Thursday, 24 November 2016

Can you keep a secret?

“Sometimes, loyalty gets in the way of what you want to do. Sometimes, it’s not your secret to tell.” ― Stephenie Meyer

During my uni days, I was pretty much a loner. 

It was a personal choice. Mostly because I was bogged down with course work and assignments to even have time to socialize and partly because I was wary of people. You know the phrase, 'once bitten twice shy', well after been back-stabbed many times by the people whom I trusted,  kinda put me off people.

Now, after many years, I have learnt to trust again and let a little bit of myself go.Alhamdulillah, I have a group of friends whom I find that I can rely upon as my 'go-to place when I need to scream' and of course, dear hubby is often to the rescue.

Perhaps it's my naivety or maybe it's just me wanting to think to best of a person, but I had to learn the hard way again that not everyone can be trusted to be your 'confidant'. 

Most of us fail to understand that every one has problems. Some deal with it better than other. I know people who can just simply brush off whatever problem that cropped up and some who loses sleep over the smallest thing.

Different people deal with problems differently. Some need to talk it out, get it off their chest and unleash their frustration. That's why we find people seeking the help of a psychiatrist. They just need someone to listen without being judgmental. 

Some people on the other hand, keep everything bottled up inside until one day, they explode. Often we hear about individuals who ran amuk, killing innocents victims in its wake. 

I've been in similar situation many times before. I am a very vocal type of person and whenever a problem arises, I feel the need to talk it out and get it of my chest. After that, I would feel much better and be in better position to think of a solution. It's like hearing myself rant and thinking out loud. If I find that I can't fix the problem, I know it's time to move on. 

I also have friends who are like me. They just need a sounding board or a listening ear. Trust me, these ears have heard plenty!

The thing is, whatever the story, complaints, lamentations or grouses that we hear, are only meant for our ears only. It's not meant to be told to anyone especially the person whom our friend is whining about or complaining against. That is why it is called 'in-confidant'. This is really some serious stuff - TRUST. We must always remember that it's not our story to tell and not our place to judge. We are strictly listeners. 

Narrated from Jaabir ibn ‘Abd-Allaah that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “If a man tells you something then looks around, it is a trust.” 

Hadith Tirmidhi

By breaking the trust that was given, not only that we may have spread 'fitna' but also created animosity amongst 2 person hence breaking up their friendship or kinship or literally, sinking their 'ships'. 

No one likes to be betrayed. Don't be a back-stabber.

So, think before you speak or judge...

"And [remember] when the Prophet confided to one of his wives a statement; and when she informed [another] of it and Allah showed it to him, he made known part of it and ignored a part. And when he informed her about it, she said, "Who told you this?" He said, "I was informed by the Knowing, the Acquainted."

Quran 66:3

It was narrated from ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Amr that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There are four qualities, whoever has all of them is a pure hypocrite, and whoever has some of them has a characteristic of hypocrisy until he gives it up: when he is entrusted with something he betrays that trust; when he speaks he lies; when he makes a promise he breaks it, and when he disputes he resorts to lies and falsehood.” 

Hadith Bukhari

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Becoming a Minimalist....

“Your home is living space, not storage space.” 
― Francine Jay

I don't know about others but I do have an ongoing battle with trying to keep things simple i.e. less clutter. I suppose that I have been collecting knick-knacks for years hence there's quite a bit of stuff to go through and let go.

I actually started de-cluttering a couple years back. I started with my closet. When I decided to wear abaya, I gave away all of my colored clothes. Mind you, it wasn't easy. That was my first baby step.

When I looked at my closet then and saw those beautiful colored robes and dresses hanging neatly, I hesitated for a while. Then, satan started whispering in my ears that it would be a total waste to let go of all my beautiful garments and to just put it aside, in case I want to wear it again. Doubt started creeping in. What if I change my mind about wearing abaya later on? Perhaps I should keep all of my clothes just in case. I could hear my clothes calling out to me....begging me to let them stay.....

Sounds familiar? I bet you that it's the same argument we have with ourselves each time we feel like giving something away. Satan will try to convince us that we are throwing things away instead of giving away as charity.

It was something that the Wise Owl said that jarred me back to reality. He said that we should away things that we love not things that we have no use for. Plus, he said, "Don't be like the Pharaohs, who had their wealth buried with them".

"O you who have believed, indeed many of the scholars and the monks devour the wealth of people unjustly and avert [them] from the way of Allah . And those who hoard gold and silver and spend it not in the way of Allah -  give them tidings of a painful punishment."
Quran 9:34

"Muammar Ibn Abdullah narrated that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said: No one hoards but the sinner."
Hadith Muslim

Errrkk! Ok, I do not wish to be like Pharoah or a sinner. The intention is to progress and be better, not digress and be worse! I knew then that I will never wear those clothes ever again hence it was time to let go.

So, I closed my eyes, grabbed my clothes and put them in a bag without a further glance. I closed my ears to their imaginary protest. I didn't even go through them because I knew that if I did, doubts and satan will start creeping in again. Once I've done packing everything, I gave it all away.

Immediately, I felt liberated. I was free of the shackles that was imprisoning me for years. After that, it got easier. Next was my handbags, colored scarves and hijab, costume jewelleries, shoes, plates etc. The only thing that I'm still finding difficulty in letting go is my books. My precious ........

When I was suffering from post-natal depression after giving birth to my 5th child, I had this overwhelming urge to get rid of everything in the house because I felt suffocated. Luckily, my husband stopped me otherwise we would be living in an empty house now!

At that time, the mere sight of seeing things stacked made me anxious and edgy. I would be pacing around, trying to keep things out of sight or throwing things away. The funny thing was, seeing books piled high brought me comfort instead.

Now, I'm still trying to de-clutter my house and life but at a normal rate. One thing that I noticed is that my shopping bill for clothes and shoes have tremendously dropped since I started wearing abaya, much to my husband's delight!

Friday, 4 November 2016

A Good Life...

“Your definition of a good life does not have to look like everyone else thinks it should. Whatever feels right for you, whatever aligns your inside with your outside, that's what you should spend your time doing.” ― G.G. Renee Hill

A couple months ago, I met an old friend. As we sat down and catch up on things, she commented that I have a good life. Her statement made me think. 

Then I met another friend who bemoaned that she was miserable because she is single. She said that she feels lonely and longs to have a husband and family of her own. Her statement made me think.

I have met many people from all different walks of life. Some are happy and some are not but one thing that I know is...being happy is a personal choice. Only we have the power and option to make ourselves happy. If we choose to be negative and miserable then nothing will make us happy and contented. 

" Indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves"
Quran 13.11

No one has a perfect life. It may seems perfect and flawless from the outside but if you peer closer, you might see tiny cracks of imperfections. It's easier to judge from the outside. Everyone has problems. The only difference between them is how they solve their problems. I know a person who is terribly wealthy but is miserable because of an abusive husband. Another has status and recognition of peers but feels very lonely most of the time.I also know of a person who doesn't have much but has peace and tranquility in his heart. Another, living on a meagre salary but is contented and still able to support his family.

I believe that each one of us have our own journey to take. Some of us are blessed with looks, some with wealth, some with good health, some with good family relations, some with really good friends, some with good jobs. Every journey is different. Each journey has been specifically catered according to our needs and strength.

"Allah does not charge a soul except [with that within] its capacity." 
Quran 2:286

Every blessings and gift that has been given to us comes with responsibilities. Remember Uncle Ben Parker from the 'Spiderman' movie, words of wisdom ? "With great power comes great responsibility". Oh how I love that quote!

I have met people who make the best of what they have and don't have. A couple who are very close friend of mine, have been married for many years but have yet to be blessed with a child, dedicate their time and effort for charity and to do good. 

Another friend who is still single, spends her time acquiring knowledge and imparting to others. She also spends her time traveling and doing charity. 

You see, not all of us are meant to be like Maryam, mother of Prophet Isa a.s. or Khadijah r.a., the beloved wife of Prophet Muhammad pbuh. Some of us perhaps are meant to be like Aisha r.a. 

You see, there is a reason as to why we are what we are. We each have our own purpose in life so find it!

"Did you think that We had created you in play (without any purpose),"
Quran 23:115

Don't moan on the things that you don't have as probably you are not meant to have it. Not having it could also be a blessing as you'll probably be given something better. Focus on what you have and how to make the best out of it. Remember......happiness is a personal choice....