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The Missing Ingredient

We often find ourselves asking: Why’s my life so messed up? or the like. What I’ve learned over the past few weeks – from IOU – and from this article is that the key ingredient that you need to make life more meaningful and fulfilling is: gratitude.

I recently came to terms with the fact that depression is mainly due to the evil whisperings of Satan, and so whenever I’m blue, I recite a couple of du’a (supplication) to ward off Satan: in particular, A’oodhubillah, and the Mu’awiddhatayn – i.e. Surah Nas & Surah Falaq, the two Surah’s of refuge, as stated by Allah’s Messenger (saws). I also turn to close friends and family members whenever I’m having a hard time. Annnd the results are fabulous: I feel much happier and less depressed these days.

Try thanking Allah – through thick and thin – for the countless blessings that He has bestowed on you. In sha Allah, life won’t seem so messed up anymore.

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Amelioration

Earlier, in one of my posts, I had mentioned that I have no friends. Well, I take that back. Allow me to explain myself.

I had written the post while I was very depressed, and, while in that state, evil thoughts preoccupy me. Satan whispers all sorts of false, deviant thoughts into my muddled mind. It’s true that I’m very bad at maintaining human relationships but it’d be awfully ungrateful and delusional of me to say that I don’t have friends. I do have a few friends. It’s just that I’d gotten out of touch with them (for the most part) ever since I had depression.

But now, I’m trying my best to reconnect with them. It all started when I started this blog. Through it, I got to know / read about many ordinary people with extraordinary lives. Their stories touched me, moved me to the verge of tears and made me realize (perhaps for the first time in my life) how blessed I am. Just like Allah said in the Qur’an, Sūrah al-Nahl, Verse 18:
And if you were to count Allah’s favors, you would not be able to number them; most surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.

I used to think that the blessings in our life are countable. Now that I reflect on my naïveté, I finally realize the wisdom of this verse. SubhanAllah!

Once I realized that there are people much, much worse off than me (Palestinians, anyone?), I recommenced to have an optimistic outlook on life, like my old self.

Consider this priceless piece of advice from Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him):
“Look at those below you (less fortunate than you), and don’t look at those above you, for this is better.” [Sahih Muslim, Tirmidhi, and Ibn Maja]

[Do check out this wonderful, elegantly written article on 10 Steps to Happiness!]

OK, back to what I was saying – on friends. Once I got around to reconnecting with my friends, I discovered that their lives are not as flowery as I had thought. Rather, they each have issues of their own. Thankfully, they didn’t judge me for my complexes, and neither did I for theirs. Instead, we reached out to each other – like true friends should. And by talking about our problems / stumbling blocks, we learned to appreciate life better.

Things don’t seem so bleak anymore. After all, I have a supportive group now whom I can turn to whenever I need someone to talk to, or a shoulder to cry on. I promise to cherish my friends (they deserve it!) from now on, in sha Allah. Their presence in my life makes a huge difference!

Status

Yesterday was Eid day and I, for one, had a bad day.

I could not begin my day blessed with Eid Namaz – slumber had overtaken me.
I could not paint my hands with henna – I had none at home.
I could not feel the same excitement as everyone else – instead, I agonized over not having a new dress.
I could not have a single meal together with my family – I was too busy sulking.

Late at night, as I watched news about Gaza’s only powerplant being bombed (by Israel) and Gaza consequently being shrouded in darkness, I wondered about how insignificant my issues were compared to theirs. SubhanAllah! Just think about their Eid. (Read about their Eid here)

I marvel at their strength, hope and courage to fight on, to live on, amidst the ceaseless oppression and slaughter of their brothers and sisters, not to mention virtually zero support from world powers. All they have is people power… and Allah.

#SupportGaza #FreePalestine

May Allah give respite to the Palestinian people and free them from their aggressor. Ameen ya Rabb!

On Babysitting & Laziness…

I happen to be a babysitter… but I know that I’m not cut out to be one.

Babysitting can be frustrating sometimes, especially for someone to whom fondness of babies doesn’t come naturally. Truth be told: being in the baby’s constant company has resulted in me developing warm, fuzzy feelings for him. Thank God he’s my own nephew, or else I would have torn my hair apart long ago!

If I had things my way, I’d be living totally detached from society. Caring for another human being is a new experience for me. But I’m grateful for this experience. Not only can I brag about it on my college application but it is also preparing me for caring for my babies in future in sha Allah.

Moreover, life seems less hectic when I keep myself busy. I think I’ve begun to understand a little about the evils of the idle mind. No wonder all those young people do whatever they can get their hands on. I can’t believe I’m saying this but yeah, laziness sucks big time.


Here are three wise sayings of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) regarding laziness:

  1. Narrated Abu Huraira, Allah’s Apostle said, “Satan puts three knots at the back of the head of any of you if he is asleep. On every knot he reads and exhales the following words, ‘The night is long, so stay asleep.’ When one wakes up and remembers Allah, one knot is undone; and when one performs ablution, the second knot is undone, and when one prays the third knot is undone and one gets up energetic with a good heart in the morning; otherwise one gets up lazy and with a mischievous heart.” (Bukhari, Book #21, Hadith #243)
  2. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) used to seek refuge in Allah from laziness by mentioning this du’a (supplication) daily: O Allah, I take refuge in You from anxiety and sorrow, weakness and laziness, miserliness and cowardice, the burden of debts and from being over powered by men.’
  3. Everyone of you is a guardian and is responsible for his charges. The ruler who has authority over people, is a guardian and is responsible for them, a man is a guardian of his family and is responsible for them; a woman is a guardian of her husband’s house and children and is responsible for them; a slave (‘Abu) is a guardian of his master’s property and is responsible for it; so all of you are guardians and are responsible for your charges.(Bukhari, Book #46, Hadith #730)

(Hadith quoted from The Different Masks of Laziness (Part 1) – Productive Muslim)