Perks of a coach

Bismillaah

Alhamdulilaah wassalatu wassalam ‘alaa rasuulilaah.

One of the perks of being a life coach is that you get to listen to loads of people share their life stories and their many struggles. For the one who is appreciative; it leaves you so thankful to Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’ala) for saving you from such drama. The fact that you are not the one recounting your challenges is in and of itself a ni’mah (blessing) from Allaah one you should never ever take for granted!

Alhamdulilaahi Rabbil ‘alameen.

Today I had a chat with a dear sister who started out as a client; she’s become my friend.She is super-strong even though she is telling herself otherwise and has refused to accept that she’s strong. Decided to write about the experience.

After my chat with her I realised that a lot of the time, those who whine half the time are often those who barely have much to whine about. Whilst many who actually have things to shout about often times don’t even say a word. Sometimes their silence could be as a result of trying to internalise and rationalise all they had been through or are still having to cope with; at other other times their silence is because of some dangerous thoughts they are trying to process.

It’s a constant battle; a constant struggle to stay afloat and not breakdown under the pressure of the heavy burden they constantly have to bear. This second class of people I really love and learn from as often as I can.

This sister seemed to belong to this second category. She had been through a lot of drama already even she’s still really young. It’s at times like this I am reminded of one of my favourite quotes (coined by me); ‘wisdom is not measured in the number of years one has lived on earth’.

It’s important that we make a conscious effort to learn from every experience we are presented with for we do not know when the lessons learnt from those experiences would come in handy. One of the things I learnt from this experience was the importance of giving gratitude for just when you think you have it toughest, you’ll find someone who is going through worse things.

Stay grateful in every situation and Allaah would increase you in goodness.

 

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The Need to Embrace Change…

Bismillaah

Alhamdulilaah wassalatu wassalam ‘alaa rasuulilaah.

Part A:

It feels so good to have ‘eid-ul-adha approaching especially because the days preceding ‘eid-ul-adha are from the best of days and dua’a at these times is mutajab.

Well…. I think I’m having mixed feelings: excitement and worry. Excitement is the way I feel when the festive season draws near. I guess my worry is because I have to be on super-duper ‘nice’ behaviour as I ‘have’ to spend eid with in-laws. I wish ‘eid celebrations weren’t made to be this way in Nigeria. We tend to go along with too many cultural stereotypes when it comes to the rites of the wife after marriage though we tend to bend the rules before the marriage. Double standards if you ask me.

Why can’t young couples be allowed to choose where they want to spend the first day of ‘eid? Why does it have to be with this family or that family? Why can’t they spend time with themselves and bond? ‘Eid suddenly becomes a chore and not a celebration the moment one marries and takes on the role of a wife.

Alhamdulilaah ‘alaa kulli haal.

This just makes me miss my childhood. Terribly. There was stability and more fun then than I realised at the time. I really wanted to grow up. Didn’t realise growing up/adulthood was overrated. I am an adult now and sometimes I wish I was a baby again in the loving arms of her mother. *sad face*

In Shaa Allaah, my children would have a better go at it than myself. Let’s hope I’m able to create lasting family traditions with them like I had whilst I was growing up. My life has become more complicated than I ever imagined it would be. Allaahu musta’an.

Soo many dreams I had; I’m being forced to make the best of situations. I’m learning to live with things as they are. An enormous responsibility that I MUST not fail in – the life of an amatullaah. We don’t have a choice; not if you’re focused on the big prize: Jannatu Firdaous.

Sometimes I sit and think to myself ‘Why does it have to be soo hard?’, ‘Why can’t it be easier than it currently is?’. At other times I think ‘I hope it stays this beautiful’…Hahaha…  Living life is much more fun than just existing or living in fear of what would happen next. It’ll be sweet sometimes, it’ll be bitter sometimes, it’ll be sour at other times. To each taste its purpose. To each person, his/her life story and benefits.

May Allaah grant us a beautiful end that would make all these striving upon His path worth it. Aamiyn.

 

 

 

Part B

BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE

Bismillaah

Had a fall out with a sister and then to make things worse my dear husband chose today of all days to pick an unnecessary fight over something that he ought not to fight about.

This blog post is not about my husband so I’d just move on.

I find it amusing that we talk about trying to save the world and changing the lives of others and helping other people heal when we ourselves are finding it hard to heed the advice that we give out. How can we expect to teach others and have them take from our knowledge base when we are busy being too stubborn to heed the voice of reason. It stills seems incredulous that the cause of the discord was something so flimsy and uncalled for!

It is very important that we rationalise our actions especially at those times when we know other people would be directly affected by our action or lack of acting appropriately. It’s even more important that we quickly retrace our steps and set things straight once we realise we have erred.

Why do we justify wrong doing when we clearly know how annoying it can be when we are at the receiving end of such actions?

Let us strive to be mindful of Allaah at all times so that we can start the journey towards re-shaping our lives. It makes no sense when we share knowledge and don’t act on it.

#Rant over

 

 

 

No idea.

Bismillaah

Alhamdulilaah wassalatu wassalam ‘alaa rasuulilaah

Don’t know what the title of this piece would be but… allow me to ramble away…

Soo…Alhamdulilaah for the gift of life, Alhamdulilaah for the ability to see the beauty all around us. Alhamdulilaah

Lately, a number of good things have been happening all around me at least so I presume.

For the past few months; a number of my dearest friends have been coming around; by the way some of these people I haven’t seen in 3-4years…some I saw last year. The outpour of good news has had me both happy as well as very worried.

Why should the arrival of my loved ones have me worried? Well, it’s been a long time since exciting things followed one another in my life. It’s been feeling like a sign; a sign that something is about to happen and I sincerely pray its nothing fatal. It’s been feeling like the stage is being set for something really big to happen. Allaahu musta’an.

Whatever it may be, good or bad; Allaah is the One in control of the heavens and the earth and He alone provides succor for those who put their trust in Him.

“And upon Allaah the believers should put their trust”

 

 

 

 

To have and to hold…

Bismillaah,

Alhamdulilaah wassalatu wassalam ‘alaa rasuulilaah,

Marriage is a sacred institution. It is one every young girl looks forward to entering into right from a very young age. Youngsters often act out plays on happily ever after and parents look forward to the day they happily send off their children to live the rest of their lives with that ‘perfect’ man in that ‘perfect’ relationship.

Allaah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) says about it;

“And among His signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that you may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between your hearts. Undoubtedly in these are signs for those who reflect.” Quran 30:21

Unfortunately this institution is often laden with much sorrow for many. Probably because many go into the union thinking it to be like fairy tale as seen in the movies; you know , the happily ever after ideology. But Alas, the reality of marriage in most cultures and religions is far from what is often imagined. Sadly, there aren’t many popular write-ups or books on what to expect in marriage. OK, so there are books that speak about responsibilities and rights of spouse , but most of these books are not very practical so naturally a bride-to-be reads this and thinks of course I would be an amazing wife to my husband…Why not, if not?

The reality is being an amazing spouse involves a lot of effort, sacrifice and constantly renewing ones intentions. It also involves a lot of patience (especially on the part of the woman) and strength of character/forgiveness. The world we live in is kinda gender biased(if you look at it from the feminist perspective) so most times even when the men are the ones screwing up, the wife is expected to just stomach all she gets from him, be the bigger person and of course lie warmly in bed waiting for Mr Macho.

Reality 2 is it usually doesn’t happen that way as women are emotional beings and it takes real strength of character to know you’re being taken for granted or poorly treated and not retaliate with words or actions. May Allaah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) bless and elevate women that have been able to achieve that feat; having been down the married lane before, I can imagine how hard it must be for you to be that upright. May Allaah (azza wa jaal) continually strengthen you amazing sisters and make your path to Jannah easy

For those sisters who are more like me… we can’t stop making efforts….we have to continually strive to be better and pray even harder for Allaah is indeed Al-Mujeeb (The One Who answers the call) and when we are sincere about giving up a shortcoming and ask Him, He answers; it might take a while; your inability to stomach some things might cost you but don’t give up for Jannah is the goal and who ever said getting to Jannah was going to be a piece of cake?

Remember that whenever Jannah is tied to a thing, there is indeed a lot of work involved in that thing. May Allaah (azza wa jaal) grant us all ease in our affairs; guide us to choosing righteous spouses and aid us as we strive to be awesome wives to our husbands. Aamiyn

N.B; Feel free to comment

Gratitude….

Bismillaah,

Alhamdulilaah wassalatu wassalam ‘alaa rasuulilaah

In all things we ought to give thanks to Our Lord for He (subhaanahu wa ta’ala) is deserving of our worship and gratitude. Many times when we are faced with very difficult situations we moon about acting like Allaah has not given us any gift or blessing; it is at times like that we show how unobservant and ungrateful we are. No one ever said life was going to be easy. Infact Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’ala) said;

And We will surely test you (all) with something of fear and hunger and loss of property, lives and fruits; but give glad tidings to the (steadfast) patient.”

“Who, when a calamity befalls them, (by showing perseverance), say: ‘ Verily we belong to Allah, and certainly unto Him shall we return’.”

 ” Those are they on whom are blessings and Mercy from their Lord, and they are the ones that are guided (aright). (Q 2 vs 155-157)

Yesterday, I went with a group of Muslims (brothers and sisters) on some humanitarian visitation. This is one of the humanitarian works that my husband often encourages (maa Shaa Allaah) and we were fortunate to visit a Psychiatric hospital and Subhaanallaah I have not been the same since then. It soo happened that one of the patients I saw there was an old friend from my University days and I was really shocked to see him there. Just when I was trying to convince myself that I had had it really rough in life, I realised that infact I was one very fortunate muslimah who didn’t appreciate the extent of Allaah’s love for her.

Alhamdulilaahi rabbil ‘alameen ‘alaa nimatihi.

By Allaah, there is always a reason to be thankful to Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’ala). Our forgetfulness as imperfect beings often makes us trivialise the many blessings of our Lord but if during our rough patches we really reflected we would realise there is always something to be thankful for.

Allaah says;

“And He gave you of all that you asked for, and if you count the blessings of Allah, never will you be able to count them…..” (Q 14 vs 34)

In truth, we can never thank Allaah enough no matter how bad the situation gets. Let us learn to adopt a stance of gratitude no matter what happens to us and we would feel a growth in our eeman as we strive to live in this meritorious way.

May Allaah perfect His deen in us; May He overlook our shortcomings and set at ease our dismay and more importantly, may He keep us upon the haqq till the very end. Aamiyn

A Swing in the alternate direction…

Bismillaah,

Alhamdulilaah wassalatu wassalam ‘alaa rasuulilaah,

Alhamdulilaah ‘alaa nimatil Islam (Praise is to Allaah for the blessing of Islam), Alhamdulilaah ‘alaa kulli haal (Praise is to Allaah in all situations).

I heard very disheartening news yesterday and I’m still in shock as I can’t believe or understand what I heard but sadly it’s true. A friend converted from Islam!! This was one whom I prayed with at different times, we attended halaqahs together, and we discussed deen issues together amidst others. She wasn’t one of those people who were negligent of her deen (at least as far as I knew). And now she is in kufr! Laa hawla wa laa quwatta ilaa billaah!

Many times we strut about in pride and joy proclaiming that we are Muslims and we are oblivious of what the next day holds for us…For it is not the one who worshipped and made their worship obvious to all that would be successful; it is the one who worships Allaah with sincerity either in secret or in public and who dies upon this path of truth that is truly successful. Yorubas (a major ethnic tribe in Nigeria) have an adage ‘ibere koo ni onishe’ i.e. it isn’t the one who starts well that is a hard worker, it is the one that finishes well…

As the reality of the news struck me, a hadith came to mind;

On the authority of Aboo ‘Abdir- Rahmaan ‘Abdullaaah ibn Mas’ood (radiyallaahu anhu), the Messenger of Allaah (sallaahu alayhi wassalam) said, “Verily the creation of each one of you is broughttogether in his mother’s womb for forty days in the form of a nutfah (a drop), then he becomes an ‘alaqah (clot of blood) for a period, then a mudghah (morsel of flesh) for a like period, then there is sent to him the angel who blows his soul into him and who is commanded with four matters: to write down his rizq (sustenance), his life span, his actions and whether will be successful or not (i.e enter Jannah or not).

By the One, other than Whom there is no deity, verily one of you performs the actions of Paradise until there is but an arm’s length between him and it, and that which has been written overtakes him, and so he acts with the actions of the people of hellfire and thus enters it; and verily one of you performs the actions of the people of hellfire, until there is but an arm’s length between him and it, and that which has been written overtakes him and so he acts with the actions of the people of Paradise and thus enters it (Collected by Bukhari and Muslim)

According to some scholars the one who deviates from this deen after having worshipped does so as a result of having riyah in their heart. They (scholars) say that these people have a variation between what is truly in their heart and how they act but Allaah is All-Knowing, All-Aware so He (subhanahu wa ta’ala) sees beyond the façade they project to all! Subhanallaah.

One benefit of this hadith is, it lays emphasis on the fact that sadness or happiness in the hereafter is dependent on your ending so dear readers, do not hold on to any good you did in the past; when you do any good forget it and strive to do more and ensure that you purify your intentions at all times! And more importantly, supplicate to Allaah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) oft; ask Him (subhanahu wa ta’ala) for guidiance and steadfastness for the hearts of men are between the Two Fingers of Ar-Rahman and He turns them in any direction He pleases. As sad as I am over this incident, I am hopeful that perhaps our supplications for her might be accepted in the way we have asked Allaah and He (subhaanahu wa ta’ala) can guide her back.

May Allaah keep us firm till the very end. May He (subhaanahu wa ta’ala) guide all the lost muslims back to Islam. May He grant us steadfastness upon the haqq both in words and in deeds. I end this piece with a dua’a the Nabiy (sallaahu alayhi wassalam) was reported to have made oft “Yaa Muqaallib al-Quloob Thabbit Qulubuuna ‘alaa Deenik (Oh turner of the hearts, make our hearts firm upon your religion). Aamiyn!

reflections on Chapel Hill killings…

Bismillaah,

I watched a video showing the Janazah (funeral prayer) of the three students; Deah, Yusor and Razan that were killed in America and I couldn’t help but cry after listening to the speech by Yusor and Razan’s father. Maa Shaa Allaah tabaraakAllaah, he was very composed and steady. I couldn’t help but wonder if I would have been able to show such exemplary strength if one of them was my child! May Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’ala) give their families the strength to bear the loss. Aamiyn…

The death of someone close or the news of such killings is often a point of reflection for me though the sad thing is after a while I forget and get carried away with life. I shed tears because I tried to imagine being one of the victims; would I have had soo many people turn out for my janazah? Would I have had such beautiful things said about my person? More importantly, what would be my lot in the grave…..

Wallaah, there are loads of lessons from this incident and every one of us, Muslim and non-Muslim owe it to ourselves to take the lessons and implement the action plans we deduce from the lessons learnt. We should start to pay attention to the people that live around us; we should flag up hate attitude and take immediate action on how to avoid falling prey. The media has succeeded in painting Islam in a very bad light and the few radical Muslim groups have not helped either. So what should be the case/attitude of upright Muslims following the TRUE teachings of Islam? Should we erase any trace of our belief from public glare and claim its daroor? Do we retaliate back every time there is an unjust killing or oppression? Definitely not! What I believe we ought to do in this period of turbulence in our Ummah is that we retrace our steps and make action plans on how we intend to be good ambassadors of Islam in our different communities just like the Sahaabahs (radiyallaahu anhum) and the rightly guided from the past generations.

The root of the problem is our having strayed far away from the teachings of Islam and until we start to truly live Islam, the blood of the Muslims would remain cheap. We don’t gain victory by virtue of us being a majority; we gain victory by striving to be a significant few…and our significance lies in our steadfastness and worship of Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’ala) for tawfeek is from Him alone!

May Allaah forgive Deah, Yusor and Razan; May Allaah forgive all the dead muslims and may He (subhaanahu wa ta’ala) make it easy for us all to make our journey back to Him upon the Haqq. May Allaah grant us ease of worship and submission and make the death of this 3 dear muslims a wake up call for all those who are lost and in search of the truth. Aamiyn!

the metaphor called Love

Isn’t it amazing how we tell people we love them yet hurt them uninhibited? Sometimes, when I think about this hyperbole called ‘Love’ I just feel perhaps it’s best to protect oneself from it because the hurt that comes with loving human beings is sometimes almost unbearable.

Don’t get it twisted; I’m not saying people should not love one another. I’m also not saying that the one who claims to love you is expected to be a saint or a perfect being… What I’m saying is, people should learn to think deeply about their actions before they proceed with it; they should also try to put themselves in other people’s shoes.

You might think I’m writing this way because I’ve been hurt before; well, your premise is definitely not far from the truth. Being a very emotional person, I often allow myself to love, trust and be let down. I don’t believe in claiming I love someone and not following it up with actions as such I stay away from this proclamation of love as much as possible and say it only when it seems apparent that I’m am keeping to the regime of what loving someone entails.

Loving someone in my opinion entails care, genuine concern about their life goals, dreams and aspiration. I feel it also means forgiving your beloved quickly, letting go of past hurts and working together towards a common goal; the goal being not stopping until you both attain success in this life and in the hereafter.   In marriage, I suppose the love between couples should run even deeper than what I just described. Sadly, the direct opposite is what you get in most cases of supposed love either amongst couples or in other relationships many of which start so beautifully and genuinely. In the end (of some of these relationships, marital or otherwise), one can’t help but wonder if there was ever love in the first place. Allaahu musta’an…

Although, we cannot abstain from relating with people; we can try to limit the numbers who suffer from our not so ‘wow’  akhlaq (character). In my opinion (and I stand to be corrected), some of the major causes of discord in most relationships is suspicion, selfishness and lack of taqwa so it all bulges down to – what is our relationship with Allaah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala)? How are we with our waajibat (compulsory acts of worship)? Are we willing to rectify and improve on our status quo? If we are able to properly answer these questions, we probably are on our way to finding true love and being happy in our relationships because Allaah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) said;

“…..Verily by the remembrance of Allaah, are the hearts set at rest” (Surah Ar-Rad 13: 28)

Also, Rasullullaah (Sallaahu alayhi wassalam) said;

When Allaah loves a person, He calls Jibrael and says (to him): I love so-and-so, therefore you should also love him. Then the inhabitants of heaven (the angels) would love him. He added: Thus acceptance is established for him on earth (i.e. that person becomes popular among the people)….” (reported by Abu Huraira; Collected by Muslim and Tirmidhi)

From the texts, we understand that as we strive to perfect our ibaadah and increase in closeness to our Lord, we are also threading a path to finding lasting love for as we draw closer to Him, we gain strength which aids us in shedding our excesses and living with people in peace. May Allaah grant us the love for Him, the love of those who Love Him, the Love of acts that would draw us closer to Him and ability to treat our loved ones and all those we relate with better than we hope to be treated…..Aamiyn!

The GIANT ant…

Bismillaah (In the name of God),

The political frenzy in Nigeria has now reached its peak especially after the postponement of the general elections exactly a week before the presidential elections was supposed to hold. Isn’t it amazing how the current ruling party and government of Nigeria see the need to put the lives of millions of Nigeria on hold for their own selfish reasons?!

Most people in Nigeria and across the globe are aware of how volatile Nigerian politics and election seasons can be…Most parents warn their children and wards to not keep late nights especially as  rampant killings and loss of lives is the norm during this period. Yet, the President of Nigeria, in his bid to further his ambition or looting in the office of the state has recklessly put the lives of millions on hold; isn’t that just great!

Sometimes I wonder if things would ever get better in this beautiful country of mine. It saddens me a lot to realise that one’s Country barely has any good to offer. Is there hope of change happening anytime soon? Only time would tell.

When I reflect over the many mishaps that have befallen well-meaning upright Nigerians either home or around the globe, one cant help but wonder if relief would ever come.Things are soo bad in Nigeria that many citizens run to any country they find any solace. In the past people used to run to the developed countries in the West; now, Nigerians run to any country they can find ‘bread’ even neighbouring African countries are not left out yet we are often referred to as giants of Africa!!An irony, right?

Though things look very gloomy down here for most, I take consolation in the fact that in the midst of soo much chaos, the believer is able to find loads of opportunities to draw closer to Allaah (Subhaanahu wa ta’ala ) either through constant struggle to keep up with their responsibilities, or through their being charitable to people around them to  putting a smile on the face of someone by helping them with things we consider little but goes a long way to relieving them of their burden.

I sincerely hope that Allaah (Subhaanahu wa ta’ala ) brings relief to this nation and save us from these oppressors that have improvised most due to their greedy attempt to fill their tummy and pockets. As we stretch forth our hands to say a prayer for our beloved country, let’s also remember war thorn and rift stricken countries in our prayers as well… Though there is so much pain and grief around the world, a change in our situation and that of our comrades around the globe can start with a little bout of prayer from us….