From the heart

My Book’s Launch Date!

Assalam u alaikum Readers!

Final cover designI am glad to announce the release date of my book, Reflections From Life: A Muslim’s Guide To Inspiration which will be coming out on 20th February 2018, Insha Allah.

More details regarding the book will be coming up soon. For now you can follow the book’s Facebook page.

If you have any questions regarding the book, feel free to ask me in the comment section below.

Jazakillah Khairun Kaseerun

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Miscelleneous

Diffusion of Responsibility – Are You Doing It?

We live in a digital age where we are told that a ‘like’ or a ‘share’ can help someone in need. This idea of ‘instant help’ is making us develop the habit of diffusion of responsibility. We find it easier to tweet someone’s plea than to actually get out of our seats to give them a helping hand. When an accident occurs, we are more focused about capturing the moment in our gadgets than providing assistance on the spot. The videos or pictures are then shared on various social networks to provoke people for further help through sharing it. People commenting on those posts feel a sense of accomplishment because they feel they have made a big difference through their comments.

I would say it is high time that we become responsible for not just ourselves but also for our surroundings. Instead of relying on another person to stop violence, assault or give charity, let us take a stand. If you see someone in trouble, assist them. If an accident occurs, instead of making a video step forward to help them out. Call the ambulance or take part in transporting them to the hospital. On witnessing a suicide attempt take measures to stop the person instead of taking snaps of the scenario. If you see some form of abuse try to stop it or call for help, making a video of it might help to create awareness but not help the victim as much as you take a step at that moment.

When you read an incident online research on it, find the authenticity of that information and don’t just click the share button. If you come across a post that says that someone is need of blood and you don’t share their blood group, then apart from spreading that news on your social profile, contact your close friends and family, that way help will be quicker.

You might be seeing a lot of pictures of Rohingya Muslims, pictures of assault in Gaza, bloodshed in Syria or pictures of natural disasters around the world. The first thing that you’d do is react to the picture with a sad emoticon, then maybe comment or share it ahead. But apart from doing that, put in greater efforts. You may not be physically able to go there and help but why not remember them in your prayers. Why not reflect upon that information and truly feel sorry. Why not find out about authentic organizations where you can donate money for them.

There is a lot that you and I can do. We just need to become responsible enough to take a stand and know that God only helps those who help themselves.

Jazakillah khairun kaseerun

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From the heart

Our Limited Thoughts…

We act like we know it all. We pretend to be wearing glasses that show us the whole picture. We go about judging people like we have known their every struggle. We taunt people for their failures as if they did that on purpose. We envy happy, successful people but we haven’t seen them cry during their hardships.

What we see is not always what it is like. There is more to every scenario, to every incident, to every story, than we know. We fail to realize that our limited thoughts only makes us capable enough to see the smaller picture. Our limited thoughts doesn’t allow us to seek the behind the story situation. So let us not judge others, let us give others the benefit of doubt.

When it comes to our lives, our limited thoughts depress us. Since we can’t see the bigger picture, we lose all hopes. We forget who controls our life. We forget the mercy of our Creator. We think that this is it, that there is no way out. We stop living while infinite blessing awaits us. We forget that every struggle is a trial that will fetch us a reward in this world and the Hereafter.

So let us be mindful of our limited thoughts. Let us accept that we will never have complete knowledge of everything. Let us believe in the wisdom of our Creator.

HireMe!

Miscelleneous

How I Make My Adult Colouring Time Beneficial?

Before adult colouring books were introduced I used to colour with my nieces and nephew in their colouring books. But having to colour within large areas wasn’t quite satisfying. As adults we like having smaller areas to focus on at a time.

After getting my hands on an adult colouring book I was elated. But simply spending time colouring inside the intricate patterns made me feel guilty. I felt like I was wasting my time just filling patterns with colours rather than doing something productive. That was when I came up with a strategy to make my time spent in colouring blissful. I started doing zikr Allah while colouring. So an hour spent in colouring was now spent as an Ibad’ah.

I started assigning various patterns to different Quranic du’as. For instance, in the picture below I assigned a du’a to the tree trunks, leaves, to the mushrooms and to the weeds.

adult colouring books 2

Apart from that you can even listen to Quranic recitations while colouring.

All in all, I find this method beneficial for myself and it is one of my de-stressing tools. If you find this method beneficial do try it and let me know what you think.

Jazakillah khairun kaseerun

Inspiring To Read

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.

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.

From the heart

Is Our Patriotism Limited to Materialism?

It is 14th August today. 70 years ago on this day our forefathers fought to have a land where Muslims can freely obey Allah and follow the Sunnah.

But unfortunately today the 14th August is the day when people go crazy on the streets. They dance on music that deafens the ears. They wear everything green and white, and drive their vehicles without silencer, and on high speed that can cause severe accidents. Every year aerial firing kills innocent people. 70 years ago these precious lives were lost to give us a peaceful life on this land. Today these precious lives are lost on the expanse of someone wanting to feel the rush of adrenaline. So hasn’t our patriotism become materialistic?

I feel 14th August should be a day of reflecting and pondering about this blessed land. I feel 14th August should be the day when you thank Allah tremendously. When you evaluate yourself as a Pakistani, as a Muslim, and as a human being. When you ask yourself this question, ‘What have I done for my country so far?’

I am not against beautifying our homes and our streets with flags on Independence Day. I am not against going all green in our attire on 14th August. But what I wish is we celebrate the day for what it is and not for what we want to do with it.

Jazakillah khairun kaseerun

Inspiring To Read

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.

dav

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

From the heart

The Beauty of Prayer

Prayer is our lifeline.

Without prayer we are nothing but flesh and bones.

Prayer gives us a true purpose in life.

It makes us feel useful.

Prayer leads us to success, to peace, to Jannah.

Hence we must never skip our prayer.

There is no guarantee of our life.

There is no guarantee if we will be alive to pray our very next prayer.

Another beauty of prayer is the mindfulness (that is if we really focus while praying).

Focus in prayer makes us forget our worries, our sorrows, our mistakes and, our greatest fears.

Focus in prayer gives us relief.

Focus in prayer rejuvenates us.

Prayer is obligatory and is a duty towards your Creator.

Leaving prayer is like leaving the opportunity to be successful.

Hence make time for prayer because the beauty of prayer is felt nowhere but in prayer.

Miscelleneous

Increase Focus in Your Salah with These Few Simple Tips

With so much to do during the day we sometimes end up rushing through our salah. Rather than giving the utmost importance to salah in our journey towards Jannah, with give preference to the worldly activities. This in turn impacts our mind and makes us distracted during salah which we later regret about.

These few simple tips will help you develop focus in your salah.

Mentally prepare yourself a few minutes before the time of Adhaan. Keep track of the changes in the Adhaan timings for the five daily prayers. If you live in a western country where you don’t get to hear the sound of Adhaan then you can install an Adhaan app (recommended: Muslim Pro app) on your smart phone.

Don’t delay in offering salah. Delays can lead to laziness and when you will offer salah lazily, you will definitely get distracted.

Mindfully perform ablution. When performing ablution don’t get lost in thoughts or don’t day dream. Instead think about what you are going to do after getting done with your ablution.

Make niyyah for salah. Silently say it in your mind which salah (Fajr, Zuhr, Asr, Maghrib, Isha) you are performing.

Focus on what you are reciting. When praying, focus on the words of the surah or du’a you are reciting instead of mindlessly reciting whatever you have learnt. Through this way you will not get distracted because since you will be concentrating on the words your mid will not have any space to think of anything else.

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Learn new surahs from time to time. Reciting the same surahs over and over again will make you well versed and so you won’t make efforts to focus on the words. This is why from time to time learn a new surah so that you will be careful about reciting it and there will be no room for distractions.

Learn the translation of the surahs and du’a you recite during your salah. When you will know what you are exactly saying in your salah, when you will be able to understand the meaning of the surahs and duas that you are reciting during your salah, you won’t lose focus.

Make du’a for being able to concentrate in salah and also make tawbah for anytime you get distracted. Du’a is a powerful tool of a believer. If you are facing difficulty in concentrating during your salah ask for Allah’s help. Also, at any time you find yourself distracted in prayer, ask for Allah’s forgiveness after finishing with your prayer because He is the most forgiving to His servants.

I pray that we all find peace in our ibad’ah. Ameen.

Jazakillah khairun kaseerun

Miscelleneous

10 Ways To Build Your Self-esteem

Last week I had published a blog post on 10 Signs To Know If You Are Suffering From Low Self-esteem. If those points applied to you then this blog post will help you build your self-esteem. Even if you are not suffering from low self-esteem it is essential that you look after yourself by doing these activities.

  • Start with giving attention to yourself. Instead of making your needs secondary or totally forgetting about your likes and dislikes, make yourself the focus. Remember that no one can take care of you better than yourself. Others treat you the way they see you treating yourself. If you are going to put your needs after other people they too will do the same with you.
  • Take some time out to look after your physical appearance. Take proper long showers, most of the people who treat themselves as unworthy, simply rush with their shower ritual just so they can serve others. Get yourself some nice scented shower gel and shampoo. Select your outfit for each day and match them with accessories. Men can take time in ironing their clothes and polishing their shoes.
  • Find the purpose of your life. We all have a purpose to live, we all have dreams to attain. Was there anything you wanted to accomplish in your life? Think about it. Better discuss it with a loved one. There is still time to achieve your dreams.
  • Do some creative work. Once every week do some creative work that will turn out therapeutic for you. It can be anything related to your interests. Write a funny poem, record some funny voices, do art work or simply come up with a silly game to have fun.
  • Dedicate some time of your day to do what you like. This will make you feel important and discover your worth.
  • Go back to developing a good bond with your loved ones. If your relationship with your spouse, parents or siblings has been damaged, try to develop that bond again. The support we get from our loved ones play a vital role in building our self-esteem and confidence.
  • Demand your right to get recognition. If you like getting praised for what you do, ask people to comment on your work. Ask people what they like about you. There is nothing wrong in seeking compliments for yourself once every while.
  • Ponder upon your surroundings, the place where you live, your work space. What do you like about the place you live in? What is the best part about the area you live in? What do you enjoy the most about your work? If there is anything you dislike, what can you do to make it right?
  • At least once a day eat what you like. It can be as small as your favourite brand of chips or chocolate.
  • Count and cherish your small successes and only the small successes. This is a reminder for you that you don’t always need to achieve something big to appreciate yourself. Every small step towards success, towards the right path, towards your purpose counts as an achievement.

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I really hope these tips help you build your self-esteem. You can always reach me at aisha2aboo@gmail.com.