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Category Archives: Special Occasions

The Best Version of Me


I recall once while on the road with friends, someone mentioned it was almost Maghreb and she hadn’t completed her evening azkaar yet. Another friend sadly remarked how often she has been missing them lately.

I was shocked.
How could someone miss their daily azkaar (supplications)?!
That’s a believer’s essential! And here this ‘practising Muslimah’ is telling us she’s missed them often? I tried hard not to judge her, but man was that a struggle..

Fast forward a few years, and many veils of naivety later, I find myself applauding when I realise I managed to get almost all my morning and evening azkaar done on time for a single day. Not sure if I should laugh at my old self for thinking I could always be that regular in my ibadah, or mourn the fact that I am no more.

Or wait..I could dare aim to be ‘me’ again?

And just like that, of everything that I have ever planned for on ‘new years’ ‘new semesters’ and all those new beginnings, this year I have found the most inspirational one; being that best old version of me!
All of us miss and reminisce different phases of our lives; the cheerfulness of school days, the regular journaling during a certain summer break, baking something new every week, regular contact with family during a certain semester, daily recitation of a certain portion of Qur’an for a few years and whatnot! While life and times may change, we will always have it in us- if nothing else- to be what we strove so hard to be. It took us a lifetime each to achieve all that, how could we let it all just go? Let’s revive our own legacy, and not let our struggles and ambitions die again.

Remember, remember..

Verily, the reward of deeds performed depends on the last actions. (1) 

This year, I note down the habits and hobbies from my past that I feel were the best of me and work on making them a part of my life again.
Take a pleasant ride down your memory lane and pick your favourites too; your top 5 or random 10 and let’s resolve again to be the best versions of ourselves! 

joy this season's good vibes

Bonus guidelines for making your list and charting an action plan from the man best in habits and deeds, ﷺ:

“Do good deeds properly, sincerely and moderately and know that your deeds will not make you enter Paradise, and that the most beloved deed to Allah is the most regular and constant even if it were little.” (2)


(1) Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab ar-Raqaa’iq (Book on Softening of the Hearts) no. 6493
(2) Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab ar-Raqaa’iq (Book on Softening of the Hearts) no. 6464


The Simplest Life Hack to Track Your Life

By Sara Ahmad

planner 2018

I learned something in 2017- the importance of tracking my life and my habits. Before I started doing this, I felt that time was flowing through my fingers and I was just standing there, unable to grasp it. I felt that I was declining spiritually, mentally and physically but had no way of determining at what pace and why. I wanted to take snapshots of my life at different times and analyse them. I started making complicated timetables to keep an hourly log of every single thing I was doing in a day. I thought it would help me see how productive or how lazy I was. Well, that didn’t turn out to be sustainable… I quit doing that in less than a week. Then I tried a daily journal, but again, it was hard to keep up with and it was hard to ‘measure’ my weekly and monthly progress from pages and pages of written information.

Just as 2017 started, I found a table calendar (the kind which has blank boxes for every day) which unintentionally evolved into one of the best tracking methods I have ever used. I started recording the habits which were most important to me. For example, I wanted to see how much of the Quran I recited in a month, so I chose a pink color and added ‘juz 1’ on the first day and then ‘juz 2’ the next day. If I did not recite, I left the box blank.  After a month, I looked at all the pink ink and was able to see how much I recited and also measure how many days I wasn’t able to recite and figure out if any patterns existed. I used different colours for other habits:

Purple- dawah activities

Green- exercise

Orange- money spent

Blue- times I hung out with my friends

Red- habits I wanted to get rid of but still ended up engaging in them

Black- general activities like studying, spending time with family etc.

I thought I would eventually stop using this method, but it’s so easy that I still haven’t! By the end of 2017, I had a clear idea about which areas I had made progress in and which I still need to work on. For 2018, I’ve been using the same method on a planner instead of a table calendar and it’s working just as well Alhumdulillah. I hope these ideas benefit you in some way and that you are able to look back at your week/month/year/decade and give yourself a reason to smile!

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَلْتَنظُرْ نَفْسٌ مَّا قَدَّمَتْ لِغَدٍ ۖ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ خَبِيرٌ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ

“O you who have believed, fear Allah and let every soul look to what it has put forth for tomorrow – and fear Allah. Indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what you do.” (Surah Al Hashr:18)



The Muslim Mama’s Quick Guide to Goal Planning (without losing your sanity)

By Fatima Asad

If you’re like me, you despise seeing those tacky New Year’s resolution jokes on your newsfeed.  This one really irks my soul: “My New Year’s resolution is to follow through with my last year’s resolutions.”  Another one that sadly represents the majority of wishful go-getters is: “Thanks for not laughing at my absurdly unattainable New Year’s resolutions.”  It is not simply the cheesiness of these jokes that bothers me- but our apathetic attitude towards a chance to improve the quality of our lives.  Yes, December 31st is just a number and there’s no magic or daleel behind it but choose Ramadan or Muharram as your “New Year” if you please.  We as imperfect beings strongly desire a line – a start/finish line that will allow us to start afresh; however, it is only that- a desire.  Now, as a mother and wife, my plate of short-term and long-term planners is often overflowing and that liberating line is much needed to reorganise and get a new start.  

Let me throw in another cliche: “If you fail to plan, you have planned to fail.” This is the one quote that I can confirm from experience is very true.  The day that I have not planned is the day I get an inner panic attack either before or after breakfast.  Mothers are all too familiar with the overwhelming feeling of disorganisation and are pros at masking it with an air of “I know exactly what I’m doing.”  My to-do basket tends to pile up for days at a time, I am guilty of shoving clutter in the wrong closets, I miss my spa appointments regularly, I’ll let the kids have pyjama day (or week) when laundry needs to be done, and I’m definitely guilty of not straightening out the bed sheet before I spread the duvet elegantly on top.  Why am I divulging my secrets? Because I want the other moms out there to know that: Girls, it’s okay to not meet society’s standards every single day.  It really is!  We have too much going on to worry about which total stranger or judgemental relative we need to please today.  


Believe it or not there’s a method to our clumsy madness as mothers.  We have far greater goals to focus on.  These goals don’t just include fitness or diet goals- that was the easy part.  As mothers, we have to make multiple planners for each new year: for me, for the kids, and for the husband (he can safely be kept under the children’s category).  It’s fun to plan a family trip or which new colour to paint the bedroom wall; however, as Muslim mothers, our goals for the year should reach far beyond those walls.  The purpose of setting goals is to improve the quality of our lives, as is pleasing to the Lord Almighty and to reach ihsaan (excellence) in all our actions and emotions.  Notice, there is a difference between excellence and perfection.  A chase for perfection will always end in failure- doing everything with ihsaan means I’ve given it my personal best.  

Apply now!_2

I won’t lie; each year, the burden of raising little humans gets heavier on my shoulders as I know I must set goals that are wholesome for not only my family but also for the future of our Ummah.  These goals include focusing on categories such as Islamic Studies, Quran Studies, homeschooling (did I mention I’m also the teacher?), diet and exercise, social activities and life skills.  

Here are some gentle reminders for my fellow Muslim mothers (and fathers) as they begin or revise their goal planning:

  • Focus on your ultimate goal of reaching Jannatul Firdous
  • Renew your intention (Why and for whom are you doing this?)
  • Begin everything with Bismillah (Yes, even as you wash the dishes) and it will turn the action into worship
  • Let go of perfection and aim for YOUR very best
  • Stop worrying about people’s opinions! Do what seems right for your family
  • You’re still an awesome mother if you don’t do every project on Pinterest
  • Stick to the sunnah- remember Islam makes your life easier!
  • Read/listen about the great women in Islam and how they focused on their families, personal lives and their deen
  • You need to have a contemporary role model who inspires you (public figure, fellow mother, coworker)
  • Choose friends that bring positive energy in your life and help you grow instead of judging you (If you can have her over without having to change the kids out of those pyjamas, she’s a keeper!)
  • Don’t go through goal planning and implementing alone! Have a strong network to talk to (husband, friend, relative)

Life was not meant to be lived perfectly, and this year will be no exception.  We will make mistakes- lots of them.  It’s important to make NEW mistakes and learn from the old, inshaAllah.  



2018 – My Little Bit

Posted on

Two weeks into 2018 already, yet I still keep coming across posts and images of how to make your 2018 better. “Fresh start”, most of them say. While browsing through such posts, I asked myself my plans for this year, “Do I want to make huge intricate plans for the whole year? Or shall I just let it be this time? Or I can do the usual and keep on planning quarterly?”

While deep in thought, my mind went back to Youth Club’s annual meeting and the advice given to us, “be that person whose motto in life is chalo koi gal nai*”, based on the hadith of the Prophet Muhammad SAW: “Shall I not inform you of whom the Fire is unlawful and he is unlawful for the Fire? Every person who is near (to people), amicable, and easy (to deal with).'” [Jami-at-Tirmidhi, Book 37, Hadith 2676, Grade: Hasan] And that’s when I decided, if nothing else, I’ll try my best to be that person this year inshaAllah. 

I know it’s not as easy as it sounds but I also know the need of such people in our world is great. Allah SWT knew it’s not a small thing therefore He kept the reward so great, imagine being forbidden on that Big Fire! Isn’t it motivation enough?

It happens numerous times a day that during your dealings with others, you want to tell them off. Or even if you’re not in a position to do that, then at least show it by your expressions. The servants would annoy you by one thing or the another, the kids will make you angry, your parents will frustrate you, the colleagues will do it all wrong, the boss will scold you for no reason, your in-laws will be unhappy with you, the shopkeeper will give you the wrong product, the kid next door will break your favourite vase, your relatives will try to interfere in your life and your neighbour will throw the trash in front of your door. If you can live through all of that and not heat up at every instance mentioned, then that is indeed an achievement.

It’s hard but not impossible when you keep the reward in mind (paste it on your bedroom cupboard, perhaps). There is already a lot of hate in this world, a lot of grief and depression. If you and I try to be that little agent of change, only by changing ourselves, only by being a bit more approachable and easy-going for the people around us, imagine the amount of love and peace we’d be able to spread through that. Think of that person in your life who you can go to with anything on your mind knowing they won’t blow up, that they’d be there, imagine if there were more of such people, this sad world would become a little happier. And if I can help spark that in 2018, then I will not consider my year wasted!


*Meaning: it’s okay


EID FEATURE: Youth Club’s Celebrations

This Eid ul Fitr 2017, Youth Club Blog decided to catch up with the Presidents of Youth Club’s various chapters to know what is the significance of Eid in their lives…

1. Best Eid Moment?

Raja Zia ul Haq, CEO YC: Driving back from the masjid with my whole family, talking about how amazing the khutbah was and looking forward to a great breakfast that’s waiting at home, Alhamdulillah. We recall how every day of Ramadan we stopped ourselves from eating because of the command of Allah; and today we eat because of the command of Allah.

Fiza Khan, President (female wing) YCI: Meeting everyone right after Eid Salah. It’s like a sudden shift into another mode and world, all smiles and happiness…

Mohammad Ali, President YCL:  Coming back from the mosque and meeting the family, hugging them, eating with them. It gives so much energy.

Asma Inayat, President (female wing) YCL: For me, it’s the Eid prayer. The whole family makes an effort to get ready early morning and go to Eidgaah (prayer place). I look forward to that time two to three days before Eid.

Ishaq bin Sadiq, President YCK: Praying Eid Salah, which gives the sense of brotherhood and unity… Standing feet to feet… Shoulder to shoulder…

2. Favourite Eid Dish?

Raja Zia ul Haq: For me, it has always been the classic “Channa Chat” with imli sauce!

Fiza Khan: Channa chaat! That I eat every time I serve the guests. By the time it’s lunch hour, there’s no space for anything else!

Mohammad Ali: Sheer khurma

Ishaq bin Sadiq: Kabab Paratha, probably…

3. Any Funny Incident Related to Eid?

Raja Zia ul Haq: I remember a crazy story from Eid ul Adha once, where our bakras somehow got loose and my cook and other helpers were running after them all over the place. The scene reached its climax when one of my siblings, who was fleeing for their life (being terrified of goats obviously) came inside the house, only to have one of the bakras follow them in. Seeing so many people, the bakra panicked, jumped up on the coffee table and made quite a big mess of things. The reaction of my family members was priceless!

Fiza Khan: All those times I slept with my mehndi-fied hand under my face and had a pretty print on my face the next day..

Mohammad Ali: My cousin and I used to set out on a mission to gather Eidi from all the relatives. We used to go to every single relative, close or distant, greet them and sit and wait for Eidi. It used to be a funny and awkward situation..


 4. How Do You Make Your Eid Special?

Raja Zia ul Haq: We get lots of gifts for everyone. Since we don’t celebrate any other days throughout the year, we make a massive campaign-style effort for Eid. This includes setting up camp in the living room at night where we all laugh, play, share stories and even sleep; my kids love this experience… We even decorate the living room with streamers, banners and buntings just to add a bit more flavour!

Fiza Khan: Being a girl, that question is already answered, no? 🙂

Mohammad Ali: By meeting people who have felt neglected.

Asma Inayat: Being Lahori, I think it’s the food that makes the Eid special 😀
Preparations start a day or two before Eid. My family is a desi food lover so nihari, halwa puri, biryani, chicken dishes are the things on my mind when I jot down my things to do list for Eid..

Ishaq bin Sadiq: By meeting my brothers in Islam and having breakfast with them.

5. How can Eid be made enjoyable for poor people?

Raja Zia ul Haq: We should make it a point to visit those less fortunate than us during the Eid holidays. Whether it is an orphanage or an old people’s home or a village environment etc. We encourage our kids to handover presents to the orphans with their own hands so that they can feel for these children, who are spending their Eid without their families.

Fiza Khan: There’s so much of happiness to share. Starting off by giving monetary gifts to including them in your smiles and moments; honouring them by serving them what you serve other guests. Especially​ before Eid, getting them bangles, mehndi, arranging barber trips for the young boys etc.

Mohammad Ali: We should give them charity before Eid and distribute gifts. We can start from helping those near us like our maids, servants, driver, guard, society guard, etc.

Asma Inayat: Our tiny little empathetic acts create a big difference by the end of the day. Even if there’s just one poor person whom we can help out with food in Ramadan and provide him with Eid clothes, it will have an immense impact over the society at large. Along with the food and clothing, if we take out time to share Islamic knowledge with him, we can help him with not only dunya but his aakhirah too..

Ishaq bin Sadiq:  By visiting them and giving them gifts, organizing a party for street boys of your area.

6. What Special Thing Do You Do for Your Family over Eid? 

Fiza Khan:  I like to make some Eid treats for whoever I can…

Mohammad Ali: Take them to meet other family members. That’s special in this age of social media.

Ishaq bin Sadiq: I give Eidi 😉

Do YOU have any Eid stories to share with us? Do tell us in the comments below.






Ramadan Challenge: Reflect- Upon the Quran

By Dr. Sonia Mohsin 

When you see the world through the Quran, it enlightens your whole life. It’s like a new pair of glasses which make things much clearer than they were, and puts everything in its right perspective. That’s why it is so important to make it a part of your daily routine. When you give the Quran its due share of attention, you will witness miracles! That, my friends, is guaranteed!

Today, I challenge you to read a verse of the Quran and ponder over its meaning.

Let me share with you some insight that I gained in the taraweeh prayer, yesterday. I heard this ayah from Surah As-Saff, which struck me hard:

“O you who have believed, shall I guide you to a transaction that will save you from a painful punishment? [It is that] you believe in Allah and His Messenger and strive in the cause of Allah with your wealth and your lives. That is best for you, if you should know.” (Al-Quran 61:10-11)

These verses are a game changer for anyone who wants to make a change in this world. Allah is talking to you and I– the people who have believed, who are already Muslims. Then he talks about saving them from the painful punishment of hell-fire. But wait! Weren’t all Muslims supposed to go to Jannah? Guess not! This verse proves that saying the kalima e shahadat (testimony of faith) alone, doesn’t save us from punishment. There is something more that needs to be done.


Allah calls you towards action – towards a cause. Life is meaningless, if it has no goals or missions. As Albert Einstein once said, “If you want to live a happy life tie it to a goal – not to people or things”. Having a goal is what gives life meaning. The tragedy of life does not lie in not reaching your goal, it lies in having no goals, to reach. So, stop letting other people hire or dictate you to build their dreams. Have dreams of your own. How? Allah tells you that too. It is the mission that is described by Allah for every Muslim. I’ll put it in bold in the hope that you never forget. Paste it somewhere you can see it every day!


This is the true meaning of jihad – this is the true purpose of this life. It doesn’t matter if you are a teenager or an adult – there needs to be something so big in your life, that you wake up jubilant every morning and sleep with the contentment that you have achieved something, every night. Allah calls you to put in just a portion of your life into striving for the cause of Allah. A few practical ways of doing this are:

First Step – Gain Beneficial Knowledge: No matter how little or how much of your time you can spare, dedicate it to learning and understanding parts of the Quran or hadith. Remember, Allah loves consistency, so it is the key to success.

Second Step – Understand: Eventually, as the knowledge starts to seep in, you will start seeing the world differently, things will start to make sense. The systems of life, the truth & justice in it, will all start getting apparent. View the world from Allah’s perspective and you will see it is so much more beautiful than you thought!

Third step – Self Implementation: Soon, if you are true to yourself, you will start noticing disparities between what you understand and what you do. This is the time to make a change. Remember that change always begins from within yourself. You need to be the change you want to see. Implement the Quran, one step at a time, on yourself. This is the hardest form of jihad (struggle) – to strive against the nafs (self).

Fourth Step – Social Implementation: When you feel like you have aligned the disparities as much as you could, or at least are in the process of it, that’s when it’s time to look around you. Do not to raise fingers at everything that’s wrong, but step in to make the change yourself. Involve people into a cause that you personally believe in, like going green or beginning a cleaning drive. Invite people into study circles, create a community of harmony and of as many people as you can. This is what Islam is all about. Don’t be disheartened if you are all alone, initially. Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) was also just one man – who changed the entire course of history. Maybe we can at least be a fraction of what he was. After all, he is our beloved Prophet (ﷺ)

Fifth Step – Find Your Niche: Every individual has his own unique talent. As Allah says in the Quran: “Say, “Each works according to his manner, but your Lord is most knowing of who is best guided in way.” (Al Quran 17:84) Our salvation lies in recognizing that hidden talent or interest that can best be used for the cause of Islam and then investing into it. Maybe you are a good graphic designer and can make amazing posters with Islamic messages on it. Maybe you are a good writer who can start a blog for the awareness of Islam. Maybe you are a good speaker and would like to tell people about Islam through it. Whatever it maybe, you need to work on it and improve it. This is what will lead to guidance and salvation from the punishment of hell-fire. At the end of this step, go back to step 1 and start all over again. This is the complete circle of life.

In the end, you see, life is too short to be wasted on games, movies and music. There is more to life than what the eye can see. These tough times upon the Muslims require our collective efforts.

We need to stretch ourselves and strive harder, because if we don’t, we will sink into the ocean of darkness, without the safe boat of Islam to relax on.  As long as we are swimming (doing jihad), we have hope.

I pray that this Ramadan opens the door for the reawakening of every Muslim, and helps us strive towards the cause of Allah in the best way possible! May Allah accept all our efforts!


Ramadan Challenge: Facebook to Dawah-book

By Zahra Nayyer

Imagine hearing a “ping” on your mobile, it’s a reminder that your favourite event is round the corner. It brings a smile to your face and your heart skips a beat. Now imagine if that same “ping” sound signalled a reminder that the Day of Judgement is near or that you have been slacking off in your prayer. How would you feel?  Is that even possible you may ask and my answer is: yes!

Our Facebook profiles are customized to receive different notifications and our newsfeed shows us what we want to see. We may be keen to share our milestones and important events in our lives but not keen on sharing reminders that can benefit us and those around us. We don’t want to cause discomfort by talking about grim things like, life of the hereafter and the grave. But what if your reminders are the very wake-up call someone needs to change their ways and become better Muslims? Would we still shy away from sharing such vital information?

Let’s first get one thing straight, what is our motivation towards sharing reminders about our Deen? Who or what are we calling people towards?

Say (O Muhammad ﷺ): This is my way; I invite unto Allaah (i.e. to the Oneness of Allaah — Islamic Monotheism) with sure knowledge, I and whosoever follows me (also must invite others to Allaah, i.e. to the Oneness of Allaah — Islamic Monotheism with sure knowledge). And Glorified and Exalted be Allaah (above all that they associate as partners with Him). And I am not of the Mushrikoon (polytheists, pagans, idolaters and disbelievers in the Oneness of Allaah; those who worship others along with Allaah or set up rivals or partners to Allaah)” [Yoosuf 12:108] 

It’s good to remind ourselves why we need to develop the habit of reminding others about this beautiful religion Allah has blessed us with, which at times can be a daunting task due to which we shy away from reminding, and the verse above does just that in a powerful way.

 I have realized that Facebook is indeed a powerful tool. One that can destroy lives with endless hours of scrolling, “liking” posts and commenting on photos. Or it can be used to spread the message of Allah and reviving sunnahs that have long been lost under the cloud of innovations and traditions.

There really is no end to what you can share; quotes from the Quran and sunnah in the form of scenic images and beautiful text, reminders to attend upcoming events in your city and short videos about various topics related to Islam etc.  You don’t need to be a scholar to share Islamic information because the Prophet ﷺ told us; “Convey from me even if it is one ayah (verse)” (Bukhari)

Calling towards Islam is really the most noble of actions a person can do, it is reviving the legacy of the Prophets and the great scholars of our time. It is a huge blessing and honour for us that now we can share a wealth of information from the comfort of our homes when in the past this same knowledge used to take days and many months to reach people in different parts of the world!


While sharing information, be sure to keep the etiquette in mind to make this process beneficial for you and those reading your posts:

Cite the Source

Don’t share everything you read and that “sounds nice” rather always aim to share authentic information that is backed up by references from the Quran and sunnah.

Forget the “Likes”

Don’t check for the number of likes on your posts for it could be that pretty soon your intention changes from pleasing Allah to pleasing people and all the reward is then lost.

Keep out of Facebook Battles

People may not always like what you post , in case this happens remind yourself that the Prophets too faced much criticism but they didn’t take it personally and tried to cater to the people’s mindsets in a humble and polite way and we too should aim to do the same and avoid arguments.

Keep Learning and Sharing

As you aim to share more reminders through your Facebook profile and other social networking sites, make sure that you make time to improve on your own knowledge about Islam whether it’s through regular classes or reading books. Whenever you learn something or are yourself reminded of something, share it on your page or profile. It will not only help you retain the knowledge but also be a source of guidance for others and you never know just who might benefit. So keep sharing because the reminder benefits the believer!


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