#88 // To my grandfathers that have passed, to the fathers that left this world, and to the families they left behind, know that within your example I am truly grateful for having been blessed to share Ramadan with my dad. I pray that I can honor the memory of what was taken from you by appreciating the memory of what is still given to me. Even in their absence, they still give.
#85 // When I choose patience, I choose to be in the company of the Most Patient. I can't help but live my life that way. On the real, it can weigh me down at times. But patience was never designed to be a passive waiting game. It was meant to be chosen after reaching out to the world and sharing your best with it's people. Patience is an active means to reveal what's truly unseen. So be authentic to your heart no matter the company. Impress Him, and you'll impress them. Who you deserve is nearer than you think. So reach out and be patient. You're in Good hands 🙂
“A rip tide separated Isa from the rest of his brothers. In the distance, Isa shouted back to them, ‘Stay where you are! Trust God!’ as the waves pulled him further away. When they found him on the shoreline, Isa whispered with his last breath, ‘La ilaha illallah,’ that ‘there is no God but God.’ My son was like another father to his brothers. He saved them. He’s with God now. Alhumdulillah.”
Isa’s father courageously shared his son’s story at the pulpit after Friday prayer came to a close. The congregation was at a standstill. Within his pain blossomed a conviction rooted in faith. When his voice quivered through the loud speakers, so did the hearts of those aligned side-by-side in rows. His son passed away at the age of 25. After he concluded with a prayer for his son, I couldn’t help but reach out to him with open arms and an open heart. “I appreciate you,” I said. “Thank you for sharing your son’s story.”
As I walked towards the exit, tears fell on crossed arms as I embraced the weight of what was shared. I had arrived in this city days ago in hopes to renew my medical studies. But in the wake of this tragedy, I awoke to renew something more. In all the losses, in all the heartbreak, in all the challenges life has presented me, it’s life itself that has always been the present God has gifted me. I’m thankful for such a gift. I pray that I embrace gratitude as an extension of my attitude even when times are difficult. It’s with gratitude that I have the means to carry the weight of my narrative, the nuance of my consequences, and the pursuit of my ambitions. It’s with gratitude that I dive deep in a range of spaces, to tackle life’s uncertainties and doubts with a boldness in faith my parents emboldened me with. Time will always slip away until it, too, becomes a rip tide to the life we’re living. But if you still have it, it’s never the wrong time to make the most of it.
Live today. Be grateful. God be with you.
After I turned 30, it put into perspective many things. Mentally, it got to me. But at some point, I stopped caring about how others would start to view me. Rather, I started to appreciate how I viewed myself. There’s ups and downs, ebbs and flows with awareness of God and consciousness of priorities in life. But I’ll tell you, the one thing that has trumped everything is being grateful. Despite the challenges and the difficulties, I’m grateful to God that I’m able to do what I do and be the kind of person that I am without even thinking. You see, habits serve as a benefit to you if they lead you to do good things without thinking of them.
Few are able to offer you answers to the questions you may have, but by immersing yourself in your life, diving deep into your passions, bettering yourself without being perfect, the answers will come sooner than you think. The path is already in front of you. It’s been paved down by people in your own history and tradition, people that have dived deep into uncertainty to find the realities in life. They are a people of courage.
Maya Angelou once said, “The virtue to all principles is courage.” Without courage, you cannot embody any other principle. You cannot be kind if you’re not courageous. You cannot be honest if you’re not courageous. You cannot be hopeful if you’re not courageous. You have to be brave. I’ve learned that in action, not just in theory. You have to be brave. Without bravery, without finding that deepness within you, things are going to be harder. Without bravery, you’ll live in regret and that’s a pain that stings worse than rejection. So whatever opportunities that are in front of you, however limited they may be, take them. See where they take you. God-willing, it’ll get you closer to where you deserve to be.
My hope is that in my pursuit of medicine and doing what I do outside of it I can instill within people a degree of curiosity of themselves. As human beings, I know we are limited. But we cannot limit the learning of ourselves. We must explore the potential that’s within us to really appreciate what God has truly given us. He has given us the means to pursue the unseeable, to make our dreams a reality by giving us this existence we call life. I genuinely believe that. We cannot be a people of cynicism, a people of negative thinking because of past experiences. We must be a people of hope. That’s what the Prophet ﷺ envisioned me to be.
I know I get carried away in talking about deep matters, but when you’re so used to diving in deep waters, it’s harder to be shallow. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t appreciate the shoreline. Every wave clears what was there before. Every wave brings a new beginning.
Be grateful. Show courage. Dive deep. Seek the shoreline.
#84 // We get consumed in the uniqueness of our own personal struggles. Sometimes in order to break the cycle, we must simply give the light we seek for ourselves. Share your light in dark times. You'll rise to see how much brighter you'll shine. There's a reason why God is "Light upon light" (Qur'an 24:35).