In the Name of Allah, the Most Kind, the Kindest
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
I believe our collective wisdom is a source of immense benefit. Given how much I’ve learned from readers like you, I wanted to share that blessing and knowledge with others by dedicating this newsletter to you. May the voices of our subscribers guide you into a new year!
I seek refuge in Allah from Satan the accursed and send prayers and salutations upon the Messenger of Allah. We begin by praising Allah ﷻ and thank Him by sending peace and blessings upon His Messenger ﷺ.
Collective wisdom, for me, refers to the kind of wisdom you get over the years. I think time is an essential part of wisdom, you need more time to get wiser. Subhan Allah! The more you try something, the wiser and better you become at that thing. I’ve lived over three and half decades of my life, Alhamdulillah, and concluded that you need to use this wisdom, this experience you’ve gotten over the years, to get closer to your creator, Allah ﷻ.
I always make it a point to turn to Allah ﷻ on the night I was born. I spend the last thirty minutes of that night turning toward Him engaged in reflection. I also do this in the final hours of the calendar year. I turn to Allah and make so much dua, especially on New Year’s Eve because Allah will be disobeyed by a lot of people, may Allah guide them.
That’s why we need other people to make up for the sins of humanity on that particular night because Allah is disobeyed many times, tons of sins will be committed by humanity, and because of that we need to have a balance, and a lot of people need to do the opposite which is obeying Allah ﷻ and turning towards Him on that particular night.
This accumulated wisdom has inspired me to work harder to cover up for my part and others, Insha’Allah, by getting closer to Allah at such a critical time. I ask Allah to increase our wisdom and bless us with the right guidance. We ask Allah to increase us in beneficial wisdom and goodness (khayr).
21 Nuggets of Wisdom I Learned in 2021
1. Sometimes the kindest thing you can do for a person is to sever the relationship.
2. Simple plans are just as legitimate as elaborate ones—and they’re much more achievable!
3. Tiny changes add up to big results, in productivity, in habit-forming, and in thought.
4. Moderation applies to all situations.
5. Naps are for adults, too.
6. Let go of your expectations of others—you are not meant to change anyone but yourself.
7. Your path is your own and it’s okay if it’s different than anyone else’s.
8. Growth is success, even if you don’t achieve the goal you originally set.
9. Busy-ness is not a virtue.
10. Take the next step, the path is long and we don’t know the end but we don’t need to know.
11. Your success comes down to what brings you fulfillment and peace, not what brings you power, money, or acknowledgement.
12. Move your body. Everyday.
13. Vegetables are your best friends.
14. (But so is cheese!)
15. Our fears are always bigger in our minds than in reality. Face them down and watch them shrink!
16. Creative pursuits help us to process our emotions.
17. Achievement and productivity is subjective—make sure your goals are your own.
18. Always choose fun with your loved ones when the opportunities present themselves.
19. Be the fun auntie.
20. Meditate. Everyday.
21. God is good.
~Jane Lockhart (https://www.jluxdesigns.com)
This year I lived with the Quranic verse: Allah charges no soul save to its capacity (2:286).
لَا يُكَلِّفُ اللَّهُ نَفْسًا إِلَّا وُسْعَهَا
Every one of us goes through so many things and sometimes we go through very difficult situations that make us question our ability to make it. But I always tried to remember that Allah, the Sublime and Exalted, knows me better than I know myself, and He certainly knows that I have the strength and faith to go through the obstacles that I find throughout my journey in this life! I also remembered this verse each time I felt like I was doing much more than I could handle for someone or some reason, then I remember that Allah the Almighty doesn’t ask us to overwhelm ourselves so why should we do that for the sake of anyone or anything else.
كل منا يمر بظروف صعبة وابتلاءات تجعلنا نتساءل ونشك في قدرتنا على تجاوزها. ولكني حاولت خلال هذا العام أن أتذكر دائمًا أن الله سبحانه وتعالى عندما قدر لي هذا كان يعلم أن لدي من القوة والايمان ما يكفيني لتجاوز عقبات رحلتي في هذه الحياة
كما استشعرت هذه الآية كلما كنت أقوم بأمرٍ ما يفوق قدراتي وطاقاتي من أجل شخص ما أو سبب ما، لكن بعدها كنت أتذكر أن الله جل وعلا في عظَمَته لم يطلب منا ويكلفنا بما هو فوق طاقتنا وقدرتنا
فلماذا نفعل ذلك من أجل أي شخص أو شيءٍ آخر
This year taught me that life goes on even if something not so great happens. And even though you want life to stop and sulk with you, it is good that it continues. Otherwise, you’d stay sullen forever.
[Our eldest daughter advises me on all of the newsletters.]
I learned to value and preserve things. Only when those things were gone did I appreciate them and wish I had kept them better. If I had cared more about what I had gotten, I would have enjoyed those things more and would have kept them longer.
[Abira’s little sister wanted to be included!]
It’s that time of year again, of New Year’s resolutions. January is named after the two-headed Roman deity Janus, the god of beginnings. With one head facing the past, the other faces the future. The Julian calendar replaced ancient practices where new year celebrations were traditionally held around springtime. The ancient Babylonians would offer sacrifices to appease the gods and secure bountiful crops. Many other traditions have kept to this cyclical basis of time, turning religious holidays into moveable feasts that follow the moon.
The Julian calendar eventually became the Gregorian calendar. Time changed hands from being cyclical to becoming man-made. It could be fixed and ordered according to human desires. It became predictable and more profitable. January is a good month to highlight our flaws with ready-made solutions. In a secular version of sin and penance, we’re encouraged to indulge in December with the safety net of paying our way into redemption. We make promises that when broken leave us feeling worse than before. For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, New Year’s means cold days and long nights. Winter is for resting, for letting go of what no longer serves us. It’s about emptying our cups and reflecting on how to refill them. When we replace guilt and shame with compassion and self-acceptance, bad habits naturally fall away. We wake up one day and we just know. So, choose divine timing over mad men timing. Let go, let God.
~Saiqa Latif (www.intuitiveruh.com)
In the Name of Allah
the Most Beneficent and Merciful
The concept that I reiterate to myself is certitude in Allah’s will coupled with resilience with life’s challenges, which is the secret recipe for achieving a content life. This advice seems simple enough but is the MOST difficult to follow when you are in the metaphorical “eye of the storm” of life.
“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: who forgives all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases” (Psalms, 103:2-3).
One of the most important lessons I’ve learned in life is not to go to bed angry, especially if you’re married. Clear everything up before you go to bed.
One of the things that I have really come to understand this past year is that we think we are separate individuals, but that’s not true. God calls us to live in ways that bring about the connected wholeness that underlies absolutely everything.
Our work here on earth is to unify; to make whole; to embody oneness. These are ACTION WORDS; they don’t describe who we are by what we believe, but by what we do and how we live and how we love… how we participate in God’s creation.
Living wholeness is participating in the dynamism of love that gathers everything together into greater unity and consciousness. It’s to live with an openness of mind and heart. To encounter others, not as strangers, but as parts of one’s self. When we enter into the heart of love in this way, we enter the field of relatedness and come to know our truest and deepest belonging and calling.
God is love. Wholeness and love are inseparable. In the words of Ilia Delio, “Our challenge today is to trust the power of love at the heart of life, to let ourselves be seized by love, to create and invent ways for love to evolve into a global wholeness of unity, compassion, justice, and peacemaking.”
~Kelly Skinner (https://www.
So, where to begin. Ah! It’s been an exciting ride since the beginning of this year, and I can’t wrap my head around the fact that this year is almost over. I was pretty uninterested at the beginning of the year. I felt like nothing good was going to come my way. You know the basic teenage mindset. But I couldn’t thank Allah any less than what He has blessed me with, Alhamdulillah!
The fact that we should be grateful no matter what the circumstance is, is one of the greatest insights we all should have. And this year has been an example of that. We don’t realise how truly and utterly blessed we are to have a family to come home to, food on our tables, good health, and many more things that we don’t appreciate. As I read the newsletters earlier, I felt so empowered as the topics are social issues connected to our mindset and soul at the same time.
And truly, as we’re at the brink of a new year with 365 new chapters of our lives, I take a new perspective ahead. I feel more content and focused than how I previously felt. I’m still figuring things out, but I’m ready for it now!
Blessed to be a part of collective wisdom! Hands down the best of all.
The past year was the hardest one for me, especially as a young adolescent. However, the power of Will, faith, and commitment helped me learn from my mistakes, become more productive, and thrive in both counties: Lebanon and the United States.
~Mouhammad El Oussman
I am a flower waiting to bloom
A seed planted with plenty of room
To spread out wide
And touch the sky
Nourished with love shall I rise
But kept inside, I despise
I exhaust myself waiting to be picked
I have boxes that want to be ticked
Stuck in the mud, only more for the longing
Things to do, planted firm in my truth and belonging
Trying to pull free to be whom I am meant to be
Place me where I can grow, and a prize flower will be me
My whole life I have been a doer and a helper, at which I have been fairly accomplished in doing so. I had made a 10-year plan for what my life should be. I had it all worked out and not a thing could deter me. I didn’t want things that were extraordinarily out of the norm. I wanted to be loved, to be respected, I yearned to be educated and to complete my master’s by the time I turned 24, I wanted a deeper relationship with God, I wanted to ask questions, I wanted to be a mother and a wife all the while- but indeed the right person to be with was worth waiting for me to check that box off. I thought all of these things, these goals being accomplished, would bring a sense of peace and joy.
Each and every box, despite there being many bumps along the way, were accomplished one after the other, including getting my Master’s completed one day before my 24th birthday. But now what is next?
These past two years of my life I have been a stay-at-home mom, something that was never a part of my plan. I have been abnormally anti-social by my own standards. I struggle with my role as a mother to my two wonderful and at times challenging children. What happens when the things you want most seem so far away?
It would be easy to get discouraged, especially when you couldn’t be further away from the people that help you grow and bring so much light into your life. It would be easy to get impatient with everyone around you and yourself. Remember: A flower needs its leaves through winter to have enough energy to bloom the next year, and that you too need those accomplishments under your belt (even if you aren’t or can’t use them) to shine when the time comes.
I pray for patience to bear this period of my life and to dazzle when my next opportunity awaits. From one Impatient Impatiens to another I am praying that as our lives transition from one period of life to the next that we handle it with beauty and grace. Stay blessed and keep growing.