Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Where Is That Exclamation Mark?

So there I was, desperately searching for the exclamation mark on my laptops keyboard, and it dawned on me how bad the situation was. I had not blogged in over a year and as my little boy's first birthday (what!!) loomed, I knew I had to regain a little bit of who I was. It will never be the same, no freedom; the voluntary late nights;the lazy mornings,but I felt the need to do something for myself,a little bit of an escape..
Around 10pm on Monday,the 25th of November last year, Muhammad Khuwaylid was born.After an exhausting two days,the weird feeling of catching sight of a flat(ish) stomach and looking into this little persons eyes before the nurse whisked him away for the night, was over-whelming.
I have grown up emmensly in the past 10 and a half months and there was the fair share of tears,frustration,moments of joy watching him smile,roll over,grab a toy for the first time,laughter watching him learn how to stand, fat little toes digging deeply into the carpet,little temper tantrums (from both of us "just go to sleep!" "I DONT WANT TO!")
I may have a long way to go,but hopefully with patience and perseverance, I won't be making too many mistakes InshaAllah.. Here's to the beginning! 

Friday, November 15, 2013

The Haraam Police

I follow quite a few Muslim bloggers,for various different reasons;some for their amazing fashion sense,some for inspiration and some just because of their hilarious outlook on life.

I'm not one to comment on their pictures,posts etc very often unless I feel the need to or it's something I really like.One thing I try to refrain from is commenting when I feel strongly against something. I've seen some well-intended comments regarding this and have also witnessed some disgustingly harsh,cruel,insensitive or totally unnecessary responses,sometimes all of the above in one comment.

Why fellow Muslimah's (and males,mind you!) feel the need to publicly bring down a Muslim sister is beyond me,it makes you wonder whatever happened to sisterhood and concealing another Muslims faults.I've always maintained that if you feel strongly about something,you can get your message across in a very polite manner.If the person still gets insulted,well then.

A term I've become familiar with is 'the Haraam Police' referring to those individuals,regardless of how they have put their message across,who are immediately 'atttacked' for pointing out a wrong (whether it may be or not) in something someone said,did,wore etc Islamically.

Granted,sometimes you just have to shut up and make a silent dua for the person.But after seeing a recent online argument where one sister very politely,with smiley emoticons etc pointed out something that was inappropriate for a Muslim,get smashed down by the blogger and her 'folllowers',I was slightly disgusted.
Opinions are shaped by upbringing,experiences etc.So,no two people in the world are going to agree 100% on every aspect.That's what makes us all unique.But part of been adult is respecting that the other persons opinion may differ to yours and then move on.

As Muslims,we are constantly striving to better ourselves.So when someone offers some advice,whether you agree with the advice given or not,thank the person and then do what you want with the information-discard or act upon.

The blogger was clearly peeved about been corrected and said that daily she must deal with people constantly picking on her life and finding faults.Well,you know what?Been a blogger,anonymous or not,means putting a part of your life out there,and human nature is to judge.Then came the 'HARAAM POLICE'  comments.

If you can't handle the heat,get out of the fire.And if you still want to stay,be gracious and act like a lady..Just some advice ;)

Friday, November 8, 2013

To Believe in Yourself or Not

Inspiration and courage can come from the most unexpected of places..Places,or people we tend to overlook often.Recently,mine came in the shape of my 7-year-old nephew.

He was telling me about his recent cricket training, using words like rotation and others that escape me now. Anyways,the story goes something like this ...

"..and then it was our turn to bat,so I told my friend;he's nine,that I was worried because I didn't know how to bat properly.
So he told me 'Just believe in yourself' and I did,I went to bat and I hit so many!"

I stared in amazement at this little person who had a fear,a second little person who encouraged him,and then this first little person who took that encouragement without a backward glance and went for it,tackled his fear and overcame!

I suddenly longed to have the spirit of a child. They also have their worries,they may seem little to us but are huge deals to them,yet are so keen and eager to overcome whatever is in their way.

How often don't we shoot down encouragement when someone offers it,saying it just wont happen or making excuses why it wont work. How often are we even willing to encourage others anymore??

Growing up  has made us pessimists,looking for faults,reasons not to succeed,reasons to run away and not try harder or at all.

I hope to remember this story for a long long time to come and hope my nephew always keeps his child-like bravery all through the years!

Friday, November 1, 2013

The Triple Filter Test

During the golden Abbasid period, one of the scholars in Baghdad, the capital of Muslim caliphate at that time, was reputed to hold knowledge in high esteem. One day an acquaintance met the great scholar and said, "Do you know what I just heard about your friend?"
  "Hold on a minute," the scholar replied. "Before telling me anything I'd like you to pass a little test. It's called the Triple Filter Test." 
"Triple filter?"
  "That's right," the scholar continued. "Before you talk to me about my friend it might be a good idea to take a moment and filter what you're going to say. That's why I call it the triple filter test. The first filter is Truth. Have you made absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is true?"
  "No," the man said, "actually I just heard about it and.." 
"All right," said the scholar. "So you don't really know if it's true or not. Now let's try the second filter, the filter of goodness. Is what you are about to tell me about my friend something good?" 
"No, on the contrary..."
  "So," the scholar continued, "you want to tell me something bad about him, but you're not certain it's true. You may still pass the test though, because there's one filter left: the filter of usefulness. Is what you want to tell me about my friend going to be useful to me?" 
"No, not really." 
"Well," concluded the scholar, "if what you want to tell me is neither true nor good nor even useful, why tell it to me at all?"
"O ye who believe! Let not some men among you laugh at others: It may be that the (latter) are better than the (former)" ... (to end of surah) Hujurat 49.12
"And spy not on each other behind their backs..." (to end of surah) Hujurat 49.13
Praise be to Allah that we are Muslims...

Friday, October 4, 2013

Finding the One

By Sister Taaiebah Ebrahim

As a pretend statistician, I'll say it's statistically proven that females are more prone to being caught up in idealistic romantic notions of love especially since we tend to be more emotional beings and brainwashed by fairytales of damsel’s in distress and the knight in shining armour hype. Naturally, as a young girl, I had far too many self-edited fairytale re-runs constantly playing in my head.  My excitement was always in anticipation of when my prince would romantically woo me, with me being obviously unaware, just as it was in those fables.  

Truth be told, I was always aware that those fables were indeed far from reality, so nothing surprised me and every person seemed fairly predictable. But even so, I hoped for a miracle - someone original to sweep me off my feet.

And then I was approached…I was given the longest love letter, ever. I was flattered that Someone had taken the time to write to me and was most definitely intrigued. But - I didn't really know Him. So I thought, at least let me, hear Him out, after all, there was a great amount of effort put into this letter.
In all honesty, it was quite entertaining. The letter reflected warmth, beauty, bravery, it was so inspiring. It was like a dream sometimes where good battled and won over evil. There were heroes overcoming their weaknesses, there were love stories (my favourite) and other stuff, but really, the whole thing was about me. I knew this because my name was written all over the place. I was totally in tuned with the Author and was taken aback at how He knew so much about me.

Everyday I got presents from Him too. Now, I'm not the type to get bought over, but these gifts were too nice to return to sender, if you know what I mean.

So, I'd read portions of His letter everyday...and to be honest, gifts aside, He really started growing on me and the more I'd read His letter, the more attached I became to Him. Even though I didn't meet Him yet, I really started to like Him. The more I read, the more love I felt . He seemed to tick all the right boxes; He was knowledgeable, spoke about every topic relevant from animals to society and its challenges. He always made me feel so special by making reference to me, all the time. He would go on and on about how He would do anything for me… I just had to ask. So that was nice.
He got me thinking. I mean this was it. It's the moment we wait for our whole lives. The magic moment that reroutes your future in a simple decision. But as my eyes got bigger, I'd keep reading things in this letter, that I wasn't sure I was ready to hear. There was a commitment, yes indeed a BIG one!

I was at a crossroad. Take Him or wait for someone else. The decision, however, was clear and there was no real choice to be made. It was more like a one way street than a crossroad. He promised to listen to me, when everyone failed to understand me.
 He'd appreciate my humour, understand my emotions and my demeanour. He promised to never break His promises. Could I really believe Him?

He said this whole world and everything in it was nothing compared to me. His words kept on taking my breath away. He seemed so perfect and I felt so honoured and fortunate. I realised I found the One! As the letter began to conclude, He then beautifully and eloquently said…

"Qul huwa laahu Ahad" (Say: He is Allah, the One.) (Quraan 112:1)

This love letter was the Qur’aan, obviously, and the perfect One indeed is. ..ALLAH, THE GREAT.

You see, before I wrongly assumed this craving for love and understanding needed feeding from a human. And while being fully aware of humans and their flaws and predictabilities, I never saw the One who was always there.
 I realised it was Allah that was always will be my first and true love.
The point is that we all have this insatiable gap that needs feeding and we're always craving to feel complete. It's an unsettling feeling knowing something's missing. And until we begin to realise that it can only be filled with accepting Allah's love, we'll forever be searching for temporary fixes that promise no certainty.
Without any judgement, it's understandable in our modern life age to blindly hunt for short-lived reliefs to numb the nagging aching in our chests – after all, we've been coached since young to seek out quick fixes. But it's no reason to your life's betterment to insist on this sort of addictive cycle.

We don't have to wait until we all eventually reach the moment of 'Heeeelp! My cup runneth over!'. It'd be a good idea to nicely sit your sub-conscious down for a no-nonsense one-on-one family meeting, and make it realise that so long as it goes on autopilot in search of completion in anything or anyone outside of yourself, it and you will always feel unfulfilled and super sucky. Being consistently strong in a new way of thinking, trains your sub-conscious to new automatic patterns. Look for permanent freedom - not temporary relief peeps.

Another point to note is to avoid placing the unrealistic expectation of finding perfection in a partner. Everything we've been conditioned to look for in a spouse, is in Allah in perfection, so rely on Him alone to see to your needs, and share your joys with your spouse.
Allah is indeed the Only True Love, He is First and Last, His Love is a beginning without an end, His promises are all true, all we need to do is Love Him  and love for His Sake and when every other Love dims the Love of Allah will still shine bright!
Source: eislam