Category Archives: Aug 2014

Mini Issue One Aug 2014 Out Now

Assalaam ‘alaykum/Peace be with you,

Welcome to our first Young Muslimah Magazine Mini Issue.

Our Mini Issues are publications via which we republish our writers’ articles that have been previously published elsewhere; we republish a guest series by Zainab bint Younus; we share inspirational articles by our Islamic Editor, Nadia Leona Yunis; and we look ahead to our forthcoming main issue in the form of book review introductions and opportunities for you to get involved insha’Allah.

Submissions for our October issue ‘Inner and Outer Me’ are now closed. However I encourage aspiring writers to think ahead with planning submissions for our February issue (theme and deadline to be announced via our Facebook group, email list, and submissions webpage insha’Allah).

Book reviews are an excellent place to start out as a writer. Writing publicly means entering a matrix of conversations that have been flowing for a very long time alhamdulillah. Writers are not expected or required to know everything. By bravely writing your unique beliefs, perspectives, and experiential knowledge you can connect with the readers and writers who are engaged in written conversations of your interest insha’Allah.

What better way to ease yourself in to writing publicly than by reviewing other people’s writing?

By writing a review you will be supporting another writer and the writing industry. You will be reaching out to support others in a way that you will need to be supported if you are to succeed as a writer. And you will learn about your own preferences of writing style and craft by observing yourself as a reader insha’Allah.

Insha’Allah twice a year I will offer a selection of specific books as gifts to aspiring review writers for the magazine. Here is my current selection:

Editor’s Bookshelf* ( Autumn/Winter 2014-2015)

For a young aspiring writer and book reviewer aged 13-24 (non-fiction): Sandcastles and Snowmen by Sahar El-Nadi

For a​ young aspiring writer and book reviewer aged 13-24 (fiction):

Soul of a Butterfly by Safaa Baig

​​For an aspiring writer and book reviewer aged 13 or over​:

Writing as a Way of Healing by Louise A DeSalvo

For an aspiring fiction writer and book reviewer aged 13 or over:

Story Physics by Larry Brooks

For an aspiring poet and book reviewer aged 13 or over

Many Poetic Voices, One Faith by Islamic Writers Alliance

*Aspiring female book reviewers are welcome to make submissions from anywhere in the world. However gifts books can only be offered to writers in the UK.

Please email me at editor@youngmuslimahmagazine to pitch your review if you are interested in writing a review and receiving a gift copy of a book from the above list. Please refer to our Writers’ Guidelines before you email me. Jazakillahkhayr.

Insha’Allah our next issue ‘Inner and Outer Me’ will be out mid Oct.

You can like and follow our Facebook page for updates.

To keep up to date with the Editor’s List you are welcome to join our Facebook group or email the above address to request to join our email list.

I hope you enjoy reading our mini issue and you discover new blogs/websites in the process insha’Allah.

I look forward to your submission insha’Allah.

Ma salaama,

Elizabeth Lymer (Editor)

Average Rating: 4.4 out of 5 based on 191 user reviews.

Mini Issue One Aug 2014 Out Now

Giving ourselves permission to just ‘BE’ seems alien to most people.

In my workshops and coaching this is one of the first concepts I cover and many have appreciated exploring this area and working through it.

They all get instant transformations walhamdulilah.

Why do we forget about this concept?

Because we get caught up in our day to day and don’t stop to breathe and take in the silence.

And because of this we have constant soul and heart ache and we don’t understand what has gone loopy for us.

When faced with such challenges we may hit social media to get some therapy or reassurance.

Wrong place!

All we need to do is learn to silence our minds.To let go of everything and anything that doesn’t serve our soul and our true purpose.

Eternal happiness comes from living our souls purpose – worshipping God. So, with this in mind, live your awesome life now, make those positive changes, and prepare for your best afterlife.

Let go and let God.

Call on God for He (SWT) is listening to your call.

And when My servants ask you, [O Muhammad], concerning Me – indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me [by obedience] and believe in Me that they may be [rightly] guided.

Surah Al-Baqarah (The Cow) 2:186

Turn inwards and reconnect with your soul and talk to your Creator – this will help your soul to heal.

But many of you reading this won’t take it on board!

Why?

Because we are just addicted to drama and drama gives us attention and comfort!

We are fooling no one except ourselves here.

Anas (radhiallahu anhu) said that he heard the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) say: “Allah the Exalted said: “O son of Adam! As long as you invoke Me and plead to Me, I will forgive you whatever you have committed, and I will not make much of it. O son of Adam! If your evil deeds reach the borders of the sky, and then you ask Me for forgiveness, I will forgive you. O son of Adam! If you bring forth the earth full of errors, then you meet Me while you do not associate anything (or anyone) with Me, I will bring forth for you its full of forgiveness.” [At-Tirmidhee (Shaikh Albanee rendered it as Hasan)]

If there is one piece of advice which I can give you after studying and practising personal and spiritual peak performance for the last 20 years then it is this; ‘You will always be a daily work in progress and each step will take you closer to your ultimate final destination. Keep the end in mind always!’ 

Quit the drama – it is not serving your ultimate soul purpose!

Let me help you help your soul to heal.

Click here now to get instant soul therapy and heart relief

Nadia Leona Yunis is the Islamic Editor for Young Muslimah Magazine. This article was first published on her website,  We Be Inspired.

Average Rating: 4.9 out of 5 based on 261 user reviews.

Mini Issue One Aug 2014 Out Now

Whilst out shopping with my family, an old lady walked in front of us. Without her noticing, she had dropped her pure white cardigan on the dirty grey pavement. Several of us around her bent down to retrieve it for her whilst others called out to alert her. I managed to get to it first, I wanted it to be me who gave this lady her cardigan back. Deep down I did it with the intention for it to be a small tiny act of dawah.

The action of bending down to pick something up that someone had dropped instantly brought back a vivid memory from my childhood. It was the same scenario but very different circumstance. I couldn’t help but start relaying it to my family.

When I was around the age of seven or eight, my younger brother and I were walking home from the local shop. A huge muscular Caucasian guy, pushed passed in between us and made some of the most intimidating and racist slurs and insults towards us. Naturally we were very frightened and being so young and shy, there was nothing we could do but tolerate it and hope that he would go away.

He must’ve just been to the local post office or bank to withdraw money. As he was passing, he was trying to shove a big wad of cash into his back pocket. Misjudging the opening, he thought he had put his money away safely but actually it had fallen on the floor behind him and in front of us. Being a wad of rolled up notes, they didn’t make the alerting sound that coins make. Unbeknownst to him, he was blissfully walking away from his money after abusing us.

My brother and I looked at each other. Without a moments thought, I ran to pick up his money. I tried to call out to him but because I was already a shy girl, my voice was very weak at that age and because he had already scared me earlier, I was even more incapable of catching his attention.

I gently poked him in the back as he failed to hear me. He turned around with such speed and annoyance I was sure he was going to hit me. He looked me in the face, then he looked down at my hand which was outstretched to his chest. He saw the money.

You dropped this, ” I said very quietly.

He looked so surprised. He rapidly checked his back pocket only to find it empty. He then looked astonished, he stuttered to find his words. He took the rolled up notes from my hand very gently and began to peel off the top note.

Just to thank you, ” he said, not even able to make eye contact by now. His head hanged low and his cheeks were red.

No, it’s okay, ” I said. And off I ran back to my brother as we headed off home that was less than 100m away.

Just before we turned into our gate, I looked back up the road and he was still standing there in contemplation. I don’t know what was going through his mind right then but I had a hope that we was thinking we didn’t deserve his initial hate.

Narrated Suwaid bin Ghafala: While I as in the company of Salman bin Rabi’a and Suhan, in one of the holy battles, I found a whip. One of them told me to drop it but I refused to do so and said that I would give it to its owner if I found him, otherwise I would utilize it. On our return we performed Hajj and on passing by Medina, I asked Ubai bin Ka’b about it. He said, “I found a bag containing a hundred Dinars in the lifetime of the Prophet and took it to the Prophet who said to me, ‘Make public announcement about it for one year.’ So, I announced it for one year and went to the Prophet who said, ‘Announce it publicly for another year.’ So, I announced it for another year. I went to him again and he said, “Announce for an other year.” So I announced for still another year. I went to the Prophet for the fourth time, and he said, ‘Remember the amount of money, the description of its container and the string it is tied with, and if the owner comes, give it to him; otherwise, utilize it.’ “

(Bukhari Book 42, Hadith 616)

Shabana Diouri is an aspiring writer and poet with a strong affinity toward the issues of women in Islam and spiritual needs of the heart. She currently manages ‘Muslimah Uninterrupted’, her personal blog where this article was first published: http://muslimahuninterrupted.wordpress.com

Average Rating: 4.6 out of 5 based on 225 user reviews.

Mini Issue One Aug 2014 Out Now

From Leaving Your Parents’ House to Running Your Own

ABSOLUTE FREEDOM! It was all I always wanted years before I finally got the opportunity to escape my parents’ web. Home was “HELL” considering the fact that I never ceased to hear the much detested fact that my parents were equipping me for my future independence. I felt so confident that leaving home was my ticket to bliss. I was wrong. It turned out that the “ME” at home was not the real me. I became a stranger even to myself and I finally understood the saying “you are who you are when nobody is watching you”. So the question remained “What was it about me that changed?” It took time and effort for me to figure it out as well as set myself back on track.

Leaving your parents’ house and starting your own house is only an abstract piece of cake. Many believe that everything will be as perfect as the picture they had created initially in their minds. But just like me, they eventually find the nut a little hard to crack. As Muslimahs, we all know that the main thing we should focus on is ourselves, especially when we have such a golden opportunity as living our own lives in our own houses. It is not just an opportunity to discover who we really are but also a time to groom ourselves personally against future challenges and bring ourselves to being the best Muslimahs we can be. Here are three tips for making a few changes:

Make a thorough discovery of yourself

This may appear a little strange to you. You may begin to ask yourself what new thing is yet to be uncovered. I asked myself the same question some years back, only to discover shortly after that I had hidden tendencies yet to be discovered. But the big secret is that we all learn new things about ourselves every day. The change will definitely impact a lot of things about you, so what you need to focus on is, “In what areas have you noticed these slight changes?” You may begin to notice a few changes in your pattern of eating, your sleeping habit, your level of cleanliness and personal organisation as well as your spiritual exercises. How early do you wake up for Salat–ul–fajr? How often do you observe tahajjud and recite the Qur’an? How regular are your breakfasts as well as your lunch and dinner? Do you observe basic day to day etiquette, such as not allowing a non–mahram into your house in a state of seclusion? These are just some of the numerous areas you need to check. To make this easier, you may draw out a day to day activity chart that can last for a period of three weeks to monitor your level of discipline as well as the few things that may have changed about you. It is very normal for you to experience these changes as this is one thing freedom bears. When no one is there to check your level of discipline, you tend to relax partially or sometimes totally, depending on the circumstances.

Set yourself back on track

A few weeks after I set up my new house, I discovered a lot of new things about myself, the tendencies of which I never imagined having. I took so many things for granted and left so many things undone. I would wake up at odd times, stay up late to watch movies, postpone my salats, leave dishes in the kitchen unwashed for long periods of time and make too many errors in my day-to-day affairs. I was gradually becoming lazy and disorganised. The moment I realised this, I knew I had to adjust my pattern of living and so it began. It was hard at the beginning but the effort was worth it after all.

Setting yourself back on track should be a slow and steady process. You don’t need to rush things. Doing too many things at a time amounts to doing nothing at the end of the day, so you should only go one step at a time. The first thing you must do is to admit you are doing some things wrongly and you have to change. You may then highlight the major areas where the problems lie. By doing this, you have taken the first step.

Having made a list of your shortcomings, you must realise that you are alone in this and the only person to help you out is you. You must also bear in mind that all your effort is directed towards making yourself a better Muslimah for the sake of Allah. So, you may have to create an extra consciousness in yourself that Allah, who has the greatest authority over you, is watching you. This should get you going. When you want to stay up late to watch a movie, have it at the back of your mind that Allah sees all that you do, just like postponing your salats and allowing a non–mahram to visit you in your house. To make this more effective, you could make cardboard inscriptions of this and paste it in different corners of your house to remind you that Allah knows all that you do.

You may also employ the use of an activity chart to monitor your daily success. How early did you wake up for salat–ul–fajr? How early did you have your breakfast? Were you able to do all your chores? How punctual were you at work? Did you create time to recite the Qur’an? These are areas where the activity chart can work effectively.

It is important to know that the more you discover yourself, the better your ability to devise other methods of bringing yourself back on track. The main obstacle to achieving this is the whispering of Shaytan so do not forget to seek Allah’s refuge against the accursed one at every point of the struggle.

Don’t be static

The mere fact that you’re trying to be the “you” that you’ve always been should not make you insensitive to other interesting areas that you could explore. Try new methods of improving yourself. You may want to try a different cooking method for a better result or even rearrange the daily routine that has always been a part of you. Think of yourself in the nearest future. Where do you want to be in the next five years? How organised do you want your life to be? How do you want other people to see you? These are questions you should ask yourself. Answers to these questions will give you a direction as to what areas to explore and improve on. Ensure an average level of consistency as this struggle is no other person’s but yours alone and do not forget to seek Allah’s help at every point of it to make your affairs easy for you.

O Allah, I seek refuge in You from anxiety and sorrow, weakness and laziness, miserliness and cowardice, the burden of debts, and from being over powered by men. (Bukhari)

Wardah Abbas is a graduate of law from the University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria. She is a passionate Muslimah and a budding writer who believes in intellectualism as a prerequisite to change. You can read more of her writings on therosespen.wordpress.com where this article has been republished.

Average Rating: 4.4 out of 5 based on 274 user reviews.

Mini Issue One Aug 2014 Out Now

It’s 1.35 a.m.  my eyes feel grainy, and all day, the right one has been twitching. I am so tired, I kept dozing off during a conversation with my best friend earlier this evening, and my head aches, especially my ears. And there goes my right eye again.

Over the past week, I’ve averaged about 4-5 hours of sleep per night. This after coming back from two weeks in nigeria during which I regularly had rather broken nights of sleep, and the journey back overnight, during which I only slept for about an hour, between Paris and London.

I know I need sleep. and I will, soon. But I just needed to at least start this.

Anyone that knows me knows that the above is quite a regular pattern – I may go through periods where I start going to bed at a more normal time (say around midnight, relatively early by my standards), and get enough sleep.  But gradually, I will start slipping back into this mode – staying up later and later, my body and mind tired beyond belief, but not going to bed all the same. And it’s not insomnia – aside from a few very short bouts of this, I’ve never had a problem actually getting to sleep. The problem rests more in actually going to bed – the ultimate and most pointless of all procrastinations.

I’ve heard it said this could signify a fear of sleep. Or maybe of missing something. The latter, maybe; the former, I really doubt. I love sleep, when I actually do it.

I sometimes wonder what I would be like if I slept enough. I’ve read enough on the matter to know that prolonged sleep deprivation can and does have a number of adverse effects on health, both mental and physical. My memory has always been bad, but got increasingly worse over the past years. My attention flits – watching me work is probably a master class in self-distraction.

Sitting here tonight, thinking about something I mentioned to a friend earlier, I had one of my slow-dawning realisations.

Since I was at Uni, I have noticed a tendency towards mood swings. Though I’ve read up on them (well, at an internet level), I’ve never really been sure if they are the normal degree, or warrant worrying over. All I know is that any time I’m more than a little happy one day, it is guaranteed that within the next day or two, my mood will swing low, often spurred by nothing at all. It’s something I complain about to close friends off and on, but have never really done anything further about.

These mood swings are often perpetuated by, and/or themselves perpetuate, a degree of social anxiety that I have. And by this, I don’t (just) mean being shy. Which I am – incredibly so. A fact often disbelieved, given my generally outgoing nature. The fact is, the anxiety manifests not necessarily in the way I present myself in public, but in what is running through my mind, generally before and after events and interactions, and sometimes even during.

I find that, as soon as I feel a little low, negative thinking prevails. Of course everyone has negative thoughts, and irrational ones also. But the degree to which mine run, and the lack of any real cause to prompt them, is a regular difficulty for me.

Conversations with friends are later picked over – did I say something stupid? Something that might have annoyed them? Something I really shouldn’t have? Any plan to meet new people, especially in groups, becomes an event in hyper-worry about how they will view me, what they will think of me – my predictions are generally not positive ones, and though 99% of the time, these doom-laden prophecies of mine are disproved by the general loveliness or at least amicability of these people, this neither prevents the dissection after the meeting, in which I manage to forget all the positive feedback, and concentrate on negatives that generally didn’t actually, really exist – wondering if I came across as too argumentative, too timid, too loud, somewhat disagreeable or stupid or whatever else springs to mind in the post-evaluation process; nor does a positive experience mean that next time I won’t have all the same negative prophecies again, even as my rational self recalls that it all turned out OK in the end.

Sitting here thinking tonight, I decided that the coming year will be the one I tackle these issues – the sleep, the anxiety, and the fluctuating moods. I do believe they’re all at least a little linked. And I do believe as well that, though I’ve complained about them, talked to friends about them, pondered them and researched them, I’ve never actually decided to take the time out to actively do anything about them.

Tackling the sleep issue seems, for me, both the most potentially doable, but also one that I know I’ve tried and failed at so many times. It’s also the one that I think holds the key, at least to a degree, to the other two.

Staying in will need to become my new going out, and each time I miss a gig or show, I will need to remind myself why I’m doing it – I can’t spend the rest of my life getting miserable each time I’ve been happy (to the extent that I actually worry if I get in ‘too’ good a mood). And when I’m rested, and emotionally stable, then I’m better able to deal with the anxieties that prevail over all my relationships, that have me feeling things are going bad, even when they’re good, or that if they have not yet, they soon will be, and that have me viewing myself so poorly through the eyes of others, projecting my insecurities onto them and translating it into negative reactions that don’t exist.

This is the first time I’ve ever really written about this in any way publicly. Partly I was inspired by a number of friends and acquaintances who speak and write candidly about their own issues of mental health. In particular, reading (and recognising bits of myself in bits of) the poet Harry Giles’ blog post made me determined to write my own, when the right time came. Partly, I really think this needs to not be something strange or shameful in any way, and the more people talk about mental health, the less it will be so.  Finally, I guess it’s just that time of the night when things come out that maybe in the day, supposed right-mindedness might pull down the shutters of censorship.

You are so weak. Give up to grace.

The ocean takes care of each wave till it gets to shore.

You need more help than you know.”

The Essential Rumi

And we made your sleep (Subaat) as a thing for rest.”

Suah An-Naba’ (The Tidings) 78:9

And it is He Who makes the night a covering for you, and the sleep a repose, and makes the day Nushūr (i.e., getting up and going about here and there for daily work, after one’s sleep at night).”

Surah Al-Furqan (The Criterion) 25:47

Wasi Daniju is a counsellor, photographer, and sometimes blogger at Wasi Somewhere In Between where his article was first published.

Average Rating: 5 out of 5 based on 171 user reviews.

Mini Issue One Aug 2014 Out Now

I am the rose that grew from seeds

That budded from clay, soil, water, soul, light and creation.

I am a product of my beloved.

What you thought would kill me

Only served to make me stronger.

I’ve evolved into a strong warrior;

I’m one of a kind.

My thorns fortified with terror,

My wounds faded from the pain,

And all the other scars

Formed from the travesty of my existence.

This is not lost on me.

There is beauty in the midst of my beloved,

And within the essence of mankind.

I don’t belong in the past and never did.

Wisdom I have absorbed

From rains never to come again.

Before I close my eyes, the nights

Are spent in prayer and reflection

In my sujood I pray

And my heart pours out

A million Thanks

To Almighty God

For the infinite blessings

That are always bestowed upon me

From every corner that surrounds me.

I bow down in prayers

In gratitude for the miracles of my beloved –

For what’s around me,

Realising how blessed I am,

And with a grateful prayer,

I allow myself

To be happy and thankful

For the wonderful things I have

Been gifted with –

Embraced by –

And I cherish this

In my heart

As it provides me with the strength, energy and hope

I’ll need for the next season of my beautiful journey.

So exalt [Allah] with praise of your Lord and be of those who prostrate [to Him].

Surah Al-Hijr (The Rocky Tract) 15:98

Saira Anwar shares her writing via her Inspired Poetry Facebook page.

Average Rating: 4.4 out of 5 based on 273 user reviews.

Mini Issue One Aug 2014 Out Now

She writes with water.

Mechanics stand among her words

Calling them oil stains as they loosen

And reconstruct them.

Scientists angle beside her sentences

Casting fish chosen to eat

Patterns they can predict.

But there are some survivors who swim in rhythm

With each stroke of her pen

To keep their breath.

Upon the water that she writes they travel

From survival

To healing.

And seek help through patience and prayer, and indeed, it is difficult except for the humbly submissive [to Allah].

Surah Al-Baqarah (The Cow) 2:45

Maria Limehouse writes cathartic posts on her blog where this poetic truth was first published.

Average Rating: 4.4 out of 5 based on 186 user reviews.

Mini Issue One Aug 2014 Out Now

Muslim women in the West today are in a seemingly unique position: often straddling two worlds, that of their family’s ethnic culture and that of their Western country of residence; struggling to both revive their faith and their intellect; managing a balancing act of family and career.

Often, we feel alone, stranded in circumstances for which there is no textbook manual on how to do it all right. Surely we can’t be the only generation of Muslim women to face such trials! And, in fact, we aren’t. Islamic history books are filled with stories of exemplary Muslim women, young and old, who navigated cultures spanning from Asia and Arabia to Europe.

These inspiring women came of age in environments eerily similar to our own:  Fatimah bint Muhammad (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), whose early teen years were spent struggling through the difficult first days of Islam in Makkah; and  Ama bint Khalid, who grew up in the Christian country of Abyssinia during the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammad (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam). They dealt with feelings of isolation, cultural differences, and the struggles faced by the pioneers of a new way. They fell in love, fought in wars, and achieved heights of scholarship envied by men.

From the Sahaabiyaat (female Companions) to shaykhaat (female scholars) in our own times, Muslim women have always had powerful female figures to look up to and emulate. Unfortunately, however, these inspiring women have been forgotten and marginalized by their own people, to the detriment of all Muslims, both men and women.

Now, we hope to revive and relive our neglected history. By bringing to light not only the exploits of these heroines, but their humanity as well, we aim to build a direct connection and sense of relevance between the current generations of Muslim women, and those who created legacies before us.

Zainab bint Younus (AnonyMouse) is a young woman who finds constant inspiration in the lives of the Sahabiyaat and other great women in Islamic history. She hopes that every Muslimah is able to identify with the struggles of these inspirational women and follow in their footsteps to become a part of a new generation of powerful Muslim women. She blogs at http://www.thesalafifeminist.blogspot.com 

Average Rating: 4.9 out of 5 based on 288 user reviews.

Mini Issue One Aug 2014 Out Now

Modern society marks the transition from childhood into adolescence with contemporary constructs such as issues of identity and angst. For young Muslimahs in the West, these struggles are compounded with further questions about religion, spirituality, and their place as citizens in societies whose values are often at great odds with those of Islam’s.

Ama bint Khalid was one of the first young Muslimahs to grow up in a non-Muslim environment, and whose love for the Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) blossomed in her heart before she ever met him. Her parents were amongst the earliest believers in RasulAllah, and were of those who made the first hijrah (emigration) to Abyssinia.

As a result, Ama was one of a handful of young Muslims who grew up in a distinctly Christian society. Though she undoubtedly faced difficulties and challenges, her identity as a Muslim was strengthened by her circumstances, rather than weakened or driven to compromise. Her parents would regularly share with her and remind her of the reason for which they emigrated: their belief in Allah and His Messenger. They would tell her stories about RasulAllah (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) – his kindness, his generosity, his concern for others even if they were not his family or friends, and how he worked so hard to save everyone from the terrifying punishment of the Hereafter. Long before she ever met him, Ama loved this amazing man of whom her parents spoke so fondly.

Ama was a young girl with faced with a massive challenge: living and growing up in a country foreign to her family, struggling to learn a new language and a new culture and, more importantly, retaining the faith for which they had emigrated in the first place. In the midst of this utter strangeness, she fiercely held onto her belief in God and His Messenger, her savior.

Though the challenges are many, young Muslims in the 21st century are not the first to experience isolation, alienation, and negative propaganda directly concentrated on their faith. Youth such as Ama bint Khalid and Ali ibn Abi Talib, both of whom were raised upon Islam from a very young age, grew up in a society where they were labeled as either crazy people, terrorists, or both. Most Muslim teenagers often think that they have little in common with famous and awe-inspiring Sahaabah of the Prophet’s time, but the truth is that their struggles were very similar to those we are going through today.

Today, young Muslims in the West have far more available and at their disposal than Ama bint Khalid had over 1400 years ago. Masjid youth groups, Islamic schools, youth conferences, CDs and DVDs; these resources provide not only knowledge, but a strength of solidarity for young Muslims growing up in non-Muslim societies.

Teenage Muslim girls who are trying to juggle their non-Muslim school environment, culturally different home environment, and plain old teen hormones need look no further than Ama bint Khalid to feel both comforted and inspired. If Ama could do it – in a time when there was no internet, no halaal takeout, and no varieties of cute hijaabs – why can’t you?

 Narrated Sa’id:

Um Khalid bint Khalid bin Said said, “I came to Allah’s Messenger along with my father and I was wearing a yellow shirt. Allah’s Messenger said, “Sanah Sanah!” (‘Abdullah, the sub-narrator said, “It means, ‘Nice, nice!’ in the Ethiopian language.”) Um Khalid added, “Then I started playing with the seal of Prophethood. My father admonished me. But Allah’s Apostle said (to my father), “Leave her, ” Allah’s Apostle (then addressing me) said, “May you live so long that your dress gets worn out, and you will mend it many times, and then wear another till it gets worn out (i.e. May Allah prolong your life).” (The sub-narrator, ‘Abdullah aid, “That garment (which she was wearing) remained usable for a long time.)

Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 73, Number 22

Zainab bint Younus (AnonyMouse) is a young woman who finds constant inspiration in the lives of the Sahabiyaat and other great women in Islamic history. She hopes that every Muslimah is able to identify with the struggles of these inspirational women and follow in their footsteps to become a part of a new generation of powerful Muslim women. She blogs at http://www.thesalafifeminist.blogspot.com

Average Rating: 5 out of 5 based on 193 user reviews.

Mini Issue One Aug 2014 Out Now

“You say that you are just a body, but inside of you is something greater than the Universe.” Imam Shafi (rahimullah)

Today’s post is about a topic which is so great that I’m not at all qualified to go into depths.

It is about the ‘Soul’.

Although I read a lot and share what I read, I will only touch the surface of this topic.

What I will cover is the ‘Personal Development’ part for us so we can start making at least some basic changes in our lives insha’Allah.

We are spiritual beings living in physical bodiesboth need taking care of. Our soul needs ibaadah (worship) and our body needs the right foods and exercise. When both the soul and body are aligned we are in an overall state of peace and ease.

But when either one of them is misaligned then we are at dis-ease.

How many of us experience this state of peace … daily?

How many of us experience this peace at all?

Why is it that we are not at peace, ease, and are at dis-ease?

It’s different for all of us in practical terms but in theoretical terms its all the same.

Our day to day is full of all sorts. The good, the bad, and the not so pretty.

We have billions of thoughts going around in our heads daily.

Whilst our conscious mind may be focussed at the task at hand (maybeif we are actually focussing) our subconscious is roaming freely like it’s been given a permanent free will visa!

We get so busy in our day to day that for many of us taking out five minutes just to ‘chill’ becomes a weird concept that only those who are in meditative lands do.

And even if we do take out five mins, it’s usually not to take a breather.

In short,  we don’t take time out to heal our heart and soul.

We don’t take time out to reflect and change our ways.

We may even reflect – but reflection on its own doesn’t do us much good if we don’t follow through on some good actions or positive changes.

Let’s admit it now – we spend more time on our bodily health than our soulful health.

I mean, even if you’re not an exercise or gym freak (freak in the good sense) then we still think about eating the right foods. In winter here in the UK it’s cold. So even if we don’t think about the right food for our body we still think, “Hmm – should stack up on those vitamins to avoid colds and flu.”

That’s what we Brits do!

And when it’s time to take care of our soul – our internal affairs – then we ‘try’ and then quickly give up!

Why do we give up? Because we are not willing to acknowledge all the junk we have stored in there and are not ready to dispose of it!

We HAVE to start taking responsibility for ourselves NOW. No one else is going to come up and fix up our sorry states.

I mean, we can turn to our friends for solace as much as we want and we do (I do!), but who’s going to have to start taking the first steps? Yup, the ‘I’ person!

There’s a reason why we don’t focus on our ibaadah and that reason is all the junk stored in our archive system.

We need to deal with it ASAPwe need to heal the wounds and we need to turn back to the best self-help book written and sent to us!

A heart without the Qur’an is a dead heart. Ask yourself, “How much time do I give to the Qur’an daily?” All the answers you’re looking for are in there. No need to go to the library. It’s the #1 self-help Book sitting on your shelf. It’s not a shelf-help book and if the shelf is made from wood then wood came from a tree that was living and breathing. Maybe the shelf is more at peace than the human soul!

*Reflect*

We are confused about our purpose here. It’s simple. God created us to worship Him.

That’s it.

Work on it daily.

I have to work on it daily.

You have to work on it daily.

We have to work on it daily.

And the biggest one is: STOP HATING YOURSELF!

My God, ladies and gents!

Have you heard the way you talk to yourselves sometimes?

You can be so mean and evil to your own self – your own soul.

Your soul is the REAL YOU! Your body is a covering.

Do you walk around in torn clothes exposing your bits?

NO!

(I hope not!)

Clothes are to cover your body and to protect it.

The body is a covering for your soul.

Beautify the outside all you want homie … but if your inside is a trunk full of junk then, believe me, it’ll show to everyone AND you won’t be happy!


“We are not powerless specks of dust drifting around in the wind, blown by random destiny. We are, each of us, like beautiful snowflakes – unique, and born for a specific reason and purpose.” Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

 

Start respecting your own soul.

I mean, start respecting yourself and nourishing yourself.

Your soul needs Allah. It needs ibaadah. It needs salah. It needs Qur’an. It needs dhikr.

Now stay focused with me and don’t think, Oh but so-and-so is really an evil soul!”

Why do you care what they are? Can you fix them? No? OK, cool – back to YOU then.

It’s time to start loving yourself and stop being so harsh.

We all make mistakes. We all make bad decisions. We all screw up.

It’s a process called LIFE.

I’m not saying go out and mess up. 

I’m saying recognise it happened, deal with it. Heal yourself and move forward.


“No amount of guilt can change the past and no amount of worrying can change the future. Go easy on yourself, for the outcome of all affairs is determined by Allah’s decree. If something is meant to go elsewhere, it will never come your way, but if it is yours by destiny, from you it cannot flee.” [Umar Ibn al-Khattab RadiyAllahu Anhu]

You know each moment is passing and what is important is our worship and devotion to God. We’re not here for long.

But if we spend more time in beating our own souls then we won’t be able to work on our worship.

We should have a restraining order to stop beating ourselves.

Its time to start taking care of yourself. That time is NOW!

* Action Point and Tips:

1. Start loving yourself and start talking to yourself in a loving way! 

Monitor your thoughts and record all the negativity. Now dump it in the trash bin.

Just dump ‘em!

2. Start noticing and acknowledging your achievements throughout your life. Remember how you felt and what you wanted to become and accomplish. Now go and achieve that dream and make it a reality!

3. Want some emotional healing? I’m an ‘Energy & Emotional Healing and EFT/EMT’ therapist. 

Read this link and book an appointment https://www.dropbox.com/s/i3n0jyu8ltnvsoo/shifatouchenergyhealing.pdf

So, ask yourself – if Allah gave me one life here on planet Earth, how will I live it?

And how do I want to return to Him – in what state and condition?

“O you satisfied soul. Return to your Lord pleased with yourself and pleasing to Him. Enter among My servants. And enter My paradise.”
Surah Al Fajr (The Dawn) 89:27–30

There is something special inside of you and that something special is YOU! :)

* Extra Resource:

Here’s something written by my teacher.  Insha’Allah you’ll enjoy it as much as I did! Please SHARE it widely and inspire a soul back to God :)

Nadia Leona Yunis is the Islamic Editor for Young Muslimah Magazine. This article was first published on her website, We Be Inspired.

Average Rating: 4.4 out of 5 based on 240 user reviews.

Mini Issue One Aug 2014 Out Now

The topic we are going to look at today is about ‘Self-sabotage’ and ‘Victim mentality’.

Today’s topic is pretty deep – in more ways than one. So before we begin I request you to read this only if you are ready to move on from all negativity in your life, if you’re looking for some solutions and answers, and if you want to start making positive changes in your world.

If you’re feeling very low and emotional then this topic may really hit home and may upset you or may even make you angry.

However that is NOT my intention. It is not a personal attack on anyone as I don’t know your situation personally. My intention is to help you as I helped myself many years ago.

This topic could also create some breakthrough moments for you and could leave you slightly overwhelmed and in a state of,  “What Now?!”

I do highly recommend you read this as it will help you. After reading this if you need to talk one to one then please email me: webeinspired@selfaware.com I’m also an ‘Energy & Emotional Healing and EFT/EMT’ therapist.

So, don’t feel you’re alone,  OK? :)

Everyone has a story to tell because everyone is on a journey. We are all travelers in this world and our ultimate destination is the next world  insha’Allah the gardens of Paradise, with our Creator – our Lord.

But on this journey many a thing can happen. It usually all starts at a young age – in our childhood. But maybe it started later in life.


You were a happy-go-lucky person and something happened and you retreated – back into your shell. 

It could be a physical shell or psychological shell. But you chose to close off from everyone.

A bit like smiling and joking when in public but crying and depressed when alone.

Something keeps eating you up inside and you let that something dictate your actions – your life as you live it, day in, day out.

There’s so much you want to achieve but you stop yourself every time you take a step forward. Or when working in groups you are loud and fierce and everyone is scared by your actions but when you’re alone your like a soft cuddly teddy – harmless and kind.

So ask yourself, Why am I one way with people and why am I different when alone?”

Take a moment to truly reflect on this and write down your thoughts.

Are you the loudest, proudest, and over the top when with people and quiet, timid, reflective and reserved when alone? (Or opposite in opposite situations.)

If so, it’s your way of breaking free from those psychological shackles. You’re trying to make a point. You want someone to hear your voice – your story. You just want to be understood.

Deep inside – rooted deep within – there are unresolved issue.

Do you tell yourself: “Well such and such happened to me which wasn’t my fault so now I can’t do this and that because I won’t succeed, will fail, will lose….” And so on?

Do you know what you’re doing to yourself? Are you aware of how you’re treating yourself?

Its called: ‘Self-sabotage’ and ‘Victim Mentality’.

It’s when you always consider yourself a victim because something(s) happened in your life because of others actions and now you always think that you will get hurt again and keep telling yourself you’re a bad person, not good enough and then you see the exact same cycle in life repeating it self over and over again and then you keep feeding yourself with the same negative thoughts – sabotaging yourself. 

I know how that feels. Because I went through exactly just that for 30 years! And it wasn’t until I fell really ill two years ago on my 30th birthday that things finally started to make some sense. It was then that I saw my life flash before me and it was then when I understood. It was time for change. It was time to take responsibility. It was time to move forward with my life.

What is Self-sabotage and Victim mentality?

It’s when passive beliefs and behaviour can be detrimental to the soul – to our life – daily.

It’s things in the past which are still eating us up today.

I still achieved all that I wanted to. I still studied, got the degrees, had the job I wanted, the friends, the family, the businesses. The daily ibaadah – salah, Qur’an, dhikr, talking to Allah, studying about the deen and then teaching it in my weekend kids club.

But something was still deep rooted inside.

I had to deal with past issues to move on – to take full responsibility.

We HAVE to take full responsibility because the past is the past – it’s gone – it won’t return. And if you feel that the same thing keeps happening to you over and over again then it because you haven’t dealt with those issues. Its God’s way of saying; ‘When you’ve learnt the lesson you will be ready to move on!’ And that’s what happened to me!

“Verily never will Allah change the condition of a people until they change it themselves (with their own souls).”

Surah Ar-Ra’d (The Thunder) 13:11

That little voice in your head telling you you’re not good enough will continue to tell you exactly just that until you take hold of it, shake it and say: “Enough already!”

It’s time to claim back YOUR life!

Negative beliefs need to be cut from the roots. Sometimes it takes time because maybe you don’t realise when it all began or it could be lots of things.

But you need to become more comfortable and confident in your soul and start taking care of your soul.

We all take care of our bodies because imagine if we didn’t shower or put on clean clothes? I don’t think anyone would want to be around us. Yet we continuously neglect our soul. Not only do we need to nourish it with ibaadah but we also need to get rid off the harmful toxins that are slowly destroying it.

Just as narcotics and substances destroy the body, the intellect and eventually the soul – so do negative thoughts, words, statements and beliefs. 

Yes, they comfort us and are there for us. But they are bad friends only there to destroy us.

We need to stop being the victim or feeling like a victim and we need to get out of that negative hole fast – right NOW! (Else it’ll continue to take us deeper and deeper down!)

Why? Because only then can we truly start to heal and move forward.

Yes, it’s difficult – I hear you. But one step at a time. One issue at a time. You owe it to your soul. We will be answerable to God on the Last Day. What will we say then?


The Prophet (pbuh) said: “Take benefit of five before five: your youth before your old age, your health before your sickness, your wealth before your poverty, your free-time before your preoccupation, and your life before your death.” (Hakim)

Victim mentality and self-sabotage is not only detrimental to our own souls but all those who are around us – our family, friends, pets….

Who wants to be around a grumpy, sad, depressed person?

Not me! Not You! None of us!

Yet we’re around our own grumpy, depressed selves!

You know half the time when we talk to ourselves we are just sooo cruel and heartless!!!

Imagine talking like that to your best friend or family? :-O

Exactly! We wouldn’t have a best friend or family left!

You don’t want to be stuck in this rut – I know – and I know you can be happier and more content. You will, insha’Allah.

Ready to break free from these shackles? Alhamdulilah. 

Check out the following tips.

Tips and Action Points:

1. Ibaadah – worship: Do NOT give up on your prayers, Qur’an, du’as. They are soul therapy and a weapon of the believer. Never be unarmed. Always protect yourself with your armour. Our ibaadah is our armour!

2. Who’s your crew? Did you know the five people we hang around the most (minus family) are the ones who help shape our lives. So whose in your crew? Happy dudes or nay-sayers?

3. Learn to forgive. If someone has hurt you – forgive them. It’s VERY hard – I know – and it takes time. But you’re doing it for yourself. By forgiving you are not saying that you condone their actions but you’re releasing them from your thoughts. Let them go!

4. If you’ve been hurt physically or emotionally (domestic violence, abuse – sexual/physical) there is help available. By seeking help you are taking responsibility for yourself and saying you will heal and move forward. You are not weak but very strong and I’m proud of YOU!

5. Fill your soul will goodness  ibaadah, reading, friends, hobbies. Live the life you want to. The only one standing in your way is you. Get out of your own way and just go do it.

I pray that this post has helped you in some way. I know its very deep and you may need to read it a few times. But know that you’re not alone. I’ve also been there and it was very tough. That’s why I launched ‘We Be Inspired’.

If you need to talk email me webeinspired@selfaware.com

Know that you’re special and unique. Love yourself. Because God loves YOU! :)

Nadia Leona Yunis is the Islamic Editor for Young Muslimah Magazine. This article was first published on her website,  We Be Inspired.

Average Rating: 4.9 out of 5 based on 153 user reviews.

Mini Issue One Aug 2014 Out Now

It was in my last year of university that I felt stress piling on me….

I had a dissertation that needed completing along with assignments and exams; not to mention my relationship with my mother was at an all time low.

I had decided to start working part time as well. My financial situation was getting worse by the day and being skint wasn’t something I could adapt to. I had enjoyed my own financial freedom since the age of 16 but I was struggling with having a car and a mobile contract to pay; and staying at Uni all hours of the day just to avoid the hostilities at home meant I was eating out more than usual.

My out goings where more than my in goings. I had a student credit card which had been maxed. My older brother found a bank statement and – rather than being annoyed – ended up paying the card off. I think it was because he felt sorry for me with my mum being so off with me.

Any how I had a friend who could see a change in my personality. I was a private person so never really opened up about my problems. However she was a good enough friend too see that I was going through a rough patch. After one very long lecture she turned to me and handed me a book: Don’t Be Sad by ‘Aaidh ibn Abdullah al-Qarni.

I looked at her and hugged her, put the book in my bag, and walked out.

My friend had to go home after the lecture and – as I was avoiding home – I headed towards the library to finish my assignment. I got home late that evening and could feel the atmosphere so I headed upstairs with a warm drink, sat on my bed, and rummaged through my bag for the book that my friend gave me.

As soon as I opened it and started reading it I could see how faith helps us understand our emotions and how one can learn to deal with them. It is an amazing book which I still turn to six years later.

And We will ease you towards ease.

Surah Al-’Alaa (The Most High) 87:8

Ayesha Yahya studied a community development degree at university, has worked for the council in social care, and is hoping to go back in to education and study to be a midwife. Insha’Allah her full review of ‘Don’t Be Sad’ will be published in the October issue of Young Muslimah Magazine.

Average Rating: 5 out of 5 based on 183 user reviews.

Mini Issue One Aug 2014 Out Now

Reclaim Your Heart‘ by Yasmin Mogahed is not just a self-help book but a reflective guide for the heart’s journey in the ocean of life.

It is a guide on how to prevent ones heart from drowning out of feeling overwhelmed with grief and pain.

It is not only a guide but a manual on how cope, react, as well as heal,  in situations of heartbreak and dismay.

‘Reclaim Your Heart’ is a book which pours advice from one heart to another on how to prepare for challenges in our lives by putting both the realities of life and its obstacles in perspective so that we may not only heal but reclaim and protect what is ours – our hearts: our soul’s most valued possession.

Yasmin Mogahed’s shares her reflections on liberating the heart and soul through the use of personal experiences as well as wisdoms derived from the Qur’an and prophetic traditions (Hadith) in a beautified and simple way for readers to be moved with understanding.

Her use of personal experiences allows readers to connect and resonate with her words wherein they hope to discover more. The references and use of analogies from the Qur’an and Hadith provide deepened insight which serve as a guide on how to reflect upon our lives while giving us hope that those in the past endured similar hardships but overcame them due to understanding life’s realities.

Yasmin’s reflections further show that she too is going through a journey with us; as she discovers we discover – discover how to reclaim our hearts to a safe abode.

O you who have believed, respond to Allah and to the Messenger when he calls you to that which gives you life. And know that Allah intervenes between a man and his heart and that to Him you will be gathered.

Surah Al-’Anfaal (The Spoils of War) 8:24

Sa’diyya Nesar lives with physical ‘disabilities’; she writes articles, prose, and poetry in hopes to uplift souls into living a better tomorrow. She posts on Tumblr and FacebookInsha’Allah her full review of Reclaim Your Heart will be published in the October issue of Young Muslimah Magazine.

Average Rating: 4.6 out of 5 based on 285 user reviews.