Photo taken at a stopover while en route to Mecca
Travelling to Mecca and Medina didn’t feel too long ago
Hours of journey over the air and on land
Reciting the talbiah, renewing our intentions
Everything was about Allah swt and Rasulullah ﷺ
A reminder, that we are in this world, as travellers
Here is not our resting, eternal place
Now is the time to toil and plant our seeds
A reminder, that death is always near
And time waits for none
Life is short, a passing wind
May we take heed and start working
And now is always a good time to start afresh
May Allah guide us all and grant us the strength and love towards and of Him and His Rasul ﷺ
May Allah swt have mercy upon Allahyarham Ustaz Abu Bakar, the ustaz who passed away in a bus accident in Mecca yesterday and grant him the highest level of Jannah and pour upon his loved ones patience, strength and healing. Amin.
As you continue to traverse in life,
Hope you will keep this in mind
Remember that humbling moment when you were travelling by sea.
Looking up to the vastness of the skies Always be in awe, never despair of yourself, your life and His Mercy
Remember the strong waves that caused the ferry to trudge and then stall for a while
Instilling a sudden fear in you, reminding you of those mentioned in the Quran who only remembered Him in danger but then forget and commit injustice when they are safe (10:22)
Remember too the turbulence while in the air, thousands of metres above ground level
The sea, the winds, the waves not forgetting the bumpy roads and the unpredictable traffic and motorists
The transport is only the means
You’ll never know for sure if you will reach your destination safely
Make us among the grateful ones, who remembers You and are grateful to You, be it on the seas, in the air or on land.
Just ended my internship at an organisation focused on helping people with mental illness and their family members. Albeit a short one, it was beneficial and meaningful alhamdulillah. Just thought I’d share a part of my reflection (:
I would say the most joyful moments here would be when I was able to connect with clients, even though it was just one client for that one day. It would not have happened had I stayed in my comfort zone and just choose to mingle with people I am already comfortable with. Through learning their stories, I am reminded of the strength of the human spirit. People face all kinds of struggles in life and some are being chosen for the test on their mental health. They are strong because they choose the path of recovery, self-betterment, and courage every single day and this touched and inspired me deeply. Some live every day to support their loved ones and themselves, while resilient and patient.
I will never forget the woman who is taking care of her mother in law with dementia, while her daughter has a mental health condition and her husband has a life-threatening illness. Some are fortunate to have supportive family members while some are making by with what they have on their own, keeping hope for a better tomorrow.
On the other hand, there were also clients whom I had seen in quite dire states and I cannot help but feel overwhelmed. I learned that as much as we want to help others, we need to also understand that action ultimately comes from them and we are simply a means. We need to learn to detach when necessary.
I also learned to never underestimate the value of helping others. What we do may seem small but if done with sincerity and an open heart, it would do wonders and be significant to those whom we are serving.
Another important lesson that I learned would be to be kind to everyone and to withhold judgment. What we see on the exterior may just be a facade as we may not be aware of the struggles and pain that people have gone through or are going through. This points to why we should never judge someone based on our assumptions and perhaps flawed perception. Until we are in their shoes and learn about them would we truly understand where they are coming from.
We may have set our intentions firm. And yet the design of the worldly life is such that it can bring us far away from His remembrance, if we’re not careful. And sometimes we aren’t. We don’t blame it on the dunya entirely, we too have our own issues to work on. We can get careless, we may not think long-term, we allow ourselves to get distracted, we may not give our priorities its deserving place. All in all, we’re human.
Yes we try to be better and improve on our skills so we minimise the slips and falls but at the end of the day we’re just normal human beings prone to err. While we want to improve, let’s remember to be kind to ourselves. Allah is Kind and He is ever waiting for us. His Door is always open, His Love, Mercy, Openings limitless. So don’t despair, flee to Allah. Face your physique and soul towards Him. He is as what we think of Him.
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 💪
An unforgettable night
To see the moon red, then crescent with visible black shadow to a bright, bright full moon
How is it for a mind to comprehend a spectacle this beautiful
For the Creator to have set such a rare occurrence
Nothing short of subhanAllah
The beauty that is the moon
Then you remember your Prophet ﷺ
Imagine seeing his beautiful face
Just for a while
May the heart be always yearning and loving
Reset and renew
Intentions to have Allah swt and Rasulullah ﷺ centre
To love His Beloved more than any other creation
To follow his sunnah to the best of your ability
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.