It Just Is: Patience

Patience does not mean you have to act like a robot. Patience gives you full permission to act out on your frustration. Patience does not mean getting back up on your feet tirelessly, rather it means to get back up on your feet despite being tired. Patience does not demand that you stifle your sobs all the time, because you are asked to follow someone who went blind from grieving the loss of his child. In fact, if it helps to release the pressure from inside your chest, you can roll on the floor crying your eyes out, almost vomitting out all your internal organs, passing out from an all time low blood pressure, having no idea what to do, how to do, how to be in the state you just found yourself in, and still do whatever much, however much, you are able to do. I mean it, whatever much. Sometimes, taking the next set of breathe is included in that “much” as well. Yes, patience also means refraining from stopping your heart so as to escape that pounding, but having the thought does not make you impatient. Because it did not make Maryam impatient.

Patience is different for everyone. But the theme is the same. Whatever you are doing, however much you are doing, are all part of patience. Because you are doing the bext that YOU KNOW how to, based on who YOU ARE. Allow yourself to believe that you are patient. Just because your cheeks are stained with mascara doesnt mean you are not. Patience has no rules, you dont take a “Patience 101” in freshmen year to learn how to master it. It just is. 

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Sweet Nothings, Just Because! 

My co-worker is an elderly Jewish Rabbi. He is very friendly and nice, though I hardly run into him. Today out of nowhere he apprared in my room in the morning, offering me resources from his years of hard work, so it would ease up my workload. I could just use his files instead of making my own. Then later in the day, he got lunch for himself, but because it was too much for him to eat alone he brought them to my room again to share with me. I didnt have my lunch with me, because I already ate it at breakfast, so I could use his food. 

Right before I heading home, there were some treats left downstairs by the reception area, “just because”. I grabbed a doughnut as I punched out the clock.

As I walked towards the bus stop, I couldnt help but think how Allah has been doing so much extra for me through this hardship that recently came up on me last week. I have seen parents bring home favorite food when children are sick or upset. But The Lord Of The Skies And The Earth employed people from all walks of life, all different religions into doing these little things for me which He didnt need to, just because. The food or files didnt bring much difference in my day or my mood, I wasnt particularly elated. I kept getting worried and upset about the troubles and problems. But yes, for 2 seconds, just for 2 seconds, they helped shift my focus away and towards the grandeur with which Allah arranged these little somethings to care for me, to look after me. For two seconds it helped me appreciate and contemplate on Allah’s concern and touch. And then the two seconds increased to few more minutes as I decided to pen them down here. This is probably called increase from gratitude. Or may be not. But for whatever its worth, its few minutes worth of sweet nothings, just because! 

And that’s something.


Mixed Blessings: Surah Baqarah

I am one Surah Baqarah month old today, Alhamdulillah. I took up a “Finish Surah Baqarah Twice Every Month” challenge with my friend starting September 1, and I wanted to share some changes this has brought in my life.

To begin with, to my immense surprise instead of every 14 days (my Quran recitation is not the vert best, I am slow) it took my 2-3 days to complete Surah Baqarah. So every 2/3 days I would start over. In fact once I finished within one day only. Its unbelievable how my recitation speed picked up as soon as I made the intention. Alhamdulillah.

I saw a lot of changes in my daily life. All my day-to-day duas started to get answered, the ones like “Oh Allah please dont let their be any queue for coffee, I know I started late but I still want to reach on time, Please wake me up for Tahajjud”- all the daily duas were happening Alhamdulillah. What that did is to a great extent it smoothed out my day to day life, trimming the edges of daily challenges, and made things easily doable. Completing a  one hour assignment in 30mins, finding all the relevant information that is needed- soon became a routine. All praise and thanks to Allah.

Some other remarkable changes have happened on the personal forefront as well. Not to mention that the ease in day to day life has tremendously helped me keep up with gratitude- everyday manifesations of tiny little duas filled up my gratitude journal with entries and slowly (still in process) helping my faith muscle to build. The effects of gratitude have then been rippling on to the major duas and the carousel has since then been turning Alhamdulillah.

I am also someone with an extremely restless subconscious mind. Dreaming about everything that I do during the day has been something I have had since I can remember. Moreover, for about a year I have been suffering from nightmares. Even though I do the morning and everning recitations daily, for some reason I didnt really see much results in terms of peaceful sleep. But with recitation of Baqarah, alhamdulillah my subconscious has sobered up tremendously. In the entire month I probably had 3/4 nighmares which is nothing compared to multiple ones every night, and that too they came because I was overthinking from stress.

I read the Baqarah on my tablet. I read it while commuting, during TV commercials, at night as a bedtime read. So I am constantly hooked up to my tablet. After Fajr I try to read atleast 1 verse, because the benefits are more during that time. Allah said if you busy yourself with Quran recitation, He will suffice you in other areas.So sometimes if I am busy, I just read one verse after Fajr (because its already sunrise time by then) and then do my morning adhkars during breakfast. Because I have an extremely busy schedule, its hard for me to take out “quality time” for fancy recitations. I just do whatever, whenever, however I can. And from what I see (and I have always advocated for it), Allah sometimes likes the “crappy/ugly” acts of worship more than the “pretty and prettier” ones. Instead of couning how often I complete the surah or how much I read, I just make sure I read. Quantity is just a number.

For someone like me who has had troubles leading a normal day to day life, Surah Baqarah has helped me significantly in very subtle ways to push through in the past one month. If you want to add Baqarah in your daily life, let me tell you this- the devil will not like it at all. So it will tell you all the reasons it will not work out and how difficult it will be to keep up. Trust me, I know because it took me one month (the whole of August) to convince myself to add this in my life. But let me tell you, even if it seems “difficult”, there is something magical about the way it becomes “effortless”. It just becomes effortless doable to recite it everyday. 

Give it a shot!


(For details about the benefits of Surah Baqarah, please go over the sayings of our Prophet pertaining to them, may peace and blessings be upon him).

Take any good that you get, and leave the rest to collect dust.

A Late Summer Night’s Dream

I remember that Midsummer Night’s Dream. That devastating night, how I struggled to look for a meaning and purpose for it. How it took me so long to even begin to heal. The only good thing in that night was the moon. Other than that, I hated summer, I hated those trees, I hated the greenery. They trees shed their leaves and regained their greeery all within less than a year, while I stood there watching my life only shed everything, not gain. Hated them. The trees gained back leaves faster than mine. They had definite seasons planned, after 6 months they will get their leaves back. They had a calender to look forward to, I didnt. I didnt know when I would also get foliages in my life, and I detested the trees for knowing theirs. The greenery seemed to mock me, my stagnant, poignant story. It was Ramadan, sometime around the last ten nights, the best nights of the year.

I also remember the evening, right after sunset, of one of the best days of the year, towards the end of summer. There was the same moon and those same lush green leaves, about to turn yellow. There was even the same me. But that was it. Nothing else was the same. What I lost that midsummer night turned its way to come back on this late summer night. The tables were turning,  and as they did, I sat under those trees and made dua. Suddenly, out of nowhere, the trees started swaying in a breeze so beautiful, so serene, so peaceful, that I couldnt help but fall in love. The air was thick with freshness, dense with purity, an oxygen I never breathed before. A summer I knew before. I never knew the greenery could be good. I never knew Allah brought those greeneries back, nurtured and watered them all summer so when my time comes towards the end, they would join me to thank Allah before they hinernate for the season. So yes, I fell in love.

Fall in love with the subtlety yet the gravity Allah’s grandeur. I was sitting in front of the school playgroung which for some reason I stared at everytime I would cry. I never knew why but for years I had been drawn to the sight of that playground from my window. Now I knew why. Because Allah wanted that location to be the spot when it happens, so He made sure I had a connection with the place from before. My hatred for the summer and trees melted when those very trees joined me to glorify Allah that night. As they started to sway and dance the moment I started making dua, I just knew it wasnt random. It was much more. It was the trees joining me to glorify Allah, just how the birds joined Prophet David, just how Allah says in the Quran that everything in the skies and the earth does tasbih of Allah. Everything has their own way of worship, but it was a different experience when those very trees that bore the brunt of my replusion for years joined me to praise and thank Allah that night.

Allah keeps an account of everything, and incorporates even the minutest insignificant details into our story, because nothing is excess or random, should we pay attention.  SubhanAllah, Alhamdulillah, MashaAllah!

Did I mention that just as I was about to publish this post, I looked outside and saw the moon gazing right back at me? 

Alhamdulillah!

Marvel: The Series- Al Lateef, Al Qawee, Al Azeez

Stumbling upon this verse, something really struck a cord with me. I paused and reflected on the contrasting names of Allah; He is The Subtle One (Al Lateef), but He is also The Powerful One (Al Qawee), The All Mighty (Al Azeez). 

When life moves very very slowly, or seemingly slowly, almost akin to snail speed, we sometimes even have to pinch ourselves to believe that things are actually happening, albeit in the realm of the unseen reality. As “make believe” as that feels, because Allah is so Subtle, it is also equally true that He is the Dominant one. Allah has not left our affairs in autopilot.  We are not in a position where we have to sort of feel like He is not giving us enough attention (sounds horrible, may Allah forgive us, but we all go through those spiritual lows because we are humans and we were created with our sinister lower selves that is always full of trash talks). Even though the subtlety with which He orchestrates the nuances are sometimes so ordinary, that we almost feel like nothing is happening at all, His Might and Power is constantly doing things, planning in our favor, laying foundations for the good that is to follow. There is constant work in progress being done in the background, in the veil of the Unseen. 

When I was going through the worst phase of my life, circumstances dictated me to do certain things that time, make certain moves, take certain steps which at that time felt absolutely “unneeded” and didnt make sense at all. I wanted to run away from everything, even from life from a brief period of time. But today, I am living off of the fruits of those painful yet much needed decisions. Looking back I realise that the things that are happening right now,both good and bad,need the resources I gathered that time from those troublesome decisions. So basically Allah was planning it all since then. I just couldnt see and didnt know.

Just because things are subtle doesnt mean they arent powerful enough, impactful enough. When disaster strikes, the impact is a right knock out punch that makes you throw up blood from the guy, but for relief and joy, its slow and gentle. However, that does NOT by anyway mean the latter are not strong or powerful enough to change our lives with joy and bliss. Both have equal power to change the course of history, our lives, our stories.

Something to think about eh?

What To Expect When You Are Expecting 

Disclaimer: This post is NOT about pregnancy. I just borrowed the title.

Allah gives us what we want, sometimes even word for word, but not necessarily the way we want it. 

Think of this little incident that happened today. Since I am not praying this week, I was feeling little restless. The best days of the year are here, and not feeling tranquil enough to devotedly remember Allah when every good deed is most beloved to Him was something that was really bothering me. So I requested a friend to pray for me, that I am able to peacefully do my dhikrs and duas. I dont start praying till another two days.

Or atleast I thought. I am never wrong about my days, I always keep a count so I know when I start praying.Just a while after I told her to pray for me, I realised that for some odd reason this month my calculation went wrong. It is actually today I start praying. And as I prayed, I felt that serenity as if I came back home. Alhamdulillah.

When I asked my friend to make dua for me, I was expecting (and thats what she made dua for) to feel calm and settled in my heart and mind, so I can sit in my prayer mat for hours and to my tasbeeh, dhikr and duas. But surprisingly, Allah gave me exactly what I wanted- peacefully pray and worship Him, but now how I wanted. He ordained that I start praying today, and orchestrated the events perfectly that today turned out to be the day when it so happens. I never thought today would be the I start praying, and hence my expectations were based on what I knew, not what I didnt know.

This is something I have been reflecting on for a while. Sometimes we become so obstinate, so headstrong in the things that we ask for, that we focus more on the HOWs than the WHATs. Our job is to pray for the WHATs, we are in no position to tell Allah HOW to give those WHATs to us. We cant tell Him how to do His job, we cant dictate the terms as to how we want our prayers delivered to us. For when we do so, more often than not, we stand in the way of getting our prayers answered. 

Be very specific about WHAT you want, just not HOW you want it. Reminder to myself first, because I sometimes obsess too much on the process rather than the goal.

Take to good and leave the rest to collect dust.

The Express Shipping News: Al Muqaddim (The Expeditor)

When we try so hard to have our prayers answered, wake up in the middle of the night, fast for days, spend hours in prostration to Allah, watch out for rain, perform charities- we often think of “what else” to do.


Helping out someone in need is a great way to have your doors opens, those doors you have been incessantly knocking for so long. Anything, infinitesimally small, as mundane as helping a heavily pregnant woman lift up a jar of water to doing the dishes at home when its not your turn, setting up the plate for your parents with food or simply take out the slippers for them from the closet when they are heading out, all are pleasing to Allah. You never know who is going to make a secret dua for you behind your back, or whose relief would be so pleasing to Allah that He will express deliver your duas to you. Especially lifting off a hardship for someone- helping an elderly cross the road or give up your seats for them, allow someone in need to stand in the queue in front of you even though its your turn- sincere, genuine kindness is always pleasing to Allah. Afterall that is His attribute, for He is Al Rauf (The Kind One).



When we say Allah is Al Muqaddim (The Expediter), it does NOT mean Allah can open your doors or answer your prayers quickly, for we already know that when we call him by the name Al Qadeer (The All Able). Al Muqaddim means Allah DOES expedite.He does ship your requests with express delivery.


Let me say it again- Allah not only CAN expedite, in fact, He DOES expedite. Al Muqaddim is the One who DOES expedite your prayers, because He can, because He is Al Qadeer. Its one thing for someone to be able to do something, but its another thing for them to actually do it. That is why the Prophet (peace be upon him) once prayed for the rain, and said “quickly, and not delayed”. (Ref Dua: Weapon of a believer by Sh Yasir Qadhi)