A piece of peace 

We worry and sit and scroll and sip, whilst we check our bank balances, and worry about the name of our car, or the typography on our tops, we flick through feeds filled with designer labels and wish we could have more…

But what are we actually in hope for, there will always be someone richer than you, a house bigger than yours, a new make or model will always come out, but do you actually want it or is what you have sufficient? Are we chasing materialistic items to fill a space that needs much more than a Louis Vuitton bag or a red sole shoe? Are we always going to treasure it? Does having a 6 digit bank balance truly make us happy? 

Don’t get me wrong, we can all buy nice things and enjoy them if God has given us the means to do so…. but it shouldn’t be our aim, our worry, our goal. Work hard, yes. But if you’re doing your best and you have a loving family, a house over your head, food to eat, be GREATFUL. You can have all the money in the world but if your child or partner or parent was killed or was severely injured would the look of your bank account make any difference to you? Would anything be able to fill such a hole in your life? I doubt it. 

Same way, we need to learn to fill the holes in our hearts with rememberance of the one who has control over all things. It’s so so easy to forget that we don’t ALWAYS have control over the things in our life. You can only do the best you can do. God deals with the rest. God fills the gaps because he is the one who knows they’re there without you having to even say that they’re there. 

Now we have parents worrying about their 16 year olds antics. How they have no control. But we forget that we don’t always have control. We forget that there’s a supreme being who takes these things out of our hands simply so we can turn to him and trust him. So we can talk to him. Believe in him. 

With all the physical conflicts of today’s climate, we forget to deal with our inner conflicts. With all the distractions placed around us we start to chase the wrong things. We start to get blinded by the flashy lights that we forget what we’re given. We need to be more open hearted, open minded, engaging, loving, and trusting. We need to remember that god controls all things, and we just have to do our bit and trust him. No matter how hard that may be. Try it. You’ll feel the piece of peace you’ve been searching for, even when the situation couldn’t get any worse. Allah will hold your worries and replace them with divine comforts of knowing that he is in control. Just turn to him. 

Find the missing piece of peace, it’s just a step away….

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Changes 

I haven’t written for some time due to the busy summer that occupied me (getting married, holiday, settling in to the life of a newly wed). But I’d like to start getting back into routine with a blog post-Dedicated to results day, change and new starts! 

As a young soon-to-be-wedded muslimah living in a predominantly Asian community I heard a lot of ‘it’ll all start once you’re married’, ‘wait till you’re married and it’ll hit you’, ‘enjoy the honeymoon period whilst it lasts’ and many more remarks that I couldn’t help but feel carried negative connotations. I have alhamdulillah only been married 5-6 weeks but they have been wonderful. I miss my mums hearty casserole and my dads comments that make me giggle, my grandmas one of a kind akni and my loud siblings, but they’re ALL still there for me. The difference is I’ve now started a life with my better half who I’ll start a family with some day. Marriage seems to have a ‘life-stop’ stigma to it and it’s frustrating to hear when you’re looking forward to taking your next step as a married couple. Yes there are moments of stress or anxiety when you’re settling in to a new house and I’m certain there’ll always be things to learn and compromise on. But having a new start in life with someone you love is a beautiful experience. There’s more love than annoyance, more happiness than frustration. Little negative moments last no longer than 10 minutes because your love for your spouse takes over the little thing you were annoyed about. You learn, you compromise, you move on, you love. LOVE being the main glue that holds you together. There’s no reason to argue when you remember you’re rewarded every time you look at eachother with love. SubhanAllah. Respect eachother and work together.  

My point in explaining my first reflections as a newly wed being that we’re going to always make new changes in our lives.  Some big, some small, but they’re going to be changes that affect our routine. We’ve become so attatched to little worries and listening to other people’s experiences that we forget to make our own. Especially as a Leicester girl living in an Asian Muslim society. It’s ridiculous that we can’t take a minute to step out the little box we’ve put ourselves in and look at the bigger picture, of loving and living for the sake of god. For doing everything to please him and to please yourself. To gain happiness.

So yes, you may have failed your a levels, or maybe you’re moving out to uni, or maybe you’re getting married, or you are married and are having difficulty, whatever your change is, it’s happening for a reason. Allah has put you there for a reason- find it. It’s up to YOU to be the result you want to see. Even if it feels impossible, move forward. Keep moving forward and along the way people will try to discourage you. But it’s up to YOU not to listen. Believe in yourself, believe in love, and most importantly have belief in God. He’ll get you there. You just have to take the first step. 

Don’t let any negativity discourage you from being the best you can be. Consider the possibilities, use your initiative, and follow your heart AND mind. Every change is a new beginning. 

May we have the best success in this world and in the hereafter. May we find love and happiness in all we do. May we be granted with ease and patience in times of worry and difficulty, and may Allah bring us closer to the ones we love. Ameen. 

For the sake of peace 

Every day I hear, read or watch a piece of news that upsets me. A rape, a murder, a brutal fight, a hate crime, war threats or another terror attack. They’re all highly upsetting and angering, but the latter scares me most.

When I hear a terror attack on the news it’s almost predictable as to who it’s linked to. This who that seems to claim to be an Islamic group. A group that use my religion as a signpost for their identity. Yet this group share NO similarity to what I believe. I’ve not a clue what they believe as I can’t possibly find, think or comprehend as to what they’re in belief of. 

I get particularly scared of hearing of a terror attack because I feel the heightened threat of being shouted at or attacked when I’m walking in the street for simply being Muslim. I feel threatened of being a victim of hate crime, for something I have no connection or association with. I believe in peace, love, sharing, welcoming, and God. I believe in forgiveness, support, and strength, and not even a minuscule of my religion teaches me to harm. I believe in not even harming a fly, so how is it that these attacks are linked to my religion? I feel upset for those who lost loved ones, I pray for those who are hurt. I question how can I help?  

I feel just as upset, angered and threatened as every other person who stands for peace. Except more so because the attack may have the name of Islam attatched to it, and that’s what upsets me most. That to some, that’s all they may know of Islam. Yet none of it even comes close to what I believe, and none of these acts can be put under the umbrella of what my religion teaches. I’m a Muslim and I believe in peace never hate. 

It’s touching to see people coming up and standing together against all the hate. It’s the little hope that keeps us going. For all those killed, in all types of attacks and wars -I pray for you. I pray you rest in heaven and I pray that God grants the families and loved ones of the victims patience. I am Muslim and I condemn terror and acts of violence. I am Muslim and I believe in peace ✌🏼️ 

I am a person and I know that love will always rise above hate. We stand together as people; humans standing for humanity. For the sake of peace; Assalamu’alaykum Warahmatullah wabarakatu (May the peace, mercy and blessing of god be upon you). 

Finding beauty in the beautiful 

There’s everything around us. Telling us our thighs should be slimmer whilst our bums should be rounder. That our waists should be smaller with our chests out bigger. That our skin should be flawless, free of any scar, spot, or stretch mark. 

Everything around us tells the man to be muscular and taller. To be free of flaws. To be the emotional support to but free of emotion. 

What about  Someone isn’t the perfect size (whatever that might be) but they have a strong conviction within themselves that they have been made by something much greater than everything you could ever imagine. Someone who knows that the standards set by models won’t define who they are or what their self worth is. 

We’re constantly being fed ideas that we should look or be a certain way, which for some leads to depression, anxiety, and health issues. We’re not a product set out to meet standards of society. We’re not pieces of plastic that can be moulded. We’re people. We’re made for a greater higher purpose. 

Yes we should be the best version of ourselves, we should be healthy, we should be confident in ourselves. But the size of our jeans or our height doesn’t define us as beautiful. Beauty isn’t skin deep, beauty isn’t considered by the number of scars you have, beauty is much deeper. 

We need to look at people for what’s within. Not what’s on the outside. A heart that’s connected to Allah, that is kind, that is generous, loving, and strong, is beautiful. If you have Allah, if you have love, if you have strength,  you have the tools to be beautiful – you’re far beyond what society can define, so don’t try and be what you’re not. Allah made YOU. That should be special enough. 

If the whole world was blind how many people would you impress? – Boona Mohammed 

Our world 

We’re living in a world where all hope seems lost. We’re in a place where people are killing innocent others, where violence has become prime, where young people are throwing their lives away for the sake of living the ‘street life’. Where families are being torn apart, where young children are being killed without any understanding as to why. Where children are recording violent fights to post online. 

It’s a place where the bare necessities of humanity are lost. Where we’ve become money orientated, power consumed. Each individual being has their own struggles and challenges to face, yet we forget that Allah never gives the soul a burden that it can’t bare. That he, the writer of our destiny is always in control. All you have to do is call to him. Not that we should give up. We need to work hard, we need to battle our trials with full faith that Allah will get us through, because he will. 

There’s nothing in existence without Allah, and this we seem to forget. That he controls everything. He tests us with wealth with power with hardship with trials. Things that humans are made to trip up on but we have to be strong. To make the ummah great again each person needs to stop thinking that they’re insignificant. Each individual has a gift or a talent that they can use. Whether it’s academic, or not. Embrace it, and use it to play your part in the ummah. To make your difference. You may not change the world but playing your part makes all the difference. 

We need to look far beyond titles and labels in the age we live in we need to look at people as people. Yes he may be racist, but holding a door open for him may change his mind on your race. Kill them with kindness. 

The world we live in has consumed love with materialistic matters and power. We need to strip back on the titles and labels and strip back on who’s got what and start to love for the sake of loving. Love because you care, because you’re a believer. Love because Allah loves you, and never stop praying. 

Dua is a way of directly telling Allah what you want, and how you feel. Its a way of opening up to him and asking him for help and guidance, and things that we want to gain. He ALWAYS hears us, and even though it may feel like its taking time for your dua to be accepted, know that he is still listening. He is closer to you than your jugular vein. Turn to him first not as your last resort. 

May Allah grant us the ability to be a strong ummah again. May Allah help us in all we do. May he protect us from all evil. May he guide us and our loved ones and bring us closer to him. May he give us the ability to be strong and work hard and ultimately love each other for his sake. Ameen. 

How do I choose between my head and heart? 

As months, days, hours, minutes go by we experience. Some experiences will be better than others, but either way, we’ve experienced aspects of life that others may or may not have. These experiences and the difficulties we face are what shape us as people. Our experiences, no matter how small, have the power to change our personalities to mould us into something we may not even see ourselves as. 

They’re so exceptionally powerful yet how often do we think about them? How amazingly beautiful it is that Allah puts us in certain positions to push us to where we are. We’re made to go through these experiences to bring us to the place we’re meant to be. Wherever that place is, itll come to you at the right time, not only to bring you a new experience, but perhaps to teach you, help you, guide you, or make you stronger. 

Allah loves the ones who love him. If you’re faith is strong, if you’re a ‘good muslim’ no matter where you find yourself, it’ll be the experience you need to move forward. So believe in that. Even if it’s not always the most positive experience, have faith in Allah that you’re there for purpose. Make your decisions using your HEAD AND HEART. How?- think about what would be right, do what feels right, think about how you’d move forward to be the best you can be with the help of Allah. Never act on anger or upset. Never feel that Allah isn’t on your side. There are always lows of faith, even the prophet (the greatest of man) had lows in faith. You just have to believe and carry on. 

You’ll get there with the help of your lord. Wherever ‘there’  might be. You’re on your way. Your experiences shape you so embrace them, and allow yourself to make the best decisions based on them. 

Be strong. Be powerful. Use your words wisely. Be kind. Be happy. Be faithful. 

Love Allah and he will allow you to feel his love. 

We plan but Allah is the best of planners. 

Only Human? 

It’s been some time since I’ve written, and so I’d like to make a comeback talking about something a little different. 

Being a human. 

What does that mean? 

Being a human means you have the ability to make decisions. You have the ability to know and to choose. You have the ability to overcome your fears or to shy away from them. You have the ability to speak up or stay quiet. You have the ability to comfort and to destroy. You have the ability to feel, and think. We’re given many abilities which makes us the best of creation. It also makes us imperfect. 

Being human is making mistakes. Being human is learning from what we do wrong. We fall and we stand. We break and we repair. We hurt and we love. We see a problem and we solve it according to our own individual minds. That makes us powerful. It makes us knowledgable. It makes us who we are. 

So we’re always learning. Everyone of us whether mother, daughter, son, father, brother, sister, orphan. We’re learning, not to be each other, or to be like each other. But we’re learning to live not just be alive. Each generation will learn differently, and each generation will have different definitions of what living means. But one thing that will never change is that being human is being imperfect. 

Yes, we fall, but then we pray and by the will of Allah we become stronger. Yes we cry, but with his divine help we find an indescribable comfort in prayer. We struggle, and he helps us make a decision. The prophets of the past each tell a story which helps us learn. They help us stand up when we fall because like us, they were human. Let’s stop looking at each other, looking at her and him, pointing fingers, and let’s look at ourselves. Let’s stop pushing each other down, and start helping each other become better because that’s the only way this Ummah can stand strong. 

We’re humans. We can love. We can support. We can push. We can strengthen. We can educate. We can help. We can believe. We can PRAY. Let’s learn from the best to reach the best potential that Allah has placed within us.  

May Allah guide us and make us successful in all we do. May he make it easy for us to see what is good and what is not. May he make us the best we can be in order to please him. Ameen. 
 

Knowing 

To know what makes you successful is something we all wish we knew. I can’t promise you success and I can’t promise you the best money can buy, but I know that the best things come from knowing the creator. To know yourself, to know that it’s okay to love the body Allah has given you, comes from knowing him. It’s not about what society has taught us to believe about ourselves. It’s not about knowing the latest songs or trends. It’s about knowing the one who made it possible for you to even breathe. 

When you find the belief that Allah is always with you, you will find knowingness of him. You will know what faith is. You’ll find yourself thanking him for all the good, and asking of him through the rough. You may not always have money, or the best the world can offer, but if you know yourself through knowing your Lord you’ll feel content with what he has given. You’ll feel your hearts contentment. That you’ve found the peace that nothing materialistic can offer. It’s a difinitive peace that can only come from knowing the one who created you. 

It’s better to be poor and strong in faith than rich and on haram money with no knowingness. Why? Because the knowing that Allah is with you, that you have a duty on this earth, is something much greater than any riches money can buy. It’s knowing the difference between living and just being alive. 

To know him, you have to believe that you’re prayers are heard, that your actions are seen, that he will not let you down. You have to know that Allah will make of the situation what is best for you. You can want, but Allah will give you what you need. You can ask of him, but know that he hears you. Know that he listens to every prayer made through the silent tears shed. Believe in him. Know that he is aware of your hearts state and know that he is the one who can make way for you. Know that he is the only one who you can rely on without being left broken, hurt or upset. He will bring you to the ones who love you and deserve you. Don’t assume you can make it through a battling world alone. Allah is there. Know it.

And when my servants ask you about me (oh Muhammed) I AM NEAR, I answer the call when he calls on me, and have faith in me, that they may be rightly guided (Qur’an 2:186) 

A hearts fulfilment 

There’s a lump of flesh, a muscle. In each individual. A vital clot that allows our blood to flow. 

There are people. Some who love us, some who don’t. Some who bring us hardships and pain and some who offer us love and comfort. 

Sometimes, words, actions and events create cuts in the lump of flesh. With each tear that strolls it feels as though those cuts turn into holes, leaving nothing but emptiness. The more cuts we feel, the more we cry, the more holes, until we’re left spiralling into a hopeless pit of hopelessness. 

Do you see the problem? We try to fill these holes through people, or things that will only make us more vulnerable to cuts and holes. We find a strange sense of belonging in things we know are wrong. We tend to run back to the same kinds of people who created the holes in the first place, asking them for fulfilment. 

Yet were given a choice. We can fill these holes with temporary deceiving pleasures OR we can fill our hearts with the same substance from which they initially were made, only better. Something that not only fills it, but makes the muscle stronger. Something that makes a positive change in what you see, think and say. Something that doesn’t promise to protect you from cuts, but promises to ALWAYS be there.

 We can find fulfilment in Allah. He will fill your holes if you sincerely ask him. He will fill you with a sense of purity and hope no matter how deep your cuts. He can make you feel renewed. Allah knows the state of your heart, do you not think that as the creator he would be the best one to turn to in order to repair it? He is the one who can change the state of our hearts through turning to him. Allah is the most merciful, most forgiving, most kind. He hears your silent prayers when nobody else does. He understands you not just as a Muslim but as a human. So we should do our best to gain our hearts contentment through fulfilling our obligations to the one who fashioned us. Peace starts from within.  And when we learn to place our hearts in the hands of the one who created it, he will place in our lives people who deserve to hold it.

May Alllah guide us and grant us Jannah. May he forgive us for all the wrong we may do. May he make us successful in this life and in the hereafter. May he protect us from all forms of jealousy and evil. May he bring us closer as an Ummah and give us the strength to be strong.  Ameen. 

The example of His light is like a niche within which is a lamp, the lamp is within glass, the glass as if it were a pearly [white] star lit from [the oil of] a blessed olive tree, neither of the east nor of the west, whose oil would almost glow even if untouched by fire. Light upon light. Allah guides to His light whom He wills. And Allah presents examples for the people, and Allah is Knowing of all things. [24:35] 

Be The Change! 

This weekend I attended an ISB (Islamic Socieety of Britain) Young Muslims residential as a mentor, called Be The Change. It’s a weekend where 11-17 year old Muslim children come together to talk, discuss, explore ideas, and venture out of their comfort zones, helping them to ultimately be the change. 

Although different from the nature of my other blog posts, this weekend is definitely something I want to write about and share with you. Not only did Be The Change inspire the Young Muslims, but it also inspired me as a mentor. The challenges allowed me to step outside my comfort zone only to expand it. 

Having the children support each other and talk about issues they face in day to day life as young Muslims, is something we should all do as an Ummah. These children are an example of what our Ummah should be. They inspire each other, appreciate each other, learn from each other, and support each other. When one is cold, the other gives them their jacket. When one is eating they make an effort to share. When one is sad they all show their concern. When one is happy they all join in the laughter. When one is struggling, they all offer support and help. 

Each individually talented and amazing in what they do, they inspire those around them without trying. This weekend was a reminder to myself that to change we must start from within. To ultimately be the change, we have to push our comfort zone, we have to support one another, we have to be considerate, we have to follow the Quran and Sunnah as the prophet (pbuh) practiced, we have to listen to each other and support each other, removing judgements. 

We as a Ummah need to listen to what they have to say. Events like this residential give the young people space to discuss things they’re usually scared of discussing. It gives them space to explore and understand Islam as we know it. It gives them place and identity, and somewhere to build their confidence. A place where they can grow to be the change they can be. 

I’ve attended YM residentials many times, but returning as a mentor this year was somewhat more inspiring and moving. Being a figure for those children to look up to and to ask help from is by far one of the best experiences I’ve had, which I insha’Allah plan to carry out for as long as I can. I’d like to thank Aunty Rabiha for giving me such an amazing opportunity, for helping me carry out my aspirations, and helping me build my confidence. 

Verily! Allah will not change the condition of a people, unless there is a change of what is in themselves. (Ra’d verse 11)