Strive and keep striving till the very end! Our dear friend Ramadhan has not gone yet! Watch till ALL your duaas get answered. Pray for each other’s duaas to be answered so that Allah might answer yours too.
Alhamdulillah. Alhamdulillah it was my 19th Birthday today. I mean, it’s been 19 years of a healthy life! Allah’s given me another year to experience a meaningful Ramadhan, another year to become a better me. I’ve soooo much to be thankful for. A bit cliché but I’ll list 19 things I’m thankful/grateful for (not in any particular order).
1. I’m thankful for all the times in which God did NOT answer my prayers. [2:261] “But it is possible that you dislike a thing which is good for you, and that you love a thing which is bad for you. But God knows, and you know not.”
Key event/s: Our migration/hijrah to Kuala Lumpur which started with reluctance but look where I feel most comfortable at NOW It took me years to learn this. Not everything I desire is good for me. And not everything I dislike is bad for me. I’m not my best judge. God is.
2. I thank Him for concealing my many faults and sins. I can’t stress enough on this. I love this duaa of ‘Umar r.a which the Prophet himself taught him to say; “O Allah, make me better than what they think of me, and forgive me for what they do not know about me, and do not take me to account for what they say about me.” Sobs.
3. I’m thankful to God for teaching me where my priorities lie.
When we discover a spark of some sort in ourselves, naturally, we want to share it with the world. So in our being busy with ‘saving others’, begging them to see what you see, feel what you feel…and when things don’t work out the way you planned, you look around you and feel alone. You’re suddenly overcome with guilt, having voluntarily shouldered responsibility over others. You stop for a second and think.. am I really that alone? Is there really no one who is willing to listen to me? You snap out of it. You realise you’ve forgotten the people who already have the capabilities to believe you instantly, without question! Those who will feel guilty to abandon you. Those who will be the fist to defend you in times of trial. Those who pray for you sincerely in the last 3rd of the night. Those who already love you unconditionally. Those who will mostly put you before themselves. Most importantly, those who are concerned about your Hereafter. Those who will definitely be inconvenienced by your death.
These are the people who deserve your/my Da’wah and your/my Charity first. Speak to your family about Islam first before you start preaching to others. Worry about their Aakhirahs first.
4. I’m thankful for the opportunities He’s blessed me with this year!
Key events: Umrah & visiting Riyadh, Performing at Yasmin Mogahed’s opening, Performing at Being ME, working at more places than ever = learning from the experienced, changing my entire wardrobe, going through various suitors’ resumés.. lol just kidding!
5. I’m thankful for having met the refugees and for leaning about their situations. My students who have become beloved to me and their cause now has a very special place in my heart. With knowledge comes action of course. The latter part is being worked on right now inshaAllah.
6. I’m grateful for all the misfortunes and fall-outs because they are small previews to greater trials and tribulations that I might have to face in the future. I get it now. I had to go through these because they teach me something different every time. key events: crashing into someone’s Land Rover, having to leave certain people, over-spending, debt.
7. I’m thankful for my youth. Eventhough I often talk about its disadvantages, there are more advantages alhamdulillah. And Rasululluah s.a.w. advised us to take FULL ADVANTAGE of it. (the 5 before 5 hadeeth).
8. I’m grateful for my stamina and strength.
9. I’m thankful to have certain people enter into my life. Those who are Blessings AND those who are lessons.
10. Alhamdulillah for the exposure to those odd places that really highlighted me as a stranger (lol) and for surviving in them. I needed to get out of my comfort zone. I needed to know whether I’m a ‘stranger’ enough; Muslim enough. “Islam began strange, and it will become strange again just like it was at the beginning, so blessed are the strangers.”
11. I’m thankful for my health and whatever wealth I have.
12. I’m grateful for the self-set goals that are reached. ESPECIALLY the ones that took years to achieve.
13. I’m thankful for my parents; my mom to whom I am never right, and my dad, to whom I am always right.
14. I’m grateful for Islamic feminism. My eyes and ears pick on quickly on the misogyny radar which is totes sickening and unislamic.
15. I’m thankful for my Islamic Studies teachers starting from my own mother, to my school teachers and to the esteemed mashaikh whose lectures keep me on my toes. And ultimately, our great teacher, habibna Muhammad s.a.w. through whose words and actions become known as Sunnah, which we Muslims hold on to next to the revealed book, Qur’an.
16. I’m grateful for Love that keeps me sane.
17. I’m thankful for good company. For without these God-fearing, God-loving people around me, my phone would not be bombarded with daily BANG reminders that keep my eyes moistened and my heart in check inshaAllah.
18. I’m grateful for my Sinus. They remind me that I have sins to atone for. They’re an expiation for those sins. So thank You, Allah.
19. I’m thankful for having a purpose, a guide, a focus in Life. Islam gives me this. This serenity, meaning, solace, genuine happiness, ease, liberty and no-nonsense lifestyle makes me feel important. And that’s important to me.
Alhamdulillah for being able to recognise these blessings. And there are definitely many more than what my mortal self could possibly see!