The things that matter

Imagine being on your deathbed, having an inch of life left in this world and coming to the sudden nauseating realisation that you had lived your life not for yourself but for everyone else but yourself.

All that matters, all that is essential in this life is:

  1. Worshiping God sincerely
  2. Making the people that raised you feel respected, honoured, happy and proud
  3. Making your inner child joyful

These are the three things that matter most in this life- in that order.

Looking at number three specifically, whenever you have that niggling thought: “what would people think” use your inner child as your litmus test. The one question to ask is “will this or will this not make my inner child happy?”. If yes and it does not compromise the first two points on the list I outlined… do it. If no… do not do it.

You must absolutely live for your inner child. Is he or she happy? Is he or she proud of you are and who you have become? Are you feeding him or her the carefree joy that they are craving?

Forget the people. Heal your child. Live to meet the needs of your child and not the expectations of people. This life is a stage and sooner or later the sun will set on this act. Your act.

What an unfortunate way to go… not having done what truly made your inner child joyful.

These are just some thought that I’ve been reflecting on. If you take anything away from this stop waiting to live and start living NOW. You always wanted to study fine art to feed your inner child’s curiosity? Do it. Always wanted to be outdoorsy or relocate to a coastal city or grow a garden or connect with that person you find fascinating? Do it.

This is your life. The only actors in this play are you and your inner child. You are the person that pays the bills and takes on responsibility. Your inner child is the one itching to live.

Please do not live like a shadow and please take up space. There is absolutely nothing to fear. The people do not live in your world, they are not actors in this play. Only you and your inner child are…

Be the architect of your life and make room for those two actors to thrive in harmony. The play is yours and yours alone. Your world is yours and yours alone and only you have the power to build it. No one else should matter…

Think of yourself as the only person on this planet and start living like no one is looking🌱.

Peace and blessings,

– A Soulscape

Wisdom From Al-Ghazali

“If you see Allah, Mighty and Magnificent, holding back this world from you, frequently trying you with adversity and tribulation, know that you hold a great status with Him. Know that He is dealing with you as He does with His Awliya’ and chosen elite, and is watching over you.” ~ Al-Ghazali

How to learn to read Qur’an

I started learning the Arabic alphabet in December 2017 at age 22. At times taking weeks and even months off I started learning to read Arabic and learn the rules of tajweed on a semi regular basis on average about once a week. I’ve gone through many teachers and have gotten to a point as of today where I can open any page of Qur’an and read with a few mistakes in Tajweed. Today I read through Surah Nuh for the first time and it came out of my mouth fluently! I am so grateful to have got here as it was a really difficult process and would like to share some tried and tested advice for someone who is starting out.

  1. Make sure your first teacher has a good command of the English language and the science of English grammar so that they are able to translate the Arabic equivalents easily and simply. This will help if you want to research a grammatical rule later.
  2. Don’t be afraid to change teachers. I remember having a teacher that I dreaded going to despite the comfort of her actually living a few doors down. It made it stressful for me to study with her because her approach was quite aggressive/ impatient. What you don’t want is to be intimidated by your own teacher especially if you are paying. There are plenty of other teachers out there if you ask around who have a gentler approach. For example I asked around at my local mosque and found a new teacher who offered to teach 1-1 for free ( May Allah bless her, ameen). If you don’t ask you don’t get, so ask around for a teacher better suited to you if you are dissatisfied with the one you have.
  3. “When the student is ready the teacher appears”. This could not be any more true. Trust that when you are ready and willing to learn Allah will facilitate the perfect teacher to find you.
  4. Try to do 1-1 when starting out with Tajweed. This makes the process faster. When I first started I joined classes at the mosque which were not too bad but very slow. I recommend joining a larger class later for memorisation/ more advanced levels later on.
  5. Trust the process. This is cliché but true. There were times I’d take 3 steps forward and 10 steps back. Times when I would get really confused and frustrated for not understanding things faster and making so many mistakes / reading extremely slowly. There were other times however with practice where I saw measurable progress. Don’t focus on the outcome but rather the present process and be gentle with yourself.
  6. Always read a little Qur’an on a regular basis to practice your tajweed. Focus on doing a little regularly rather than lot one month then burning out the next month.
  7. Keep all your notes in a neat folder/ textbook with clear writing for referencing. This makes it easier to look for a rule when you forget.
  8. Final tip: Do not worry you’re not exaggerating the letters, Arabic actually sounds like that ! 😅

Peace ~Serenity O.

Pic: cypriotsister on IG

What are you today?

Allah created you with the human trait of conviction. You’re not a leaf that dances and rises and falls with the vicissitudes of the wind. Allah created you to be substantial and weighted, to move with the conviction of your own weight and to consequently forge a new and beautiful path for yourself that is independent of the worries and projections and input of the external. The saddest thing that can happen to you is to live life as a floating feather… a life of reaction to outside stimuli…the stimuli being the projected fears of other people which are by their nature illusionary and rooted in the deception of the great deceiver: shaitan. What are you today? Are you governed by your future potential or are you instead an amalgam of long past external inputs which have travelled through time from the whispers of our common enemy to reach your mind? Are you the captain of your ship? Or is he?

Reading about the beauty of Paradise

“The (members of the) first group which would get into Paradise will have their faces as bright as stars in the sky. They would neither pass water, nor void excrement, nor will they suffer from catarrh, nor will they spit, and their combs would be made of gold, and their sweat will be musk, the fuel of their brazier will be aloes, and their wives will be large-eyed maidens and their form would be alike as one single person after the form of their father (Adam) sixty cubits tall”. ~ Sahih Muslim 2834

New Niqabi 2

So I’ve started wearing niqab (TabarakAllah): see original post here. A friend made me a metallic/ shimmery dark purple half niqab that I wore today and… I felt absolutely beautiful 🌻.

London is in lockdown so I can’t really go anywhere except to the shops. I’m literally itching to go anywhere in niqab lol, I feel more excited than when I first wore hijab.

It’s interesting now I reflect on it that the feeling of internal beauty comes from God and God alone. Today was one of the most beautiful- feeling and confident days that I can remember yet no one could visibly see me.

I’m looking forward to embarking on this niqab journey and cultivating this feeling of internal bliss and calm.

A Soulscape xx

Pt 2. The Truman Show: A Letter to the Distracted Traveler

If you have watched the film The Truman Show you will have observed that all the actors in the life of Truman observed a specific unwavering routine. A certain driver in a car would pass, he would greet the same neighbours at the same time every day. Every eventuality in every day of his life would occur on time. This dance would transpire until the penny dropped in Truman’s mind that his life had been meticulously orchestrated. It was too perfect.

Have you realised dear reader, that you are Truman and your life is not yours?

Every night through the centuries desert dwellers have seen through the light of the stars. Century after century. They have passed now, but the stars continue to loyally observe their purpose. For you; and your children; and your children’s children. If you wake up at the crack of dawn the chorus of the birds begin, day in day out. At sunset the birds flock together and migrate only to repeat the sequence of events the following morning. They do not waver. Again the birds submit to and observe their purpose…right on schedule.

The earth has remained turning for millenia day in day out, darkness to light, light to darkness and repeat. Accommodating your sleep. Accommodating your body clock. Your heart beats without fail and the body grows in stages: held upright while most of us don’t even know the names of the structures and nerves that allow for this to occur. There is power in naming. We have no power because we cannot even name the substances that comprise and sustain us. The body is not ours therefore.

Every 150 years the earth’s population is renewed like wheat in a harvest without delay or question. The planets are kept in loyal orbit and the seasons elapse month after month. Year after year. The human is suspended in the womb and birthed into the world: there is only one way in. And similarly the human must one day leave the earth: there is only one way out. These doorways, entries and exists are a fact of your time here. Year in year out everyone of us passes through both doors. The seed sprouts; the plant one day wilts. Day in day out. The routine is concrete and unwavering. Like the routine Truman observes. Too perfect.

These are certainties that we simultaneously know and don’t know. The mind knows it but you have not thought on it via your innermost core / pure intellect (lubb). These certainties occur without disruption whether or not you realise what is happening.

Traveller, these certainties elapse in your life and you wade through existence absentmindedly immersed in one form of entertainment only to seek out and latch onto another. You are Truman and the penny has not yet dropped. And most will never hear the penny clattering to the ground. Think to yourself as Truman did “what is really happening here?” then crack the code and allow your eyes to pierce through a tapestry of shadows.

The universe exists because you do. It is there to accommodate you. It is at your service because it was created to sustain you for a brief moment of Divine observation before you are sorted and allocated to your actual life.

Today wake up, take action and see into the world through the eyes of your heart….

Peace and Blessings, A Soulscape

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Purification of the heart

“Imam Mawlud says that seeking refuge with God is the most efficacious treatment for all diseases of the heart. Sidi ibn Ashir says “The only real cure for all these diseases is to go to God with complete unconditional imploring”. What is meant here is urgently seeking refuge in God’s protection and guidance, to seek this as if one were holding onto a thread over a canyon. It is begging, which before God is honourable…Imam Mawlud says that one should be like a person drowning in the sea or stranded in a desert without any provision. A moment of desperation can often be the best thing that ever happens to a person.” – Hamza Yusuf