It is our choice

People do not realise that how we decide to respond to something makes us be in control.

We all know that we should only focus on what we can control and not what we can’t but for the things that we cannot control, we can instead control how we react to them. Would you cry about something that is beyond your control or would you suck it up and move on?

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Be protected from the Accursed.

The goal of Syaitan is to dirty yourself or to make yourself feel dirty to the point where you have lost all of your self-control. He strives to dirty yourself to the point where you can no longer face Allah, thinking that you can never be forgiven.

He strives to break you down, bit by bit to the point where you feel numb to the sins that you have committed, till you stop asking for forgiven from the Most Merciful.

He reasons with you, telling you that your bad deeds are justified. He tears you apart, slowly.

He has promised to attack from the front, back, left and right and promised not to stop till the Day of Judgement.

Therefore, we have to always be on guard.

Sometimes we fail and fall victim to his influences but we must learn to stand back up, every time, vowing to strengthen our will.

May we be protected from the Accursed and the enemies of Allah SWT.

A letter for you

B, I think I love you.

In the past 5 months, I have discovered and learnt so many things about you but what stood out the most is how you stand true to service.

You are a sister, friend, a daughter and you fulfilled all those responsibilities fully and with excess. You carried out your responsibilities in school beautifully and you never failed to stop short of carrying out the amanah.

I have seen you grown in the past 5 months or so and you have really taught me a lot. I can never be who you are but I am glad to have someone like you in my life. You’re a sweetheart too. You’re kind to your parents, you’re kind to strangers, you’re kind to basically everyone. Your heart shines brightly and I have never seen someone so pure.

Even though you told me that you had a phase in the past but as of now, I can see no such phase left. You’re firmer than me in religion and you’re more steadfast. As far as I can see, you are sincere in your service to Allah SWT and despite all the challenges that you might face, you still hold on to that rope, ever tightly.

As far as I can see, I’m a hypocrite but may I never be a munafik. Nauzubillah. You might not know this but I am happy that you’re having a good influence on me. Sometime, your habits can be a bit urgh but I know that you’re doing it for my own good. I guess that’s the treatment you get from someone who loves you.

B, I’m just so happy that I get to be part of your world and I really hope that we’ll stay together till Jannah. Amin.

Compare with your past.

I think this khutbah sends a good message across about competition and our obsession with comparing ourselves to others.

In this world where comparing is rampant where everyone just wants to up-one the other, that obsession has begun to drain our souls. Even in the path of service to Allah SWT, we compete. This is not the right mindset. Instead, what we need is to shift that mindset from attempting to compete against someone else to competing with our own selves. To take their success as a motivator for us to better ourselves.

Dealing with Haters

All of us have haters especially those of us who are steadily climbing the ranks to success. People just do not like to see us be successful. They tend to stab our backs. Your true friends are those that would stand beside you and be proud for you.

Many of us take the time to think about what would people think of us. We take their judgement as permission before we carry on our lives. We seek their acceptance. We should not allow their thoughts to influence our lives and how we decide to do things. A common example today is on the question of jobs. If we say that we want to be a YouTuber, ohhh… the amount of judgement and hate will come flowing especially so in an Asian society like ours. Therefore, even if we love to do what we do, we buckle due to their judgements, we allow their perspectives and mindset mediate how we live our own lives.

Let’s learn to be ignore the thoughts of others unless it’s truly rational.

Instagram

I think that it has been three weeks since I stopped using Instagram.

If there is one gain from this experience, it would be time. I somehow find myself with an abundance of time.

An hour feels like more than an hour and when I study, I’m totally in tune. Furthermore, I’m not so distracted, always reflecting and allowing my mind to wander.

Bottom Line: I feel great.

Though, I have to go back to using social media in the future if I want to grow my business. I have to come up with a system on what to post and what to do on social media. It can no longer be that source of instant gratification and instant dopamine boost. It has to be for work and work only.

There are a couple of things that I need to do before I use Instagram again.

  1. Rebranding or rather, branding. I need to build an identity as a photographer. Less of a hipster photographer but one with style and professionalism.
  2. Find clients or rather, come up with a business model on what I can provide and what clients can expect from me. Also, pricing. What is too Low and what is too high for my skill set.
  3. Work. Got to work hard.

Bismillah.

Clarify

We tend to receive a lot of random news these days from fake news to just mere rumours. Therefore, it becomes hard to distinguish the truth from facts. To what extent can social media and news outlets continue to churn all these lies?

Therefore, I feel that it has become our responsibility to always recheck our sources and to be sure that whatever we are talking about is the truth. Any false claims that are said by us can be held against us on the Day of Judgement.

I’m sure we have heard of rumours going about but we need to learn, especially me, not to propagate them or worsen them.

Practice checking and practice safe speech.