21 Ramadan 2015: Beauty

Beauty is whatever gives joy. – Edna St. Vincent Millay


I couldn’t have summarized it better than the quote above, beauty was definitely a priority for mom.

Whether it is through beautiful flowers in her garden, or the lovely necklace she wore that brought out the color of her eyes, or the surprise gifts she would constantly give others, or the way she organized and decorated her home, to the big deal she made out of life milestones from weddings, a new baby, birthday, to anniversaries – she was all about beauty.

She was pretty much the first one to remember my grandparents birthdays and anniversary and the first one to be happy for others and lend a helping hand when it came to weddings. It wasn’t always taken in as such, but that was her intent, she genuinely saw beauty in these milestones.

My mom’s grandkids miss her dearly, more than anyone can imagine, why? Because she brought beauty into their lives.

If people came and visited, there was beauty in the way she prepared for their visit.

You should see the favors she prepared for our weddings, until today, I have not seen anyone be so classy, generous and beautiful.

She brought spiritual and emotional beauty to things which was quite infectious.

She also found joy in sharing beauty with others, and that spread so much love around that after she passed away, and two months later, most of the people I know underestimated the beauty she brought into their lives.

My mom taught me that …

there is beauty in everything, and if we can’t see it, we can make things and moments beautiful, not necessarily materially beautiful, but spiritually beautiful



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Patience (made by a 7 year old child)


Patience is so important you need to be patient everyday,because

you fast in ramadan so what do you do? Be patient because you

you have to learn to wait & its like waiting for a flower to grow or

waiting for your birthday this is all patience,but when you get frustrated

in waiting …thats another thing…so what do we do?of course patience

but something else do you know? you use your words, it helps but theres

a few more ways.

1.Take a deep breath

2.Use your words

3.Do something else







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20 Ramadan 2015: A Dangerous Bag

Our heavenly Father understands our disappointment, suffering, pain, fear, and doubt. He is always there to encourage our hearts and help us understand that He’s sufficient for all of our needs. When I accepted this as an absolute truth in my life, I found that my worrying stopped. – Charles Stanley


Disappointment, fear, pain, doubt etc … a very dangerous bag of emotions, nevertheless, it can happen, and does happen, to anyone.

I always saw my mom as a fighter – she fought all sorts of challenges in her life, from health, wealth to relationships. Again, as we all do at some point or another.

For some reason however, after 20 days of reflecting on her life throughout this blessed month, I have arrived at quite an interesting hurdle and wonder, what did these challenges do to her on the inside?

I think I know what it did on the outside, and I can only guess what it did to her on the inside, but I can’t for sure answer this question – and I am not sure if I ever will, as she is no longer here to answer.

Unfortunately, I do not myself have an answer to this, and instead, leave the question out there for you to think about and for god to reveal the answer to us during this blessed third of Ramadan, and in an ever so timely fashion, the third of salvation:

What to do when you wake up one day and find that you are carrying this bag?

Where do you go?

How do you move?

I think the answer lies around hope, belief, resilience, etc… but it remains unclear.

I hope that by the end of this month, and whatever further reflections I have of my mother and with god’s help, we all can answer these questions.

At the start of these blessed 10 days, I ask god to give us the patience to see his signs unravel as he decides on our affairs in what benefits us.



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19 Ramadan 2015: Trust

The most important lesson that I have learned is to trust God in every circumstance. Lots of times we go through different trials and following God’s plan seems like it doesn’t make any sense at all. God is always in control and he will never leave us. – Allyson Felix


At the end of the day, reflecting on my mom’s life, my life and life of others, the only one you can trust with anything is god.

Some may see this as a negative view and that we should trust others.

I say on the contrary, why should we even  be responsible for judging others trustworthy or not, for most people move and take actions based on thoughts and emotions that is only specific to them and their trustworthiness can change based on the situation.

At the end of the day, we need to trust god who will organize all our affairs irrespective of who comes our way – trustworthy or not.

Having said that, when we do not judge others’ trustworthiness, it does not mean we negatively suspect everybody either, we just accept people as they are.

We think, we do, ask those we believe have the knowledge and have our best interests at heart to help us in solving our problems and carry out our needs … we neither depend on or beg anyone to help us.

The lovely thing about god is that when we need help, the right people often come into the picture, we just have to be aware of this natural life phenomena.

My mom taught me to …

take the means and ask when we need information and then trust only in god 



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Talents (made by a 7 year old child)

Alya3Talents are about what your good at,but not all the time,because talents is from you & god,

because who ever is copying somebody else that is not your talent& your not good

at it,because you find your talent when you look around & this can happen when you are an infant you see something and try it.

let me tell you something, my talent is cooking because I saw my grandmother cooking so I tried

cooking & I was 2 years old & I made a cake,because that was my talent, & you may be any age

& you find talent in the strangest ways,because its like your talent is gardening & your talent is

behind the bush you go there find it but you don’t see it or here it but you do it & when you do

it & your good at it its your talent,& your talent can come on your talent,like you don’t know your

talent is building your talent is in building

but I tell you something when you are born you get your




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18 Ramadan 2015: Social Media Can be for Good

There is good in everything; it’s just how you choose to look at it. – Gisele Bundchen


I am not a fan of social media and if I have access to a couple of applications, it is only really an efficient mean to to be in touch with some people where using other means is not convenient.

My biggest issue with the spreading use of social media is that it blurs boundaries, and makes easier what is harder to say or do in person because of bad intentions, ill feelings or simply bad manners.

It also seems to support narcissistic and attention seeking behaviors and takes away the joy in voice to voice communication especially when supporting others in good and tough times.

In other words, it supports superficial relationships.

I must admit however that upon my mom’s death, I discovered that social media can also be put to good use as well.

First of all, let me make clear that mom never used social media as an alternative to relationships. She picked up the phone, visited those who were ill or sad because of passing of a loved one, and she did not replace her relationships with technology.

What she did do is enhance these relationships through social media by saying good or saying nothing at all.

What she also did is use social media to spread goodness or means to goodness.

Upon her death, I reviewed all her social media posts and not a single one encouraged negative behavior and not a single one was self-promoting.

She left the world a better place even through her online ‘personality’.

My mom taught me that …

even social media can be used for good.



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17 Ramadan 2015: Be Generous and Share

Do not withhold good from those who need it, when you have the ability to help. – Proverb 3:27


Of course generosity is about sharing with others … so what is new here?

The sharing I am talking about in this post is about sharing ways of goodness and not just sharing goodness itself.

If my mom heard of an opportunity to give charity, she shared it with others.

If my mom heard of an opportunity to hear a spiritual lecture by a prominent person, she shared it with others.

If she heard of an exhibition that would benefit someone either financially or emotionally, she shared it.

If she heard of an opportunity to volunteer, she shared it … she shared everything.

Reflecting on what I have seen throughout my life, there are some who always share … but more often than not, others rarely share ways of goodness and if they do, they may do it to illustrate a personal status or image. Why not share? As always, it comes down to fear – fear that someone may become better then them or at a minimum, like them, which comes down to arrogance.

Generosity is not only about giving … it is about also leading others to giving …

My uncle, who passed away exactly a year ago (10 days from now), lived across continents and oceans from my mother and their relationship was not necessarily close, yet, my mom did not stop sending him messages and sharing with him knowledge or opportunities for helping others.

Did he respond to all that she shared? No… but I can tell you that we soon discovered after his death that the last charity he ever gave was based on information my mom gave him. Imagine that – he did good in his last days in the world and my mom got rewards that will last a lifetime.

In this post, I urge myself and others to share ways of goodness with all.

No one will take good deeds away from us for god accounts all and I ask god to give us the confidence and self-esteem to share ways of goodness with all no matter how small so that we one day benefit from spreading goodness both in life and afterlife.

My mom taught me that …

your worth is related to how generous you are … and generosity is not about food and drink, it is how much you benefit others and point others towards ways of goodness.



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Thank (made by a 7 year old child)

Alya2you should always thank people especially god because he gave you food,water,

toys and many other things,and to think about it you should thank people when

they say or give something nice to you even though your sick or tired because

god gives you good points especially in ramadan,because imagine your walking

and someone comes and says ”I have a gift for you”you feel happy but you don’t

say thank you  that makes the person who gave you the gift feels like you didn’t

like the gift then that person gives you more and more gifts and you never say

thank you god gets angry for 2 resons 1. because you didn’t say thank you

2.because you didn’t thank god.Do you know why?Because god told them to

buy you a gift.Do you want to know the best way to have a happy life?





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16 Ramadan 2015: Forgiveness

The stupid neither forgive nor forget; the naive forgive and forget; the wise forgive but do not forget. – Thomas Szasz


None of us is perfect – we all make mistakes and bad judgement calls that may hurt people around us.

So it makes sense to wonder why we don’t forgive more often – we all make these mistakes – then again, what does forgiveness actually mean assuming one is even aware that they had made a mistake?

I will use observation from my mom’s life to elaborate on what I saw forgiveness to be in “action”.

Some hurt others in silence through body language, some hurt through words, and some hurt through action.

I must admit that my mom did not give much time or thought to those who hurt her in silence. She literally seldom even noticed and if she did, she ignored it and came up with excuses why people behaved the way they did.

Forming the minority of cases, and while action never involved anything violent, those who hurt her in action – for example, be it cutting her off or refusing her generosity or misjudged her – was embarrassing to her. Yet, I can honestly say that she stood tall and strong towards such people and literally did not react back, retaliate or confront.

Was she hurt? Absolutely especially when done in front of others.

Majority of cases involved hurt through words as people get angry and lose control of what they say – like we all do at times. As hurtful as they were at times, she never followed up and usually acted as if these words were never said, in other words, she did not linger on and focus on what was said. Again, she moved on.

So was she not hurt? Of course she was – but she was not going to demand an apology – the apology had to come from the person.

So what is forgiveness when it comes to those who hurt us? It is what is common in all three cases.

  • She rarely complained to others;
  • Never closed the door for their return or apology;
  • Greeted them when she met them;
  • Always said truth when asked; but
  • The key in all is that she kept her guard up to maneuver repeated hurtful actions and found ways to avoid being in similar situations, in other words, she learned from her experiences.

So while forgiveness is not easy, what I saw from my mom is that forgiveness is quite simple, and while others may hurt us – we also may hurt others – even if unintentional.

My mom taught me that …

Forgiveness is leaving the door open, not complaining, learning from hurtful experiences and … moving on.



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Patience when a Loved One Dies (By a 7 year old Granddaughter)

AlyaIt’s hard to live when a loved one dies,because it’s at an end on what a

kind,loving person has done to you.so just say Alhamdurilah (thanks to god) that you saw

her and if you say ”Oh I miss him/her so much oh god bring him/her back

”that person his/her’s life will be very very sad, and its not nice at all

let me tell you how to be patient and cheer you up when a loved one dies

1.write down all the things he/she did and do it

2.dream about her/him and when you go up to god it will happen

3.say Alhamdurilah (thanks to god) you saw him/her for some of your life

4.and always remember his/her’s LOVE





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