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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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Ramadan Series- The Waning Dusk

I’ve always wanted to do a 30-day post series on Ramadan, and this year, alhamdulillah I’ve finally gotten down to it. Youth Club Blog will have the first publishing rights as they’re the ones who came up with the project. And soon as the posts go live, I’ll be pinning them here too.

And I’ll have you know the credits are not entirely mine. Most of the ideas are borrowed from a discussion I had with my friend- who was all too happy to chip in! 30 nights and 30 posts insha Allah, debunking one myth at a time.

The series is titled “The Waning Dusk”– after Ramadan nights that fade away into nothingness, a shade too swiftly than we would like. Hope you all benefit from the series some way or the other and may we all live up to our own expectations set for this month!

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Take them for a spin

Know that not everyone is suitable to be your friend;

“Know that the greatest of losses is for you to be preoccupied with one who will bring you nothing but a loss in your time with Allah – the Mighty and Majestic – and being cut off from Him, a wasting your time with the person, a weakening of your energy, and the dispersing of your resolve. So, if you are tested with this – and you must be tested with this – deal with him according to how Allah would wish, and be patient with him as much as possible. Get closer to Allah and His Pleasure by way of this person, and make your getting together with him something to benefit from, not something to incur a loss from. Be with him as if you are a man who is on a road who was stopped by another man, who then asks you to take him on your journey. Make sure that you are the one who gives him a ride, and that he is not the one giving you the ride. If he refuses, and there is nothing to gain from travelling with him, do not stop for him, bid him farewell, and do not even turn back to look at him, as he is a highway robber, regardless of who he really is.

So, save your heart, be wary of how you spend your days and nights, and do not let the Sun set before you arrive at your destination.”

Ibn Al Qayyim
[‘al-Wabil as-Sayyib’; p. 45]

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The Perfect Hour of Solitude

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One of the unnamed joys in life: reading the Book on a swing, when it is drizzling overhead and watching the skies change from dark purple velvet to ominous grey. Rare moments at Fajr that beat my morning coffee; that perfect stretch of solitude when you hear no stray sound but the soft platter of rain falling down.
#Ramadan #FajrAwesomeness

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A quick word

Seriously, we live in times where things are so confusing for people that just to practice the basics of Islam is a huge blessing. You look at just how many people don’t know anything about their Deen and worse, don’t even care about it either. If you see someone establishing the prayer, you should give that person props and keep them going, not start fault-finding.

And if you see someone taking it further and striving to practice upon the detailed way of the Sunnah, reviving it, teaching it, and inspiring others to follow it with knowledge and wisdom, well that’s just superb mA. It really is!

Al-Marrūdhi (r) asked Imām Aḥmed b. Ḥanbal (r):
“If one dies upon Islam and the way of the Sunnah, has he died upon something good?”

Imām Aḥmed (r) replied:
“Behave! Whoever dies upon Islam and the way of the Sunnah has died on all the good that there is!”
(as narrated by al-Lālikā’ī, 1/131)

#Reflect

-Abu Eesa

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Random enough?

So it’s here. Finally. After some persisting issues with my general uselessness…

It has now been ascertained (a year ago actually) and accepted- “that we are all from stardust”. The first lifeforms on earth were made of stardust and this is how our evolution and origin fit into the equation. *Raises an eyebrow* Reality begs to differ.

I was reading an article where physicists were trying to explain how all of us are made of stardust, billion-year-old carbon. I suppose that’s just tad nicer than saying “we are from the apes”. And ape species that still exist today apparently failed to evolve. Shame. No, I’m sure there is some harebrained explanation for this in Darwin’s Bible.

And I’m not quite sure how to process this bit of news-break. The structure of the whole physical cosmos is stardust, which in essence, is stuff produced when a star explodes at the end of its life cycle- a supernova as we know it. And Earth and all the planets are a result of this explosion and other matter in outer space.

We know for certain we’re from the earthly dust and to dust we will return. So if earth is star stuff, does that mean we really have stardust in our origins (skipping the evolution junkyard of course)?

Care to explain, anyone? I’ll be back with some digging into the matter…