Ramadhaan ; The Month of Mercy and Forgiveness

Assalamu alaykum warahmatullahi wabarakaatuhu,

 

The most awaited month in the Muslim Calendar is finally here: Ramadhaan!

My prayer for us all is that may Allah guide us to the correct path and may He shower us with mercy and blessings in this blessed month.

In the past, I was unfortunately among those who silently judged those who improved themselves in Ramadhaan, the famous saying “When Barbies become Hijabis and Playboys become Pray boys” was drilled into me by those around me that I closed my thinking and sat myself on a pedestal. It didn’t take me long to understand that my thinking was wrong, what people were doing was wrong, what I was doing was not taught to us by the Prophet.

I was being judgmental, thinking myself better because I wore my hijaab at all times, I prayed and I did this and that. I acted as if Jannah was already mine. May Allah forgive me for my past misgivings and my sins. How sure am I that Allah has even accepted my past deeds? I am even in doubt that they were sincere.

But here comes a blessing in a blessing in a blessing, the Holy month of Ramadhan; where I am given a chance at a clean slate with my Lord.

Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: When Ramadan enters, the gates of Paradise are opened, the gates of Hellfire are closed and the devils are chained. (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Here is a chance for all of us to redeem ourselves and humble ourselves before the Lord of All mankind.

The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) climbed upon the Minbar (pulpit) and said, ‘Ameen, Ameen, Ameen.’ It was said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, why did you say Ameen?’ He (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said, ‘Jibreel came to me and said, ‘O Muhammad, he is doomed who hears your mention and does not say, Peace be upon you. (in the Hadeeth of Musnad Ahmad – then Allah may distance him)’ He said, ‘Say, Ameen.’ So, I said, ‘Ameen’. Then he said, ‘He is doomed who sees the month of Ramadaan come and go, and he has not been forgiven. (in the Hadeeth of Musnad Ahmad – and so he enters Hell Fire, then Allah may distance him)’ He said, ‘Say, ‘Ameen.’ So, I said, ‘Ameen’. Then he said, ‘He is doomed, who grows up and both his parents, or one of them is still alive, and they do not cause him to enter Paradise (in the Hadeeth of Musnad Ahmad – then Allah may distance him)’ He said, ‘Say, Ameen.’ So, I said, ‘Ameen.”

 

I pray that Allah gives us the strength to use this chance so that we don’t be those who are in a loss.

Abu Hurayrah reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said,

Whoever observes fasts during the month of Ramadan out of sincere faith, and hoping to attain Allah’s rewards, then all his past sins will be forgiven. (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

For those among us, finding themselves in Ramadhaan, may Allah give us the strength to practice Islam everyday, even when practicing becomes like holding hot coal, may He give us the courage to hold on, even when holding on to our religion becomes strange and may He accept our fasts and our prayers.

For those who choose to sit on a pedestal, point fingers and judge: Jannah is by Allah’s Will and He alone has the right for admission to it. For all of us, Children of Nabii Adam, is, to do our best and strive hard to achieve it. Worry about your deeds, are they sincere? Worry about your salah, is it perfected? Are your intentions pure? Forget judging others and for once, if you were to be judged, do you think Jannah is guaranteed for you? Do not be haste to point fingers.

Advise in a good and wise way. Be kind in your approach, be sincere and be mindful of your words. Do not be the reason someone turned away from religion.

We should not lose hope in the mercy of Allah.

Allah says: “Say: O my Servants who have transgressed against their souls! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah: for Allah forgives all sins: for He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [Sûrah al-Zumar: 53]

Allah forgives all sins.

Allah says: “Unless he repents, believes, and works righteous deeds, for Allah will change the evil of such persons into good, and Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful,” [Sûrah al-Furqân: 70]

 

 

I pray that we sincerely take this chance to repent and plead with Allah to forgive us, for as long as we are alive and the sun rises in the East, the doors of Repentance are open.

 

 

 

I dedicate this piece to my brother, Abdulkareem, May Allah have mercy on your soul and raise your ranks in paradise.

 

اللهُـمِّ اغْفِـرْ لَهُ وَارْحَمْـه ، وَعافِهِ وَاعْفُ عَنْـه ، وَأَكْـرِمْ نُزُلَـه ، وَوَسِّـعْ مُدْخَـلَه ، وَاغْسِلْـهُ بِالْمـاءِ وَالثَّـلْجِ وَالْبَـرَدْ ، وَنَقِّـهِ مِنَ الْخطـايا كَما نَـقّيْتَ الـثَّوْبُ الأَبْيَـضُ مِنَ الدَّنَـسْ ، وَأَبْـدِلْهُ داراً خَـيْراً مِنْ دارِه ، وَأَهْلاً خَـيْراً مِنْ أَهْلِـه ، وَزَوْجَـاً خَـيْراً مِنْ زَوْجِه، وَأَدْخِـلْهُ الْجَـنَّة ، وَأَعِـذْهُ مِنْ عَذابِ القَـبْر وَعَذابِ النّـار

O Allah, forgive him and have mercy on him and give him strength and pardon him. Be generous to him and cause his entrance to be wide and wash him with water and snow and hail. Cleanse him of his transgressions as white cloth is cleansed of stains. Give him an abode better than his home, and a family better than his family and a wife better than his wife. Take him into Paradise and protect him from the punishment of the grave [and from the punishment of Hell-fire].

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ramadhan Muslims

Hijabeefied

Ramadhan always gets here when we need it the most. Sometimes we don’t realize we need it and sometimes we know a little too well. Sometimes we take it for granted assuming we will make it to the next yet we also know too well there are some people we had last Ramadhan that didn’t make it to this one.

But here we are now, Alhamdulillah. Remember to be grateful for the extra time given to make things right. While every second of the day can be used to RESTART and make things right, it’s always so much ‘easier’ to restart during Ramadhan. The vibe is different. I am reading this paragraph and I feel like I sound extremely HOLY … if you stop reading here you’d probably call me a ‘Ramadhan Muslim’.. that phrase always cracks me up. It’s been used so negatively before that people have come to hate…

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HOME SICK

I started feeling lonely recently, withdrawn from human contact, keeping socialization to a minimum, maintaining conversation only when necessary, doing everything I can not to let anybody come close, including being flippantly rude, ignoring calls and messages. I even started losing topics of conversations, with my best friend, my mother.

Other than the weather, the times and how I feel adapted to a new place, here, I feel trapped, I feel suffocated, and I don’t want to feel this way. Anxious, scared and terrified.

And being away from home hits hard. Some days everything irritates me. From the weather to the little things like misplacing an item. Small inconveniences make me want to curl up in a ball and cry.  And being someone scared of putting my emotions out there, I’d rather stay in and be hush about it. When you’ve been labelled a cry baby, dramatic and attention seeking from a young age, letting others in is braver than most would like to admit. Admitting it makes one vulnerable, and human, but vulnerable. I wouldn’t want any one to worry about me, especially my parents and I definitely don’t want fake pity from someone who will pretend to understand only to gossip about it. I might sound bitter, but trust comes at a price if all you’ve seen and mostly experienced is being at the receiving end of broken trust.

When I left my home for a new country, barely a week after my Uncle passed, then a little later, my little baby girl and then my cousin-brother who I grew up with, just days after his birthday. I’ve never regretted being here and choosing to follow my heart more than I did in those days. And there was no one here, I could turn to, not because I don’t trust friends I’ve made here, but scared of what letting people in might bring. I made a mistake of letting one loss slip out, and someone joked about how I can always find a ‘replacement’ for a brother I love and lost. So far, this has been the hardest to deal with.

I’ve had happy times, many a  times. Sleepovers, movie nights, trying new restaurants, exploring new places and meeting new people. All adventures that made me feel happy and excited that I agreed to leave and travel and meet new people. and follow my dream. I wish that I was more open to more adventures, but it’s another issue if you have social anxiety and would rather 100% stay in than go out. Living in fear of being judged, by being judgmental myself. I fear no one would understand, that I judge them where they stand as I myself fear the same for myself. I do try to push out of my limits and comfort zones, maybe not as hard as I can, but as long as I am comfortable.

And I feel more better as I type this out, lighter, a little bit scared, but better nonetheless. It was a big change and for a while, I changed myself in hopes that I would fit in, but it never happened. And it took me a while to see reason and realize that I was not true to myself and my principles. It’s better to be myself and face the world, than change and face the same issues, because no matter how hard I push myself to try to be someone else, the world still runs the same course, and that is not something I can change.

To try to deal with it, I had a routine I followed, pamper days in the safety of the room I live in, cooking for myself, reading and getting lost in words, and movies and series and shopping and walks alone. Some activities work, others remind me that I’m alone here. Then I expanded my routine, added more time for activities I like that made me feel better. Listening to Qur’aan more, reading it more and trying to understand it better, watching YouTube channels that I like and reading and writing more. I’m still finding new ways to deal with it.

Everyone deals with it differently. Any big change in your life and how do you deal with it? How do you deal with homesickness?

 

 

 

 

 

 

IT’S ALL IN YOUR HEAD

So I was asked

Why do you speak

Of depression and anxiety

It’s all in your head

Don’t think about it

And it wouldn’t worry you at all

Stay silent.

And it shall not bother you.

It’s all in your head.

You ask me

To stay silent

Of the cages that keep me locked

Of the waters that drown me

Of the darkness that engulfs me

A trap that holds me tight

As if the mind is not part of me

It’s in my head

Because, dear, my mind is in my head

I can’t stay silent

Not anymore

I shall not speak,

Never again

But only

If the mind ceases to be part of me.

So when you tell me,

It’s all in my head

Is my head not part of me

Or should I severe it,

So I can stop thinking about it

For as long as I live,

And as long as I breathe

As long as I can

I shall speak what is in my head

Because

It’s all in my head any ways.

And if still,

You can’t understand what I speak for

I understand

You do need a mind to comprehend.

Monsters and Nightmares

I’ve lived through nights I wish I hadn’t

I’ve wished for death even by my hand

I’ve carved my skin, deep enough to feel pain, deep enough to let go

I’ve witnessed nightmares even while awake

I wished for the ground to swallow me up

I’ve wished for the room to close me in

For the last breathe to leave my body

Just so I could escape this world

I can still feel

The hands on my neck

Squeezing, with no aim to let go.

I can still feel

The wandering hands on my body

Leaving a slimy feel

Painful, aimed to hurt

I can still see

The darkness of the corner

One that was safe

Only it wasn’t hard to be found

I can still smell

The dust underneath the bed

My refuge

Before I got dragged out

The nightmares that I live with

All remind me

Of a beast I’d wish to forget

Only he never left.

These are tears of a rose.

From nightmares and monsters.

It starts slowly,

Like a horror film,

Then comes the screams of a little girl,

Held down, head on the cold floor

Tears streaming down her face

She refuses to look at him

Her gaze falls on her little Barbie doll

She barely is 6 years old.

She can feel the pain

Feel the anger

And my screams merge with hers

Only, they were mine all along.

Silent cries for help.

Nobody comes to help.

The absolute terror,

When anyone grabs her suddenly

She hates the feeling of contact

For all she knows

Is to never trust anybody

Men and women alike

She is safe from nobody.

The anxiety

Like dipping in cold water on a freezing night

Like drowning in sea water. eyes wide open

Like suffocating, just like his hands on her neck

She sees her nightmares every time she closes her eyes

Sees her monsters every time she opens them up.

She wants not to be touched,

Believes not in love

Never had faith in trust

Never hoped for a better life

How do I let her know

Not all beings are monsters?

How do I stop myself,

From whisking her away in my arms

To hold her tight in my arms so she could cry

To have her in my embrace till she stopped sobbing

To hide her in my heart

So she can know of the love I have for her

How do I tell her?

That she’s beautiful

Absolutely amazing

How do I give her hope?

For a better tomorrow.

How do I tell her?

That tomorrow, The sun will rise again

It’ll be better

So let the rain wash away

The tears in your heart

Let His Light, heal your wounds

Believe, and let Him fade your scars.

Have hope in your Lord.

April 3rd 2018

I woke up scared of today

Scared of the people that lost their humanity

Scared of what would have happened

Terrified

I considered leaving my hijaab at home

Just for one day, I said

I was ready

Words in my mouth

Ready to deny my identity

Horrified of what these beings would do

I panicked everytime someone passed me by

Don’t walk alone

Trust nobody

Trepidation filled my body

Remembrance of my Lord repeatedly on my tongue

I was ready to be hit

Practised how to protect myself

To minimise damage

If they got me, maybe they’ll let me go

I would’ve loved to say

That I fear no human being

That I am brave

And would take it all bravely

But I’m not

And humans scare me.

I’m left praying

For myself, and all my fellow Muslims

May Allah protect you and keep you safe

From the evils that these humans bring

From the bigotry and Islamophobia

That we still face.

I do not want to live in fear

Terrorized because of my identity

Because of my religion

Where it spreads nothing but peace

So leave me in peace.

My Wonder Lady

As a mother, she has paradise underneath her feet

As a daughter, she gives honour and paradise to her parents

As a woman, her stature has been raised by the One above

She’s a wonder lady

Like an octopus, she balances eight things at a time

She’s courageous, taking on the world

Her armour is her modesty

Her weapon is her honour

She faces every day with bravery

Her heart is pure

Her soul is gold

Take her through fire

I’ll promise you, she comes out a diamond

She’s my inspiration

She’s my beautiful being.

Muslimah, raise your head

You need no validation from any being

For your status has always been high.

Her rights, have always been clear

Respect her

Educate her

Honour her

Cherish her

Love her

Then watch her flourish.

Broken and Beautiful

You are a wonder

An amazing being

Even beautiful

Doesn’t cover what I see in you

You are strong

You are brave

And may the fire in you

Blaze for eternity

When you were seven

You dealt with so much more

Than many have ever seen

Sexually abused

In the place you felt safest

When you were ten

You wanted to run away from it all

For home was just hell to you

Nobody understood

The fear you held

You couldn’t even meet

Your father’s eyes

Your mother never understood

At thirteen

You wanted to end it all

You couldn’t hold it in anymore

The fear you feel

The nightmares that never end

You started then

Harming your beautiful self

You got broken

Once too many times

The voices in your head

Only got louder with time

Words hurt deeper than wounds

Beautiful Being, you are not alone

You are beautiful, for each crack in your soul

You are beautiful, for each mark on your body

You are beautiful, for all your flaws and more

Beautiful Being,

I am in awe of you.

At twenty

Here you are

Spreading your wings

Attempting to fly

Still in pain, but healing inside

For every single day, I thank God you are alive

I see you chasing your dreams

And I know you’ll be fine

You light up a candle

So bright in my heart

For every trial you’ve been through

I am in awe of that smile

Beautiful being

Your story has just began

Let yourself live

To see better things

Let yourself enjoy

Every morning’s sunrise

Enjoy

The smell of rain

The scent of fresh coffee

The fragrance of a blooming flower

You are yet to travel each country

You are yet to meet your perfect match

You are yet to love once more

With every day comes a new beginning

And I’ll be here

All through the way

Beautiful being

You inspire me every day.

May your story be a legacy

So that they may know

Of this Beautiful being

That was broken down

But rose up again

That was teared down

And stitched her self up

Who was pushed down

And picked herself up

Who thought of ending her life

But lives to see each sunset through

Because of her, I have hope I’ll make it too

Who says proudly

I’M STILL ALIVE

BROKEN AND TORN APART

BUT STILL BREATHING AND ALIVE

Each sunset shows the end of one day

But I promise the sun shall rise again.

Till the end arrives.

Beautiful being.

I love you.

To My Mother

To the one who conceived me

Carried me

Then had me

The one I troubled the most

Nurtured me and held me

Loved me and nourished me

In whose arms lies my comfort

To the one I love unconditionally

Who taught me right from wrong

Showed me the way

Held my hand as I walked

Encouraged me as I talked

Believed in me

When I lost that in myself

Supported me

Helped me up as I fell

To the one I’ll always go back to

This is my prayer for you

May Allah bless you

For each time you hold me

May Allah forgive you

For every tear you shed for me

May Allah keep you safe

For all the times you worry about me

May Allah make you among the women of paradise

May Allah raise your status in this life and the hereafter

Ya Rabb.

This woman I love

Protect her

Love her

Bless her

Look after her.

The one I call Mama

Ya Rabb

Give me the ability

To make her smile when she’s sad

To make her proud, here and forever

To make her happy, wherever she is.

Ya Rabb,

For the one I call mother

Is the one in my heart.

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