Dhikr Marathon

Title of this post was inspired by a sister who mentioned “istighfar marathon” on the last day of Rejab a few days ago, that got kinda stuck on me hehe.

So I was inspired by some sisters in a book club who were working towards their goal of 70k istighfar for the previous month of Rejab which had just left and now in this month of Syaaban the aim is also 70k, of selawat.

Not sure about you but I tend to turn the other way seeing huge numbers like that, it seems impossible at first glance. I mean it’s like thousands guys.. But when she broke it down it’s actually 2k per day, which is still a huge number but what really got me was how she explained that the numbers are just goals. It’s good if you can reach it but what really matters is the effort! The effort to incorporate dhikr into your everyday and the fact that you don’t need to wait for a specific time to do it, makes it doable! So you can do it before starting work/study, after every fard prayer, while cooking, while waiting and so on. And she said that it has had a positive effect on her and she feels the difference.

Personally I’m not aiming for 2k per day(not yet at least) because I know myself. I can’t push myself towards lofty goals if I don’t start small and gradually and consistently build the habit. So I invite myself first, and invite you to build this daily habit of dhikr so insyaAllah it’ll strengthen with the dawn of Ramadhan and that it will continue even after. 30, 50, 100, 200? Bismillah!


Let’s #self-care.

I’d like to share something that I’ve been practising for quite a while now that helped me to be much calmer, lighter and less anxious.

I learnt this from a hypnotherapist who does mindfulness sessions at the psychiatric rehabilitation centre where I’m currently interning at. She shared that every day we should spend some time just looking out, at the trees or the skies, and do a quick exercise. And I was reminded of the grouding technique that I came across on Pinterest and so this is what I did. (You may skip this part to the exercise below or feel free to read through 😁)

[While walking to the MRT or the centre I would just take a few minutes to focus on my senses and consciously let in all the stimuli. So I will pay attention to what I can see-the trees, the color of the shirt the person in front of me is wearing, the color of the car on the nearby road etc. What I can hear- the cars, motorcycles, birds chirping, construction sounds etc. What I can feel- the fresh air, the warmth of the sun, etc. It’s said that one of the things this exercise helps with is anxiety. It makes sense because you are re-directing your focus outward rather than inward to all your sometimes negative and unproductive thoughts. Takes only a few minutes of your day, will be well worth it so do try!]

Okay back to the exercise. So she shared that we should repeat these statements on a daily basis. What you can do prior to this(which I also do) is to take a few deep breaths first. Focus on your breathing. Then while maintaining your sight on what is in front of you, say these:

1. Thank you Allah for granting me perfect eyesight.
2. I am able to see Your creations with clarity.
3. I see the good in every thing, every situation and every person. (I will also make dua here that He makes it easy for me to do just that.)

Say it from the bottom of your heart, feel your heart swell with gratitude as you say it. And smile. You will feel lighter, calmer and more focused. Just a small daily exercise that can bring about great changes in your days and your mood insyaAllah 😊 So let’s self-care 💪

Heartfelt Conversations

Imagine carrying a life inside you for several months
Only to have to come to terms with the fact that one day
The little one’s heartbeat has stopped
The little one that you had wished so much to see, embrace and raise has returned to his Creator

Just had a conversation with mum in the cab about my late second brother, women’s challenging and excruciating pain of labour and post-labour. Ya Allah. I got all sad and tearful when she said this is the reason why we as children cannot ever be ungrateful and disrespectful to our parents and our mothers especially. May Allah swt forgive us. It’s said that you will better appreciate your mother when you become a mother/father yourself. I don’t want to wait till I become a mother till I appreciate her better, how would I guarantee that I will meet that day?

Also, mum told me about how everyone’s tested in one way or another. It can be that Allah tests a woman with her children if not her husband if not her in-laws if not her husband’s siblings and the likes. You get it. Same goes for the menfolk. Basically, we should actually expect to be tested. Whatever that we’re put to, we can pull through. Maybe it all it takes sometimes is a little bit more acceptance, patience, positive thinking, and lots of faith. Easier said than done but it’s something that bears frequent repeating as a reminder. That we may always strive hard to be the best for His sake. Amin.

And we all ache.

Sadness has not left me
Took some words to bring forth an understanding
Intertwined with memories
To finally understand the root cause of the long-time misery

Don’t ignore the things that trigger you. Your thoughts and emotions. If you’ve always wondered why, there is a reason why. Why you tend to behave a certain way, why this particular habit you can’t seem to shake. You need to first identify and tackle it head on. For no one but yourself. Sit down with yourself. Away from everything. Listen close. It may take time but take your time. When you feel that things start to make sense you might have just cried. It’s hard. But it’s a blessing, to understand. Self-awareness is a gift. Yet it can get pretty tough when you’re too hard on yourself.

If you’re struggling with healing from trauma, forgiveness, attachments, self-worth, loneliness, the author of this blog is with you too. Even if you don’t identify with the struggles above, you aren’t alone too. We all need to know this, that we’re not alone. What’s done is done and we can’t undo the past. What’s important now is our intention and commitment in identifying the broken parts, undergo the healing process and continued mission of learning about and bettering ourselves and making peace by finding the wisdom behind it. There’s wisdom behind every pain. Please don’t ignore yours. You ARE important. So choose yourself.

In our journey of healing and growing, support is vital. Find a trusted friend or family member but if that’s hard do consider counselling. It might just be what you need to help you see things clearer. Our minds can be our greatest enemy especially when we’re down. And please remember, you will not be tested with more than you can shoulder. Remember that you matter and you are absolutely worthy of every ounce of goodness and love.

An article that you may want to read, and that which is part of the inspiration behind this blog entry is here.

Little Victories 

Yesterday night was the last lesson for the term before exams and we had the choice to either turn up and prepare for a group presentation or do an individual assignment as a replacement. Earlier I told myself I’d come and when a friend said she didn’t want to because she said she hated presenting, stage fright and all that I managed to motivate to come. For the record I never liked speaking in front of a group and I’d avoid it at all costs. But deep down I knew I had to learn to face my fears and this was one aspect of myself that I wanted to improve on.

And so earlier today when I got to know through an email by our lecturer that the groups were gonna be randomly assigned, I shrinked. Not only would I have to deal with the presentation but the thought of working with other classmates with whom I might have never spoken to spells the word dread in caps in my mind. Shucks. Then I told my friend I suddenly felt like doing the individual assignment. I expected her response afterwards of course haha. What irony is this Syiidah. I can imagine her saying “You were the one who motivated me and now you’re chickening out”. And then she reminded me of our main intention which is to overcome our fear by purposely choosing and putting ourselves through such situations so we can learn. We won’t be perfect of course but that’s not the purpose. The purpose is to choose to be brave when we can sit comfortably by the sidelines. The purpose is to learn through the process and grow. I’ve none to impress but rather to do my best. And she also reminded me that once I’ve set on a decision, I should put my trust in Allah. Ahh I’m so grateful for her alhamdulillah.

Another thing is that this episode reminded me to keep reminding myself to always work towards the person I envision myself to be. I love watching and observing confident, poised and eloquent people and I kinda want to be like them too. In my own kind of way biidhnillah.

And so the night ended and I did present. I’m glad I did. There’s definitely more that I can work on but I take comfort in the fact that I chose growth and progress for myself today. I will get what I intend for insyaAllah one day but I gotta take steps towards it. I was reminded of the fact that a week ago I actually did a group presentation too at another place so if I could do it then I definitely can do this one. So don’t belittle yourself, ever. Don’t bother about others, you know yourself better and this is your own journey. Whatever little progress IS a progress. At the end of the day, the choice is ours. So may we keep on choosing courage, keep on choosing growth, keep on choosing progress.

An October Weekend & Reminders 

Had a pretty packed weekend. And some reminders and reflections, may it be of benefit!

Empower yourself with knowledge. Seek knowledge and always be learning even if you may have to travel a little bit far. Renew your intentions. At the same time, remind yourself that it’s always adab first before knowledge. Keep a check on yourself and your heart. Istighfar always for our sins are so plenty we’ve no time to criticise or judge others.

Get a hold of yourself when you start to think ill of someone.
By the way, I’m not sure if you know about this peeling gel in the market. It gets rid of your dead skin cells, whiteheads etc. I recently used it and it’s so good. Your face would feel so so clean afterwards and I can’t help but think, if only it is this easy to cleanse our hearts eh 💔 Guess this is our jihad then. Our ongoing struggle and fight to continously cleanse our hearts and better our character.

People will disappoint you, time and time again. Plans will not go as planned. Don’t dwell on it. It may be that you dislike it but it’s good for you. Move on.

Nothing is quite as attractive as a passionate person. Someone may be average-looking to the majority but I personally find that if he or she speaks and exudes positivity and love through what he or she does and believe in, that’s truly beautiful. Through a mental health training I attended yesterday, I saw some really passionate, knowledgeable and sincere doctor, counsellors, caregivers. So much love/passion/enthusiasm, so much life. Inspiring alhamdulillah.

Wanted to attend a talk on manners by al-Maghrib but I only got to know about it on the event day so it was too late. The day after, a dear friend shared with me her notes! How did she know?? Allah knows. And Allah send these beautiful souls. Allah suprises us in beautiful ways, we just have to notice..

What you focus on, expands.

If you’re reading this, may Allah swt ease your affairs and may you have a blessed week ahead 🙂

Dear Hopeful Singleton 🌹

Throwback to last Sat’s session with the amazing ladies, Aida Azlin & Ustazah Liyana Musfirah. Below are my takeaways, may it be of benefit! 

Ustazah Liyana:

Know yourself

Who am I first?
Servant of Allah
Follower of Prophet pbuh
Khalifah fil ardh. Our words and actions equally preaching Islam
Daughter to your parents
Sister to your siblings

Hijrah: to a better me, to a better single version of myself

Doa when looking at yourself in the mirror

Polish your mind, body & soul and heart with knowledge and experience

We’re so blessed in the sense that we’ve got the time and space to work on our relationship with Allah swt

Aida Azlin:

Things I tell my single myself
🌸To be grateful for whatever Allah places you right now
Think about all the other aspects that Allah is taking care of for you now

🌸Cultivate an Optimistic mindset while waiting
Remind yourself
Be happy for those who gets married. Allah got their backs like He’s got yours

🌸Get to know the 3 VVIPs
*Marrying doesn’t solve all your problems
Prophet Muhammad saw.
Yourself. Just think of 3 things you love about yourself.
You can’t have someone else in your life till you’re rock solid about yourself.
What is self-worthiness to you? Knowing that you’re deserving of the best because you’re created by the best Allah swt
Seek what’s best for you. The best company, the best experiences, you know you deserve nothing less than the best.

When you have self-worthiness you stop looking to other people to give you happiness.
This man is just gonna complement you not add you or subtract from you. You’re whole by yourself💕

Self worthiness is yours for the taking.
no one can give it you or take it from you.

You are capable of being the best
To be the best at what you do is a form of dakwah

🌸All states are temporary so don’t allow yourself to get too sad or too happy.

Waiting may not be fun but it is necessary.
The worship is in the waiting
The strengthening is in the waiting
The closeness to Allah is in the waiting
Waiting is part and parcel of life. Good things come to those who wait. This is dunya. Remember Allah got your back.

2 types of single person
First is the one who sits around and don’t really do anything to find the one. Complain only lol.
Second is the one makes the effort. Go out and meet people, seek help from parents/elders/friends. Make plenty of dua and lots of tawakkal. Like AA and Ustazah Liyana’s personal stories.
So which one are you? Not to say that marriage is a goal. It’s just a means. Like Aida said, you will somehow ‘know’ when you’re ready so if you really are then make the effort and dua + tawakkal. Otherwise, keep working on yourself and be of service to others and who knows along the way you just might meet the one😉