self-care of the soul

What do you do when the world as you know it is put on stand-by?

Schools, sacred spaces, shopping centers-closed.

Livelihoods lost.

How can the soul bear the burden of such widespread chaos?

When social distancing breeds self-isolation for the health and well-being of our communities, how can we nurture our inner being?

How can we tend to the soul?

In Islamic tradition, Abu Huraira narrated:

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Allah says: ‘I am just as My slave thinks I am, (i.e. I am able to do for him what he thinks I can do for him) and I am with him if He remembers Me. If he remembers Me in himself, I too, remember him in Myself; and if he remembers Me in a group of people, I remember him in a group that is better than they; and if he comes one span nearer to Me, I go one cubit nearer to him; and if he comes one cubit nearer to Me, I go a distance of two outstretched arms nearer to him; and if he comes to Me walking, I go to him running.’ “

Our anxious minds must race to a higher power. Our fulfillment must come from Divine Love. We are not alone when the Creator is omnipresent.

It’s time for self-care of the soul.

Find your peace in the eternal rhythms of night-and-day,

the beauty surrounding us despite communal pain,

An adhan to re-call our spiritual pathways

toward prayer, reflection and remembrance.

There’s peace present within your soul,

if you seek it,

then you will know,

the transcendent nature of the soul.

Continue reading “self-care of the soul”

welcoming silence, inviting gratitude

“So make remembrance of Me, and I will make remembrance of you. And show thanks to Me, and do not be ungrateful.” [Qur’an 2:152]

Our modern world craves the adrenaline rush of endless to-do lists and over-packed schedules blindly leading us from one engagement to the next.

Our lives set to soundtracks drowning out our discomfort of simply being.

Being present.

Finding stillness.

Falling into nature’s natural rhythms.

It’s time to hit reset.

Return to comfortable stillness amidst the anxious chaos.

Re-establishing all the senses natural connections with Allah’s creation.

Allow the eyes to reflect upon nature’s infinite beauty.

Invite the ears to experience the great outdoor symphony.

Inhale the sweetness of your blessed surroundings.

Feel how His Love is All-Encompassing.

Taste the sweetness of His bountiful gifts.

Remember Allah:

Subhan Allah.

Alhamdulillah.

Allahu Akbar.

Invite gratitude into your heart through daily submersion in silence.

Know that the All-Merciful, the All-Compassionate surrounds you.

May the silent contemplation comfort your heart and strengthen the bond between you and the Divine.

Photo by Ifrah Akhter on Unsplash

morning race

5:45 a.m.
The morning race has begun.

Shower.
Get dressed.
Eat.
Brush teeth.
Rush out the door.

The breakfast half eaten and the carefully packed lunch forgotten.

I’m always running late.
An endless dance of catch up
to pretend I’m keeping up.

Did I lock the door…

The 8 to 5.
The long car ride.

My youth spent longing for adulthood.
That endless freedom so longed for.

I did all the right things:
Ivy league university
Followed by the suitable job.

Good pay
Nice car.
Now I have it all.

My bank account reads six figures.
Advertisers peddle self worth and happiness.
Love, now sold in stores.

This is the game I play,
as I go about each day.

I bought what society sold.
I gotta keep going.
Can’t change now.

This is what life is after all.
A business transaction,
A networking event.

I Am Free

‘The sky’s wide with possibilities,’
Is not a line you sold to me.

Always doubting my capabilities.
Finding humor in their plausibility.

The girl you knew
internalized that doubt.
Never allowing her
true self to come out.

Stuck in the box you made.
Dreaming of a way to break out.

I drove myself into those corners,
Hitting the same walls.
Carefully maintaining the boundaries you made.

Until the edges began to tear
And the box wore thin.

A sliver of light
beckoned me
to follow it out.

I took a chance
And peaked out.

The first time my voice came out.
No longer drowned out by others doubts.

The world was more than I was being sold.

I took a chance
And my voice began to emerge.

A dormant sea
of dreams and epiphanies
overcame me.

I bathed in their light
And re-emerged
With the most precious gift-
the discovery of self.

Self-love.
Self-belief.
Self-respect.

The girl I lost
Returned to me.

I am free.

friday free write

Your infinite love,
wisdom and mercy,
surrounds me.

Your creation-
a feast for the eyes.

No replication
can match its
perfect placement.

The Divine Creator,
a master artist.

The priceless 
perfection of
your pen.

You said, "Be."
And we became.

We've forgotten you-
but, how so?
When we reside
inside your masterpiece.

Each branch and corresponding leaf, just so.

Each body and soul connected, no mistake.

How can we deny Your signs?

Each one perfectly placed
within our reach
for reflection.

If this is dunya,
then what is Jannah?

I want a taste of the penultimate masterpiece.

Is it surreal, abstract, realist, or expressive?
Did any man come close enough to boast?
Did anyone's masterpiece compete? 

the realm of the believers

the making of souls
an elusive entanglement of spirits
winding through ether
penetrating realms
of unfathomable wonder
whispering softly
immersed in divine connection
whispering wishes diverted down byways
lying dormant for eons as souls meander
in search of their golden map–
a ticket to salvation
a restorative redemption
a circling back home
the realm of the believers
where our souls first were born

A dreamer’s declaration

Once the mind traversed the globe longing for places unknown. Youth held so much wonder between the pen and the page, the brush and the canvas.

I rewrote the playwrights’ wishes and inserted my own. I housed myself in imaginary realms. The penultimate escape against life’s transgressions. All those sticky situations unwound.

The pen and the page, the brush and the canvas–my life support.

Until the outside became too much. When the real and the imagined clashed, the wonder faded. Slowly giving way to depressive waves, crashing under other’s expectations. Standards of self and success, designed to count you out.

The pen and the page, the brush and the canvas–lost.

I became a wanderer blind to her forgotten lifeline. When you pursue concentric circles, you inevitably remain on the same path. The truth alludes you while it rests in a forgotten plane.

The plethora of personas I clung to led not to respite. I fought back dreams for more suitable pursuits.

The degree and the job, the pay and the promotion.

For what are dreams without profits? Mere distractions hindering capitalist quests.

The degree and the job, the pay and the promotion.

A mantra birthing my ambition to stay relevant, complicit and affluent.

Mindfulness.
Self-help.
Heal me.

The wealth race has depleted me.

S l o w d o w n.

Inhale.
Exhale.

Through the hustle and bustle, I found a forgotten thing.

Renaissance–.
Resistance.

I’m no longer complicit in this trope.

The pen and the page, the brush and the canvas–
a trust once broken,
Renewed.

The dreams resurge.

The pen and the page, the brush and the canvas–
weapons against the misery society sells.

A voice of my own–
Priceless.

Those old personas–
Deceptive,
Unfulfilling.

The pen and the page, the brush and the canvas.

A dreamer’s plea
For serenity.

The pen and the page, the brush and the canvas.

Your standards
No longer
Touch me.