Saturday, 20 December 2014

On Saying Goodbye

“There’s never a right time to say goodbye”

     When it comes to saying goodbye, some of us prepare for it and embrace it, others avoid and deny it completely, while some don't have the choice.

     Sometimes we ask ourselves, why did fate make us cross paths? Why did our existence happen to coincidentally bring together the most precise set of conditions so we could meet? Is there a purpose to it all? And if there is, why was it in our destiny to part?

    These questions can haunt us for our whole lives. And we may simply never find an answer.

     What I do know, as a human being living on this earth that believes in a One true and fair God, is that nothing happens without purpose and without His will or allowance. In other words, meaning every encounter with other human beings is significant. Regardless of whether I am able to recognize and distinguish this.

     That being said, what should we expect from our relationships with other human beings in this life? 

    If we are to expect that they fill a void within us and that we simply cannot live without their existence in our lives, then we will undoubtedly become attached. Likewise if we are to never trust ourselves to open up to others and try to embrace relationships, then we are missing out on the potential of a beautiful blessing given to us, which is the blessing of great companionship.

      I think the answer lies in loving others for God’s sake. When we love others for Allah’s sake we understand that this also means giving them up for His sake as well. It means letting our mutual interest of being closer to Him keep us together. While also letting our trust in His wisdom and control to help us relinquish the part of ourselves that gets attached to keep Him pleased.

      So at the end of the day, we are unable to guarantee the existence of good friends, family and loved ones around. Only Allah can do so. He brought you together and He can bring you apart. What we must remember is that we are brought together to keep Allah’s word alive, and to bring each other up to never forget the afterlife. We will no doubt mourn and that is okay. It is a beautiful thing. Yet we must never let our grief be unattached to our prayers and duas for the ones we love. Because ultimately we love to see them with us after passing the ultimate test on the Day of Judgement. And inshallah joining together in paradise.

     Remember that even though life isn’t fair, Allah is. And that is precisely the reason why Paradise exists. Look forward to it and love with all that Allah has given you. And always say alhamdoulillah for the blessing of such wonderful company.


      If you’d like to know more about loving for Allah’s sake, read this article here.

Saturday, 15 November 2014


My fingers linger on the keyboard.
My heart yearns for the freedom of exposing
my every feeling
at this very moment.
But they are bound
by fear.
Being imperfect and
not working out the right words.
How to describe such an immense amount of emotion...


I feel my breaths becoming heavier.
I inhale pure air and exhale hurt.
A lot of it.
Maybe I could start with what I need right now.

A hug would be nice.

I want to share someone's good energy.
I want to feel in their arms an embrace of all the parts that I am.
I don't want anyone to tell me how to fix the hurt.
I don't need a checklist or an analysis.

So please don't do that.


This is kind of nice.
Writing what I feel at the moment;
and maybe the thought that at least one person
might stumble across it
will make it all worthwhile.
And what will they think?
Would it even matter what they think?


I want to walk in the woods alone right now
but I find no woods.
and what's bigger is the fear planted in me saying,
"Don't walk alone in the woods. Walk with someone it's safer."
But I don't feel a single bit safe
with the idea that I cannot have the freedom of being alone
without being questioned.
I want to find a place where no one can see me
and to sit
and curl myself into a ball
and let tears fall onto my thighs.

I want a voice in my head to tell me it's okay to not be okay.
It's okay to feel all the complicated that you feel right now
and it's not your fault.
And that somehow no matter how difficult it is to imagine,
you will think back to this moment
and see all the beautiful that is in it.
I'm so tired I'm losing strength.
I can't help others right now.
I want to tell them to leave me alone.
To just leave me be.
But I cant.


Is it bad to say I'm tired of giving?
Is it selfish to want someone to give me something ?
But then again what would I want from them anyway...

Maybe a morning cup of coffee and a blanket
with sun peeking through the window and nothing 
else to make us hurry.

Maybe a silent walk in the woods. 
No words just mutual appreciation for the beauty around us.

Maybe a song beneath the stars in an empty desert

and maybe a listening ear when I finally begin to trust.


I'm too afraid to type,

"what if...

that never happens?"

I don't want to think about being alone
and what's worse is that I don't want think about what I might do
 to replace that feeling.

What if what I'm feeling is something everyone is supposed to go through?
What if being alone is the essence of our existence,
and that no one can really be in an understanding company,
and that it doesn't even exist,

it's just an illusion?

Maybe that's the point.

Maybe the complexity of our lived experience is not meant to be 
understood or analyzed.
Maybe its just supposed to be,
and that the only being who can possibly understand all the complexity it brings
 is the one who lets it be, 


Oh, Lord!

Grant me the trust in You to know You are always there.
Let my heart feel better with just remembering You.
Let my heart seek no other than You.
And let it feel.
Feel without being afraid to feel,
and feel what it's supposed to feel.
Let me be fearless
of anything and everything except You.
Let it be fearless to love.
Be fearless to try time and time again
and most importantly,
let it be pure
and let it be satisfied.


Friday, 24 October 2014

20 Simple Ways to Challenge Your Ego


  I know I've been missing for a while from this blog. But I promise I'll be back with more soon :)

     So, while I was gone I hardly noticed, but the viewership stats for one entry jumped out among the rest. And that is the "20 Signs You Have an Ego Problem." I certainly didn't expect for it to get the views that it did. So, based on popular demand, I will try to list some simple ways you can challenge that ego to become the humble person you want to be.

    The comments on that post sparked some of my thinking. Some were wondering if having a little bit of ego is good for the self. I think that an important point needs to be made here folks; everyone has an ego. We are all born with one and it defines our existence as human beings. This internal struggle with our egos is where shaytan tries to find his way into your life. Why that's important to know is just because you have an ego, doesn't mean that you cannot challenge and control it yourself. So on that note, here are 20 simple ways to challenge your ego:

1. Be mentally ready to challenge your ego for the right intention:

   Let's face it, everyone is attracted to the humble hardworking underdog and we all gravitate towards being more like them. However, we should be asking ourselves the important question of why do we want to be more humble? If the answer to that question is to please and attract others, then you will undoubtedly fail. I cannot provide for you a secret calculated formula where you can be more humble if the intention of being so is to use it as leverage to be more socially dominant over others.  That is precisely the opposite of being a humble person. Your intention should be to please Allah, because it is He who ordered for us to remove arrogance from our hearts:

Abdullah ibn Mas’ud reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “He will not enter Hellfire who has the weight of a seed of faith in his heart and he will not enter Paradise who has the weight of a seed of arrogance in his heart.”

2. Ask questions even when you know the answer:

    Most of the time, we like to be the expert in conversations. And this is especially true if we have been studying the topic at hand for years and are just itching to speak about it. To be a humble person is to acknowledge that there may be others more versed than me in the subject at hand, and even when there is not, to leave the floor open for others to be empowered and acknowledged. This mustn't be done with the intention of "helping", but with the intention of challenging oneself to be more controlled and to realize that the world will be okay with and without my two cents on the matter.

3. Challenge an expert and let yourself lose the argument:

   We may meet an expert in a particular field and have plenty of questions to ask that person. And sometimes, our feelings of intimidation and our fear of rejection may stop us from asking any. I challenge you to ask a challenging question that initiates an argument or heated conversation, and then to choose to drop out of it saying " I have to go now but I have learned a lot from this conversation and I deeply respect your opinion. I may not agree but I have a better perspective on this matter after having this conversation."
4. Surround yourself with people that don't agree with you:

    It's comfortable to be around those who share the same values as us and who live similar lifestyles. However, how comfortable you can be in a setting where others are opposites to you says a lot about how confident you are about your own values but also how open you are to making relationships with others in a non-judgemental manner. 

5. Give a compliment:

  Give lots of them! And don't wait on it and over think what you'll say. Say it to the person as soon as you feel it. Tell them exactly what you like about them. Compliment them on things you would like to be complimented on and things they would love to be acknowledged by others. Don't hold back!

6. Sacrifice your time and/or money anonymously:

   Don't tell anyone about it. Make it a sadaqa between you and Allah.

7. Visit the underprivileged:

   Acknowledge your privilege and the blessings Allah has bestowed upon you by visiting the underprivileged  and listening to their stories. You may be surprised to know of many who used to be of high status that are now battling poverty and other difficult trials. This will remind you of the fragile nature of humanity and the fact that Allah is the only One who blesses you, and that nothing is a product of your own doing. This will get you closer to Allah inshallah and will humble you further.

8. Never be too sure of anything:

   Avoid speaking in an overly confident manner. Avoid using words such as "never"or "always". Say "inshallah" after every "I will" and remember that your plans can only be fruitful with His blessing and permission.

9. Share something about yourself that makes you feel vulnerable with a stranger:

   Find a stranger and share a part of you that is hidden to others. Don't be afraid of feeling vulnerable and open up. This will free you from caring about the opinions of others and it will shed your guard and image we are used to putting out there for the world. The more you share, the more you will find yourself in deeper, more satisfying relationships.

10. Replace "I" for "we" when speaking:

   Even when it's all you, speak for the group. Avoid pointing fingers and saying "you" when asking for something from someone. And when you present your work, speak on behalf of everyone and say "we did this." I know it may be a difficult concept to grasp, but if you can do this and sacrifice your name for the group, you're well on your way to being a more humble person, inshallah.

11. Ask someone for advice:

  Ask for someones advice. And that someone doesn't have to be a psychologist or social worker. That someone can be anyone. A child, an elderly, your mother or father. Be clear and say "I want your advice on something". Then proceed by explaining why you chose them to be the person who advises you. 

12. Challenge yourself to a one sided conversation:

  When you are in a conversation with a friend or colleague who seems distressed and has a lot to say, take some time to renew your intention and tell yourself that you will only listen and not advise. Help this person consolidate their feelings by being an active listener and letting them know they are heard. Hold back on any comments or advice and you will have accomplished something that will make you feel great and it will foster relationships like never before, inshallah.

13. Have quality time with a child:

   If children don't gravitate towards you, there may be some ego there. I suggest you read this article if you want more on the topic; "Why Kids Don't Like You".

14. Read about a topic you've never explored before:

  Read. Do a lot of reading. The more you read, the more you will realize how insignificant and ignorant we are about the world. We humble ourselves by reading. And we mustn't forget it is Allah's (subhanahu wa ta'laa) command.

15. Show appreciation for people that have helped you in the past:

  Find people who have inspired or motivated you in some way, and give them a call. Let them know that they are special to you and how they have helped you. Oftentimes, we think that our mentors are too busy or too important to connect with us which may not always be true. Connecting with them shows you are willing to put that aside and to step on your ego for a bit to let them know they are appreciated.

16. Take a break from social media:

  Social media is no doubt a festering ground for manipulating our public image. The founders of these networks rely on our human need for belonging and reinforcement that it is almost impossible to be an honest and transparent person through the Internet anymore. Try to avoid having a camera phone around to snap pictures of every moment of your life to share with friends. Live in the moment and share it with no one. You will find this will help you differentiate your private from public life and will lead to a more satisfying time that is based on honouring the present moment and not wasted by doing it just for the sake of pleasing others.

17. Have quality time with parents or grandparents:

  Learn from the older generations and respect their experience and wisdom. Ask them to tell you more about their stories. You will find lessons where you least expect.

18. Pass on your leadership to someone else:

   You've got leadership, that's awesome. But have you got leadership enough to know when to drop it for someone else? Empowering others to take on your position proves to yourself that you are not in it for dominance or power, but for a cause much bigger than yourself. If you cannot do so, then perhaps managerial positions aren't for you and maybe it's best to steer away from rankings and titles.

19. Practice being alone:

  I use the word practice because it's not an easy task. It takes self-assurance and satisfaction to be alone. To be alone is to know that this experience is only one you share with Allah (swt). Once you realize this then you will be comfortable being alone, since you are not really so anyway.

20. Go to an unfamiliar place where no one knows you:

  Blaze an unfamiliar path, find new friends and leave behind your title and accomplishments. Be a new person and you will find what remains is only your values, religion and Allah (swt). What is there more to gain from life anyway?

Best of luck!

Saturday, 23 August 2014

When to Quit Your Job - Besides the Obvious Reasons

     You might be thinking, "why would I want anyone to tell me when it's time to quit my job?"

     And you're right to be wondering. Because no one should really dictate to anyone else how to live and make importance decisions in their life. Oftentimes however, we lack the ground rules to help us make such decisions. In the fear of change, we may choose to stay in the guaranteed under the illusion that life right now is probably a lot better than anything else that's out there, and that being in the job that I'm in right now is better than no job at all. 

     But when we prioritize this rational, we may begin to slowly lose the most basic substance of our humanity, which is our motivational soul. In comfort of the routine, overtime we may compromise some of our previous priorities and important values for the sake of either money, social competence, and fear of confronting our bosses and coworkers. 

    You may argue that for a satisfying life, one must not always expect others to adhere to his/her norms but must seek ways of making this slow change tolerable. I personally think that it is a careful balancing act. However, I do believe that if our most significant values to our self-concept are dissolving for the sake of garnering social points, we've committed some shirk in the process.

     Think about this, as Abeed on this earth, we are guided to a moral foundation based on serving Allah (subhanahu wa ta'alaa). The moment we compromise that foundation for the sake of pleasing other human beings and our selfish desires, we falsely lead ourselves to believe that only we are the important determining factor that controls our destiny and that Allah's role in my blessings and livelihood is only secondary to mine. 

     "He who seeks chastity, Allah will help him to be, and chaste he who seeks patience Allah will bestow patience upon him” [Al-Bukhari]

   The Hadith above teaches us one important lesson, which is that when we choose to abandon something in the fear of displeasing Allah, we are guaranteed to special care from the Al Mighty Himself. Just imagine being forced on the streets but choosing not to beg. It's certainly a difficult concept to grasp. So we let shaytan sometimes tell us to do bad for the sake of good, and that this is the only way we can live.This is in other words, to do with our hands what we believe Allah is not capable of. And that of course is an entirely false idea we need to identify and quickly steer away from.

     So, how do I balance between compromising and withholding when making my decision to quit or remain in my current position?

     What I can say based on the above is that the bottom line is, if I feel that my job is altering my feelings towards my previous values before attaining this job, there might be a problem. The solution may be to become more assertive. But oftentimes, to withdraw oneself from a negative workplace is the best option if the majority is not likely to respect or tolerate the way you choose to live.

     Add to that, I believe that compromise on the materialistic is oftentimes necessary and may be Allah's way of humbling you. If you feel that this compromise will be reflected in the livelihood and sustainability of your home then that's another story. Part of our duty as Muslims is to serve our families and make sure that their basic needs are met. Sometimes, we may quit also because we have interest in expanding our experience and advancing our careers.

     You may have other reasons for wanting to quit your job. They may not all be reasons you are comfortable disclosing to anyone or feel that they are worthy of such a decision. However, it is your job and it is therefore your decision to make. If you feel a sense of discomfort and unbelievable amounts of stress so much so that it is effecting your mental health and relationships in the home, that can be in itself a sole legitimate reason to quit.

So to conclude, this is your decision to make and if you've given it some thought and believe the only thing standing in your way is fear of change, do not hesitate. Have faith in Allah, make your decision and live your life to please Him and Him only and you will see better in upcoming days inshallah.

Your sister,

Random Rants 

Friday, 6 June 2014

To the Special People in My Life

  Dearest friends,

     I will attempt to write this as raw as possible. No edits (except spelling of course) and no breaks.

     Oftentimes when we are lucky enough to have people in our lives who make us happy, we get comfortable and assume that this should be the default state of our interactions with others. But what we forget is that knowing great people and having them there for you is Allah's mercy and blessing. If life was to take another path for me, I may have ended up somewhere on another corner of the earth, where I found nothing in common with my surroundings and ended up lonely. But instead I was blessed to know people who have helped make me grow, who have inspired me and continue to and who don't expect me to be something I'm not. I want to take the time to thank them for making me feel worthy as a human, for supporting me in everything, and for never giving up on our friendship. Lately, I have received love I didn't think was possible, let me be frank. I have been invested in my friendships for Allah's sake and I didn't expect or think that one day, I would be shown anything in return. To get appreciated is beyond what I would expect from this life and it was very overwhelming to say the least.

  They asked me, why were you surprised? Why were you overwhelmed?

  Because I realized that they saw in me what I didn't see in myself. They saw someone who deserved to be shown appreciation and love and I didn't. All of their care was a wake up call for me. It proved to me that I can't underestimate myself and that great company in this life is a big blessing that can't be taken for granted. I don't think they know that when they leave, I make dua for them and cry of happiness. They don't know that when I am with them, I say alhamdoulillah a million times that I was privileged to be in their company. They don't know how they push me to be better by just being themselves. 

    I want to also say I'm sorry and please forgive me if I may have wronged or offended anyone. Love for the sake of Allah is strong and it knows no boundaries. Although I know that life has a strange way of making people part and move on, know that in my heart, I remember you in fondness and will always ask Allah that He lets us meet in the heavens. These days I run out of words and this is a testament to the complexity of human emotion. The rest that I can't make up in words, I will make up in dua. 

    May Allah gives us all that this world has to offer in success, happiness, and family. May He also guide us to the straight path while doing so and save us from Hellfire and let us meet and flaunt our friendship proudly in front of His creation on the day of judgement Ameen.

With my utmost love, respect and appreciation,

Random Rants

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Pity Party

I will not accept the invite
to your self-proclaimed pity party.

I do not need a moment of silence
and your questionable facial display
to prove just how much
you feel sorry for me.

How do you think I feel
when you scrunch your face 
and say, 
I'm so sorry."

No one wants your apology
and no one wants your privileged advice.

You think I hate myself 
for what has happened to me?

I accept all my flaws
while you cannot fathom
someone living like me
without wishing I was like the rest
No one wants your "accommodation"
No one wants your "special treatment"
My acceptance is not a sad coping style.
My acceptance is my scars on display
My acceptance is my strength.

Although, in some ways 
I do wish I was like the rest
I wish I wasn't invited to your pity parties
I wish you could see past the superficial
and I'm so sorry that you're so sorry.

I'm sorry you think that God 
choosing me to be like this
is a sad punishment.
I'm sorry that people like me 
make you feel uncomfortable.

So thanks but no thanks, 
I don't need the invite to your pity party
because if you haven't noticed,
I'm too busy doing a million other things that define me.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

The Stigma Surrounding "Needy" Muslims

I can only say I am frustrated, disappointed and really losing hope in humanity.

When a fellow Muslim brother or sister needs our help, we just seem to be so good and very quick to mistrust and disqualify.

"This must be a scam"
"They can go to the charities and get help"
"The Mosque can take care of them."
"I have my own bills to pay and mouths to feed."
"I gave last week."
"Why are they on the streets?"

     Rather than telling ourselves that these people are our own, or that maybe one day, we might be homeless and in need of a hand, we distance ourselves. We do not only assume we are totally sane and more dignified than the "needy", we dehumanize our own mankind. It is sick and leaves me really sad.

    We tend to automatically trust the middle class, well-dressed people while dismissing others. We mistrust over and over again. Little do we know that the mosques are not always so welcoming and ready to take in everyone. And that those charities might not always recognize everyone in need. And that when you give in charity, it is never a loss. And that when a brother or sister in Islam needs our help, we should be running to do whichever we can because it is ultimately us helping ourselves and giving us a step away from hell-fire.

'Adi bin Hatim (May Allah be pleased with him)reported:
Messenger of Allah (swt) said,

 "Everyone of you will speak to his Rabb without an interpreter between them. He will look to his right side and will see only the deeds he had previously done; he will look to his left and will see only the deeds he had previously done, and he will look in front of him and will see nothing but Fire (of Hell) before his face. So protect yourselves from Fire (of Hell), even by giving half a date- fruit (in charity)".
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Why have our hearts hardened so much? Why have we become so clouded by privilege that we cannot see that our blessings are not our work, but Allah's. Why don't we see ourselves in our fellow humans?

I'm sorry. This wasn't as positive as I hoped it would be. I'm just really upset.

May Allah always keep our hearts pure and filled with noor and love ameen

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

The Dos and Don'ts of Friendship


1. Abandon a friend during a tough time.

Not cool.

2. Get too attached. 

 Getting attached inevitably results in disappointment. Being in a relationship too long uncovers the faults evident in all of us. Be ready to accept that.

3. Force a friendship when it's not there.

It is Allah who mends hearts and it is also He who separates them. Treat humanity with kindness and expect nothing in return.

4. Carry any expectations.

 The only person you should expect anything from is yourself. But, anything else that comes from people is appreciated.

5. Cut anyone off in conversation.

 Be as the prophet (peace be upon him) who used to never leave a meeting before the other excused himself.

6. Take compliments too seriously.

  Compliments are to be appreciated, never used as validation of the self.

7. Let them go if they challenge and help you grow.

  Friends that challenge you in a positive way are the realest kind.

8. Stick to a "type."

 Be careful of arrogance in your choice of friends and companions

9. Friend the opposite sex.

Unless you want to make a mess.


1Do for them what they would like.

  What you would like is not always what they would.

2. Know that friends won't always be around to save the day.

 Allah gave you the friends you have and He can take them away at anytime. Thank Allah for the time you have together.

3. A real friend is one who makes dua for you in your absence.

 But how can you read anyone's mind?

4. The more diverse your friends are, the better your character probably is.

The types of friends we have reflect the makeup of our social filters. Keep the filters checked and working to let those with good character through, and those with a negative influence away. Judge using caution with what you see and can confirm in the face of your Lord.

5. The friends you spend the most time with reflect a big part of yourself.

There is something driving that connection. And it's in you.

6. Allah > Friends

Friends are from Allah.

7Family > Friends

Family will unconditionally accept you while friends are temporary. Family is obligation. Friends are what you do in spare time. However, what is right with Allah accepts no social or biological boundaries.

8. Know that your advice is not always needed.

It's not always about the awesome you.

9. Listen more and you'll make a ton of new friends.

Just a little bit of listening will open and teach you more about people you never knew.

10. Being "busy" is just an excuse for not caring enough.

Get the hint. Unless being busy is accompanied by "how about next Jumaa?"

And the biggest Do of them all:

11. Love for the sake of Allah

The best kind of love is one with Allah. Read more here on how to find out if you love someone for the sake of Allah.

What are your Dos and Don'ts?

Monday, 14 April 2014

We Should Be Ashamed of the Way We Treat Our Converts

    **Trigger warning**: confrontational language that may make you cringe. The intention of this entry is to make you feel uncomfortable. So if you are, don't stop reading.

     So, you're at a conference or some local mosque and a shy and nervous unfamiliar man or woman approaches the imam and says that he/she wants to convert to Islam. Suddenly, the crowds are whispering and on their toes thirsty and patiently awaiting to hear the words of the shahada come out of his/her mouth. As the imam addresses the man or woman and begins reciting the words, the prospective convert is anxiously trying his/her hardest to mumble them and is careful to do it as perfectly as possible. Everyone is on the edge of their seats. Women are smiling and some are even holding back their tears and as soon as the shahadah is done, the crowd erupts in a loud "Allahu akbar" and begins clapping. Tissues are passed around. The men quickly roam around the new convert and exchange their warmest salaams if it's a man. Women approach the woman and give hugs, congrats and some recipes for the full conversion to really take precedent in this "naive" man or woman's "new life".

     I wonder if these people take one minute to think about what happens after this ritual?

     Absolutely nothing.

     Poor man or woman. Not because they are new to the faith or anything. Heck, they could have better akhlaq and knowledge than all of us. But because of this show we put on for them. Because of this fasad we put on to lead them to believe that they might just be included in our circles.

     I wonder if us Muslims ever once think of what the newly converted brother and sister faces after that event? Have we thought of what it's like to have to face family with this new faith? And not just any faith, a faith that is to most seen as a "cult for terrorists". A faith that is termed by some non-Muslims as "satanic" at times among other horrible associations. In these families, the convert quickly realizes that they have chosen to alienate themselves within their own families. They may have to deal with having to hide their prayers, hide their higab, hide their Quran and even conceal their Muslim friends in some cases. So, naturally what happens then? As humans, we look towards family or support elsewhere and try to replace them with people who might accept us. Perhaps not completely replace them, depending on the situation, but the convert inevitably looks for a safe space.

     Now, where do you think the convert will go?

     To that fantasy we created. He or she will indefinitely go back to that mosque. But what will they find there?


     Everyone is too busy. We might give him or her some sources, books, a Quran. But do we really believe that that is what they are looking for? We are in the age of mass communication. Information is cheap and can be found everywhere. They look for a home and help. An avenue and a place to feel needed and accepted. But instead they are met with "busy" Muslims who appear to care but are no where to be seen when real help and action is needed. All they wanted was a listening ear and a helping hand. Instead, they find themselves alienated further within this new faith, facing discrimination within and outside their communities. The Muslims are too busy coming together on the basis of race and ethnicity, they forgot the converts among them. They might have been invited to a dinner or some event, but were they really included in conversation? or did everyone speak in their foreign tongue and then proceed to providing fake apologies met with more alienation?

I have a serious problem with the word "convert". I prefer to say so and so "embraced" Islam. The word convert has connotations that are very difficult to live by. It means, "now, be like us." It does not mean, "welcome to our faith" or "let's get to know one another." As soon as the new Muslim makes that shahadah, they are told by countless other older Muslims to "make up" all of the prayers they've missed, wear higab and do multiple deeds which are probably neglected by those people themselves. I found it beautiful when a Sheikh once told a new Muslim to make dua for him. It was a sweet way of saying "we are equals and your dua is just as valid as mine".

     The saddest part is when those who embraced Islam decide to consider leaving it. And it's not because of the faith itself, but because of our treatment.

     My fellow Muslims, do not look down on each other. Do not forget who guided you and who made you born a Muslim. Teach Islam in the softest way you can. Leave the rest to Allah.

Sunday, 13 April 2014

9 Signs You Have Trust in Allah

     I'm not going to lie, this one was pretty tough to write. Trust in Allah takes a lot of iman and taqwa. We have become so familiar with the concept of having control that we just can't stand relinquishing it for something or someone else. Often, our whole lives are just a big attempt at taking control of our situations and we seek a comfort in knowing that we've got it going good. How can one be fully trusting of Allah's decree? The prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) told us that we must take whatever actions needed towards our desired goal while leaving the unknown to Allah (swt). But how many of us truly believe that if we let things go, they would turn up in our favor? The prophet's companions used to enter battles where their chances for victory on paper would have been slim to none. But they had trust in Allah and trust that this was a deed for Him and Him only, and this is what ultimately made them victorious. 

Here are my 10 signs that you may have true trust in Allah (swt):

1. You don't expect your plans to play out perfectly:

   You take plans seriously but leave some flexibility for the unexpected. You easily embrace change and take comfort in knowing that things don't have to turn out "perfectly" as planned.

2. You believe uncertainty is inevitable:
   Some things in life don't have clear and direct solutions and you are okay with that. You think it is an inevitable part of life to not know things. Uncertainty is Allah asserting his presence in your life and you respect that this is His expertise.

3. You take serious risks: 

   You are not usually fearful of matters that most people fear. Fear is usually nurtured by uncertainty and when you've accepted uncertainty, then you've laid trust in Allah. You know that He is the One to record your risks as valid efforts that deserve good deeds and recognition on the day of judgement, regardless of the outcome. I would assume this applies to risks that are taken for the sake of Allah.

4. You do not dwell on matters beyond your control:

    When your expectations are not met, you quickly choose to remember Allah and say alhamdoulillah. Even if you were initially disappointed, it doesn't take you very long to reinstate your trust in Allah and get back to your daily routine. You are not the type to ask "what if?" and "why?" too much.

5. You don't need closure to get closure:

   Your ultimate source of closure is Allah. You don't need that phone call or some magical signs to show you that you made the right choice. 

6. You truly believe that Allah will never let you down: 

  You think Allah has your best interests at heart and that even the tribulations can be sources of happiness because they remind you that He thinks of you highly enough and knows that you can handle them.

7. You believe Allah judges you fairly:

  We tend to trust people who we believe will not judge us harshly. You truly believe that Allah sees through all your layers and recognizes your good as well as your bad deeds. You believe He makes His decision because He knows you even better than you know yourself.

8. You live life for something or someone else:

   You don't live for yourself. You live for a cause, a family or some other reason that you've set for Allah's sake and for your afterlife. For that reason, when something unexpected comes your way, you know that it's not because of your ill intentions and this keeps you calm to know that it wasn't you, it was just a test.

9. You know life isn't fair:

 You know that life is naturally a roller coaster and that the truth is that it doesn't get better. This helps you accepts that ups and downs and deal with new situations better. This also helps you appreciate the good moments rather than expect life to be happy as default.