Category: Spirituality

Finding the beauty in broken

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Growing up, we’re taught to count our blessings, that no matter where we stand, we’re still more fortunate than someone else in the world. Everyone to a certain extent is grateful for their family, their great friends, a roof over their head, the food on the table, good health etc, but that list is so generic it no longer holds any merit. It’s easy to appreciate the things we’ve been given when life is going well, but how thankful are we when things get taken away from us? How much do we appreciate our heart breaks and downfalls?

Everyone reaches a point in their life where they regret all the poor decisions they’ve made. They want to take back the time they wasted with the wrong people, the time they didn’t give to the right people, the trust they gave to those who didn’t deserve it,  the years spent chasing a fruitless ambition only to reach a dead end. But what we fail to recognize is that no experience is a waste of time.  Your past, both good and bad, has built you into the person you are today. Celebrate the wisdom your downfalls gave you. Remember that the only power your past should hold is the power to turn you into something better than you were before.

No experience is a waste of time.

Be grateful for your struggles, they gave you your strength.

Be grateful for every moment in life that pushed you down to your knees, it taught you how to stand.

Be grateful for every person who wronged you, they helped you appreciate the people who never did.

We think the purpose of life is to figure out its mystery, but the truth is there is nothing to solve. Things fall apart, then come back together and each storm that destroys you holds a lesson. The point of life isn’t to try to figure out the key to your happily ever after, nor is it to make your heart so hard that nothing can break you. The point is to learn to rise from the ashes every time you get burned. Something beautiful happens when someone’s world shatters, a humility rises out of it. And sometimes when life brings a person to their knees, they learn how to bow down and pray. Your character when you hit rock bottom reveals a lot about who you are. Don’t run away from that, embrace it.

Just when you learn to admire the beauty of the sunset, it leaves you. But learn to love the darkness as well, because it’s the darkness that teaches you the value of the sunrise it brings.

17 Hajj essentials to pack in your bag

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As one of the world’s largest gatherings each year, Hajj or the annual pilgrimage to Mecca is incredibly physically, spiritually and mentally exhausting. However, it is also one of the most rewarding, if not the most rewarding experience you will have gone through in your lifetime.

Preparing for any trip is difficult and anxiety-inducing, so we can imagine just how strenuous packing for unknown conditions in that heat of Saudi Arabia. But fret no more, we have come up with the perfect packing list all ready for you. A packing list makes any kind of travel a little easier, so if that’s what it takes to make your Hajj experience more spiritual and less mind-consuming, then let’s get to it.

Note that there are specific restrictions when you are in the state of ihram, or whefeatn you have made the intention to perform the Hajj. For example, you cannot lather on anything that is scented and there is no clipping, cutting, or shaving of hair allowed.

Without further ado, here’s a list of the perfect essentials to bring with you on your journey to Mecca.

  1. Unscented hand sanitizer and/or sanitizing wipes
  2. 2-3 lightweight abayas
  3. Light jersey scarves (we love these)
  4. Umbrella (for when sun just won’t quit)
  5. Extra hair ties (you can never have enough)
  6. Comfortable shoes (you’ll be walking A LOT)
  7. Fanny pack for all of your items you cannot leave behind like money, passports, etc. (And yes, there is such a thing as a cute fanny pack)
  8. Tissues
  9. First Aid Kit (and don’t forget the Advil)
  10. Face towel
  11. Unscented face moisturizer/sunscreen
  12. Prayer rug
  13. Quran and any other duaa, or supplication, books you want to bring along
  14. Eye drops (if you wear contacts, you’ll thank me later)
  15. Personal fan
  16. Protein bars
  17. List of all the personalized duaa you want to make for friends and family (you’ll want to have this handy either in your phone or on a sheet of paper you can carry around)

You can even personalize this list, adding some of your own essentials for Hajj. And there you have it, folks. Enjoy this life-changing experience and make sure keep us in your duaas!

 

3 easy ways to be grateful

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“If you are grateful, I will give you more.” (14:7)

1. Be confident

Finding your inner confidence is just another way to show that you are appreciative of who you are. It is easy to get caught up in thoughts of what you have not accomplished yet, but part of being grateful is recognizing the beauty Allah has bestowed upon you through your talent, intellect or aspirations.

2. See the silver lining

This means find good in every situation. Yes, it’s easier said than done but train your mind to view every setback or mishap as one step closer to your ultimate fate. Allah has already written it for you, so trust Him, this is all part of the plan!

3. Help others

Sometimes when we lose ourselves in failure or get caught up in our lives, we forget that small actions can help uplift us while benefitting others. Helping those in need doesn’t always mean volunteering at a hospital or feeding the homeless. This can be done by giving a few cents to the someone in need, or tutoring a friend for an exam. Try it. We forget the pleasure and accomplishment involved in helping others. It is also another way to recognize your ability to do good and be grateful for such opportunities.

Islam encourages these three sports

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In 2010, Woroud Sawalha, a Palestinian runner, joined the Olympics. Her participation caught the world by surprise because she was one, a woman, two, she was Palestinian and three, she was a covered Muslim woman. It was and unfortunately still is in some places taboo to have a Muslim woman participate — especially in hijab — in athletics. Usually the words “Muslim Women” evoke stereotypes of heavily veiled women, segregated and excluded from outdoor activities. These stereotypes suggest that these women don’t have access to sports and that their athletic participation is controversial, both of which are not true. In reality, Islam encourages both men and women to regularly exercise in order to maintain healthy lifestyles, and Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) emphasized this. Read More

Shaking a tree and striking a sea

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What Allah (SWT) told Maryam after experiencing the excruciating pains of childbirth in delivering Prophet Issa in isolation never ceases to amaze me.

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The best gift a mother can give her children

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Until this very day, I cannot ride in the same car as my mom without her asking me to listen to her Quran recitation.

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