Letter From a Mother to her Daughter ♥

{ Saturday, May 5, 2012 }
Assalaamu aleykum!

I read this text on Facebook, and I wanted to share it here because it's so beautiful.

"My dear girl, the day you see I’m getting old, I ask you to please be patient, but most of all, try to understand what I’m going through.
If when we talk, I repeat the same thing a thousand times, don’t interrupt to say: “You said the same thing a minute ago”... Just listen, please. Try to remember the times when you were little and I would read the same story night after night until you would fall asleep.
When I don’t want to take a bath, don’t be mad and don’t embarrass me. Remember when I had to run after you making excuses and trying to get you to take a shower when you were just a girl?
When you see how ignorant I am when it comes to new technology, give me the time to learn and don’t look at me that way... remember, honey, I patiently taught you how to do many things like eating appropriately, getting dressed, combing your hair and dealing with life’s issues every day... the day you see I’m getting old, I ask you to please be patient, but most of all, try to understand what I’m going through.
If I occasionaly lose track of what we’re talking about, give me the time to remember, and if I can’t, don’t be nervous, impatient or arrogant. Just know in your heart that the most important thing for me is to be with you.
And when my old, tired legs don’t let me move as quickly as before, give me your hand the same way that I offered mine to you when you first walked.
When those days come, don’t feel sad... just be with me, and understand me while I get to the end of my life with love. I’ll cherish and thank you for the gift of time and joy we shared.
With a big smile and the huge love I’ve always had for you, I just want to say, I love you... my darling daughter. "

Why Aren't You Grateful? - Khutba by Nouman Ali Khan

{ Thursday, May 3, 2012 }

An excellent reminder, mashaAllah.

Mass-media: good or bad?

{ }
Assalaamu aleykum,

Recently I've been wondering if it's really beneficial for us to watch TV every day, especially the News. The thing is, they only ever report the bad things that happen in the world, and it gives a rather depressing view of the state of things. I know that media and communication is an important tool in producing change, by the means of awareness, petitions etc., and we shouldn't close our eyes for what happens in the world. But I'm an emphatic being, and my emotions really get twisted in a knot watching all these tragedies unfolding. It makes me depressed, and I just get this feeling that humankind is doomed, and that our hardships will never end. Injustice makes me angry, yet I can't do anything with these powerful feelings, because it's not in my hands. I can pray and give charity, maybe post some things on Facebook, but I don't get this empowered feeling that I can actually change something. Sometimes I think it's better to turn off the news, and to remember the world in our prayers. I believe it's better to send healing, than to have angry and sad thoughts about how there is no hope. Maybe I can't change anything in Syria, for example, but I can change things in my immediate environment, by being kind, warm and helping towards others. Maybe we should spent the energy we invest now in being sad and angry upon watching the News, on being there for the world around us: family, friends, acquaintances, nature,...Because if everyone would take this approach, maybe we can finally make a change. 

Sometimes I think the media wants to make us afraid, by constantly reminding us of the economic recession and all the other hardships of this life. Maybe it's a self-fulfilling prophecy: always talking about the economic recession, and the more people believe in it, the realer it will get. Or about the political problems we face. The list goes on, but there isn't anything positive on it. 

All this energy that gets invested in bringing negativity towards others, how can it be healthy? Why can't the news be more like: "Syria is in a bad state, but we can really make a change together. Please write towards your MP's, remember the country in your prayers, give money to organisations who can help. We can really make a change!" Instead it's more like: "Today there was another bombardment, the UN isn't doing anything, the country is doomed". I feel its very purpose is to make us feel powerless and desentisised to human tragedies. People are chatting, making jokes, reading magazines, while the news of yet another death goes by unnoticed. 

Don't become desentisised! Turn off the News, get on your knees and send your love towards those in need of it: everyone. Even send your love to Asad, the president of Syria, so that his frozen heart might melt, and he'll wake up and realise what he's doing to his people! We need more love, not more tragedy and violence! Share your money with the needy, and be a light in the lives of others. Don't let your energy be tapped away by messages of fear and hopelessness. There is always hope, always a light at the end of the tunnel! 

Allahu akbar
Allahu akbar
Allahu akbar.
God is greater!

Gems of the Week IV

{ Wednesday, May 2, 2012 }
Assalaamu aleykum,

Here are the gems of this week:

On Being an Introvert - Some thoughts with an inspirational video

Cultivate Life Transforming Habits in 21 days - How to cultivate a good habit in 21 days

On Interpreting the Qu'ran and Subjectivity - A thoughtful post by Nahida

How to Beat the Blues of a Rainy Day - A short but powerful post by Marie on how to use a rainy day to the fullest

The Importance of Healthy Boundaries Part I

{ Monday, April 30, 2012 }
If there is one thing I learned over the years, it's the importance of looking out for yourself, and listening to what your body and mind has to say. If this sounds logical, then why are there so many people who make themselves invisible in order to please others? There is nothing wrong with empathy, giving charity and being there for others, of course not. But is constantly putting others' needs before yours really what you should do? The answer is no.

For anyone who has tried to constantly please someone else, without expecting or getting anything in return, haven't you noticed how burned out you feel after a while? I'm not on about volunteering or helping the needy, because I know that helping people in need can be very rewarding. I'm on about pleasing a demanding partner or friend. Someone who always expects you to be there for them, but can't be bothered to return the favor. Someone who doesn't listen when you say no, but keeps insisting until you say yes, even if it's bad for you. Someone who constantly talks about him/herself, but never asks about you or listens when you talk about something that concerns you. Basically, someone who walks all over you and makes you forget who you really are. After a while you become so used to saying yes that you forget there is an alternative - a loud, resounding NO. The thing is, his or her needs are not more important than your own. If you think they are, if you have problems taking care of yourself, turning down an offer that's not good for you, and if you always do what the other person tells you to do, you might have a problem with setting boundaries. 

Boundary  - That which indicates or fixes a limit or extent, or marks a bound, as of a territory; a bounding or separating line; a real or imaginary limit.

That's right, a limit. A until here and no further sign. 

We might have been taught that it's bad to have limits. We might have been taught (in our early childhood or by the culprit him/herself) to always stay friendly, to make excuses for someone's behavior, to serve others and not think about our own wishes and needs, because that is "selfish".
Bad and boundary-bashing behavior can be very subtle. It might not include physical violence, but that doesn't mean it's not abuse. If someone makes you forget who you really are on the inside, what you really want in life, who your real friends are, that is abuse. It's like a vampire sucking the blood, your will to live, right out of you. 
Don't you think you at least deserve to stay you? 

So what are the signs that you are involved with someone who's bad for you? What are the signs of having problems with boundaries?

- You feel drained after you spend time with him/her. You feel like you need to take rest and emotionally recharge yourself before you can be in his/her company again.

- You feel like you always have to be concerned with his/her needs and problems. He/she makes your own needs and problems seem trivial, not worthy of attention, and certainly much less important than his/hers.

- He/she insults you, criticises you, and puts you down, even over the smallest things (like how you should do the dishes). When you do something "praiseworthy", he/she remains silent.

-  He/she makes you feel bad about yourself, and makes you feel you are so "lucky" to have him/her in your life.

- He/she puts you under pressure. He/she teaches you there are "wrong" and "right" answers to a question, and when you answer the wrong way, you get "punished". When he/she asks you a question, you are more occupied with finding the "right" answer, that pleases him/her, than to answer what is true for you.

- When someone asks you what you want in life, you have absolutely no idea. You only know what he/she expects of you, and what he/she wants for the two of you.

- He/she has a problem with fidelity. He/she needs to have his/her ego stroked on a regular basis, and by different people. He/she will flirt with other people in front of you and lie to you about how he/she told them he/she's already involved with someone and it's only "innocent". He/she likes to make other people fall in love with him/her, and will even have multiple relationships/marriages at once.

- You are afraid to express your feelings towards this person, because you don't want him/her to retaliate. You know that an emotion that he/she doesn't please, will be "punished". 

- Everything is always your fault, even is the other person hits you, cheats on you or insults you. He/she is infallible. He/she is the "good" person who puts up with your "bad" behavior, and you should kiss his/her feet and thank him/her for it. 

- You carry a lot of grudge and anger towards this person, but never know how to express it in a healthy way. When you really can't take it anymore, you have an explosion of rage in his/her presence, for which you afterwards beg for forgiveness for, because you don't want to lose him/her. 

- He/she is like an addiction to you. When you manage to break away, you always need to come back, and repeat the same mistakes, even if it hurts and makes you despise yourself.

- You mistake "passion" for insecurity, unpredictability and fear of losing someone. When you meet someone who doesn't give you these 3 things, you feel like there is no "spark".

- You feel like saying "no" to others is a bad and selfish thing, even if it hurts you to say yes.

- You consider anger a "bad" emotion, that needs to be hidden away. You don't see it as a sign that something is wrong.

- When someone asks you a question about what you want, your most common answer is "I don't know". 

- You feel ashamed about how you let other people treat you. You direct all your anger towards yourself, because *surely*  this happened because you are "weak" and "not good enough". Despite the shame, it seems impossible for you to actually change the situation and put a stop to the mistreatment. 

Interfaith Sunday: Gems from the Bible

{ Sunday, April 29, 2012 }
The Interfaith series are an acknowledgement of the Wisdom that can be found in every religion and tradition. It's an effort to unite rather than to divide. It's a moment to reach out to others and take their hand, and to say "we are one, you and I. You are part of God's beautiful creation, and so am I, so let's rejoice instead of making war. Let's learn from each other's differences instead of judging and condemning them. Come, my friend, let's learn from one another."

Here are some wonderful quotes from the Bible to reflect on. 

"I have set My rainbow in the clouds,
and it will be the sign of the covenant
between Me and the earth. "
Genesis 9:13 

"Two are better than one...
If the one falls,
the other will lift up his companion."
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

"Let all that you do
be done in love. "
1 Corinthians 16:14

"The LORD will guide you continually...
and you shall be like a watered garden,
like a spring of water,
whose waters never fail. "

Isaiah 58:11


"Blessed are they who mourn,
for they will be comforted."
Matthew 5:4

"And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justly.
To love mercy,
And to walk humbly with your God? "

Micah 6:8


"...Be strong and of good courage;
do not be afraid, nor be dismayed,
for the Lord your God is with you

wherever you go. "

Joshua 1:9
"Ask, and it will be given to you;
seek, and you will find;
knock, and it will be opened to you. "
Matthew 7:7


"...let us love one another,
because love is from God;

everyone who loves is born of God

and knows God. "

1 John 4:7

Love is patient,love is kind.
It does not envy, it does not boast,
it is not proud.
It is not rude, it is not self-seeking
it is not easily angered,
it keeps no record of wrongs
Love does not delight in evil 
but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, 
always trusts, 
always hopes, 
always perseveres"
I Corinthians 13:4-7


Who provides for the raven his food
When his young ones cry unto God?
Job 38:41

Beautiful Fayruz

{ Friday, April 27, 2012 }
Lately I've come to really appreciate Lebanese singer Fayruz. I think her music is beautiful and relaxing. For that I'd like to share a song of her now and then on my blog. Enjoy! =)

يا قمر على دارتنا يا حكاية سهرتنا يللي فتنتنا حلوة يا جارتنا
يا قمر على دارتنا عتلالك ليلتنا رقصة حملتنا و صوبك أخدتنا
شفناك ميلنا بهالليل و سألنا
تاريك حاببنا و ما بتقول شو زعلنا
و القمر على دارتنا حكاياتو بسهرتنا رقصة حملتنا و صوبو أخدتنا
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