Inspiring To Read

Review: Reflections from Life: A Muslim’s Guide to Inspiration

My book’s first review 🙂 Jazakillah khair Neymat Raboobe for your time and efforts.

The Imperfect Muslimah

Reflections from Life - A Muslim's Guide to InspirationReflections from Life: A Muslim’s Guide to Inspirationis a self-help book written by Aisha Idris. It’s her debut self-help book and you can find it on Amazon here. I was sent a soft-copy to review a little while back, which some of you may know as I’ve mentioned it previously.

The author recommends not diving head first into this book over one session but rather spreading out the reading of it. After having read it myself – admittedly, quite quickly – I can understand why. Reflections from Life is packed full of good advice and life lessons and they’re the type that lend well to further introspection.

Despite having read this book fast in order to be able to get my review up, I’ve already decided to give it a reread in order to let myself appreciate it as a whole better – which should clue in…

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Unsuccessful and Happiness! Can They Exist Together?

Unsuccessful and happiness, can they exist together? If we are going to rely on the society for the answer it will be a ‘No.’ But let me tell you, never rely on the society to define your success and the terms and conditions of your happiness because people’s idea of success and happiness is built from their perspective and from what they have been blessed in the journey of life. So your and someone else’s blessings are never going to be exactly same, in fact at times they will be totally opposite so how can we follow a plan of success and happiness that everyone else is following.

You Define Your Own Happiness

The few months that I had spent working in an orphanage taught me that happiness is a choice. Their beaming faces showed me that if they can be happy without a proper family and without the many luxuries of life then I too can. It was that turning point in my life when I decided that I will make happiness my choice and not some state that can be only achieved when I achieve a certain criteria in my life. That was the day I redefined happiness for my sake. For me happiness was then about being able to spend a quality time with my parents, getting to work in the field I was passionate about and was able to submit my university assignments in a timely manner. The criteria I had set were according to what I was doing then. Since I have graduated now, happiness for me is having a lot of free time on my hands so I get to focus on my hobbies. The money in my bank account is close to nothing right now but even then I am happy because for me money isn’t a criterion for my happiness. But let us just say that I do get a lot of money in my bank account, then that too will become a source for my happiness but not a source of sadness when it declines again. Putting it in a simpler way, our happiness depends on how grateful we are with what we already have and not what we are yet to have or desire to have.

Though I do agree that sometimes sadness or depressed feelings are inevitable since we are human beings and it is this sadness that helps us to think clearly at times. But your goal should always be to break this circle of depressive thoughts and focus on the blessings you have.

You Also Define Your Own Success

Just like happiness, success should also be defined by you only. The world will tell you that success is when you have a lot of money, when you are famous, or at a high position in your career or someone who is doing a lot in life. But I say that even a housewife who is happily cooking meals for her family, looking after her children and husband and is constantly trying hard to give comfort to others is success. A father, who may not be earning a lot of money, but each day he comes home and does things for his children and wife that brings a smile on their faces is once again success. Or let us take the example of a child who may not be able to do well at school but is a well-mannered child at home is yet again success. So you will never be unsuccessful if you define success for yourself.

happiness and success quote

You may be unsuccessful for the world but you can still be happy because it is you who should be defining your criteria for success and happiness. Hence unsuccessful and happiness can exist together.

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Develop Your Personality By Knowing Your Self-Worth

One of the key factors when it comes to developing your personality is to know your self-worth.

What is self-worth?

Sayeda Habib says in her book ‘Life Coaching For Muslims: Discover The Best In You!,’ “Self-worth is a value that is placed on a human life just by virtue of the fact that Allah created it. Self-worth is not about personal sense of entitlement; everyone is exactly equal in this regard.”

So basically, self-worth is to know that no matter what your financial status is, it doesn’t matter what is your skin colour, or to which part of the world you belong to, you are equally important because Allah created you and there is always a purpose in what He creates.

develop your personality by knowing your self worth
People’s opinion about you does no harm to your self-esteem

Some signs that you know your self-worth:

  • If you come across someone wealthy or with a good professional background you still expect to be respected.
  • Your failures or successes don’t define your worth.
  • You believe in the purpose of your existence.
  • People’s opinion about you does no harm to your self-esteem.
  • Even if your self-esteem is negatively affected sometimes, you make sure to work on it.
People’s opinion about you does no harm to your self-esteem
If your self-esteem becomes low you think that you deserve it and let it be

Some signs that you don’t know your self-worth

  • You let other people demean you.
  • Your opinion about yourself depends on what people think of you.
  • Your failures and successes define your self-worth.
  • People with higher financial or profession status can treat you as they want and you don’t find anything wrong about it.
  • If your self-esteem becomes low you think that you deserve it and let it be.

Tips to know your self-worth

If your self-esteem becomes low you think that you deserve it and let it be
Know that your status and rank in the sight of Allah is all what you need to be worried about
  • Understand that you were created by Allah and He created you because you were worthy to be in this world.
  • Think of the time when Muslims are performing pilgrimage, men despite of whatever background they come from they are all wearing two pieces of white unstitched cloth. This is the biggest example that we are all equal in the sight of Allah.
  • Know that your status and rank in the sight of Allah is all what you need to be worried about.
  • Know that your status and rank in the sight of Allah increases according to the number of good deeds you perform and not according to how much money you earn or how good looking you are.
  • Ponder about your blessings; Allah gave it all to you because He loves you more than your mother.

reflections from Life A Muslim's guide to inspiration

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Are We Losing The Essence of Marriage Celebrations?

Lights, camera and action! “Please look up at the ceiling with your right hand under your chin.”

“You will have to keep your meeting short with the guests because we have to click 80 more pictures in the pose that you are sitting in right now.”

“My dress is the most expensive dress in this town and the heavy jewellery has given me a headache.”

This is an ideal scenario of most of the weddings that I visited in the recent years. One might say that there is no harm in having a lavish marriage celebration if it is fulfilling their idea of a perfect wedding. Well, surely there isn’t and if you are planning on one then don’t get disheartened by my blog post because it is purely my opinion and no one has to abide by it until they agree that what I am saying is true.

In a general scenario the bride and the groom are supposed to be the center of attention but then comes the photographer and videographer to steal the show. They wouldn’t allow the relatives and guests to meet the bride and groom. Even if they do allow it will only be for a minute or so. The natural and beautiful moments between the bride and the groom are replaced by fake actions recommended by the photographer. By the time they finish, the time has gone by and it is time for the rukhsati (bride’s departure). The time that the bride wanted to spend with her mother, father and siblings was lost in meaningless photo sessions. Years later when the bride views those photos, how many of these pictures will she even be able to connect with some memory from the wedding?

Then comes the hours spent at the saloon by both the genders and it turns out to be a tiring experience in most cases. It is encouraged to beautify ourselves but don’t go overboard that you actually get drained out instead of feeling rejuvenated.

release date twitter

The lavish marriage celebrations take months of preparation which in turn kills your vital time. Many people even end up missing their prayers. In my opinion marriage celebrations are meant to bring the family together and not miss essential family time. Marriage celebrations are supposed to make us happy and not put us under stress. Marriage celebrations are a time to be grateful, to reflect on our blessings and to worship Allah as a sign of gratefulness.

I am yet to be married and I hope to find someone with mutual feelings so I can have a wedding that pleases my Rabb, Insha Allah.

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This is How I Made My Feel Good Journal

A few months back I wrote a blog post, Don’t Fill Your Diary With Negative Memories which had reached a lot of views. Today I am writing this blog post on how I made my Feel Good Journal at a time when things were a bit a difficult at my end. The Feel Good Journal really helped me cope with my problems in a positive manner and since now that Allah has solved my problem I wish to share about it with my readers.

Objective of my Feel Good Journal

The reason I made this Feel Good Journal was because I wanted to create something that will keep me grateful during the darkest days of my life. When I was going through the difficult situation I ended up talking all negative and becoming ungrateful for whatever I already had. Just so you know I hate been ungrateful and I am actually afraid whenever I utter ungrateful words. So in order to stop myself and make myself look towards the brighter aspects of my life I created this Feel Good Journal.

Materials Needed:

  • A pretty notebook that says, ‘Pick me up!’ whenever you look at it.
  • Some cute stickers (optional).
  • Different coloured pens.
  • Few positive quotes.

The how?

I already have a diary where I jot down my good and bad memories. Well, not exactly bad memories but rather I write in it about my problems and that helps me see the picture more clearly. So what I did was go through the start of this diary and selected all the good memories to be compiled in my Feel Good Journal. I used different coloured pens for different memories depending on the type of memory, relationship, ambition, or a fun day out.


For people who don’t use a diary

If you don’t have a diary where you reflect your day to day activities then you can instead go through your smart phone gallery. Using a picture from each event of your life write at least one good memory.

This Feel Good Journal will help you during times when you will feel sad and depressed. It will keep you focused on the blessings that Allah has already blessed you with. Along with that, reading through your Feel Good Journal will divert your attention towards positive matters and will help you optimistically approach the problem.

How did you like this idea? Are you willing to try it out? Do let me know in the comments section below.

Jazakillah khairun kaseerun

Inspiring To Read

Bullying! Another Silent KILLER

Yesterday I heard the news of an 11-year-old child who committed suicide in Bradford due to some children picking on him at school. I felt terrible to hear the news. At such an innocent age when the child should be worried about finishing his homework or going out to play with his friends, he was instead bothered by a bunch of kids already suffering from the superiority complex.

Bullying is becoming a serious issue in our society and it is now taking a toll at schools. A place where children should be feeling safe and secure, they are actually going through nerve wrecking situations. Few of the headlines that I came across regarding this child were actually blaming the mother for not giving attention to the child but Allah knows best what the real situation was. Right now instead of spreading the news in order to play the blame game it will be wiser to actually focus on how we can eliminate bullying from our society.

A Request: Please do not share the picture of the child because their family has requested so.

So how can we address bullying in our immediate environment? Well, it is not just the responsibility of one person but us as the members of the society as a whole need to look and act upon it in an appropriate manner.

Advice for Parents on Addressing Bullying

As parents, try your best to educate your child regarding the consequences of bullying someone. Give them examples of how they would feel if someone would make fun of them. Use stories from the life of our Prophets and Sahaba. Make the discussion interactive so that your child can accept if he or she is involved in bullying someone or is the victim of bullying.

In case, your child confesses that they are bullying someone, do not scold them. Scolding and punishing will only teach them that next time they shouldn’t be honest with you. Instead talk to him using the emotional aspect of how that child must be feeling each time he gets bullied. Reinforce your child for being honest and tell them that they will now have to fix what they have done wrong.

Next, help them in the process of fixing their mistake.

If your child is the victim….
Now if the situation comes out that your child is being bullied, I’d suggest that you give them as much support as possible. Find out who those people are and where is your child getting bullied. You will now have to confront this matter along with your child (not alone). If it is in the school then have a talk with the school authorities. If it is in the playground in your area then find out who the child’s guardians are and have a talk with them.

Advice for Teachers on Addressing Bullying

Teachers are the next important people to parents because they get to spend half of the day with children. During this time they need to be vigilant and observe if any student is getting picked on. As teachers, your sole purpose is not just to teach but to also help shape their personality and if a child under you is getting bullied then how are they suppose to trust any authority figure next time. Also, if some child is able to get out of bullying under your supervision then they will never learn to respect their authority figures in the future.

I’d say that you have a friendly discussion in the classroom to communicate about bullying. Address the consequences of bullying. You can also involve them by telling stories related to bullying and how it had impacted both the victim as well as the bully. Encourage your students to open up if they see someone getting bullied.

In case if cases of bullying come up you will have to get involved in them wisely. Find out the reason behind why the child is bullying the other child. Bullying always has underlying issues. Fix a meeting with the parents of the victim and the bully separately to help sort out the problems of both the children.

Advice if you see someone getting bullied

Stand up at all times if you see any child getting bullied. As a part of this society, you must take responsibility for addressing the problematic issues of your society. Bullying is no less than a crime.

You guys might be wondering that why am I showing so much concern for the bully. Well, most of the times bullies are a result of the bad consequences they have gone through. By just saving one child from the bully does not help in fixing the issue. We need to get to the root of the problem and that is to look into the matters that are causing the child to turn into a bully.

Do have a look at one of the article I had written for BabyGaga – What Causes Children to Turn Into a Bully?

Jazakillah khairun kaseerun

From the heart, Inspiring To Read

How to Live a Positive Life?

Since there is so much negativity in our environment I believe we should really learn to live a positive life. I come across very few people who take the opportunity to inspire and motivate other people. The other part I come across are only there to whine, complain and demotivate other people from believing in dreams. Then I know some of those people who are interested in becoming positive about life but find it difficult. So my blog post is basically for those who are really wish to live a positive life.

I have often being asked by a few close friends that how come I manage to remain positive about my life and future despite having problems in my life. And I am sorry but answering this question in a sentence will not do much justice. So I thought why not write a blog post in which I share my secrets to living a positive life.

You will all have to agree that each one of us are going through a tough time or have been through at least once in their life. There will not be a soul on this earth who will say that they are not having any problems in their life. Each of us have their own shortcomings and we have to deal with it no matter what. There is no easy way out of our problems.

So far these are the few rules I apply to my life to live a positive life:


Staying aware of other people’s sufferings

I believe that I am not the only one who has problems in her life. Allah tests each of us in many ways. Some are struggling to finish their education. Some are having problems finding a job. There are some who can’t find the right person to marry. Then there are those who are engaged but are not able to get married for several reasons. The list will go on. We are all facing some problem or the other. So I don’t feel bad that I am facing problems as well because it is a part of every normal human being’s life.

I look at people who suffer more than I do

Reading news online makes me ponder over the fact that there is so much suffering around the world. Lots of countries are under political instability thus people die there every day. The terrorist attacks have left so many families devastated. In addition to that, there are people diagnosed with harmful diseases and are living a painful life. There is so much more to add to this list. Orphan children, parents losing their children, some people have no family, some have no home and some have physical disability. With so much of these sufferings I feel ashamed to keep complaining about my problems. Instead Allah has given me the ability to think clearly and resolve these issues so why not do that.

I believe I am here for a greater purpose

Allah didn’t sent me in this Dunya to cry, whine and complain about what I don’t have. I am here in this world for a greater purpose. My time in this world is short so why waste time to feel about what’s wrong in my life. Why not look at what is right in my life and work towards attaining my goals. Why not work towards becoming a good Muslim and making this world a better place for those who are suffering more than me.

Allah tests His strongest servants

Each time I feel I am going through a lot I look at the life of our Prophets and Sahaba. They were pious, refrained from sinning, yet in order to spread good they had to face so many hardships. I am not even going through 1% of what they went through (Alhumdulilah) so what makes me feel like it is a lot. Moreover, these sufferings will only help wash my sins so why to be sad.

I have faith in Allah’s plan 

Allah is the best planner indeed. He brought us into this world and gave us so many abilities and skills. I believe in Him and what He has planned for me will be for my good. I do not know what the future holds for me but I live with this believe that whatever it will be things will turn out to be alright and these problems I am facing currently will soon be over Insha Allah.

By stating these points I no way want to boost that I am very positive person because there are certain times I am extremely cranky and negative. This point comes in all of our lives but I make it a point to not let negative feelings and thoughts take over my mind. I try breaking the cycle of negative thoughts and start focusing on what is already good in my life.


Inspiring To Read, Miscelleneous

Do People Question You About Your Change?

Recently I have fallen in love with turning points in our lives. This is because they hold so much meaning for us and each one of it has some interesting story behind it. I too have gone through many changes. Through my observations there are a few things I have noticed which I would like to shed some light on. Before I go ahead with the topic let me clear that here I am talking about the positive turning points in our lives and how you can deal with the various questions people ask.

Face It!

The first thing that I have noticed is whenever one goes through some sort of change people around them give surprising looks.  Due to which we distance ourselves from such people and also behave rudely. Of course it is natural to act that way, to build a shield around yourself so that you wouldn’t have to answer the ‘How?’ ‘When?’ and ‘Where?’ again and again. Temporarily this technique may work out but in the long run you will feel isolated.

The best way to deal with this problem is to remain confident about what you are doing. Wear your best smile and don’t be afraid to tell them your journey towards this turning point.

Take Pride in Telling Your Story


Some people will excitedly come towards you while others may give sarcastic comments. Whatever the case is just remain what you are. You know you are doing the right thing. You are satisfied with what you are doing so you don’t have to worry about the negative comments. Instead you should take encouragement from the positive comments. And if someone comes up to you to ask you about why and how it all happened, invite them for a cup of coffee and proudly pour out your whole story. Believe me, they will start respecting and will understand you better.

Influence Others As Well

Consider yourself lucky that you are now finally on the right track. So instead of looking down at others help them become better as well. You never changed in a fortnight. It took months, maybe years to reach this point. The only difference is you arrived earlier than others so now it’s your duty to support others in reaching this position.

Also, you will come across lost souls who will have no idea where their lives are leading. So help them find the right path. Lead them. Imagine yourself like that scientist who have discovered a new theory and now has to help others learn it.

You as an individual have the potential to make this world a better place. So keep improving and inspiring people around you because what goes around comes around as well.

From the heart, Inspiring To Read

My Niqab Is Not A Barrier But People

Since I started my niqab more than a year ago I have been questioned by a lot of people if it has ever been an obstacle in my path of success. In return all I do is smile widely because I feel sorry for this little yet precious piece of cloth to be considered a barrier for women in achieving her dreams.

I am a part time writer, a food and travel blogger. Being a food blogger I have been to lots of cafes and restaurants to try different cuisines and I have hardly had any issue in doing what I enjoy doing. Along with that, my part time writing job has made me work with non-Muslims and foreign clients and to some people’s surprise yes, I have done that all while being in my niqab.

In addition to that, I am also a psychology student and being a part of this field I have had to go to various places and meet different people some of whom were also suffering from severe mental illnesses. I have also been to the female ward of a psychiatric hospital and worked closely with them while doing clinical assessments and therapy. If anyone has ever worked closely with psychotic patients they’d know that how much they can misdoubt other people. But I have worked successfully with them despite wearing my niqab. I have even worked with little children and due to the place being quite public I had to keep my niqab on and the kids I had to deal with were as friendly as they were with my other non-niqabi colleagues.

The only time I have had issues in accomplishing my work was when people were not being co-operative and my abilities were being judged through my niqab. It is not this precious piece of cloth which is a barrier but rather what goes on in the mind of the person.

People complain that due to a woman’s niqab they have problem communicating with her because they cannot see her lips moving. But how come those same people spend hours texting and talking on phone and how does that is not a barrier in communication because you can’t see the person’s face even at that time.

Another issue I always get to listen to is the facial expressions are difficult to recognize. Frequently whenever I see a little kid passing by I like to give them a smile (while in my niqab), I mean it just happens on an involuntary level and I always get a smile back from them. So when a little kid who is not even experienced can recognize my eye movements how difficult could it be for an adult to make out my facial expression.

So what could be done to not become an obstacle for a niqabi?



Give us acceptance

We niqabis don’t need questioning stares and lectures about how it can be a barrier for us. All we require is for people to give us opportunity to prove ourselves to be worthy with our work. We are anyways wearing this face veil for the sake of Allah and no one’s opinion will make us stop wearing it. So instead of wasting time and energy on something that is not going to work, why not get to work and talk business.

Focus on our words

One of the biggest issues raised for a niqabi is that people face difficulty communicating with them because of their face being hidden. What you can do to solve this issue is to hear a niqabi properly and focus on her words. You are not required to focus on her veil, her hidden face or even her eyes because the mere reason she is doing the niqab is to hide her face so she wouldn’t mind even if you are looking down but listening to her words properly.

You can easily identify a niqabi’s gender

When at a workplace and you feel afraid of a niqabi because you don’t know if she is a male disguised in niqab or not, you can simply go and communicate with her. Her voice and tone will provide you a clear indication of her gender.

Appoint a female for security purpose

For security reasons a female can be appointed to check the niqabi’s identity. We are very well aware of the laws and the rules and regulations so we wouldn’t mind giving proof of our identity for genuine reasons.

We communicate to men for genuine reasons

Many men feel hesitant when it comes to communicating with a niqabi. As long as you are talking business, like something related to the assignment or maybe you need help which only she can provide then you can ask her. Keep your gaze down and just state your question or problem and don’t forget to keep your distance.

Don’t be afraid of us

Since people can only see our eyes they sometimes feel afraid of us. Please don’t be so. We are humans just like you but just covered up according to the command of Allah (S.W.T). We mean no harm to you because we know that is not acceptable in the sight of Our Lord.

This niqab has in fact given me the confidence to do what I like. It has removed obstacles that could have come in my path of achieving success. I no more have to worry about boys hitting on me. In my workplace and in my university the men know their boundaries when communicating with me. The boundary that might have been difficult to set through words has already been set by wearing a niqab. So hasn’t it made my path towards my aspirations more smooth.

Inspiring To Read

Ramadan Teaches Simplicity to the Wise

So Alhumdulilah we are at the second week of Ramadan and I’d really like to know how your Ramadan has been until now in the comment section below. Any words of wisdom shared will be appreciated.

Today I’d like to talk about instilling simplicity in our lives. In this blog post I will talk about how Ramadan helps us in understanding the beauty of simplicity.

Ramadan truly teaches us the beauty of adopting simplicity in life and this of course is only learnt by the wise because if we look around not everyone is pursuing for simplicity at the end of Ramadan. This is the second Aashra of Ramadan and by now many of our tables during iftar must be consisting of lesser dishes than compared to the first day of Ramadan. Now even a glass of water and few dates might seem enough to satisfy our hunger and this helps us to realize that even when Ramadan is over we don’t have to fill our stomachs to the extent that it bloats but just enough to provide us energy until the next meal. In fact eating in moderation also helps our body to sleep well and keeps us fresh when we wake up in the morning.



It has been stated in the Hadith: “A believer eats in one intestine (is satisfied with a little food), and a kafir (unbeliever) or a hypocrite eats in seven intestines (eats too much).” (Bukhaari)

Also, when we are fasting during the day, our dry mouth and growling stomach teaches us the state of the poor who suffers from this state all year round. For them someone offering food is like how we feel during iftar, in fact they feel far more grateful. This is because when we are fasting we still know that in the evening we will get to eat but a person who is poor has no idea if they will even get to satisfy their hunger for that day. This should teach us to be humble when it comes to selecting food and not being choosy. Eat whatever is on your plate. When cooking at home, cook the amount that will be enough for the family and no extra has to be thrown away. When ordering at a restaurant, be mindful of your requirement so that not even a little grain gets wasted.

In addition to that, giving charity during Ramadan is another way to become humble in life. When we gift new clothes, accessories or even money to the poor, the look on their face of gratefulness, that excitement that they will finally have something to wear on Eid, should make us ponder that if someone can be grateful for just one pair of clothes (which they might have to wear the whole year round), do we have any right to whine about lack of clothes in a wardrobe?

So if you are wise, this Ramadan will In Sha Allah make you fall in love with simplicity. If not, then maybe you are yet to get into the spirits of Ramadan.

Jazakillah khairun kaseerun