All good things come to an end

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This blog is one of them words that I deeply wish someone had told me earlier on in life. Life is temporary – we all know this. Though the fact that it is temporary is what gives it its sweetness. The temporary moments, the temporary opportunities, the temporary feelings.. seriously, it’s the temporariness that gives it a flavour.

A lesson that I learned, is to not linger in something for longer than you should. Perhaps when you hit your peak, you then know it’s a good time to embark on a new chapter. “If you want a happy ending,” actor Orson Welles wrote, “that depends, of course, on where you decide to stop your story”. There have been other times where I lingered in chapters for too long, that now, I rarely look back at them with such fondness.

Change is good, but this is not to say keep on bouncing between places, jobs, and people. But rather, to welcome new chapters with open arms, at the right time. So when you reminisce over old chapters, don’t be dishearted they’re over, but know that the reason they still hold their sweetness is because they were temporary. Thus, be grateful for having had just enough time to cherish and appreciate such memories, and look forward to what is yet to come.

Looking back at my University experience used to dishearten me a little, because it was such an optimal time, full of precious memories and poeple that I missed deeply. But I soon realised, my fondness for such memories is because they were just brief enough. If I had dwelled in there any longer, it wouldn’t have been the same.

All good things come to an end, and they are good because they came to an end.. at a peak time.

I truly believe that there are far better things ahead than any we leave behind. So, cheers to the non-permanent life experiences that shaped who we are, and cheers to what is yet to come.

Deema.

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So small, yet so powerful.

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Spring 2013, probably one of my favourite springs yet. We stayed in Nerja (pronounced Ner-khaa), a little village by the coast in the south of Spain, Andalusia. We stayed there because it meant it would be easy for us to travel around beautiful Andalusia. And let me tell you, the mix of cultures and faiths in that region was utterly refreshing.

On our last week there we discovered a little mosque, some might even call it a “prayer room” because of how humble it was. They did Friday prayers there, so we figured we’d visit on our last day.

Little did I know how much of an impact that mosque would have on me. To enter it, you go through a small door that leads to one space area that both men and woman shared with a small curtain in between. I have been to many Jummahs in my life before, I have listened to many Khutbas. But, not a single one moved me the way this one did. I still recall the crisp voice of that Moroccan-Spanish speaker, the beautifulness of his articulate Arabic, the clarity of his pronunciations, and the compassion in his voice. They are all so vivid in my memory.

He talked about forgiveness, something which perhaps isn’t practiced too often and is overlooked in our societies. We even forgot how much our religon puts an emphasis on it. The sheikhs’ words and wisdom truly touched, and perhaps, changed me. So, here I am, years later sharing my outbust of thoughts.

Forgiveness isn’t something that happens by deafult, it requires a conscious effort to forgive someone who wronged you. Just like we remind ourselves to pray or to do our daily tasks. we remind ourself to forgive every now and then.

If Allah the almighty forgives us for all of our wrongdoings. Then how do we as humble humans, refue to forgive others? People make mistakes. Sometimes really, really bad ones. But, we have to learn to let go. Because holding a grudge, and being bitter only feeds your ego.

The Sheikh then brought up a story of the man who is granted paradise, for all that he did was, every night, when laying his head against the pillow, he would cleanse his heart from resentment and would forgive everyone. For that, he was granted paradise. Forgiveness may not seem easy, but that’s why it is remarkable. If it was easy, everyone would do it. Though, because it may be hard, that is what makes it remarkable.

Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “Shall I not tell you whom the (Hell) Fire is forbidden to touch? It is forbidden to touch a man who is always accessible, having polite and tender nature.”

When we forgive, we’re not doing it for anyone other than ourselves. The rewards we get from forgiving and letting go, are far more superior on the scale than getting our justic. In fact, the purity of the heart from hatred and anger is such a blessing to have in this life, so much so that Allah had promised the people of Paradise to indulge in such blessing.

“and we shall remove whatever bitterness they had in their hearts…” [15:47]

So congrats to those who get to enjoy a pure heart in this life.

Remember our time on this earth is temporary, so we never know when is our last minutes in here. Ali Al Tantawi, one of my favourite authors has always articulated the best words about making up with people & cleansing your wounds before sewing them. In the picture at the top of this blog, is one of my brothers, whom I lost a few years ago, whom I wish, I wish I could have another minute with. If theres someone who you wish you to say sorry to, do it now, before you or they might run out of time.

Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “Wealth is not diminished by giving (in charity). Allah augments the honour of one who forgives; and one who displays humbleness towards another seeking the pleasure of Allah, Allah exalts him in ranks.”

So, on that note, let us remember to forgive.

Deema.

Is there any reward for good other than good?

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It’s not necessary that we do good to get something in return. We do good, to strengthen our value system, or to nourish our souls perhaps. But it comes a time, where you stop for a little bit, just for a little, after so many disappointments and heartbreaks. And you wonder, isn’t good exchanged with good?

Hold on there, but why have people exchanged such kind acts with cruel and questionable behaviours? Or even at other times, exchanged kindness with cold and brutal nothingness? At what point did this rain of kindness turn these lands into muds and not gardens?

It stings to realise that you’ve been dried up. Completely and utterly. Because you were busy trying to cheer and care for everybody else, that there is nothing left for you, to cheer you. And those whom you invested in, don’t even have the courtesy to do the same. I was shattered and disheartened once, twice, and thrice. And may I remind you it was always because of the little things. Because it is always about the little things. It’s interesting that a straw is what broke the camel’s back, not a tree or whatever else. What’s even more interesting are those who are more like graves, as much as you put into them they’re never full, and they’re only good at one thing, that is taking. Where have the etiquettes, manners and good character traits fly to?

But, I have realised, that throughout, I have made a fundamental error. Which is the core for these heartbreaks. I was directing the question “Is the reward for good [anything] but good?” [55:60] not only to the wrong people, but to people, rather than to my Creator. Because, he is the one who gives, he is the one who cares, he is the one who knows, and he is the one who mends. So, Ya Allah, compensate me with what’s good in this dunya and the hereafter. Ya Allah, mend my heart and strengthen it. And ya Allah, don’t let go of me and leave me for myself even for a blink of an eye.

Remember, if you do an act, do it purely for Allah’s sake. Because the seed that you plant for some is lost. Plant here, and be assured that if it doesn’t grow and blossom here, it will blossom there. Because Allah’s seed will never be lost. And remember this, “It’s not the rain’s fault that those lands have turned into muds and not forests” – Mohammed Alrotayyan. Do good, and move on. And always, wish for people what you wish for yourself, we have enough selfish-living-souls, so let’s not be more of a burden on this earth. “No one of you shall become a true believer until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself” – The Prophet (ﷺ).

With that being said, I invite you all, I invite you all, to invest in the little things, because truly it is what breaks and repairs hearts. Teach yourself the etiquettes of emotions. Teach yourself how to act, talk, and deal with people. Ibn almuqaffa was asked, “Who disciplined you?” He said “Myself” but then he was asked, “Does one discipline themselves?” He said, “If I saw a beauty in others I took it in, and if I saw an unpleasantness I abstained from it, and this way, I disciplined myself”. So, discipline yourself, and speak good words only. “…and he who believes in Allah and the Last Day let him speak good or remain silent” – The Prophet (ﷺ). Yes, indeed, let us speak good, or remain silent. Let us learn to keep our words in if they serve no good.

You’re solely responsible for your own actions, so be wise, plant good seeds, and continue to disciple yourself. And remember to do it all for the sake of Allah. Once you have done so, ask your Lord “Is the reward for good [anything] but good?” [55:60]. And I  guarantee you, the fruits Allah give are greater than anyone will ever give, they somehow come in abundance and are never, never out of season.

To wrap this up, I’ll leave you with these Quranic verses to ponder upon.

“Have you not considered how Allah presents an example, [making] a good word like a good tree, whose root is firmly fixed and its branches [high] in the sky?” [14:24] “It produces its fruit all the time, by permission of its Lord. And Allah presents examples for the people that perhaps they will be reminded.” [14:25] “And the example of a bad word is like a bad tree, uprooted from the surface of the earth, not having any stability.” [14:26].

Share your thoughts with me!

Deema.

Hello World!

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It’s not often that we’re inspired to write, create, ponder, or just spill out content in any way, shape or form!

I’ve always had my fair share of complaining about writing. “I don’t like writing”, “I write codes, not essays” these have been said, heard and repeated many times throughout me being in education. Sometimes we need to step back a little, distance ourselves from ourselves, in order for us to realise what we like, what we want, what we’re missing, and what we have.

Same goes for writing, I was never given the chance to love it. It has always been there, it was what you had to do, to pass, or get the mark you want. Not to mention the absolute soul-less marking criteria they had, which made it even more redundant. It was that thing you had to get done and out of the way. So it’s always been a case of “dear Lord, help me finish this!”. But luckily, I’d like to think this is not the case anymore. I know, what took me too long to realise that writing is a form of art? Perhaps stepping back a little helped.

I will be honest, as always. The reason this blog has not seen a light until today, is because, I was subconsciously worried about imperfections, criticisms, and minor flaws. I’m saying this now because, I am happy to not only be aware of imperfections, but also to accept them. And this was the breaking point for me. Because I had always known deep down that this was what’s holding me back. But I didn’t know until now that accepting it was the missing piece of the puzzle. I accept, that this blog will contain, many faults, imperfections and disapprovals. Because guess what? It is meant to have them, so you’ve been warned. In fact, I’d argue that these flaws are what’s going to shape it. Just like Kintsukuroi, that is the art of repairing broken pieces, and understating that a piece is more beautiful for having been broken. Its imperfections that make things remarkable!

May this be a reminder to everyone who’s holding themselves from doing anything because of the fear of the let-downs. Do it – and let me whisper something to you, “you’re not meant to be perfect!”.

On that note, I’m going to give this a chance, because frankly I often think the 140 characters for a tweet isn’t enough for me!  🙂

Deema.