Friday, 26 September 2014

'When did I become such a bad Muslim?'



Today like every Friday at our college, there was an Islamic Society meeting. I do not attend regularly but rather every few weeks. Friday lunchtimes always seem to be busy in some way or another, but this week I had vowed to myself that I would go, as I had already missed two other meetings, and it would be a shame not to hear about lessons in Islam.

From beforehand I was aware that the topic was going to be about Du'a, and how it is a weapon for the believer.

On this particular Friday I arrived late to the meeting, and the discussion of the main topic had already finished, and they had moved on to talk about other topics on the agenda.

I squeezed into the room which was unusually brimming with people and sat down in the corner of the room beside other people who were also sitting on the floor. 

I do not know what it was about today, but as I looked across the whole room and at the lead sisters of the Islamic society at the front of the room, my heart sort of deflated, and I wanted to cry.

The more I looked at the sisters that were addressing us, the more I wanted to cry.

In my head one question continued to circulate - 'when did I become such a bad Muslim?'

Over and over again, the question was running circles in my head and being in that room made me feel mentally weak. 

Again, I do not know why I felt like this. All I could think was how I should have been one of those sister's telling others about Islam. I should be stronger in my faith. I should be creating a closer link with Islam.

But I was far from all that.

I left the room feeling more depressed than I had been in quite some time, with a heavy weight on my heart and head. One thing you notice when you have an all time low is how easily susceptible you are to all things negative. In that already deflated position, one by one, more things add up in your mind and it gets worse, Literally a downward spiral. 

Today I was lucky. After a few hours to myself and as I set off to go home I somehow seemed to have calmed down a lot. 

On the bus home, I reflected on the question I had posed to myself earlier that day at the meeting: 'When did I become such a bad Muslim?'

I cannot really fully answer this question, and a bigger part of the answer would probably be based on looking at my past, whether that was a few days, weeks, or months ago. But I would rather not look back because I know it will only make things wrong. What I realised instead was that I should take this as some sort of push and wake up call. I should take it as a step forward. 

My heavy heart was telling me something, and I needed to listen. 

In that room, as I sat there, the only person telling me I was not a good Muslim was the voice in my head. I was my own enemy. 

I may not be a 'good enough' Muslim in this moment in time, but if I fall into a whirl of negativity I would never be able to turn myself around and become 'good enough'.

As I write this, I am not at all sure from what point I need to start. But I know I won't over think myself silly trying to work out a starting point. Maybe my starting point could be this Sunday, I could attend the Islamic event the sister's at the Islamic Society were talking about. That could possibly be a starting point.

And sometimes it is crazy to spend time trying to work out when to start because life is truly short, and who knows how much shorter it could be. I do not know when my time will come. 

Even though I may have missed the topic on Du'a at the meeting, I know a fair bit about it myself. It may seem like your prayers are continuously not being answered, but the beauty is that if you are patient and you do not lose faith in Allah, your answers will come when it is the right time for them to come. 

A while back I had made Du'a about something that was causing me a lot of stress. And it was not until months later that my prayers were answered, but even then it took a while before I even realised that what had happened had come as an answer to my problems. 

The power of Du'a can truly be amazing.  

I am not sure why I wanted to write this down, but honestly I haven't had a lot of days recently where I have felt 'down', and having to experience that feeling after a while made it all the more worse. But I am still working to limit my number of 'down' days.

Side note: To cheer myself up, I baked cupcakes!

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Note to Self [2] - Disappointment


Dear The Me Tomorrow, 

Disappointment, why is this such a common feeling?

Why do you constantly feel disappointed in yourself and even others? Is there not a point where you should learn to get over the situation and be glad of what is in front of me.

It is not that I am telling you to be happy with everything either, cry your eyes out or moan all you want, but really, why is it so hard for you to say Alhamdulillah and move forward.

Is it not that everything that is ever thrown in your path sent by Allah? Is your faith not strong enough that you cannot accept that all things good and bad are from Allah?

In the moment when you are faced with a disappointment or even a disaster, you never seem to stop and ask myself these questions.

Maybe something does not work out the way you had wished it would, whether that be grades or friendships or something else completely.

When 'what you wanted' does not happen the way you had wanted it to happen, it comes to form this negative lens that every time you attempt to view the world positively, you are thrown into only seeing the darkest corners of life as though everything is falling apart, or you question what have you done to deserve such disappointment.

There comes a point where you just need to suck it up and move on to the next hurdle in life because they are never ending cause surely Allah tests those He loves. If you were to live life without disappointments or hurdles, what reward would there be waiting for you in the hereafter? You have not jumped over obstacles to win yourself a prize at the end.

So a message to the Me Tomorrow, stop complaining about your disappointments, say Alhamdulillah and keep walking on life's path.

Lots of Love,

The Me Today.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Smiling, Always Smiling.


That slight quirk of your mouth, or that all-teeth blazing smile, that is what makes everything alright.

Your smile is the most beautiful when it appears genuine.

A smile says so many things, but most of all, if you can smile at least once during your worst days, it tells me you are a fighter.

Fighting against all that has put you down.

You are a fighter, you always pull yourself out from the deepest part of the ship wreck.

You are a fighter, and that smile tells me you have moved a few steps forward towards a mighty victory.

That smile of yours is the most beautiful I have ever seen. Not because you smile in a particular kind of way, but rather it brings a glow to your face. You are living and breathing, like I always say, that is what counts the most.

Keep smiling, you are a fighter, and with each passing day - smile brighter.


Saturday, 28 June 2014

This Ramadan...

Alhamdulillah that I have come to meet Ramadan again this year, that in itself is a beautiful blessing, I couldn't be more grateful!

When Ramadan comes round each year, there is like this shift in the atmosphere, and in some way it's like I can breathe much more clearer, the nights feel more cooler, and there is so much beauty everywhere.

This post will really be about what I hope to achieve this Ramadan and just simple reminders to myself.

First and most importantly, this month is my fast track lane to getting close to Allah, to put the time and effort into building the connection which if I am completely honest has weakened over the past year.

Since last Ramadan, so much has happened in my life that I cannot begin to make a list of them all in my head. There have been many downs, but each time I have been able to get back up, and I thank Allah for giving me the courage to do so.

I have also noticed that lately I have been filled with such negative emotions, which really just works to be the venom of a person's own body. I need to use this Ramadan to cleanse my mind and get rid of the black scars etched on my heart.

I hope to be forgiven. To start again. To breathe clearer. To love stronger. To be there for others. To never lose hope in Allah. To know my priorities. To smile wider. To be happier. All in all, be a better person In'sha'Allah!

I pray for myself and the Ummah, every person who is suffering, however big or small. I cannot express how glad I am that Ramadan has been granted to me for another year, and I strongly hope that I can make the changes that I couldn't make last year.

Let this month be my new beginning if nothing else!

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Note to Self [1]


Dear The Me Tomorrow, 

I know right now everything is getting too much, that words have become loud noises clogging your mind, that each deadline being worked towards is not going right. No matter how much you wish for the world around you to quieten down or even shut up, there is no way on Earth that can happen. Do not wish for what cannot happen, but rather what you can make happen.

One thing that resonates well with me is the saying that 'it's just a bad day, not a bad life'. It might happen to be a string of bad days, but it still does not equate to a bad life.

At least you are breathing, right?

Does that not count for a lot?

Well it does, because as long as you keep breathing, you will get to places. Trust me, you will move forward with every backlash, every mental breakdown, because one step back should mean you come back two steps forward fighting.

I am proud of what you have done so far, and do not for a second be angry with yourself, or degrade your future. The future is still open to changes and wonders, don't try to narrow the amount of possibly amazing things you will do. If what you want does not work out, something better will come round - believe that and it will.

You are not the only one fighting this battle, there are numerous people facing the strain just like you. They are coping, so you can too. And more than that, I have faith that you will get through, because think about all the other times, did you not manage it all?

Keep going because I know you have caught sight of the twinkle of light at the end of the tunnel. That is where you are heading, and some part deep down inside knows you can get there soon.

Here's to great things and much less sessions of falling apart.

Lots of Love,

The Me Today.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

{5} Chasing Away The Heavy Heart: EVERYTHING WILL BE OKAY

I did not want to write much for this post. I think the quote above speaks volumes, equivalent to a million words I could end up writing if I wanted to.

It can get hard to visualise that things will get better when everything is far from okay.

Maybe you could save the quote above and put it up as your phone screen saver or background. Just a reminder - that you will be fine, just give it time.

Saturday, 15 February 2014

It Is Okay Not To Be Okay.

Sometimes you just need to admit that you are not okay.

It really is okay not to be okay.

Some will say it is a weakness - to not be okay. That 'to not be okay' shows you up as weak minded or not strong enough emotionally and mentally.

But we were not made with hearts of stone, or created immune to pain. There is a reason so many of us break.
It is because we can break, there is that possibility of us breaking.

We may not choose to be unhappy.

Unfortunately sadness does come along. Sometimes unhappiness jumps out from the unlikeliest corners, allowing you in no way to prepare for the worst. Other times you feel it descend on you, slowly weighing you down.

Before you know it, you are not okay anymore.

But - know that it is not the end of the world.

Allah sends a person hardship as a test. No matter how unfair it may seem to you, keep in mind that Allah only wants what is best for you. I tend to forget this, I fail to remember that the difficulties in life are there for a reason.

While you are 'not okay', some people seem to lose faith and hope, and I do understand their perspective, that they feel something happening to them is unjust or they feel their prayers are going unanswered.

For me though, not having that faith that something better is to come or losing trust in Allah has never been something I have ever considered before. Honestly, it is my trust and faith that always got me through.

We may shatter into a million pieces, but we can heal. The heavy heart will come but you will need to chase it away.

You cannot expect ease to come unless you actually do something to achieve it. You cannot simply sit around waiting for it (however in some cases that may be the only solution).

Life can be an utter mess, but if you take small steps you will get out of the mess.

If you need to cry - cry.

If you want someone to talk to - find them and talk.

It is okay not to be okay, because it gets better.

I promise you there is one way or another that you can pull yourself out from all the rubble you have found yourself under. I promise.