The Pursuit of Happiness

Assalaamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu,

I hope you are well.

In this dunya, we have amazing luxuries left, right and centre, all around us. Even if we are not considered rich by the people around us, we are still rich. This is because we have more than what many, many people have around the world.

We subsequently become consumed by these luxuries and our worldly lives, from flying in first class to working in a corporate position.

However, can we describe ourselves as “internally rich”? Meaning, do our hearts really feel happy?

Many people may say “how can your heart feel happy?” But when you find Allah SWT, you can tell. The feeling of weightlessness and ease within your body, specifically your heart, is a feeling like no other.

This is the true meaning of being “rich”.

Our status among the people comes from those things that will perish ultimately, such as our physical appearance, the wealth we have, the university that we went to, etc.

BUT our status with Allah SWT comes from our obedience to Allah SWT, the ultimate and only reason for our existence on this earth.

The video below inspired this post.

May Allah SWT help us to ponder upon life often and save us from being swept up in this mirage. Ameen.

http://youtu.be/OB3DYaF50pQ

Assalaamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu,

A Modern Muslimah ❤

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Forgiving those who hurt you

Assalaamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu,

I hope you are well.

Just now, I was thinking about someone who had hurt me at work with the way that they spoke and the way that they were with me.

But Allah SWT inspired a beautiful thought in my mind: to forgive them and let Allah SWT deal with these affairs wholly.

The act of genuinely forgiving everyone who has ever hurt you in your life can be hard. Especially if they are deep wounds that still affect you today. However, even though I am finding it a little hard to fully and completely forgive everyone who has hurt me, what keeps me going in the right direction is remembering that Allah SWT is the All Knowing, Most Powerful and The Just so I know whatever anyone had ever done to me, they will be dealt with accordingly. This stops me from trying to make justice with my own hands.

You may think why I am looking at the name of Allah SWT “The Just” even though I said I forgive them. This is because I want justice as anyone would. Even though people may not say it, within them they will always want justice.

Forgiving and letting go will, insha’Allah, bring about a lot of relief and ease for you, helping you to fulfill your amazing potential, without having the past drag you down, leaving you depressed, unhappy and ungrateful.

I hope this helps you and if it does, please share it so that it may help someone else insha’Allah.

Assalaamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu,

A Modern Muslimah ❤

A Modern Muslimah Sisters’ Talks – OPEN NOW!

Disclaimer
I am not an aalima or a very learned Muslimah. I am just a normal Muslimah trying to learn more about the deen and how to implement it in the 21st century. I intend for these talks to be a way for people to share their knowledge and for us, in our busy lives, to still be able to remember and ponder upon Allah SWT and Muhammad SAW’s commands and guidance.

Bismillahir rahmaanir raheem (In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful)

I am hoping to set up sisters’ only lecture sessions on Skype, where I will prepare talks, to begin with, varying from imaan to the deen/dunya balance. After the initial stage, I will then be asking the sisters joining to compile their own talks/lectures for the participants. This will allow an open platform for people to be able to gain more confidence in speaking and a better understanding on certain topics within the deen.

To be a part of the experience, insha’Allah, there is a simple procedure. (A Skype account is required.)

1. Comment on this post saying “I’m interested.” (if you are happy to be contacted via the e-mail associated with your WordPress account.) If you would like to be contacted using a different e-mail address, please send me an e-mail at amodernmuslimah@hotmail.com with the message above.

2. Wait for an e-mail from Modern Muslimah (amodernmuslimah@hotmail.com )

3. Respond to the e-mail with the information required

4. If everything is in order, join us for the first session and beyond, insha’Allah! (Dates and times will be revealed to participants.)

Please feel free to share this with as many sisters as you like and please help me to begin this new generation of sisters’ circles!

A Modern Muslimah ❤

The relevance of Islam in the 21st century

Assalaamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu,

I hope you are well.

I have recently been watching two medical programmes, one looking at the effects of pork, ham, bacon and other meats on the body and the effect of fasting on the longevity of our lives.

This just made me reflect heavily on the verse “This Day I have perfected for you this religion and completed My Favour upon you and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.” [5:3]

This just shows the completeness of Islam being so perfect in every single way! Alhumdulillah.

The programmes, which I will explain to you, show this manifestly.

The first programme showed that all pig products were so bad for the heart and body that it would cut on average about 6 years off your life through just a relatively small portion.

In Islam, we are forbidden from eating pork or any pig products completely and from a young age, to all of the born Muslims, this is made very clear. However, we haven’t really fully understood why it is prohibited and what is so wrong with it. Myself and the world have only just started to understand the effects of these forbidden foods and the beautiful hikmah (wisdom) behind this.

The second programme, which I haven’t yet completed, is looking at studies which have proved that fasting often can increase the length of a person’s life.

In Islam, we are shown the way of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW). One of the beautiful habits that Muhammad (SAW) used to have was to fast every single Monday and Thursday and often within the four special months of the Islamic calendar. The amazing benefits of this fasting has only recently come to the attention of scientists who have seen that through it, the condition of your health and your life, in general, greatly improves, thus leading you to have a longer life than others.

Allah SWT gives us signs in the places where we may never think there are signs, for example, with me, in a Horizon documentary! But it is these beautiful gifts that we come across that we must use in the best way.

May Allah SWT help us to be more contemplative! Ameen.

The link to the documentary about the effects of meat on the body is:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04fhb90

The link to the documentary about the effects of fasting on the longevity of a person’s life is:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01lxyzc/horizon-20122013-3-eat-fast-and-live-longer

JazakAllahu khair.

A Modern Muslimah ❤

Oh boy oh boy!

Assalaamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu,

I hope you are well.

Today, after a long time, I got to understand and truly feel for my Muslim brothers and I truly understood why they have girlfriends and why they do other bad deeds.

I was sitting down in my class just 30 minutes ago and I was listening to a brother who was talking about Islam and his interaction with the Deen, frankly, to a non-Muslim man. He spoke about how he doesn’t follow everything in the deen, how the Deen tells him to live his life and how he has made mistakes in his life.

When speaking about the mistakes in his life, he spoke about the fact that he had a girlfriend and the fact that he had done that which is not meant to be done outside of marriage.

However, he regretted it.

The non-Muslim man asked “Was it because of the temptation and pressure that surrounded you?” He said that it was to do with the temptation and the fact that everyone around him was doing the same.

This was something that I hadn’t thought of at all previously in much depth.

The plight of young males who are trying to follow the restrictions of Islam. without support and with a TON of temptation surrounding them, is SO INCREDIBLY hard!

Being a woman I see women scantily clad in nothing more than a tissue but I disregard it, as it’s nothing special to me.

But just as the sisters feel when they see an attractive male, it is the same but it is just amplified by A THOUSAND times!

It really allowed me to gain a far better insight into the mindset of young males and made me more adamant to keep myself covered because I know I love my brothers for the sake of Allah SWT. Even one woman who is covered properly can equal a huge reduction in the fitnah out there.

Small things make a big difference!

JazakAllahu khairan for reading this.

A Modern Muslimah ❤

Facebook, Twitter and the like…

Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatu, 

I hope you are well.

I was recently (about 4 hours ago) thinking to go back onto Facebook and Twitter having left them both in 2011 and 2010 respectively. However I wasn’t thinking to join the two sites again for my own personal gain and fun but instead, to move forward with ideas that I had.

I have since decided against it.

The thorough process that I was going through at the time has prompted this post, which, I hope insha’Allah, will help others to make the right decision when it comes to going anywhere near social media websites.

Let me go back a bit to when I first joined Facebook and Twitter.

I first joined Facebook when I was in year 7 (at the age of about 12 years old), and used it for reasons which were not from the Islamic teachings, if you get my gist. I was involved in things which were not beneficial and which I regret to this day, although they have taught me many lessons. I then continued to have Facebook until I was 17 years old, between year 12 and 13. During that time, my Facebook profile went through a lot, from the types and quantity of friends I had to the content I was posting. My profile seemed to grow up with me.

I then left Facebook completely after I became closer to the deen and disliked the many hours I wasted scrolling through sayings and pictures which only really affected me for a second or two before the next one came along and had the same effect.

Now on to Twitter. Twitter was a different move that was not prompted and pushed as an idea by my peers. This came about due to an interest of expressing my mind to so many people all at the same time. I therefore joined Twitter in 2010. ( I still have the first e-mail they sent to me!) I used Twitter really just to annoy, bother and stalk celebrities, following them like a dog so that wherever they went, whatever they did, whatever they said, I was aware of it and I was able to voice my opinions to them directly about it, whilst gaining replies at times! I was an official Twitter groupie.

But my Twitter stint lasted for far less time, stretching out just over a year, I believe this was cut out of my life due to the same reason as Facebook; I realised my time was too valuable to spend it traipsing through the lives of others.

Despite my disinclination towards social media on a personal level, I still believe there is great power and a lot of good that can come about through it. The revolution that was basically created through Twitter, the charity events I used to know about only through Facebook, the links that you would be able to share through them both, etc. all argue against my disinclination to have contact with social media.

As with everything though, “with great power comes great responsibility,”

JazakAllahu khairan for reading.

Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatu, 

A Modern Muslimah ❤

Sisters before misters!

Assalaamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatu,

I hope you are well.

I know there has been a lot of time that I have been absent and I am very sorry! But insha’Allah this will make up for it! 🙂

Since I have started work in an office, I have noticed many things. In a much stronger way. I have noticed the way in which some males can be very chauvinistic, the senior leadership roles being filled with white males, the “office politics” that seem to be present everywhere and one of the most important things that I have come across, women in the workplace and their role within the workplace.

As a woman myself, I understand the ups and downs that we all face. From the pressure to look completely perfect all of the time to the consistent attempt to try and fit into a largely male-dominated playing field. 

However, I am different to the other women. 

I am a Muslimah, giving me a whole new perspective on the situation at hand. Being a Muslimah allows me to be saved from the usual pressures of feeling as though my make-up needs to be perfect, my skirt needs to be as high as possible without being trashy, my cleavage needs to be shown without showing too much, my legs need to be completely smooth and toned, my flirting skills need to be amazing to get what I need and so on. 

All of these pressures, put together with the role of trying to be the perfect wife and/or mother, make me feel so incredibly sad and pained to see every single woman who hasn’t been freed by Islam. With so much pressure upon them to be perfect at everything they do, and to do lots of it, I just wish that I could help them and give them the biggest hug in the world! 

My sisters in humanity are incredibly precious to me, whether they look at me with a disgusted look for dressing in the way that I do or actually treat me like any other woman. 

Islam teaches both men and women to truly respect the status of women. 

The status of a woman in Islam is incredible, shown through the jurisdiction regarding them. Women are saved from going to work in order to keep them from being treated badly by male colleagues and to ensure that they do not have extra stress upon themselves. Women are told to cover themselves completely in order to protect themselves and to be known as women who you should not mess with (i.e. women who are not interested in participating in flirting or any other form of debauchery). Women who become mothers have Paradise at the bottom of their feet (not literally!) but through respect, love and patience with mothers, Paradise can easily be earned. 

These are but a few examples of the status of women within Islam, despite what others may believe or say about the subject.

Women are incredibly sensitive, special, amazing, beautiful and strong creatures with so much to give to society. However, media and society in general has reduced the beautiful human to a subservient object of attraction, a tool to be used to fulfill males desires and a angry intense ball of hatred and jealousy for fellow women.

Through this re-shaping, society has started to break down as the true core of society, women, has been reduced to a low level.

I hope that we can do something as sisters in humanity to change this harsh reality and save ourselves and others.

Unusually, all of this stemmed from standing in a bathroom, watching two women put on make-up and fix themselves up in the morning…

May Allah (SWT) help us to be able to lead change and gain closeness to our fellow women. Ameen. 

JazakAllahu khairan for reading this.

Assalaamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatu,

A Modern Muslimah ❤

The good side of bullying

Assalaamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu,

I hope you are well.

The title may have offended you or it may have evoked disgust at me for writing such a thing. However, if you read the definition and explanation of the title, you will understand, insha’Allah.

Being a person who was bullied myself, I remember every horrible emotion, thought and feeling that I felt during those hard times. And it hasn’t gone away.

But one thing that I have found during my life and even now, after everything, is a good part of me which I love.

At first, I thought it must just be that I was blessed with these qualities as everyone gets different blessings. But then I saw a link forming with this blessing within the self and bullying.

I have been watching some YouTubers for a few years now and I know quite a lot about them. One thing I know about a few of them is………that they were bullied. In high school, secondary school, middle school, you name it, they were bullied.

The special thing about these few YouTubers that were bullied is that they posses the qualities which I thought were just a blessing from Allah (SWT) to me.

The qualities that I speak about are kindness to humanity at large, a real care and concern for humanity, love for animals and the world, a desire to spread only love around the world and most importantly, a strong sense of faith, where everything comes from.

I will show you some examples of this from YouTubers that I know that are like this after being bullied.

The first YouTuber is Karim Metwaly (AreWeFamousNow/AreWeKukuNow). He is known for his loving, caring and peaceful attitude to the world.

In the video below, he speaks about the beauty of people.

The second YouTuber is Yousef Erakat (FouseyTube). He is now known for his social experiments of real life situations.

The video below is about the reactions of people to discrimination towards hijab-wearing women.

The third YouTubers are TrueStoryASA (TrueStoryASA/ASA Vlogs). They are known for being very loving towards all creatures, especially Adam Saleh.

This video is a way that they wished to just help the homeless, without realising that they would start a worldwide movement.

The fourth YouTuber is Amena Khan (Amenakin). She is known for her love of helping others by inspiring and motivating sisters/women.

This video is one of her videos in which she just talks about an issue she can speak about from a personal perspective.

These four/five YouTubers have been my evidence for bullying not being all bad.

Yes, it is definitely the one of the worst things you can go through at that time, without a doubt. But the way Allah (SWT) gives you blessings isn’t always the way that you want it to be.

Sometimes we do need to look a little bit deeper to see the light shining at the end of the tunnel.

JazakAllahu khairan for reading.

Assalaamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu,

A Modern Muslimah ❤

I’m back and working well!!

Assalaamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu,

I hope you are well.

If anyone is still there, I am back!

(Insha’Allah for good!)

Sorry for going away for soooo long but I really just didn’t have the energy to blog, between work and training and my other commitments.

I definitely will try to keep up with blogging but I can’t make any promises… 😦

I just had to come back as the community of people here is just so amazing, allowing me to be able to be with other Muslim people when I can’t physically be with other Muslim people.

So let me update you on everything that has been going on!

At work, I have been doing quite well (in my opinion!) and we have another apprentice who joined us in October. His name is James and he’s been quite nice. I have started to see how the people in my team REALLY are like, which has been interesting…. I have seen some rather bad tendencies within the team, from back-biting, lying, immorality, lewdness and much more. However, I have had to try and keep myself out of these evil sins.

A few things that I will strive to implement when I go back to work (I’m on training at the moment.) are:

– saying good things about those being spoken about
– saying something when lewdness or immorality is being spoken about
– talking to them about the Deen more
– advising them not to speak in such a manner
– trying to change the subject
– doing dhikr (if I can’t get them to stop talking about bad things)
– NOT GETTING INVOLVED, AT ALL

The workplace has become quite hard to deal with, as many of the internal customers have been quite ungrateful and just generally horrible. But I recently got a reminder as to how I should do my work, which will allow me to always be happy and never depressed. That is to do everything for Allah(SWT) only. Never for any human being but only to obtain reward. That way, if anyone doesn’t say thank you or is ungrateful, horrible, etc., it will not matter to you because you would know that you have done your deed and Allah(SWT) has seen it. That is all that matters. Period.

Another area of my day, which hasn’t had as much TLC as it deserves, is my salaah. It is quite a bold thing to say (or write!) out loud but insha’Allah through saying it and looking at how to deal with it best it may help others who are going through the same thing.
We do have a prayer room and it is lovely and bare. It has absolutely nothing to it, allowing you to really switch off from work. (Insha’Allah I will try to take a picture of it.)
Even though there are about 7 or 8 people who come to the prayer room, it is quite busy as both men and women have to share access to this one room. Resulting in salawaat not peacefully completed. Between the demands of work and the demands of the next brother who needs to pray, you are left with a short amount of time to fulfill your salaah. This means the bare essentials only, with a couple of sunnah if you’re lucky. This is detrimental to us as Muslims, because we spend so much time at work yet we don’t get to live our lives at work in a full manner.
A few tips to help with this come from a course that I took with Productive Muslim called Productivity in the Workplace (I think that’s the title….)
They are as follows:

– Don’t rush your salaah. Read shorter surahs but NEVER rush it.
– Pray at the stated times, not when you have a bit of time.
– Prioritise your salaah over your work.
– Don’t be shy in asking for a break to pray within a meeting. Just like smokers will be granted a break to smoke, you should also be entitled to take some time out to do something far greater.

Last but not least is keeping up your imaan in a workplace which has more non-Muslims than Muslims. This is a common issue in many corporate environments around the world, especially in larger companies. When I first went to work, it was a big shock for me as I had spent the two years prior to that in a college close to East London, which had a majority of Muslims and a minority of non-Muslims. (This is also where and when I started practising Islam properly, but that’s for another blog post soon, insha’Allah.) I then found it very lonely having only one hijabi sister to talk to and not even all the time. Even though I still feel that I am struggling with this, I feel as though I am getting somewhere. This is because I have been able to grasp the idea that this is another test from Allah SWT to see how I will keep up the many things that I have learned in the last two (actually 3 now!) years. I also thought that maybe it is my mission to help these non-Muslims learn about Islam and its many benefits to their lives. Therefore, I am striving to keep these goals in mind when I feel a bit lonely and down, which will help me to do a lot of good at work, insha’Allah.

Being a good Muslim at all times is what we all strive to do. Just because we are at work, we have to realise that Allah SWT is still watching our every move, listening to every word we say and knowing everything we are thinking. As Abu Productive said “Work is a testing ground for Islamic manners.”

Remembering Allah SWT often will help us in the workplace and will help us in the HereAfter insha’Allah.

I know this has been a slightly long blog post but it was an update/advice post after a LONG time! It had to be a little bit long! 😉

JazakAllahu khairan for reading.

Assalaamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu,

A Modern Muslimah ❤

My apprenticeship experience: First week of training!

Assalaamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu,

I hope you are well.

I’m so sorry for being late with my post. Trust me to be late after I officially posted my plan last week!

Last week, we didn’t do a lot. We completed an assignment, which should have been done in 5 hours, but we did it in a few days. Oops!

It was to do with customer service and ensuring the customer has the best experience.

It was very interesting in learning how to handle different types of customers and what to do in each case, along with many other things.

We also did a customer care pack, which was to do with how to talk to customers and the types of phrases we would use.

In both there was a lot of content which is hard to explain fully so I just gave a small summary.

Overall, despite my frustration of being corrected by my tutor in a bad way (in my opinion!) on the first assignment, it was a really good week! Everyone is so fun and helpful. Alhumdulillah, we all seem to get on really well.

Despite it being a 1:2 ratio of female to male, it isn’t an awkward or intimidating environment. Alhumdulillah!

I am enjoying this experience a lot and insha’Allah I hope to do really well and learn a lot! Ameen.

JazakAllahu khairan.

Assalaamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu,

A Modern Muslimah ❤

CLEARLY I’M NOT A MUSLIM?

Assalaamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu,

I hope you are well.

I was flicking through my subscription list on YouTube to see all of the videos that had been uploaded and I came across Yousef Erakat (FouseyVille)’s video. It was titled “CLEARLY I’M NOT A MUSLIM?” in which he spoke about a comment he received after doing a video with a girl sitting right beside him. The comment read “Clearly you’re not a Muslim.”. He responded in an angry manner but with good points. He questioned how sitting next to a girl made me a non-Muslim, how helping someone with a problem made him a non-Muslim and how someone who doesn’t know him at all can be the one to take away his Islam.

The video made me think about the attitude that I used to have, which was that if people were doing bad things they weren’t good Muslims or if they weren’t praying that they weren’t Muslim. These ignorant and disgraceful views, that I used to have, have been challenged recently in my life through both my mentoring and my life. I have come to realise a lot about a Muslim living in the West and also I was reminded that in the same way that I have done bad things, other people are also human and make mistakes.

The best thing to do if you see someone, a Muslim or a non-Muslim, doing something wrong, is to make dua for their guidance and safety from the issue which is causing them to go astray. This is what you do if you really love your brother or sister.

This is the video.

I also remembered coming across Karim Metwaly (AreWeKuKuNow)’s video on the same topic. It is titled “I am not a Muslim?” In the video, he talks about the various comments he had got about him not being a Muslim. I wasn’t too sure of the context of this video however it was very powerful.

He was also accused of not being a Muslim due to the content of his videos. This infuriated him, as I am sure it would do to anyone, so he vented through the video.

This is the video.

The subject of being labelled a non-Muslim reminded me of the time before I practised Islam. I used to be laughed at due to the fact that I wasn’t interested in Islam and I didn’t know how to practise it properly.

I distinctly remember a particular instance when one of the more religious people asked me a weird question.

“What would you rather do, watch Top of the Pops or read Quran? (I think that was the other option. I know it was an Islamic option in contrast.)”

I then said, with full passion, “Watch Top of the Pops, of course.” I was confused as to why they asked me this, at the time. (Now I fully understand!) So I enquired and in between heavy laughing and scornful words, they replied “Oh, no reason.”

Now the situation is quite different! (Alhumdulillah!!) The same people, who used to laugh at me, now try to be my best friend, and I talk to them nicely but I will always keep my distance.

Negative people should have no place in your life!!

As we are all humans, we will make mistakes. However, the difference between a profitable person and a non-profitable person is whether they learn from them.

JazakAllahu khairan.

Assalaamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu,

A Modern Muslimah ❤

My apprenticeship experience: Training!

Assalaamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu,

I hope you are well.

I had my first day of training yesterday which was just made up of inductions and a few tests/quizzes.

I was so worried about the thought of meeting another new lot of people and also being the only female in the class but alhumdulillah, they were all really nice, there were only a few of them so it wasn’t a large group of new faces and there was another female in my group!

We got to know about the assignments that we will be doing and the credits that we need to earn. I’m still slightly confused as to what the assignments, both work-based and centre-based, are actually made up of. However, I should, insha’Allah, be able to get a better idea of what is going on in each assignment as we go along.

It feels like it will be a lot of hard work and a lot of theory but at this point I think I have the motivation and the determination to really do my best in this, insha’Allah.

Today we will be doing the Customer care assignment and I’m not sure yet but we may also continue it on until tomorrow.

A lot of this motivation, Alhumdulillah, has come from seeing children and young adults unable to gain education due to a multitude of reasons. Therefore, for Allah(SWT) first (of course!), I feel that I am doing this for them in a way.

Insha’Allah may all of our brothers and sisters around the world be granted the ability to gain knowledge, both Islamic and non-Islamic. Ameen!

JazakAllahu khairan.

Assalaamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu,

A Modern Muslimah ❤