Tag Archive | Love

Asma al Husna (Beautiful Names Of Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) Al Afuww

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Asma – Names
Husna – Beautiful
Therefore the Asma al Husna is the Beautiful names of Allah SWT

Why is this topic important?
– It makes us know our creator  Allah SWT better.
– Increases our love towards Allah SWT
– Encourage us to worship Him more
– Makes us desperate to see Him
– Makes us ashamed to disobey Him
– To enter Jannah:
“Prophet Muhammad PBUH said: “God has ninety-nine Names…whoever
believes in their meanings and acts accordingly will enter Paradise.”

Allah has given Himself the most beautiful names in the Holy Quran. They are 99 in number, and the 100th is Allah itself.
Last year sometime, I attended a beautiful workshop on the Asma al Husna. We were guided to look for the names of Allah SWT in our daily lives. When asked how many of us sees Allah SWT, baffled of course, none of responded that we did. After going through a few of Allah SWT names, their virtues, meanings and benefits, it was then that one realises how Allah SWT is ever-present, all the time, if only we opened our eyes to witness this marvel.

I will be doing short series of posts on the Beautiful names of Allah SWT in the coming weeks, as a reminder to myself first, that God is ever-present in our lives, regardless of what situations we might be facing.

The name Al Afuww The Pardoner
I woke up this morning and found myself chanting Al Afuww Ya Allah, Al Afuww Ya Allah. I immediately felt connected to The Pardoner and felt the need to write about it.

What is the difference between Oft-Pardoning Al Afuuw & All-Forgiving Al
Gafoor?
Oft-Pardoning and All-Forgiving are two of God’s Beautiful Names, but pardon is greater than forgiveness, why? Forgiveness implies God conceals sins in life and on Judgement Day and He does not even punish one for his sins, though they are not erased or removed from one’s Deeds Record.
Pardoning sins implies one’s sins are totally erased from his Deeds Record as God has removed all of their traces.

Conclusion
Pardon others so that God may pardon you! Forgive and pardon others; it is that simple! Be tolerant and generous! If somebody oppresses you, be you a man or woman, pardon them for the pleasure of Allah SWT.

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My Unplanned Sabbatical Year

2016 turned out to be, what I now call, my unplanned sabbatical year. A year that was by far one of my best years yet.

After relocating to Cape Town from Johannesburg at the end of 2015, I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do with my life. The two things that I did know was, 1) I do not want to get back into the corporate world and 2) I want to be a housewife (very ambitious, I know). The housewifery wasn’t my long-term plan, but I figured what better way to start the new year in a new city.

So how did I spend my year?

Doing the things that I love.

The Kitchen
The one room in my home that makes me completely happy. I’ve spent day in and day out cooking up a storm and experimenting with new tastes and flavours. I must admit that it didn’t always work out, but at least I’ve tried it by putting it through the test. Over the years, I’ve developed a love for cooking and it to be the most therapeutic “chore”.

Spiritual Enhancement
2017-02-17_12-45-52For many people spirituality does not coexist with religion. I consider myself to be quite fortunate as I was able to explore my spirituality through religion. Last year, I’ve experienced the best Ramadaan ever. Even though we were nowhere close to family, the whole experience was moving. I looked forward mostly to Taraweeh (special evening prayers are conducted in Ramadaan, during which long portions of the Qur’aan are recited) and I longed for it most when Ramadaan bade farewell. The highlight for me however, was a ladies programme I attended, where I was in an audience of 4000 women! Let’s just say that once I’ve left the veils from my eyes were lifted!

Me, Myself and I
When you’ve been married for as long as I have been, you never really have reason to do things alone. Besides, I was never really comfortable with it anyway. With Mr. M at work, I didn’t have a choice but to do things alone. There was no one around to grab a coffee with or take up yoga classes. I’ve learnt to enjoy my own company. When I had weekends to myself, I would meander through markets by myself, as if it was the most normal thing for me to do.

Stop, Drop and Yoga
I’ve always had a keen interest in yoga practice. I’ve just never had the time to take it seriously. I’ve started under a yogi while in Johannesburg, but the enthusiasm soon fizzled out.

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With all the time I had on my hands, I decided to take up classes, which I’m pleased to say is still part of my life. In the beginning, yoga was just about the poses and trying to fold myself into pretzels. Until I realised that the goal is to create space where you were once stuck. To unveil the layers of protection you’ve built around your heart. To appreciate your body and become aware of the mind and the noise it creates. To make peace with who you are. But mostly, it was about going to my mat and feeling, not accomplishing.

A Book or Three
My deep love for books stems from when I was a child. The first book I’ve ever owned was “The Gingerbread Man”, which was gifted to me at my pre-school graduation. My favourite book would have to be the children’s classic “Heidi” by Johanna Spyri. I still sometimes dream about living in the Swiss Alps.
I’ve spent so much time reading last year, that at one point, I felt like the characters in my books were my friends. I’ve made a little reading nook in my bedroom, and winter afternoons became my most treasured moments when I was lost in a book.

Take me to Nature
There is a wealth of natural wonders to see and experience in this city. From hiking up mountains, chasing waterfalls, swimming in dams, long walks on the beach, Cape Town is definitely a city worth showing off its natural beauty. I’ve always been in touch with nature, but my first year in Cape Town really connected me to nature.2017-02-17_12-49-00

I’ve had to deal with many frustrations. Not knowing what I really wanted to do with my life. Doubting whether or not we made the right decision to move. In hindsight, I should have savored every minute of that time, as I now believe that I was exactly where I needed to be. My unplanned sabbatical year prepped me for my new journey, even though I had no idea at the time what that was…..

Life is short…..

imagesCAFKQ0BJOne of the most common clichés of all time right? Right. It’s short, simple, and when overused, we sometimes stop realising the true meaning of it….it’s truth.

On January 2nd, I lost a friend. 30 years young. And although we stayed in contact, I haven’t seen her in 7 years. We lived about 50km apart, and every time she wanted us to get together, I always had an excuse. There will always be next time right? Wrong. The next time I would see her, was at her funeral. Her passing made me realise, that time should not be taken for granted. No one knows how much time we have left.

Over the past two months, there has been very few days when I scrolled my facebook feed, and didn’t come across a young life that was tragically lost. Young people. People like us. People who have their whole lives ahead of them, who has all the time in the world to chase their dreams. But they never had that time, none of us do. It’s an illusion. Our lives are short. We think we really grasp this but we don’t. It should terrify us, as  it terrifies me sometimes in the stillness of the night, when it seems no one else is terrified but me!

Every day, that we are given, is a gift. Regardless of your religious beliefs or lack thereof, our time on earth is limited. Nothing is guaranteed. Nothing is permanent. We spend time and money as though we’ll always be here. We buy shiny things as though they’re worth the stress of attachment. We put off the “once in a lifetime” activities/adventures/trips because we believe we’ll be around next year to do it. We don’t tell the ones we love how much we love them often enough because we assume there’s always tomorrow. And we fear. Oh, do we fear. We stick it out in miserable jobs and situations because we’re afraid of the risk of stepping out. We don’t reach high enough or far enough because we’re worried we’ll fail, forgetting – or never realising – that it’s better to fail spectacularly while reaching for the stars than it is to succeed at something we never really wanted in the first place.

imagesCAKG2G42We think we’ve got forever and that these concerns that weigh us down are so pressing. We worry about the trivial, to the neglect of the most precious thing we have: moments we’ll never see again. We talk of killing time, passing time, and getting through the week, forgetting we’re wishing away the moments that comprise our lives. We say time is money when in fact the time we have is ALL we have. Money can be borrowed, time can’t. We fear taking risks, unaware that the biggest risk we run in playing it safe is in fact living as long as we hope and never doing the things we dreamed of. And then it’s too late. We watched our favourite TV shows, we fought a losing battle with our weight, we picked up the guitar once in a while and never quite started the spanish language course we wanted to do. We managed to get a large flatscreen and new cars once in a while, but the list of things we would have done if we could really, truly could have done anything, kept growing. And we never did them.

Life is short. Don’t just exist, Live! Treasure every moment. Tell the people you love that you love them. Be aware of who and what you spend your time on. Make the most of every day. Lastly….be thankful that you’re alive, and that you have another day to live your best life.

 

In memory of Farzahnah Patel. RIP my dear friend.

 

31 Life Lessons I’ve Learned in 31 Years

imagesCA5E29WHIt’s almost that time of the year, where I bid farewell to me being just 30 and saying hello to “30-something”. I remember my pre thirty meltdown I had last summer. (Looking back, I think I was just a tad bit too over dramatic). With that being said, this year, I’m embracing this change of age thing. I am not anywhere close to where I thought I would be at this age, or wanted to be. However, I do believe, that I’m right where I should be.

A week ago, I’ve decided to write down what are life lessons to me, that I’ve learned over my 31 years of life. This was way easier than I thought it would be, given that most of these lessons were really learned in the past year.

1. We must love….with all your heart. If you’re afraid to love because you might get hurt, then you might as well not live because you are going to die. Love is beautiful and free.

2. Love is not enough. It’s important to not just love, but also show love. The people we love needs to see it as much as they need to feel it.

3. Forgive not just the people who has hurt us, but forgive yourself. For past mistakes, past regrets. We would not be who we are had we not made those mistakes. If God can forgive us, why can’t we forgive ourselves.

4. Happiness is Internal “Happiness is a journey, not a destination; happiness is to be found along the way not at the end of the road, for then the journey is over and it’s too late. The time for happiness is today not tomorrow.” ~ Quoted by Paul H Dunn [read more]

5. Value family I might have not had the opportunity to choose them, but we are perfectly placed together. We have disagreements, we are all unique in our ways, but this bunch of people are the only ones who are going to be there for you when no one else will be. Cherish them.

6. Treasure friendships/relationships these people are my family, with no blood relations. They’re the people I don’t have to see every weekend to keep our friendship alive, and when we do see each other, nothing has changed, the friendship has not struggled because of time not spent together.

7. Quality over quantity I’ve learned that when it comes to friends, I’ve learned that less is more. A few close friends offer more support than a crowd of acquaintances. There are only a handful of friends I keep close to my heart and who truly understand and support me without a trace of judgment. Anyone else usually just joins me for happy hour. I don’t really need no new friends….

8. Give generously My dad always said to us, “Give with your right hand, in such a way that the left hand doesn’t even know”. Give with your heart, no one needs to know how much you do or for whom.

9. Energy is palpable be the positive! Have you ever met someone who is so negative, that you can feel your energy being drained when they speak, or a person who such a great aura to to them, that you can feel life being blown into you with every word that they utter? Be that person. Think only positive thoughts, and speak only positive words.

10. Define Success on your own terms ignore the standard one-size-fits all approach and live from a place of truth and knowing. Success might mean money or power to some. That doesn’t necessarily have to define your success. To me, true success means finding and living out my unique life’s purpose.

11. Take care of your health now, or prepare for illness later. Truth is, all the money in the world cannot buy more or new health. It’s our one principal capital asset, invest in it wisely.

12. Not everyone will like you, and if they do, they’re not necessarily your friend.

13. I am not the center of the universe, it’s incredibly difficult to think about the world from a perspective other than our own. We are always worried about what’s going on in our lives. What does my schedule look like today? What if I lose my job? Why am I overweight? Why am I not happy with my life? What did I do to deserve this? If you can consciously remove yourself – remove your perspective – from a situation, then you can see the world through a different set of eyes. Thus, the world can take on a different meaning.

14. Do not carry the past with you. It has everything to do with forgiveness. Carrying this burden with you, does nothing but weigh you down. It makes you a bitter person. You have the choice to let it go, or letting it haunt you for the rest of your days.

15. It’s Ok to not be Ok No, really, it is Ok. I know bad days don’t last forever, so it’s Ok to have an off one.

16. Embracing Silence is a way of developing a deeper connection with yourself and with others. Shut off the phone more, turn down the radio volume, or simply spend more time listening instead of talking.

17. Be thankful….. for everything. Count your blessings, and by blessings I don’t mean material possessions.

18. Live in the moment, the here and now, that is all that is guaranteed right? We have no assurance of waking tomorrow.

19. How you speak of others is how you feel about yourself. In fact, your perception of the entire world echoes how you feel about your own life. If you have nothing good to say about others, then best keep quiet.

20. Never go to bed angry with your partner. A piece of advise that came from my mum. And I fully agree with it. No argument or difference should be carried overnight. Clean out each day as it comes along, so when you shut your eyes at night, everything has been cleaned up. Life is precious….and uncertain.

21. Slow down! What’s the rush anyway. Life moves at such a fast pace that it seems to pass us by before we can really enjoy it. Slowing down is a conscious choice, and not always easy, but it leads to a great appreciation for life and a greater level of happiness.

22. Let go of past hurts, the past, clutter, grudges, toxic people, negativity, anger, guilt, worrying about the future, stress. Again, these things just pull us down, it poisons our souls. Let It Go!

23. Don’t do things you don’t like just to please someone else or because everyone else is doing it. I hate watching movies at a cinema. It’s cold, uncomfortable and dark. I don’t go because I don’t like it. However, if there’s a movie I really, really want to watch, I make the sacrifice.

24. Have a bucket list and as you scratch items off, add new ones

25. The power of prayer. Never underestimate the power of prayer. Regardless of your religion, or manner in which we pray, every day should be started in prayer.

26. Learn to say No! True freedom is experienced when we’re able to say no without feeling guilty. Stop being the people pleaser by committing to more than you’re aware of.

27. Live simply. Simple? no, not that simple. Living simply is paring away – stuff, obligations, expectations, people. It’s removing all the glut and rubble from your life, making space in your house, your heart, your brain and your life for exactly and only what you need. It’s getting down to the core of things and returning to a way of living that most of us can only vaguely remember; pleasures that don’t cost tons of money, rewards you don’t have to buy in stores, amusements that don’t require a screen.

28. Turn off the TV and read a book. In the Last Lecture Dr. Randy Pausch makes mention of how TV is mankind’s greatest time-waster. Cut your Tv time in half and start making time to do the things you love. Read a book instead. Not only do you stimulate your brain, but you learn more about things that interest you. No better place to find inspiration than in the pages of a book.

29. Judging people is harmful….to me. We do or have done this from time to time. I have now just become better at noticing when I’m doing it. What I’ve found is that when I waste my time on judging people, I am robbing myself from enjoying my here and now. Judging becomes harmful to me because in judging others; I’m ignorant of what the person is going through, I have unrealistic expectations of people, I think I’m superior to other’s. When I’m overcome with these feelings, it stops me from judging, sort of keeps me grounded.

30. Enjoy your own company and you will never be lonely. I enjoy my own company now more than I have ever before. I recall seeing people having lunch by themselves and always felt sorry for them….for being alone. I now realise what a privilege it is to be at that point of comfort with yourself, where sitting down to a cup of tea, in a crowded cafe is absolutely normal.

31. I’m still trying to figure it all out…And while I do that, I will live life beautifully

 

Self – Trust

3504915627_5f034371f81As women, we sometimes fall into the trap of letting others control us, help us make decisions. We do this for various reasons, but what I have personally discovered, is that the common cause of this is lack of self-trust.

When we lose that self-trust, we begin to listen to others, who might not always have our best interests at heart. Surely they might love us and want what’s best for us, but the truth is, they simply don’t know.

How could they know?

After all, you are the only person who know’s what’s best for you. You’re the only one who knows what you want. But if you give your power away due to lack of self-trust, who know’s where you would end up in your life.

In order for you to live your best life you must, totally, without a doubt, trust yourself. You are going to have to make hard decisions in your life that are going to require that you listen to yourself.

144011-425x282-spiritual-woman-meditatingIn about the first two years of my marriage, I was so focused on doing “the right thing”, that I totally lost my self-trust. Perhaps it was because I’ve messed up in the past, made some mistakes and took chances that didn’t work out. I needed constant reassurance regarding decisions that I had to make. I do not regret any of the decisions that I have made, it’s just that I have grown now, grown to a point where I can stand up for what I believe in, trust myself wholly. We’re now at a point in our marriage, where we’re each other’s cheerleaders, sidekicks. Where we can focus on ourselves and what’s important to us as individuals, yet still have an incredible support system.

The only way to gain back that trust, is by acting on your beliefs. If you believe in something with all your heart, don’t ask people what they think. Don’t second guess yourself because it seems scary and uncomfortable.

Nothing will help us overcome our fear of the unknown except trust in ourselves. Build a deep, loving relationship with yourself, built around trust and appreciation. No one else is going to do it for you.

Images: Google.com

Our Fallen Hero – Oscar

2012 Virgin Active Sports Industry AwardsJust a week ago, Oscar Pistorius was just the “Blade Runner” to every South African, double amputee Paralympic medalist and first amputee runner to compete in the Olympic Games, an inspiration to millions all over the world. The positive approach that he has is incredible. He was once quoted saying “You’re not disabled by the disabilities you have, you are able by the abilities you have”

 
And then, last Thursday February 14 2013, Oscar was painted with a different brush.On the 8am news bulletin, I heard that Oscar has accidentally shot and killed his girlfriend, mistaking her for a burglar! And the first thing I though was what a terrible tragedy. With each news bulletin, a different version of the alleged murder was revealed.
Within hours, social networks were flooded with comments, remarks, and jokes about the runner. People simply forgetting that a life was lost! Forgetting that Reeva Steenkamp was someone’s daughter! Forgetting that just months ago, we set glued to television sets, waiting anxiously to watch Oscar participate at the Olympics.

Then I had an epiphany – We find it easier to deal with fiction, than it is dealing with the truth. Maybe that’s how many people react to shock. And shock was the emotion that was felt by every South African as well as myriads around the world.
It’s been five days since the news broke to the world, and it’s unbelievable as to how many “incidents” about the runners’ personal life is surfacing; His love for fast cars, wild animals and guns. Is that not typical male interest? But do we admire a man who keeps a machine gun in the house? Whether he killed his girlfriend accidentally or deliberately?

Limiting ourselves to his behaviour on the track, many people lost some admiration for him at the London Paralympic games. He was beaten fairly by a Brazilian athlete, and his immediate response was to accuse his rival of cheating. There was no cheating. After a word from his team,(no doubt mentioning his $2 million a year sponsorship deals), backtracking followed, and an apology was made. But some of us wondered why, exactly, we were expected to admire this person.

Sportspeople are routinely held up as role models or, when they fall short, regarded as people who have fallen short and stopped being the role models that they surely could be. Sport is at the centre of our moral universe, sportspeople are a force for good. Everyone should admire and emulate them, right?

It would be easy to say that people like Pistorius are rare: that most sports stars offer great role models to young people. But then there is Lance Armstrong, barely apologising after years of drug-taking and violent threats against people in cycling who were the slightest bit curious.
Tiger Woods, and his infamous cheating scandal. There is John Terry, who was captain of the England football team when he was found to have called Anton Ferdinand a “fucking black c**t” – And after the hero’s career is over? The role model may end up like Mike Tyson?

Of course, sport is full, too, of decent and honourable people. With the likes of Pele, doing great things for Africa. David Beckham, clearly he thinks of how he can behave well, to society as well as to his family. They are worth our admiration. But then, seriously – OJ Simpson? Diego Maradona?

Aiming to find role models in sport is a dangerous business. Sportsmen seem no better behaved on the whole than any other segment of the entertainment business, with the distinction that strippers, on the whole, don’t talk piously about their duty to be “role models” or how much everyone admires them when they are arrested for killing their partners.
But even if the topic of our admiration is as well-behaved as anyone might wish, is it really the best object to present to our children for their aspiration? Children should be encouraged into libraries, to extra-mural studies, to regard revolutionaries, poets, painters, thinkers, doctors, professionals as their heroes worthy of their aspiration. They will most likely lead useful and productive lives.

The individual case is terribly sad – a young woman has been killed, and proves that the abuse of women occurs across all boundaries, irrespective of ethnic groups, or socio economic statuses. Perhaps, as the story unfolds and the court comes to its conclusion, we could wonder whether we really want to present this culture as anything worth aspiring to, or even taking much interest in.

(THIS IS MY PERSONAL OPINION)

Open Letter to my Husband

Four years ago today, we became husband and wife. At 25 and 26, we were just madly in love. We didn’t know a lot back the, but we knew one thing for certain; we belonged together. And now, four years later, I can say with absolute certainty, that the past four years has been the best of my life.

I don’t tell you this as often as I should, but I love being your wife. In fact, I am proud to be your wife. You continue to amaze me year after year with your ability to selflessly love me. Like when you insist on starting dinner (even though you’re tired), so I can have an early shower and relax.

You would do anything for me. You put up with me and my shenanigans day in and day out. Like my unexplained moodiness, and for that, you deserve more than a blog post; you deserve a trophy.

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You were always the one telling me “you can” when I didn’t think I could, the one telling me “you will” when I didn’t think I would. You have supported me through every new venture I’ve taken on (and they change very frequently), all without blinking an eye or making me feel guilty. From pushing me to get my diploma in events management, to auditioning for Masterchef, and the list goes on and on! I would not be where I am today, doing what I’m doing, and chasing my dreams, if it were not for you. That is a fact. You have been my rock, my coach in the corner, my confidence builder, and my daily encouragement, for four whole years. Thank you for believing in me, and helping me believe in myself.

We’re on a new journey now, you and I, and there’s nobody I’d rather be learning and sharing with than you. We might be great apart, but we’re even better together.

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You’re an amazing friend, and even better husband. Our marriage is far from perfect,but I honestly believe it gets better and better with each passing day. Thank you for loving me the way you do. Here’s to growing old and grey together! I love you Mr M, always have and always will!

Happy Anniversary