Lazy Saturday

I feel sad today, as I did yesterday. I tend to feel sad when I come back to my family home. I don’t know what or why it is.

Maybe it is the clutter in my bedroom which I feel is weighing me down, that I really feel the urge to get rid of, to create a blank slate and to start afresh. Maybe it is the fact that I am surrounded by people who are quite stressy and that adds to the vibe. Or it could be even that I revert back to a lazy version of myself when I am in my family home. 

I don’t know what it is but what I do know is that I don’t like it. I don’t want to be or want to feel this way. It is a hot, summery day today. My room is a mess but that isn’t my fault as it is my sisters’ mess. I also have a few chores I could be getting on with.

However, I just can’t be bothered. Some days I just feel like lying in bed and doing nothing, not facing upto life or do anything. It just feels easier that way. I don’t feel motivated during those times and prefer to just rest by myself and think about life. Of course, it is unproductive and draining as well, which reminds me that I need to start going to the gym again. At least in that way, I could release my frustration in some sort of physical way on the treadmill or on the weights machines.

But here I am today, faced with the first challenge of my day – to shower and then to do some chores, which I actually hate.

May Allah make it easy.

Will I ever get married?

Some of my friends from medical school got married – one is quite close to me and the other, not as much. I would say I have six favourite friends (seven if my flatmate is counted). One of them is married and the others are trying to get married or marriage is on their mind. I am soo happy for the friend that is married, but will I feel this happy if the time comes when my last single friend ties the knot or is just about to and I am still by myself with no partnership in sight? Perhaps not.

There have been many arguments with my mum about getting married but it rarely got me the results I wanted. I felt like she was the gatekeeper for any potential person to be given a chance to enter my life but she refused to facilitate it, instead being passive or sometimes agreeing to but never really making any active effort. It quickly became apparent that she was not prepared to part with me and wanted me to graduate first.

Right now, after not quite passing my exams and having to repeat the year, I have changed my mind about marriage and feel that I should wait until after medical school. However, that does not stop me from wondering when or about how I will meet my potential spouse. Do I have to put some sort of effort in to the process? Or do I make d’ua and ask Allah to send me a suitable spouse in the best way possible whenever I am ready for it? 

Talking this issue through with my friend reminded me that our rizq is from Allah. We can’t really ascertain our future. We might think marriage is good for us when it isn’t or like in my friends’ case, a good marriage prospect might come my way without me having to do anything about it.

I know that Allah is looking out for me as He always does and will continue to do until I die. He is my ultimate wali which means He is protecting me and guarding me.

I sometimes wonder why men don’t seem to like me or be attracted to me when other sisters have attention. What is it about me? Am I not girly or giggly enough? Should I open up a bit more? Then my friend reminded me that the Qur’an says “good men are for good women (and vice versa)” (24:26). She told me that I will attract what is similar to me. That made me feel happy as I begin to feel that maybe Allah is saving that rare gem for me and He is out there somewhere. Do I really want to lower my standards and then attract people of a lower standard? I’d rather not, inshaAllah. So this is a reminder to myself, that despite how the hijaabis around me might behave in a smiley/giggley or jokey manner with the guys, that that is something they will have to be accountable for when they die. I should be careful not to follow them down into that hole.

Allah has given women honour and dignity and we should aim to live our lives in that way, not compromising on who we are or going along with what the rest of society does. One does need to be bold and brave in order to be different. They may stand out or be seen as odd/strange. Other people may not find them to be very appealling and they may not have a bucket load of friends. Reminding people of the harsh and true reality of life is not likely to go down well with them. But that is what believers are supposed to do for one another. It is part of loving each other and caring for each other that we assist each other in all of our quests to be better Muslimahs.

I truly love this friend of mine as she is deep and incredibly kind. She made me some food today and when she hugged me, she held on for ages. She is a really sweet person, bless her. I am truly honoured to have met her and I am grateful that she reminded me today that I should continue acting with dignity and grace, and pray that one day I might attract someone similar.

Life Continues

I am so deeply honoured to be where I am today. Some days I have felt sad and have mourned the things I have lost but other days I feel happy at what I have gained. Yes, the sadness and sorrow is greater than the joy often but I will have to continue praying that Allah grants me contentment.

Life can’t go back to the way it was before. Things change, people change and that is sad when you haven’t let go of the past and you are still holding on to the things you loved. She is different today to how she was with me before. She is smiley, happy and jokey with others but serious and sombre around me but perhaps that says more about my personality. Maybe I should just accept that is just the way I am. It is neither a good nor a bad thing. It’s just part of my temperament, I guess. Sometimes people like it as it means they can talk to me about serious things they can’t tell their other friends about and that is an honour I feel. I feel privileged to be able to share those moments with people and be able to assist in some way by listening to them, comforting them or trying to give some sort of advice. So no, I shouldn’t hate myself because eventhough I realise I’m not everyone’s cup of tea, I hope those who enjoy my type of tea find me useful and beneficial to their lives in some sort of way.

I think I will still pray for closure one day. Maybe it will be better to do it once we have finished medical school and are preparing to walk down two different paths. Maybe it will feel more natural then as we both might want to do it.

I miss her. There were so many things we could talk about. I would feel comfortable telling her things I told no-one else. I could be real around her. She was unique and eventhough I meet other people who are nice in different ways, they’re not that friend. They can’t be who she was to me.

And that is sad. I hope that time can heal things inshaAllah.

Colicky Memories

I never did anything to actively hurt her but she turned away. She did not provide enough of an explanation – saying she did not want to open a can of worms. She said she could not handle talking about emotional topics. I guess that’s different for me as I prefer to talk about things, lay it all out there so we can work through things – but she thinks there are things that can’t be resolved. What that shows me is that she was in charge. She is the one that took control of the situation and I feel she is the one that has the hidden information that could make or break our friendship.

I wish she would tell me how she felt. Perhaps she doesn’t know or hasn’t worked through things yet. She says she just wants to live a normal life, without any drama and wants to preserve her sanity. She found our friendship difficult and intense. Maybe she is trying to spare my feelings by not telling me what she really thinks of me, which I am inclined to think, not very much.

It makes me wonder when I see her so happy around everyone else, was I a heavy weight that dragged her down? But she picked up that weight too and took it upon her shoulders when she didn’t need to, but she did, out of duty, friendship and kindness. Maybe I would not have got so closely involved with another and would have chosen to just live my own life, save my own self, like I usually do.

Allah has given me a second chance at life for many reasons. I have an opportunity to do things very differently to how they were before. I led an imbalanced life but now I want to pursue balance, wholeness and health. There is more to life than medicine. I can’t make that the centre of my life as I could end up regretting it on the day of judgement. I shouldn’t put all of my eggs into one basket. What if it isn’t accepted from me? 

I read somewhere today that friendships aren’t usually for life – they depend on the situation. They chop and change as people move around, drift apart, etc. I’ve always taken my friends for granted. I would just expect them to be there for me when I needed them, but of course, life doesn’t work like that. Everyone else has their own lives, their own commitments, etc. These are lessons for me. I need to learn to cope on my own and rely and turn to Allah. I wrote in the last few days about making Allah my best friend. That is the best thing to do. Only He can carry the weight of my flaws. He has the mercy and the strength to deal with it. He won’t turn away from me. He knows I am flawed and broken. He wants me to turn to Him for closure, healing and growth. And that’s what I must do. 

So here’s to new starts and new opportunities. I want to try to close the previous chapter and move onto the next chapter of my life. Of course, the lessons and memories (of the pain and joy) will not be easily forgotten as they changed my life and my mindset. They made me who I am and influence my current perspective on life. But perhaps over time they will be replaced with newer and fresher memories as I live and experience more, so they will be pushed further away into the back of my mind.

InshaAllah all will be ok. Allah is taking care of us all.

Turning 25 Woes

I shared my woes about turning 25 at the end of the year with my friend. 

“What do I have to show for it? What have I done with my life?” I said.

“Stay positive” she said.

“Yes,” I agreed. “We’re halfway through medical school so halfway there to being a doctor inshaAllah,” I said more positively.

The road through medical school has been quite bumpy for me. I have gained and lost much along the way. It has been a bit of a rollercoaster ride. There has been great anxiety, tears, sorrow, despair and fear, but amidst that there has been growth, learning opportunities, joy, beautiful friendships, self-discovery and exploration along the way.

I started off as quite a timid and shy eighteen year old – being away from home for the first time. My parents were quite protective and I rarely did anything by myself. And then I felt I was just thrown into the deep end. It was really quite tough. But those experiences shaped me into the woman that I am, Alhamdulillah. It gave me the strength and courage to deal with and withstand some of the challenges that would come along later, Alhamdulillah. It turned me into a more independent and confident woman. There are things I can do today that I would never have dreamed of doing a couple of years ago as I was filled with so much self-doubt. The more you are thrown out of your comfort zone, the more proof you have that you ARE able to withstand hardship and challenge yourself.

I will never be as good as I want to be. It is a continuous process of self-growth and development. However, recently I have learnt that I must live a more balanced life. I do not want to reach Allah on the day of judgement with having just devoted my life to one thing – Medicine. Medicine is important and I would love to excel in that inshaAllah. However, I would also like to be a good daughter, a good sister, a good friend, a good companion and one day a good wife to a good spouse inshaAllah. I would also like to further my islamic interests in seeking knowledge, learning arabic and giving da’wah.

Marriage is one of those things which I don’t know how it might fit into my life. I have no idea where it will come from or how I will be able to get married. I cannot perceive how I will tie the camel in such a difficult area. It makes me worry a little bit when I hear about friends getting married or meeting/getting to know potentials. But I need to trust AND rely on Allah as He will provide for me from sources that I had never even imagined. Allah has already determined my rizq so I will receive nothing more or less than what has been already decreed for me. This should alleviate some of my stress inshaAllah.
May Allah make it easy for all of the Muslims who are suffering out there. I want to extend well wishes to all those who have been affected by the tower block on fire today. It is tragic and there are bound to have been many trapped that could not have been saved. The death toll is expected to increase. What this shows us is that death is sudden. It will creep up on us from nowhere. We should always be prepared to die at any time and strive to make ourselves into the person we would want to be when meeting Allah.

I hope these final thoughts can put life into perspective and allow us to focus on what is the most important, rather than wishing for and pining over things we have no control over.

May Allah make it easy for us all. Ameen.

Reflections on Attachment and Self-Worth

There has been some loss in my life – loss of things that were quite precious and dear to me. I have seemingly failed at many things, such as medical school exams and most recently a friendship that was very close to my heart. However, Allah has given me many second chances and in the past when I went through hardship, I was able to emerge from the experience as a stronger person, Alhamdulillah. But before that happened, I did have to go through some pretty sad and intense experiences.

Though when I stand back and compare my life to others who have endured much worse than me, I think to myself, Alhamdulillah that Allah did not test me with greater things. He tests us according to our faith, so eventhough my struggles might not be as great as someone else’s, the impact it has on me will be something that would be sure to challenge me.

The question of love and trust comes into my mind. Did I love and trust others beyond their capacity to provide for me? Only Allah is deserving of my full trust and love. He will never fail to disappoint me. He is looking after me and will continue to take care of me as He has been since the day I was born.

I feel like such an ungrateful slave when I focus too much on the pain. There is definitely much goodness interweaved with the struggles – like new friendships, the opportunity to rekindle old ones, family, other opportunities, etc. I just need to open my heart and mind up to the endless possibilities. The grieving hasn’t finished. The feelings come and go in waves. Just shows how unhealthy this attachment was for me, if it has had such an impact on me like this. No human being should ever have the capacity to make you feel this rubbish unless you allow them to. One’s sense of self-worth and self-respect comes from islam. I am a woman of honour, dignity and grace Alhamdulillah. Allah has given me hayah and that is how I should aim to live my life, not being led by the Muslimahs around me. I should not feel I am self important, eventhough it is easy to do so if you feel like you are the most practising in the bunch.

There might be some things I do well, but there will be other things that other sisters do much better than me that I can’t. Nothing is ever what it seems on the surface. We need to behave with integrity and be true to our morals and values.

May Allah make it easy for us. Ameen.

Making Allah My Best Friend

I want Allah to be my best friend 🙂

He is the one I should really be striving to impress and be close to, because let’s face it, humans let us down. They have their own desires, interests and minds of their own. They live their own lives and may not always be around to serve you or do the things you would want to do with them. They are inconsistent and flawed and if we are searching for happiness within or with another human being, then we might find ourselves being seriously disappointed 😦

I’ll be honest, I’m probably like the average girl when it comes to fantasising about finding an amazing man to be your husband, who will take care of you, make you happy, hold you close, keep you safe and wipe your tears away. But let’s face it, if you live together, you will probably argue sometimes. You might fall out so sometimes things might be quite painful. We are chasing an illusion if we think people will grant us happiness and make us feel complete.

Listening to a lecture by Yasmin Mogahed on attachment helped me to realise some of the above.

Today was much better day fir meAlhamdulillah. I made d’ua for my friend to be more responsive and engaging towards me and she was, Alhamdulillah 🙂 I guess I do still feel a little jealous when she has a laugh with other people and has conversations with them which we don’t really seem to do much of these days. But I pray that with time that lessens to the extent that it will be reduced altogether.

She has no obligation towards me and I shouldn’t expect that from her. All the good in my life will come from Allah. He won’t let me down or upset me. He is willing to accept me the way I am with all my flaws. He won’t turn me away as He is the most loving and the most merciful.

He should be my best friend, not anyone else. May Allah make it easy for us all.

Ameen

Wallowing But Trying To Move On

I felt sad and low earlier as I saw my friend so happy and chilled with other course mates. I guess I felt a little jealous, as you do when you have to share someone you truly love and care about with the rest of the world. I don’t think I’d be unique in having that feeling because last week, my flatmate invited her friend over (who I know) but she didn’t tell me. She later apologised for not telling me saying that she wanted to spend time alone with her best friend and I completely understood. I wasn’t offended at all, even in the beginning, but it was nice of her to make that clear, shows she might have felt a little bad for not inviting me.

But anyway, I am trying hard with this friend to engage with her. It can be difficult though. There are lots of things we have in common and could talk about before (serious topics) which aren’t always ideal to talk about on a day to day level. I feel sad when it seems her demeanour towards me is so different than it is with everyone else. She seems way more engaged with other people and makes more effort to connect with their speech than she does with mine. I don’t know if I’m just being OTT though. 

My strategy for the timebeing though is to just remain silent and not comment on these things. I don’t want to upset her anymore and I don’t want to be the bad person. I want to keep on striving to treat her like a good Muslim sister, as I would do with my other Muslim sisters. It shouldn’t matter how she treats me back – that is between her and Allah. As long as I am doing the right and best thing.

I also need to be mindful to be more mindful of my surroundings when I’m around her. There is more to life than this friend. I have a career, family and my deen to pursue. Those things are also VERY important. I guess it is sad when someone had a greater importance/role in your life and then that changed. I want to embrace that change though and go with the flow. Just because someone seems to be colder and flatter towards me, doesn’t mean I should mirror that (eventhough it can be human nature to speak to and respond to a person as they do to you). I’d like to challenge my actions towards her. I want to give off friendly vibes inshaAllah 🙂

May Allah make it easy. Life is a tough ride. It’s so sad when you lose the things you care so much about. It highlights the temporary nature of this dunya. Nothing is fixed/permanent. We search for things to latch onto emotionally but really that latching onto and that love should be entirely devoted to our Creator above who patiently waits for us to seek Him out and is always willing to give, despite how ungrateful we are.

Thank you Allah for the goodness you grant me and continue granting me and please forgive me for not recognising it enough.

xx

Realisations

On the drive back home today, I started thinking to myself, why didn’t my friend like me? She did begin to withdraw herself from me and I noticed that she could be quite moody around me whereas she could be quite happy around others. I guess I could be quite annoying as well since I ask lots of questions, but only because I am quite an inquisitive person. I like to know what is happening and I like to be in control.

I started to feel sad again, sad that this person did not want to be friends with me anymore but could not and did not want to explain to me why, other than the fact that she thought friendships shouldn’t be this difficult. She acknowledged that we were arguing quite a bit about things that were quite small. And she also said that there were too many issues that could not be resolved. I wonder sometimes what those issues are and inside I feel most inclined to think that she just didn’t like my personality. She said that she thought I was a good person but sometimes two good people just can’t get along (for whatever reason). I read between the lines and I think she just didn’t like my personality. She mentioned ‘temperament’ at some point so maybe she just didn’t like mine. I am quite stressy and quite anxious. Maybe that, coupled with her empathy just did not make a good combination. Maybe she would absorb all the negative thoughts/feelings I would externalise and that led to her wanting to not be close to me anymore. That is my interpretation which could be right or wrong.

What I have to say is that I can’t change my personality and my temperament. I tried to act more reserved around her to try to compensate or fix things but I then realised that this just wasn’t me and it wasn’t getting me anywhere. If this friend dislikes something about me that I can’t change, then I guess the onus was on her to do something about it. And maybe that is why she decided she wanted to end our friendship. It’s sad when you have to be on the receiving end of that. It is as if that person has all the control and you’re just the by-product of their decision. You feel small and inadequate. She had the power and I couldn’t do anything about it. I could continue to pursue it (as I usually do in life since I don’t easily give up on things that mean a lot to me), but with people, it just feels wrong to keep on pushing them as that could be regarded as harassment.

I can’t make sense of things and just as I was beginning to feel low, I came across this verse in the Qur’an:

‘And [yet], among the people are those who take other than Allah as equals [to Him]. They love them as they [should] love Allah . But those who believe are stronger in love for Allah.’

(2:165)

What this verse demonstrates is that we shouldn’t love anyone like or more than the way we love Allah. Only Allah is deserving of that intensity of love. Only Allah will love us back, even more than we love Him. How amazing is that?

I truly and deeply loved this friend. Her messages to me would make me smile and I would look forward to seeing her. I would value her advice and insight more than anyone else’s that I knew. I trusted her…but she let me down.

Allah will never let us down though ever. He will always follow through on His promises to us. In fact, He always loves us despite us doing things to disobey Him all the time, but He loves it when we come back to Him.

No-one should compete in the affection that one has for their Lord, Allah. That love will not leave us with disappointment as He grants us and will continue to grant us an endless array of blessings. He sends our rizq down upon us. And He has promised the final and ultimate reward for all the believers who obey Him and worship none besides Him.

So all that pain and all that love I would devote to this friend of mine, I need to turn that back to Allah now. He is the source of all joy in my life. The only reason I was able to love and benefit from this friend so much was because Allah sent her to me. It is now Allah who has decided to make her turn away from me in some manner by which I can’t understand. But as a believer I am supposed to accept that everything comes from Him and everything will go back to Him.

So all of this that is happening, is all in my best interests. It’s not for me to know why things happen. I didn’t choose or ask for this friend to be in my life. Allah sent her to me and looking back, there was much reward in having her there. Maybe there is khair (good) in not having her be so close to me either.

I need to trust Allah that His plan is the best plan, eventhough it might not fall in line with how I planned it or wanted it to be. 

I’m not in control. Allah is.

May He grant all the believers ease and a way out from their suffering.

Ameen

An Iftar With a Friend

I invited a friend over for iftar and we had a really lovely chat about life. We talked about medicine, social interactions in the hospital, male/female interactions, family, marriage, and much more Alhamdulillah.

I felt happy that this friend of mine enjoyed talking about deep stuff and was interested in knowing my insight on life. Her observations on life was interesting too. I discovered a bit more about the type of person she is. She opened up to me about her flaws which made her come across as being quite authentic and real. I appreciated that.

Sometimes I have felt in life that I have valued and appreciated certain Muslim sisters on a one-to-one level but when I’ve seen them around guys, I’ve been a little shocked and disappointed at their conduct as they’ve been quite giggly, smiley and said some quite inappropriate things. I know that this has happened to other sisters as well. 

I’m aware that this happens now so I will try to not trust people completely as their actions don’t really match up with the things that they say. People say things to save face and to preserve their honour and reputation. But it seems that when people are in certain situations, their nafs will take over. I think it’s difficult as we are living in a challenging society where the type of morals/values that are promoted are ones of liberalism and being free, but islam teaches women to be more conserved in their attitude. Of course, that can be difficult for women who are naturally quite extroverted. I feel I do like to express what I think a lot. It helps me to make sense of myself so I guess it isn’t natural for me to be so quiet when I have a strong opinion on something.

I wonder what the islamic opinion is on things like this. I’m sure there are bound to have been women during the time of the prophet (pbuh) who were extroverted as well.

This is something I’d quite like to research inshaAllah. 

On the whole, I am happy after some joyous social interactions. It left me feeling fulfilled and happy and I went away praying more that night than I had all week, so that shows what a difference doing things for enjoyment makes Alhamdulillah.