What Would my Mates Think?

What Would My Mates Think?
Paul, from the UK, had been an Islamophobe. But when life took a turn for the worst, an increase in spirituality ignited his interest in Islam. But how would his friends react if he embraced it?

Be inspired by Paul’s short interview and share it to inspire others.

check out http://www.overcome.tv

The Seven Principles for making Marriage work book review

So I wanted to share some thoughts on this book, The seven principles for making marriage work by John Gottman. This book was actually recommend by Ustadha Yasmin Mogahed at her event that I attended last year about marriage.

My rating: 4/5
image

This book teaches us methods that the author has tried and tested on many couples over the years to create a happy marriage. It has easy to follow exercises that you can do as a couple to help resolve conflicts, improve communication, nurture love, fondness and respect for each other.

I found the book very useful and insightful in helping to improve my own marriage. Although there are small things I disagree with the majority of the book is very relatable and easy to understand.

What can make a marriage work is surprisingly simple. Happily married couples aren’t smarter, richer, or more psychologically astute than others. But in their day to day lives, they have hit upon a dynamic that keeps their negative thoughts and feelings about each other (which all couples have) from overwhelming their positive ones. They have what I call an emotionally intelligent marriage.

He first discusses signs of a unhappy marriage and one of the first things discussed in his book, are things that are so toxic to a marriage that he’s named it the four horsemen of the apocalypse. They are criticism, contempt, defensiveness and stonewalling. He discusses how these can create long term problems and eventually lead to the couple becoming emotionally distant and can even cause divorce if they aren’t dealt with.

Then each chapter discusses a principle that will help to achieve a happy marriage.

The first principle is Enhancing your love maps. He explains that couples with detailed love maps of each other are better able to cope with stressful events or conflicts. Having a detailed love map means that they are intimately familiar with each other’s worlds.

The second principle is nurturing your fondness and admiration for each other. This is where you build on the belief that your spouse is worthy of being respected and liked. Reminding yourself of your spouses positive qualities even if you struggle with a negative one.

The third principle is turning toward each other instead of away. So the little things you do on a day to day basis has a greater impact on your marriage than going away for a holiday for example. The way you respond to your spouse can have a big impact on your emotional connection.

The fourth principle is letting your partner influence you. It’s important that you and your spouse make decisions together and you honour and respect each other’s feelings and opinions.

The next principle that was discussed was the two types of conflict, one that you are able to solve and the other that is perpetual. He discussed ways in which we can solve the solvable conflicts through several techniques in how we discuss them.

The sixth principle was overcoming gridlock, where a couple is stuck on a conflict for so long they feel they can no longer move past it. They are conflicts that keep coming up again and again, issues with in laws, when to have children, how to raise your children etc. These issues may never be resolved completely but the goal was to move out of the gridlock and to be able to reach a compromise.

The last principle was creating a shared meaning, so you are not just roommates that have seperate lives but you have goals and you create a life together that has deeper purpose than just sharing chores and looking after kids.

I found this book hugely beneficial even though I read it feeling unsure as to what I would gain from it. His writing can be a bit annoying at times but it well worth reading. Everyone has issues in their marriage, especially at the beginning when we’re learning how to communicate and understand each other but this book actually has really helpful advice in making it more effective.

There was a few things I disagreed with, for example he said the husband should always side with the wife in a disagreement between his wife and his mother. I don’t think it’s just to do that. Instead the husband needs to always remain just in all situations.

I think this is beneficial for anyone who is looking to find ways to strengthen their marriage and help to build better communication and understanding and to resolve conflicts.

Also if you’re interested in books check out my Instagram account @thetsundokuchronicles

b

Would Islam Affect My Cultures?

Would Islam Affect My Cultures?
Isa, originally from Colombia, was impressed by the knowledge of God that young Muslims had. And he liked how Islam encouraged questions, whilst his previous faith discouraged them.

But could he make the changes Islam asked of him? And would Islam be compatible with his British / Colombian culture?

Be inspired by Isa’s short interview and share it to inspire others.

Diseases of the Heart part 4

In this post I will be discussing Ghibah (backbiting), it is especially important to discuss this as it is so prevalent in our society.

Someone people may think that backbiting is a sin of the tongue, not the heart but we need to understand that the tongue is a reflection of what is in the heart.

The tongue is a mirror for what is contained within the heart. – Arab saying

So from this we can see that there is a direct link between our tongues and our hearts. We cannot purify the heart until we purify the tongue.

The prophet (saw) said: “A persons imaan will not be upright until their heart is upright and strong. The heart will not be upright and strong until the tongue is upright and strong.” (Al-Bayhaqi)

Sins of the tongue have become widespread within our society. Foul language, backbiting, slander, lying etc are just some of the sins we have normalised within society and we so easily fall into those sins. These sins are not only harmful to ourselves but also have the power to ruin relationships.

The prophet (saw) said: “When the son of Adam gets up in the morning, all of the organs of his body submit Toni’s tongue and say, ‘Fear Allah with us for our condition is according to you. If you are good, we will be good; and if you are bad, we will become bad.'” (At-Tirmidhi)

We should remember that every single word we say is recorded and we will be held accountable for.

“Man does not utter a word except with him is an observer prepared (to record).” Quran (50:18)

The tongue has the ability to lead us to Jannah or the Hellfire

The prophet (saw) said: “A man utters a word pleasing to Allah without considering it of any significance for which Allah exalts his ranks (in Jannah); another one speaks a word displeasing to Allah without considering it of any importance, and for this reason he will sink down into Hell.” (Bukhari)

The prophet (saw) gave us a very important piece of advice regarding how we speak. He (saw) said: “He who believes in Allah and the last day should either speak good or remain silent.” (Bukhari)

So we need to remember this everytime we are about to say something. Is this a good thing to say? Will it be hurtful to someone? Is it my business to be speaking about this?

One of the great scholars, al-Fudayl ibn ‘Iyad said: There is no jihad which is more difficult that withholding the tongue.

The Quran also teaches us how vile backbiting is. In Surah Hujarat; ayah 12, Allah says: “…And do not backbite each other. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? You would detest it…”

Allah mentions eating flesh because doing that will only hurt you not the dead person. Just like we incur sin by backbiting but nothing happens to the person we backbite about. We would never eat the flesh of a person so why do we backbite? Allah also specifies the flesh of a dead person because a dead person can’t defend themselves, just like if a person backbit someone they can’t defend themselves.

So I’ve spoken about how much Allah dislikes backbiting but what is backbiting?

The prophet (saw) asked his companions: “Do you know what is meant by backbiting?” They said, “Allah and His messenger know best.” He said, “To say something about your brother which he dislikes.” One asked, “Even if what I say is true about my brother?” He replied, “If such defects you say are true about him, then you have backbitten him, and if he doesn’t have what you say, then you have committed slander against him.” (Muslim)

So how do we fall into Backbiting?

It is so easy to fall into backbiting in your everyday life so we need to become aware of them so we can learn to avoid them.

1) Anger – if you feel wronged by someone you may start speaking bad about them out of anger.

2) Your peers are doing it – if people around you are backbiting it is so easy for you to join in. This is why it is so important to surround yourself with good company as the prophet (saw) told us that we are on the religion of our friends.

3) Envy – if you begin to envy someone who is getting attention, praise or love then you may start to say bad things about them to stop that praise and love.

4) To make yourself feel better about yourself – You may degrade someone by saying that they aren’t smart to show how smart you are.

These are only some of the ways in which we can fall into backbiting so we should be careful of what we say.

So how do we stop ourselves from backbiting?

1) Understand the severity of what backbiting is – we can’t resolve the issue until we acknowledge the issue. We should remember that we will be held accountable for all that we say.

2) Cure the cause of the backbiting – is the backbiting due to envy? Anger? Pride? Curing the root cause will help to cure the symptoms, in this caste the symptoms are backbiting.

3) Give yourself a punishment – Everytime you backbite you need to give yourself a punishment but it has to be something that works for you. So it could be that you fast for a day or you donate money. This was done by the salad to prevent themselves from committing these sins.

4) Change your company – It is so important to have good friends, people who will tell you if you are doing something wrong not encourage it. If people around you are backbiting then you will fall into it too.

There are however times when it is permissible to backbite.

1) If you are oppressed you are allowed to go to speak to a person in a position to help end it.

2) Seeking help to change what is wrong and saving a sinful person from committing a sin. So you can go to speak to someone to get help if someone has done something wrong.

3) Seeking advice or fatwa – So you can tell the scholar if someone has wronged you to seek advice.

4) Warning people of someone’s evil – you can highlight whether someone has bad qualities to someone who is looking into marrying that person for example.

5) If a person openly commits evil or bid’ah – if someone takes someone’s wealth unlawfully for example it is permissible to speak about what he has done openly but we cannot speak about him in any other way.

The prophet (saw) told us what happens on the day of judgement to the one who spends his life backbiting others so it is imperative that we do not backbite.

The prophet (saw) said to his companions, “Do you know who is bankrupt?” They said, “The one without money or goods is bankrupt.” The Prophet said, “Verily, the bankrupt of my nation are those who come on the Day of Resurrection with prayers, fasting, and charity, but also with insults, slander, consuming wealth, shedding blood, and beating others. The oppressed will each be given from his good deeds. If his good deeds run out before justice is fulfilled, then their sins will be cast upon him and he will be thrown into the Hellfire.” (Muslim)

So sorry for taking so long to post this! I’ve been crazy busy! I have a couple more posts on this series and I will get them out as soon as possible!

The Hate U Give Book Review

Hey guys so I wanted to share a book with you all that I read recently called The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas.

IMG_2026

To say I loved this book is an understatement! This book is a YA contemporary book inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement.

It is a brutally honest, heartbreaking book but is something that is so needed in today’s society. It was inspiring, insightful and empowering for all those who read it.

We all know what is happening in America regarding the Black Lives Matter movement and this explains everything so well. It follows a 16 year old girl called Starr who witnesses a police officer shoot her friend Khalil. From that we see from her point of view the way people react, how it’s portrayed in the media and what she and her family go through in the aftermath of this event.

The characters are so relatable and well fleshed out that you can’t help but feel for them and being muslim I can totally relate to so much of this book. There are assumptions and prejudices made about me because I wear I cover my hair. People think I’m uneducated, just there to serve my oppressive husband or even that I am a terrorist. But I’m none of those things but there are people who never see who I am because they never look past the scarf on my head. And like Starr I feel I can’t truly be me in front of certain people.

This book discusses police brutality, it discusses the oppression and prejudice that black people face and so much more. It is an eye opening read and I recommend everyone to read this book.

*This part is a bit spoilery*

One part of the book which really stood out for me was a conversation between Starr and her dad about why her friend was shot. Another part which was so well written was how people dehumanised her friend because he was suspected of being a drug dealer so in many people’s eyes it was justified. There are so many important scenes in this book, another part is how Starr is conflicted between how much she fears the police and the fact that her uncle is a police officer.

IMG_1965

I also had the pleasure of meeting the author Angie Thomas at a book signing and she is honestly such a lovely person. This book is something so close to her heart as she grew up in a similar environment to the main character of the book and she wants more people to widen their perspectives. This was her way of fighting the oppression.

The only part of the book I didn’t like was the swearing, it’s a personal preference that is something I dislike in all books.

If you have read this book do let me know what you think!

What’s the point of having a voice if you’re gonna be silent in those moments you shouldn’t be?