Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Fear

Hellow Beautiful Creatures!
Photo Courtesy: The Odyssey Online

I was just reviewing my archive when I came across this article. It's a piece I wrote for a competition I never won unfortunately. But I chose to share it with you guys because I'm certain you've gone through or is undergoing this phase right now.  

I know that it seems hopeless, feels useless to keep on moving. I know no amount of words can really express what's hidden inside and no one truly is capable of comprehending your pain. I know fear. And even though it's miles apart with every person, it is still made up with the same four letters. 

We live in the moment. Life happens Now. And whatever your fear might be, as long as you know that Now is going to end, you will enjoy it while it lasts. But first you've got to start living it.

Anyways, I really hope this helps. So chill back, relax and enjoy some literature.
                                                                    
"I came across this challenge through a facebook tag from one of my good friends and mentor today. I kept on trying to figure out what to write about the wordless word 'Fear', but, every time i look at it, i see abstracts...shapeless forms spiraling around in a shady haze, sharp yet concealed, apparent but deep...hidden... I look at this uncertainty and I feel lost, empty...I feel alone.

How do you write about something that makes you feel helpless, scared, something that makes you afraid for yourself, afraid that you have lost yourself, so deep, far...and you have not the single of clues on finding you. How do you share a void that denies all fillets you pour in, desperate, an emptiness that strips you of your worth, assurance, purpose...that drowns you in a bottomless pit of confusion, gasping for care, for concern, for every ounce of attention while everyone else is blinded by the refraction of smiles put up conditionally...a mere trick of the light, a mere illusion...such power in so fewer of letters... 

I was full of empty ideas when i tried to write about this. A wordless word. Because I think of none when I think of it. I only feel. And the thing about feeling is that you cannot just share it with another person. You become afraid that they will judge you. Lol, I just realized a new feeling to add to the list. Or maybe you fear telling them about it because you can see them, the real them, the ones hiding behind the masks of smiles they practice on the mirror wall, as lost as you are. Afraid as you are. Alone as you are. And you cannot help them, them not you...but at least you share a common pit, right?

Anyways I decided to right about the one everyone's writing about. You know, the word-full one. At least I won't be the odd one out this time. 

"So what is Fear? I can tell you this wholly only by that one time I ran across our estate's field crying for my mum as my neighbor's dog happily ran after me. I lost my favorite slippers that day. My favorite slippers were the least of my concerns..."


Heyya, I hope you enjoyed this piece. It's super deep, I know; occupational hazard ๐Ÿ˜œ. If you liked it, hated it, a bit too "meh" for you, comment below. I want to know what you think. 

And if it relates or moved you in any way, share it. I want it to reach as many people as possible. Each one of you is fighting a battle of their own. With a bit of Recharge, the scars don't hurt as much. Share. 

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Life Hack: Ramadhan Edition Part 2

Asalaam aleykum warahmatullah๐Ÿ˜ƒ
Photo Courtesy: Unknown

Welcome back!๐Ÿ˜„I hope you are having a blast wherever you are in shaa Allah and if you’re not, may Allah make easy your matters, Ameen. Anyways, we’ll be picking up from where we left off in the previous article on ‘Life Hack: Ramadhan Edition’. If you’ve not read part 1 of this sequel, check it out here. Otherwise, let’s get it!

5.A Friend Indeed.
Photo Courtesy: WordPress.com

Alhamdulillah, we are blessed with companions who know us for who we truly are and also those that we prefer in our company. Whether good or bad, they make up a part of our lives right now. Use them ๐Ÿ˜. In a good way๐Ÿ˜„. In a month where every good deed is turned from gold to diamond, Shaytaan’s locked away somewhere to the neck and blessings are constantly descending from the heavens, everyone’s down to their nasf and their effort. 

This is why this month, however little of a time is left, is the best time to really do something beneficial and ajeeb with your friends. There is nothing more fulfilling than getting out to help others and knowing that your friends have your back. 

Furthermore, it might even be the first step to the best direction there is for some of us and our companions so to speak. The main man (Shaytaan) is still in chains so no one’s there to sway anyone anyhow.

Before we move on, there are some who Shaytaan put in auto pilot before he was locked up at the beginning of this month to raise havoc to those trying to change and enjoy free iftar donations. With that said, may Allah purify all our intentions and hearts and guard us from living without life in our souls, Ameen.

The deed could be anything. You can decide to do a street or village clean up or help around a local in cafรฉ in serving. Take a day to clean your local mosque or visit the sick, the dead even, at your local graveyards. Just do something. Even if you decide to go around your neighborhood greeting people with smileys on your faces. Just do something.

The most common deeds however, are works of charity. Whether it be donations to the needy are contributions to buy foodstuffs for orphanages and iftaar programs. This often is the easiest to do among many but the more involving the activities are, the better.  
  
What’s awesome and important about this is that you, as a group, get to do something good in the sight of your Lord. We are well too familiar with the ayaats in the Qur’an and Hadith narrations about the Day best of friends will wish they hadn’t befriended each other. And the only friends who will be glad of their friendship are those that used to encourage good and advice against evil. And the latter of the two to each other are surely, the friends indeed. So let’s be of such to one another.


6. Raising your hands (Dua)

“Dua is the weapon of a Believer.”
Photo Courtesy: Islamic Supreme of Canada

Making Dua (supplication) is one of the most emphasized acts of worship for any and all Muslims. Soo many examples are relayed upon us of our Prophets Alyehimu Salaam making dua when they were in distress and even more from the Swahabas of Prophet Muhammad aleyhi salaam and how they revolved their lives around it and connected with Allah. But we don’t have that connection. We don’t feel the heft or the impact and sometimes, the importance of making dua for the things in our lives.

Many scholars have insisted on us making dua frequently, some even saying that if you want chips and chicken for supper, make Dua to Allah for it. Because that is how you connect to Him and how you depend on Him. (Yap. After a few of this hacks in shaa Allah, maybe you might just find yourself try asking for mshikaki on the side ๐Ÿ˜‚) 

This is why the following hacks are just awesome. The first of them is a three step guide to transform your duas into practical life changers. These steps are part of a program called Visionaire Online. It was imangined by Ustadh Muhammad Al-shareef and is dedicated to give you all the content and guidance you need to re-establish that link with your Rabb, give meaning and depth to all the duas you make and guide you in fulfilling the conditions required for your duas to be accepted.


Photo Courtesy: Visionaire.com


Click here to begin your journey into ultimate satisfaction

What does it for me in all its totality is one hadith. It relates that when a servant raises their hands to make dua to Allah subhanahu wata’ala, He (Allah) becomes shy to let you off without giving you something. I mean…Subhanallah. The owner of all heavens and earths, Master of everything that breaths lives or exists, Lord of every single atom ever created, is made shy by you…Oh one who raises thy hands in supplication. 

The simple fact that you can make ALLAH shy of not replying when you raise your hands for dua is enough for me. For it is beautiful. And more a reason to establish that connection you never feel when you make dua. Alhamdulillah for such a Lord. Alhamdulillah for Islam.

Another one of my favorites is the other one stating that when you call upon Allah’s name i.e “Yaa Rabb” when making dua, He answers you there and then by replying to you i.e “Yes my servant.” See what everyone means when they talking about dua? #theconnection #heartmelted.

Finally, here are the times dua is accepted without delay when made and, the people whose duas are accepted 100%. This is of great importance especially today, when we enter the night of the 27th. This night is considered the most likely night for laylatul Qadr so if you’ve been slacking the past days, tonight’s the night to hustle like nothing else and biidhnillah, we might just be among the lucky few to get 1000 months of ajrs this Ramadhan. May Allah make us among them, Ameen. 

For the Times:  

ร˜ When it is raining: Make a small dua every time rain finds you. It is a blessing and a mercy. Pray for your akhira and dunya. And if you love walking in the rain, good news for some of the scholars recommend it. Because it is among the purest forms of mercy, they say walking in it can actually help washing away Hasad (evil eye) that you’ve picked up somewhere. Alas, as the Prophet aleyhi salaam never ran for shade when it rained. He walked in it as well.

ร˜ The last part of the night (2.30-4 am): Allah 3azza wajjal descends to the last heaven before earth in this time and asks if anyone has troubles and/or needs to ask Him and He will grant them. This is also referred to as Tahajud time.

Ps, tahajud is still there until you can no longer eat suhoor. If you’re a heavy sleeper, wakeup at this time and pray atleast two rakaats then make your dua. Besides, waking up for suhoor takes care of the heavy sleeping. So don’t miss tonight’s. It’s the 27th.

ร˜ In between Adhan and Iqamah: This is an opportune moment for everyone to ask Allah for their dreams and hopes. It is also a great way to get yourself into salah mode. Use it people.

ร˜ In Sujood (Prostration): We are closest to Allah subhanahu wata’ala when in sujood. This is where worshiping Allah like you can see Him takes to play in its totality. For if you can’t see Him, He surely sees you. Take a pause before saying the dhikr when you go into sujood. Feel the majesty in that position and then let the words roll off your tongue in concurrence. Beautiful

ร˜ After an obligatory prayer: Take a few minutes to say some dhikr then make your dua. It makes a huge difference

ร˜ While visiting the sick: This is a gift to those who give care to the sick. Pray for all of you while you’re there. Two birds with one Dua.

ร˜ While travelling: We should travel more shouldn’t we? Well, here lies one perk of moving about. Make it count.

ร˜ Just before opening your fast: Allah is with the weak and the humble, two characters most of us possess in the wee hours of the dayAt this time is also when your Iman is mostly highest during the fasting hours of the day. Take a few minutes to pray two rakaats and then make dua. Goes straight to Allah. 

As for the people, an oppressed person, a fasting person (gotta make the most out of this guys) and a just and fair Imam (leader) all have their duas accepted in express.

So make lots of duas guys. Make dua for your families, your lives, the Muslim Ummah that’s undergoing major stresses right now. Pray for those you’ve lost and those still present. And most importantly, pray for your akhira. It is something else to picture yourself being punished in the grave and worst of all, on the Day in which your limbs will either stand with you, or against you.

7. Remember to remember a.k.a Dhikr.

“The difference of the heart that does dhikr and the one that does not, is life and death”

As short and effortless as they are, heavy in scale and worth they present. Dhikr. Let’s honor them and keep this short, for this guest has no home, except on tongues of constant commemoration.

Hacks:

ร˜ Anyone who says “Allahuma ajirni mina annaar” (Oh Allah pardon me from the hell fire)  7 times after Fajr prayer and dies that day, they will enter Jannah unless they do something to spoil that. And when one says it 7 times after Maghreb prayer and dies that night, they will enter Jannah unless they do something to spoil that.

ร˜ For the one who recites Ayatul Kursiyu after every compulsory prayer, nothing stands between them and Jannah except death.

ร˜ For the one who suspects a night is that of laylatul Qadr, he is to say “Allahumma Innaka a’afuwu tuhibu a’fua faa’fuani” which loosly translates to “Oh Allah, You are the one who pardons, and you love to pardon. So pardon me”

Furthermore. There’s an app called Hisnul Muslim (yes they made an app out of the dua book) that covers all the basis you need and even those you never thought you did.
Photo Courtesy: Hisnul Muslim



It is about 34 mbs and can be downloaded in Google Play Store through here.


Photo Courtesy: Hisnul Muslim


It’s awesome for learning new duas with its audio and visual aids and gives you reassurance with the valid sources from hadiths and their references.


Photo Courtesy: Hisnul Muslim


Before I get sued for word overuse, let me just finally say how awesome it still is. Get your hands on it. You will Not regret it.

4. The Self.

Finally, just be true to yourself. You can never take any of these tips up if you’ve not accepted the fact that you need them. The first step is always about acceptance. No one is better than the other in the site of Allah except by goodness of character and actions. But no one is perfect either. We have slipped once, twice and more times in a while, even in this noble month of the Qur’an. 

Sometimes we catch ourselves before we fall, sometimes we have nowhere to hold on to. But like I said before, disappointment in Islam isn’t not having done something, it’s not doing anything once you realize you should have.

So evaluate yourself. Identify your flaws and mishaps and accept them as a part of you. Then start making those parts better every dawn of day because at the end of the day, they define who you are and decide who you become. Most people attribute qualities like kindness and others primarily as a care for others. But in reality, you have to learn to be kind, generous and all the other qualities first to yourself, then to others. Because how can you show them to others when you don’t even know how it works on you?

This is why Islam is so Beautiful. All the abstinence and prohibitions and the character boot camps are meant to guard you from all the evils and build you from within. So that you can walk out to the world, brave, kind, just and strong and teach others what it means to be all that. Teach them what it means to be Muslim. Teach them what it means to love you… 

Because in this world, its all about you. And NO ONE can save you, except You. So get up from the dust and start putting one brick after the other. Build yourself. This world needs you.

In shaa Allah, this is the final part of this sequel. I really hope you got to benefit from it in one way or another biidhnillah. Well, until next time, jazakumullah kheiran, Ramadhan Mukaram and Eid Mubarak in advance!

Asalaam Aleykum๐Ÿ‘‹


     

Monday, 19 June 2017

Life Hack: Ramadhan Edition




Asalaam aleykum warahmatullah๐Ÿ˜„

Today being the 24th day of this beautiful month of Ramadhan, first I’d like to wish you all a happy, beneficial, life changing and productive last ten days of Ramadhan in shaa Allah. Secondly, I think you can all agree with me on the fact that time has already stolen this precious month from us. And before soon we’ll be looking back on it and say,
Photo Courtesy: Unknown


May Allah make us among those who benefit from each and every second of existence in this month, Ameen. 

With that said, I have been thinking about having a proper guide or like the title, a Ramadhan life hack for these precious times of this month. So I decided to do it myself well, because it’s Ramadhan (them ajirs man) and also since procrastination becomes a myth more easily in this month if you decide it to (two words: Ball and Chain. Hello Shaytaan. God I love this month).

So I did as much researching as I could, surfed through for productive ideas and tips and collected as much info as I could and came up with this article. My only regret is that I didn’t do this earlier. But, In shaa Allah if I do get more info and other productive tips, I will share it on my Facebook over the course of these few days in shaa Allah so be sure to follow me there (the link is on my blog site menu. If you’re using a mobile phone, click the “view web version” at the bottom of the page and all will be made clear).

Disclaimer: I focused more on the tips and hacks because I believe that each and every one of us is aware of how great and precious this month is. And alhamdulillah, we’ve got awesome daa3is and khaatibs who are doing great work in actualizing this to us maa shaa Allah tabaarakallah.  And because of them we make resolutions to sour through this month with the ‘I’m gonna climb Mount Everest as I dominate the realms of dhikr while reciting the whole 30 juz of the Qur’an backwards’- hype, then end up burning out by the end of the first ten days. So I’m hoping these tips will curb this and give you the “How” of it all for these last days in shaa Allah.

Ok, let’s go!

1. Having a guide for what you want to do.

 I’ve talked to enough people and myself to realize that, we have all these great activities and deeds, projects even that we would like to accomplish and/or start over this Ramadhan period but, we have no idea how we are going to “find the time” for them. Instead we end up using most of our time wrong and before we know it, its whatsapp inbox overload with Eid messages and memes. 

The hack that I came across almost goes around this float. It‘s a checklist I discovered a few years back. It was made by a muslimah deen nasiha youtube channel called ‘Dust 2 Diamonds’ and maa shaa Allah it has it all. It’s so detailed you don’t have to do everything. It has both daily and weekly activities and even special columns for every Friday in Ramadhan; but since it was made 4 years ago, I suspect it will be a bit off on the days. 
D2d Checklist


D2d Checklist



Click here to download the checklist for printing or reference.

Just by using this checklist, you can have your day planned out for you. All you have to do, is comply.

2. Everything Productive.

Time waits for no man…unless you are a productive one. Of all the resource out there, this to me, is the cherry on the tip of this ice-cream. We are down to the last ten days now. In other words, we are down to constantly living with anxiety for ten days of doing our best that haunts us every now because we have no guide in doing so. 
To hack this, Productive Muslim designed a 30- day E-book called 30 tips for a Guilt Free Ramadhan. Six days left though ๐Ÿ˜‘ .  I know, where were you? Where was I? ๐Ÿ˜œ Well, we are here now so, let’s use the most of it. Besides, they’ll come in handy next season in shaa Allah.
View of the E book


It’s so convenient for the whole month inclusive of the amp up required for these last 10 days, designing it in a simple, practical and efficient way. 
Beginning of the last 10 Days


And let’s not get into how short it is. It’s like basically reading one slide, per day: a little gift for our short attention span ๐Ÿ˜


Day by Day Guide


Download it here and make time wait for you. Be productive.

Ps, here’s a pic I came across giving you a beautiful summary of habits to develop on these tenfold of days. Save it from this site. 


Photo Courtesy: Unknown


3. Qur’an

If there’s anything that brings more lucidity to what your month was all about, it’s this five letter word, Quran. Talk about Al-Bayyinah (clarity) right? By now, the number of juz you are in should give you a hint of how much time you’ve invested in the Qur’an; you know, with it being the Month of the Qur’an and all; no judgment. But not to worry, although I did not find a hack that can make you finish the Qur’an in one night, but what I found is worthwhile.

Sheikh Omar Suleiman, may Allah have mercy on him, created a 30 on 30 juz playlist last Ramadhan that entails brushing over one juz each day for all the thirty days of this month. With each summary lasting an average of 30 minutes, it’s really convenient since he explains the flow of the ayaats, the reason for revelation and how all the juz transcend the message from the beginning to that juz, and more.




Click here for the videos

The awesome part about these videos though is that, like Sheikh Omar’s intention, they are meant to prepare you for each day’s Taraweh prayers. If you are fortunate enough to perform these the good old one-juz-per-day—fashioned way, this will be a blast for thee. 

You know how the imam speeds through the verses so that he may finish at par with the month, and you end up just hearing arabic words fly by until you zone out or worse(doze off ๐Ÿ˜‚) while still standing? Yeah, this is the soup for you. With this, you know what the Arabic words talk about and if you understand Arabic just a little bit, you will have the pleasure of actually enjoying Taraweh prayers because at night, the Qur’an hits home.

I do realize that Youtube isn’t cheap and downloading those sessions can be an economical nightmare for many, so if you don’t have internet connection at home or isn’t a student like me (campus wi-fi), then try cyber cafรฉ. They are reasonably cheap and are available almost everywhere.

Ps, keep on reading that one juz or more every day, no matter how far behind you are. And if you can, throw in some translation into the mix. Disappointment in Islam is not having done something (good deeds of course), but not doing it after you realize you should have. So just do it! ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿ˜›


4. Food: Happiness or Death trap?


Photo Courtesy: Unknown

It’s almost impossible to talk about food when it comes to Ramadhan. Wait, nope, it’s impossible.  I haven’t really planned on making enemies by ranting about how Ramadhan is supposed to reduce the budget for food or how cold drinks and oily foods be like petrol to your diesel engine body while fasting so, let’s save it for another day. Besides, most of the times we are our own enemies. 

Anyways, food is part and parcel of this blessed month and for the sake of spicy samosas, meaty kebabs, barbecued mshikakis and everything covered in sugar, we’ll accept them all as important ingredients to our survival and more so, a proper iftar for our day long fasts. In other words, we’ll go easy on them.

When you fast, you give your body a chance to detoxify and rid itself of the accumulated chemicals and fatty poisons residing in your blood streams. This is good, like air after an asthma attack or fajr after a horrid nightmare. Refreshing. Unfortunately, this only lasts until iftar arrives…..It’s a one man standing match, man vs. everything edible. I believe this is why we have extraordinary cases of people weighing more after Ramadhan than before. #R.I.P logic. 
Photo Courtesy: Unknown


After any activity or exercise, one becomes tired and sour. Any activity after that is torture. Now picture one from a One Man Standing showdown attending Taraweh Prayers….Sometimes you feel bad for them and sometimes for yourself too when you standing at Taraweh sweating like the water works in Dubai and you ain’t even thirsty. Maybe Ramadhan is the only time you get to eat such delicacies. Maybe fasting is your hardest ibaadah to accomplish; husnul dhanna is Sunnah you know #feelingyourpain.
Photo Courtesy: Unknown


Another struggle is proficient during fasting. This is one of those days that the sun becomes too hot it fries and all your muscles are on strike just opening you eyelids after blinking becomes tiresome just thinking about it. All this is related to food intake. And not the one you missed taking after sleeping over suhoor (sehri) time. 
So below are the hacks I came across that ensure you enjoy such pleasures and still be on the safer side.

ร˜ Have your Iftar at the mosque:  By opening your fast at the mosque, you’ll have to carry a reasonable amount of food there. This means no over doing it and also getting Maghreb prayer in totality with concentration as a bonus. 

ร˜ Always eat samosas and family after the main meal: After praying Maghreb, get down with the main meal and chow down all of them nutrients. Afterwards, the snacking doors are open for your liking. By doing so, you’ve taken care of your body’s needs for proper upkeep. Do it well, and you can have all the kebabs you want man. Win the Hunger Games๐Ÿ˜›.

ร˜ Drink A-lot of water: When I say a lot, I mean A LOT of H2O—Swish swashing sound coming from your tummy a lot. Your body needs it to detoxify and keep you hydrated, especially after the half month mark.

ร˜ STAY AWAY FROM FIZZY DRINKS. NO ONE WOULD WANT A PACKET OF SALT FOR IFTAR. FIZZY DRINKS ARE PACKETS OF SALT. DON’T DO IT. IT’S NOT WORTH IT.

ร˜ Take whole grain foods and/or rice for suhoor: Their carbs provide sufficient energy throughout the day and ensure you can blink with ease.

ร˜ Take a spoon full of plain yoghurt every time you consume oily foods at sehri time: Plain yoghurt has the awesome ability to wash down the cholesterol from oily foods of which cause lethargy and sluggish feel when consumed in large amounts or taken as suhoor for fasting. N/B: Notice that I have stated PLAIN yoghurt. Flavoured yoghurt are impostors. Even salt looks like sugar you know ๐Ÿ˜‘.

ร˜ Eat Bananas: Bananas contain potassium that prevents you from experiencing thirst. This is golden for fasting with at sehri time so, get peeling.

ร˜ Oh Napping: Fajr time is so near to suhoor time. Napping after finishing suhoor not only promotes indigestion and minimum absorption of nutrients by your body, but also causes laziness, sluggishness, missing most, all or the whole fajr jamaat completely. DON’T DO IT. Instead, get ready for fajr prayers by going to the masjid early and getting a head start on that day’s juz.

ร˜ Dates and Milk: Be sure to incorporate dates and milk to your suhoor diet plan. They are perfect for nourishing the body with energy for demanding works and also acts as natural relaxers. They are also a Sunnah of the Prophet aleyhi salatu wa salaam.

PS, if you liked these tips, be sure to check out my other article on food here. It's a real bitter sweet war of an article that one. Bone appetite ๐Ÿ˜


Finally, I’d like to take this moment to recognize our mothers, sisters and daughters for making this Ramadhan the tastiest one yet. They have worked double time with cooking for us amidst their day to day lives, every day, 30 days a month. May Allah have mercy on them, Ameen.    
Photo Courtesy๐Ÿ˜: sadly, Unknown๐Ÿ˜” 


For their awesome courage, I dedicate this site to them so that they can get more time for their selves and their Lord. It features easy make and slow furnish meals that all you and your beautiful and skilled hands can choose from depending on the time you have to spare. 


Photo Courtesy: the Huffington Post

Click here to cook with no despair ๐Ÿ˜‹

It’s not much compared to your efforts but, I do hope it gives you time for some rest, as well as time to indulge in ibaadat. Allah bless you generous beings, Ameen.

Stay tuned for part 2 tomorrow in shaa Allah. Until then, Ramadhan Mukaram.   

    

















Wednesday, 17 May 2017

The Art of Gratitude


Photo Courtesy: Unknown


Recently we had my aunt over after quite some time. It was fun and all but she said a few words that have never left me since. She said, ‘I almost forgot how big your house is.’ Now, I know they’re not the peak of life changers or the golden slate of epic sayings and mind blowing statements but, they hit me like a bus. The point of this isn’t how big or small your house may be, but the simple majesty of what these words meant. And when I walked in to the sitting room after, I just saw how much.

Do you remember the first time you moved into your house, saddened by leaving your old house and excited and curious of the new all at the same time? Especially the first night where you see different shapes on your bedroom wall and you can ‘feel’ someone watching you. And lets not even get into the weird sounds you hear and start thinking that covering yourself with a blanket is somehow going to protect you from the forces that lie in the shadows of your shady walls…God bless the inventor of the night light.

Any who, moving in is something we all have gone through at one point in our lives. And at times, it’s pretty life changing, literally.

But once we’ve gotten the hang of the ropes, it’s all down cliff from there. Plus, the neighbors are known by then; rain check on the types this time. Some of them require an entire Encyclopedia to classify :-P And life goes on.

As the shapes become plain shadows, sounds a lullaby and homesick for the old house just good memories, what was once interesting about the house now becomes the norm. With time, your brain comes around to perform on you one of its many sneaky tricks: the “taking for granted.”

PS. If you’re into the rational sciency explanations of how the brain works, take a peek at this article here in which I elaborate some of its mechanics. It’s pretty cool. Almost makes you have hope of stopping from face palming at humanity again.

The thing about this trick though is that it’s absolutely normal, involuntary even (and sneaky). So for one to appreciate something of norm to them under this trickery, you have to consciously bring you and your mind to actively take notice of the features of appreciation over their notion of being ordinary.

Say the scent of your perfume or the sound of your heels. You become so familiar with it, so much so that you subconsciously filter the scent or sound to give room for other new senses. That’s why you don’t take notice of the clock of your heels every time you walk or the nose skewing scent of your perfume when you want to make sure you’ve sprayed enough.

For this reason is why those who truly care for you, will take amidst their busy work weeks and tiresome involving schedules, to appreciate you in one way or another or make it up to you somehow if they don’t. People like these know the value of what they are appreciating. Shout out to all them selfless loving hearts.

On that fateful evening anyways, I learnt that not only are favorite aunts awesome to hang out with and words can hit like the Mike Tyson version of a truck, but also that gratitude, is an Art.

Most of the problems we face in our lives drives us to a corner of thoughts, traps our minds and stresses us up. Sometimes even intoxicating all the spaces we know as safe to make you dodge any concept of them; Just need to catch a break you know; Some space. But amidst the chocking air and the demanding world pounding on your sanity, Gratitude is the hole that crumbles open to let in that fresh breath of air, the hatch that leads to the open fields or the back door that gives you a VIP pass back into the world…

Gratitude is like the painting that frees the artist from the burdens of veracity; raw in emotion, pure in expression; an imprint… A masterpiece. Gratitude is an art, and it’s beautiful…

They say that adulthood is like looking both sides of the road and getting hit by a plane. Fair enough ๐Ÿ˜‚ But when you do, remember that not many a people get hit by a plane while crossing the road ๐Ÿ˜œ And that no matter how deep you are in an ocean of problems, you have this computer that you’re reading this article with, that phone you can share this with, those walls and the people in it that surround you to keep you safe, the comfort of your clothes to keep you warm and hearty… And that there are people out there with more heft and pressure on their shoulders.

And when you take time to appreciate how many things you are able to do with what you have, and others like you can’t, that is when you dig that hole or open that door. That is when you give yourself a break. For Gratitude is the mother of Patience and Patience, well, that’s what Invincible is made of…

So lets practice art. Let us be beautiful. Let us be artists of master pieces in the fine Art, of Gratitude ๐Ÿ˜Š

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Introvert...Really?


By: Zale Navi
Four years ago, I didn’t know the existence of this word. Being a writer (not professionally) and someone who enjoys and loves reading, it is really a shame to admit that ”introvert” was not in my dictionary. But again, I have never been good with vocabularies.
Our dearest, beloved, respected, much appreciated and celebrated uncle Google defines introvert as a shy person. However, if you care to dig deeper to the psychological meaning of the word, you will discover that introvert has got nothing to do with shyness. So I will just blame uncle Google for misleading many of us. Why is it a big deal? Do I go around checking for words wrongly defined by Google? Absolutely no! I don’t even use Google, I prefer Oxford Dictionary ๐Ÿ˜‰
The reason why I took interest on ‘introvert’ is, I believe it is not a coincidence that recently most of us identify ourselves as introverts. Before you throw your shoe at me, I know some of us are really introverts while the rest of us are just shy. Conventionally speaking, shyness is not a trait that is looked at positively; not unless you are a bride. Introvert on the other hand sounds cool to the ears and guys with this personalty are really productive people to hung out with; even though they are not largely celebrated in the society. Nevertheless, I’d rather say am an introvert than to admit my shyness.
The problem, however is not about being shy or being an introvert. The problem is actually how the world has forced some of us to keep to ourselves. We live in a society whereby, what is least important is considered to be the most important; yes I am talking about sources of entertainment. If you don’t know enough about them, then my friend you are automatically sentenced to life time silence. There is lack of kindness in our words and expressions. Our actions knows no boundaries nor show of compassion and consideration to the next person. We treat each other like the ground we step on. who would not want to keep to themselves in such a world?
Kindness, compassion, love, care, humility… they are important traits that give most of us the courage needed to get out of our shells and share our world with others. In today’s world; we listen, not to understand but to catch that shrub, or word said out of place so that it can be a source of entertainment to us years later. Making fun of one another and ridiculing each other is the norm. We observe actions not to learn from them but to find a slip up fit for our critics and harsh comments. We are busy looking out for ways to out do one another, competition is the order of the day leading to hearts that house jealousy and hatred towards each other. Love that is meant to be shown in actions is reduced to sweet meaningless words updated as status on Facebook or cute pictures posted on instagram. Our main focus is to accumulate more and more of anything and everything to ourselves, with no care whom we have to step on to get there. Many are in pain and tears because of our actions but we just don’t give a damn! Humility is a vocabulary to us and it does not matter how many definitions Google and Oxford Dictionary offers, we just don’t seem to get it. I ask again, who would want to be associated with such a world?
We need to see the urgency in making the world a better place. It does not cost you anything to show kindness, love, compassion and humility to others. It all starts with a smile, a ”how are you?” to the disturbed classmate. A helping hand to the lady from the market. A ”thank you” to the one who cooked your meal. A ”sorry” to the one you bumped into in your hurry to catch the bus. Holding the door for the boy coming right after you. A genuine ”well done” to the one who did better than you… the list goes on and on and I am sure I can list a thousand more a like without asking you for a penny from your pocket. So what is stopping you from taking action now?
So back to introvertism; it is so real. And these people too, need our love and acceptance. We should not view them as people with some kind of abnormality, because they are normal just the way they are. It is their different personality, their tendency to keep to themselves that bring balance to the world. So please, have mercy on them and don’t force them into gatherings for long hours, they literally get drained. It is in their solitude that they derive their energy from. But isn’t that what we are all about, diversity? Different personalities? Let’s allow our differences to bring us closer and celebrate the various personalities that are out there. Share your world with the rest of the world.
As for me, I am an introvert, I think. I’m also shy and know very little about entertainment world. So, basically I am a part time normal person. And the people around me have accepted that. Most introverts, what they really need is their space. If you deny them that, it gets hard for them to function. But it is not a disease that needs cure. Being an introvert is just like being left handed and the society needs to accept you for who you are and make you feel comfortable among other types of personality. Our world is all about diversity, and we can co-exist. We just have to learn how to share the gifts of life.

Sunday, 12 February 2017

The Scary thing Everyone Missed

Photo Courtesy: NPR

We have all drowned in the ocean of realization that President Trump had won the election. Came as a shock to most but, drowning isn’t that relaxing turns out. More so, one of the first actions as president is issue a controversial ban on all airlines flying in from the seven Muslim majority countries from entering the US. And man did the people learn to breath underwater. We had demonstrations from every corner of the Western world (metaphorically) with Muslims being cheered on for being Muslims and even some like Hassan Minhaj, being welcomed after landing in airports with balloons and hugs, because they were, yeah, Muslims. Couldn’t have seen better days right? 

Ps. Watch Hassan Minhaj’s experience here.

The vanilla mood was then tipped off by an over ruling from the Judicial body of the country and as per now, the ban has been lifted. What a desert :-p. Its impact however, continues to cloud the skies of the world. And as Hassan Minhaj explains above, it is Mental; mental in a good way.

Not only did it make Muslims in the West celebrities, but also nudge the need to know why President Trump was acting all paranoia with the bans. Why is he so afraid of Muslims and their religion, what does this religion really say? I want to see this for myself if I am to protest for this.
Photo courtesy: Unknown

And so they poured in. In multitudes they came. Above is a picture showing just how many. And mind you, that is just a single mosque. In a single area. Of a United States of America. Notice the ‘s’ in the ‘States’. I mean, could you imagine the sheer number of people that might embrace Islam by the Will of Allah or even the number of those who just could remove all the phobia of this religion and ease the trials of other Muslims in these countries? What! In a land where Muslims were being judged from head to toe nails, this is great news! 

I still can’t believe to have witnessed a Nationwide support backing the most evilly branded religion in our time, and still get new brothers and sisters from one of the least most expected country, existing also in our time. It’s a dream come true. But the more I think about it, the scarier these happenings become. 

Allah swt promises that His religion will succeed, with or without its believers. The only part we can play is having the honor to take it to its ascertained destination. Now here we have all these new Muslims pouring in because the one person who tried to dishonor His religion, became its very cause. And history be my witness, we all know what the capabilities new Muslims have for this religion; the likes of Dr. Bilal Philips that has Muslims studying Islam in the millions, all under his effort; and many more like and even better than him. This means progress right? But where is me and you in this equation?

Surah Muhammad Ch 47, V 38

We are being replaced. With our unreasonable excuses, our pointless efforts and knowingly avoidance we are being replaced. Allah swt is withdrawing the honor He once put out for us to take and giving it others because, frankly, they’ve seen what the other side is like and they have abandoned it for the side we keep ignoring because they’ve seen the beauty in ours so yes, they are not the likes of us. They are better than us. But who is to blame, really?

I mean you are the one to have shown the world the ray of Hope in a world engulfed in the darkness of depression…the one to have given Trust in a world where even blood is considered enemy…the one to have in the least form of action, at least changed the perception of another, in a world where Islam is branded with terror and fear… You were meant to stand out because that’s what the truth does. You were chosen because you are a disciple of the best man to ever walk the face of this earth, and you CAN handle it. Otherwise you wouldn’t have been born Muslim, and so wouldn’t all new born children in this world.
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Now for some good news.

Just because you have read up until this point is another reason why Allah swt is just so beautiful. His Mercy. Even though a whole new ummah is being handed the honor, Allah swt is still offering you a chance to be among the ranks. For some, this might be the first chance, for some still a couple more left and for others, the last. He knows best.  But one thing’s for sure, Allah swt is Just. Can you comprehend the odds of you reading this article, out of all the other articles in the net, among all the things available on the internet, of all the things you could have been doing at this moment, wherever you may be in this Planet (the ‘P’ is meant to show just how big )? Allah, Most Just, Most Merciful.

So please, do yourself a favor and don’t throw away your religion. Don’t throw away who you are. You deserve that much for yourself. Because when you do, you will lose yourself to the changing faces of this world and Allah subhanahu wata’ala promises to make sure you stay lost, forever wandering this earth only to meet an abide we all know too well not to wish for.

Surah Al-Munaafiqun,  Ch 63, V 3


Take back the Honor. Be among those who succeed.