A heart-felt letter to remind you of what matters most. Get in the right mood by being in a comfortable space before reading.
“And of His signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the diversity of your languages and your colors. Surely in this are signs for those of knowledge.” ( Ar-Rum, 30:22)
‘You are a unique entity among creation: nothing is exactly similar to you, nor are you exactly similar to anything, because the creator had brought diversity to the creation’ (Anonymous)
It’s a new Gregorian calendar year and everyone is on the move to make the year as eventful as possible. Dreams and goals from last year have been pushed forward and everyone wants to achieve so much. New businesses here and there. Marketers are capitalizing on the change people want to see in themselves and so many emails and posters are flying around on how to make this the year one of immeasurable breakthrough. People are money driven, result oriented and in all honesty, I can tell that people are trying to work on themselves (personal development) Who doesn’t? But the way to go through it matters and that is what this letter seeks to address. I hope you are in a right and comfortable mood to keep reading.
I am here to tell you and me to Calm Down. Take a deep breathe. And relax. Take it easy on yourself… one step at a time.
Calm Down. Take a deep breathe. And relax. Take it easy on yourself… one step at a time.
Investing in yourself in a prudent manner is a wise advice I can give to anyone reading. Investing in yourself does not cover finances alone – it includes anything you do to be a better person fi dunya wa aakhira: read books, listen to podcasts, widen your horizon by trying out new things and talking to people, keep learning… (The list is endless you can add to it by commenting. You never know who it may help.) Be careful and cautious of what you engage in and do not look for quick fixes. I want you to know and accept that the effect of change takes time but begins gradually. If you are a goal setter, set holistic goals to achieve them. And as you do all that do not lose hold of your priority.
As Muslims we must build our relationship with Allah عَزَّ وَجَلَّ in the journey of our personal development. Because without Him, we can’t grow. We can’t develop. We can’t achieve all our dreams, goals and aspirations. WE ARE IN NEED OF HIM TO GROW AND BE OUR TRUE SELF.
Remember this life is a means to an end. The end we all want to attain is JANNAH. So, use this life, set your goals, aspirations and make all you have as resources to get to the end.
In being you, know that you must work on yourself. Don’t say “this is the way I am” when you know you have a negative trait. Continuously work on yourself and your mindset. Mindsets are very important and can serve as a barrier to limit us, thinking that we are incapable. Read about perspective of a Muslim here: PERSPECTIVE OF A MUSLIM
I’m keeping this really brief and I hope it makes you reflect and take things easy as you aspire to be a better person.
Here are some of the things you can do to build your relationship with Allah عَزَّ وَجَلَّ in your journey of personal development:
- Find and Clarify your Whys. This is an important step to be done in anything you want to embark on. Ensure that whatever you are doing transcends beyond worldly reasons and that it is serving a greater purpose. Make your goals meaningful to you and that you want it to lead you to your End Goal – Jannah!. Be clear. Precise. And Intentional in what you do and why you do them. A practical way to get started is to preferably get a journal, write things you do and ask yourself why you do them.
- Learn and practice detachment. As we pursue the dunya it may enter our heart, and this is not what we want as Muslims. Learn how to inculcate detachment as you grow. Simply put, “Detachment is not that you should own nothing, but that nothing should own you.” (Ali ibn Abi Talib رضي الله عنه) Hold materialistic things in your hand, not in your heart. They are temporary things and I implore you not to fill you heart with what is transience as it does not last. Whatever you have (be it intellect, materialism, appearance etc) is a gift from Allah عَزَّ وَجَلَّ. Know that it can be taken. In Sha Allah I hope to cover this topic in detail sometime.
- Have a secret good deed between you and Allah عَزَّ وَجَلَّ.
- As you practice detachment, detach from result. When I learnt this, I must say it was challenging to implement, but Alhamdulillah, I am able to practice it more. What this means is that you don’t worry about the result of an action, rather you put in your best. It is a beautiful aspect of our deen to know that Allah عَزَّ وَجَلَّ rewards us for effort not result. Putting in your best effort is important to achieve anything. The result depends on Allah عَزَّ وَجَلَّ. Don’t misinterpret this to not doing your best as you must put the work to be rewarded by Allah. Remember the Hadith on Tawakkul: tie your camel and put your trust in Allah. (Paraphrased: (Tirmidhi) The two elements are intertwined, and you must have both. Do your best, use all you have and don’t forget that you must rely on your Rabb. Your Creator – Allah عَزَّ وَجَلَّ.
- Improve your personal relationship with Allahعَزَّ وَجَلَّ. Ask yourself, what can I do to improve in my religious obligations. Maybe you want to pray all your prayer at the right time, pray more nawafil, recite more Qur’an, pray Taajjud, fast more, give charity, reflect more etc. Write an action plan and begin to implement them
PS: Ramadan is less than 99 days. Prepare for it – RAMADAN PREP
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Till next time Fi Ammanillah!