Tag Archive | peace

Let go of that which you have no control over

I’ve come across this profound advise by the great scholar Ibn Al Qayyim. So many times in life, we stress and depress ourselves over that which we have little or no control over. What seems like such a simple thing to do, is sometimes the hardest….Leaving it in the hands of the Almighty.

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❝A friend will not (literally) share your struggles, an a loved one cannot physically take away your pain, and a close one will not stay up the night on your behalf…So look after yourself, protect it, nurture it…and don’t give life’s events more than what they are really worth…Be certain that when you break no one will heal you except you, and when you are defeated no one will give you victory except your determination…your ability to stand up again and carry on is your responsibility…Do not look for your self worth in the eyes of people; look for your worth from within your conscious…if your conscious is at peace then you will ascend high…and if you truly know yourself then what is said about you won’t harm you.

Do not carry the worries of this life… because this is for Allah…and do not carry the worries of sustenance because it is from Allah…and do not carry the anxiety for the future because it is in the Hands of Allah…

Carry one thing: How to please Allah. Because if you please Him, He Pleases you, fulfills you and enriches you. Do not weep from a life that made your heart weep…just say “Oh Allah…compensate me with good in this life and the hereafter”.

Sadness departs with a sajdah…happiness comes with a sincere du’a…Allah does not forget the good you do…nor does He forget the good you did to others and the pain you relieved them from…Nor will He forget the eye which was about to cry but you made it laugh…

Live your life with this principle: Be good even if you don’t receive good…not because of other’s sake but because Allah loves the good doers.❞ Ibn Al Qayyim

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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…..

Is Peace Ever Attainable?

“Never before have we had so little time in which to do so much” Franklin D. Roosevelt

PeaceIf that was true in  his time, how much more accurate is it today? Sometimes the fast pace of this life just overwhelms me, and I don’t know which way to turn. I just feel so ungrounded. Peace eludes me. My fast paced life leads to various types of multitasking such as cooking dinner with my hair still wet after a shower, or working at my computer as I gulp down my lunch.

Wouldn’t it be nice to just be able to put the brakes on, and stop the mad rush for just a little while? Stepping out of the continual raging whirlwind, and into peace?

Most of us turn our tv’s or computers on the minute we wake up, or return to our homes. We are so unaccustomed to silence, and yet we wonder why we don’t feel at peace. It seems like something or someone is always either talking, beeping, buzzing, ringing, or playing music every minute of our lives. Everywhere we go, there is noise. Sometimes the music is so loud in restaurants that we can hardly talk. And now, most of our favourite eating places have also added tv’s! This has always aggravated me, because how can anyone carry on a conversation with the tv blaring? We used to talk to each other, but there’s not much opportunity anymore.

We can’t even be quiet in our cars. Tha radio is turned up loud, drivers talking on their phones and cars that now have a tv up front, by the driver. It’s insane!

City driving is another distressful event on its own! If I even hesitate a second, when the light turns green, the person behind me is already hooting for me to get a move on. Sometimes I barely have time to get my foot off the brake and onto the accelerator! (Hence my hatred for driving) Tempers flare regularly as drivers race to get an available parking space.

Is there any peace on earth?

Then there are the continual technological distractions to keep up with. Our phones aren’t just for conversations anymore. We can access the internet, take pictures and videos, play games, download music, movies and series. There’s emails, instant messaging, social media, amongst a whole lot more. Have you noticed the billboards lately? They’re no longer just a large sign way up in the sky. They look more like movie screens, with moving pictures and flashing colours. Does anyone watch the road when they’re driving anymore? Could there be more continual stimulation to our senses? Seems like everything is in perpetual motion.

Everywhere we go, there is noise, chaos, and busyness. Can we ever get a break? Not in this crazy world, where we run until we collapse. We don’t give ourselves a chance to recover, do we?

What are we all looking for? I think the overwhelming answer would have to be peace. Inner and outer peace. I’m not even sure how attainable that is, but I do know that, that is most certainly what I am missing in my life right now.

The World is not Black and White

untitledGod grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Everyone is different.

There are some differences that are simple. Some are more complex.
There are differences that are tied to self-identity. Sexual orientation, race, age, sex, background and interests. When someone has a problem with differences in these areas, it is often something that runs deep in their upbringing and is very hard to change.
Accepting differences can be difficult at times – yet – respecting others for their differences in necessary.

Why do we want everything to be our way? Because we’re human and selfish. But to progress and survive in a society, we need to be tolerant of each other, whatever the other person believes in, as far as religion or any other matter is concerned, is individual choice. The world is not black and white, and the sooner we realise that, the sooner will we see progression in our societies, and who knows, perhaps even world peace.

People are so busy disliking each other’s ways of life, that all they do is point fingers at how wrong others are, and all the positive and creative energy that the Universe has endowed us with goes to waste.People get distanced from each other due to intolerance; and when they don’t unite to work towards their betterment and that of others, the society plunges into darkness and despair. No one want to help or like anyone who does not conform to his or her own specific standards of piety or correctness.

This self-righteous attitude has never brought people together as it hurts the feelings of those who do not believe what others want them to believe. It is indeed a sad state of affairs when everyone feels they are right and others are wrong and deserves to be disrespected. If animals can live together in a jungle and respect each others rights and territories and only kill for survival, why can’t we humans, who are the most supreme species learn to live with each other in peace and harmony?

Maybe I’m writing this post after reading and watching of the horrific civilian attack in Nairobi over the weekend, I was appalled! As human beings , we are born with a free will, and have the right to choose what religion or persons we want to be associated with. If one thinks one is following the right and true path, the way to make others agree is to be an exemplary human being or try to be, so that others will automatically want to be like you. They will reform or change their opinions without one having to insult, criticize or kill for that matter.

In today’s fast changing and globally shrinking world in which different races, religions and cultures have to interact on a day-to-day basis, the only way to exist in peace is to accept and tolerate differences.