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.

The light in the storm


A little over a year ago I was living away from my home, and because of a personal circumstance, I felt like I was in the eye of my storm and on this particular day it was raging. I felt depleted, crippled and broken. As I lay in bed and I hear a knock on the door. Someone who I cared about deeply sent me this package, it contained one of my favourite things; ice cream. It was one of the sweetest gestures. This person knew I was not well and soothed my heart (and stomach) with a simple act of kindness.

Allah says in the Quran, “indeed with hardship there is ease” (94:6).

Indeed. My trial did not end that day, however I found comfort in my ease. That moment, that person, the other people who were there for me. I felt the mercy of Allah nourish me. When someone in going through a something, one of the best ways to show you care is to “show up”. Be present. Even if you cannot be present due to distance, you can still make your presence felt. Emotionally. That’s how we build connection. We lean in when it matters.

Sometimes people may leave our lives for different reasons but it is always important to remember the blessings they bought with them. In psychology It is said when you focus on something, it grows. Focus on the light and it will grow, and when it does, it will illuminate the darkest crevices of your life.