The Sunshine Blogger Award

It’s a comeback! Actually, probably not. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. There’ll probably be another hiatus of several months after this — let’s keep it real.

The cause of me popping my blogging head out into the light of day at last is because I was nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award. The idea of this Award is that one blogger nominates eleven other bloggers and poses eleven questions to them. Then those eleven bloggers must answer those questions in a blog post and nominate eleven more bloggers, to whom she must pose eleven new questions which they must answer. And repeat. Eleven is the magic number here.

It’s an ongoing cycle into forever — unless one or more of those eleven is like me and puts off the challenge for many weeks or just never gets to it, leading to a catastrophic break in the cycle… Yikes.

Thank you for the nomination, Wasfeeya. It’s lovely to be part of a local blogging community, Alhamdulillah.

Please head over to her blog, guys. It’s filled with lovely, insightful reflections, ma sha Allah. She writes bravely and honestly.

Back to the Sunshine questions now… 

unnamed

Why do you blog?

I’ve always loved writing. It was the first thing in my life that I knew had meaning to me, and the first thing that I could remember being any good at. I was in grade 4. The story I wrote was certainly no masterpiece, but my teacher complemented me on it. That was monumental. Since then, writing has always been my dream and my mission — a novel (maybe plural..?) is the end goal, in sha Allah (God-willing), but until then, blogging allows me to attain small chunks of that dream at a time.

Also, naturally, my writing would be empty if there were no audience. Another reason that I blog is because I hope that my writing resonates with someone, that it may connect us as people. I believe we are all fundamentally so much the same, even in our differences.

What is your greatest accomplishment?

Gee golly, Wasfeeya, you’ve asked a difficult one. I feel like this is not a question that I can answer definitively. But I’ll go with this one for now…

I’m a teacher, so an accomplishment to me is when a student who struggles with something for a while finally starts improving, when that student implements feedback that I’ve given her. That feeling is amazing, Alhamdulillah (All Praise is to Allah).

There is one student that comes to mind specifically. I had taught her since grade 8. Her writing and language use wasn’t that great. I’d often return her essays with specific feedback on how she could better her writing and how to structure her sentences and paragraphs better. But through grade 8 and grade 9, I saw no improvement. Then suddenly, in grade 10, she began to flourish. She was structuring her sentences better, she was using the feedback I had given, her stories were more creative and engaging, she was handing me drafts ahead of time to check them for her before submitting!

Whenever I’d mark her work, I would be on a high. She was still not an A-student, but she felt like my success story. Consistent A’s are lovely on record, but personal growth and improvement is much more joyful to a teacher. Alhamdulillah.

I do not know if I can say her improvement is ‘my greatest accomplishment’. There are certainly other factors that contributed to her improvement beyond my efforts, but I like to think I had a hand in it, with Allah’s Permission.

What do you believe is your personal mission on this earth?

So my purpose is to worship my Creator, as He has told us this (Qur’an, 51:56). And my personal mission that I have undertaken in order to fulfill this purpose is to try to impact the hearts of children and teenagers positively.

Achieving this mission could be through various means: writing, teaching, being an aunty, being a mom (someday, in sha Allah), being a friendly (non-creepy) stranger standing behind a child sitting in the trolley in a grocery story queue, etc.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

It’s a quote my dad told me when I was much younger and which I often reflect on:

There is so much good in the worst of us, and so much bad in the best of us; it hardly becomes any of us to talk about the rest of us.

-Unknown

What is your favourite quote?

There are faaaarrr too many to choose from. I love reading and sharing quotes and I keep a collection of my personal favourites in a notebook, so it is certainly impossible for me to choose just one. So many of them offer such valuable lessons.

Here’s one that I’ll share though:

I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is over self.

-Aristotle

Where would you love to be right now?

On a beach, with the gentle warmth of the sun on my face.

What was the greatest challenge you’ve faced and overcame?

Leaving behind a friend whom I loved, but knew was bad for me and my deen. The leaving part wasn’t the hardest (though it certainly was hard),  it’s the explaining part that stabbed me more.

Are you left-brain or right-brain oriented?

I seem to be somewhere in the middle.

What is your dream destination and why?

Scotland. It was a place I dreamed of as a child, because many novels I read were set there.

Pick an all time favorite book that you think we should all read.

I don’t actually have one. Sure, I have books that I love and which I’d recommend, but not an ‘all-time favourite’. It would be a random pick just for the sake of an answer if I were to provide a title here.

(Naturally, this is besides the greatest of all Books, the Qur’an. It is most certainly a must-read for everyone.)

What piece of advice would you share as your last words before you pass away?

Don’t be lazy. Do things. Live life. Work for your success and your happiness. Work for your akhirah (afterlife). Work.

______________

The rules of this award are:

  1. Thank the person/persons who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog. DONE!
  2. Answer the 11 questions sent by the person who nominated you. DONE!
  3. Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions. DONE! (Kind of. 5 is less than 11, but better than 1, right? Find them below.)
  4. List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo on your post and/or on your blog. DONE!

My nominations:

  1. Galeema Davids
  2. Ayesha-Bibi Khan
  3. `Aqeela Ishmail
  4. Aa`isha Ebrahim
  5. Robyn-Lee Samuels

11 questions I pose to you:

  1. What one thing never fails to make you smile?
  2. Tell me three things you love most about yourself (physical/personality).
  3. What inspired you to write your first blog post?
  4. What was your first thought when you woke up this morning?
  5. If you could witness any event of the past, present, or future, what would it be? Why?
  6. What’s your dream job?
  7. What is the best piece of advice you’ve received?
  8. What is the best part of belonging to your family?
  9. What is your favourite childhood memory?
  10. What is your personal motto?
  11. What is your love language?

_______________

That’s it from me, folks. Looking forward to reading the responses of the rest of you.

Signoff

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