Unexpected 

Who am I you ask. 

But you answered your own question. 

Someone who has built sturdy walls to keep out the pain. 

Walls I have worked tiresly to build. 

But one by one you’re tearing them down

As if that’s what you were sent for. 

Do I hate it? 

Surprisingly not. 

I am lost for words because you have given me something I never thought I would have. 

Just like the hadith where we are told if we enter Jannah, we will forget all of our worldly hardships. 

Being with you is similar to that. 

Like my heaven on earth, 

You make me forget the times I didn’t want to live 

Because life was tough. 

But now you are here, 

And that’s enough. 

So be patient with me, 

It takes a while for me to open up

As much as I want to tell you everything, 

Sometimes the words don’t come out. 

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Against the grain

Sometimes in life, people will push you to do something you don’t want to do. If this thing goes against your morals, faith or values, don’t compromise. Ever. 

It does not matter if this person is your family member, your boss, your lifelong friend- do not compromise. 

People may argue all they like that compromise means maturity over ego, and it means respect etc. Yes, sometimes, but sometimes it’s not. 

Here’s what I do know.

– Compromising against your values means you lose who you truly are. And you are nothing without your values. 

– If you compromise your faith just to fit in to societal norms, you will lose your identity. Set the example. Go against the grain. 

– When you aim to please people in order to gain acceptance, you lose your self worth. 

– Compromise is not always necessary. Your principals should never, ever be compromised.

And I shall leave you with this, “The irony of compromising your morals to please others is that eventually even they will stop respecting you for having wear resolve”. – Saad Tasleem. 

Once a stranger 

There you were. 

Strange as a stranger can be. 

Our souls must have met previously, 

For me to be full of certainty

That you will be the one

I will spend my days and my nights with

In happiness 

And in pain. 

Show me you will be there

Through struggles and despair

And I will do everything I can

To make you the happiest man. 

Fire

Like a burning candle, 

Sometimes you brighten up my night. 

When the power goes out, and all I see is darkness, your guiding light saves me. 
~

But sometimes, the light catches on fire, and you become the burning house that’s crashing in on me. 
~

As though rubble has collapsed on me, 
Burrying me deep into the ground until there’s nothing left of me.

~Family.

~
-Sometimes your family will be your strength and guide you through, and sometimes they will push you to unimaginable limits. 

I waited. 

The next day I woke up and you were no longer to be seen.

The footsteps you used to take, no longer to be heard.
The bed you used to sleep in, deserted.
The clothes you wore, now taken away for good will or for dry clean.
The house was quiet. Empty.
Something was missing.
I waited.
Every time I heard a car driving past at night,
I waited for the noise I would usually hear despite
I waited for the sound of the key unlocking the door.
I waited.
But nothing happened, not at all.

Then the pains of seeing your beautiful face,
No heart beat.
I broke down and embraced
All that I could, all that remained.

And then I saw your name on the grave.
Then it was all too real to handle,
Too much to take
Now the pain is unbearable.

The ground you are to be buried in also awaited.
It now feels your presence
While we’re separated.
But now I wait for a different meeting.
I wait until I can meet you in heaven.
And that’s better than seeing you again in this world.
And I wait, until I am to my Lord returned. 
~To give some context, this is about when my dad passed away when I was 13. From the early days to the funeral where I saw him, followed by the burial. 

Beautiful lie. Photos in disguise.

Instead of hiding it like I should have, 

I showed it to the world.  

“Look at me, look at how beautiful I am”

May as well have been the caption. 

Taking credit, 

as if I had anything to do with it. 

All I did was put some make-up on,

Hid behind where I was truly from. 

Looking for acceptance and liberation. 

Compliments and affirmation. 

Now all I see is darkness in that life, 

How was that enjoyable? 

..
If I could put in words, 

How much I regret the way

I sought approval and praise

At the cost of my hereafter.

..

We are lying to ourselves if we say, 

We seek nothing else…

What do you live for? 

What makes you wake up each day? 

There’s got to be more to life than this. 

All or nothing?! 

“If you’re not going to wear the hijab properly then don’t wear it at all!” 

Woahhh.

Hold on. That’s a HUGE thing to say. 

I overheard a conversation earlier about a lady who was saying just that. And that sisters should take off their hijab if they’re not going to wear it properly, and put it back on once they’re ready. 

I understand a part of that, obviously we should wear it properly. But the above mindest does not work- especially with our youth today- and especially living in a western country. 

I understand the origin of that thought 100%. I used to think the same way. But it’s not healthy, for you or me. 

I’m not here to defend immodest dress.

However, here are some repercussions of portraying this mindset to the community.

– Immorality leads to further immorality. If we are telling sisters to take off their hijab for not wearing it correctly- and they take on that advice because of us.. Imagine that once they take it off, they stop praying, they may think “Oh, now I can go clubbing”, “Now I can hang out with so and so, and try xyz”. Imagine if one of us were the reason for this. And imagine that the person dies upon a disobedient lifestyle before they were ready to wear the hijab properly. 

– This brings me to my next point. You can never feel 100% Ready. The shaytan will whisper to you day in day out. Unless you consciously shut that down and take action, it will not go away, or, rather it will not lessen. I’m yet to hear a hijab story of someone who felt completely ready and not scared or nervous when they decided to put on the hijab. 

– Everyone is on a different level of iman. Their ‘half’ hijab may be more pleasing to Allah swt than our ‘full’ hijab. How? Their struggle to hold onto their hijab may be the greatest struggle they are going through, but they are not taking it off purely for the sake of Allah. And our arrogance and judgement may ruin our intentions and relationship with Allah swt. 

– The idea of all or nothing, it doesn’t work. We should be constantly making improvements- furthering our knowledge and practices. We are all struggling in one way or another. Your dress code may be your struggle, yet mine may be envy- the only difference is yours can be physically seen- available for everyone to judge, and mine can’t. 

– If you’re going to give advice, please do it out of love. Speak gently, and show your concern. You’re advising them because you want to be their neighbour in Jannah. There is no need to be harsh. Most of us know what we are doing wrong. Approaching a sister harshly is not going to do anyone any good. Again, it all comes down to different struggles. How about if she is a revert, or if she just put the hijab on a week ago- are you going to discourage that? It takes time, support and knowledge to eventually cover up more and more. 

– At the end of the day, we all sin. Judging someone for sinning differently is not a trait we should have. 

I don’t want to cause a debate or heated discussion, because let’s be honest, a lot of people have a lot to say on this topic. I just wanted to spark a thought, make excuses for your brothers and sisters in Islam. Their struggle today may be our struggle tomorrow. And let’s leave the judging to the Judge Himself swt. 

Breathe

I need to keep reminding myself to take things one day at a time. Life gets so overwhelming, it becomes easy to freak out and be in panic mode all the time. 

Constant anxiety. 

Stop, just for a moment and obvserve everything around you. Take in the trees, the fresh air. Listen to a Qur’an recitation- breathe. Everything is going to be okay inshaaAllah. 

Is the thing I’m stressing over going to matter in 5 years time? Probably not. 

I may not even be here this time next year, or next month or next week. Allah knows. I may not to even get to see the things that I’m stressing over. 

Take it one day at a time. And enjoy the journey. 

 

Hardships

The thing about hardships is that we know it’s inevitable. We know the reason for our creation. We know that this life will consist of tests. Some of them will come in the form of ease, and some will come in the form of severe difficulty.

Our ultimate goal is Jannah. And to reach that, we pray 5 times a day, we fast, give charity etc. When we perform these acts of worship, we know why we are doing them. However, when it comes to hardship, we forget that this is also a means of getting close to our Creator and attaining His pleasure, essentially leading us to Jannah inshaaAllah.

It’s easy to forget our true purpose and the reason behind tests. But to mentally and spiritually survive these tests, we need to constantly remind ourselves that hardship and ease is there for our benefit. If we make it through a hardship being grateful to Allah swt then we have succeeded.

When we are tested with ease we don’t bat an eye. We don’t thank Allah swt for all the amazing blessings He provides us with daily. So why do we lose hope when we are tested with hardship?