Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Life Updates: Chapter Nine - Giving up

So I decided to take a browse around my blog (and I encourage you to as well, it is free of charge!) and take a look at some older posts that I wrote. To my surprise, I noticed that for the past four years there has been a reoccurring theme where I speak about my emaan, my hardships that affect my emaan, and me being in a physical environment that is not in my favour. It is kind of funny to read back and see myself speaking about the same things I am blogging about currently. I guess it is a re-occurring theme?

The reason why I wanted to point this out was that it reminds me again and again that life will NEVER go the way I want it to nor go the way I expect it to! I was in KY, a place I physically, absolutely detested and still I was going through struggles and hardships - externally and internally. Now I am back home in my beautiful country yet I find myself in a circumstance which if I had a chance to choose, would definitely not choose it at all!

That brings me back to remembering what Islam is all about. How even if the external circumstances are not befitting to you, you must be content and pleased with what Allah has given you and to connect with your inner self. Finding that richness deep within instead of looking for it around you.
“Wealth is not in having many possessions. Rather, true wealth is the richness of the soul.”Source: Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 6081, Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 1051.This is such a simple yet deep reminder.

I always think that success in life is determined by how many children you have, having a successful career and living somewhere where you love with loved ones. I think perhaps all this time I have been missing the point because I allowed and continue to allow my external circumstances affect my well-being and emaan. Not to say, though, that your external circumstances do not have a role to play on you internal centre because it definitely does. Your external circumstances can really affect you in ways you can never imagine. Many individuals including myself can't find peace of mind in an environment that is unfamiliar or makes us uncomfortable. I am still struggling and to be honest, I really don't think I will find peace of mind until I remove myself from this environment, but at least I can strive to find a balance where I can tolerate my circumstances and try to exercise sabr.

Since my external environment is not somewhere I really wish to be, I try to do what I can and make it work. Many times I have failed and that is normal because again, I am only a human being and I can't expect myself to be in a good mood 24/7. I know a lot of us wish that things would go our way because it is just easier. When we can have what we want, live where we want to live and do the things we want to do, it is just easier.

Things are just easier when we don't have to strive and struggle. But then we would never learn, right? How else can we get to Jannah if we don't go through hardships and be put through situations and circumstances that we really don't want to be put in? Even non Muslims have to go through struggles and tests to get to where they are today! So many successful non-Muslims have struggled and suffered and then they attained what they were striving for, the success in the dunya. Allah gives us whatever we strive for. If we want the dunya, He will give it to us and if we want  the akhirah, He will give it to us. I guess it all comes down to priorities and how much we are willing to struggle in the way of Allah.

“The dunya is a prison for the believer and Paradise for the disbeliever,”[Sahih Muslim, vol.4, #7058] 
I am really starting to understand this hadith because I truly feel this way. The dunya really does not have anything good to offer. It is full of let downs and disappointments. I continue to struggle to remind myself that this dunya is only temporary and I shouldn't focus all my efforts and pain on this life. It is not my friend and it will always deceive me. It is so easy to drown yourself in this life with worries and problems which will be the least of our concerns on the Day of Judgment!

Day to day, I still struggle to accept that this life is not what I had in mind. All the tests and trials I go through are only to remind me not to settle comfortably in this life. All the tests and trials are made to remind me that I have to push and strive until the very end. But it is so hard.

Sometimes I just want to give up and submit to my desires and forget about everything I have been working towards. That instant gratification that seems so tempting and so easy. It is so easy to let your desires run like a wild horse. It is so easy to just give up because everyone else around you is living happily fulfilling their own desires. Their lives seem so exciting, fresh and lively! Everything seems so picture perfect. But are they really happy and satisfied with this fleeting life?

Then I think back to the days of my pre-Islamic life. Was I happy when I used to submit to my desires and chase the dunya life? Did I ever find satisfaction from doing this or that? Did my life really feel complete when I would accomplish x-y-z? The answer is No. Not at all. Anytime I accomplished something, I wanted something else. I wanted more. I was never satisfied and I always wanted something else, something new, something better. Even if it was unrealistic and unattainable, I would try to attain it. That is the reality of this life. You will always try to chase SOMETHING. The dunya is meant to make us greedy and unsatisfied. That is why it is such a temporary place. Once you attain something, you want something else and the vicious cycle continues. Your happiness is always termporary. It will never leave us fully satisfied because this is not the place for that.

I can't even begin to express how deceived I feel by this worldly life. It is not something I want to befriend and it is definitely not something I want to trust. Up until this point in my life, I have been deceived over and over and I have been left disappointed. Anytime we want to blame Allah for our hardships and struggles and trials, remember that it is not Allah who we are to blame but we need to remember that this is the reality of the dunya. This dunya is the external environment that we need to survive in and the only way we can do that is to keep our internal self satisfied with Islam as our religion and Allah as our Lord and Muhammad (sallalahu aleyhi wasselem) as the last and final messenger.

When we figure out how to live with this in our hearts, then truly we will have succeeded and that inner richness will help us strive until the very end. But getting there is not an easy task. It will take many moments of defeat, hopelessness, and helplessness. Surely we believe in our hearts and tongues that Islam is our religion, Allah is our Lord and Muhammad (sallalahu aleyhi wasselam) is our last and final messenger BUT when we are faced with trials and adversities, sometimes we forget.

We forget that Allah put us in the hardship in the first place to reward us and to cleanse us from our many sins. We forget that Allah is the one who will help us out and through the struggles as long as we call upon Him over and over. We forget that Islam is a religion to guide us through this life with peace and determination. We forget that prophet Muhammad (sallalahu aleyhi wasselam) endured so much pain, suffering and hardship for us ! Wow, even I forget all these things sometimes.

It is so important to keep making duaa even when you have nothing left in you. I have struggled with this so many times when I just wanted to give up on making duaa- even to this day, as I write this, I sometimes feel like "what's the point though?" But then I remember, no, there is a point to all this. Duaa is a form of worship and it is my string to hope and my way to Allah. Thus I must continue to push, shove, climb and strive my way to Him, even when everything around me wants to bring me down. 

Monday, November 6, 2017

Life Updates: Chapter Eight - Today.

Today I am feeling emotional. I have been for a few days now and whenever I feel this way, I always wonder what has changed in my routine for me to feel this way.

Sometimes I have really good weeks, and even months! Other weeks and months are not so good. I think I am having another one of those weeks/months.  I am aware of the patterns, though. I know when I don't focus on my external situation so much and I concentrate on my inner realm, I feel better. Over and over I remember that striving to strive within, will only benefit me in all circumstances.

I feel really emotional. I feel negative. I feel weak. I am struggling. Again. 

I think back to my life in the USA and all the many trials that came along with it. It weakened me to the point that I felt humbled. I thought I had life all figured out, you know? I thought that I knew how to handle life and all the things that came my way. But I guess I was wrong.
I think about all the moments I slipped and fell, not wanting to get up. I remember these moments very well. I think about all those times where I really thought I could move forward no more, yet somehow, I found it in me to inch a little further.

Through all these tests, Allah has truly been with me. He could have easily left me to go astray (may Allah always protect me and all of us from that Ameen!) but He continued to guide me. Though reciting al-Fatiha five times a day may not always sink deeper than my tongue, I know that there would be no other place I rather be on than the siratul mustaqeem- hey that kinda rhythms?  Even though there are times I don't feel that Allah has been with me, if I just open my eyes, ears, and heart a little more, it is obvious that Allah is with me.

Constantly, I am fighting.
I struggle to strive.
Some days I just feel so unbelievably irritated, so much so that I just want to crawl into bed and leave the world behind me. Other days I feel like I am on top of the world and I can conquer anything that comes my way. I guess it makes sense since I AM only human.
The struggle is real and it ain't just a #hashtag.

I share this because I want everyone who reads this to know that everything you see on social media whether it be Instagram, Facebook, , Youtube or Snapchat is not always rainbows and sunshine. I find it awfully deceiving for almost every Instagram account to be sharing the happiest moments as if all they know is travelling, shopping, looking into their spouse's eyes all starry eyed and showing their child always laughing and peaceful!

In my last post about being an only child, I didn't just talk about the benefits of being an only child, but I mentioned the importance of being true to oneself. I feel like being on social media  automatically gives us this entitlement to show our lives in a heavily, unhealthy distorted way; the way how others perceive life to be perfect and the way they all make it seem like this dunya IS worth chasing is definitely far from reality. Not only do these individuals fool others, but they are essentially lying to themselves. As soon as something hard hits them or they are faced with adversity, they don't know how to handle life because all they imagined is that life should be all fun and games. "Living the life" is something far from reality and we do not hear enough about "handling life".

Often we are too busy "living life" yet we don't even know how to handle this life! We put all our hopes and expectations into something that is only a mirage. I need to write this post mainly as a reminder to myself. Over and over, I keep having these high expectations of this or that. Over and over I have been humbled by doors closing, sometimes slamming in my face. As soon I realize that I put too much importance and emphasis into the dunya and forgetting my akhirah, Allah sets me straight. I am tested with things that really poke at my patience. I am tested with things that question my tawakkul and I am tested with things that feed my ego. Today, things are blurry and things are grey.

This journey is so difficult and sometimes I wonder what is the point of all this! I know the path I have taken is meant to show me many sides of "me" that I have never seen before. I know that the path to guidance is not an easy one. Under all the darkness of life's lessons, I know there must be light and freedom. I continue to search, I continue to struggle, I continue to feel the burdens heavily on my shoulders weighing me down.
I let out a big *sigh* and keep going...
Today is a new day.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Life Updates: Chapter Seven- Being an Only Child

People are moving on with their lives yet I am still at a standstill. Sometimes this makes me feel sad and other times it makes me dig a little deeper into my realm of existence. As people are busy with the external aspects of life, I am busy with my internal aspects of life. All this time has allowed me to figure out who I am not only as a Muslimah, but as a human being.

 I guess I can say that all this time alone has given me the opportunity to really understand and learn what it is like to live life as a Muslimah. I feel like if I started a family early on and lived that "family life" like everyone else, I would have been too caught up with my external surroundings and totally would have neglected my Self- wa Allahu 'Alim.

I think being an only child has really helped me connect with My Self. It has forced me to become very introspective and because I always had/have time alone, it has allowed me to get in touch with myself. It has allowed me to reflect and respond to my inner cries, my inner struggles, and my inner aspirations.

Growing up, I was always very social. I enjoyed interacting with others and I always thought going out with friends or going to family gatherings was something exciting. At that time, being alone was something boring to me and I would romanticize the idea of being busy running around from point A to B meeting X, Y, and Z. Just thinking about that in my head right now makes me feel exhausted!
In high school I always envied the busy bodies and I always wanted to have a very active social life. I couldn't because I lived too far away from my school and my parents were quite overprotective. So when I was more independent, I went all out and made myself into that socialite that I longed to become.

That life was so exhausting. People became exhausting to me and I began to embrace that low key life I once had in high school. How funny is it that when I had what I wanted, I didn't want it anymore?! I was all partied out and I preferred to just spend my time with one or two friends doing something that required very minimal effort. I didn't like big groups of people and even though I could socialize and people often mistook me for an extroverted social butterfly, I actually preferred to stay home and be away from annoying humans. I just recently found out that this is what we call "introverted."

When I first became Muslim, I somehow forgot that I was a natural introvert because all I wanted to do was meet new Muslims. I thought that going to social gatherings was something that I really enjoyed doing. It turns out, after a while, I retracted back into my introvert shell.

Since I have been back in Toronto, I have embraced that fact that I am an introvert. Loud people annoy me, big groups overwhelm me, and long hours of being out exhaust me. I prefer to be at home in my room and keeping to myself. I don't have to answer to anybody (except my parents lol) and I can do whatever I want, whenever I want and nobody can bother me (unless I allow them to). I am an introvert and I am proud to be one.

Being an introvert has many beautiful benefits and it is only these past (almost) two years that I have realized what a blessing it is to just enjoy your own company, without all the outside noise (well literally in my parent's place there is a lot of noise but I have learned to drown it out). When you can just sit and think about life and reflect upon yourself and your actions, it really allows one for self growth.

At first I thought that spending too much time by myself and being "idle" would make me more depressed because I would focus only on the negative aspects of my life.
For a long while, this is exactly what happened and I would drown myself in my own self misery. I would compare myself to other's lives and feel sorry for my own "boring", "lonely" life. Of course, I am not free from that still (lol) as I am a human being so weak by nature that it is only normal that I will retract into this from time to time, but Alhamdulillah, Allah has helped me along the way and allowed me to see the benefit in being alone.

I now realise that being an only child has really benefited me in more ways than I can imagine. It has allowed me to realise that I can turn loneliness into solitude. Solitude for me has become solace. It has allowed me to hold myself accountable for my actions. It has allowed me to reflect upon life. It has allowed me to embrace and enjoy my own company. It has made me realise that at the end of the day, I will return to Allah alone. Nobody will be in that grave with me and nobody will be standing beside me on the Day of Reckoning. It will just be me, myself, and I with my Lord.

Alhamdulillah, by the Mercy of Allah, I have found the advantages and full benefits of being an only child and they all work in my favour - Allahumma Barik. Of course there are sometimes disadvantages because I can easily detach myself from others and because I seem to put my needs before anyone else, I may come off as selfish or self-centered. But to be honest, I feel like we all need to treat ourselves sometimes like we are only children (even when we are not) because it is only then when we focus on ourselves and keep ourselves in check that we can live an effective life as a Muslim.

Don't get me wrong, though, I do wish sometimes that I had a big family and children of my own because as busy as that kind of life can get, it does have its rewards and benefits as well. But because this is what Allah has given me, and even though I saw it as a negative thing for a long while, I have come to embrace it and accept it thanks to Allah. Through the pain, the tears and the sadness that I experienced by myself, Allah allowed me to see the benefits of being in the current situation that I am in.

I always had low self- esteem and self confidence issues because I thought acceptance comes from other people and from my external environment. But as I spend more time alone, I realise that, as cliche as it sounds, acceptance comes from within. When you accept who you are, that is when you are able to make the necessary adjustments you need in order to be a better Muslimah. Often times we think that we have to become better for the people around us but when we do that, we will only end up in failure. When we know ourselves, then we can get to know Allah and once we know Allah we can be a better sister, daughter, mother, wife, and friend. We cannot know Allah before we get to know ourselves because if you think about it, it was only through me knowing myself that I was able to open myself up to knowing Allah and finding Islam and knowing it was the true religion; I knew my life was empty, I knew the parties and drinking were destroying me, and I knew that there was something more to life. It was because I knew these things about myself that brought me to Allah and Islam.

Sometimes we just need to connect with ourselves by ourselves for ourselves because at the end of the day, nobody will do that for us. Using the excuses I once used to use, " I don't have a strong Muslim community near me", "there are no good Muslims around me", " I live in a non Muslim country" are not sufficient enough. Do you see the way the prophets used to struggle when all there were were non Muslims around? They did not live in the luxury of many Muslims at the beginning of their journeys of spreading Islam! Our connection with Allah does not rely on the people around us because as I mentioned, on the day of Judgement, we will be alone before Allah and in the grave, we will also be alone. Who can we rely on then?

Every time I write these posts I want to remind you all that I DO struggle, I DO cry, I DO feel sad and I DO fall into despair.
Sometimes it may read as if I have everything all figured out and that I got it together. That is not the case at all. I struggle each and every single day. Even as I write this, my emaan is struggling. I do not want you to think that I am some strong Muslimah who has the best relationship with Allah.
The only reason I write is because it makes me feel better and it helps me organize my thoughts. I write because I want others to know that my situation has forced me to dig deeper within and to try to find coping methods so I don't wallow in self pity. It has forced me to look at the positive aspects of my life even though many times I feel like there are none.

I feel it is important that I express this because a lot of the times, when we read people's blogs or we are on social media, we think that the person behind the screen is someone who does not struggle or go through hardships. We think that they are some pious person who knows how to deal with life. Well, that is not me and I don't ever want anyone thinking that is how I deal with life. You do not see what goes on behind this screen and you do not know what kind of challenges I have to face. So whenever you read any of my posts, please take it at a surface level. If you can benefit from it or it makes you reflect upon your own life, then alhamdulillah- ultimately this is my goal.

I wish that everyone who reads my posts will always be honest with themselves and ask themselves the same questions that I have been forced to ask myself during these challenging times. Do not wait until it is too late and do not keep making excuses for yourself because at the end of the day, your life will pass you by before you know it and as soon as your busy life slows down, you might be hit all of a sudden with all these things you never thought deserved any attention. When that happens, it may break you and you may not know how to deal with your life. That has happened too many times to the people around me and because they neglected themselves for so long, they fall into severe depression. Do not let yourself get to that point. Always try to find time to reflect and be alone with yourself even if it is for 20 minutes a day. Hold yourself accountable and be responsible for your relationship with yourself and with Allah.


Monday, October 2, 2017

Life Updates: Chapter Six - When things don't go my way...

"And Allah is the best of planners " (3:54)


For as long as I remember, since I became Muslim and even a little bit before then, I can safely say that things never went my way. I always planned and expected all these things to happen but they never did. Even to this day, generally, things have not gone my way even when I imagine them strategically planned out in my head and telling myself "it is only a matter of time before it comes true!" 

I wanted to write about this because as much as I wish things went the way I wanted them to, things haven't,  and that is OK. I think the biggest part of my struggles is/was coming to terms with what is/was happening in my life and truly accepting everything. I knew that I had to accept all the things that happened, are happening, and continue to happen but I was stubborn and I just did not want to. I know this is a whole exercise of complete sabr and tawwakul but I really didn't want to admit to myself that this is the main way I am going to increase in sabr and tawwakul which is by accepting my reality. I still find it difficult to accept the fact that I may be 'stuck' here for a long while and that I may never lead the external, material life that I long to live and that is OK. I just have to accept that maybe Allah has better plans for me here and that is OK. External, material life is this dunya life, and I know that I should never place too much emphasis and importance on this fleeting worldly life. 

Things are not meant to go the way I plan because I am not the writer of my destiny. Allah is in full control and He is the one who has everything already written for me. I think coming to terms with this is something difficult for me and for all who are struggling with some form of hardship in their lives. Accepting that things do not always go our way is something that doesn't come easily. 

For as long as I remember now, I always try to picture these perfect scenarios in my mind and imagine that they will all come true. I built up all these different types of situations and expectations hoping that they will happen. I gave things a deadline and expected things to happen within a specific timeline. I now realise that this was/is mental torment and this is something that causes anxiety, depression, and sadness. When I expect something to happen at a specific time and I put all my hopes and thoughts into them, and when they don't happen, I become devastated and I start to blame Allah (astaghfirullah) and then I lose hope and become negative and it just goes into a downward spiral from then on. I have gone through this vicious cycle too many times to count. 

I don't want to even admit that I would fall into blaming Allah because - oh the blasphemy right!? But the reason I wanted to share this is that I wanted to remind myself and everyone reading, that we are all human beings- weak creatures who stumble and crumble during vulnerable times. It is ok to be vulnerable and emotional. This is how Allah created us and I know there are so many people who can probably relate to me and have gone through this feeling of blaming Allah, once or even twice in their lives. Sometimes it even turns into anger (audhubillah) because as humans, during times when we feel weak and helpless, we do not know how to channel those emotions into a positive way so we just naturally blame others and get angry. I can't even express how normal it is to feel this way but this is not something that we should feel comfortable with. In fact, guilt should overcome us and we need to stop ourselves and remember to make duaa in those very moments. 

As I mentioned, I have been through this vicious cycle one too many times and it takes a heavy toll on you. When we blame Allah and become angry at His decree, it is a very dangerous state to fall into; we can end up feeling resentful and in response to our feelings we end up committing haram as a way of rebelling. This does not harm anyone except ourselves. That "oh well, nothing is going my way anyway so what is the point of this all" mentality does not harm Allah, nor does it change our decree. It only harms us in the end. Everything is meant to be a test and remember, this dunya is not our friend. We should not trust it nor should we get too comfortable with it. I try to remind myself that the more I am being tested is not because Allah hates me and wants harm for me, but it is because He loves me and wants the best for me. Honestly, though, sometimes it is so hard to keep myself in check and I do fail countless times.

I came across the tafseer of this verse and I couldn't help but share it because it felt so relatable to me: 


"There are among men some who serve Allāh, as it were, on the verge: if good befalls them, they are, therewith, well content; but if a trial comes to them, they turn on their faces: they lose both this world and the Hereafter. That is the evident loss." (Sūrat’l- ajj: 11)
 The majority of the mufāsirūn said that عَلَى حَرْف (on the verge) means ‘in doubt’. As if a person who is standing on the edge of a mountain, a person who worships Allāh on the verge is unstable, flustered, weak and doubtful.  Some mufāsirūn said that it means ‘with condition’, i.e a person will continue worshipping Allāh if he acquires good, but he turns back to disbelief when he is afflicted with things he dislikes. Ibn Abbās explained this situation further in regard to people who came to Madinah to declare themselves as Muslims. He said:
“One of them would come to Madinah, which was a land that was infected with a contagious disease. If he remained healthy there, and his mare foaled and his wife gave birth to a boy, he would be content, and would say, `I have not experienced anything but good since I started to follow this religion.” But if a fitnah (affliction) strikes him (i.e. the disease of Madinah befalls him, and his wife gives birth to a baby girl and charity is delayed in coming to him), the Shayān comes to him and says: ‘By Allāh, since you started to follow this religion of yours, you have experienced nothing but bad things’, and this is the fitnah” .Tafsīr al- Qur’ān al-Adheem, Imam Ibn Kathīr

I find myself at times feeling frustrated, irritated, and annoyed with the way things have turned out because I had envisioned something totally different in my mind. I know I am not the only one who feels this way because after all, we are human beings. We have to constantly remind ourselves that we are human. We make mistakes, we become negative when things don't go our way, and it is normal to feel sad. Even though things have not turned out the way I wanted to at THIS moment, it doesn't mean that it will always be like this. 

Allah has promised us victory and ease after hardship. Many of us forget that duaa has power to change our outcomes and as well protect us from harm and evil.  Rasūlullāh (allallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, “Caution will not be any benefit against predestination, but du‘ā’ benefits (matters) that have occurred and that are (yet) to occur. And indeed, du‘ā’ meets with a calamity, and fights it until the Day of Judgment (Reported by Al-Hakim, graded hasan by al-Albani) 

There is so much power in duaa and no matter what, we need to keep making duaa. Even if things do not happen right away, they will happen insha'Allah, if we are patient and continue to hold on to that hope. Honestly, sometimes I have trouble believing this because after a while when things haven't changed or things don't go the way that I wish (hence why I'm writing this post) I start to feel a little stagnant and hopeless. 

Sometimes my external environment makes me feel extremely negative and I just want to give up altogether in making duaa. But the people around me remind me to keep making duaa no matter what and to always believe in Allah and have sabr. Sometimes this is not the advice I want to hear because how can I have sabr and faith in Allah when things have not been going my way? Just how??! But then I just force myself to continue to strive even if I don't feel it in my heart. This is what Allah wants for me right now and this is what is best for me at THIS moment. 

We can't just stop doing something because we don't feel it in our hearts. If we lived our lives giving up and not doing something because we "don't feel it in our hearts" then we will never succeed, right? Look at all the successful people in this world, there must have been moments when they did not feel like doing something but they pushed themselves to do it and not give up because they wanted a successful outcome in the end. They had a long-term goal and even though there were many obstacles along the way and they wanted to give up many times, they didn't. They were persistent and resilient! Many of them don't have Islam in their lives and yet they still prevailed, so what about us? We have Allah and Islam, the best of tools to get us through life! So a message to myself, there is no excuse to give up.

We can't give up. We have to strive on just a little more, just a little further. Even if it feels merely impossible, we really have no choice because giving up is when we have truly failed. When we fail, we never grow and we never learn. Learning and growing give us humility and
what is more beautiful than a believer who has humility towards herself and towards Allah? 
Realising that tests and trials are meant to give us sabr and to also show us that we truly are weak and can only get through this life with the help of Allah is the point of this dunya

Growing pains are never favourable but at the end of the day, they are exactly what we need in life to help us carry on, move forward, grow, and most importantly, stay humble. 








Monday, September 18, 2017

Life Updates: Chapter Five - Yo, but am I annoying tho' ?

Annoying people exist. They are everywhere and they come in different shapes and sizes. They can be people you meet for only a minute or they can be living under the same roof as you. Annoying people exist and they are as real as it gets.

I am an only child so I have always been used to spending a lot of time by myself. When I was young I used to enjoy being social and making a lot of new friends. I was never a cliquey person because I liked to have different groups of friends. Different groups of friends meant diversity and I liked (still do ) diversity. I never liked boring. I was like this up until my adult life until shortly after I became Muslim. When I first became Muslim, I wanted to meet as many sisters as I could and I became super social and wanted to attend gatherings. The revert-zeal I guess you could call it. But then things changed and socializing became exhausting.

Lately, I had an epiphany and realised though I may be a sociable being who is outgoing, at the end of the day I prefer to be alone. I am a sociable, outgoing introvert. Is that an oxymoron?

In Islam, good character, and manners are the keys to success in this life and the next. The importance of good etiquette and good manners is something highly valued in Islam. 

Growing up, I never really had good character or manners because the household that I am currently living in, never really showed me otherwise. Though I was told to have good manners, I was never shown good character and manners. There is a big difference between the two, especially if you are young and impressionable and vulnerable to your surroundings. You are basically copycatting what you see around you! So I just copied what I saw and called it a day. I was not born with good character and so this has been something I have been working hard on to improve. Especially now being around my family, I feel like I have to work even harder to not fall back into the way I once was!

I have struggled to try my best to tolerate and accept annoying people and try to put myself in their shoes. I think to myself, " maybe they are annoying for a good reason! "  It usually has a lot to do with upbringing and lack of confidence or TOO MUCH confidence. I guess parents have a lot to do with why a person is a certain way or why they aren't a certain way right? Afterall, look at me!

Then I think to myself, what if I am annoying and I just don't know it? What if what I see in others, others see in me (and don't take this the wrong way as in I don't exercise husnl dhun lol) ? Well, I guess that is why I prefer to be an observationalist rather than to be that overbearing individual who doesn't let anybody speak or who has to rebuke anything and everything someone says! Or those who seem to always talk about nothing else but themselves and anytime they ask you a question, and you answer, they totally disregard what you say and then talk about themselves. Or the super sarcastic individual who (enter sarcastic joke that is out of context and makes no sense -here) makes some comment and you are just thinking to yourself "HUH??". Oh, and don't forget the judgemental type! You can't eat or sleep without being judged. And those who meddle in your business and make you feel awkward. Or those who are way too open and speak everything on their mind and tell you flaws about yourself that you never asked them to bring up - thanks a lot.

I mean, I am sure I fall into these categories of annoying people from time to time and it is always important to reflect upon my own actions and hold myself accountable and ask myself, " was I annoying today? Was I being that overbearing controlling conversationalist who wouldn't let anyone speak and I only talked about myself?" I am sure I have been THAT  person on several occasions and when I think about it, I think to myself "ew." and head back to the drawing board and figure out what it is I need to work on.


I guess that is why I have become such an introvert and prefer to be alone. It gives me time to reflect. Even though the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The believer who mixes with people and patiently bears their annoyance will have a greater reward than the believer who does not mix with people and patiently bears their annoyance” (Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi, 2035), I prefer to be alone because I enjoy quiet and too much noise around exhausts me. Don't get me wrong, as I mentioned before, I do like to socialise and I am considered outgoing, but at the end of the day, I do prefer to just relax in my room and engage in some hobbies that allow me to enjoy time with myself. I think it is important that we all take the time to ourselves and reflect upon who we are today and who we want to be at the end of the day. We focus too much on others but we really need to focus on ourselves and make it a point to work on our character and manners. 


The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “I have only been sent to perfect good characteristics.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari in al-Adab al-Mufrad(273) and classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in al-Silsilah al-Saheehah (45). 
It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was asked about that which will admit most people to Paradise. He said: “Fear of Allaah and have a good attitude.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi (2004); he said it is saheeh ghareeb. It was classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi


I decided to blog about this issue because it is something I have learned on my journey thus far living back home and in Canada. I have been able to meet a lot of new faces and new personalities alhamdulillah! Since I was in the US for a while, I could only meet people online. When you are physically with a group of people, it is very different. Annoying people are a big test and I feel a lot of the time Allah sends us people who we can't stand, in order to increase us in patience and to help us develop better character. When we meet people who are annoying (and by the way, the term 'annoying' is totally subjective, because the type of people I find annoying, other people may love and vice versa) we can either talk bad about them behind their backs (which obviously is haram) or we can take it upon ourselves to NOT become like that and work to better our characters and manners. 

I think because I am an introvert, and an only child, my tolerance for certain types of individuals are much shorter compared to those who have many siblings and are extroverts. I am not used to big crowds and big groups of people and I tend to become an observer rather than an engager. I know writing about this really has no benefit to anyone who is reading this but as most of you know (those who actually read my blog lol), writing helps me explore and organize my thoughts and it works as a release and so that is why I write what I want and what I feel. If anyone benefits from the expression of my thoughts than alhamdulillah! 

I think at the end of the day, we should never get TOO comfortable with ourselves and with people. Once we develop that sense of complacency, we forget the way we treat others and we forget the way we should treat others. Though annoying people exist and some of them will never leave us nor will they ever change, we need to work on our character and manners and remember to treat others how we wished to be treated. 

Sometimes we need to just retract and take a little time out for ourselves and think about life and its annoying people and ask ourselves, "Am I one of them?"