The Grand Mosque and Garfield!

In the Name of God, the Most Kind, the Kindest

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Never underestimate the will of Allah. I loved reading Garfield comic books as a kid and always laughed when he tried to mail Nermal, the world’s cutest kitten, to Abu Dhabi. Little did I know that years later I would find myself in Abu Dhabi beholding the blessings of Allah and the majesty of His creation.

This goes to show that what we do, what we see, what we consume, and what we reflect upon has a way of manifesting in our lives. Put differently, “The present is a reflection of the past, and the future is the re-echo of the present” (Gayan). In this case, it was unconscious. But just imagine what could be achieved when we are intentionally living and have clarity about what we’re here for, where we are going, and why.

In the Islamic tradition, some nights and days have been given more importance than others to help us prioritize and get our affairs in order. The Night of Absolution (or mid-Shaban) is one such evening in which prayers are answered, grace descends, and mercy abounds. It is said to be a night in which the list of pilgrims is recorded.

Take a moment to envision where you want to be next year and at the end of life, determine the feelings you’re after, define what’s meaningful to you, devote time each week to assess how you’ve done and if you’re en route to your Ultimate Destination, filter your opportunities, and define a purpose.

One way to prepare is to recite the Heart of the Quran (Surah Yaseen) three times on the 15th of Shaban. First with the intention of being blessed with a long life spent in obedience to Allah. Second with the intention that calamities are diverted and the third time with the intention of being completely reliant upon Allah and blessed with a life well-lived.

No matter how you choose to spend this most auspicious night, I pray that it finds you in the best of health and states and that your life unfolds according to your deepest, most cherished desires and is a source of constant blessing to all those you meet!

With hand on heart,

Your sister,