15 Ramadan 2018: What if you were told that … you didn’t have long to live?

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. – Steve Jobs

News of the death of a very young man in his 20s became viral in the last few days. It wasn’t his death as much as his reaction to death that touched people as he was diagnosed with Cancer two years prior when he publicly recorded an interview to talk about who he was before the diagnosis and what / who he was after the diagnosis.

We all have family, friends or even ourselves, who have had to face news about our eminent death due to disease. It is not an easy situation and although we all know that death is always around the corner and that we can never know when our time comes, something jolts you when you hear an “estimate” … of course these estimates are always wrong.

So the point of this post, with all honesty, what would you do if you were told you had x months to live? Would you seek avenues to cheat the disease? Would you just spend it with family? Would you travel the world? Would you volunteer? What do you really think you would do?

Then I would probably ask myself if that is the way I would want to spend my last days and work on making it my present reality, i.e. a life worth living and focusing on what Steve Jobs quotes as “what is truly important“.

Photo by Val Vesa on unsplash


19 Ramadan 2017: It is time …

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. – Steve Jobs

We all know the state of the world these days, what we didn’t need is another tragedy. We woke up to the story of a burning building in London where many are believed to be in critical state or have moved on from this life. May those who have left their families and loved ones behind rest in peace.

What it did get me thinking about is how something like this awakens something in one’s soul that tackles despair…we have a limited time on earth and if it was our turn tomorrow, what have we left behind?

A good reputation? Helpful advice? Some charity? Knowledge? Anger? Materialistic behavior? Shallow advice? Envy? Greed?

We are what we leave behind … and we leave behind our words, our money, our work, our families, and our friendships … so are they in the condition we would like to leave it in?

We might not achieve what we hope to achieve but at least we can try and people know we tried.

It is time … it is time to be free of fears and expectations that are unjustified.

It is time … to go after what we want and share it with others.

It is time … to enjoy each other’s time while we still can.

It is time … to help those in need in whatever way we can.

It is time … to choose our words carefully.

It is time … to commit to excellence in whatever we set our minds to.

It is time …



Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

28 Ramadan 2015: Role of a Woman

A beautiful woman delights the eye; a wise woman, the understanding; a pure one, the soul. – Minna Antrim


This post is not for some to disagree or agree with, this post only brings across how I felt when my mom’s life all came to an end and I would add to that, my beloved grandma who passed away 3 months prior to her.

As I stood watching my beloved grandma for the last time before her burial, and likewise, as I stood watching my beloved mother for the last time before her burial, only two thoughts came across my mind – the summary of all their years and interestingly enough, their role as women.

My grandma was a stay-at-home mom. She raised 8 children, moved to a place she never knew before with her husband just to support his career goals, lost her husband approximately 45 years into their marriage, lost her daughter at a young age of 37. She lived 20 more years after these two events. She celebrated weddings, saw her grandchildren, great grandchildren, lost parents, brothers and sisters. Suffered health challenges both her own and her friends and family. The only thing that came to my mind was, WOW, she did all that with patience and looking forward to the good and leaving the bad – what a woman!

My mom was one of the first few groups of women to complete a University education and move away from her parents at a very young age. She raised 2 children, moved to various places supporting my father to achieve his dreams. She worked – she was a teacher – for a few years but then dedicated her life to … life. She saw her grandchildren, lost a parent, a sister. Suffered health challenges both her own and her friends and family. Kept up her interests and connected with long lost relatives and gave love to everyone she knew. The only thing that came to my mind was, WOW, she did all that with patience and looking forward to the good and leaving the bad – what a woman!

You see in both cases, I didn’t think of their status, or reputation, or popularity. I didn’t think of their wealth or assets. I didn’t think of their education or literacy. I didn’t think of their image or their job titles at work. All I thought about is their role as women …

to give love, find and share hope with all

Was that what it came down to?

Yes – and it made me revisit my whole life again.

While pursuing one’s dream is not only a right, but a responsibility on each one of us given the air to breath in this life, it is not what our life is worth. Our life’s worth as women, and others I would say for that matter, is how much love we give and how much hope we find and share with others.

And that is what I saw – and that is what I felt – and nothing can change that.

If doing what one loves achieves this purpose so be it, but I continue to see women striving for many things that either tires them out or limits their ability to give love, find and share hope.

My mother taught me that …

we are remembered by the love we give and the hope we find within ourselves and share with others

And that is the beauty of a woman.

Image courtesy of worradmu / freedigitalphotos.net

24 Ramadan 2015: The Secret to an Everlasting Bond with your Children

What draws people to be friends is that they see the same truth. They share it. – C.S. Lewis


A lot of parents seek to be friends with their kids.

Some try to find that friendship through rewards and consequences. Some try to find it by sharing some of their interests. Some try to find it by changing their values – sometimes to the better and unfortunately sometimes to the worse. Some try to find it by letting go of their passions and interests.

What my mom taught me AFTER her death is that friendship can only be found when both parent and child see the same truth – and that truth is faith.

While I appreciate all the love, compassion, protection, support, meals and gifts given to me, it was only when we both started to see, and more importantly share, the truth about life and about living, that we truly found the true friendship that both parents and children seek.

In fact, what bonds me to mom now, even after her death, is the process of discovery we both went through, and the love for god and for doing good that we tried to support each other in.

And while she may not be here with me, whenever I pray or do anything good for the sake of god, I always think of her and remember the first time we shared or spoke about these experiences or the first time she taught me something new or the first time I shared with her something new.

What my mom taught me is that …

the best bond one can have with their child is a bond of friendship through discovery, sharing and living, with faith



Image courtesy of digitilart / freedigitalphotos.net

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





Image courtesy of Mister GC / freedigitalphotos.net

12 Ramadan 2015: Be of Faith

I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else. ― C.S. Lewis


As I have mentioned before, and like most people, mom had her ups and downs when it came to faith but no matter where she was, she always believed – and believed quite strongly – in god, for how could she not as she always reflected on her own life and own health and personal challenges.

Most of these challenges were of no fault of her own. Most of these challenges took place in what was later admitted to be the right time and place. Most of these challenges made her a better person. Most of these challenges revealed the truth about her and led her onto a life that was worth living.

Faith is like the roots of a tree; grounded, stable, deep and strong; with it, one is able to handle anything.

Her faith was always strong. She was proud of who she was and she always considered herself of faith by choice and not be birth. By choice, and not by followship. By choice, and not by force. She believed because she was happy to believe – it was that simple.

In an age where those of faith, any faith, are surrounded by negative media and pressure to let go of faith and live a life of emptiness filled only with desires that will eventually wear out the heart, soul and of course, the body.

My mom’s life taught me that

Faith is life, and with good deeds, it is the only thing that anyone will take with them on the day they depart this world.

So be of faith – any faith – do good and do not harm – it is good for you, your family and humanity.



Image courtesy of dan / freedigitalphotos.net

3 Ramadan 2015: Think of Death to Truly Live

To not think of dying, is to not think of living. – Jan Arden


One of the greatest lessons learned from my mother is that death is always near.

Most people see this as a negative attitude, but in fact, it is the most positive one I could see out of all the reflections I had upon my mother’s death.

She was young and she suddenly left us based on a reason that was beyond simple, a flu.

I tend to wonder at times, did she know she was leaving us soon? Did she do this and that because she felt something? Did she say this or that because she will miss us or wanted to prepare us for this moment?

The reality is that she didn’t know … and the reality is that we all don’t know. Quite scary actually to be so exposed.

So looking back at my mom’s life, I thought to myself,

to imagine death to be so near is to live.

Remembering death is to ensure that:

  • nothing is left unsaid;
  • we are a source of comfort for those we love;
  • generosity is an unspoken rule with all; poor and rich, young and old, stranger and friend;
  • not everything is taken so personally and when in doubt, clarity is sought;
  • every opportunity to do something good or share one’s knowledge is an opportunity not to be missed;
  • our talents that god gave us are known and are used as extensively as possible in building our world today and tomorrow;
  • beauty is recognized everywhere and in everything;
  • we seek what will help us accomplish our main goals for living; and
  • life priorities are clear.

Life is balanced for those who constantly remember death – doing for this world what is needed to survive with dignity – and doing for the hereafter to find peace in the most perfect abode a person can have.

Life – we live, but death – is a certainty.



Image courtesy of dan / freedigitalphotos.net


29 Ramadan 2014: Reflection and In Memory

“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.
“So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” – J.R.R. Tolkien


Death is so fascinating … both positive and negative … and in all cases, a reality. Death is a ‘right’ that each one of us will pass, a ‘transition’ onto the next life and a ‘return’ to our creator, our lord.

This Ramadan was exceptionally unique as I lost a dear, young uncle of mine on the 27th of Ramadan, i.e. a couple of days ago. Death, especially of a loved one, brings much reflection and thought. My uncle was one of my biggest “blog fans” who followed and enjoyed my ramadan thoughts throughout the past 9 years and today, this last entry for Ramadan 2014, is dedicated to him.

The first reflection upon his death is that we are all given this short time, and instead of today’s chaos – rushing, pushing, stressing – one MUST find calm and find a way to limit exposure to provision related stresses and focus on what is important long term; faith and good deeds. Death of any loved one comes to put an immediate stop in order to take a moment to look, reflect and ask, ‘am I walking in the right direction?’ and ‘am I doing the best I can in the time I am given?’.

The other reflection is related to how different people’s lives begin and end, and how sometimes it is not what we did that matters, but how we responded, and how we were with others and with god. No one is perfect, but like any precious life, his included a few reflections which I share some with you here.

Some people work night and day to be loved by people by reading self-help books, my uncle had a constant smile.

Some people work day and night to feel loved, my uncle did it by being his old parents’ friend.

Many people work hard in prayer for salvation, my uncle found it in patience while being really ill.

… On family:

“Spend as much time as possible with your family uncle, spend your money on them and travel with them, they are all you have”

… On money:

“Money is important uncle, but only enough. Have a home, have a car, have some savings but spend the rest, for there may come a time where you have money, but you can’t physically spend it or you have money, which does not do you any good”

… On career:

“Career is important as a source of money, but what matters uncle is that you do what you enjoy and do not depend on a ‘job’ to give you that. Find your own way and source of income if you can, but keep it clear, simple and right. Be clear on how you want to spend your days”

… On health:

“Be healthy uncle, but healthy to live well but know, that you might eat organic and still get sick. You might exercise and still get sick. Enjoy your life while you are healthy”

… On time:

“You want to do something? Do it today, don’t wait because the opportunity will definitely go”

Leaving the best advice to last which is my personal favorite  … On destiny:

“No one will leave this earth uncle before he or she lives out their complete destiny. Those you think will die first, may die last and those you think will die last, may die first. You never know when is your time but you will live out all that has been pre-ordained for you and you cannot flee it, you just have to live it”

Dear Uncle ….

“I love you every day. And now I will miss you every day.” – Mitch Albom

and most importantly …

God is ever so kind, merciful and generous even during such times

which bring many many many blessings and learnings

Image courtesy of nuttakit / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

27 Ramadan 2014: “Let Days Go Forth”

Let Days Go Forth

Let days go forth and do as they please
And remain firm when settled is the Decree

Don’t be afraid of what happens by night
For the affairs of this world are not to last

And be a man, strong in the face of calamities
And let your nature be that of kindness and honesty

If your faults become too much in front of the people
And you wish that they were to be concealed,

Then know that kindness covers all faults
And how many faults are kept hidden by kindness!

No sadness lasts forever, nor any happiness
And you shall not remain in poverty, or any luxury

Generosity cannot be hoped from the miserly
For no water exists in the Fire for the thirsty

Your provision will not be lessened due to life’s delays
And it cannot be increased due to your haste

If, in your heart, you possess contentment
Then you and those who possess the world are equal

And for him upon whose horizon death descends,
No earth can offer him protection, nor any sky

Indeed, the earth of Allah is certainly vast
But if decree descends, then decree is constricted

Let days be the ones that betray you at all times
For no cure can avail a person of death

– Imam Al-Shafi’i (RA)