Tuesday, 30 August 2016


Assalam 'alaykum,

So, hi !

*dips toenail in the pond*

Just testing the water.. how's everyone? how's life? how's faith? how's health? how's love? how's family?

I may or may not ''re-start'' writing on this blog.. I know I said I'd make another blog if I ever felt the need to write again but .. change of mind.

I just want you guys to interact a bit more, you guys visit this blog (a lot!) even despite there being next to nothing here but the comments you have left (in the past) do not match up with the audience stats.

Please introduce yourself, be as sarcastic or corny as you desire. We're all as anonymous as can be so let that creativity take over!

InshAllaah, I shall be back soon..

Yallah, toddles :)

Friday, 28 August 2015


Peace upon those who follow the Truth,

Oh dear, oh dear.. 

As promised, I am back on here after a good couple of months away from blogging. I just wanted to just concentrate on other more "important" things before coming back.

I've given much thought to this blog during my absence because it means something to me. I genuinely enjoy sharing and writing but I now realise that perhaps I was a bit of a "too-widely open" garden, an open door for any and everyone to peep through. Yes, the point of a blog is to share writings but I felt like I was giving too much of me away. As a very private person in real-life, it felt wrong and incorrect to continue in that direction.

One of the main reason that pushed me to pause my blog posts was seeing my reading audience grow every day. It's kinda scary having so many people read what you're writing and indirectly getting to know you through your words. I'm even surprised to see how people have been regularly visiting the blog during the past 3 months..despite its bareness. Do ya'll love me this much?

I mean, if I was writing beneficial things.. fair enough but I was mainly narrating and sharing real life-experiences and raw feelings (lol) for thousands of folks around the world. It felt overwhelming for me. That's why I removed all my previous posts, they had to go. And I had to re-think my blogging strategy; I still want to share things but without too much revelations. Mystery is gold.

The primary reason behind the launching of this blog was to document my professional and personal journey in Saudi Arabia. I knew it was going to be one of my most memorable lifetime experiences and I naturally knew how curious people are to know about life in the Middle-East, so it made perfect sense to document it all for myself and the readers. With hindsight though, I really feel that -at one point- I was more inclined to write *for the sake of* the readers than for my ownself. 

I was so honest in wanting to tell you all heartfully about the smallest and the biggest things that I had encountered, because people are interested by that. I remember wishing for someone to give me informative experiences that I could read before my move to Saudi but.. I couldn't find something not someome relatable to me. Therefore, I chose to be the first.

Nearly two years on, I feel comfortable enough in my new life and country that to keep documenting it would basically turn into a public diary blog...which I do not want (just like you I'm sure).

So... I'm thinking of starting yet another blog (my 4th, yes I'm a serious blogger-gamous*if you get the joke, pat yourself in the back*), with a different name, different aim, maybe with a different blogging site. It feels too weird for me to continue on this "With UmmZubayr" blog because I feel like I've outgrown it. 

Also, another turn-off for me to stay here is that there are people who know me in real-life that read me on here. Sadly, I do not get to enjoy my anonymous (and free) penship anymore. I didn't care about it before but it would bother me now if I continued on here. You know what the worst feeling is? People you don't have much in common with or you barely know reading your blog and then, making small (sometimes unvoluntary) comments about things you've written. I had someone say something exactly as I had written it during a group conversation..I was so perplexed! Like did this person just literally quote me in front of me?! 

So, yes. I shall be opening another blog soon as I've just missed the feeling of writing so freely. I've also decided not to post the new blog address here (obviously because I don't want everyone to follow me on there again) so I guess if you want to keep up with me and my crazy posts.. Hit up Google? And see if maybe you can find me back on the big wide web... It's a bit like find Waldo..you know?

Yalla Ma'salaam

Friday, 1 May 2015

Letter To My Future Wife

Assalam 'alaykum people,

Hello   ~   I'm back after a short absence. Funnily, I was just thinking today about my "writer's block", it felt like I didn't have anything interesting to write on the blog but then *talalal*.. this thing twinkled in my mind and I felt like sharing it with you all.

WARNING: If you are easily put off by cheesiness or anything remotely sweet, you may want to exit this post right now.

I was just browsing YouTube videos in a random way and I ended up watching videos of "silly" teens and young adults writing letters to their "future wife/husband". It's funny how YouTube tends to recommend the most random of videos sometimes. Anyway, the "letter to my future spouse" videos were all very entertaining but lacked creativity and above all: it was rather cheesy and cringe-worthy.

Then I fell on the letter that I copied below and it reminded me of something. It felt like the "best" one probably because the writer was more mature than the silly teens and it -not gonna lie- made me a little fidgety. First, storytime: few years ago, I was (and still am) on this Muslim french forum and one day, a sister announced that she was writing a book. Now, I was around 17-18 at the time and one of the youngest members of the forum but I loved that place. It allowed me to read inspiring articles, keep up with current affairs around the Muslim world, learn from different people, allowed me to articulate my thoughts, used to watch some inspiring videos; all that good stuff. By the way, Muslims in 2007-2008 were so much better than they are right now and the same thing could be said about their forums. I barely participate anymore but that's a different story.

The sister, who was one that I appreciated and looked up to (she was in her late 20s/early 30s at the time), announced that she was in the process of writing/authoring her first book. What was more intriguing than a young woman deciding to write a book was the topic and title she chose to name her book. It was called: "An open letter to my future husband". I was definitely intrigued. I remember people commenting harshly about her book and the concept behind it but she didn't seem to care. For her, this was her way of putting herself out there and "hopefully" find her "future husband".

When her book got published, she left a link to a website where people could purchase it if they desired. Her audience was, obviously, aimed towards Muslim men but I went ahead and bought it. Curiosity wouldn't let me have it any other way. Plus, the excitement of reading the work of a sister I interacted with online was also epic and the topic was right down my alley (at the time lol).

During that period of my life, I used to buy books on a weekly basis. I still can't believe how many books I bought in these couple of years so it was easy to receive the book without having my mother question my suspicious choice of literature.

As soon as I received it, I remember loving the front cover.. it was beautiful just as I expected it. The book became my companion during my commutes to and from university. I finished very rapidly because a) it was easy to read and b) I just loved the concept I guess because of how unique it was.

I just wanted to know what she had to say, I mean who writes and publishes a letter that's meant to be read  by one person right? And she didn't just write it because it's fun, she was expecting a man to read the book/letter and then, I guess, find out that he's actually the one she's looking for. I just thought the concept was hilarious.

It in, she presented herself, gave her background, spoke about her family, narrated some funny childhood memories, spoke about her insecurities, her hopes for her future life, how she thought he'd be like, why she's writing this letter book and many more things that I don't remember now. She used the first person narrator (obviously) and was addressing him directly as "you".. it was intimate and personal. It was a very sweet book, very endearing and you could feel that she probably is a lovable human being. Bless her.

Once I was done, I made sure the book was well-hidden underneath my other "ok" books. I felt inspired for a second to do the same (without the publishing part) but I gave up the idea very soon. The last thing I needed as a student was to waste my time daydreaming! But, surprise, surprise!
Months later, I found my youngest sister with the book in her possession (it was under her pillow if my memory is right). I couldn't believe it!

I wasn't happy because even though nothing bad was in the book, I just felt like she was too young (15 at the time) to read such a letter. I know, protective elder sister syndrome... I know. This showed me that all girls are such romance-lovers no matter the age or personality.

Let me now end this post by sharing the letter that I triggered this rosy post this evening.. This open letter was written by a guy called David Bradshaw.



Letter To My Future Wife..

To My Future Wife,

I penned this letter now instead of later, because I want to thank God in advance for you. I already know you're going to be an amazing woman. You're going to be exactly what I prayed for. And by the time I meet you, I'm going to be everything you need me to be. So whoever you are, wherever you are, here's an open letter I want to send to you, for all to see. I know you'll be a testimony of my patience. I hope that your heart is open to receive these words. 

I know that you're probably in another situation now. Maybe you're trying to work things out with the guy you're with. Maybe your heart is healing from a terrible breakup, one that you invested a great deal of your time and energy in. Perhaps there are some other personal issues going on in your life, that are preventing you from walking into mine. Maybe we just haven't met. Whatever that's going in your life, there's no rush. God's timing is perfect. We will grace each other eyes and touch each other's heart. We will enjoy plenty of days and evenings together, whether conversing about life, laughing about something silly, or doing something we both enjoy. I want you to know, that wherever you are in life, I'm praying for you to experience wholeness. I want you to be complete and happy, full of joy before you meet me. I'm going to look at you as a compliment to my life---only to add to it---never to subtract or divide from it. 

And you're not the only who's being prepared for marriage. While I'm waiting on you, God is shaping me into the man he wants me to be for you: A protector and a provider, a great communicator, and a spiritual leader. He also wants me to be a great lover, a man who can love the deepest parts of you, and who can also be intimate without physical touch. He's molding me into a man who's transparent, and vulnerable--vulnerable enough to accept you in my life without reservation of being hurt. He's building my trust in him, so I can fully trust you, my blessing. 

I want to end this letter by saying: I look forward to developing a wonderful friendship with you: One that's based on open and honest communication, trust and prayer. I look forward to learning everything about you. I want to know the woman behind closed doors that many seldom see. I want to know what's inside your heart, because that's where your true treasure lies. I want to know what's in your spirit, because that's where your true beauty lies. I want to know you before I propose to you. 

Until we cross paths, don't rush love. We'll find each other soon. I know it. I can feel it. I'll see you soon.


Wednesday, 11 March 2015

100 Religious Pet Peeves

1. People who advertise their worship to the entire world
2. People who pray without sutrah (barrier)
3. People who make you as their sutrah without asking
4. People who walk in front of you in prayer or come in between you and your sutrah
5. People who pray too fast aka supersonic prayers
6. People who make the first two raka'at in loud prayers so beautifully long and the last two silent rak'at ridiculously fast like ''dude, did you even read Surah Fatihah?''
7. People who don't make ruku' properly (it kills me)
8. People who take selfies in front of the Ka'abah or in any religious places (masajid)
9. People who take pictures of the Ka'bah (I find it so disrespectful, the Ka'ba and the Haramain are not touristic destinations!)
10. People who keep talking about food during Ramadan
11. People who sleep all day during Ramadan
12. People who reply to your salaam with ''Good Morning''
13. People who look away when you want to give them salaam
14. People who don't lower their gazes
15. People who like to gossip and backbite
16. People who don't know how to give sound Islamic advice
17. People who boycott certain places or people because of so&so said this or that without valid existing proof
18. People who want to turn this religion into either of the two extremes (laxism or extremism)
19. Sisters who come to the masjid during their menses for no reason
20. Sisters who always talk about brothers
21. People who create doubts into people's creed
22. People who prevent sisters from attending Islamic lessons or the masjid
23. People who speak without religious authority on sensitive issues
24. People who are impatient in regards to religious matters or in general
25. Brothers who hang out outside the masjid for no reason
26. Men who do not attend congregational prayers for no reason
27. Men who do not keep their pants above their ankles
28. Brothers who shorten their thobes waaay too much
29. Sisters who wear 'imamahs as scarves
30. Parents who don't educate their kids religiously
31. People who don't pray janaza prayer (I don't understand!)
32. Sisters who are muttahajibat outside but post hijab-less pictures online
33. People who talk to you while you are in prayer
34. People who believe being religious is being boring
35. People who think being emancipated is in leaving the religion or neglecting part of it
36. People who think knowledge is debating people on religious matters
37. People who put others off from the deen
38. People who idealize and sometimes even idolize certain Islamic personalities
39. People who believe the whole Ummah is misguided except themselves
40. People who stop being practicing or religious
41. People who tell you to do something not knowing that you are following a different but just as valid opinion
42. Sisters who wear a full face of makeup outside
43.  When events provide sisters the small, dark and overcrowded rooms during conferences or lectures when we clearly outnumber the brothers
44. Immodest people who do not shy away from anything
45. People who are careless about their responsibilities and duties as a Muslim
46. People who go through haram ways to achieve a halal goal
47. People who waste water during their wudhu or splash water everywhere
48. The pictures featuring couples with the cheesiest captions or quotes
49. People whose only concern or interest is marriage
50. People who try to play marriage hookers
51. People who do not honor and respect their parents
52. People who belittle their parents and give precedence to their friends or other people
53. People who think they're better than everybody else and that they are from ahlul Jannah
54. Lesson givers
55. Foul-mouthed people
56. Stingy people who never give any kind of sadaqa
57. People who jealous you or give you the evil eye
58. People who blame their acne and say it's because of the evil eye
59. People who think everything negative that happens in their lives is because of the evil eye
60. People whose musshafs are covered in dust
61. People who listen to music
62. People who attend weddings with music or mixed weddings
63. Sisters who have weddings with music and video recordings
64. People who don't honor the sisterhood bond as it should be
65. Loud sisters
66. Attention seeking individuals
67. Non-mehram uncles who want to hug you or shake hands with you
68. People who are shy of their faith in the public sphere
69. People who compromise on tenets of the faith for worldly matters
70. Dugsi macalins who just create fear in kids for no reason
71. Kids who have no respect for the dugsi environment
72. Parents who think dugsi is a day care place
73. People who don't clean after themselves
74. People who don't turn off their phones during prayers
75. People who rush to their phones as soon as they complete the prayers
76. People who are already out of the door as soon as the prayer is over
77. People who have turned Hajj and Umrah into business/money making sites
78. People who ruthlessly push you during tawaf
79. People who fight each other for the Black Stone
80. Men who casually come into the sisters' area of the Masjid-ul Haram
81. People who fight over the Zamzam water especially during Ramadan
82. People who think that if you don't have a ''proper'' wedding party then you're cheap
83. Sisters who think the higher the mahr, the more likely the brother will stay with them (what kinda logic is this?
84. Jarh wa ta'dil obsessive attachment syndrome
85. Muslim beauty or fashion gurus on the internet
86. Innovations and baseless beliefs
87. Shiaism
88. When people praise you in front of others
89. When people think too good of you yet you know your own reality
90. When you do stupid sins and your eeman drops
91. When people use religion to belittle a woman's position in society
92. When some speakers talk about their families during lectures or sermons (I didn't come to hear anecdotes!)
93.People who talk during the khutbah
94. People who do not honor the symbols of Islam
95. People who do not respect and appreciate different jurisprudence opinions
96. Google shuyukh
97. People who share fabricated narrations or things that clearly unauthentic
98. People who say ''oh, it's just sunnah''
99.People who can't pronounce basic arabic words yet they are giving a lecture on the importance of the Arabic language
100. Arrogant people who do not see the dust in their eye but see it in everyone else

^_^ Aaah, feels good to have written these pet peeves. I didn't think I would reach a 100!


Saturday, 21 February 2015

Good deeds vs Bad deeds

Assalam 'alaykum dear friends,

Is it weird that I consider you as my friend? Perhaps but regardless, I wanted to share some thoughts on the topic of repentance with all of you.

As you know, we are human beings and thus we are full of mistakes and sins. We were not created with the same ability as the angels to remain constantly in a state of obedience, worship, submission and sin-less.

Allaah says in the Qur'an:


And establish prayer at the two ends of the day and at the approach of the night. Indeed, good deeds do away with misdeeds. That is a reminder for those who remember.

This is one of my favorite verses and probably one of those that keep me from falling into depression everytime I slide in the wrong direction. I still remember how happy and humbled I was the first time I read this verse and believe me, I get the same reaction every single time. (I am specifically talking about the highlighted part)

There are many many verses and narrations from the Prophet (peace be upon him) that give us, sinners, hope and help to overcome our errors. But the verse I quote above must be the one that honestly has kept me going all these years.

You see, people tend to have different reactions when they commit a sin. You have those who deny it and pretend nothing happened. You also have those who get sad and become heavy-hearted. You have those who advertise their sins to the public (if it was a private sin). You have those who don't even realise that they are sinning. We are all at different stages and obviously, our reactions are going to differ accordingly.

Once we admit that we are bound to fall into sins, the next thing we must plan in our minds is how we are going to get out of the mess the day it happens. The longer you remain in the mess, the longer your heart will remain clouded and your judgement will deceive you.

It is easy to feel like a useless piece of crap when we don't seem to remain free from sins and some of us give up the fight. I have actually seen a lot of sisters who were very practicing slowly leave the deen behind their backs. One reason for this, I believe, is that they didn't realise that repentance is a huge part of a Muslim's life. We should never think that because we commit such-and-such sin too often that we are not suitable for a religious lifestyle.

If that was the case, I wouldn't be religious or practicing a lot time ago (God forbid). I feel like my life is exactly this: repenting, repenting, repenting. The above mentioned verse helps me a lot. It says that the good deeds delete the bad ones. So, here Allaah gives us a solution to our problem.

Do a good deed that will overtake your bad deed, this is also an advice of the Prophet in a well-known narration. Trust me, even though it sounds so easy.. it's not. You may feel like a hypocrite: 'Oh what's the point in attending this lecture when I just missed fajr..' or 'what's the point in wearing my hijab when I just did such&such'. You just need to switch off these whispers and trust in the words of your Creator. Your good deeds will delete your bad ones.

I thank Allaah that I have been able, more or less, to make this verse a pillar in my spiritual life because otherwise not only I would have been paralyzed with a darkened heart but I would probably keep furthering myself from God. I always push myself to literally, sometimes, force myself to go a good thing in order to set me back up. The ''turn off the engine and start again'', kind of analogy.

I remember back in the day when I was involved in the da'wah and used to prepare short reminders to the sisters, the immense inner battle within me. My wounded sould wondering how it could face these innocent sisters who wanted to hear from me something that would bring them closer to Allaah when I, in my own conscience, was struggling to attain that very goal. It was extremely tough but I often went ahead with it.

The fear and worry of hypocrisy is always present. You know when you tell someone to do something or to refrain from a bad thing yet... minutes later or days later, you see yourself in that vey same situation doing the opposite of what you were saying. Then you wonder 'what's the point of commanding the good and forbidding the evil if I'm contradicting myself in private?!' 

That's indeed a valid point and alhamdulilaah our religion is amazing. One day, our teacher told us something that again, made me so happy, there is this principle in jurisprudence that (I am going to paraphrase it because I do not have my notes with me): 'commending the good and forbidding the evil doesn't require you to abide by it'. In other words, you can advise someone to stop something haram because it is haraam yet you may be involved in it. Does it make sense? It's better to forbid a haraam even though you may be doing it than not say anything. InshAllaah, I will try and find the actual principle.

A lot of people think that they can't be really practicing or religious because they commit sins. This is silly, even religious people sin. The secret in the repentance, that's all. Actually, we need to repent even when we don't sin.
Wasn't the Prophet (peace be upon him) sinless?                         -Yes, he was
Didn't he (peace be upon him) kept his tongue reiterating 'I seek forgiveness from Allah' more than 70 times a day?                                                                              -Yes, indeed

This topic of repentance is one of my favorites to read on, to talk about, to listen to because I rely on it for my own safety. Do you know how happy Allaah is when we repent from our sins? What is more important than our Creator being happy with us after we transgressed His Limits?

Never worry that Allaah will run out of patience with your disobedience. Sometimes, it's easy to feel so overwhelmed and depressed.. thinking 'what's the point? I'll get back to this again' but remember the verse above. Do a good deed (repentance is a good deed, going to the masjid is a good deed, helping someone out is a good deed, giving sadaqa is a good deed, helping your parents is a good deed) first.

 A Muslim who doesn't repent regularly is a mushkilah (problematic) because it means that his/her sins are accumulating, his/her heart is darkening yet he/she isn't doing something about it. Be weary of being like that. It's dangerous, you may never find the way back.

Think of our hearts like clothes. When your clothes get dirty, the smart one puts it in the wash immediately because otherwise the stains become stubborn and difficult to remove. He also adds the nice smelling fabric softener so he can wear it the very next day. While the silly person, goes out with the dirty clothes days and days on end, sometimes months or years without realizing how dirty and smelly he has become.

The other risk in not repenting is committing sin after sin. As the Prophet (peace upon him) said, sins open doors to other sins.. an endless vicious cycle. The best thing is that as soon as you fall into a sin, big or small (doesn't matter), close the door without waiting and follow the sin with a good deed. Perhaps it will eliminate it..

Guys, I feel like I have lengthened this post but believe me, I am talking to my own self. I am reprimanding my soul through this and I am reminding myself that if there's anything at all I need to attach myself to in this dunya, then it is: repentance.

May those endowed with a sound mind, attentive ears and living heart take benefit..


Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Beauty Matters Not (much)


I kind-of liked the title of my previous post and I might even turn this into a mini-series of things that ''matter not much'' in my miskin opinion.

One of the top things I despise about our modern world is its fixation on appearances and the pressure to always look 'on point', 'on fleek', 'on check'.. whatever the slang you want to use.
Why do we always have to look hot? Can't we sometimes, for the love of God, look cold? (#deadjoke)

This fixation on the physical body is actually laughable. Don't you think it's ridiculous that some people spend so much money, time and effort to look 'hot' yet sometimes the opposite effect is achieved? To think that people are working hard to maintain a body that will tomorrow be turned into particles of dust seems a little ironic to me. I'm not saying that we shouldn't take care of our bodies, but to turn them into obsessions like many people have, is not cool. I am not talking in this post about the normal taking care of oneself (with products or cosmetics) or keeping in shape (going to gym or exercising), I am talking about the obsessive ''looking good is my only aim in life'' type of mentality.

I hate how physical beauty is given so much interest and importance. We must look beautiful and if we aren't naturally gifted with beauty, then we much fake 'gorgeous' features with make-up, push-up bras, push-up undies, high heels, waist clingers, whitening products, fake lashes, long nails, high heeled shoes and the list is indeed endless.

From a young age, girls particularly are given a a 'beauty template' through direct or indirect means. We, as women, are told what the criteria for beauty is and (because these criteria are usually idealistic and not realistic in totality), we become self-conscious and develop insecurities about our bodies.

When I was younger, as a teen, I remember having some insecurities about certain things that I had or didn't have but as the years have passed, I grew more comfortable in my skin and even learnt to love this flesh and the appearance that I was bestowed with. This does not mean that I don't have days where I critically analyse myself in front of the mirror but I've understood that no matter what everyone else thinks is beautiful, my body is also beautiful under all its various ups and downs.

The other day, a young lady asked me 'hey dude, what do you find attractive?' This was after she gave me a list of the physical attributes she admired and found beautiful. I just didn't know what to tell her and I just said something like 'oh, I'm not much into the whole physique'. Yeah, she was impressed.

This is one of the things I've differed from compared to the large majority of the girls that I know. Often times, girls (and guys) have this clear cut vision of what they find physically attractive in the other gender and they usually try to marry a person who fits this vision as best as possible. However, I don't know... I am just not interested by that at all. And, I would hate to think that anyone would befriend me or be interested in me because of my appearance or my looks. How belittling?

Of course, I am not saying that I am insensitive towards gorgeous creatures or that a beautiful visage and a facially deformed person have the same appeal to me. The point I am making is that I find beauty so superficial, so fleeting, so unreliable, so temporary that it doesn't make sense for me to give it ''that much'' importance.

I have lost count of how many times I would talk or befriend someone whom society wouldn't typically consider as 'gorgeous' or 'hot' but after spending time with them or conversing together, I would find beauty in them that wasn't present before that. Not only that, but usually they also become more and more beautiful the more time we spend together. It amazes me every single time!

Of course, the opposite is also true. A physically beautiful person who appears more and more awful and ugly the more time you spend in their presence.

The unfortunate thing is that because society places such great emphasis on physical beauty, many of us grow up thinking that this is the only beauty that exists. But what about the inner beauty? The one that you cannot see? The one that cannot be categorized? The one that actually matters much more?

You know, I was thinking last evening of death and the grave (I know, morbid *snif*) and I kept thinking about Uthman ibn Affan radhiyAllahu 'anh because the grave was the one thing that would make him weep so much. When asked about this, he said that the grave is the first abode after death and if it goes well, then all that follows will go (& the opposite works too).

We have graves awaiting for us all and our naked bodies will be entered in those holes. This body that we strive to beautify will turn to dust, the flesh will be eaten up by worms, every beautiful curve or softness will disappear. So, why should I give my body more than it'll do for me? Or why should I then, base my beauty judgement on something so temporary?

At the end of the day, I'm a girl and I love looking good but for sure, I do not give my beauty precedence nor do I base someone's attractiveness on their outside appearance. When I see girls who work so hard to look a certain way or spend crazy money on cosmetics, I feel sorry.

I know it's not always easy to find yourself beautiful, but within each one of us is beauty. We must grow to look past the flesh. Love yourself for who you are. Your imperfections and insecurities are what make you, YOU. Think about it, would it really be you if you didn't have those imperfections? As Muslims, we should have a bigger concern than our temporary bodies: our souls and our hearts.

This topic also reminds me of something my teacher told us once. He said ''never feel proud about something over which you have no control over''. I found this simple sentence so powerful that it's always at the back of my mind. Do I have a say in how my body was created? Nope. Therefore, I shouldn't feel 'proud' to have such-such feature that society dictated as 'mamamia hot hot' and likewise, I shouldn't feel disappointed in the opposite scenario.

Let me share with you one of my biggest pet peeve ever. It is related to this whole beauty topic. I'm sure you all know about the hype over beards and bearded men right? Yes, we get it beards are beautiful (& Muslim beards are awesome) but I can't with these sisters who salivate over beards. I just can't deal!

''His beard *insert love eyes emoji'' 
''MashAllaah beard''

Beard this, beard that...

Sister, why aren't you lowering your gaze? *tears*
I don't understand since when has it been acceptable for us to fantasize over a random man's beard. SubhanAllah, we have taken on the behavior of non-Muslims in doing so. We should be above such shallowness.. :-/

Oh dear.



Thursday, 29 January 2015

Firmness & Steadfastness (2)

Good evening all,

So as mentioned in the post before the last one, I am going to talk about a topic that is so central to my life in so many ways. Ever since I became religiously inclined, I have battled with remaining steadfast and firm on the Path of God. Now, before you raise your eyebrows and frown at your screens, I ought to point out something right now. The kind of battle that I am talking abut isn't the same as what the large majority of young people usually struggle with. Most young people tend to struggle remaining steadfast and firm on their daily prayers, observing the correct hijab (physically and morally), with staying away from music etc. By the Grace of God, these are not the things I struggle with but of course, to each their own tests and struggles right?

The struggles that I am talking about is the challenge of having a consistent practice during my good days and bad days. I am talking about remaining firm on the Sunnah that has been trivialized, I am talking about chasing away bad thoughts and negative desires, I am talking about the challenges of being an oft-repenting slave... You get the gist..

I remember many moons ago seeing this hadith for the first time:

“Faith wears out in your heart as clothes wear out, so ask Allah to renew the faith in your hearts.” (narrated by al-Haakim in his Mustadrak and al-Tabaraani in his Mu’jam with a saheeh isnaad).

And I felt absolutely overwhelmed at how precisely this narration depicted me and my spirituality. I remember reading this narration again and again, trying to understand that what I was feeling was natural and that there was a way out of it.I felt as though this narration was for me and me alone.

I am a very harsh judge on myself and I'm glad that I am actually. I have never in my life been in a stage where I was pleased with myself in terms of my relationship with my Creator. I have my days and weeks where I am walking on cloud 9 because I feel so deeply happy within. Faith gives you so much happiness and belonging, I mean I'm sure you've all felt a time in your life where nothing else of this life really mattered because your heart and soul were in sync with Allaah. Now, imagine if the majority of our days were of that nature? Wouldn't our lives be so much better? tab3an..

About 2 weeks ago, I took a trip to Makkah al Mukkaramah and let me tell you that I left my city almost crawling on my knees because I was so poorly in my spirituality. I was hurt through what my own hands had caused and this journey couldn't have come at a better time. Now, I do not even know how I can possibly explain the inner change that occurred within me as soon as I set foot in the Blessed City but my heart just took a 360 degree turn. I spent 5 days in the Haram (of sublime beauty) and I simply didn't want to leave. I was re-living again. I literally forgot about this worldly life, I even forgot about eating, I didn't care for anything. I just wanted to read Qur'an all day, pray all day, have blessed words coming out of my mouth all day ect. 

Every time I go to Makkah , I always wish I could have a basic tent somewhere on the side. I would honestly live there with no material comfort because the comfort my heart feels in the place is simply phenomenal. I always feel re-born, breathing again, my life takes its full meaning back. My life purpose is to worship my Creator to the best of my ability!

People don't always understand though. My father always fears a 'spiritual comma' for me when he takes me to the Haram lol. The family I was staying with were a little taken aback at my diligence of desiring to remain inside the Haram as much as was physically possible. Only a few people can understand the extent of which I am talking about.: I am talking of hours of not moving from one spot and just doing whatever Allaah decreed me to do. Oh Makkaah you are so beautiful! 
In that city, even if I am not in the Haram, my lips cannot stop uttering words of praise to the Lord, my whole body, soul and mind are in unison in worshipping Allaah.

Anyway I am diverging from my topic! 
So, when I returned back to Riyadh, I felt as though I had recharged my batteries to last me til Ramadan! But already two weeks in and the battle is fierce. 

We are responsible for our eeman and just like we change our clothes once they are dirty or not wearable, likewise our faith needs recharging. Personally, I have identified the essence of the inner battle that goes on inside as follows: SOUL vs BODY.

My soul wants to do all khayrat, it wants to be blessed, it wants to submit to its Creator, it wants to purify itself, it wants to save my body from Hell. However, my body wants all the comfort, it wants to be full with yummy food instead of fasting, it rather sleep than wake up at night and pray, it rather relax at home than study books, it wants to look good and fashionable, it wants its desires fulfilled, it wants to chill all day etc.  

Alhamdulilaah, our religion is a religion of moderation. We have not been told to pray all day long and to fast every day (even though that would be pretty awesome if you ask me) and Allaah is so kind as to always always give us opportunities to turn back to Him. If only we listened? I don't know what to tell you guys, I am always engaged in fighting my own self to save my own soul. It's not easy really but the wonderful feeling once that top of the mountain is reached is unbeatable. 

I just wish I could remain a little longer on this high mountain but usually, I fall down after a while. Sometimes I fall a little bit and get it back together and hike back up. Other times, I can't get back up until I reach the bottom of the mountain and that is usually the worse. This is what I mean when I say I want to remain steadfast. I want to be on the top of the mountain of eeman forever and remain firm on it.

Before when I was in the UK, I felt more 'in control' of my eeman because I knew exactly where to go to get it 'fixed' and that was: the masjid. The masjid has always been the place to fix my heart. Whenever there was trouble, I'd free a day or afternoon and seclude myself there. I would return to my house as a lighter person and with a renewed vision. Sadly, I am not able to do that here in Riyadh and as a result, I have been struggling a heck of a lot this past year. It's hard not to have a place to go and put things back in order. People used to say how their eeman dropped, sometimes pretty drastically, when they moved to the Middle East and I never understood what they meant until I, myself moved here.

The Prophet 'alayhi salaam used tor retire himself from society and go to the Mount Hira even before the Revelation was sent down to him. This shows how important it is to take the time in the day or the week, to stop, go somewhere specific and sit, reflect, renew intentions, check heart and repent for the day or the week. It's of crucial important in my opinion. Without this, we turn into soul-less individuals with walking bodies and dead hearts. I am very big on spirituality, I love it and I just wish I could have a place to retire myself to here. 

Allaah knows best.

I ask Allaah to forgive my sins and to make me one of His oft-returning Slaves.

Please, take a moment to read and reflect on the two verses I added below, from Surah Ash-Shurah. I feel like these two verses not only beautifully summarise my whole post but are so so so comforting to all of us who may be in the same boat as I am.

And thus We have revealed to you an inspiration of Our command. You did not know what is the Book or [what is] faith, but We have made it a light by which We guide whom We will of Our servants. And indeed, [O Muhammad], you guide to a straight path -


The path of Allah , to whom belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. Unquestionably, to Allah do [all] matters evolve.

The Path of Allaah, this the path I desire to never deviate from until the rest of my life.

Toddles folks