Psychology Of Gratitude In Journey Of Faith: Newton’s Inertia


Its natural and human to feel numb when the much awaited breakthrough happens, after what seemed like a never ending period of slump- full of doubts, confusion, fear and despairing depression. You think that okay when this thing happens I will be so motivated and I will kick the blanket the next day and get to being postitive, working hard for my pursuit, etc. Sometimes it happens, you become so elated you jump out of seat with glee, but other times, you just feel numb. And numb not out of shock, but you just dont feel anything. Of course you feel the relief, it trickles down those same veins through which the beads of perspiration of the fear of the numerous “what if’s” ran down just a moment ago. But thats about it. You dont feel the instant dancing with joy feeling. It has happened to me and to many around me. I would like to think its natural.

Newton has a law of inertia. In easy English, it says that an object will continue to stay the way it is long after an external force is applied to change its course. So if you twirl around for 15 circles, and suddenly stop, you feel everything around you still spinning, albeit you stopped moving a minute ago. You feel like that because your body needs time to adjust from the sudden cease in twirls.

Similarly the human psychology, after being exposed to prolonged abyss of despair, doubts, negative self talks, all the  worst possible outcomes that we talk ourselves INTO, just to prepare ourselves “in case”- puts our mind at an inertia. From experience, inertia of negativity is unfathomably more rigid that that of positivity. Needless to say, it takes our mind a bit of time to fully get used to the goodness. As I always say, everything is a muscle. Gratitude- acknowledging, accepting, embracing and letting it to be part of your life, being able to rise above the fear- takes time to build. One incident might be powerful enough to leapfrog through the process; or sometimes it goes the traditional way of taking time to fuse into this new change. Even then, there will be gravity- pulling you down to the slump of despair by creating doubts inside you, which are nothing but white noise. So just like a missile you have to work against the force and keep the chin up, till your muscles are strong enough so you can sit back and turn the autopilot on.


Either way, the reaction is okay. As long as you are not declining what has been given to you, as long as you are taking small, subtle steps to increase those muscles- you are a work on progress. You are not stuck in slump anymore. Thats the beginning.

But I Have Promises To Keep, And Miles To Go Before I Sleep: Reflections On Ramadan 2017


Despite my phobia of Ramadan, despite dreading its arrival, despite not being mentally ready to walk down that same time of the year that took everything away from me, it happened. Ramadan happened, it came and it left. 

It was a roller coaster ride, perhaps with more lows than highs.The lows were brutal, much akin to the monstrous events of last year. I was hurt, bruised, torn, yet again. Most of the Ramadan I did very little worship, because my health couldnt take the difficulties than kept coming, the bruises kept hurting and the heartache kept consuming me like a fire burning everything inside of me. Guilty as charged, at my lowest, I even pondered if death would rid me of this pain (may Allah forgive me).

Sounds like a total replica of last year horrific Ramadan memories, doesnt it?

But it wasnt so. This Ramadan was anything but that of last year. The good things Allah sent to me this Ramadan, most definitely never happened to me ever. From being saved from a near death experience absolutely untouched, to some of the most beautiful serendipities- ones I never knew existed, happened. And I finally did what I could never do- accept the mistakes I made last Ramadan in terms of worship. Accept that even though I thought I did all I could, I was not doing them the right way. My mindset wasnt right, and perhaps my maturity wasnt upto the level of being able to have the things I wanted out of last year’s Ramadan. Allah knows best. 

I wont forget how this year Allah let me carry on with my low energy, low enthusiastic,D graded worship for the first 20 days. I wasnt doing physically well, so alhamdulillah Allah gave me lots of leeways. But He knew better that in order for me to NOT have the Ramadan like last hear,I needed to do things that I did NOT do last year. Allah always knows better. So in ways I still cant comprehend, I literally felt Allah gently holding my hand and guiding me through the last ten nights to worship Him, regardless of the external circumstances- however much I could.He sent me support and assistance I needed in terms of spiritual motivation, through some very special people. People who were not there last year. He ordained for me to witness some of miraculous ways He saves us, as I witnessed it in my own life as well as in the life of my friend- the miraculous and unimaginable ways He helps against every odds, bending every rules, every laws. Against everything that always goes wrong, when we ask Allah, He doesnt hesitate to go the unusual way. One of the verses that I witnessed this month was: 


Despite everything, as Ramadan is leaving I feel little unsafe. I feel little unprotected. I feel like no matter what I was being protected under the shade of Ramadan. And this is when I remind myself that I worship Allah, not Ramadan. Its the same Allah with His Unimaginable Mercy and Power that will always be there, because unlike Ramadan, He is not seasonal. That the doors to duas remain open throughout the year as long as I live, because Allah will continue to come down in the last one third of everynight to ask me what I want, regardless of the time of the year.

Because Allah protects me, not Ramadan. 

Thank you Allah. 

Alhamdulillah.


Day 12: Ramadan DUAries(Dua+Stories)-Faith Is A Funny Thing


This morning I was making dua for my friend. Among other things I threw in a casual dua for her- I wanted Allah to give her some peace and time so she can spend quality time with herself, contemplating and thinking about what she wants to do for her ownself. Her domestic affairs always keep her on her toes 24×7. I want her to do something constructive with her life, which, given her present circumstances is not usually possible. She didnt ask me to make this dua and I didnt tell her either. It was more like something I personally asked for her, because I knew she wants it deep down.

About less than 2 hours later, i texted her asking how is her day going, only to hear that she is looking through the applications of the courses she wishes to do. 

I was baffled at that moment. I had absolutely no clue she was toying with this idea. I just truly wanted her to have some time off for herself to atleast be able to think properly, let alone look through courses. The dua that I made for her, albeit heartfelt, wasnt something I was “begging for” either. It was a pretty casual dua, in fact I was just sitting on my bed when I made it. But Allah already started the chorewheel for her before makind dua for it even came to my mind. Allah just wanted someone to perhaps “lobby” for her, because He loved being called for her. Because He loves her.

The same way He loves you.



Complains Do Not Negate Gratitude: Counsel From The Quran

Complains and gratitude are not mutually exclusive. You can grieve and complain to Allah, and yet remain grateful. When Prophet Yaqoob lost his 10year old son Yusuf, he was devastated and he cried so much he lost his eye sight. Yet when Allah narrates us the story,  NO WHERE does He mention anything about gratitude. Allah never tells him to be grateful that his other sons are alive. None. In fact, Allah captures his struggle by actually telling us that his grief did in fact affect his health, people around him were uncomfortable with his sorrow so they told him to move on- all things that every single one of us unfortunately have heard or told others. 

In this very famous verse Allah actually glorifies the fact that this prophet did complain. He kept telling Allah about his sorrow UNAPOLOGETICALLY. Unlike us humans, Allah did not guilt trip him into being grateful to supress his emotions. In His immense wisdom Allah never tells us to suppress our emotions because He knows it is not healthy.

What is also remarkable is that Allah revealed this story when His messenger (peace be upon him) needed counsel, when he was goung through the most difficult phase of his life. So basically even to his messenger (peace be upon him) Allah did not condemn his grief or ask him to stop complaining and be grateful. Allah gave both these prophets the time and space to grieve, to mourn. Allah acknowledged their sorrow and if any He actually tells us that through their legacies that we can turn to Him too to complain. Complain with unwavering certainty that Allah will change our condition for the better.


Even in this very famous verse of gratitude if you look at the background, Allah revealed it to the Children of Israel after Pharaoh killed their baby boys. Allah through His messenger Moses consoled them and encouraged them to be grateful. But Allah did NOT negate their grief or ask them to stop complaining. That is not a practice of Allah. He gives us the leeway to be grateful and still lament.

Basically what I am trying to convey is that we shouldn’t be ungrateful. We shouldn’t try to negate the value of what we have. But that does not mean that we settle with our miseries. It does not mean we pretend life is a bed of roses when in reality it might be not. There is a reason Allah says in the Quran “and do not forget your share of the world” (28:77)

So relieve yourself of that burden today. That burden where you are “supposed” to be only grateful and not complain. You can do both. You can complain to Allah, complain like nobody’s business, pour out to Him every bitterness that is there. As long as you are not being ungrateful, as long as you are not dismissing the favors He has done to you, you are good. “Remember Me, I will remember you. Be grateful to Me and do not deny Me.”(2:152). 

If you are still unsure, try it today. I do this experiment with myself. I was at a very bad situation and I complained to Allah a lot, but the whole time I kept an eye on my attitude. I figured that I did not feel “ingratitude”, I did feel grateful for what I have, but the pain of what I dont have, that sense of inadequacy created from that void was unbearable. 

Pain is given to us for a reason, to feel it. Feeling the sense of incompleteness for the things we do not have in life, for our unfulfilled dreams, wishes and desires, its part of our human creation. It is how Allah created us. We cant cloak them up with veils of gratitude and run away from acknowledging those emotions. Gratitude has its own place and so does our want and need for a better life.

That Faith Muscle

So my friend and I were discussing the topic of certainty and belief in the prayers that we make. Discovering that we both suffer from that hollow in the pit of the stomach or the sinking of the heart that is felt when we are to take a leap of faith, was an eye opening experience, much to our chagrin. We both felt it is something we need to help each other with, and I just wanted to share some of the realisations we had in the process.

So let’s start with an example. You are ravenously famished and you still are en route to home from work, so you call home to your mother and ask her to have the food ready. Would it ever occur to you in the fragment of your imagination that your mother might NOT keep the food ready for you? Would you ever have that feeling of “What if I go home and she doesnt make food for me so I have to spend the night hungry?” The thoughts wouldnt even cross your mind. Because you are certain and you have that trust in her that she will.

But unfortunately this equation gets horribly messed up when we are put in a position to place that same unwavering certainty in Allah. No matter how much we know and learn, the human psychology defies them. May be some very highly spiritual scholars have that level of certainty, but I believe I am speaking for the everyday Jane/John Does like you and me. 

So my friend and I have decided to take the following actions and monitor our progress on a weekly basis:

1) We ask Allah to give us our wishes despite our lack of sufficient, unfaltering faith. He is Al Wasie (The all Encompassing)- so His love and generosity encompasses our shortcomings. 

2) Even Prophet Ibrahim asked Allah to fulfil his dua and use that as a means to firm his faith. So realise that weakness of the heart is a human phenomenon which Allah actually acknowledges in the Quran. Allah teaches us from the example of this great Prophet that we can ask Allah to increase our faith by actualising our prayers and desires.

3) Positive affirmations dont work. If any, the closest it can get to is by talking to Allah. Now what to do I mean by that? For eg, you want to be married. So you call upon Al Wali (The Guardian) in a manner where you explain to Him the significance of His name. Its not that Allah doesnt know the significance of that particular name; but it is through explaining to Allah that you basically strengthen your own faith muscle. For eg you tell Allah that ” You are my guardian, so You are responsible for finding a spouse for me. You have assigned Yourself as my guardian so You have to find someone who You trust me with, who will be my guardian in this world. You have to find this person for me because no one else will do a better job than You.”

As you will keep talking like this to Allah you will feel a sense of power inside you- that is the power from having trust on Allah. The power that you are aided, helped, assisted. This will grow your faith muscle. But just like any workout, you got to be diligent and focussed. Its no less than a workout trust me.

4) Make little duas everyday and as they manifest write them down- details of the experience and what you learnt.

I just wanted to say that everything I have written above is from first hand experience. I don’t if these doubts and self talks ever completely go away, but for what its worth, it most definitely gets better and lesser. Take it from someone who was a paranoid in asking something from Allah because of the ill thoughts and expectations, courtesy to the voice of the devil pretending to be God and telling you that you wont get your prayers.

Efforts Are Basically Placebos


When we pray for something, we are required to take actions as well towards achieving it. There is no free lunch in reality.

But what is important is that we realise that our actions really do NOT generate/ guarantee results. Results come from The All Able, from God. He uses our efforts to manifest results. Remember that time when you had a really horrible exam but your passed with flying colors, and you absolutely have no idea how it happened? Well there is your proof. He excused your poor performace and gave you a better result from Him, as a a token of His love.

So why then, do we need to work? Why can’t God just give us everything like that? Well it is because of our own accountability and ownership. It is for the same reason your parents let you work to earn your tuition for college, albeit they are very much able to afford it. It is to teach us accountability and take ownership of our achievements.

When Maryam (peace be upon her) was in the pain of delivery, she was asked to shake the tree above her so it would shed fruits for her to eat. Imagine how vigoriously could actually shake it? My guess she probably was barely able to touch the huge tree trunk, let alone shake it. But she did whatever she could, and the tree bowed down to reach her. 

So your efforts are subjective at times. Just because you can’t exert as much effort like others does NOT mean your doors to achievements are closed. Sincerity is all that counts. God does not need your efforts to give you. Your efforts are the best you can do in your particular situation, so when you achieve your success, you feel the confidence in seeing the fruits if your labor. It is all for you. 


So stop fretting about not being as good as others. Maryam wasn’t. So the tree came to her. It can come to you too, Because just like her, you too are no prophet.

Everyday believers like you and me are not excluded from the Divine Miracles.

Nostalgia Kills


You miss it. You miss those times. The people, the lanes, the streets- it is as life you lived an eternity among them. It is as if it was a whole different life, a whole different you.

Reminisce it. Soak yourself in the scent of those nostalgic fragrances as you breathe into your pillow, stiffling another sob under those staggering breathes. Allow your heart to swell and burst as it walks down the memory lane of those bittersweet cinnamon memories of the winter mornings.

And what better time to do it than the depths of the night? When the only One who lived through those experiences with you come down in the last third of the night- only for you. To reminisce your journey with you, laugh at your joy, weep for your sorrows, grieve the loss and hope for the future. He wants to walk those ailes with you, know about the taste of those salty cashwes you had, the sweetness of the fruits you got drunk in, the spices of the various colors that gave you ulcers.

He watches you twisting and turning in agony as you silently soak your pillow with another sleepless night. Thats why He comes down everynight and waits for you behind the clouds. To talk to you, to hear from you.