Tough and Blessed times ahead!

My beloved 6 day old son.

You lie beside me still and serene. I am only melting away with worries now. They say welcome to motherhood.

I knew the moment labor set in, that parenting would be tougher than this.  So it has begun. I want the best for you. I want to name you in most beloved of ways to Allah. I want everything around you free of evil. I can’t stand shallow conversations going in around you. I have been crying over this again and again. When adults don’t act like adults, it really bothers me.

Oh whenever you read this, know that I love you. Each contraction shook me from my core. It reminded me of one thing: parenting. Tarbiyah. Leadership. The pain that a mother handles on her own and cannot even express it. The pains are wild; but the expression? The expression has to be in deep, long breaths as the OB guides. So that is life. So much turmoil hiding inside.

Yes, about gratitude. I thought I was going to die with the pain when you popped out of me. Amazing. I know you’re such a beautiful soul. And that’s the thing about pain. You get so exhausted with suffering and just when you think that it is going to last forever and you’re doomed, Allah SWT reveals the miracle decreed for you. Alhamdulilah.

You have been blessed! A healthy, normal and active child. That is such a blessing. Even during the last contraction, I was scared if you will cry or not. Allah SWT eased everything.

You are on fitrah. You are a pure soul; I have wronged myself and the purity I was born with is tainted with misdeeds.

Once again, I just want to remind you that I have my shortcomings. But I love you. The most pure form of love!

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The Best 10 Days of Worship and Sacrifice

1st Dhul Hijjah here in Pakistan. 2017.

I am going to hold you in my arms soon. Writing my last until you come out from your sanctuary  (my womb) now.

I hope I can do justice to motherhood and parenting. These are the greatest days son; the greatest days that I prayed to have you in them. Just yesterday the doctor said, I still have to wait but Allah is Al Mujeeb, As Samee. He is near.

May Allah protect you from every kind of evil and may you actualize the good inside you.

Love,

Mother.

70 years of Independence!

I can’t stand stereotypes haunting our homes,

I can’t stand prejudices burning our family system

I can’t tolerate mental breakdowns increasing by the day

I can’t see women and children suffering

I can’t see male chauvinism in the name of religion

I don’t like the look of materialism and narcissism in the streets

I can’t digest commercialized education and health system

I can’t understand hypocrisy disguised

I can’t stand religious freedom being criticised

Cultural slavery optimized

Narcissism growing inside

Submission to Almighty considered a choice!

Freedom. 70 years of freedom.

We can’t run from the shadows of our misdeeds

From the ghosts of broken family ties

From the ills of shamelessness and modernism

Gender bias enlightens the streets

Childhood glamorization spicing up the prices

Inflation at every nook and corner

Every family torn down with mourners

The wise look for solutions to ailments

Each level is distorted

Each home is divided

National, community, family or individual

Darkness increases by the day

Where will true freedom creep in from?

The Book lying in our homes untouched

The message dying out of ignorance and lust

The insignificance of the message in the streets and systems

Magnifying the deception of this world

Minimizing the reality of the next.

Read in the Name of Your Lord

Iqra.

For every social ailment, Iqra.

Open the Book and start today.

The solution lies in the Book right away.

End your perceptions of dismay.

Heal the streets, the systems and the bias.

Address the narcissism, the shamelessness and nervous breakdowns

Talk to your Lord

Read and feel being understood.

He knows.

He knows independence and freedom.

Heal from within.

Celebrate independence from the dunya.

Celebration begins in Paradise.

Strive to solve the stereotypes!

 

Letter-X

لَقَدْ خَلَقْنَا الْإِنسَانَ فِي أَحْسَنِ تَقْوِيمٍ

Verily, We created man of the best stature (mould) (95:4)

لَقَدْ خَلَقْنَا الْإِنسَانَ فِي كَبَدٍ

We have certainly created man into hardship. (90:4)

I have been thinking about these verses since a while now. I hesitated to write to you; my morale has its highs and lows. Looking around other kids and parents and the struggles of this dunya, I was so worried about nurturing you. I AM worried actually. You’re growing up, All Praise is to Allah. You are due in a month’s time. Whenever I feel slight contractions or cramps, I feel like I am not prepared enough.

I haven’t been able to meet my goals. I just sometimes wish out if frustration to destroy the idols of fitnah (trials and temptations) around me. I wish that Allah blesses you with an intellect unshakeable; the world is ruthless son. The evil in it is so powerful that it will go long ways to keep reality hidden from you.

Who else can I think of, apart from you when reading the following verse?

اعْلَمُوا أَنَّمَا الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا لَعِبٌ وَلَهْوٌ وَزِينَةٌ وَتَفَاخُرٌ بَيْنَكُمْ وَتَكَاثُرٌ فِي الْأَمْوَالِ وَالْأَوْلَادِ ۖ كَمَثَلِ غَيْثٍ أَعْجَبَ الْكُفَّارَ نَبَاتُهُ ثُمَّ يَهِيجُ فَتَرَاهُ مُصْفَرًّا ثُمَّ يَكُونُ حُطَامًا ۖ وَفِي الْآخِرَةِ عَذَابٌ شَدِيدٌ وَمَغْفِرَةٌ مِّنَ اللَّهِ وَرِضْوَانٌ ۚ وَمَا الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا إِلَّا مَتَاعُ الْغُرُورِ

Know that the life of this world is but amusement and diversion and adornment and boasting to one another and competition in increase of wealth and children – like the example of a rain whose [resulting] plant growth pleases the tillers; then it dries and you see it turned yellow; then it becomes [scattered] debris. And in the Hereafter is severe punishment and forgiveness from Allah and approval. And what is the worldly life except the enjoyment of delusion (57:20)

I seek refuge for you for your entire life from amusement, diversion, adornment, boasting and competition i.e. La’ib, lahw, zeenah, tafakhur and takathur. I wish I could explain the deceptive nature of this world to you while you’re in your crib sleeping beside me. I wish I could get these verses engraved in your soul. I can’t see you stuck in boasting, materialism, deviant amusement and useless entertainment. It drains the soul and eeman gets withered within the heart.

Music, entertainment, boasting, useless comparisons and competition in dress and wealth have made me old. These evils make a soul old and woe-be-gone.

When a person indulges in these and forgets Allah SWT, he/she has ignored the reality of the birth of a human being. One, man was born in the best stature and man was born in toil.

Don’t fall for ease and comfort. You’re gonna come into this world, breathing your first in toil as well. Each phase will have its hardship. If you read the urdu translation of 90:4, it means that because a man was born in the perfect balance, he has the potential to ace hardships. But he/she forgets about the potential, wishes for a life of blind ease and falls in the five traps of dunya mentioned in 57:20.

I can’t let you waste your blessings, the power of your mind and soul in those 5 things no matter 99% of the world is indulged into such things. I can’t let you waste your senses to useless disobedience.

I miss you without you being born.

I haven’t read to you much as I had planned. May Allah out power in my word and deed so that I can nurture you through His guidance, the Qur’an.

I love you very much.

I hope I can do justice to motherhood.

Love,

Mama.

 

Standing on a Bridge, Aspiring to New Vistas

I can relate to each word!

Sadaf's Space

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَـنِ الرَّحِيمِ

Perhaps some have been wondering where/how I am?

And, maybe why/to where I seem to have disappeared? Why you are seeing less of me?

Yes, I will admit, things in my life are different now.

However, this change did not happen overnight.

Life has a way of throwing surprises at you. As you grow older and become more mature, many things tend to become clearer.

Let me emphasize one thing, though: not everyone grows ‘up’ as they grow older. And not everyone learns from their mistakes. And certainly not everyone benefits from deep insights and life-altering lessons acquired from pondering upon the Qur’an.

However, today I want to talk about how I increasingly seem to find myself slowly crossing a bridge between two lives, or two worlds it seems, if I choose to look at it that way.

At an age going on 40 (I turn…

View original post 4,839 more words

Heartfelt-Letter IX

Asalam o alaikum.

Hope you are healthy there. Last three days been careless with dietary choices. I am heart broken at the departure of Ramadan. I haven’t talked to you about it much; I tried to fast (except a few days) despite having the leave from Allah SWT for His Pleasure and out of awe and fear of His displeasure. The joy that this month brings to a believer is priceless.

My last few Eids have been different; that’s the essence of life. Struggle. Waging Jihad inside and trying to smile on the front; pretending everything is smooth and calm.

Pain is bittersweet; it brings you closer to Allah. But the test lies in not letting the positivity go. The frequency of dua shouldn’t decrease despite the controversial circumstances. These are big things; I am sorry I can’t be someone who will talk about her wishes and desires for her children and keep it all “disney”. Candies, clothes, cars- that all is capitalism in disguise and I don’t want your standards of wisdom be so low.

Next Ramadan, I will have you with me in sha Allah. Before your birth, I am praying day and night to Allah SWT about a thing that gnaws at my heart everyday.

I am still unprepared; many must be preparing their hospital bag but I am worried about you. Allah SWT has created you perfectly. You have complete belief systems inside you; I am scared of ruining them or being reckless in letting you be governed by sources that shake one’s mere belief system.

The point of sharing my fears with you is to express love. They aren’t meant to be a source of pressure or burden. Another purpose to share my fears with you is to instill the love of deen in you. I pray I acquire the skills well before time.

Eid this year will again be hard; hard because it is difficult to look serene and satisfied on the outside. May Allah grant me patience and gratitude.

The way I share my core concerns and weaknesses with you today, I am looking forward to a heartfelt from you as soon as you gain the skills to talk.

 

Love you.

Gotta go.

Mama.

Eating with Awareness-Letter VIII

Asalam o Alaikum.

You’re growing up Alhamdulilah.

On and off, guilt and regret set in. Before marriage, whenever I thought of motherhood, I could’ve never imagined eating carelessly. I have ignored and not utilized the knowledge Allah SWT gave me about holistic health and nutrition. I prayed for beneficial knowledge and Allah SWT gave me access to various Prophetic Medicine and Holistic health resources which busted many mainstream, conventional myths but then I got weak in motivation and was influenced by people around me.

I wanted to share with you two ayaahs from the Quran that are on my mind since I am getting high blood sugar scores day and night since a few days. Through my carelessness, I am able to reflect over them with more focus and attention.

 “[ Allah said], “O messengers, eat from the good foods and work righteousness. Indeed, I, of what you do, am Knowing.”

This ayah is number 51 in Surah Muminoon, the 23rd Surah of the Quran. Firstly, this is a command. Secondly, it is being given to the Messengers. The Messengers were wise and healthy in each of their era then why did Allah SWT had to command then to eat of the Tayyib (good) foods? Thirdly, the link between righteous deeds and good foods is absolutely clear in the ayah mentioned above.

Hence, I have wronged myself when I have not taken care of my health instead of listening to my body, I have submitted to my desires.

Farhat Hashmi in her lecture explains the phenomenon in the same light. Remember the ayah is coming from the chapter titled “The Believers”. A believer ought be mindful when eating; he/she has to determine if the food is nutritious, healthy, hygienic and pure (meaning of tayyib).

I kept ignoring my instincts and gave in to the social pressures that come with eating and let the anxiety of the last 3 to 4 years take over me.

Son, this isn’t good. This is a weakness. I want to share my weaknesses with you too not just highlight strengths. It is by overcoming weaknesses, that people become warriors of strong will.

 

Whenever my sugar levels soar high, I think of you. I am sorry. Parenthood began from the womb and I have been careless.

I have learnt the most about health and wellness from Dr Shagufta Feroz’s work, Tibb e Nabwi texts (Prophetic Medicine), thorough research of my own, digging into journal after journal to reach the truth of the matter. May Allah open the reality of the world for you along with the medical and the food industry quite earlier in life.

I want to educate you about everything under my control or knowledge. Don’t take that as a burden. I have climbed a few steps up; when your senses are fully develop, you can take my hand and teach me as well. I am open for correction. I love you very much.

I hope my mindless attitude towards health would not impact you in anyway. I will repent and true repentance erases every wrong doing.

You’re going to be such an amanah-a trust that the reckoning sometimes scares me to the core.

I hope and pray your father also realizes the magnanimity of this amanah. Satirically speaking, there will always be gender differences.

Before I end the letter, ponder over the second ayah. It is one of the most profound ayahs. Everytime I make a mistake, I quickly think about the dua that Allah SWT, our Creator, taught Prophet Adam a.s Himself.

رَبَّنَا ظَلَمْنَآ اَنْفُسَنَا وَإِنْ لَمْ تَغْفِرْ لَنَا وَتَرْحَمْنَا لَنَكُونَنَّ مِنَ الْخٰسِرِينَ

Our Lord! We have wronged ourselves, and if you do not forgive us and have mercy upon us, we will surely be amongst the losers. (Al-A’raf:23)

May Allah endear Faith to you, beautify deen in your heart and make disbelief, transgression, shamelessness and immorality hateful to you.

Love,

Mother.

Acceptance….

Accept me as I have transformed

May Allah make you the leader of Al-Mutaqqun

Understand the turmoil I go through

I miss my crown;

I want to please my Creator

I want to be on the path of Messenger’s daughters and wives

May Allah enter you into the light of the verses of Ahzab and Nur

I miss my crown.

Hold my hand and accept me.

Accept me as I have transformed.

The expression of your love is empty without acceptance.

The expression of my love is in prostration.

Accept my transformation.

I miss my crown.

Please don’t frown.

That’s my identity there.

I have bidden farewell to my youth of ignorance.

The Book I read, gave me the willpower to wear the crown.

It is about us; it is not about me anymore.

I miss my crown.

Why doesn’t it give you a spiritual uplift?

Why do you feel bad about it?

It is my crown.

It is time to bridge differences.

It is time for acceptance.

Time for gratitude and prostration.

I can’t see myself lost in nothingness.

I am a warrior like those female companions.

Hold my hand, like you mean it, oh Qawwam.

Accept me as I have transformed.

The expression of love is through worship.

For the most memorable day in my life

It was when you stood by me

When I wore my crown.

That moment lasted a few minutes.

I miss my crown.

Together in worship and submission.

Together forever.

Distant in worship and submission,

A similar storm will await us.

Let’s hold hands like we mean to please our Creator.

I miss my crown.

Let me be.

 

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No wonder why Islam has put utmost focus on social attitudes; they have far reaching effects. If there is anything we need to be careful about FOR the society and IN the society, that is our akhlaq.

Akhlaq is not just manners; it has a wide meaning in Arabic. Like what can you grasp from the following dua which is based on seeking refuge from ‘bad akhlaq’

اَللّهُمَّ طَهِّرْ قَلْبِىْ مِنَ النِّفَاقِ، وَ عَمَلِىْ مِنَ الرِّيَآءِ، وَ لِسَانِىْ مِنَ الْكَذِبِ، وَ عَيْنِىْ مِنَ الْخِيَانَةِ، فَإِنَّكَ تَعْلَمُ خَآئِنَةَ الْأعْيُنِ، وَمَا تُخْفِىْ الصُّدُوْرِ
اے اللہ ! میرے دل کو نفاق سے ، میرے عمل کو ریا و نمود سے اور میری زبان کوجھوٹ سے اور میری آنکھ کو خیانت سے پاک کر دے اور بےشک تو آنکھوں کی
خیانت اور دلوں کی چھپی ہوئی باتوں کو جانتا ہے۔
O Allah! Purify my heart from hypocrisy, my deeds from any kind of Ria (show off), my tongue from lying and my eye from treachery. For indeed only You know the treachery of the eyes and what lays hidden in the breasts. (Al-Baihaqi).
This dua is adding to the meaning; hypocrisy, arrogance, lies, deception or treachery and the secret evil motives of the heart. We can’t sometimes see beyond a certain lens; we either need for change it or modify it.
If we study social psychology in depth we will be able to understand clearly why Abraham Maslow calls them forces for the creation of psychopathology.
What does one person’s hypocrisy have to do with the other person’s mental health? Why do we need suppress anti social elements in the society? What is the relationship of the highest level of faith of a believer to the prevalence of mental health?
Each word or deed has its consequences. A believer can’t just talk about everything for the sake of fun; he was born in toil with a social responsibility. Remember when I explained the term ‘khalifa’? A representative from Allah SWT.
If small forces in the form of good akhlaq combine, the society will heal. How much? That is not the question. There is already so much suffering in the world to calculate the effect of affection or warmth.
A believer has to work on his speaking and listening skills; sometimes I wonder what will we do without the Quran?
We see the essence of Maslow’s words but fail to have an insight into the Quran.
Why am I insisting on having a relationship with the Quran? Because I believe that we will be able to become psychotherapeutic forces through that Book.
There! I see a huge responsibility as a parent to be. The parent has to ensure that they immediately leave the forces that lead to psychopathology as Maslow mentions. Children aren’t objects but rather amanah, that is trust. Unlearned parenting may lead a mother or father to satiate their needs of power, control and dominance over their child considering the toil they have been through in giving birth to them upto the age of two years handling a toddler.
But they scientists in cribs! Maslow’s words should be engraved on every parents mind. This can help them make sense of a lot of hardships coming their way.
The effect of hurting or humiliating others is so far-fetched, that it can’t be ignored. The tongue is indeed a sword.
It has to be used as tool to secure a better Hereafter.
P.S I still have to memorize this supplication from the Sunnah. It is my first step to be a psychotherapeutic force. What’s yours?