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Showing posts from 2015

"Do I prioritise connecting with Allah(SWT) over everything in my life?"

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​Stop Lying to Yourself about what matters!

I listened to an interesting talk last night by Mirza Yawar Baig ("Fajr Reminders" which covered the topic of time management. More specifically, how we make time for physical, emotional, spiritual and social aspects of our lives.  If we have to prioritise activities for each of these every day, which one would automatically be number one?  As Muslims, obviously, we answer spiritual should be first but how often is that really true. Do our words really transform into action?


'For me, I have set myself a goal to complete some online quraan tafseer.  Yet, I still find myself putting it off for the last few days. 

So I have to ask myself, am I really treating the spiritual dimension in my life as a priority?

Ironically, although we give less priority to this spiritual aspect, it is the one thing that will help us achieve all other aspects.  For example taking time to start the day with Quran recitation may feel like it's delaying …

Two Forms of Mercy...Two states in One

Salaams

So I listened to a talk recently by Ustaadh NAK (you know who I mean!) explaining the two Names of Allah Ar Rahman and Ar Rahim : two forms of mercy and I was so inspired. 

I also learnt that by listening to something more than once it really solidifies your understanding. Anyway here is my take on it based on what I heard:

Ar Rahman - ارحمان : Allah's mercy and love is extreme, not permanent( this life),  happening right now ( eg hunger similar word pattern جوعان)  mercy that's more immediate.

Ar Rahim - ارحيم - Allah's mercy  that's always there and you can count on it. Quality that doesn't change. Not necessarily taking place right now- potential.

So what does it mean?

When you want Allah's mercy in a time of need, you need it immediately - and intensely! Then you appeal to His quality of Ar Rahman. Not thinking of the future or the potential of mercy right now. But as a human we need instant meeting of needs.

Once it's met, you now can turn to his qual…

When wearing your hijab is like wearing your knickers and socks....

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Slms,

I'm sure you want to know what is going on with my title, so I'm going to share a story with you that explains where this phrase comes from!

I was chatting to my friend who recently Alhamdulillah decided to start wearing hijab. I'm so proud of her. She works in corporate and travels significantly so I'm sure its a quite a challenge and so I'm so pleased for her and make dua Allah makes it easy for her, and rewards her for sincerity in trying to please Him.

So she was saying how its tricky at work...people seem to be looking at her weirdly...and shes so aware of it all. As a regular hijabi myself, also in corporate for about 10 years, travelling in Europe and working with multinationals from Australia to Brazil,  Alhamdulillah, this is the advice I gave to her which I hope makes sense to you and inspires you to either consider starting to wear hijab or if you are, to continue and NEVER take it off...for as I say "Keep at it till wearing your hijab is lik…

Succeeding with Sacrifice : Reflections on my "Ten Day sacrifice"

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Salaams

Post my little sacrifice effort, I am sure everyone wants to know...how did it go? So here is my reflection.

Well, it was very hard at first, I kept thinking about wanting to revert back like I was missing something. But after the 5th day, it was much easier. I found so much else to do to replace the time I would usually spend on the stuff above. Like instead of using TV to relax, I did other things like read, play a board-game or just sit and watch the sunset and do nothing else! I also had loads of time to up my Ibaadah - I did everything I wanted to do including catching up on some missed fasts.

In the end what did I learn? I actually discovered some really interesting lessons.

a) I learnt that there is a time and place for everything. There really is! Some evenings after I did all my prayers, and Quraan reading etc, I wanted to just relax my mind. I didn't want to read, or think too much - just chill. I realised, this could have been a time to watch TV.

b) I learnt th…

My Dhul Hijjah "Ten Day Sacrifice plan"

Salaams

This year during the first 10 days of Dhul Hijjah, like last year, I embarked on a "sacrifice" of my own. Although I wasn't in Hajj, I recognized the importance of these blessed days, and decided that I wanted to make the most of it as well. I wanted to use it as a way to get back on track after the great habits set up after Ramadaan. And I wanted to use it as a way to re-connect with my Lord. As I am on sabbatical from my corporate job (I know I owe another blog post on that one!), I should have loads of time right, so I wanted to make something meaningful of this time, so this was my "Ten Day Sacrifice plan":

I gave up the things in my life that were taking up time unconsciously and where I wasn't seeing much benefit. For me this was :

a) watching TV (mostly series, movies, some sitcoms and loads of cooking shows)
b) playing Covet on my phone

I'm sure there are others, but this was a good starting point for me. I don't think doing any of …

Proud to be Muslim and empowered with my finances + my step-by-step Zakaat calculation

Salaams

Today I went to my local Citizens advice bureau for mandatory pension advise and what could have been a regular boring meeting turned out to be a rather interesting discussion when we started talking about shariah compliance dealings!

As the adviser was curious about shariah compliant pension and loans,  I ended up explaining to the adviser how it all works islamically as I understood it, and why we as Muslims do not accept or pay interest, how we only engage in definitive transactions avoid anything speculative. ISo we don't have the stress of market rates and speculation - we know exactly what we are in for and that's all we take a loan for - no hidden costs or added drama! I explained how we are taught not to just float around but we are proactive and aware of exactly what we are in for with anything financial.

It made me realise Alhamdulillah, how fortunate we are as Muslims to :
a) have a sustainable and wholesome model when it comes to finance and borrowings and…

Ramadaan 2015 Reflections

Salaams dear readers

Time to reflect post Ramadaan!

I read somewhere that a good way to reflect during Ramadaan is to ask yourself  "What have I learnt about my relationship with Allah?"

For me, it is about attributing everything to Allah. How often do we forget to literally acknowledge that that great idea that popped into our head, or that amazing turn of events, or the beautiful gift we received are all signs from Allah, all made possible by Allah, all given to us by Allah!

I heard a talk by a famous aalim, Mufti Ismail Menk who was talking about this, and he said often we say "Shukr, it was so nice..xxx etc" - but thats not enough, Shukr to who, for what? So I want to be more specific now and when I pray for something, and I get it, I want to close the loop and come back to Allah to thank him, consciously. I have chosen praying a few tasbeehs of "Subhanallahi wa bihamdi" (“Glory to Allah and praise Him) - the most loved words to Allah. Knowing though…

How I shared Eid with my Neighbours

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Salaams

Eid Greetings. Hope you all had a joyous day, and a spiritually uplifting Ramadaan. :)

My passion this Eid has been around sharing our day of celebration (or lets face it, with all the leftover treats its more like a week of celebration!), with people around me who are not necessarily Muslim such as neighbors, colleagues, friends, even my local therapist and gym! (Hubby had a good idea to tell the gym instructor the treats were for cheat day!)

My main aim was to create awareness and educate people about Ramadaan and Eid, and by sharing some delicious homemade goodies, show them what Muslims are really about - peace, goodwill and caring for others. Ultimately I hope it inspires someone to want to know more about Islam and consider it as their way of life, Inshallah - but that's a big dream, so for now just taking one step at a time by sharing simple cookies!

I also want to share with everyone how I made up little packs for my neighbors and the resources I used after search…

Keeping up the Ibaadah when you cant fast or pray Salaah/Quraan during Ramadaan

Salaams

Ah that moment during Ramadaan when you have to stop fasting due to natural reasons!

For me its a bit dreaded because I have been enjoying the month so much, the barakah and blessings, adjusted schedule, building up a momentum with ibaadah and achieving so much. But Allah knows best, and whilst I do feel a pang of disappointment, I know it is Allah's Will and His Timing - so it must be Perfect, so I'm just going to get on with it!

I did plan for this time beforehand, trying to increase Quraan recitation and Salaah especially, knowing I could do my Istighfaar and other tasbeehs during the time when I am "not reading". So come that time, and I'm amped!

One thing I wanted to ensure was that I would use the usual time for Salaah and Quraan recitation for ibaadah - and not waste it with anything else. So here are some ideas inspired to me through the Mercy of Allah, for keeping up the Ibaadah when you cant fast or pray Salaah:

- listen to Quraan recitation. a…

Mid-Ramadaan Performance Review

Salaams

The title isn't meant to scare...lol ok maybe a little! Well, we all have mid year reviews at work (yes they are dreaded but they can be useful!) They give us a great opportunity to check whether you are on track with your goals and tasks, and give you a chance  to re-focus on priorities for the next half period. So I thought with the help of Allah,  to apply the same reflection time to how I spend my time in Ramadaan.

I actually did a 10-day review, and will do another Inshallah on day 21. But the principle is the same. Take time out to reflect during the period, so that come the end you are not left wondering where did the time go and how come I wasn't able to achieve my goals. As none of us know whether we will get another chance.

It helps if you have goals set before Ramadaan, but none the less I start my review by looking at all the positives that I have done so far - for me it has been good progress on Quraan recitation and revising my Hifdh starting with the su…

My 3 steps to being able to Flourish while Fasting

Wanted to share my post - it featured in  a newsletter I sent to my BodyTalk clients and also on linked in (adapted): https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/my-3-steps-being-able-flourish-while-fasting-taskeen-jamal As the Month of Ramadaan (a month of daily Fasting for all Muslims all over world) approaches, I want to share a few of my tried and tested steps to preparing myself - body, mind and soul to being able to not only survive- but flourish while fasting. For many of us our daily schedules still continue, some people are balancing work commitments with children, others are completing school or university assignments. So its important that you take some time to acknowledge the month ahead and prepare yourself to be as productive as possible. Here 3 of my essential steps to do so:

1. Make some goals for what you would like to achieve for the month. As this month holds with it extraordinary blessing and reward for any good deeds done,  to ensure I take maximum advantage of the opportunity,…