Youthful Reflections on Faith

Posts tagged ‘Islam’


Whether it is the start of a career, moving into a new home or working on a new project/ piece of writing; A start always evokes a sense of excitement and the thought of a fresh beginning adds some mystery, regardless of the unknown hurdles looming ahead.

But, even with the awareness that it will not be a simple track to achieving the new goals, such energy sparks from within linked to that sense of hope that comes from the breathe of possibilities.

The newness carries with it bright lights pumping actively towards the goals and dreams.

With such beginnings is the readiness to travel along a bumpy road, even when the bright lights fade out to a wondrous end – marking an accomplishment with rewards beyond measure.

As we begin Ramadan (Month of fasting), it comes with such feelings … Excitement to hope & joy … All directed at rewarding deeds of the blessed month. 29-30 days of opportunities building up from a fresh start.

An opportunity for a brand new relationship with Allah. Knowing Him, getting closer to Him & submitting to Him.

It all begins with an intention, let’s make it pure – seeking only His reward and pleasure as we glide into the month highly faithified.

For all those ready to accomplish their goals, purify your heart and reboot your faith. Moving from the beginning of hope to the wonderful end filled with gratitude and faith.

“Whoever fasts in Ramadan with Iman and seeking reward (from Allah), his past sins will be forgiven”. (Bukhari)

Ramadan Mubarak!


[Welcoming Ramadan] #3: Reflecting on the ‘WHY’


Fast (Photo credit: photophilde)

In the final part of this series, let us keep up with the countdown by trying to keep our lenses on how to bust a common syndrome.

As Ramadan brings with it the opportunity to get more rewards from doing the usual good deeds – from charity to supplication and even community work; So also can the reward be profound if we plan ahead.

The Prophet (Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him) when asked which Charity is the best, said that ‘Charity in Ramadan’  [Tirmidhi].

Yet, at the same time many find during this period the opportunity to indulge in more of eating, spending, sleeping and time wasting.

Whether on the left or right side, is it enough to simply go through the familiar routine of fasting from dawn to dusk?

This routine involves waking up for the early morning meal, performing the five daily prayers, going through work hours, preparing for the iftaar meal, attending tarawih prayers, giving charity when possible, watching some of Islam Channel/ Peace TV or Huda TV, getting some sleep, and so the cycle continues.

Then repeating the motions till the last ten days when the night time prayers become longer. That is what I call the RRS – Ramadan Routine Syndrome. The routine engine is started and automated when the moon is sighted for Ramadan, and turned off on Eid morning or the night before Eid.

And all to what effect? An empty stomach, heart and soul with little or no spiritual connection. A struggle with no deep meaning.

Let’s stop & think!

Should one simply stay hungry for most of  the 29 or 30 days thinking, if I  want more reward I must maintain these fasts till the end of the month – no more, no less!

Well, it obviously isn’t about denying yourself food and drink for the entire month, it is much more than that. The inner struggle is meant to rise beyond the physical motions and RRS.

Since we are all human and want to fast the entire month with the hope of gaining all the countless bounties, what we need to make this struggle wholesome is a little reminder about the ‘why’ of fasting.

Why do we fast?

There is no doubt that fasting is supposed to bring us closer to our Lord. But the question is, how? The Prophet [PBUH] said, ‘Every act of the son of man is for himself except fasting; it is for Me and I shall reward it.’ [Bukhari]

This secret act is meant to discipline the character, awaken one’s spirituality and faith-i-fy the heart. With an attentive heart, one can easily enter a state of utter submission and surrender to Allah – foregoing all desires – and hence draw closer to Him with deep consciousness.

Scholars have described the month of fasting as a school for great training of the soul  and purification of the heart. It holds various doors all leading to goodness. So ask yourself, WHY do you fast? Reflect, then assess yourself now.

If you want to increase your presence of mind, stay balanced and committed while partaking actively in rewarding deeds this Ramadan…. Ask yourself, Why am I fasting?

Reflect on your ‘Why‘ before Ramadan, then every morning you wake up for the pre-dawn meal….. ask yourself the same question. Begin your daily fast with this sense of purpose.

Imagine the feeling of connecting with your Lord in Ramadan, learning and growing through ripe blooming seeds of Taqwa! An amazing bundle to last beyond Ramadan through the coming months till the next Ramadan In Sha Allah.

What better gift would you desire this Ramadan?

And don’t you deserve it?

As the days draw closer, if you have not done so already try to – Plan ahead, Think Balance and break free of RRS with a simple ‘WHY‘.

Wishing you all a deeply connected + RRS – free Ramadan.

Woman’s Nature

~ Nature Trail Eye Play~

~ Nature Trail Eye Play~ (Photo credit: ViaMoi)

A woman adds value and flavour to the lives of all those around her – as a friend, daughter, mother, sister, employer, colleague and in so many other different roles.

Even better is the value she nurtures within – in her heart, but seen through her actions and from her words. Her amazing ways reveal itself in a maze-like course; Sometimes straight and direct while at other times curvy and confusing.

She builds relationships from huge fountains of love, and with lots of compassion to share. She does this in her own unique way, using her special language. Her caring self rarely diminishes but when her angry side overcomes, it can crash structures.

Some of her emotions run so deep, they get buried and lost forever. Others are manifested in the most creative ways inspiring the like-minded and even strangers.

Strong from the core to the outside – she builds empires by day; Leading teams to success. Then constantly nourishes her mind, body & soul with doses of quality knowledge, inspiration and company.

She adapts to the twists and turns of the rollercoaster ride that life offers. With a thinking hat that is never far away, her thoughts rove far and wide. Reflecting on today, tomorrow & even yesterday.

She graces the home with radiant light from her presence and a gift of patience. But when the  patience cracks, the light & its beauty diminishes to darkness and coldness.

Though sometimes feisty – brimming with different kinds of spicy emotions – one thing remains unchanged, her soft caramel infused heart.

And other times so selfless to the extent of even forgetting herself – her successes and greatest needs. She remembers the world in her big heart but may forget herself – taking for granted all that lies within.

She endures and commits with all that she has. Nurturing her faith, younger ones and community through different acts of contribution. Her commitment and strong determination allows her face up to mountains of adversity.

With faith as her pillar; knowledge as her foundation; sacrifice as a companion… she continues to radiate warmth and always giving a lot to be remembered for.

Every woman is a special part of nature.

Your inner strength shields you, directing your path; It overflows and oozes forth to shine a bright light as an example for others.

Keep shining and remember that it’s your time to shine. Shine with hope, even as you struggle to hug your secrets within and carefully guard your choices. Celebrate your womanhood everyday wrapped in absolute faith….. teaming only with the purpose-driven.

Honour this gift that is only a woman’s – her superb nature.

This post is dedicated to the faithified woman.

Stay Faithified!

 Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah ‘s Apostle said,

 “Treat women nicely, for a women is created from a rib, and the most curved portion of the rib is its upper portion, so, if you should try to straighten it, it will break, but if you leave it as it is, it will remain crooked. So treat women nicely.”

 [Found in The Translation of Sahih Bukhari, Book 55: Prophets, Number 548]

Moving On

Each time the news reaches us of the passing away of a peer, so many thoughts come to mind. One of the foremost is that it could have been me instead.

At Grandma`s Mini Garden

At Grandma`s Mini Garden (Photo credit: ukhti27)

Sharing the same age group, profession or background makes it hit so close home. It causes a BIG pause on our thinking and even actions.

It may trend briefly on FB and other social networks, with close friends sharing their tribute with the world, before the next breaking news or juicy conversation comes on.

After the pause, Life simply moves on because it has to.

But even with this knowledge comes shock, sadness and low spirit. And with these emotions come memories of the past. Whether it’s a laugh, conversation or times spent together .

And with all these come the painful reality!!! No more calls, arguments, messages or visits.

This life is indeed fragile, with its temporary web giving us support even as we dream and plan for tomorrow. Our faith keeps us firm and patient beyond the pause.

Surely, it is a reminder to buckle up and be alert for the seconds are closing in – one after the other. No delays or disruptions or errors are expected. And although we have absolutely no idea of the where, when or how – we remain humble with the certainty.

Our constant reminder should be that ”Everyone shall taste death”. [Q3. V.185]

Those bonds we nurture and share eventually get severed by an inevitable separation.

Through the pain and tears, we submit and seek comfort in the knowledge that there is a better abode for the believer. No special powers or intelligence removes us from this zone. And our extra time left is unknown – it could be minutes, days or even years.

Yet, the uncertainty wraps us in shaky comfort.

We make dua (supplication), for our dear departed loved ones. We make dua for our own souls still cruising the highway of life. We hasten to do good deeds, dream big and dare to make a difference.

The end will surely come but what matters is NOW; Moving ahead with a purpose.

There is no one like you or me – each unique in our special right. Let us live with a passion for life, while not forgetting the inevitable end. Invest in what you want to be remembered for.

Delay not what matters the most, in striving to gain Allah’s pleasure.

As we walk down the path of life, there are many free gifts to enjoy. Take with both hands what you need. But remember that when the end comes, none of it really matters except Taqwa (consciousness of God).

Besides the sadness & numbness, it always feels good to take a pause every now and then. Rebooting for a higher purpose, as we continue this race of life.

Race with one another in hastening towards forgiveness from your Lord (Allah), and Paradise the width whereof is a the width of the heaven and the earth, prepared for those who believe in Allah and His Messengers. That is the Grace of Allah which He bestows on whom He is pleased with. And Allah is the Owner of great bounty.”

[Q57: V21]

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