How challenges can strengthen your relationship
By: Linda Bloom and Charlie Bloom
One of the most frequently-voiced complaints that we hear from clients and students (and admittedly, it tends to be women who we hear it from) is, “He won’t talk to me,” or, “I can’t get him to open up. No matter what I do, I don’t get anything more than a one-word response,” or, “I’m so frustrated, I could scream.”
No one likes to hear bad news but the truth is that the consequences of refusing to listen or talk about upsetting issues can be far more painful and damaging than the experience of discussing them.
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said in Kitab al-Eeman: “The believer may suffer from the whispers of the Shaytan insinuating thoughts of kufr (disbelief), which may make him feel distressed. The Sahabah (may Allah be pleased with them) said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, some of us think thoughts which we would rather fall from heaven to earth than speak of them.’ He said, ‘That is a clear sign of faith.’ According to one report, ‘… thoughts which are too terrible to speak of.’ He said, ‘Praise be to Allah, Who has reduced all his [the Shaytan’s] plots to mere whispers,’ meaning that the fact that these whispers come, but they are so greatly disliked, and they are pushed away from the heart, is a clear sign of faith. This is like the mujahid (warrior) to whom the enemy comes, but he resists him until he overwhelms him, and this is a mighty jihad (battle)… Hence the seekers of knowledge and devoted worshippers experience waswas and doubts which others do not face, because they (the others) are not following the way prescribed by Allah, rather they are following their own whims and desires and neglecting to remember their Lord. This is what the Shaytan wants, in contrast to those who are striving to draw closer to their Lord by seeking knowledge and worshipping Him. He is their enemy and seeks to prevent them from drawing closer to Allah.” (p.147 of the Indian edition)
1. Seek refuge with Allah and give up these thoughts completely, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) commanded.
2. Remember Allah and control yourself and do not continue to think of these whispers.
3. Occupy yourself with worship and doing good deeds, in obedience to the command of Allah and seeking to please Him. When you devote yourself completely and seriously to worship, you will forget about these whispers, insha Allah.
4. Frequently seek refuge with Allah and make du’a (supplicate) to free you from these whispers.
By: Yasmin Mogahed
Pleasing Allah is NOT dependent on pleasing people. Say this a million times, until you absorb it! We *can’t* please people. We can only do our part, as best we can, for the sake of Allah. The result comes from Allah. Not from us. If we are not successful at pleasing people, it does NOT mean we’ve failed! You have not failed. You are not a failure. You need to start to accept and value who you are. You need to value yourself. And stop trying to mold yourself into what you are not, in order to please those around you. Your goal is to please Allah and Allah did not ask you to become something you’re not. Nor did Allah expect you to please people. That’s not your job. Your job is to please Him.
By: Jade Small
When you meet someone who is spiritually healthy, you’re immediately drawn to that person. You feel good just by being around them. These people are magnets for happiness, freedom and generosity, and have a unique ability to enjoy the present moment.
The only way you can achieve true spiritual satisfaction is by following your heart’s desires. Here are some clues that you can use to stay on the right path.
Here are 20 signs you’re spiritually healthy:
1. You stepped out of the victim role and now play the game of designing your destiny.
2. You love your life because you’re living your soul’s purpose.
3. You feel like you’re contributing and serving with generosity.
4. You got off the emotional roller coaster, and your emotions feel like smooth waves on a clear day most of the time.
5. You catch yourself when you judge others and realize that what you’re judging is intimately related to your own self-acceptance.
6. You don’t fear making the wrong decision, because you’re aware that there can always be a spiritual lesson.
7. You understand that freedom and happiness are qualities you cultivate from within, and the more you work on them, the more they grow.
8. You no longer feel like you need to hide out of fear of judgment; you are the full expression of yourself personally and professionally.
9. You spend time in silence daily and crave it when you miss a day, because you feel like something is “off.”
By: Joe Martino
Start Spending Time With The “Right” People – Spend time with people you enjoy -who bring you up instead of push you down. Sure there are always lessons we can learn from others but you don’t need to continue hanging around with and associating with people who you know bring in an offsetting vibe. Learn what you need to from them about yourself and move on. I have found that the longer I let things linger with people simply because I feel I’m supposed to never let them bother me, the worse a situation gets as I’m not taking care of myself. You can’t change others, so focus on you and spend time with those who resonate with you the most.
Start Loving & Being Nicer To Yourself – Think about how you speak to yourself sometimes – how does it sound? What do you say? Unless you are already great at self talk and have a solid connection to the love that you are, it’s likely you say some nasty things to yourself. Whether it be about your appearance, performance on something or your ability to do something you want to do, it’s easy for us to tear ourselves down. Now imagine someone else was saying all those things to you instead. Would it be nice of that person? Of course not. So why do we choose to not be nice to ourselves? Learning to love ourselves and cut out the nasty talk is so important. Be sure to be aware of what you are saying to yourself. >
Start Being Fully Honest With Yourself – Being fully honest with yourself is so important as we can get caught up in convincing ourselves that various things don’t bother us or aren’t a challenge for us. We even be guilty to avoid admitting certain characteristics about the current version of ourselves. Honesty is needed in every aspect of our lives whether it’s with other people, ourselves, our work and so on. The more honest we are, the more we can grow from our experiences and keep things simple. You learn a lot about yourself when you are honest.
Start Facing Your Challenges Head On – We always want our problems or challenges to just go away. But most of the time it isn’t quite that simple. We need to take some sort of action steps. Choose to do something about the challenges you face as opposed to letting them linger and simply complaining about them. We have the choice and control, it’s time to embrace that power. If it helps, choose one problem or challenge you face right now, and write out some things you can do to get it moving forward.
Start Listening To Your Own Inner Voice – Whether you want to call it your inner voice, your heart, gut feelings, intuition, soul, higher self, higher perspective or any other name you give to the real YOU that is beyond your mind, listening to that voice a little more often makes a big difference in your life. It’s YOU! It’s there to guide you, show you your passions and what paths make the most sense for you at any given moment. The more you listen to it means the less you listen to the mind which can often over analyze or bring emotional patterns into your decisions. Listening to your inner voice is following your heart.
Start Living In The NOW – This was one of the most powerful things for me to implement in my life. I’m not saying I’m always in the now as certainly I get stuck thinking about the past or future in ways that cause suffering, but using this tool as much as possible is huge. Everything you have or are is all happening right now and you only have the now. Even in a future moment it is still the now. When you pay attention to what is happening now you give your whole self to what you are doing and that brings much peace and joy. The past or future can be used as a reference to make adjustments in the now, but avoid fretting or worrying about either. The dwelling will only cause suffering. There is much beauty happening now that you won’t want to miss.
Start Valuing What Your “Mistakes” Teach You – I don’t believe there are mistakes in life. Simply, we make choices and they play out experiences. Deep down we have an understanding of what is right and wrong and we live by that. When it comes to smaller choices where we make decisions and they end up in less favorable outcomes, there is a lot to learn from them. Taking risks sometimes results in a stumble or a fall, but this will teach you so much about yourself and the journey you make through each experience. We focus so much on the end goal and how it came to be defined rather than all we learned along the way. There are no mistakes. Value what you learn from every journey.
Start Being Yourself Completely – You are an awesome unique individual, no matter what anyone says. Embracing that is often so difficult because we have social pressures as well as ideas of ourselves (often based on social pressures) that get in the way of us being real. Deep down we all know who we are, what we love and how we want to be, it’s just a matter of getting used to being that when we have gotten used to putting something else “on” for so long. It can be scary for sure, we are putting ourselves out there and if people don’t accept us it can hurt. But the truth is, you will be amazed at how much people love you and are appreciative of what you resonate when you are truly being yourself. People can feel when others aren’t embracing their true selves and this is what usually creates interesting experiences.
Start Enjoying & Appreciating What You Already Have – Sometimes we get caught up in chasing things like money and other material possessions. While these things are not bad to experience or have, it’s important not to get stuck in the idea that “I will be happy once I get these things.” Too often we are waiting around for the “best” situation to play out for us, all the while missing out on the experiences that are right in front of us. Where we have food, shelter, friends, family and life. We also can get caught up in comparing ourselves to others and what they have. Before you go to bed, mid day or even when you wake up, remember all that you have and this will help to keep you out of the chase for more. After all, when you finally get the things you desire, won’t the mind just look for more if we let it?
Start Being Accountable & Creating Your Own Joy – When we look outside ourselves to create joy or peace in our lives we basically give up our own power in doing so. The truth is, you already have all it takes to feel great in your life and sometimes it’s about taking the action to make that the case. In our culture most of the time we assume that happiness will come from others and from things and when we get everything in line we will be OK -Let’s break this habit and start by finding the power inside each of us to begin creating joy now.
Start Helping People Around You – Regardless of what society may suggest is the case, we are all in this together and connected to one another. Caring about people and assisting them in their own journey, in whatever form that comes in, is a great way to connect with others and use your unique skills. On top of that you create a sharing relationship with those people so that exchanges can continue down the road. You aren’t doing it to get something in return, but rather to extend love outwards only to see it come back in whatever form it does.
Start Accepting Things Even If They Aren’t Perfect – Really, what is perfect? Sometimes we have a tough time accepting things when they aren’t perfect, but perfection is simply an idea your mind created. We can get caught up in things in our world not appearing exactly as we wish to see them, but much of it is us learning to be at peace with how things unfold. We can only take actions on things we have control over. This isn’t to say you need to settle for everything, but rather, don’t obsess over the small details and instead be at peace with where things are at in this moment.
Start Paying Attention to How You Feel About Things – Often times we might feel a particular way about something but we don’t take it seriously or voice it because we don’t understand it or don’t want to share it with others. How you feel deep down about something is important and we should certainly value that. Social pressures don’t outweigh how you feel inside about something so feel free to understand that feeling and own it versus burying it. Often we can hide these feelings inside only to later realize many others felt the same about something but didn’t say anything because they were all afraid as well. Your voice and heart can impact others. Don’t be afraid to speak.
Start Focusing On The Possibilities Of Things vs Them Not Working Out – Have you ever heard the idea that if you believe it, it will happen? Now of course this isn’t quite the full story, but believing in possibility has a big impact on not only your own effort and motivation around something but also how others will perceive it. If you want to do something in your life, believe you can do it and avoid thinking negatively about the outcome. “This would never happen to me.” Or “Good things never happen to me.” This type of self talk and lack of believing in self can quickly kill what you are trying to achieve in life. Focus on what you want to happen and how you want to go about it. Focusing on the “negative” won’t do much but make the whole situation feel “negative.”
By: Oyon Ajmain
The Ummah and humanity nowadays is so diverse that almost every other friend an individual has is of a different race to himself. Me personally, I have a mix of friends who are black, white, asian, arab etc and sometimes when I hang out with them they make harmless jokes which borderline racism.
GAZA CAMPAIGN – WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Israel’s latest atrocity in Gaza has led to thousands of you asking what you can do to help. FOA has put together a guide on a number of different campaigns which we hope you will each sign up to, so that collectively, we can help end the suffering of the Palestinian people.
If you cannot take all the recommended actions, commit yourself to at least one and be consistent with it. Palestinians need us in times of crisis, and these times of crisis are not just when Israel unleashes its mass death and destruction.
If exposing yourself is being modern then animals are more modern than us.
Si exponerse es ser moderno, entonces los animales son más modernos que nosotros.
Als bloot wordt modern dan dieren zijn moderner dan ons.
Si vous exposer est d’être moderne, puis les animaux sont plus modernes que nous.
Wenn sich selbst aussetzt, wird als moderne dann Tiere sind moderner als wir.
Rúguǒ bàolù zìjǐ zhèng bèi xiàndài zé dòngwù bǐ wǒmen gèng xiàndài.
Om utsätta dig själv är att vara modern då djur är mer moderna än oss.
Yesli podvergaya sebya v nastoyashcheye vremya sovremennyy zatem zhivotnyye boleye sovremennyy , chem u nas.
Kendinizi teşhir modern olmak ise, o hayvanlar bizden daha modern.
Se esporsi è essere moderna allora gli animali sono più moderni di noi.
Jika membuka diri ini menjadi modern maka hewan yang lebih modern daripada kita.