A Friendship Like No Other

“Close friends, that Day, will be enemies to each other, except for the righteous.” {Zukhruf: 67} 

A verse that I’ve heard many times but have only now fathomed its true weight. It basically means that any friendship based on pretence, evil and sin will in fact cost a person their spot in Paradise. In this world they drank, danced and deceived everyone as a team. They had the whole ‘Brother from another mother’ and ‘Sister from another mister,’ vibe going on. They were the BFF’s of the century and had each others’ backs’ at all times. They were inseparable so to speak. However, there’s something about this friendship everyone seemed to overlook.

It’s short lived. 

Why? Due to the fact that they didn’t meet each other for the purposes of remembering their Lord. True friends nudge you when you’re about to gossip, they force you to be positive, they encourage good thoughts + words, they forgive your shortcomings, they want good for you, they advice you in light of the Quran + Sunnah, they support your dreams + ambitions, they help + respect you and above all, love you because Allah expects this of them. Thus on Judgement Day, these so called friends will hate, despise and become enemies to one another. Everyone except those who believed in Allah. 

 

 

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The “C” Word

Here’s a word that I’ve been reflecting over for a while. Confidence. A lot of people define it in different ways, they perceive it to be different things and so on. Psychologically the word Confidence is to firmly believe in one’s self and one’s competency. I agree with this but I’d like to add to it. Confidence is the ability to be courageous and strong in your principles and to carry yourself well under pressure. It could be internal pressure; your thoughts, anxiety, feelings or external pressure; culture, people, trends etc. 

In short, being confident is in being you. Accepting yourself and portraying your true self to everyone else even if it means contradicting what people find acceptable and desirable. 

The Heart

The heart is thrilled as it engages with people but it longs for solitude with its Creator.

The heart smiles at family, friends and strangers but it cries during the depths of the night in front of its King.

The heart is driven by the reward that awaits in the afterlife but it bears in mind the punishment of its Judge.

The heart, the heart, the heart.

It is the very essence of a person. All your feelings and innermost thoughts are huddled in your heart. Sometimes everything within may erupt or it may remain untouched like a fortress. In any case, the heart is the king of the body.

The Prophet Muhammad صلي الله عليه و سلم (Peace and Blessings be upon him) said;

“… There lies within the body a piece of flesh. If it is sound, the whole body is sound; and if it is corrupted, the whole body is corrupted. Verily this piece is the heart.” {Bukhari & Muslim}

Quote – reflection

This is a quote from a book I’m currently reading and can I just say, it really hit home. All of us have mistakes, flaws and sins we want hidden from everyone. We’d hate if anyone were to bring up our past and use it as a sort of leverage against us. Then the question arises, how can I stop this from happening? Change for the better. Redeem yourself by channelling your efforts into good causes. Don’t just share flyers to upcoming social welfare projects but really strive, go out of your way to raise awareness. Help the sick, feeble and destitute. Be an advocate for reformation. Stand up for social justice. Be amongst the first to volunteer your services wherever it may be needed. 

This in turn will make up for all the wrong you’ve done in your past, when you were ignorant and didn’t know any better. How do I know this will work? So long as you do it for God, it will work. God will conceal your flaws from the minds, hearts and tongues of people, yes even tongues because I mean let’s face it, everyone talks and everyone has an opinion. Now stop sulking over your mistakes and lack of better judgement, go out there and make a difference. You can do it. As a matter of fact, you should do it. 

Keep it hidden!

The one thing I’ll never understand is why people tell others’ the horrifying things they’ve done (in their past) after they’ve solemnly sworn to God Almighty that they’d never do those actions again let alone think of it. Listen buddy… You made mistakes, fine. You thought you knew it all, fine. You assumed you were the love interest of every woman you saw, fine. You played around with a few of them and fell into depression in the process, fine. You realised your mistakes and changed your ways, fine. You’re now a strong advocate for educating young adults on those things which are in fact detrimental to their well-being, be it physical, spiritual, emotional and psychological, fine. You’re confessing your crimes to the masses in hopes of them not doing the same thing as you, NOT fine.

Now this might raise a lot of objections, please allow me to explain. You should definitely share your personal experiences with people but don’t make it like a confession. Don’t uncover those private matters which you have now learned to keep private. You made mistakes, repented and now God has covered you with honour. There’s no need to rant on FaceBook or Snapchat that sin like no tomorrow. Come on!

Stay True to Yourself

Listen here buddy, you are different. Being different doesn’t necessarily mean you’re better than others nor does it mean that others are better than you. The reason for mentioning this is to encourage you to accept yourself the way that you are. Stay true to yourself 🙂

Be your real, authentic self. Don’t be a copy of others. The world is full of writers, doctors, engineers, social workers and so on. Find what you love and do exactly that. Pick up a book; perhaps on leadership and self esteem then learn a new skill; perhaps how to write creatively and how to stay organised then instill within yourself qualities that will benefit your future; patience, resilience, calmness and so on. 

To do anything, go anywhere or be anyone, a person needs to discover themselves.  When you truly know yourself then no matter anyone says, you’ll know who you are and you’ll do what you think is best. This isn’t to say, you shouldn’t take advise or listen to experts rather you take the good they offer, incorporate it in your plan to execute your goal and move on. The point is that you stay in control of yourself at all times. 

Some words

Here are some words for the unappreciated heart. Sometimes people do good with the intention of receiving a word of thanks, a gift, a compliment or something positive in return and when their expectations aren’t met, they collapse into a bed of sadness and low self-esteem. The interesting point here is that this isn’t even the issue. Do you want to know what the real problem is? The person’s intention

Avoid doing good for the sake of people. People forget and are quite frankly ungrateful. Today they’re happy with you and tomorrow they’re upset. When you do good – whatever menial deed it is- do it for the sake of God. Expect from Him. Work for His Pleasure. If you do this, I promise you, you will never feel undervalued or unappreciated ever again.

Awaken the Leader inside You!

Leaders are people. They are from a society and rise to to a position of power based on the qualities and personality traits they possess. Amongst the many things I learned this weekend, here are a couple of gems to awaken the leader inside of you 💎

Treat people with equity not equality

• The worst thing is to be a prisoner of your own thoughts

• There’s a difference between being a person of significance and being person of success

• People are different from you and not necessarily better than you

• Sisters, stop having a victim mentality! 

• There’s a lot we do for our CV and little we do for our legacy

• Punishment suppresses behavior and discipline changes behaviour

• Nothing is more liberating than being happy for others

• Leaders serve people and not the other way around

• In giving children what we didn’t have, we’ve forgotten to give them what we did have

• Arrogant people have a low self esteem

• Remember, you are important!

• There’s no place for mediocrity in Islam

• A Muslim doesn’t learn to earn but to serve 💫🙌 

Good Food & Good Company

Today we went out for lunch and yes, this was my meal. A tomato salad with cubes of feta and avocado, sliced olives and hints of tuna and grilled bread on the side. الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ it was delicious and revitalising. The energy you receive from a good meal is often overlooked whilst it’s one of the most important blessings we need to acknowledge. I sat alongside family and we talked about different things. Young adult topics if you will. 

But I kept my mind focussed on one thing.

How Kind and Merciful God truly is. He gives us so much more than we ask for. A verse from the Quran comes to mind,

لَئِن شَكَرْتُمْ لَأَزِيدَنَّكُمْ
‘If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favor]; {al-Ibrahim:7} 

And really when you think about it, how hard is it to say الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ or Thank You God for everything you’ve given me? It isn’t physically challenging to do so but because we forget and overlook these favours, we don’t thank Him. A characteristic we should aim to instill within us- gratitude.

It’s only the Beginning

الحمد لله رب العلمين💎

This is just the beginning of a beautiful journey with the Book of Allah as we follow in the footsteps of His Chosen One, Muhammad صلي الله عليه و سلم.

If you want answers to your life, contentment and overall happiness, I urge you to take a leap of faith and begin your own journey with the Quran. On a personal level, I truly don’t know how I survived so many years without knowing what the Quran was about. 

I even advise the youth to study Quran first before anything else as they ask about how I did it whilst pursuing a degree. It’s an investment into your Akhirah (afterlife) which will only result in profit. Never think you’re too young to begin this journey.

Bear in mind that success isn’t in the result but in the effort and action upon what is learned

If you choose the path of knowledge, here are 3 qualities (amongst many others) to make Dua for:

• Sincerity

• Humility

• Gratefulness 

May Allah Bless and Honor every student of knowledge out there 🙂 

Be Positive

Nothing is permanent. Nothing lasts forever. Problems are no exceptional to this rule. Everyone goes through ups and downs, nobody is exempt from challenges and trials. At some point people have had to deal with; financial worries, a sick relative, a bad marriage, rebellious children, mood swings, failed exams, stubborn or -worse- absent minded parents, overbearing in-laws, a tyrannical leader, general discontentment and the list goes on.

Yes, it feels like you’re in quick sand, you’re only sinking deeper and deeper and it seems like there’s no way out. But there is. You just need to believe there is. Don’t slouch, sulk and assume you’re going to be stuck like this forever but make a plan, think of a strategy to overcome the problem. If it’s family issues, read up on communication skills and think of a method to get a message across without starting up conflict. Perhaps a constant smile and saying kind words even if you don’t want to. If it’s a sick relative, praying to God that they get back on their feet but also willing to accept whatever Decree God has planned because He knows Best. 

There is a solution to everything so long as you look for it and are willing to shed a few tears to get there. Nothing worth having comes easy and this goes without saying so next time you’re thrown into unpleasant situation, force yourself to recognise that this problem isn’t forever. It will come to an end just as the sun rises  at the beginning of a new day.