Lost in Prayer

When it’s good, pray. When it hurts, pray. When you don’t have the words, pray.

Some times it’s hard to face your Lord with your pained heart and everything you’re carrying, but who else can you go to with it except the One who created your heart and everything it holds?

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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.

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Notes To Self

Dear Ruqaiyah, this moment you’re in right now, this is the moment to do something. To start something. Stop waiting for tomorrow, next week, or next month. Start now.

Dear Ruqaiyah, happiness is here. Right here, where you are now. It’s not a destination you need to reach ‘someday’. It’s not some place you need to travel to, or arrive at. You simply have to be here, now; you simply need to breathe in, breathe out, and remember your Lord. Here, now. Be happy.

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300 Books Before 30

Part of my identity has always been that I am a reader. I cannot remember a time in my childhood — from my earliest memories — that I did not love books or count myself among those who love reading; whether it was thick, cardboard-paged books about a spotty dog, The Famous Five, Sweet Dreams (cringe!), Sweet Valley, then finally the more mature books about life, love and such… books formed a huge part of my identity.

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But, increasingly, in my young adult years through to my current adult years (old adult?), I’ve found less and less time for reading. And I know that’s just because I’ve made less time for it. I’ve found more distractions, more stress, more work, more world news, more to fret about, and more Facebook and YouTube to numb my brain with.

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NaPoWriMo Day 2: Lies, Lies, Lies

The poetry prompt for day 2 is to write a poem that tells a lie. Yikes. This was a difficult one. Really difficult. I ended up staring at a blank screen for hours. Really. It was horrible. So this is the result of that horrible-ness. Not my best work–and that’s not a lie.

I’ve got it all figured out.

No questions about where I’m going.

No doubts about what I’m doing.

I know what I want.

And I know how to get there.

Yeah… No.

That’s a lie.

I have so many questions!

Sometimes I just want to ask, ‘Why?

I have doubts and fears–

Life is not as easy as it appears.

And writing this poem while to the prompt trying to adhere

Has resulted in a work which is more than a little queer,

I fear.

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Hate it. Love it. Share your thoughts with me below.

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It Feels So Write!

Aaah, it feels so good to be sitting here again. So good to be surrounded by words, thoughts, ideas and to actually have time to pen (or the modern-day version of ‘penning’: type) those words down, think the thoughts out, entertain the ideas that flitter in and out. I also have this strange habit of making up stories in my head at random times during a day when I’m tired or stressed and choose to escape inside my head. It’s nice to be able enjoy these mental stories now, and to add more to those stories than just character descriptions for a change–there is still a long way to go before they end up on paper, though, or my laptop screen. For now they will just stay in my head. But I enjoy them up there.

This is a "thought bubble". It is an...
I often prefer living inside my head. It’s more fun up there. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So, yes, here I sit. In my bedroom. On my bed. The same place I’ve sat for most of this year. (And I do not exaggerate when I say that. I SAT here for so much of this year, planning lessons, marking tests and assignments, doing research, NOT going out with friends and family because I had so much work to do, NOT updating my blog because I had so much work to do, NOT sleeping, even though I was on my bed… my butt eventually hurt from the sitting. No jokes. None.) But this place is different now. The French doors leading from my bedroom to our very cluttered and un-scenic back yard are open; air and sunlight is streaming in; there are no papers, notes and books sprawled on all surfaces in my bedroom–save for the fictional ones that happily whisk me away to another time, another land, for which I had longed all year, but been deprived of. And my laptop has once again transformed into a dear, old friend; she is no longer the menace that burned my eyes in the wee hours of the night, draining me of all coherent thought. She is again my friend whom I write to about funny, old things that I think about, I tell her the poems of my heart, and she once again allows me to guiltlessly ramble on about random things on my blog. She is back. I am back. And it feels so darn good.

Line art representation of a Quill
Writers write. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am not sure how wide the readership of my blog is–or was–but to those who do read it, those who had taken time to visit in the hope of reading something that will make the minutes pass by less glumly, but found nothing new to read here for days, and weeks, and months… I apologise. I sincerely do. This blog was never meant to be a by-the-way thing for me. From the start, it meant something, and I wanted to continue in that way. I wanted it to always be a place of truth for me, a place where I would write and I wouldn’t hide. Because I often do that. I write when it is convenient for me, and then I shove it to the back when it’s not. And for most of this year, it wasn’t. But a mentor recently told me: ‘You will be a writer by writing–not by planning to do it in the distant future.‘ And she is right, painfully right. So I’m getting back on the proverbial horse, and I’m trying again. I am going to write. Because I want to be a writer. I am a writer. But thinking about writing, planning to write, wishing I had the time to write doesn’t make me a writer. So I am going back to my roots and I’m using words like I’ve always loved to use them. I’m using them to live my life, because they are part of my life. And here they will stay.

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You’re Not Doing It Right

Today, rather than sharing with you my own thoughts at length, I have decided to share with you the thoughts of another blogger, and just add in some of my own commentary. Her name is Rian; quite an awesome blogger she is. The title of her blog post is You’re Not Doing It Right (follow the link to read more). The reasons for sharing her post with you are two-fold:

1. I am honestly too lazy and uninspired to type my own post right now, but I feel compelled to stick to my self-assigned deadline for my blog posts. Also, a weekend of awesomeness tends to drain one of any residual energy one might have had to indulge in the luxury of typing meaningful and readable words. So, forgive me if any of what is to come is unreadable.

2. I like what she’s saying, and how she says it. I can relate to a lot of it. Many of us have a preconceived notion  of what  life is supposed to be like, and when our lives don’t quite match that fickle idea we have in our heads, we feel saddened, as though something has gone wrong, something in our lives must be awry. Further than that, some of us apply this thinking to our religion as well: We have to be the best Muslim we can be, we have to do things absolutely perfectly, and if we don’t, we’re just not doing it rightThis ultimately causes us to feel despondent in our worship. But, the thing is, firstly, Islam is not difficult, it is only us, Muslims, who sometimes make it difficult upon ourselves. And, secondly, there is no single right way of being a Muslim. Sure, we have the Qur’an and Sunnah (Prophetic way) as our guides, and the madhaahib (Islamic schools of law) we follow, and we have certain faraa’id (things which are compulsory upon Muslims) that we need to abide by, but if we don’t do these things according to our idea of ‘right’, it doesn’t mean we’re not being Muslim right. It only means that we’re getting more reward when we keep trying (the key here is to not be complacent), and we need to remember that, rather than stressing about it and grinding our teeth about it, we should turn to Allah and ask for His Help. No matter how many times we fall short of who we want to be, as Rian says so aptly in her blog: “It doesn’t matter. You’re alive.” And as long as we are alive, the little mistakes we make do not matter in the bigger picture, because we can keep trying. And if we believe in Allah, and are trying to live our lives in His Pleasure, we are doing it right.

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What is it that you sometimes feel you’re not doing right? How do you deal with these feelings and thoughts? Share your thoughts with me in the comments below.