Our Journey

Finding joy in the struggle

Finding joy in the struggle

Finding joy in the struggle 
Losing my husband lit a burning wildfire that spread across my chest, turning the things I loved into ash. I didn’t sugarcoat that pain. I wrote about it over the past few years. And despite the searing pain, I continued to live and write and be, even when I didn’t want to.
Now in the aftermath of it all, I'm often asked: "how does one overcome grief?" 
People want to understand how to climb out of such a dark place, and I get it. So I automatically respond with prepared bullet points: patience, connecting to the Quran, dua, faithful friends.
Beautiful answer, but it still doesn't reach the core of the issue.
The problem is, the question being asked of me is fundamentally flawed. 
It’s as though we’re trying to live a life free of these terrible, agonizing emotions of sadness, loss, grief, anger. These feelings are uncomfortable, so we ask – how can we get rid of them?
The short answer is: we can’t. 
We don't choose what tests come our way. Allah (swt) chooses. Our tests come in waves – sometimes gently, coaxing us towards remembrance, and sometimes with so much force that we’re nearly knocked off our feet. 
We will inhabit these pockets of grief and stress many, many times over in our lives. If we become preoccupied with the idea that we have to “get over” these feelings, we’re going to lose ourselves in a battle we can’t win. 
This is life: a string of happy-sad-successful-pained moments knotted together from birth to death. But we are naively trying to untie these knots and snip out the parts that aren’t pretty. 
Instead of constantly trying to “overcome” pain, what if we accepted every emotion that came our way? What if we stopped asking “how does one overcome grief?” and instead ask:
“How does one thrive in moments of grief?”
Prophet Muhammad (saw) said in a beautiful hadith: “How wonderful is the affair of the believer, for his affairs are all good, and this applies to no one but the believer. If something good happens to him, he is thankful for it and that is good for him. If something bad happens to him, he bears it with patience and that is good for him.”
Every single test, every pang of sorrow, every moment of joy, every spot of disappointment is good for you if you know how to use it, how to thrive in it. 
What's important is how we use our circumstances and our emotions to fulfill our ultimate purpose which is the worship of Allah.
Maybe our hearts will be more at ease when we accept that we’re not trying to overcome anything. We’re trying to thrive – not just despite our pain, but maybe even because of it.
I remind myself that this world is temporary. Our existence is fleeting. Our heartbreaks will soon be lifted. And a sorrow-free existence is reserved for paradise: "And they will say, 'Praise to Allah, who has removed from us [all] sorrow. Indeed, our Lord is Forgiving and Appreciative...'" (35:34).
May Allah grant it to us.
Asmaa Hussein
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Motherhood

Motherhood

Motherhood
Beautiful and on point message. Duas for all mums.
"This stage of life. It’s hard, you guys.
I’m talking right now to you moms who are in your late 20's to early/mid 30’s. You have kids. Likely two, three, maybe four of them. They probably range in age from newborns to  7 or 8 year-olds. Give or take a few years. 
In this stage of life, you are dealing with exhaustion. Mental, physical, and emotional.
In this stage of life, you are dealing with teething. With ear infections. With stomach viruses. You are juggling nap schedules, and feeding schedules and soccer schedules. A million balls you are juggling, and you probably feel like you are dropping most of them.
In this stage of life, you are dealing with guilt. 
Guilt over having a career, and not spending enough time with your kids, or guilt over staying home with your kids, and not doing enough to contribute financially. 
Guilt over being too harsh with your kids. Too lenient.
Guilt that your house is clean, but your kids were ignored, or guilt that you enjoyed your children all day, and now your husband is coming home to filth. 
Guilt.
In this stage of life, you are bombarded daily with a whole host of decisions. Some of them life changing, some of them not. None of them with clear cut answers. 
Do I vaccinate my kids?
Do I not? 
Do I send them to public school? Homeschool?Charter school?
Do I continue to breastfeed?
Do I blow the budget so that I can buy all organic?
Do I force my child to apologize, even though the apology will be insincere? 
You don’t know the answers to ANYTHING, but you feel constant pressure to figure out EVERYTHING.
This stage of life is less and less about watching your friends get married and have babies, and more and more about standing by and witnessing your friends struggle in their marriage, and even get divorced. It’s a stage where you’ve got to put in the time and the effort g and the work and the energy to make sure your OWN marriage stays healthy. And that’s good, but it’s hard, too.  
At this point, you or someone you know has experienced infertility. Miscarriages. Loss of a child.
It’s a stage where you are buying houses, selling houses, remodeling houses, packing up houses. And then you do it all again a few years later.
It’s a stage where your hormones are all of of whack. I mean, you’ve basically been pregnant, postpartum, or breastfeeding for the last ten years, right?
It’s a stage where you are struggling with identity. Is my entire identity “mommy”? Is there anything even left of me that isn’t about mothering? Is there something more glamorous I could have/should have done with my life? I LOOK like a mom now, don’t I? I totally do.
It’s a stage where you are on a constant quest for balance, and can never find it.
It’s a stage of life where you are overloaded. Constantly. 
You are overloaded with questions. Your children never stop asking them. 
You are overloaded with touch. Someone is constantly wanting to be held, holding on to you, hanging on you, touching you. 
You are overloaded with to-do’s. There is so much to do. It never ends. 
You are overloaded with worry. 
You are overloaded with THINGS. Your kids have way too many toys. 
You are overloaded with activities. 
You are overloaded with THOUGHTS (thoughts about how to not be so overloaded, perhaps?).
It’s hard.
So….what do you need to do to survive it all?
You need to ask for help.
You need to accept help when it’s given.
You need to not neglect your marriage. 
You need to put your kids down for bed early. Sit outside on the back porch with your husband, drink a cup of tea, and have a conversation.
You need girlfriends.
You need your mom.
You need older friends, who have been there and done that. Who can reassure you that you AREN’T screwing it all up as badly as you think you are.
You need to not feel bad about using your kids nap time every now and again to just do whatever the heck you want.
You need to lower your expectations….then probably lower them again.
You need to simplify.  Simplify every single part of your life, as much as it can be simplified.
You need to learn how to say “no”.
You need to practice contentment
You need to be ok leaving your kids overnight, and going away somewhere. Anywhere.
You need to do something you enjoy, every day, even if it’s for no more than 15 minutes.
You need to pray and make dua. GIRL, YOU NEED TO PRAY!
You need a coffee you love, a book you love, and a bubble bath that you love.
Finally, and maybe most importantly, you need to remember that…..
….this stage of life is beautiful, too. Like, really really beautiful. 
This is the stage of life where every single older person you ever meet tells you, “you’re going to miss this”. And you already know it’s true. 
It’s the stage where your kids love you more than they are EVER going to love you again, for the whole rest of your life. 
It’s the stage where they can fit their entire selves into your lap to snuggle…and they actually want to. It’s the stage where their biggest problems ARE ear infections and teething and stomach viruses, and you’re not having to deal yet with things like broken hearts or addiction or bullying. 
It’s the stage where you are learning to love your spouse in an entirely different….harder…..better…. way.
The stage where you are learning together, being stretched together, shedding your selfishness together, and TRULY being made into “one”. 
It’s the stage where you get to see Ramadan & Eid through your kids eyes, and it’s so much more fun and magical than it would be just through your own eyes.
It’s the stage where you get to watch your parents be grandparents…and they’re really good at it. 
It’s the stage of life filled with field trips, class parties, costumes, swim lessons, bubble baths, dance parties, loose teeth, and first steps. And those things are so fun. 
It’s the stage where you are young enough to have fun, and old enough to have obtained at least SOME wisdom. 
So just remember, even though this is a tough season of life (MAN is it hard) It’s SUCH a great stage. Remember to see the beauty, even in the struggles."
Asmaa Hussein
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13 Motivational Hadith's on Character Building

13 Motivational Hadith’s on Character Building
1) The best among you

Rasulullah (SAW) said, “Shall I tell you who are the best among you? The best of you are those who when seen are a means of Allah being brought to mind.” Al-Tirmidhi)


2) Spend righteously and teach wisdom

Rasulullah (SAW) said, “There are two kinds of people worth envying: someone whom Allah has made rich and who spends his money righteously, and someone whom Allah has given wisdom and who acts according to it and teaches it to others.” (Al-Bukhari)

3) Thank people

Rasulullah (SAW) said, “He who does not thank people does not thank Allah.” (Al-Tirmidhi)

4) Teaching by example

Abu Qatada (RA) said: “We were sitting in the Masjid when Rasulullah (SAW) came upon us carrying his great granddaughter. She was a child and he was carrying her on his shoulder. The Prophet (SAW) led the people in prayer while she was on his shoulder. When he bowed in prayer, he put her down and picked her up when he got up. He kept on doing this until he finished his prayer.” (Sunan of Abu Dawud)
Comment on the hadith: “The purpose behind the action of Rasulullah (SAW) carrying his great granddaughter in the prayer was to set an example for those who considered having daughters and carrying them around as something bad or shameful. Rasulullah (SAW) acted differently from them and carried a girl on his neck in the prayer. Making something clear by example is much more effective than a mere precept.” (Fiqh-us-Sunnah)

5) Acts of kindness

Rasulullah (SAW) said, “Acts of kindness protect one from ruin wrought by evil.”
(Fiqh-us-Sunnah)
Rasulullah (SAW) said, “Allah is Kind and He loves kindness. Kindness is not to be found in anything but that it adds to its beauty.” (Sahih Muslim)

6) Injustice

Rasulullah (SAW)) said, “If a man suffers injustice and endures it patiently, Allah will grant him strength.” (Fiqh-us-Sunnah)

7) Remember Allah

Rasulullah (SAW) said, “When any group of people remembers Allah, angels surround them and mercy covers them, tranquility descends upon them, and Allah mentions them to those who are with Him.” (Fiqh-us-Sunnah)

الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَتَطْمَئِنُّ قُلُوبُهُمْ بِذِكْرِ اللَّهِ ۗ أَلَا بِذِكْرِ اللَّهِ تَطْمَئِنُّ الْقُلُوبُ

“Those who believe, and whose hearts find satisfaction in the remembrance of Allah. for without doubt in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find satisfaction.”
(Surah Radd 13:28)

8) Visit the sick

Rasulullah (SAW) said, “Heaven calls out to anyone who visits a sick person: ‘You are good and your path is good. May you enter your residence in Paradise.” (Fiqh-us-Sunnah)


9) The golden rule

Rasulullah (SAW) said, “Do you know who will go first on the Day of Resurrection to the shade of Allah? Those who when given what is right accept it, when asked for something give freely and who judge in favour of others as they do for themselves.”
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