَّهِ أَندَاداً وَأَنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ

21. O mankind! Worship your Lord (Allah), Who created you and those who were before you so that you may acquire Taqwa.) 22. Who has made the earth a resting place for you, and the sky as a canopy, and sent down water (rain) from the sky and brought forth therewith fruits as a provision for you. Then do not set up rivals unto Allah (in worship) while you know (that He alone has the right to be worshipped).

There you go, the solution to all the problems, the right to undo all the wrongs and the key to eternal blissfulness- worship your Lord; show gratitude to the One who branded you with a soul, fashioned you into the most beutiful peice of walking art and gave you all the privileges (what did you ever do to deserve all that you have at the moment while others don’t?). You are one of a kind, an original masterpiece of the Shaper who crafted each detail of yours with great care. How do you say thank you to that? Feel grateful, be humble and worship Him. Though gratitude is the real factor that can drive you into submission, that really makes you want to go down in prostration and never get up.

Take a night stroll or an early morning walk. Look around at the other wonders the Creator has placed at your service. Contemplate. Prophet Ibrahim (a.s) recognised his true Lord by observing the heavenly bodies and thinking. And so can we develop this feeling of gratitude by really appreciating everything around us. Count your blessings. Take your insight to the next level. 🙂

Now comes a warning to those who are so shallow and unimaginative that they have trouble believing in everything Unseen. In response to the creation of the universe and living beings, they came up with harebrained theories- some random Big Bang and Evolution to name a few. If I tell you a junkyard exploded out of its own accord and the trash assembled into a fully-functional jaw-dropping, head turning model of a Ford, will you believe me? Honestly, these nonsensical ideas make more sense to them than Divinity. So Allah gives them another point to figure out-

وَإِن كُنتُمْ فِى رَيْبٍ مِّمَّا نَزَّلْنَا عَلَى عَبْدِنَا فَأْتُواْ بِسُورَةٍ مِّن مِّثْلِهِ وَادْعُواْ شُهَدَآءَكُم مِّن دُونِ اللَّهِ إِن كُنتُمْ صَـدِقِينَ – فَإِن لَّمْ تَفْعَلُواْ وَلَن تَفْعَلُواْ فَاتَّقُواْ النَّارَ الَّتِى وَقُودُهَا النَّاسُ وَالْحِجَارَةُ أُعِدَّتْ لِلْكَـفِرِينَ

23. And if you (Arab pagans, Jews, and Christians) are in doubt concerning that which We have sent down (i.e. the Qur’an) to Our servant (Muhammad ), then produce a Surah (chapter) of the like thereof and call your witnesses (supporters and helpers) besides Allah, if you are truthful). 24. But if you do it not, and you can never do it, then fear the Fire (Hell) whose fuel is men and stones, prepared for the disbelievers.

And they tried. They still are as we come to know of people trying and trying again to thwart this challenge. Some even accepted Islam while they were at it.

So, on a cheerful note, Allah (swt) has concluded this topic by addressing those few lucky people who switched on to the right track either by contemplating on the signs of Allah or by scrutinizing the Quran and realizing that no man on earth could compose a prose with verses this beautiful, deep and intriguing, set to a heartbeating rythym while at the same time preserving a bulk of knowledge that leaves big scientists dumbstruck.

وَبَشِّرِ الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ الصَّـلِحَاتِ أَنَّ لَهُمْ جَنَّـتٍ تَجْرِى مِن تَحْتِهَا الأَنْهَـرُ كُلَّمَا رُزِقُواْ مِنْهَا مِن ثَمَرَةٍ رِّزْقاً قَالُواْ هَـذَا الَّذِى رُزِقْنَا مِن قَبْلُ وَأُتُواْ بِهِ مُتَشَـبِهاً وَلَهُمْ فِيهَآ أَزْوَجٌ مُّطَهَّرَةٌ وَهُمْ فِيهَا خَـلِدُونَ

 25. And give gladtidings to those who believe and do righteous good deeds, that for them will be Gardens under which rivers flow (Paradise). Every time they will be provided with a fruit therefrom, they will say: “This is what we were provided with before,” and they will be given things in resemblance (i.e. in the same form but different in taste) and they shall have therein Azwajun Mutahharatun (purified mates or wives), and they will abide therein forever.

You know what to do now, right? Fine-tune your ibadah, put some feeling in your prayers and taste the beauty of it. 🙂 Ramadan is the best time for it. Let yourself get overwhelmed with gratitude at iftaar. 🙂