The nature of arrogance

To believe oneself to be above average intelligence is not arrogance.
To believe oneself to be handsome is not arrogance.
To believe yourself to be the richest person in the world, if there is strong evidence, is not arrogance.

Arrogance is rejecting the truth.

If someone advises you properly about your flaws, but you refuse to listen simply because the advisor is seemingly poorer or less intelligent than you, this is arrogance.

Thinking you are definitely a better Muslim than another Muslim is arrogance. Because Allah states we do not know a person's true ranking with Him, so to proclaim otherwise is rejecting the truth.

Believing you can get away with sinning without repenting is arrogance. Common sense says otherwise, Allah states no one is guaranteed safety from the Fire, so why would you reject this truth?

To conclude, believe in yourself and your strengths - this is self-awareness. But never delude yourself into thinking you are above the truth, for this is true arrogance.

Dealing with Deceit

Thieves stealing your money and belongings. Co-workers plotting to prevent your promotion. Political rivals spreading lies and working for your character assassination. People who try to put you down by constantly asking for your time and effort.
This world is filled with evil. Some against good countries and organizations. But there is evil which is aimed at us personally. For those who believe in the Day of Judgement, how should such evil be dealt with?
Two things to keep in mind: The three stages of preventing evil in general, and the Day of Recompense.
Muslims should be against all evil no matter who it is directed at. Ideally, the evil should be acted against. If not possible, spoken out against. If even speech is infeasible, then the Muslim should at least hate such evil.
Thus, like an Islamic nation at war with an evil state, the Muslim should prepare and fight without being excessive. Make allies, showcase your achievements, verify before trusting, and refuse unreasonable de…

It's Not a Major Sin

Short article inspired by Omar Sulayman, a recent friday khutbah, and a friend.
Don't think about the size of the sin. Think about the One who you're disobeying.
Allah always observes you. How dare you do in front of Him what you'd be ashamed to reveal to others? Is your Lord the lowest of your observers?
How dare you disobey the One who gave you the hands and eyes you sin with? Are you not grateful? Are you not afraid He will take your life right now and punish you with a torment you can't even imagine?
As humans, it's expected to slip up and indulge in sin occasionally. Maybe even frequently. But we must regret sinning everytime we do so. The sin must cause pain in your soul.
Allah can forgive serial murderers if they repent. But your "minor sin" may cause eternal torment for you if you do not regret it.

The video I based most of this article on:

الناس نسيان

The essence of man is forgetfulness. No matter how great or important a memory is, it will slowly disappear even in healthy people.
Unless the person is reminded. The antidote of forgetfulness is reminders. That is why we keep albums and photos. That is why we review before finals. That is why we use sticky notes for daily tasks. That is why it is so important to do ibadah, especially the five daily prayers and reading Quran.
Ultimately, man also forgets about Allah. All of mankind acknowledged Allah as their Lord before this world, but the majority have forgotten. Even Muslims forget from time to time. Sin and discontent result from this forgetfulness: sin comes when man forgets Allah is watching, and discontent results from forgetting Allah's promise of eternal happiness in the next life.

Thus, we constantly need to remind ourselves that Allah is indeed the Lord of everything, that He is watching, that He will judge us. Regular dhikr and ibadah are very effective at this. We sh…

Ojek & Tawakkul

Ojek. The Indonesian term for "motorcycle taxis". Now upgraded to "ojek online". Download an app, press a button, and your two-wheeled taxi is here to take you anywhere you wish!
One of the more subtle benefits is being able to relax on the road. Driving a motorcycle is physically and mentally straining, having to constantly scan the road and manuever through traffic. On an ojek, I only have to not fall off. I even close my eyes frequently, limiting my awareness and trusting the driver to do his job. In any case, he's in complete control of the vehicle I'm on, so no use scanning the road as if I were driving. Thus, I do not get tired on the road, which helps me to be healthy and productive.
Now, why do we not trust our lives to Allah?
Most stressed people are worried about what they can't control. They think of the negative possibilities that could result, even when they can't do anything. But is it not better to have faith that our Most Generous L…

Effort & Gratitude

A worrying mindset nowadays is how people are satisfied with the bare minimum in their religion. Just praying 5 times a day and such. I've already covered in my previous article why we should never feel safe with our current deeds, so here I will talk about two more positive aspects: effort and gratitude. 
Firstly, no one's scale of deeds is enough to enter Jannah without Allah's Mercy. Rather, it is effort that really counts. Allah says many times that the shortcomings of the believers will be forgiven and their efforts appreciated. 
On the one hand, this shows that a believer who tries his best will be granted Allah's Mercy, even if his or her actual deeds may not seem much. On the other hand, this is a warning to not slack off. One with many opportunities to do good may be questioned and perhaps punished if he doesn't take them. 
Only Allah can properly judge efforts between people. However, we know what our capacity is. So strive to please Allah with the best …

Is your level enough?

"He prays 5 times a day in the mosque."
"She wears a very modest Islamic dress and headscarf".
"He never backbites or lies."
Never be satisfied with the deeds you do or the sins you don't! 
It could also be your deeds are diminished or not even accepted due to a critical mistake, showing off, or arrogance.
It may be that you aren't avoiding the sin completely. Like laughing at a derogatory joke, or being silent when you should've revealed the truth. And are you completely sin-free?
If you pat yourself on the back thinking you're religious, you risk incurring Allah's Wrath!
Do you really believe your deeds are enough? Do you think yourself alim just because you seem better than those around you? Know that our deeds will be judged by Allah, not by those people!
Fear you will be asked why you never sought knowledge. Fear you will be asked why you didn't apply your knowledge. Fear you will be asked why you weren't consistent in …