Assalamualaikum wbt and good day everyone!
I am delighted to share an amazing gem of a book that I had just finished reading yesterday! I received it on Thursday, read 2 chapters after work and finished the whole book on Friday morning, even wrote a short review about it on my instagram.
How deeeply engrossed I was when I read the book! I underlined and circled lots of important messages (I probably could underline each and every sentence). I love that there is the ‘Notes’ section at the end of every chapter. It gave me a chance to pause, ponder, reflect on the chapter I had read and jot my thoughts down before moving on to the next chapter, all the more ready.
I actually started looking at the reviews of those who had read this book, and all of them said that this book is a must-read. I knew then I wanted to read more, I want to read the whole of it, not just the snippets.
Here’s my verdict: This is a must-read book to ALL women, not just Muslim women. This is also a must-read book to everyone, not just women. I would recommend this book to my sister, to my friends, colleagues, and to my future daughters. 😄
I think I should read this book once in a week, or maybe once in a month. This book acts like a cheerleader to me, comforting me and acknowledging the difficulties that I am experiencing, and it also acts as a motivator and therapist.
The most mindblowing concept shown in this book (for me) is that you have the choice on how to tell your story. You could act as a victim, pitying yourself, needing everyone’s pity to sustain you, falling into despair OR…
You could act as a hero of your story. You could focus on the strength and resilience that you had courageously displayed, instead of focusing how difficult these tests and challenges are. A simple shift in perspective is all that’s needed to transform you from zero to hero. I tried doing this and believe me, it makes a huge difference in my life. I’m even proud of myself for making it up till where I am now, with Allah’s help of course! *pats myself Good job Sarah! Thank you Allah!*
I’m also currently working on the ‘Show Up’ notebook, available for free at Naima B. Robert’s website. The workbook allows me to have a moment of reflection everyday as it asks questions that need me to first have a seat, relax, and clear out my other thoughts to make way for the answers I’m about to give.
The first question is: What is your Why? Why is it important for you to show up in your life, right now?
I thought long and deep, and began writing:
My ultimate purpose in life, my Big Why in life is of course, to earn the pleasure of Allah SWT, to be ready to meet Allah, to live a peaceful life in the grave with the al-Quran and the deeds as my companions. To make it into the highest of Jannah without hisab, to be happy with my loved ones in Jannah, where there will be no sadness or fear, we will live an eternal happy life there.
In order to do that, I must perform acts of Ibadah. But, are they enough to get me into Jannah? I do nit have the luxury of time to pray 24/7.
My whole life should be a form of ibadah. All aspects of my life should be an ibadah. Because that’s the only reason why I’m being sent into this Earth. To worship Allah. That’s my main purpose. That’s my Why. My Big Why on this Earth.
But who said prostrating on the prayer mat is the only form of ibadah?
Other than performing the compulsory ibadahs stated in the 5 pillars or Islam, and having the unshaken belief and faith towards all 6 pillars of Iman, and also by doing the ibadah sunnah like charity, etc, my other forms of worship is also by:
Living up to my truest and highest potential.
And in order to do that, I must show up in life. I must fight against the temptations and nafs, I must resist against laziness. I must be consistent and disciplined. I must challenge myself in order to improve myself!
When faced with difficulties, I must view them as the tools for me to improve myself in various aspects so I could 100% fulfill the ultimate task that had been given by Allah to me: To worship Him. I must show up, because this is what Allah wants me to do. I must show up, because this is what Rasulullah SAW and the other prophets did.
I must show up not just for myself, but for others as well. The world needs me. I have a legacy to leave behind. To change the world, to add values to the lives of others around me, and in my ‘Circle of Influence’, I must start with myself. I must show up now!
So there it goes. Aiman Azlan said that His Big Why is standing before Allah and saying that he had given everything in the world in His worship by dedicating his life towards his small Whys.
It’s the same concept. That should be the Big Why of every muslims.
I only have one life on this Earth. My childhood had long left me, same goes with my adolescent years. I am not longer in my twenties. I must make good use of the time I have now to give my best to Allah, and that is by contributing to the world, achieving something significant, leaving a good impact, living a life with clear goals and ambitions to aim higher.
Because Allah does not destine a life of mediocrity for me. Same goes with you and all His other servants.
It’s up to you on how to tell your story.
I shall end this post with a favourite Quranic verse.
"Indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a people until the change what is in themselves." (Ar-Ra'd verse 11)
With that, assalamualaikum wbt and may Allah ease our journeys. Aameen.