No Social Media

This is a short reflection on my 1 month hiatus from social media.

To be honest, it was hard in the beginning. I realised that my fingers naturally tend towards clicking on a social media icon (which luckily, I removed). I also realised that I just had this tendency to check my phone for notifications (which luckily, I turned off). So it was an action that just wastes time.

However, over time, it got better and I learnt to not expect anything. The first thing I noticed is that I had more time. Instead of mindlessly scrolling social media and consume trash content, I had time to read. I read about 2.5 books in the past month which wasn’t possible the month before.

Secondly, I realised that my conversations with people are deeper and I was more interested in what they’re doing and how they are because I do not have that knowledge prior through their instastories. I love that.

But best of all is the disconnect from the world. In the beginning, I felt left out but over time, I realised that I really didn’t care what happens outside and I no long preoccupy myself with information or stories that does not concern me. I think I was less stressed that way and not have strong views about things that are far away.

Furthermore, no social media means no sharing. I only share my thoughts through this blog. I no longer post rash things or controversial ideas that might get hate just because I felt hormonal at that point of time. It’s safer this way.

Productive seemed better but quite hard to judge as I’m always on the move the past month, busy with life in general.

So, it has been a month. I’ve posted a tweet this morning.

So what’s next?

I don’t know. I might use social media on-and-off but definitely not completely removed from it. I still need it to build my portfolio and learn from others for my creative pursuits.

I guess… Responsible usage of social media is crucial now and something I’d focus on.

May Allah guide me on the straight path. Amin.

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hard to do

“We need to turn information into knowledge.”

Easier said than done.

Knowing information doesn’t make it useful. Just like how knowing the sciences don’t make it useful until one put in the effort to apply it and use it.

 

A Seedling’s Journey

Each and every one of us faces tests. These tests are made just for us by Allah SWT and no one else can face these tests.

They are personalised and targeted for you so that you can develop yourself and continue to improve.

Therefore, it is important to not compare yourself to others for their tests is only for them and yours, for yourself. It is through tests where one can flourish and grow.

But then, what do we do when the tests become very hard?

I’m sure all of us have heard of the term, ‘sabr’. In the casual sense, the term ‘sabr’ tend to just mean to be patient. However, it is in fact, more than that. To just be patient and to take things for what they are is not really ‘sabr’ but instead, it is ‘reda’ which means, ‘to accept’.

So, what does ‘sabr’ mean?

Sabr means that one has to be patient and also fight for the thing that you need to do. You have to strive for it knowing that Allah SWT is behind you. You cannot just sit and relax and take it. You have to fight for it.

In the end, insyaAllah, we will grow and flourish.

So how do we flourish? We flourish by burying ourselves deep in humility. To be humble in whatever the situation. Say… in a situation where you obviously do not know anything, to be humble means to keep quiet and listen. Only speak about something you know and keep quiet on the things that you do not know. It seems easy but in fact, it is very hard to practice. In a situation where you obviously are the expert, be humble by reminding yourself that there might be things that you do not know, there are some things that other people might know more than you.

That above reminds me of a story in Surah Al-Kahf about Musa AS and the Trial of Knowledge. Here is the link if you want to find out more:

https://quran.com/18/65-75?translations=20

https://discover-the-truth.com/2014/10/23/quran-1865-81-al-khidr-and-moses-musa/

Anyway, one should bury themselves in humility to grow. Another is to keep off the things that you do not know and things that are not a concern to you. In this era, rumours spread quickly and passionately and we, as laymen may not understand the difference between right and wrong. We also might not realise that what we are spreading is fake news. Also, we should try not to argue about things that we really do not know and give our comments about them.

Faith is something that takes time to develop. There are really many things that we can do to develop faith but the most important thing is to do it consistently and sustainably.

 

 

‘Good’ Work

Work.

Work is the fundamental thing all human beings must learn to do. However, it is even better if one learns how to do GOOD work.

As of late, as my terms for NUSMS and NUS Silat are ending, I am having doubts on whether I have been doing ‘good’ work or am I going to let the chance slip by again just like how it was in NS?

I have really been wondering that for a fair bit and the lack of ‘hustle’ has affected the quality of work that I have been doing. I guess it all stems down to the lack of motivation or more so, the lack of creativity. I don’t feel as creative as I had been. Thoughts rarely assimilate and eureka moments stopped happening. It might also be for my lack of chasing my creative endeavours and more focused on the responsibilities that I have. Maybe this justifies the break that I have to take this coming summer.

Anyway, solitude week is here and I’m finally back at Science Library. I can’t believe how much I missed this place, the place where I spent most of my Year 1 at.

Despite the lack of ‘creativity’, I guess what I should muster now is the discipline to do ‘good’ work.

 

Being a shepherd

وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ لِأَمَانَاتِهِمْ وَعَهْدِهِمْ رَاعُونَ

– [23:8]

“And they who are to their trusts and their promises attentive.”

This post is on a khutbah I watched delivered by Ustadz Nouman Ali Khan

 

We are all shepherds in one way or another. It reminds me of a hadith:

Abdullah ibn Umar reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Every one of you is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock. The leader of people is a guardian and is responsible for his subjects. A man is the guardian of his family and he is responsible for them. A woman is the guardian of her husband’s home and his children and she is responsible for them. The servant of a man is a guardian of the property of his master and he is responsible for it. No doubt, every one of you is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock.

Source: Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 6719, Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 1829

Grade: Muttafaqun Alayhi (authenticity agreed upon) according to Al-Bukhari and Muslim

Source: https://abuaminaelias.com/dailyhadithonline/2011/07/03/each-one-of-you-is-a-shepherd-responsible-for-his-or-her-flock/

Therefore, we are all responsible for the people that we are being in charge of. We are given that amanah to carry out that duty as a shepherd to guide them with love and care.

One thing to take note is that we shouldn’t be overbearing. Just like how the shepherd does not dictate the movements of his sheep, we shouldn’t be overbearing and decide every action of the people that we are in charge of. We should give them the space to roam and make their own decisions. However, we should be vigilant and aware of the things that are happening to them and step in whenever there is a danger.

Being a shepherd also means being vigilant about our own flock and not having the time to care about the affairs of others. If the latter happens, we remove ourselves away from the responsibilities that are given to us.

One practical thing that we can remember is to not comment on others but be concerned with the flock that is placed under our charge.

May we continue to safeguard our responsibilities and carry out the amanah that has been given to us, responsibly and righteously.

Desires

At the end of the day, what do we have to show Him that we have made our time on this Earth fruitful?

Have we spent it to do things that are worthwhile, things that are productive? Better yet, things that have benefitted the community in one way or another?

Or have we spent it on our chase of worldly desires, desires that can never be satisfied?

أَلْهَاكُمُ التَّكَاثُرُ

– 102:1

“Competition in [worldly] increase diverts you.”

Have we done enough?

Have we done enough for our community?

Sometimes you’ve done so much but things just don’t fall into place.

You’ve tried your hardest but then you’re limited by being one person. Sometimes you wish you’re unlimited by energy and by the number of hands you have.

I don’t know. I love serving the community and being in a position where my ideas are heard but sometimes it become hard when someone overrides your decisions and ideas without justifying anything.

Well, I don’t know. As much as I want to deem it a success, it honestly isn’t.

We’ve messed up and we’re going to pay for it.

We’re going to be accountable for the community that we are serving and for the things that we didn’t do that we could’ve done.