Tuesday, December 23, 2014

A letter to my children

I'm writing this as you boys are almost approaching two and a half years old. I'm writing this whilst carrying your sibling who is due in less than two months. To be honest, I am afraid of facing reality and having to deal with it all. I pray that the baby will be a source of peace and guidance for myself and all of us. As I am at the moment highly emotional and under stress, I'm not capable to control my emotions most times. For that, I ask Allah swt to forgive me. And then, I ask for your forgiveness. To forgive me for my shortcomings and weaknesses. As your mother, as a human, I am not perfect. I am far from perfect. Every night there's not a moment when I look back and regret some of my actions that day. There's not a day that passes by and I wished that I hadn't yelled at you both. Frankly, I hate getting angry but I do because I don't know better. I want you to know that it isn't easy raising twins. In fact, it's the hardest thing I've ever been put to do, and I will have to continue doing so for the rest of my life. Of course, there are times and moments that I wouldn't trade for anything else and for that, I thank Allah swt for blessing me with those precious memories. And the other times, when I wish things were different, I ask Allah swt to forgive me and not to punish me for it in the future. 

I pray that things will overturn when you are older and that I will be pleased at how things have turned out and that will be the reward for the hardship I am going through now. I pray that you and your siblings will make me a proud parent when I see you become righteous servants of Allah swt. Oh, that is all I ever ask. And oh, that will all I ever want from you.

May Allah swt forgive me and help me to be patient.

All my love,

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Where do we go from here?

Last week, I was brought down to the lowest I've ever been since I started practising. My kids were sick with Gastroenteritis and for a good few days I was cleaning up vomit from all sorts of places and dealing with their attitutes and demands, on top of being 6+ months pregnant and having lack of sleep. My patience was tested. My iman was tested. I was tested. And to be honest, I felt like I failed my test. 

The thing is, it wasn't the trial itself that made me feel like I failed but how I reacted and lost control of the situation, and especially of myself. I realised that I was over-stressing myself for no good reason and by doing so, I make it all worse. For myself and everyone else. I just couldn't help it. I started having thoughts that I could be going through pre-natal depression. Maybe I am. Maybe I am not. Whatever it is, I want to do something about it. The questions is how and where do I start? 

After reading this excellent piece on Depression and Islam, I came to the conclusion that depression is real and that I'm not actually depressed, just stressed and emotional and a mixture of both could be mistaken as depression. Who knows? I'm not a psychology expert but I know myself and I know that for the most part, I am content within. I am grateful for a lot of things, alhamdulilah. Of course, there are some pieces in my life that are questionable and at times I feel a little lost. All I know is that emptiness can't be filled by people or things except only by the guidance and light of Allah (swt). The problem is I'm trying to find it and it seems like I'm finding it in all the wrong places - in this dunya. It's during times like these when I truly admire those close to Allah and their ability to maintain and keep control of their constantly fluctuating iman. 

I guess the first step is to acknowledge the problem and then wanting to do something about it. Make a change. Change cannot begin without you - the most important factor; your desire to change. And you know what, it's ok to fall back and fail again and again as long as you learn from it, you repent and move on. 

Move on. 
It is essential to move on and look forward. 
And pray that Allah (swt) will find you the means to get where you want to be. 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

life of an introvert

I've spent the last few months deactivating and activating my facebook account, going on and off every once in a while just to get updated on the latest news and find out what's going on. Basically, I've been living in a shell, in my own world and I kind of like it that way. I've learnt a few things about myself and people but for the most part, I'm still figuring who I am and who I want to be. If only people knew, that I still think of them, all the time. I just don't show it that often. 

I know I am an introvert. Heck, the test my friend made me do the other day indicates that I am about 74% introvert. Although I can be an extrovert when I want to be. However, I realised that I am most contented when I'm behind the spotlight. Being on my own watching the world go by. Observing people and things and what I make of it. I keep my thoughts to myself and for this, I know I get mistaken for being judgemental. But really, I have too much going on in my head. I find when I'm in a group of people and getting overly excited in a conversation that I start to lose myself. Talking over people, that's not me. Saying things on impulse, that's not me. That's not how anyone should be. This is how we fall into the trap when we are talking too much, with the wrong people. We get involved in backbiting or slandering without realising then, only after. We say things we regret even though it may not seem like such a big thing but we regret it because that's not who we are. 
What happened to thinking before speaking? 

Not being active on Facebook made me realise that I don't need to publicize my life to everyone. That I don't want to be attention seeking. That I should be humble and a Muslim should be humble. 

Monday, September 8, 2014

the problem with our hearts

is that we're insincere. but pretend to be sincere.

we're quick to judge others. not ourselves.

we think we are better than some. even the ones we look up to.

we lack knowledge. but act like we have it.

we all have pride. in one way or another.

we are afraid to lose. always wanting to be right.

we think we have power, even if a little.

we make promises. and break them.

we hate disappointment. yet, we disappoint.

we like praise. and love attention.

The problem with our hearts is that we are too busy with other things. Too busy with other people than ourselves and our Almighty Creator. We are too busy thinking and not doing. Too busy talking and not walking. The problem lies within ourselves. It starts with us. Our dream of achieving so much, yet doing so little. We all have a problem with our hearts, however big or small. Until the day we part from this dunya, we will always be having this problem. A heart that needs to be cleansed if not every day, every minute, every second we are alive. A heart that will keep being stained with black spots for every evil thought, for every little and big sin, for every lie, for every hurtful words. A heart that needs to be reconnected with its Creator at least five times a day. A heart that is in dire need of forgiveness and mercy. 

Be the person who's worried about the sincerity of his heart and not others. Be the person who constantly turns back to Allah and repent. Be the person who's always asking for forgiveness from Allah. Be the person who no longer cares about what others think, except Allah. Be the person who regularly cleans and purifies their hearts. Be the person who stays true to themselves and what they believe in. Be the person whom Allah (swt) is pleased with. 

I am trying to be that person. 
Oh Allah, help me get there. 

Friday, July 25, 2014

The meaning of patience

Yesterday, my bottle of patience shook and broke into tiny little pieces. I completely lost it. Yup, Ramadan and all. I wasn't fasting, otherwise I would've invalidated my fast but that is still no excuse. As a parent, you'll have moments (plenty of them) where you breakdown and lose it all. Your mind, your sanity, your anger. You lose yourself in that moment. And then you start to cry because you hate yourself for being person you've become when you never wanted to be that kind of person. You released the ugly inner monster in you because you didn't know what else to do. You're so used to losing your patience and getting upset every time something aggravates you that you don't know how to with deal it any other way. You're worn out and tired of dealing with your kids that you forget why they were brought into your life in the first place. 

Being a stay-at-home-mum of almost two year old twin boys isn't easy. Being a parent, itself, is hard work whether you have one, two or more kids. Surrounded by the constant nagging, screaming, fighting, whining, sulking, crying, and deafening shrieking every single day can wear you down and bring you to the point of utter exhaustion. A lack of patience is a lack of emaan. Unfortunate to say,  I haven't had the best of Ramadans. I'd say this was my lowest Ramadan in 4 or 5 years. We all go through ups and downs and a fluctuating emaan. It's never constant and I'm wondering why I am where I'm at. 

So maybe you're in the same boat as me. Or maybe I'm much further behind than you are. I look up to some of my friends and sisters in the community with admiration, thinking 'Oh how Allah (swt) must be so pleased with them!'. You may not have spent every day and night in Ramadan in worship, but it may have been that one or two nights when you sincerely repented to Allah, begging for His forgiveness. Begging on your knees and asking Him to overlook your faults, flaws and shortcomings. It could be that one time when all your sins are wiped out and you've been granted a ticket to Jannah. Because you made one sincere dua to Allah (swt). There is always hope with (Al-Ghaffur) The Forgiver and Concealer of sins. 

Oh Allah swt knows exactly how to test us. You ask for patience and He puts people in your life who knows when and where to push your buttons. Each calamity teaches us a different understanding of what it means to be patient. Be it loss of wealth, health, death, sickness, failure, disappointment etc. Test after test. It never ends. That is the beauty of Islam. Why do I say this? Because it's turning us back to Allah swt reminding us that qadr is all in the hands of Him alone. We cannot control the events that occur in our lives but we can control our attitude towards it and how we deal with it. We forget that our kids are our (amanah) trust from Allah. Just like everything else He's given to us. Sometimes all it takes is a moment to reflect upon His blessings and be thankful for them. 

And then start all over again tomorrow.
Tomorrow will be a new day, in sha Allah.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

finding the spirit of Ramadan.

Recently, I've heard so many sisters posting their excitement for Ramadan and how they're doing this, this and that to prepare for the blessed month ahead and there I was, next to them, thinking "Why don't I feel it?". "Why am I not as excited as I should be?" "Why don't I feel it too?"

For the past week, I've been trying to find the spirit of Ramadan. How do I find it? I mean, where do you look for it? It's not just by putting up 'Ramadan Mubarak' banners at home. It's not just by intending to fast all month and finish the Quran by the end of the month. It's not just by listening to lectures about Ramadan in order to increase your eman. It's not just by doing all these good deeds like giving charity, staying up at night to pray, making istighfar etc. It's everything you do so long as your heart is in the right place. Having the right intention. Your heart, first and foremost, is the gateway to finding the spirit of Ramadan, to finding Allah. To reconnect with your Creator, the One and Only, after having neglected Him in the last 11 months. To find Him again in your prayer, in sujood, in your dua. To cry to Him, the One who's always listening, and ask for forgiveness. To forgive your shortcomings for failing to do your best, not only as a Muslim but as a wife, a friend, a daughter, a sister. For failing to do your prayers on time. For failing to be patient. For being ungrateful servants. For everything.

Next, you need to have the intention to change. To intend to make this Ramadan different. To do more than what you have done or at least, try to. To make goals (reasonable ones). To become a better person for ourselves and for others, and most importantly, for Allah (swt). To keep it up ever after Ramadan has long gone. It is hard. I'm not going to lie. It will take a lot of self-motivation, self-encouragement, courage, strength and determination to change. Time. It will definitely. take. time.

That, to me, is the spirit of Ramadan.

I'm not the type to plan and follow from a schedule. I won't write up my day's itinerary for Ramadan because I'm probably never going to stick through it for the whole month. I know I should but we all know ourselves pretty well and I know that it just won't work, because I am human. I am weak. We know our own capabilities and each of us are none like the other. So I need simple goals just to get started. My main goals are to stay up for at least two rakaat of tahajud, read Quran during this time and after Fajr, finish at least half of the Quran by end of Ramadan (I like to take my time to read), to read the translation once a day, to keep calm and be patient when I'm tested by kids (tough one), to have khushu in prayer, to read duas before breaking fast, to make Duha prayer when I can, to read adhkar during the morning and evening and to finish Surah Kahf on one Friday, in sha Allah!

May Allah (swt) make it easy for me and accept from all of us our deeds and intentions and to forgive those whom have passed.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

"I'm not ready yet."

We all go through this thought at least once in our lives.

The "I'm not ready yet" thought.

I'm not ready to put the Hijab on. 
I'm not ready to grow up.
I'm not ready to say goodbye. 
I'm not ready to forgive and forget. 
I'm not ready to get married.
I'm not ready have a baby.
I'm not ready to go to Hajj.

And the list goes on.

The thing is, we may feel like we are not ready but we are. And we will. By telling yourself that you're not ready, you've built a wall in front of yourself thus, making it hard for you to get overcome your fears. The truth is, you've been ready long before you realised it. Allah (swt), your Creator, the One who knows you best, put you in the situation you're in because He knows that it is the best time for you. He is deciding for you and there is none but He who is the best disposer of affairs. So let it be. Accept it and be grateful because you ARE ready for it.

Monday, June 16, 2014

revival of the lost soul

Oh how times have has changed. How I have changed.  For better or worse? I don't know. But what I do know is that I need to start living. Living with a purpose. And that starts here.

Time changes you. You grow older. You become wiser. Your heart has gone through more of the good and bad of this life that it makes you stronger. Unbreakable at times. Yet fragile at the rarest. The happiness and pain you endure turns you into someone you never knew you could be. Someone you didn't think you were. At the end of the day, you are still you. Your experiences make you who you are today. Reading all my old posts made me realise how much I have changed and how much a part of me has stayed the same. Which is why I decided to make a few changes on this blog. Delete a few old unnecessary posts. Revamp the layout because change is always good. Whether you like it or not, we are constantly defining ourselves through change. Well, me atleast. 

All my life, I've always felt like I've never really belonged anywhere. Sure, I've made a few friends, some good ones, stuck to different groups but I don't remember feeling at home, anywhere. Maybe Makkah, in sha Allah. I've always been a lone ranger and you know what, I prefer to be that way. When it's just you and Allah (swt). Of course, I'm still trying to find myself. Understand who I am and who I want to be. I guess, this is where the blog comes in. 

For anyone who knows me well, I'm better at expressing myself through words than speech. I can write you a long essay on how I feel about you but if you were to ask me to tell you, I'd stumble. So this is my medium to start making a difference in my life. In your life. To better understand all that is in it and what it takes to be here, from a young Muslim's perspective. My journey from here to the hereafter, in sha Allah. Let's hope I keep regularly updating this blog from now. It is sadaqah jaariah after all.