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Yes, even the summer holidays are a blessing of Allah!

Sikander Ziad Hashmi, sunniforum.com

Alhamdulillah, the exams are over (or are almost over), and the summer holidays are finally upon us!

As you read the title, you probably thought, “man, these religious types call everything ‘a blessing of Allah’!”

But think about it. The holidays give you time to chill and relax after an agonizing 8-10 months of school. It’s especially good because it’s summer and you don’t have to spend your days indoors, in class, while others enjoy the warm weather and the sunshine. So in some respects (at least), the holidays are a blessing from Allah.

Now, many of us find ourselves with nothing to do during the holidays. The first few days usually feel good, then the boredom settles in. And along with the boredom, comes the devil. As the saying goes, "an empty house is the devil’s workshop". So as we get bored and realize we have nothing to do, shaitaan hops in and gladly sets up shop.

Obviously, the key here is not to let the boredom (and shaitaan) settle in. And what better way to achieve that than with something that adds bonus points to our good deeds account?

This is a great time for us to do all the good things we find difficult to do during school days, and things that we haven’t done in a while. Haven’t picked up the Quran since Ramadhan? This is a good time to recite a bit – even if it’s only a page or a few lines a day. Was missing salats the norm during school days? Maybe we can try to pray on time, at least during the holidays. If we’re already punctual in our prayers, perhaps we can pray those Sunnah and Nafil salats we never seem to have time for.

By far, the simplest thing we can all do is Zikr (remember Allah with His praises). It’s nice and discreet; nobody can make fun of us for trying to show off by trying to look “religious”. It doesn’t disturb anyone and can be done easily, almost anytime. Believe it or not, Allah has ordered us to do Zikr in the Holy Quran:

O you who believe! Remember Allâh with much remembrance. (Al-Quran, 33:41)

Seriously, think about it. How long does it take to say Subhanallah, Alhamdulillah, or Allah-hu-Akbar? It takes about a second, yet it can bring great rewards. We can do Zikr while lying awake at night, while walking down the street, on the bus, or while surfing the Net – just to name a few.

The holidays are also the time for chilling out with our friends. It’s critical that we have good friends – friends that bring us closer to Islam and Allah, because friendship has a profound effect on the way we act, the way we think, and the things we end up doing. If your friends stop by the Masjid to pray while on a shopping trip, most chances are you’ll join them in doing so as well. On the other hand, if your friends stop by to “check out” members of the opposite sex, most likely you will too. Our friends are obviously the people we usually hang around with. Allah, the All-Knower, has said in the Holy Quran:

O you who believe! Be afraid of Allâh, and be with those who are true (in words and deeds). (Al-Quran, 9:119)

Allah commands us to stay in the company of (i.e. “hang around”) those who are true in "words and deeds", which means that we should associate ourselves only with the righteous.

May Allah protect us from bad company, and may He allow us to bring our holidays to good use.



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