The lessons we do not plan

The lessons we do not plan

I am a planner girl. I like to set expectations and I have even learnt to pivot and be comfortable when things do not go as planned. It has been good for my tawakkul muscles.

I love homeschooling. It has gotten quite real and it has been a journey of learning for me and I do get anxious that the space I make for my children and all the children that come into my space, will not necessarily be made for them by others.

One thing I get anxious about when we have to interact with others is the idea of greeting others. I introduced it to the children as “Assalamu Alaikum” and if i was to say to them “greet”, they will say “Assalamu Alaikum.” It gets awkward 😳 😅 😬 when the person is not Muslim. I don’t like for people to think I am forcing Islam on them, cos that is what they will think, sadly even Muslims.

Yesterday we got into a cab and I said salam to the driver and then prompted them to say salam and they did. And I sat with my thoughts, “how long do I need to remind them? What lessons can I plan around the different ways to greet etc.” We arrived at the mall and so my thoughts were interrupted.

We were standing in the corner waiting for B to finish his turn on a ride and then this old woman passed. K turned to her and said, “Hello” with the warmest cheekiest smile on her face. And unprovoked!

The woman was delighted and surprised.

I was shocked and blushing.

“Grandma” bent a little and asked her name. Which she replied with and then grandma opened her bag, counted out some money and gave to her.

I was humbled and in awe of Allah. I always pray that as we are doing our best and raising our children different, that Allah always surrounds them with people that make space for them and appreciate their differences.

Another old woman might have said, “is it hello you are to say to me. Am I your mate?” etc…But I digress!

And so that was the start of our budgeting lesson because baby girl went shopping right after.

Alhamdulilah. Then Alhamdulilah.

To marry your best friend

To marry your best friend

I got married a little over 10 years ago, and everyone was “marrying their best friend.” It became such a clichè. Then another popular thing you would hear is “men are scum” and with all the #couplegoals, it used to leave me wondering, who was then married to the scums?

Here I am, after all these years later, still wondering the same thing. Everyone is still married to/marrying their best friends and men are still scum.

Is the problem our expectations?

Are we honest with ourselves?

Are we deluded?

Do we need to have/create a certain picture?

Are we suffering in silence?

Are we saying what has been fed to us because everyone is saying it?

Do we even know what it means?

I don’t know about marrying my best friend but a few days ago we had an issue…

You see, I don’t like what I do not like.

He has a habit I do not like and we have gone back and forth on it a lot. We have tried to tweak it so all our needs are met but this particular day, he did it and it hit me so bad, I said, “Haba, I have complained everyday for 10 years and you keep doing the same thing, help me understand, do you think I am faking it or do you just expect me to get over it?” His response shook me.

He said, “no now but you haven’t complained in the last two weeks because I made an effort.”

….that only led me to more unanswered questions…

“Is that why you did it, you just needed me to complain again?”

“Is it how you get me notice you?”

“Is 2 weeks your limit for my sanity?”

Again, extreme sport! I tell you!

Alhamdulillah!

So we have been meaning to do this for a while and here we are by the will of Allah.

We want to have a conversation with a small group of people, preferably couples or those about to get married. Go ahead and register to be on the waitlist. The goal is to talk about how these differences do not have to break us but allow us to truly make space and build a stronger team.

Again, join the waitlist and all details will be emailed out In sha’a Allah

And we do want to talk about some of these issues via podcasts and blog posts. Feel free to drop your questions or suggestions in the comments.

Reflections from our family umrah: His love and mercy

Reflections from our family umrah: His love and mercy

In the name of Allah, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful

We had a thing that morning. I don’t even remember what it was about. It wasn’t a fight as such. Just a ‘thing.’

In the first few months of marriage, whenever we would fight, I will be so upset that I would hold my breath for a while cos I dont even want to breathe the same air as him.

I had put the children to bed and went for a solo tawaaf. I did it on the ground floor. Clutching my du’a book while being shoved and desperately speaking to Allah ﷻ

I finished my 7th round and joined the queue to pray my nawafil in the Hijr. And SubhanAllah, I got in. Prayed my nawafil. Took a few pictures so that he could live vicariously through me and then left. Stopped by to get food and walked to the hotel.

I got in at about midnight and all 3 of them were up staring at the door. “See! It’s mummy” and they all rushed to me. I felt it. His love.

I shared my excitement about how Allah ﷻ opened His doors for me and facilitated my ibaadah that day.

“I hope you remembered to pray for me.” He said. I smiled. I said, “I first thanked Him for you cos He chose you for me.”

“I am so sorry for this morning.” He said.
I smiled. “I know.”

His Love and Mercy! May we always have that.

Is there more time to do better?

Is there more time to do better?

I think it was in 2018. I was at an event held in An-Nur, and I remember the speaker started the session with a question. How many people here have children? And most hands went up. I felt a tinge of something. I had just gone through a loss of some sort, and I needed to get out of the house. The whole reason I was there. Or was it?

His ways are so different. SubhanAllah! But I digress..

And that was followed by another question from the speaker…

“If your children were to talk about their role models, would they mention you?” And if it was not all the hands that went down, it was most. Very most.

And now I ask myself one more…

“Do I want my children to be exactly like me?”

I marvel at nature vs. nurture. When one agent does something exactly like they see us do it. Or another asking for “hot tea” just like grandma. Or they talk my ear off just like daddy.

These children, they see us in a way no-one else sees us. They truly love us. It is all important to them, our mood, our reactions, our validation, our time. We might think there is time for us to do better, but the truth is, there isn’t. Or is there?

We would be starting with another group for the Nurtured mama Program. This is your invitation to join us.

Ramadān 1444ah: A different one

Ramadān 1444ah: A different one

In the name of Allah, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful.

The more things change, the more they remain the same.

Ramadān is always an exciting one. Alhamdulillah. There is so much palnning and excitement as the month comes and then just like that it is done and leave us yearning for the next. may Allah ﷻ allow us to witness this month and many more and to take and reap from it. Amin.

For a number of years now, I have had a similar schedule for Ramadān. I host a community reflection circle post fajr which I love and then start my day right after, when I was working a 9-5, would proceed to work and even when I was a full-time entrepreneur, I would work as such too. Then I schedule everything else as needed from Qur’an classes to tafseer classes and so on. And I have loved it. I love knowing what I need to do, I love getting to do all I get to do, and the structure keeps me focused. Alhamdulillah.

However, this Ramadān, I find myself craving a much needed retreat. I want to take time out for myself to just be by myself and work on myself from within myself. I really miss solo journaling sessions as well and looking forward to that too. I am looking to get the children involved as well and so doing a lot of activities with them In sha’a Allah So let’s say there will be lots of children books in my Ramadān as well. There is also my studies. We do not get a break for Ramadān, just an adjusted schedule because we do not get a lunch break cos it is Ramadān.

I intend to make a number of changes in the coming months and I intend to use Ramadān as a training ground for that In sha’a Allah.

One other thing I am excited about is Pockets of peace – a bunch of letters of love, hope and personal stories, I would be sending out with so much more love scattered through the month of Ramadān. Feel free to subscribe here.

May Allah ﷻ allow us to witness the blessed month, see it and benefit from it and may He accept all of our ibadah and reward us for it and may he allow us to enter into His Jannah. Amin

How about you? Do you intend to have a different Ramadān?

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