29 Ramadan 2018: Salvation through Speech

The prophet (pbuh) said: It is obligatory for you to tell the truth, for truth leads to virtue and virtue leads to Paradise, and the man who continues to speak the truth and endeavours to tell the truth is eventually recorded as truthful with Allah (God), and beware of telling of a lie for telling of a lie leads to obscenity and obscenity leads to Hell-Fire, and the person who keeps telling lies and endeavours to tell a lie is recorded as a liar with Allah (God). (in Muslim)

When I looked at the sayings of the prophet, speech can be classified into;

(a) good speech;

The Prophet (PBUH) said, “He who believes in Allah (God) and the Last Day must either speak good or remain silent” (in Muslim)

(b) good lies;

The Prophet (pbuh) said, “The person who (lies) in order to conciliate between people is not a liar, when he conveys good or says (something) good” (in Bukhari and Muslim)

(c) jokes;

Abu Hurayra reported that the people said, “Messenger of Allah (God), you joke with us!” He replied, “But I only speak the truth” (in Albani)

(d) advice;

The Prophet (pbuh) said, “The deen (religion) is naseehah (advice, sincerity)”
(f) Suspicion; and
The Prophet (pbuh) said: “Beware of suspicion, for suspicion amounts to the worst form of lying.” Agreed upon.

(g) Falsehood.

May we be of those who say the truth, what is good, bringing people together and giving sincere advice.

Photo by rawpixel on unsplash.

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17 Ramadan 2018: What if you were told that … you will lose your family tomorrow?

You don’t choose your family. They are God’s gift to you, as you are to them. – Desmond Tutu

As much as the last two posts challenged my thinking and approach in life when it comes to death and money, it was this post that really shook me up.

Typing the title was difficult enough, envisioning it was downright painful.

Our immediate families; spouses and kids. Our parents, grandparents and siblings. Our uncles and aunts. They are all part of who we were, who we are, and who we will grow to be.

Yes, we have frusrating moments and moments where we outright have no idea how we ended up related to each other be it in marriage or by blood, but I can tell you that imagining losing any of them is sadness and pain in one package.

I have experienced the loss of grandparents, uncle, aunt, and a parent … what I end up remembering is how they made me feel and how in dealing with them, they were unique to strangers in my life in the small or big way they supported me.

Going through this exercise, and nicely articulated in the above quote, I realised that seeing ourselves as gifts to our famlies as they are to us, we can learn to appreciate every call, experience, memory or even challenge we have with them as a gift to both of us that we learn to accept and one day, come to cherish.

We must learn more about them and their stories and despite what we think, realise that they are, and will be, part of us.

Photo by Joel Herzog on unsplash

16 Ramadan 2018: What if you were told that … you will lose all your money in a week?

More men are ruined by underestimating the value of money than by overestimating it. Let us, then, abandon the affectation of despising money, and frankly own its value. – Orison Swett Marden

Coaches often ask their clients what they would do tomorrow if money was no object, i.e. all our needs could be met through an abundance of resources and cash that we had access to. Their objective is to help us discover what and where our true passions lie and then go about doing it.

Inspired by my last post, I thought about our answers if we were told that we were going to lose all our money tomorrow or more practically, next week. We would not have access to any resources or cash that is key to our survival.

Going through this exercise myself, I realised the importance of planning for future self-sustenance but also the importance of charity, generously spending it ob our friends and family, and not denying ourselves the pleasures of life that come with spending money so that we may not have any regrets. What was really interesting though was how the power and the importance of connectivity with good friends and family was absolutely key.

Money should never be the object of our life be it in what we do and how we live, however, we must appreciate its’ importance. I found that answering this question brought me closer to accepting what god pre-ordains for me in terms of wealth but also how it should be spent and the role that we must take-up with family and friends for we just don’t know who, when and where our support is required; isn’t that what family is for?

Photo by Pina Messina on unsplash

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

6 Ramadan 2018: Basic Realities

Life’s up and down from the time you get here to the time you leave – Luke Bryan

There are three basic realities that make acceptance easier:

  1. We are all here for a limited time and we don’t know if that time is short or long, all we know is that it eventually ends. So the question becomes … would I rather spend it accepting things I cannot change or focus on the good things that I can?
  2. We have some good days and we have some bad days. We have some tough teammates and some awesome ones. We have good, and bad, hair days. Some days we feel we can do anything and on others, we wonder where the *&^% are we heading? Some days we feel nothing can stop us, and on others, we are sensitive to every word, every look, and every gesture.
  3. We absolutely can never predict the future. We can think of likelihood and possibilities. We can think of cause and effect. We can think of risks and coincidences, but no matter how hard we think, analyse or squeeze our brains, we won’t be able to predict the future.

With these three realities one does start to see life as a ferris wheel, it goes up and down, round and round. Sometimes we wait in one spot longer than others as others are embarking or leaving cars. We often ride a ferris wheel assuming no malfunction would occur trusting others to have tested or maintained the ride, we just let go of control.

So then … again, why don’t we just go with the “ride“?

 

Photo by Jascent Leung on Unsplash

 

1 Ramadan 2018: Acceptance

Welcome O blessed month!

Welcome O blessed month of forgiveness, of self, of others, learning and growth.

This year’s theme is based on my experiences since Ramadan 2017 that included an interesting common theme of trying too hard to change that which is meant to be ‘as is’. I am not advocating that we not try hard to change things, but what has come up are learnings that truly embody … “accept(ing) the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference” – Reinhold Niebuhr.

I look forward to spending a new Ramadan with you and I ask god to make it blessed for all.

23 Ramadan 2017: Just when we thought

There used to be days that I thought I was okay, or at least that I was going to be. We’d be hanging out somewhere and everything would just fit right and I would think ‘it will be okay if it can just be like this forever’ but of course nothing can ever stay just how it is forever. – Nina LaCour

Can you relate to today’s quote? I certainly can.

Just when we think we can handle something challenging, something happens that blatantly shouts NOOOOOOOO.

As nothin in our lives are coincidental, I also happen to come across a talk about sadness blending it component so faith as well … and these are the tips that I thought I would share in this post for your benefit.

  1. Know that sadness will happen and even when good things happen, tough challenges will come up for this is life … life is a series of ups and downs … a series of thankfulness and patience … a series of joy and sadness … don’t be surprised
  2. Accept sadness, don’t fight it and just admit to yourself that you are sad and that is a right you have and let it be.
  3. Don’t befriend sadness even it is part of life. Move towards what is opposite to sadness … positive friends, positive environments, positive clothing, positive actions trying to get out of the “sad” situation
  4. Wait until the end … don’t assume the story has ended there especially when you have been unfairly treated or wronged as the root of your sadness. What goes around comes around even if we are not able to see it.

Life is full of sad moments … no one has been spared of sad moments, the key is to not befriend it, not complain about it, not to let it get into your heart.

Love life, live right and do good … and even if you think you are OK and sadness comes around again, it is OK … it is for a good reason.

You will be fine … I promise because god has promised we will be OK if our hearts are in a state of goodness.

 

 

Image courtesy of hinnamsaisuy at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

20 Ramadan 2017: I think of …

He foresaw my every fall, my every sin, my every backsliding; yet, nevertheless, fixed His heart upon me. ― Arthur W. Pink

As we start the last third of this blessed month, I think of god’s mercy and love that enters our hearts when all else seems dark around us.

I think of god’s fairness in giving us all a set of strengths and talents that help us live a meaningful and fulfilling life.

I think of god’s wisdom and knowledge that allows certain tribulations to take place yet gives us other matters that give us hope and positivity for the future.

I think of god’s kindness that no matter how long we take to count our many blessings, we would never feel like we captured them all.

I think of god’s beauty as I look around and see the beautiful flowers, the magnificent skies, the chirping of the birds and the many beauty colors and designs they have together with the butterflies.

I think of god’s forgiveness as no matter how far we go and how much we divert from doing good in this world, god is always ready for us to come back and live our best lives for ourselves and for others as well.

With an open heart and an open mind, I ask god to uplift us all and give us yet the greatest days ahead with blessings, love and peace of mind and heart.

 

Image courtesy of khumthong at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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

9 Ramadan 2017: We are all special

Don’t compare yourself with anyone in this world…if you do so, you are insulting yourself. ― Bill Gates

One of the causes of desperation is a worry about not measuring up, or not being as good as a person or another, or feeling “un”special because of a lack of attention online or offline and basically feeling inferior to others.

Inferiority is the antagonist of being the best we can be.

The key is to recognize that we actually don’t need to measure up to anyone other than ourselves. We should not seek to be as good as or better than anyone and we definitely should not seek our worth from other people’s attention, online or offline.

Earl Nightingale is one of my favorite inspirational speaker and thinker. So in today’s post, I wanted to share with you what he said about inferiority from his audio about self esteem.

People have an inferiority complex because they compare themselves to others.

Everyone is inferior in some areas and superiour in others. So a well adjusted person does not get bothered if someone is better than them in something. Inferiority and superioirity are reverse sides of the same coin. The coin itself is spurious.

You are neither … you are simply you. You as a personality are not in competition with any other personality because no one is like you. You are unique and no other person is supposed to be like you. God did not create one person and said this is it, he made each person unique.

We are all different and nothing is by accident.

Your job is to know yourself and like yourself.

You will accept the things you cannot do and appreciate the things you can do and accept yourself as one of a kind.

(Earl Nightingale)

During this blessed month, I ask god to give us a true perspective of ourselves and the ability to see the good in ourselves and be 100% original!

 

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

 

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