26 To 27 – Lessons I’ve Learned

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Yesterday, I turned 27. Please don’t write happy birthday. Here are some lessons I learned.

Im too nice and eventually that gets the best of me. Im too forgiving but I learned it’s best to let people go who aren’t a positive force in your life. If they break you down now, they’ll always break you down later.

Your heart and mind will always conflict, so you look to outside sources to reassure what your mind has made up, even then, it is difficult to do what is right, even if it is hurting you.

An ugly personality with a beautiful face, is still ugly. No amount of products or surgery can change that.

Wisdom does not come from age but it comes from experiences.

Extract lessons from your hardships to teach others on how to be the strongest version of themselves. Your ability to teach is undermined by the ability of your mind.

No one in this world is ugly. No matter how many people will tell you that, it is up to you to believe it or not. Be confident in your looks and how you were created.

Your body is an amanah (trust) so treat it with care. The better you take care of it now, the more it’ll benefit you when you are older. Go workout, get in shape and stay determined. A flower does not grow in a day and your body will not change in a day. It takes time and a lot of effort.

Keep your circle of friends small and keep those who are loyal in. Everyone else is just to keep you company.

Hardships are never to break you down but to make you stronger. Tough times don’t last, tough people do.

Pancakes are the best

Learn lessons from those who have been through more than you. You’ll learn from what they did right and you’ll avoid what they did wrong.

We are all selfish in some ways. Lessons are learned through realization not from those who are judging you.

Learn to love yourself first because self love will always exist, while a secondary love is temporary.

Always encourage those around you. Help them overcome their fears. Not because you expect them to return the favour but because Allah’s blessings are greater.

Always smile, joke around and enjoy yourself. There are others in this world who have less than you but appreciate everything more.

Everything is by the will of Allah, so no matter what you decide in life, if it is not meant to be, it wont be but best believe, it’ll be replaced with what is meant to be.

If your hardships aren’t bringing you closer to Allah, then your hardships will always exist. Get closer to the one who created you by putting your head on the floor and see your hardships depart.

Choose your life partner wisely. If they don’t pray salah, if they drink and understand the Qu’ran differently, then they aren’t for you.

Any woman can wear a hijab and any man can grow a beard but it is the actions that count, not the image presented.

And finally, be in service to others but not as a slave. You are a slave to Allah and not a slave to money. Correct your relationship with Allah SWT and you’ll be successful in everything you decide to do.

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Food For Thought II

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I think a lot of times, we let our emotions blind us when things don’t go our way or from things that have fallen apart. What we need to do is open our eyes to all the things we have been blessed with and things that are currently going good in our lives. We also need to think of all the evil we have been protected from and how merciful Allah SWT has been to us, even though we disobey Him constantly. The blessings we currently have in our lives should be more than enough to keep us happy and the blessings to come, should keep us optimistic of what Allah SWT has in store for us.

Look at the bright side of things when things don’t go how you hoped or expected. You live to breathe another day, while others may not. That is by far the biggest blessing each one of us are given every single day of our lives. Every single day is an opportunity for you to overcome something in your life. For you to recreate yourself in so many ways. For you to overcome fears. For you to create a better way that has been presented with the blessing called life. If you constantly keep yourself down and remind yourself of things that have fallen apart and you repeat that memory in your head, you will keep yourself from all that is beautiful currently happening in your life.

People come, people go but you, YOU, yes, YOU, exist and present yourself with a lesson to take on and to smile, while those around you, those loyal to you, those you live with, those who have struggled and battled with you have been there all along.

Life is indeed beautiful but we remain hopeless from things that were never meant for us or things that have broken us down. You remind yourself you are broken when you are not and even if you are, somethings are recreated, rebuilt even stronger than before. You have that opportunity to do so much with your life but it begins with taking the emotions from your eyes and also from your heart that weighs so heavily on your soul. Reminding yourself of the constant blessings in your life and all that you have been protected from.

You see, behind those lips lays a beautiful smile that cheers someone up and behind that skin lays a beautiful soul so many appreciate but we take for granted and never appreciate. Take a moment to remind yourself of what you have in your life currently. Just remind yourself of one thing. Whether it be your children, your parents, your siblings, your chance to live another day. Whatever it may be and appreciate that. These are beautiful blessings that been given to us every single day of our lives and some day, may not be with us anymore. Don’t let your emotions blind you from all that is good in your life.

You may not have what you want because you aren’t either ready for it or it is not good for you, that is Allah SWT protecting you and indeed giving you something better and that knowledge only exists with Him. Be patient. Your just due will come. In the mean time, appreciate what you have and I promise you, you’ll live a better life without all the worrying and all the past you’ve been holding on to. It’s doing you no good and just blinding you from what is currently going on in your life. Breathe, smile, say Alhumdulilah and go have yourself your favourite dessert or something that makes you happy because you deserve it, you earned it. Now, stop worrying. Make duaa, put in effort every single day and let Allah SWT work. Everything will work with perfection if you have complete reliance in Allah SWT. Don’t worry, you’ll be fine…… you will be fine, smile.

Punishments Into A Blessing

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Through out my life, I was never a school person. I honestly hated school, every minute of it. If you ask me what was my best memory of elementary? Probably beating up kids and then coming home to getting whooped by my mother. Anything school related, I hated! I would goto school only to cause trouble because I idolized Hulk Hogan who was being an “American hero” by giving atomic leg drops to his opponents while I was being a Cornell Jr Public school terror beating up kids.

I don’t recall a single time where a day would go by and my mother would answer the phone and my teachers telling her, “your son has not completed his homework or any of his assignments please speak to him.” Only for my mother to tell me “wait till you come, I am going to fix you!” only for me to come home pouting, ready to get another whooping because I was worried about when the day I would be able to play nintendo again and that would only be during school holidays instead of concentrating in school. My parents did the best they could in reminding my siblings and I, raising us that school was important but to me, school was just another miserable day, where recess was the best part of those 6 hours there. I never got suspended but got close to being suspended and even then, my mother whooped me.

I was a pretty bad kid. I was always up to no good. Either fighting at home or fighting at school but now-a-days, if that happens, they most likely give your child medication to calm him down. Pretty sad how big pharma will do anything to make an “honest” dollar to “cure” your child when all they needed was to grow. Homework was the last thing on my mind. I can’t recall how many times I had to stay in after school just to catch up, only for me to go home when I was lucky enough to not have a detention because the teachers got tired of me staying in and I would rush home to tune into Power Rangers at 3:30PM and other cartoons. I didn’t care about school, all I was about was having fun and I think that’s what most kids want to do anyway, right?

Eventually, middle school came around, I passed elementary, was never held back, Alhumdulilah (thanks to Allah) for that, passed the 7th grade and in the 8th grade, my teacher was Mr. Sweeney. The things you would hear about him in the 7th grade made you fear him. He was like the boogeyman in all of Tecumseh. If you were put into his class, you were more than likely going to be put into a miserable state through out the whole year.

Once again, the 8th grade consisted of me not completing assignments. Not doing projects. Not doing homework, which led to more calls to my mother and more whoopings when I came home. You would think, didn’t this guy ever learn? Not doing homework = butt whooped? My mother never got tired of it, I hope she did cause they hurt a lot and me, I just took them because I had no choice and if I fought back, IF is the big word, which I never did. I would get a whooping that would be even too graphic for the WWF, tag team style by my mother and father.

The process would repeat and this time, it was not me catching up after school but it was me writing pages and pages of essays as to why I never finished my homework or assignments and why I should do them. Did I learn for spending several days, almost the entire school year after school? Nope! But in those pages and pages and pages of essays, probably over hundreds was something I could never dream of.

It was a talent, a skill, being created that I never knew existed. Sometimes, we take the punishments, well, as punishments and not as blessings. Really, who takes them as blessings in the beginning? It’s “hurting” you or making you miserable but here I am today, several years later writing about topics that I could never think of touching. Over 60,000 people and growing in little over a year have read what I’ve written. Been featured on muslim websites and was interviewed by a radio station in South Africa. Hundreds of people have come to me for advice on how I could help them with their problems, simply because they’ve read something I’ve written and in those pieces are and will forever be pieces of me. Dozens of people have emailed me thanking me for helping them through a problem, which still boggles my mind today because I don’t think I did anything. I just helped you see you for who you really are, basically, your own potential that you missed.

Do I regret not paying attention more in school? Not a bit because If I did regret it, then this wouldn’t be the person I am today. This talent would never exist because I would be too busy whining, complaining, worrying about elementary and middle school where I took more butt whoopings than wolves pulling its master on the sled. I still remember, the day I wanted to be a journalist and someone said to me, “you can’t do it.” Wish they knew what they were doing when they said that because in those words, they sparked a mind that would be reaching thousands of people all over the world, over 160 countries, helping them and changing their lives for the better. I did not become a journalist but I have become someone who I have always wanted to become, that is a writer and that is who I am. From rap, to poetry, to motivational and moving words that changes a persons life one day at a time, alhumdulilah.

This is how I found my passion for writing. My love of my life. Well, not really but still a love. It helps me express myself in many ways and also teach lessons to people without them even knowing they are reading a part of my life that I went through or my thoughts that help them become the strongest version of themselves. It is not a brag article but an article that lets you know anything is possible, that sometimes or many times there are blessings in the “punishments” you receive and if anyone tells you anything negative, don’t ever believe it but grow to destroy that negativity as it should be motivation for you to achieve what they failed to believe in you. Don’t ever believe because you have a beard, wear a hijab, niqab, handicap or whatever it may be, that you can’t do something and your talent cannot help others. With the intelligence, brilliance you have been blessed with, do something with it. Change people’s lives. Change the world. It is within you and Allah has blessed with you with it so go for it and be who you always wanted to become.

What Is Success?

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People think success is money, cars, lots of materialistic things but that is not true success, not even close to it. True success is reaching contentment within your heart. Understanding your failures, understanding your past and accepting the blessings that come through those things. How many of us look at life and say, truly say, alhumdulilah (thanks to Allah) for everything that has happened? Many of us don’t say that because we dwell on so many things that have passed us by. We hang onto these things with utter disappointment. We can’t look at ourselves in the mirror because we feel we have failed ourselves but we have not. None of these things are failures but these are building blocks to finding that success we truly want and we truly deserve. Success begins with accepting the decree of Allah and that is with everything. We must always tie our camel, leave the rest to Allah, smile proudly and walk through any door we please believing with sincerity that what is going on beyond that door is best for me and what will happen Allah is going to will for me. It is for my growth as a person. It is for my growth as coming closer to Allah and him denying my wishes, is not because He dislikes something for me or because he doesn’t understand what I am going through but because He always wants the BEST for you. Don’t ever settle for just good because if Allah gives you the BEST in everything, make sure what you want in life is the best and the best thing is, contentment within your heart. Find it, keep it and cherish it. Never let it go because it’s what true success really is.

Paint Your Story (Poem)

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Things happen and life goes on

So i take it one day at a time

And not into the distant future

I think presently for what it is

And i can only hope for what it may become

I live to breathe for tomorrow, that tomorrow will become better

knowing that the decree of Allah SWT is greater than what I want

My wants and needs are being fulfilled before my eyes

But at times I become blind with my eyes full of tears

Wanting what is so dear

To me is it everything

Little do I know is everything

Everything is only of my hopes and dreams

With everyday that goes by, my vision becomes clearer

To what is being wanted, to what is becoming destined

Nothing can pass my way without it being for me

Each story, each lesson paints a picture

Colorful of my past and bright of my future

The more I hold onto these colours

The less I learn

The better I paint with those colours, more bright is my future

Holding onto what has gone in a vivid light and hoping for what is better to come

While I narrate and paint my story for the readers that come

This is for you to understand life goes on

Even after the curtain closes, applauds mixed with boos

There is still your story to tell

So become an artist, paint loudly and proudly

Smile through the tears, smile through the pain

Let your words hit the soul like rain drops beating the window

Be a voice of reason, not a voice and thoughts of regret

Alhumdulilah (Praise Be To Allah) for what has crossed my way

Because if it didn’t today

My thoughts probably wouldn’t exist this way

This is my painting, my Starry Night

My beautiful Mona Lisa

While I stand here smiling, proud of who I’ve become

Staying determined, positive, patient to see the next canvas I paint

I wipe off my glasses, let my brush sit

Knowing tomorrow will be better and the paintings can only get better, insha’Allah

Everything is the Will Of Allah

Radio Interview With “Voice Of The Cape”

This morning at 6AM EST, I was invited by “Voice Of The Cape” in South Africa to do a radio interview with them. At first, when I received their email, I thought it was a joke but I was overwhelmed and shot with excitement. I was thinking, “they want to interview me? WOW! Because of something I’ve written on my blog? ALHUMDULILAH!” I couldn’t stop smiling, seriously. Long story short about me being excited and my face hurting from smiling so much, here is the interview. Alhumdulilah for EVERRRYTHING!

6 Rights Of A Muslim Upon Another Muslim – The Fourth Right: When he sneezes and praises Allaah, then pray for mercy upon him

The Fourth Right:
“And when he sneezes and praises Allaah, then pray for mercy upon him.” This is due to the fact that sneezing is a favor from Allaah, in the expelling of this congested air that is blocked in certain parts of the body of the human being. Allaah makes it easy for this air to have a passage out where it can exit, and thus the sneezing person feels relief. Thus, the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) legislated that the person praise Allaah for this favor, and he legislated for his (Muslim) brother to say to him, “May Allaah have mercy upon you.” He also commanded the person who sneezed to answer his (Muslim) brother by saying to him, “May Allaah guide you and set right your affairs.” Therefore, whoever does not praise Allaah, then he does not deserve for others to pray for mercy upon him, and in this case he cannot blame anyone except himself. For he is the o­ne who has caused himself to lose the two blessings: the blessing of praising Allaah, and the blessing of his brother’s supplication for him that is a result of the praising.

Being A Muslim Is About…..

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Being a Muslim is about being positive to the upmost, so being a practicing Muslim it means to be positive. If you were to look at Islam in its different aspects, you would find it’s all about empowering the individual, to giving direction in life and to set you in a direction where he knows, no matter what happens he still got hope and he’s got a chance until his last breath. Therefore, since our breaths are numbered we have to make sure they are spent in the right way and every breath is taken in a way that only makes us grow and come closer to our Lord and to be people who contribute in society, who spread a message that truly everyone needs to know the reality of it because truly it comes with solutions in all aspects and specifically we are talking about being positive.

One thing I want to share, The Prophet Muhammad (Peace & Blessings Be Upon Him) said: “If the hour occurs, while in the hand of one of you holds a small plant, let him plant it.” You might ask the question, what is the reason behind that? I’ll tell you cause your duty is to work till the last set and for you is to do and upon Allah is the results but it is about leading hearts to grow. It’s about causing minds to overcome obstacles, to see hope in the midst of darkness. To be that person who just simply inspires, that is what a leader is. A leader is someone who can give that positive impression and look and be the source for that power, for others around them.

I’ll tell you one thing, The Prophet Muhammad (Peace & Blessings Be Upon Him) was the best of leaders and I say this bluntly and openly. I don’t say this with a hype, I say this while believing in him. Why? Because he was a man that did not lead bodies but led hearts and minds to be, the best of people even in the midst of hardships. This is what makes him so special till this day and we say, Alhumdulilah (Thanks To Allah) that we have such a role model that we can follow and we can take him as an example. This model belief that Islam teaches, except that is there to empower you. All beliefs that Islam comes with, is to purify your heart and your mind from all that which is impure and also to give you the strength to be someone who can continue a journey that its end is with Allah.

I like one of the beautiful examples from the Prophets. I recall this was the Prophet Hud (Peace Be Upon Him), when he was someone who turned to Allah and he put his trust in Allah and he made his du’aa. It didn’t matter anymore how many enemies he had. It didn’t matter anymore where he was. He told his enemies that disliked him and hurt him, he tells them bluntly and straight up, “plot against me all of you and don’t give me any time. I have put my trust in my Lord and your Lord” at the end of the day, you cannot hurt me, you cannot do nothing, you cannot affect me with nothing, if it wasn’t for my Lord allowing it. Just take into consideration, that my Lord will not allow it except to increase me in status.

As one of them said, when you find yourself going down because of the pressures that you are faced with and people who don’t want to bring you up. We have people like that who just want to destroy you and they don’t want to see a flourishing nation, you know? They don’t like seeing that at times, unfortunately. I’ll tell you one thing. I like what was said. He said when they push you down, remember the best place to go in, is all the way down in prostration to Allah, ask Him and come back up because they want to bring you down.

By: Sheikh Mustapha Al Majzoub martyred in Syria on the blessed day of Eid [Sunday 20th August 2012]. Allah give him the highest ranks in Jannah. Ameen.