The Love Stone

One day I was on the bus, and I saw someone and I gave them a look full of judgement devoid of love – for how they were dressed (So shallow of me). But then I noticed the Rose quartz hanging from my neck and it reminded me of the human heart’s capacity and its ability to love the whoooole universe. You can. Your heart was magnificently designed. Suddenly, I felt… Love! For him and for all the passengers around me. Sometimes it just takes a reminder and a decision – to choose love.

Cry Out in Your Weakness – Rumi

A dragon was pulling a bear into its terrible mouth.
A courageous man went and rescued the bear.
There are such helpers in the world, who rush to save
anyone who cries out. Like Mercy itself,
they run toward the screaming.

And they can’t be bought off.
If you were to ask one of those, “Why did you come
so quickly?” He or she would say, “Because I heard
your helplessness.” Where lowland is,
that’s where water goes. All medicine wants
is pain to cure.

And don’t just ask for one mercy.
Let them flood in. Let the sky open under your feet.
Take the cotton out of your ears, the cotton
of consolations, so you can hear the sphere-music. . . .

Give your weakness
to One Who Helps.

Crying out loud and weeping are great resources.
A nursing mother, all she does
is wait to hear her child.

Just a little beginning-whimper,
and she’s there.

God created the child, that is, your wanting,
so that it might cry out, so that milk might come.

Cry out! Don’t be stolid and silent
with your pain. Lament! And let the milk
of Loving flow into you.
The hard rain and wind
are ways the cloud has
to take care of us.

Be patient.
Respond to every call
that excites your spirit.

Ignore those that make you fearful
and sad, that degrade you
back toward disease and death.

 

Mantras & Dhikir

My Muslim friend shared with me something beautiful. Her father who is Hindu keeps a mantra notebook – for dhikir (divine remembrance). In it he writes the syllable “ॐ” and fills its pages – he’s been doing this as long as she can remember. I imagine he does this with the intention to be lost in Oneness or to redirect his focus on what really matters in this life. This has inspired me to use a few pages of my gratitude journal to write and rewrite the name “الله”. I find it a relaxing practice. I highly recommend it. Some people like to remember God outloud, some in groups, some alone and some silently with their pens and hearts. Never stop discovering what strengthens your faith. And be humble to ask those with knowledge to verify these means.

Intentions for Ramadan

7 holy intentions by Habib Ali al Jifri

  1. We intend to fast all the days of this month, beginning from the first night of its inception, and intend to renew this intention every day before sunrise (fajr).
  2. We intend: to expose ourselves to Allah’s subtle spiritual breezes (nafahat); a sincere repentance, by having regret for what may have transpired from us, leaving sinful and disliked actions, and having resolve to never return to them; to return people’s rights or dues and if unable, then seek their pardon: to persist in renewing one’s repentance after every sin.
  3. We intend to recite the Quran in a sate of majesty and exaltation toward its words, and attain an opening in it from Allah.
  4. We intend to call to Allah through good behaviour and virtuous character, particularly when quarrels and arguments might take place during the fast.
  5. We intend from the beginning that it be a month of nearness to Allah through mastering our works and actions.
  6. We intend to spend the nights of this month in righteous works and take benefit from the Night of Immense Worth (Laylat-al Qadr).
  7. We intend to rectify the state of our hearts so they be better after Ramadan than they were before it. We intend to remain in a continuous state of upward spiritual ascent until our meeting with Allah is that of those who are loved.

What are some of your intentions? Tell me in the comments!

10 steps to de-stress

This one’s for my Sanad family members & anyone stressed!

  1. Are you feeling overwhelmed? Swarmed with projects prepping for a certain.. “Grand Opening?” Is your internet slow? Are you hot? It’s hot today in Ottawa. I know how you feel. You want to cry. OK so maybe we experience stress differently, but I wanted to cry. And I did and I felt some relief. Alhamdulilah.
  2. Step away from your workspace. Get up and wash your face with cooling water. Perform wudu. It will cool your fire and dampen your nerves.
  3. Take 10 mindful breaths. Inhale deeply. Exhale Fully.
  4. Make 10 mindful salawats. Imagine the Prophet ﷺ receiving each one. Smile.
  5. Now listen with your heart to the Prophet’s reply ﷺ. Wow!
  6. Come back to your workspace; if it’s a mess, take a few minutes to clean it. You don’t have to deep clean it, just declutter it a bit. A clear space before you reflects in you a clear mind.
  7. Eat a banana. Bananas normalize the heartbeat and send oxygen to your brain –
    but then so does breathing, so please don’t stress about not having any bananas to eat to reduce your stress. That’s just ridiculous.
  8. Trust God. Whatever you do, whatever you end up not finishing, it’s going to be OK. Just remember, God is the cause and brings about the effect. Our work is just out of adab.
  9. Aim for excellence not perfection.
  10. And lastly ask for ease. There are those who work for God, and then there are those who work for God with God by their side.

I have this problem.

Personal advice from Sheikha Maryam

I have this problem. I’m very delusional. I daydream often. I like to escape reality and construct my own world. How can I stay grounded in the Real, in Presence? Is there a thikir or mantra I can say to help me?

Sheikha Maryam: “La illaha illa Allah... But it’s not what you say it’s how you say it, with force and from your heart & soul to get you to the purpose of that thikir.

Another thikir to say is A’otho billahi min ashaytan arrajeem, to get rid of the illusion, to get rid of the bad, and to then start fresh with what is good and what is Real, Bismillah arRahman arRaheem.

It’s like wiping away the time-consuming daydream from my heart and saying Hello God, welcome back. You’re the only thing that is Real.

How true was it when the Prophet ﷺ transmitted God’s word: Everything is fading and meant to deteriorate, except the face of your Lord. (Quran 55: 25-26).

La ilaha illa Allah has an incredible effect of breaking all the false images and false idols in the heart. Whenever I say it I feel like the Holy Prophet Ibrahim (AS) smashing the idols: the false constructed images of myself, my ego, the people I seek to impress, this phone, this obsession, this life which tries to make a god out of anything. But no, only One. Only One. None but Him. No god but God. It really works! I need to keep it active on my tongue for it to manifest truly in my heart. Amen.

Surrender

“As the wind blows and the river flows, let us let it go”
Life lessons by Sheikha Maryam

Just as the wind blows and the river flows, may we learn to let go, to surrender to the powerful movement of Allah/God’s grace and the mercy, and the light, and the love.

May we reinforce the determination to be conscious travellers and surrender as we go.
Let go as we go on this holy journey.

We are swimmers in the ocean, we drowning in the ocean and uplifted by this Ocean and carried along by it. We must never forget we are not in charge of our life-story but we are discovering “what is the meaning of it all, for what purpose?” To love, worship and praise Him collectively. How do we do this? by His Grace (fadl).

The collective is one in which the sounds of praise are like the currents of the river, they’re continuous ~ in continuous praise. We were sent here to sort out that which is unreal from that beautiful Reality: God’s created universe celebrating His praise.

I encourage us: to develop discernment, to discern, to cut away the false images of crisis, trauma, pain and doubt; let them flow to the other shore; let us live in the present moment of Allah/God’s wonderful love for all; let us be one of those who are conscious of receiving it and giving it

All are One in the Grace of God; All are united. The world has seemed to overlook the possibility to unite in the light

Every one, welcome :)

On the way to that great assembly, we have to leave our burdens behind, that unhealed trauma, now its time to let it be healed, let go of what has been tormenting us individually and collectively. Let it go. Let us rise up and eternally celebrate the grace that God has created us for and of.

Unite in his light; unite in his love; unite in his presence

This is an invitation for us: be warm amidst a cold world; to be well in the midst a traumatized universe; to transform what looks like trauma into healing: the healing modality of worship and God/Allah has provided us with all the shifaa (healing). He is sending down the warmth from the sky. May our hearts be warm though illumination, though perceiving God’s grace and through sharing it, heart to heart to heart, going beyond all boundaries: ethnic, colour, national and even religious to the point where the unity is so profound and resuscitating to all the brokenness of being separated. Separation has caused us to be in an anguish of isolation. Now the invitation is coming: 

Reunite in the light, reunite in joy of true worship, reunite in service all together, love one another for the sake of God

As a community comes together, every being has a great gift to give and the collective is that which empowers us; each one of us has so many gifts to give and so many gifts to receive: each one of us needs to turn back to the Source of wellbeing, the Source of true illuminated guidance and ask the Deepest questions to our souls: why have you assembled us, why have created us, to do what, how can we manifest the true purpose for which you created us.

Surely with difficulty comes ease (Quran 94:5)

Remember this, as the challenges come like the waves crashing on our shore one after the next: God is the ruler and master of the plan, let us remember not to take this seriously. Don’t cling to the challenge but just accept it as a doorway leading to a much greater reality.