Feeling Like a Ramadan Loser?

Feeling like a Ramadan Loser?

While stuffing my face at an Iftaar party yesterday, I came to the realization that the last 10 nights of Ramadan started that very night!

Ramadan Loser

Ramadan Loser

Yes, this Ramadan has not been one of the best ones unfortunately BUT it doesn’t mean I am destined be in the Ramadan loser category either! It ain’t over ’til it’s over. This is the final stretch and I can still finish off with tons of good deeds and have my sins forgiven.

A Ramadan Loser is someone who after this Holy month is over, is just as sinful as he/she was before it began and has not improved for the better at all.

Ramadan is supposed to be like a Professional Development or refresher course on how to ‘Muslim’. Allah locks up the devils and incites us to do more good deeds by multiplying the rewards 70 times.  ‘No shaytaan’ equals minimal sinning and multiplication of good deeds is supposed to help you rack up the rewards easily. Most importantly, this is the time when you’re supposed to re-learn the Qur’an and teach it to the rest of humanity (Not just Muslims).

Considering AllahSWT has set up the game in your favour, are you still going to end up losing?

Absolutely not!

This professional procrastinator has THE ultimate Ibadah hack list for anyone who has 10 minutes, $20 and a desire to earn good deeds.

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IF YOU KNEW ALLAH

If you knew Allah

Salaam!

Ramadan Mubarak!

Ramadan ready e-book- available on Amazon for $2.99

Ramadan ready e-book- available on Amazon for $2.99

How’s Ramadan so far? I hope you’re managing your mind, body and soul in such a way that your Ramadan is full of blessings and energy. If you’re lacking energy it’s probably because of what you’re eating. Check out my e-book Ramadan Ready for recipes and  tips on how to eat for the optimal Ramadan experience!

As for your mind and soul, I’m hoping this post will help you discover an entirely new way of understanding life; through knowing  Allah .

Instagram post via Inspired and Fabulous

Instagram post via Inspired and Fabulous

When I came across this post on Instagram by Inspired and Fabulous I couldn’t help but wonder how amazing life would be if everything was ‘good’. Not good as in nothing bad ever happens (that’s what Jannah is for), but good as in you are always able to understand why ‘bad’ things happen and extract the lessons and benefits of it. Imagine being at that spiritual level where you see the best in every single situation? How do people achieve that? Have they trained their minds to focus only on positives and become blind to the negatives? What is it that causes some people to always be in the state of Alhamdulillah?

My mother is one of those genuinely content and grateful people. She always sees the good in every situation, regardless of how ‘terrible’ it is. No matter what problem I have, after speaking to her about it I am grateful and more in love with Allah. She helps me see that every situation in life is an opportunity to harvest for our real lives – the akhira.

What’s her secret?

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my week with Mortimer's

My week with Mortimer’s and Give Away for one lucky winner!

Salaam!

I’m the type of person that proudly shares that I got my shirt for $6 or that the gourmet tasting cookies are actually made from a box . I just have such a thrill finding bargains while shopping  or short cuts to recipes that I must share with anyone I encounter. I am the kooky lady talking to strangers about random tips and tricks.  Today’s post is about my latest ‘find’, trust me you’ll love it too. Especially when you find out the  give away associated with it!

The moment I heard about Halal meat pies that are ready to eat within minutes, I knew  we would be BF’s..but I had no idea we would be BFF’s ( yes, I’ve been hanging with my little cousins a tad too much).

Mortimer's Halal Kitchen

Mortimer’s Halal Kitchen

In the past a ready to go meal was always a compromise between eating something with meat and flavourful but stinking up the lunchroom or inconspicuously eating some bland macaroni without attracting extra attention. Mortimer’s Halal On The Go immediately piqued my interest.. HMA Certified Halal meat?, Convenient? Wholesome ingredients? No MSG and artificial flavours? But it must not be flavourful. I immediately agreed to test them out and have not looked back ever since. (more…)

WAKE UP AND SLEEP

Wake up and Sleep!

Salaamz!

One of the scariest phenomenons is mob mentality or group think. Many atrocious crimes and genocides have happened because people gave up their thought and morality to the herd. ‘Because everyone else is doing it’ somehow makes evil or counter intuitive things OK.
Sleep deprivation is one of them

I know you must be thinking my flare for the dramatics is in overdrive, sleep deprivation isn’t that serious..sigh.. they got to you didn’t they?. TRUST NO ONE! Lol..ok now I’m being dramatic.
But the point is that just because something is common doesn’t make it any less serious. Since everyone is sleep deprived, it’s not that big of a deal. It’s a part of our culture, topic of conversation and sometimes even a bragging right. Everyone is sicker than they ever were before too.

1 in 4 people have a mental illness. If you and your spouse have 2 kids, one of you will or already has a mental illness. Instead of reaching for prescription drugs you could implement better sleeping habits and naps within your family. It’s really that simple.
Sleep deprivation is so closely linked to mental illness that I can’t believe we barely hear about it! Maybe because taking a pill pumps more money into the economy.
Sleep deprivation isn’t a side effect of being successful or hardworking. Sleep deprivation is a serious problem that is making us sick, less productive and even killing us. (more…)

My TOP 7 Tips

My top 7 tips for increasing focus.

Salaamz

Energy to do everything (Pinterest)

Energy to do everything (Pinterest)

I know things have been real quiet around here..but I have a really good explanation. I am focusing on focusing. It’s a blessing to be motivated and have 987 ideas but it’s mentally exhausting. I want to do it all! The most ironic side effect to wanting to do it all is that you end up doing nothing. I’m pretty busy with my Islamic Home Decor business but I still feel like I’m doing nothing for my actual long-term goals.Whether it’s your career, education, relationships or spiritual goals, you must focus on the most important ones in order to be successful.

How I manage adhd (pinterest)

How I manage ADHD (Pinterest)

I could tell my frazzled over thinking state wasn’t healthy so  naturally I started a Ted talk marathon and began Youtubing videos of self-help gurus. I typed ‘how to beat procrastination’ and ‘how to focus’ in the search box; I ended up delving into the world of Vision Boards and Purpose and the Laws of Attraction. But the ultimate issue was FOCUS. Let’s focus on focus. I’m seriously considering having myself tested for some sort of attention deficit disorder…is it possible to develop later on in life? I have found so much valuable information for all of you! Get ready to change your lives and be the You, you always dreamed of becoming. But you must focus first. (more…)

do women hate each other

Do women hate each other?

Salaam dear readers!

Hope you are having an awesome Friday! I wanted to thank each and every one of you for commenting on my last blog post about The Solution to Being Overwhelmed via my Facebook Page, Instagram and private message . Not only does it make me super happy to read what you have to say but I really felt the bond of sisterhood.It was a pretty personal post exposing my current state and faults. Reading how it helped you guys and how I wasn’t the only one making those mistakes, truly comforted me. Thank you!

I’ve been blessed with very gracious and supportive readers; I am so grateful for this digital sisterhood. Times like these remind me how lucky I am to be a girl and to be surrounded by many females.It’s so much more fun being a girl! SO glad I’m not a boring boy.

Why do girls or groups of girlfriends have such a bad rep?

Movies like Mean Girls, Snow White  and every Indian drama out there  always illustrate women as being adversaries or in constant competition with each other. Cat fights over bags, boys and beauty seem to be the exaggerated norm. If women are not busy plotting against each other, their relationships revolve around a male somehow. To make matters worse, sisterhood and positive female relationships are generally ignored.  Men on the other hand are portrayed as supporting each other or working as team members .

Mother in law and daughter in law portrayed in Bollywod (Image from india-forums.com)

Mother in law and daughter in law portrayed in Bollywod (Image from india-forums.com)

In real life, most marriage advice given to brides-to- be revolves around maneuvering through the tumultuous mother in-law, daughter in-law relationship because it is expected that you will butt heads and have issues. Girls are taught to be wary of jealous friends and to hide their achievements lest they get evil eyed. Almost every girl I know can list a female or two that tried to sabotage them or hated them for their success (more…)

The solution to being overwhelmed

The solution to being overwhelmed

Salam dear readers,

How’s it going?

Remember me??

I’m very sheepish and embarrassed as I write because of my surprise hiatus. I didn’t mean to abandon my blog for this long .I was overwhelmed with life to the point I felt paralyzed. I’m sorry.

I’ve been doing so much apologizing lately.

Apologizing for skipping out on social events, text messages and emails that I respond to after weeks. Missed phone calls that slip my mind. I don’t know what’s going on with me. It’s as if my days have shrunk and the hours have been reduced to 8 instead of twenty four. I know that’s a sign that spiritually I must be lacking because my time has no barakah.

So true.

I did what most people do when they are overwhelmed and the To Do list grows exponentially- start scaling back and focusing on the bare minimum in order to be able to at least complete all of the tasks.

The problem with this coping strategy is that it cannot be applied to salah and worship.

I had been praying (the minimum) but skipping my sunnahs because they are not fard (compulsory). As I rushed off the prayer mat to complete the next task, I justified skipping sunnahs and lacking proper concentration because at least I did what I had to do.

Clearly something wasn’t working and I was only sinking further in the quick sand of being overwhelmed.

Drowning in our To Do lists (Image from leadershiptraq.com)

Drowning in our To Do lists (Image from leadershiptraq.com)

I felt like my life was spiraling out of control and  everywhere I turned I realized  there were a billion unfinished tasks festering into bigger issues by the second and just thinking about what to do next tightened my throat to the point that it was hard to breathe let alone do anything.

Overwhelmed is an understatement.

But alas every dark cloud has a silver lining and my silver lining was this eureka moment that changed my life.

Salah is the solution to being overwhelmed.

 

Salah is not just an obligation, it’s the answer to everything.

Some of you may snicker like ‘duhhh, haven’t you read the verse:

O you who have believed, seek help through patience and prayer. Indeed, Allah is with the patient.

(2:153)

I have, I just figured it was referring to making heartfelt dua at times of extreme hardship and war. Only now am I realizing that Allah is referring to the salah we pray five times, every single day.

This got me thinking that the reason I was quick to minimize my salah was because I didn’t truly understand it’s purpose.

I was praying for all the wrong reasons.

 

They say the way you pray or the state of your salah is a mirror image of the state of your life.

If you hurriedly pray pecking like a chicken in sujood, you are probably running around like a headless chicken in life too. If you pray like this, you are likely praying for the wrong reasons.

People pray for many reasons. Now, more than ever, I’ve realized that not just how you pray but why you pray is the key to understanding the state of your life.

Some people pray because they have to, others because they want to.

I’ve been on both sides of the spectrum and in between.  To be perfectly honest I could bounce between all the reasons in the same week!

 

I prayed because I had to The fear of hell fire or my moms chappal/slippers used to be good enough reason to get up and pray. Later I prayed because Allah was watching me and only hypocrites didn’t pray.

 

happy to cross prayer off checklist (image from pinterest.com)

happy to cross prayer off checklist (image from pinterest.com)

I prayed because I should. It felt good to complete my obligations. I felt like I was being good. It  was a relief not to feel guilty. As a kid, Salah was like accumulating points in a video game. The number of times you read Subhana Rabiyy al Aallah translated into X number of good deeds etc. As an adult, I cherished the feeling of accomplishment for reading all 5 prayers on time especially while working retail, travelling, or being in high school.

 

I prayed because I needed to. These prayers are some of the most humbling and pivotal moments of my life. No matter how many times I think about it, the intense emotions come rushing back like it was yesterday.

I made duah the same way I read about how the Prophet PBUH would pray in times of distress. I raised my empty, trembling hands towards the  All Powerful and begged Allah while uncontrollably sobbing the entire time. Those have been the darkest times of my life but Alhamdulillah relief was around the corner.

 

If-you-knew-how-powerful-the-sujood-(image from thetrueknowledge.org)If-you-knew-how-powerful-the-sujood-(image from thetrueknowledge.org)

If-you-knew-how-powerful-the-sujood-(image from thetrueknowledge.org)

I prayed because it is good for me. If you don’t know the translation of salah, you are only reaping 30% of the benefits of it.  Only then will you learn that Surah Fatiha is an actual dialogue between you and Allah. You will pray calmly and purposefully when you understand the significance of ruku and sujood. Trying to stop your mind from wandering will not be an issue when you ponder the specific words Allah chose for us to recite over and over again. That is when you will realize that Salaah is not a ‘prayer’, it is a spiritual programming, set at specific times throughout the 24 hours of your day. The meaning humbles, reminds, comforts, warns, promises and guides us. Please, learn the meanings; it will transform your life!

I prayed because I wanted to. This is called sweetness of faith. I can’t fully explain the feeling. It’s joy, it’s sheer comfort, it’s being so happy you could cry. Allah is like your BFF, and you look forward to the giddy and cathartic feeling you get every time you ‘meet’.

You feel light as a feather and your heart beats freely because it’s no longer cluttered with all sorts of problems, anxieties, guilt and confusion.

 

I’m sure many of you have felt overwhelmed at one time or another. The number one advice I can give you is do not rush your salah and skip your adkhar.

Don’t make the mistake I made. The busier I got, the less time I spent ‘talking’ to Allah.

Rushing through it or treating it like an obligation instead of a solution is like quickly scanning over the prescription the doctor gave you instead of starting the treatment plan.

In times of stress and never ending to do lists, increase your Salah. When you pray purposefully and with understanding you feel relieved because you handed your burdens over to He who is capable of fixing everything.It gives you perspective, reminds you of your purpose in life and gives you true peace.Talk to Allah more; with Him lies the solution to your problems. Not enough time? Guess what? He controls time too. He can make the impossible possible. Just ask.

 

Chai later

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fab fri2

Fabulous Friday #2

Salaamz!,

It’s still Friday in my part of the world..two more hours to be exact.

It’s been a crazy day, some good stuff some, bad stuff- just life I guess.

Insha’Allah I will unveil some exciting news soon! Stay tuned!

On to what’s Fabulous this week…

1)Dalia Mogahed on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah!

Umm.. how super cool is this woman???

I’ve been a Trevor Noah fan since my brother in-law introduced us to his stand up show ‘African- American’ on Netflix. Hilarious and brilliant!

Now that he’s had Dalia Mogahed on the Daily show,I think I’m a die-hard fan. To be honest, I was semi-worried if Dalia Mogahed was going to be able to handle the  Daily Show scene.Obviously I was projecting my own insecurities because she is a hijabi and ‘representing me’. I didn’t tune in to watch her that night, almost fearful that I would be  embarrassed or upset if she ‘crashed and burned’. Strange and irrational way of thinking, yes I know, but that was my state of mind at the time. Masha’Allah she  was so awesome! Intelligent, classy, funny, brilliant, eloquent  and just so down to earth and cool! I know she’s had bigger audiences full of prominent personalities but the late night show crowd can be tough. She owned it and I am so proud of her.

It’s kind of hard  getting a link to the episode, so I will try  to link it via Facebook.

I hope everyone is able to access it and appreciate an empowered Muslimah represent Islam. (more…)

does the perfect wife exist

Does the Perfect Wife exist?

Salaamz!

A little while back, my best friend and I were doing a little self-introspecting and goal setting over chai- made by me of course. Truth is, I don’t really like chai that anyone else makes. Whenever I’m at a friend’s dinner party I usually offer to make chai,  not because I’m a nice  person- I just like my chai the way I like my chai. I dedicated a whole post (here) to the recipe people! Why don’t you read it??

Goal setting over chai (image frommaisonboheme.blogspot,com.au)

Goal setting over chai (image frommaisonboheme.blogspot,com.au)

Okay..now that you’ve seen my crazy side, it’s a perfect segue back to my goal setting session on being a better person. Along with several career and active life style goals, we both wanted to work on our roles as wives. Each of us had called the other one too many times recently, complaining about marital problems that could have been prevented. Alhamdulillah our problems were essentially petty things that sometimes manifested into bigger issues. Regardless, they still affected us, our children and the overall well-being of the family. Though bickering had become a norm for us, we still had faith that it isn’t the status quo.. that there are couples out there that don’t  harp on each other’s every mistake and go weeks without fighting. This was not going to be a husband bashing session, we were going to take responsibility for our faults and constructively criticize each other for the sake of achieving our goals. (more…)

Fabfri1

First Fabulous Friday of 2016

Salaamz !

Alas another week and all I’m posting is a fabulous Friday (sigh). Just letting you  know there’s a particular article I’m working on that -much to my husband’s annoyance- I’ve re-written about 11 times already! I know that’s kinda crazy but…I can’t  help it! It’s just not what I want it to be yet. Insha’Allah soon – make duah I get out of this writers block!

So three fabulous things this week that I MUST share with my awesome readers are:

:

  1. Josie Maran Skin Care Essentials

    Josie Maran Skin Care Essentials

    Josie Maran skin care essentials. This is not an affiliate post; I don’t get paid for my opinions.. but hey Josie, feel free to send some cash my way! This was a gift from my older sister Naila. She keeps me in the know with the latest and greatest in beauty products/ trends.Her advice is always worth its weight in gold; she is a successful make-up artist in the GTA Masha’ Allah.

    Naila Rana GTA Make Up Artist

    Naila Rana GTA Make Up Artist

    Check out her Instagram account here (after years of being in business, she finally made an account!). Not only does she introduce me to ‘what’s trending now’, she buys it for me too! Seriously, I think when she goes shopping she buys ‘one for me, one for Sahar!’ Yes, I know I’m incredibly lucky to have this amazing Sugar Mama Sista. On top of being super generous and highly talented, she’s a pretty awesome person too. Ok, losing focus, enough about Naila, back to Josie (I initially thought Josie was a Spanish man, I read it like Jose..hmm maybe there’s a reason why I don’t have affiliate connections with her lol). When I opened the box, there were so many little viles that I became intimidated. I really don’t have the time or patience for things that have multiple complicated steps. So back in the box it went. After seeing no improvement in my skin, Naila asked me if I had started using it or not. Apparently the results are so obvious within a short period of time, that she could clearly tell I hadn’t started using it!

    Josie Maran Argan Oil and Argan Milk

    Josie Maran Argan Oil and Argan Milk

    I was intimidated for no reason! The actual skin care regimen is just two steps. The Pure Argan Milk Intensive Hydrating Treatment and the 100% Pure Argan Oil. Rub 3-5 drops of the milk on your clean face and follow up with the oil. That’s it! The other bottles were for hair, body and pre-makeup prep. So I’ve been using it and loving it! I re-apply the oil a few times a day because of doing wudu several times a day.This is the best thing I’ve done for my face in forever!

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