On Courage

Bismillah…

Does courage expire?

If I reflect back to my journey with entrepreneurship, I’d say my courage was a 10/10 during my first round, partly because it came after a season of great challenge and change. I also took a leap with courage and hope because I was still deeply connected to positive experiences I’d had in my life that reminded me of my potential to create change in myself and others with Allah’s help. So what’s the current status of my courage? I think just like muscles, the more we exercise a certain soft skill or internal conditioning, the stronger it gets. The more I “engage” with my world courageously, the more courage will follow, but I’ve found that journaling about courage and writing out my desire for having certain brave traits again has not proven to be helpful. Writing has however helped with intuitively getting down to what’s beneath certain fears or perfectionist tendencies or introversion that holds me back. But from my past I know that the only way to get over a certain hump is going through it no matter how messy and hard it is. Literally jumping in and forcing myself into discomfort, trying new things, opening up and taking calculated risks is the only way I can avoid losing my edge. At the moment, I’m feeling I need to reignite my creative spark somehow with brave action and less writing. I feel my courage has gone back into its shell and I may be waiting for someone out there to remind me of what I can offer before I feel valuable enough to keep putting out good and making change.

Till next time,

Asma

Being Seen

Bismillah..

  • Alhumdulillah for getting the planners done a second time around. I was almost sure they wouldn’t happen this time because I’ve felt pretty low and fatigued through most of this year but… we plan and Allah (swa) plans. Looking forward to seeing them soon inshaAllah! :)
  • I’ve gotten bolder lately. Three recent incidents out in the world where I was able to speak up and tell people what was okay and what was not okay. I’ve spent too much time being a chronic people-pleaser and I’ve found that when I speak up for myself and set boundaries, I actually physically feel better.
  • I want to have more courage in how I operate this year. Life is too short to be spent draining ourselves with energy that doesn’t uplift us. If we can’t be vulnerable, we can’t truly be empathic.
  • Space. I wish this world was made for introverts. Several things make me wonder why people don’t understand that there are people who function best when in seclusion for large periods of time, and can spend time with people in small doses. I feel it’s always perceived negatively but it’s truly exhausting when introverts have to constantly spend time in social settings that don’t give them energy.
  • Trust is built between people when people are genuinely, non-judgementally curious about us and what’s important to us and vice-versa.
  • So few people are raised in families where you are taught to be curious about emotions and work through them, or open up to others. Instead, most are taught to suck it up and push through. I have a big problem with this and I want to help people get out of this way of being.
  • I can’t wait to practice social work again inshaAllah.

 

Heavy Blessings

Bismillah…

It’s always the small things we take for granted. The things right in front of us that seem almost negligible, until they become distant memories, only to be awoken at a different time and place.. and we’re left wondering, “Wow, how deeply I wish to experience that (thing, person, moment) just once more.”

Relocating and becoming a mother are by far the hardest things I have ever done in my entire life. They’ve both strengthened me and weakened me and I often find myself needing to catch up to my own life. I sometimes feel like I am stuck at a different time and place and to a different identity that I became so comfortable with back “home.” Home itself is an interesting concept. It’s in these precious few moments when my little one sleeps when I have time to reflect like I once did for hours on end. I reflect and think about the enormity of the blessings I’ve been given, alongside the weight of these blessings .. the demands of these blessings .. and just how much I used to take for granted.

I talk to my family often, but if I think about them for more than a second, I can’t help but burst into tears. I miss them beyond any expression of worldly love. And again, it’s the small things. Abbu’s gentle look of love and concern, the times when he would put extra food on my plate knowing I tend to eat less, Ammi’s warm embrace, Ayesha’s loyal and heartfelt expressions of constant love, car rides with Aminah’s animated sounds, Friday night laughs with Anaam and khala, my family’s genuine feeling of being proud of me and valuing me.

Moving meant not only to leave all of this love for a new love and a new home, but also a willingness to redefine and re-establish my sense of self. Motherhood both enhanced and slowed down that process for me. On the one hand, I was extremely committed to my motherhood journey while starting my side business with the unwavering support of my husband; but on the other hand, I felt/feel like I my internal goals and hopes cannot keep up with the mixture of utter joy and overwhelming exhaustion of motherhood. Time and again, Allah (swa) puts me in situations that force me to be patient and to accept the seasons of my life. The last several months have been “winter” for me, but my spring is coming soon inshaAllah. Our lives are merely pendulating between openness and constriction.

Till next time,

Asma

Bismillah..

I have a real soft spot for Urdu naats .. especially since they’ll always be part of my memories of Ayesha and I riding together, contently existing in each other’s silence.

Is karam ka karu shur kaise ada
Joh karam mujh pe mere nabi ne kiya
Mai saja ta hu sarkar ki mehfile
Mujh ko har gam se rab ne bari kar diya

Zikre sarkar ki hai bari barkate
Mil gayi mujh ko sab azmate nehmate
Mai gunah gar tha beamal tha, magar
Mustafa ne mujhe jannati kar diya

Lamha lamha hai mujh par nabi ki aata
Dosto aur mangu mai Maula se kya
Kya yeh kam hai ke mere khuda ne mujhe
Apne mehboob ka ummati kar diya

Joh Dar e Mustafa ke ghada ho gaye
Dekhte dekhte kya se kya ho gaye
Aisi chasme karam ki hai sarkar ne
Mujh gada ko sakhi ne sakhi kar diya

Koi muyus lauta na darbar se
Joh bhi manga mila mere sarkar se
Sadqe jau niyazi mai lajpal ke
Dono aalam me mujh ko sakhi kar diya

:’) 

:)

-Fi Amanillah-

Bismillah…

One of Sh. Budair’s final du’as this Ramadan in Masjid An Nabawi. May Allah (swa) heal this Ummah and make us people of real conviction and change. There isn’t a single person who isn’t worried about what tomorrow will bring seeing as the last few months have been filled with difficult news from many corners of the world. May Allah swa help us in becoming His true ibaad – people of real taqwa and ikhlas, and accept our actions by making them heavy on our scales, Ameen.

Praying everyone has a wonderful Eid tomorrow with friends, family, and lots of shukr.

وَإِذْ تَأَذَّنَ رَبُّكُمْ لَئِن شَكَرْتُمْ لأَزِيدَنَّكُمْ وَلَئِن كَفَرْتُمْ إِنَّ عَذَابِي لَشَدِيدٌ
[Surah Ibrahim: Ayah 7]

-Fi Amanillah-

60 Lessons

Bismillah…
In this month of the Qur’an, I wanted to share this excellent list of brief lessons we can take away as action items from Allah’s kalaam. To make it a reflective exercise, it may be helpful to highlight or make note of any particular areas where we need to make improvements, which helps with making more meaningful istighfar and making real changes in the future inshaAllah.
1. Respect and honor all human beings irrespective of their religion, colour, race, background, language, status, property, birth, profession/job and so on [17/70]
2. Talk straight, to the point, without any ambiguity or deception [33/70]
3. Choose the best words to speak and say them in the best possible way [17/53, 2/83]
4. Do not shout. Speak politely keeping your voice low. [31/19]
5. Always speak the truth. Shun words that are deceitful and ostentatious [22/30]
6. Do not confound truth with falsehood [2/42]
7. Say with your mouth what is in your heart [3/167]

Continue reading

Masajid Allah

Bismillah…

Every masjid I’ve attended in my area for the last 20 some years has it’s own special place in my heart. With the number of options in our area alhumdulillah, I’ve always felt like I could go to any masjid and find my place. They each have their unique memories attached to them and I figured it would be nice to reflect on a few.. :) Continue reading