Unfiltered

I engage with clients daily. I engage with people daily. They often tell me how positive I am and wander if I ever have any problems. Little do they know. Little do they know how I lay awake every night thinking about the one person who I care for so deeply, who I know is struggling, and cannot help because there is a wound she has not yet healed. 

It pains me every day how much I miss her. Little do they know how much difficult Ramadan is. How I have to struggle to go to the night prayer. Paralysed in fear that is not mine. Not everything is as it seems. Behind every smile there is a story, and often one with varying nuances. We live in a world littered in superficial smiles. The Instagram world. Filtered to perfection, or the distorted perception of it. People are so afraid to go deep. They fear feeling anything. So they go through life numbing their pain. Masking their struggles with distractions. It’s easier to live a lie than to honour their truth. The truth they have imprisoned in a blanket of fear. Little do they know if they step into the light of God they will meet redemption. The only true light that basks in the freedom of your purpose and let’s you honour your authenticity. We all have choices, some feel safe yet burden us later. Sone feel scary but emancipate us later. When in doubt, dive. He will catch you. He always does. Or remain trapped in your own prison.

Maktub

“Maktub” loosely translates to “it is written” in English. In the book, “The Alchemist”, The crystal merchant introduces maktub to Santiago.

“Maktub,” the merchant said, finally.
“What does that mean?”
“You would have to have been born an Arab to understand,” he answered. 
“But in your language it would be something like ‘It is written.”

Santiago gets into some difficult situations throughout his journeys to find the treasure and complete his own personal legend. But as he gains confidence and knowledge with the Soul of the World, Santiago realizes that he can be more assured of his success. He can be more assured of his success, because of maktub. Fate has a way of falling into place for those who are following their own personal legend. Why? Because of maktub. Because it is written. Santiago’s success is written; it’s up to him to accept it and step into that role.  

These past few days have been excruciating. I’ve been bed bound from the nova virus. I was shivering and had a high fever. I even tried to find out if I could pray with my blanket, because I was so cold. I did anyway. When I’m ill, I feel humbled. In this state, I took to my laptop and deleted over 20,000 items. Picture and videos I had accumulated from the past few years. Even though I had not viewed them in forever, I realised Shaitaan sometimes infiltrates your heart in many ways. Often times keeping you glued to your past. You become a prisoner to the memories and stop being present. Today I freed myself a little bit more. 

Allah sends us reminders all the time. Sometimes in the form of people, sometimes in the form of an illness to break us free from path of the self induced bondage that can lead to our destruction. Examine what you are holding on to and ask yourself, if you believe in the decree of God and if something is meant for you. Why hold on so tightly? Let go and remember these beautiful words of Imam Ghazali (ra), “What is destined will reach you, even if it be beneath two mountains. What is not destined will not reach you, even if it be between your two lips.”

Step in to your truth, and remember with absolute conviction Maktub, it is written. 

Unfiltered truth


Here is a pic of me with an acne covered forehead and it’s time for Ramadan. You are probably thinking why am sharing this and what does it have to do with Ramadan. Keep reading, it will make sense shortly.

It’s almost time for Maghreb and I’m whilst I’menjoying a BBQ, I reflect on this past year. In a few minutes the holy month of fasting will begin.

Last year was overwhelming to say the least. My circumstances were heightened at that point; I was petrified, scared and did not know how I was going to make it through the month. But I did, and want to know how I did it? I got a front row seat in Tawakul (trust in God) and embracing my humanness. It literally saved my life.

You see, I think we as society have forgotten what it means to be human, and that means being imperfect is part of our perfect design. In a world where we are image obsessed and hyper focused on celebrity culture, we are constantly trying to make ourselves more appealing. We tell ourselves once we get ‘there’, we will be happy. But isn’t it interesting how “there” is a never ending road. We build these false ideas of how someone should look and expect them to look great all the time. But we cannot look great all the time. When life is difficult, it’s ok to allow it to show. When you are sad, you feel pain. When you are in pain you are not suppose to look like a GQ cover model. You are supposed to look like you feel. It’s really that simple. The endeavour of perfection is a trap of the devil because it does not exist. You can not attain the impossible.

When I was going through my storm, I would hide it from everyone. Even those closest to me, because I did not want them to see me weak, to see me vulnerable, in pain. I wanted them to see the side that they had always seen, the happy, life of the party, fun brother/friend/son. But I was only making it harder for myself. I realised I was not fully accepting my narrative, my truth. So I let go. And letting go was not as easy as it sounds. But I did. And I let people who cared about me in, I let them see me weak, in pain, a mess and although I felt incredibly uncomfortable I realised I was winning. I was not going to let circumstances be my prison. I could rise if I allowed myself to push. So I pushed away my fears and there found something powerful there: Courage.

So many people are thirsty for love in this harsh world. Nourish them with compassion and drown them in the same mercy you wanted shown to you when you were feeling low. Let your pain allow you to be better, not bitter. Enough kicking someone down, why don’t you offer your hand and raise them up? Next time you see someone who seems sad or looks different to how you normally see them. Why not offer them a smile and a good word.

The picture is an example of me acknowledging every part of me. Breaking out because that’s just life. I made it through the month, and so did the many others who silently overcame.

Keep fighting, and you will too.
Ramadan Mubarak.
Catch you soon,

Musa.

And your home.

There comes a moment in everyone’s life where they meet themselves. They encounter that person whom you meet for the first time. They put their feet on your dashboard as you drive to get breakfast and coffee to soothe a headache and drive to admire the Raleigh nature together. You see a beautiful autumn leaf but are too shy to grab it, but they read your heart and run back and pick it up for you. They give you a piece of clothing so you can use it as a prayer mat at airports. This person will break down walls, and snack your soul awake and even though you may feel like you are breaking down, you are being remade stronger and whole again. You speak in the car for hours, talking about things that keep you awake at night. Even though you are distant, you know your heart still yearns for their company because they made you feel like no other had. They occupy a space so deep, the worlds best diver would struggle to find it. You recognise their soul; it feels young and free. A familiar terrain. Beautiful moments are made when you put your heart into them, when you operate from the heart, you will always live and feel deeply. That’s what home feels like. Life has many turns and the path has many bumps and detours, but if you find yourself lost, just find that connection, and you will be home.

Physical touch. 


Today was a tough day. I am sitting here in my bed at 1.56am after arriving home a few minutes ago from the capital. I had to go there for a personal reason, one I will not ever feel comfortable sharing but there are lessons here for those who reflect as a means of growth and healing. I should be sleeping as my entire body aches from a virus that has made its way the abode of my body. I had to visit my teacher today. He is someone I have come to love and respect and even though our interaction is unusual, I have always kept a distance from him. It’s almost the most strangest experience, knowing someone on such a deeply personal reason, and him aiding me, but me not feeling comfortable enough to open up to him and feel emotionally safe. 
During my meeting with him, he could see I was distressed and he just put his arms around me, whilst reciting some ayahs from surah Kahf (signs) lightly massaging my arms to let me know everything would be ok, and than,  all of sudden I broke down. I broke down *hard*. I remember the last time I broke down this hard. I was in Raleigh, North Carolina and something traumatic had occurred and in that moment I called someone because I wanted to hear their voice. It was strange reflecting on that experience. I did not know the person well but I felt our souls did. I felt there was something there that made me call. Today as I was distressed and fell into prostration, I cried for many reasons. And there in the midst of my storm. She was there. Of all the thoughts I could have had, I found myself supplicating for her. She was troubled in a very beautiful human way  and intensely special. There was something so real and so warm about her. I just missed her but life is life and you cannot control the outcome of your efforts. There is ultimately wisdom in God’s timing and planning. 

The reason I shared this very personal post is this. I write often, yet here I share the most personal parts of myself,  one, because I don’t even think anyone else would read this, and two, if you did come across it, there is divine wisdom in this and a lesson to heed, so heed and grow. 

My life is always relayed as something unique and special, I am often told I should write a book on my experiences but most of it is too sensitive to share, but if I can, I can share the lessons I have learnt, sometimes in a harsh and not so harsh way. 
I learnt today I have deprived myself so long from connection. Just the warmth from my teacher, set me off because for so long I had not let anyone touch me, so lovingly. I realised the importance of physical touch and the importance of exerting this human need in a halal (permissible) manner. 

There is more to this but I’m fading. Stay tuned.
Catch you soon, 

Musa. 

The Ruffling


There are some trees a few miles to where I reside that bloom into the most amazing cherry blossoms each year. Just as the season of Spring beautifies the landscape, these trees transform a mildly picturesque area into something so captivating. I had noticed on a recent drive that the colours had started to change. The trees it seemed peaked at a bright pink hue that lasted a week and had now gradually changed to transition to green. The next phase in their journey. Again, preparing for the next season.

The nature of the tree has taught me many lessons. Allah has taught me in life to never get too comfortable with anything. Everytime something comforted me, it was taken away. Just as the seasons are changing. My life too is ever changing. Circumstances, people, the state of the heart. Every evolving. Transitioning into the next chapter. Preparing for the next season and the adventure of what life brings. In my endeavours I have always tried to view the change as something good, as a mechanism for my survival, even if at times I do not understand it or even if at times it pains me. The trees tell me that Dunya is temporal. The good times are temporary and even our pain and sadness is temporary. The transition is so important to our survival. Just as the mother of Musa (as) had to let go of something very dear to her. Place her son into the harsh waters of the River Nile. She grieved, naturally. But Allah promised her He would return Musa to her. So she let go. We learned that Allah taught the mother of Musa that He is the ultimate Comforter and and it was learned in the most powerful way.

Let go and place your trust in Allah. Let go of your attachments and submit. If the marriage you are in did not work out. If the contract at work ended. If your once biggest supporter has now become a memory. Let go. He will bring you to something beautiful *if* you believe He will. The seasons change and with that He birth of beautiful experience awaits. The trees often look so much more wonderful when the wind ruffles them. There is a lesson in the ruffling. The leaves become more resiliant and that’s how they thrive. In your humanness ruffling builds character and strength that will serve as light to your internal beauty….

.. if you just let go.