In the Early Hours: Reflections on Spiritual and Self Development (Khurram Murad)
THE title of this book, In the Early Hours, has been carefully and specifically chosen to highlight that precious but often neglected time during the night that Allah is closest and most receptive to His servants. The Messenger of God said:
Our Lord descends each night to the nearest Heaven when only the last third of the night remains, and says: `Is anyone praying that I may answer him? Is anyone seeking forgiveness, that I may forgive him? Is anyone asking, that I may give to him?', and this continues until dawn. (Tirmidhi.) The later part of each night is the most conducive period for reflection and self development. It is the occasion with the most potential for the heart to be present, alert and free of worldly concerns as the Quran declares: Lo! The vigil of the night is [a time] when impression is more keen and speech more certain. [al-Muzzammil 73:6.] This book is a collection of inspirational advice by a dear and beloved teacher, Ustadh Khurram Murad on the subject of spiritual and self development. In it he sets out the goal of the Believer- the single-minded desire to seek the good pleasure of Allah and Paradise. He then outlines the methods and instruments which must be used in the attainment of that ultimate goal.
These spiritual exhortations that follow were originally delivered in those early hours of Summer 1993 just after Salat al-Fajr as part of a course entitled Self Development for Islamic Workers at The Islamic Foundation, Leicester. That course represented one of many similar courses Ustadh Khurram conducted for young Muslims, both male and female. He recognised that it was in the young generation's eagerness, strength and enthusiasm that the future of the Muslim Umma lay.
Each of the seven sections in this book represents one Nasiha or Advice. Each Nasiha was delivered in a presentation of approximately 45 minutes. This time allotment was not, of course, sufficient for Ustadh Khurram to discuss the subjects in detail. I have therefore drawn material from several of his other speeches and works for `thoroughness', coherence and to provide clarity on the topics discussed. I have also added Quran and hadith references wherever I felt they were relevant and added to the richness of the text. Only Allah knows how close I have come to making clear the Message of the Quran and the Sunna as expressed by Ustadh Khurram. Let me emphasise that this book merely represents an introduction to spiritual and self development. I hope that each of the topics exposed here will lead you to further study so that you can continue to grow and progress along the path of attaining closeness to Allah, our Lord and Master. A selection of suggested readings is given at the end of this text to assist in further study.
The task of preparing this text has certainly been a challenge for me, but one, which I have enjoyed and benefited from immensely. I am grateful to Muhammad Abdul Aziz, Alyasa Abdullah, Asim Abdullah, Sharifa Abdullah, Fazeela Mollick, Wajid Mollick, Hashim Mohammed and Lucy Bushill-Matthews who all read the manuscript and offered valuable comments and advice during the initial phase of this text's preparation. My deepest appreciation, however, goes to Abdul Wahid Hamid, whose literary skills, advice and motivation were instrumental in finalising this work Ultimately, though, any mistakes this book contains are my own - may Allah forgive me and have mercy on me. Whatever good is derived from it, all praise is due to Him, for without His help and guidance, nothing is possible. I would like to end with a dua or supplication of the Prophet which epitomises the sole objective of this work and our goal in life:
O Allah, You change hearts, so change our hearts to be obedient to You. (Muslim.) Riza Mohammed
...of an Hour” by Kate Chopin and “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” by
James Thurber both captured my interest from the very beginning. These short
stories represents gender roles and marriage. They both are about married couples
with controlling mates. “The Story of an Hour” is about a young married woman
and how she reacts to the news of her husband dying in a tragic train accident.
The story takes place in the home of the young woman, Mrs. Mallard. Several
things took place within an hour but “the joy that kills” (Clugston, 2010) made me
more interested to find out what was happening to Mrs. Mallard. Mrs. Mallard died
from “the joy that kills” (Clugston, 2010) because she was happy after finding out
about her husband and him coming home was the hour of her life. I believe she
choose to die happy rather than live miserably with her husband because she was
so happy thinking she had her life back only to go downstairs and see Brently
“The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” was about a self-conscience husband who
continuously daydreamed about a life he wanted. Both of these stories have
symbolism of unhappy relationships that were being dominated by their spouse
and the desire to escape it and get away. The difference...
...monster exists within all of us. In Shelley’s version, the monster and Victor feel as though they are “two sides of the same soul.” Although they are two separate things, they both feel as though there is some sort of connection between them. In Ackroyd’s reimagining, instead of having Victor and the monster as two separate people, he depicts them as just a split personality of Victor. As Victor tries to flee the city, he claims, “I had the most curious notion that someone else was running beside me.”1 Victor also feels as though he “might have been fleeing from someone.”2 As he is running, Victor “was about to fall upon the ground when, to [his] astonishment and fear, something seemed to lift [him] up and save [him] from falling.”3 Even early on it is apparent that his split personality has begun, and we see the monster beginning to take shape. He has the unknowing urge to be one with nature instead of continue to watch the lecture in which nature is being controlled. However, it is too late for Victor, as he has already seen the power we can have over nature, and therefore the monster is released from within.
Another one of Ackroyd’s goals in writing The Casebook of Victor Frankenstein was to say that the cause of Victor’s split personality comes from the effects of Romanticism, the Enlightenment, and Atheism have on the person. He wanted to depict what would happen when romantic ideals and atheism conflicted with the scientific method and reasoning of...
In Michael Cunningham’s novel “The Hours”, all three of the main female characters- Clarissa, Virginia and Laura- feels caught in familial, social and public roles. Using examples from the book, discuss what these ‘performances’ suggest about how normalcy and sanity are aligned with the ability to act out social roles. Which of the characters refuse to play a role, and what price does he/she play for refusal? Drawing on your first essay, discuss how Cunningham’s portrayal of those characters mirror the commentary of ‘illness’ that Woolf makes through Septimus Warren Smith.
Michael Cunningham novel ‘The Hours’, is a twentieth centaury novel that applies the power imbedded by a metafictional style of writing to comment on societal issues such as sexuality, gender norms, mental illness and the inescapable reality of death. Cunning achieves this by depicting the lives of three female characters, namely Clarissa Vaughn, Laura Brown and Virginia Woolf. Cunningham ingeniously uses a three-dimensional writings style with different narrative links in the novel to refer to Mrs. Dalloway the novel as well as Virginia Woolf’s life in the 1900’s London and her coping with mental illness. In the following essay the entrapment of the three female characters will be discussed with regards to familial, social and public roles. Accompanying examples from the novel would serve as motivation with regards to the alignment between normalcy and sanity with the...
...Movie Analysis: The Hours
Many people believe that we are all connected in one way or another. It is also a belief that we all have a purpose in life. What happens when the lives of three women are connected in an insightful way? In the movie The Hours we take an insight look at the lives of three women who each live in a different time period. Through out the movie we realized that each woman's story is connected with one another in this great circle of life.
At the beginning of the movie we meet Virginia who is about to commit suicides. Although the reason for such action is not determined right away, we figure unravel it as the movie progresses. In the mist of the movie, we discover that Virginia is a writer. Her current novel is about the life, of not only herself, but of Laura and Clarissa.
The three women in this movie are in constant struggle to figure out the meaning of life. Each one of these women goes through an experience that would later determine their roles in life. Virginia, Laura, and Clarissa are strong yet emotionally sensitive women who evaluate every moment in their lives. With this evaluation, they consider suicide as an alternative to escape from their agony.
The women of the Hour try to define their lives within the roles that society has set out for them but without sacrificing their own identity. Through out the movie we discover that these women struggle with their sexuality. We see that Virginia...
...Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of principles and practice in young children's language, literacy or mathematical development.
What skills are involved in the development of early writing and how can these be supported and developed?
The definition espoused by the Department of Education and Skills (DES) in the National Strategy to Improve Literacy and Numeracy Among Children and Young People 2011-2020 (DES,2011), notes that: literacy includes the capacity to read, understand and critically appreciate various forms of communication including spoken language, printed text, broadcast media, and digital media. (DES,2011,p8)
Language development in children has for many years had experts looking at the many different influencers that can have an effect on the development of the child and their language capabilities. Recent theories suggest that children develop their language and use of words via their own holistic development that emerges from their cognitive, emotional and social interactions. The child’s social and cultural development, the people who they meet and interact with, and how children view these internally are key drivers and fundamental to their language development. Intentionally theories date back to Aristotle and the importance of cognitive development with the addition of holistic development with the inclusion of personal emotions and other aspects of social and cultural development.
Chomsky as cited in Trask (1999) argued...
...For Hours and Hours and Hours
“Its all your fault, don’t deny it.” he was calm collected and obviously aware of the victory to come.
“No... I did nothing,” my sister yelled at him, oblivious to how childish she sounded, rage was hidden in her voice.
Honestly I don't know why she stays with him, they argue when nothing is wrong. He can’t even support himself, I don't know why she tolerates him forgetting dates and birthdays. She could do so much better, but I guess shes afraid to lose him.
When I come back to reality she is curled up on the couch, crying. Mumbling about how she shouldn't have lost her temper, and said such terrible things.
“Sis, ok, what's wrong?”
“‘Sis’, he always used to call me sis, why did I have make such a stupid mistake!”
“Honestly I think-”
“You and all your opinions! Why don’t you just get out of here!”
Huh, just walk it off. There is nothing to be worried about, nothing.
I sat down at the edge of a tall rocky cliff that was overlooking the ocean at high tide. I was completely amazed on how fulfilled I could be sitting on the edge of the earth, a dangerous place where one mistake could be your demise. We can search forever for fulfillment, but never find it because, we never look. We never look where it counts, straight in front of us. History, can and will repeat itself, and like sheep, we will follow each other off the face of the cliff, without a second thought, unable to make the...
...the value of observation in early childhood studies? And how can observation be used to support children’s learning and development and inform practice?
In this essay I am going to focus on the ways in which observations have been used in early year settings. I will comment on their importance and the information they provide practitioners, parents, student and government agencies. I will address this question in two parts I will first mention the values of observations. Then I will go on to comment the on the ways in which observations help support a child’s learning and the ways they inform practitioners on their practice in the setting. This allows early years practitioners to evaluate and assess activities and equipment. I will finally discuss the ways in which observation may not be so good for early year setting and how they may affect the children.
An observation is the process in which an individual watches the actions of others, listens to what they say, who they speak to and how they speak. It can be a certain person, group of people or place over a period of time, to find out information suggest Fulcher, & Scott (1999). The observer can participant and become part of the activities taking place, or they can be non participants and watch from the sidelines.
Observations are seen as important as we are able to discover children’s unique qualities and strengthen our knowledge about child development. They...
...Frustration’s Armored Aroma
Skunk Hour by Robert Lowell and The Armadillo by Elizabeth Bishop are two closely related poems. Both share the theme of an animal carrying with it natural defenses, and the image of an isolated spectator. However, there is one important contrast between these poems: The Armadillo portrays a creature who cannot comprehend the events destroying the life about it, whereas the speaker in Skunk Hour understands, possibly too well, the events affecting its life.
By using the skunk as a descriptive element for his character, Robert Lowell increases the distance between the character and the brief glimpse of society portrayed in the poem. Skunks, generally, are avoided by everyone because of their reputation for spraying unwelcome visitors with a noxious vapor. Here, the reason for Robert Lowell’s choice in animals becomes obvious. Utilizing such an isolated animal to parallel the thoughts of the speaker, Lowell considerably strengthens the distance between the speaker of the poem and the “love-cars” (Lowell 11) being watched. Even if the occupants of those cars knew they were being observed, chances are they would not associate themselves with the speaker.
In addition, Robert Lowell portrays his character as something akin to a stalker, illustrated in the following excerpt.
One dark night,
my Tudor Ford climbed the hill’s skull;
I watched for love-cars....