NEW BEGINNINGS

What better way to end the Mental health awareness month, than a promise and a pledge to myself.

A promise I intend to honor and a pledge I vow to keep.

I was asked my opinion on self harm once, why do people do it? Why do people get addicted and does it ever stop? Self harm, is an addiction, because pain is addictive. Why do people do it? In my opinion, it’s the pain you can control and one you can see. It’s a method to cope, a very terrible one. Is it addictive? Yes, it is. Very much so. It usually starts as an impulse, a small jolt to keep one in check, for some, to remind them that they still feel, that they still are alive, an impulsive decision at a moment of weakness. Slowly, one depends on it, as a distraction from any emotional pain, physical pain heals faster, but emotional ones fester and poison, if not treated. Then it becomes an addiction, an obsession, a false sense of control.

It sickens me to the depth of my heart to see Media romanticizing it, making it feel cool or Writers making it feel almost as normal as breathing. It is not. Believe me, self harm brings in guilt and shame, and having to keep it a secret is worse. The relief is short-lived, before you have to deal with whatever is troubling you. Instead of solving any problem, you just let it be bottled up inside, hiding it in the closet and sweeping every problem under the rug. It only takes sometime before it bursts, opens and blows up in your face.

For someone affected, they do not wish for that upon anybody. The guilt of asking your loved one to stop an addiction, you know the harm of it all to well. The hopelessness when something goes wrong, and it’s not in your hands anymore. The despair, when you see someone you love go down the path, you struggle to leave. It’s not worth it.

It’s not the way to do it, get help and confide in someone, it gets better. Life does get better. Asking for help is  hard, I know, trust me. Leaning on someone, letting one take care of you for once, or letting someone in. It’s opening the doors to you chamber of secrets, everything dark and ugly, sometimes and expecting them to love you the same and see you the same. Trust, giving someone the power to hurt you but believing in them to not to.

Talk to someone you trust, let them in and believe in yourself.

 

Even in the dark

When there seems to be no light

And the weight of the world 

Burdens your shoulders

And a little voice 

Says you can never do it

Exclaim with power and conviction

“I can and I will

For with every sunset, ends a bad day

But every sunrise, begins a new day”

You can and you will

Life does get better

Trust and believe in yourself

Just like I do in you

I may not know you

But I understand the struggle you go through

I may not know your full battle, 

Or see all your wounds

But in the end

I am human like you too

Tell me so I can help

Speak out and I shall listen

Beyond what the eye sees

Is a soul I am in love with

For all the scars and struggles

A beautiful soul

That I can’t help but be in awe of

Life does get better.

This promise to myself, is that I shall try my very best to not succumb to the little whisper.

I am stronger than that, braver than that and wiser.

I promise not to judge by the scars on somebody’s arms, not by the burns on your feet, not by the wounds on your fists, or the bandage on your head. Not by anything at all, I promise I will try to listen, to look at you and love you, maybe even love you more.

Often, we ignore others’ cries for help because we are too blinded by our own struggles. We often lose so many to fend on their own, we let too many people down, we failed so many people, but now is a good place to start. Right here and right now, pledge to be a source of comfort and solace, to lend an ear and to see beyond the walls and masks, to see for who they really are and still love the same.

And for those still struggling, life gets better.

 

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?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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