New leaf 2.0

All they wanted for me was to be mindful and conscious of the present moment. 

I remember the last heart-to-heart conversation I had with my uncle like it was yesterday. It was the three of us: my dad, my uncle, and I; chilling on the dinning table, finishing off dinner. I was listening in while my uncle and dad were reminiscing the good old days, just like two childhood bestfriends. Somehow, the conversation was switched to me. The topic was ambition; my ambition, to be precise. 

Rewinding back time, at that precise moment, I was a single 26 year old engineer with a stable situation in Europe. You can say, somehow, I was considered to be successful back home. However, both, my uncle and dad were shocked by my lack of ambition; they were really curious as to why I didn’t care about climbing the corporate ladder. My uncle was concerned that I was trusting my “self limiting beliefs” to be true. My dad expressed his concern as well. 

I reassured both my dad and uncle by telling them that the problem wasn’t my ambition; but rather, the ambiguity of my next steps. Slightly reassured by my vague reply, the conversation was switched back to the good old days and again, I became the active listener I usually am when my favorite people tell stories. 

Fast-forward two years later, after replaying the conversation several times in my mind, I realized that the key takeaways were mindfulness and that the definition of ambition is different for everyone. 

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Ramadan 2018: my personal miracle

“Taqwa” translates into “being conscious of God” and “Al-Muttaqin” refers to those who practice Taqwa.

Ramadan is the celebration of a prayer fulfilled; made by Prophet Ibrahim (AS) and his eldest son, Prophet Ismael (AS) as they were building the Kaaba. It’s English translation (not-word-per-word) is as follows:

“Make both of us Muslim before you and from our future generations, give us at least one Muslim nation and from that same nation, give us a messenger who will recite your revelations.”

The Holy Quran (God’s revelations) was sent down to Prophet Mohamed (SAW), a descendant of both Prophets Ismael (AS) and Ibrahmin (AS) on Laylat al Qadr (the Night of Decree) during the month of Ramadan.

So, instead of celebrating and engaging with God’s words for just a night, we get to do that for a whole month; how beautiful is that?

Ramadan is all about the Quran; read it, listen to it, turn its ayat into supplications. Be engaged, understand, and most imporantly, fill your heart with love for God’s words.

The Quran is divided into 30 juz(s), that is approximately 600 pages. If you read 4 pages after every salah, then you would have read 20 pages by the end of the day. Do that every day for 30 days and you will be able to complete the Quran. (START TOMORROW, I mean that LITERALLY).

Having said that, I am going to disengage from Ramadan and turn my focus to fasting.

It is important to comprehend that the purpose of fasting is different from that of Ramadan. We usually get the two mixed up (guilty of that myself) and I’m here to clarify things out:

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Pourvu que ça dure…

“Pourvu que ça dure…” is a french phrase that translates into “I hope it lasts”.

This blog post is long overdue… I recently turned 26 and thanks to that, I am here, writing this, for you to read:

I have learned many things the past year and though, I can’t list them all down, I will  highlight a couple of things that you may find useful. But, before getting started, here is a disclaimer: this post may contain spiritual content*

*I usually avoid spirituality in my writing, mainly because one’s relationship with one’s creator is rather a personal matter than a public discussion… BUT, I’m making an exception today; so, let’s get started:

The soul before the body

I believe that my soul was created long before my body came into existence. I also believe that my soul lived in a past realm before this lifetime and will continue to exist past the lifespan of my body, into a future realm. And after this realization, I started wondering why as humans, we tend to nurture our bodies more than our souls.

And I came up with this:

We are infatuated by the seen rather than the unseen. What I mean by “the seen” is THIS LIFE. We all want to live our lives to the fullest: have a good job, travel, look good, dress well, have a picture perfect family, and by all means be referred to as “HIGH POTENTIAL”.

BUT, as much as we should go to the gym to stay healthy and be fit, focus on work to nurture our minds and satisfy our egos… we should also tend to our souls…

Don’t get me wrong, I believe that we all should strive to live to our fullest potential in this lifetime… But, what about : “the unseen”? the afterlife? having peace of mind and ease of heart? I know, it can be hard sometimes, trying to be of great character under shitty circumstances, practicing patience when impatience is of your nature, thinking well of God when your world is falling apart -> yeah, shit does hit the ceiling sometimes.

Continue reading “Pourvu que ça dure…”