Category: Life

Family isn’t always blood.  They’re the people in your life who appreciate having you in theirs – the ones who encourage you to improve in healthy and exciting ways, and who not only embrace who you are now, but also embrace and embody who you want to be.  These people – your real family – are the ones who truly matter.

Here are twenty tips to help you find and foster these special relationships.

  1. Free yourself from negative people. – Spend time with nice people who are smart, driven and likeminded.  Relationships should help you, not hurt you.  Surround yourself with people who reflect the person you want to be.  Choose friends who you are proud to know, people you admire, who love and respect you – people who make your day a little brighter simply by being in it.  Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you.  When you free yourself from negative people, you free yourself to be YOU – and being YOU is the only way to truly live.  Read Stumbling on Happiness

  2. Let go of those who are already gone. – The sad truth is that there are some people who will only be there for you as long as you have something they need.  When you no longer serve a purpose to them, they will leave.  The good news is, if you tough it out, you’ll eventually weed these people out of your life and be left with some great people you can count on.  We rarely lose friends and lovers, we just gradually figure out who our real ones are.  So when people walk away from you, let them go.   Your destiny is never tied to anyone who leaves you.  It doesn’t mean they are bad people; it just means that their part in your story is over.
  3. Give people you don’t know a fair chance. – When you look at a person, any person, remember that everyone has a story.  Everyone has gone through something that has changed them, and forced them to grow.  Every passing face on the street represents a story every bit as compelling and complicated as yours.  We meet no ordinary people in our lives.  If you give them a chance, everyone has something amazing to offer.  So appreciate the possibility of new relationships as you naturally let go of old ones that no longer work.  Trust your judgment.  Embrace new relationships, knowing that you are entering into unfamiliar territory.  Be ready to learn, be ready for a challenge, and be ready to meet someone that might just change your life forever.
  4. Show everyone kindness and respect. – Treat everyone with kindness and respect, even those who are rude to you – not because they are nice, but because you are.  There are no boundaries or classes that define a group of people that deserve to be respected.  Treat everyone with the same level of respect you would give to your grandfather and the same level of patience you would have with your baby brother.  People will notice your kindness.
  5. Accept people just the way they are. – In most cases it’s impossible to change them anyway, and it’s rude to try.  So save yourself from needless stress.  Instead of trying to change others, give them your support and lead by example.
  6. Encourage others and cheer for them. – Having an appreciation for how amazing the people around you are leads to good places – productive, fulfilling, peaceful places.  So be happy for those who are making progress.  Cheer for their victories.  Be thankful for their blessings, openly.  What goes around comes around, and sooner or later the people you’re cheering for will start cheering for you.
  7. Be your imperfectly prefect self. – In this crazy world that’s trying to make you like everyone else, find the courage to keep being your awesome self.  And when they laugh at you for being different, laugh back at them for being the same.  Spend more time with those who make you smile and less time with those who you feel pressured to impress.  Be your imperfectly perfect self around them.  We are not perfect for everyone, we are only perfect for those select few people that really take the time to get to know us and love us for who we really are.  And to those select few, being our imperfectly perfect self is what they love about us.
  8. Forgive people and move forward. – Don’t live your life with hate in your heart. You will end up hurting yourself more than the people you hate.  Forgiveness is not saying, “What you did to me is okay.”  It is saying, “I’m not going to let what you did to me ruin my happiness forever.”  Forgiveness is the remedy.  It doesn’t mean you’re erasing the past, or forgetting what happened.  It means you’re letting go of the resentment and pain, and instead choosing to learn from the incident and move on with your life.  Remember, the less time you spend hating the people who hurt you, the more time you’ll have to love the people who love you.
  9. Do little things every day for others. – Sometimes those little things occupy the biggest part of their hearts.  You can’t be everything to everyone, but you can be everything to a few people.  Decide who these people are in your life and treat them like royalty.
  10. Pay attention to who your real friends are. – As we grow up, we realize it becomes less important to have more friends and more important to have real ones.  Remember, life is kind of like a party.  You invite a lot of people, some leave early, some stay all night, some laugh with you, some laugh at you, and some show up really late.  But in the end, after the fun, there are a few who stay to help you clean up the mess.  And most of the time, they aren’t even the ones who made the mess.  These people are your real friends in life.  They are the ones who matter most.
  11. Always be loyal. – True love and real friendship aren’t about being inseparable. These relationships are about two people being true to each other even when they are separated.  When it comes to relationships, remaining faithful is never an option, but a priority.  Loyalty is everything.
  12. Stay in better touch with people who matter to you. – In human relationships distance is not measured in miles, but in affection.  Two people can be right next to each other, yet miles apart.  So don’t ignore someone you care about, because lack of concern hurts more than angry words.  Stay in touch with those who matter to you.  Not because it’s convenient, but because they’re worth the extra effort.  Remember, you don’t need a certain number of friends, just a number of friends you can be certain of.  Paying attention to these people is a priority.
  13. Keep your promises and tell the truth. – If you say you’re going to do something, DO IT!  If you say you’re going to be somewhere, BE THERE!  If you say you feel something, MEAN IT!  If you can’t, won’t, and don’t, then DON’T LIE.  It’s always better to tell people the truth up front.  Don’t play games with people’s heads and hearts.  Don’t tell half-truths and expect people to trust you when the full truth comes out; half-truths are no better than lies.  Remember, love and friendship don’t hurt.  Lying, cheating and screwing with people’s feelings and emotions hurts.  Never mess with someone’s feelings just because you’re unsure of yours.  Always be open and honest.
  14. Give what you want to receive. – Don’t expect what you are not willing to give.  Start practicing the golden rule.  If you want love, give love.  If you want friends, be friendly.  If you want money, provide value.  It works.  It really is this simple.  Read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. 
  15. Say what you mean and mean what you say. – Give the people in your life the information they need, rather than expecting them to know the unknowable.  Information is the grease that keeps the engine of communication functioning.  Start communicating clearly.  Don’t try to read other people’s minds, and don’t make other people try to read yours.  Most problems, big and small, within a family, friendship, or business relationship, start with bad communication.
  16. Allow others to make their own decisions. – Do not judge others by your own past.  They are living a different life than you are.  What might be good for one person may not be good for another.  What might be bad for one person might change another person’s life for the better.  Allow people to make their own mistakes and their own decisions.
  17. Talk a little less, and listen more. – Less advice is often the best advice.  People don’t need lots of advice, they need a listening ear and some positive reinforcement.  What they want to know is often already somewhere inside of them.  They just need time to think, be and breathe, and continue to explore the undirected journeys that will eventually help them find their direction.
  18. Leave petty arguments alone. – Someone else doesn’t have to be wrong for you to be right.  There are many roads to what’s right.  And most of the time it just doesn’t matter that much.  Read How To Win Friends and Influence People. 
  19. Ignore unconstructive, hurtful commentary. – No one has the right to judge you.  They might have heard your stories, but they didn’t feel what you were going through.  No matter what you do, there will always be someone who thinks differently.  So concentrate on doing what you know in your heart is right.  What most people think and say about you isn’t all that important.  What is important is how you feel about yourself.
  20. Pay attention to your relationship with yourself. – One of the most painful things in life is losing yourself in the process of loving others too much, and forgetting that you are special too.  When was the last time someone told you that they loved you just the way you are, and that what you think and how you feel matters?  When was the last time someone told you that you did a good job, or took you someplace, simply because they know you feel happy when you’re there?  When was the last time that ‘someone’ was YOU?





Recipe for Innocent Immaturity


  • ½ cup of yearning
  • 1 cup of solitude
  • ½  cup of nonsense, finely chopped
  • 2 cups of heartbreak
  • 3 cups of wisdom
  • ½ cup pain-of-loss
  • 3 large Seeds of Faith, cracked and well beaten
  • 2 sticks of Once Upon A Time, room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons of childhood
  • 2 tablespoons of powdered crazy
  • A dash of Happily Ever After (or to taste)



  1. Sift yearning and solitude into a large mixing heart.
  2. To the heart, add the sticks of Once Upon a Time gradually until consistency is lumpy; firm when squeezed together, but remains loose.
  3. Add to the heart the Seeds of Faith and blend with a dream-mixer on low speed until smooth.
  4. To the heart, blend in childhood, then let stand in the refrigerator for approximately 20 to 25 years, perhaps a little longer depending on your fridge.
  5. Remove from fridge and allow batter to come to room temperature.
  6. While batter is thawing, add heartbreak to a saucepan and simmer until it thickens to a syrup.  Allow to cool.
  7. Begin to blend in the heartbreak to the batter, little by little, at medium speed.  This is the most vital ingredient.


  8. With a mixing spoon, turn into the batter the pain-of-loss.  The batter should now have the consistency of dough.  Knead the dough well, pounding it and flipping it over and over several times.
  9. Add wisdom to the dough very slowly, continuing to kneed and pound, as necessary.
  10. Knead and pound the dough some more, and then some more.  And when you think you’ve finished kneading and pounding the dough, knead and pound some more.  This is also crucial.
  11. Place the dough into a deep baking pan, greased with a little Once Upon A Time and well powdered with crazy so as to avoid the dough sticking to the pan and burning.
  12. In a saucepan, over medium-high heat, toast the finely chopped nonsense until golden-brown.
  13. Sprinkle over the top of the dough some of the toasted finely chopped nonsense and save the rest for garnishing later.
  14. Bake dough at 350 degrees Celsius for 5 years.  Some ovens may take a little longer.
  15. Once the loaf-cake is done, remove from oven and cool completely before garnishing with the remaining toasted nonsense and sprinkle with Happily Ever After to taste.


Serves exactly 2 people.  Loaf may require frosting depending on the audience being served.




You ask me why I behave so immaturely most of the time; why I speak with a repulsive stutter of nonsense and utter craziness.  The answer is that this ‘immaturity’ is the desperate clinging on to whatever childhood innocence I can recollect to shield me from Maturity that is a bullying bombardment of heartbreak and pain-of-loss.  I quiver at the thought of losing someone yet again, so I block myself off to the opportunity, regardless of how much I’d like to move on with the dynamic of life.  Catch-Twenty-Two of Khan-flict.

If you dare to crack my shell of immaturity that I so often retreat into, you will find a dusty, untouched library of wisdom that goes by ignored simply because not very many people bother to read anymore.

This is my damage.  What’s yours?


O My Dear Beloved Son

O My Dear Beloved Son, read this supplication at different times and especially after your prayer:

O God, I ask of You complete blessings, lasting protection from sin, comprehensive mercy, acquisition of well-being [in this world and in the next], the best provision, the happiest life, the most complete favour, the most generous blessing, the sweetest grace, and the closest gentleness.

O God, be for us and not against us.  O God, seal our lives with happiness and good fortune, realise our aspirations accompanied with further increase.  Combine our mornings and evenings with safety and make Your compassion our mercy and last resort and pour the best of Your forgiveness over our sins and favour us with the reform of our defects.  Make piety our provision and grant us interpretive judgment in Your religion, and make us depend on You and have confidence only in You.

O God, make us firm on the path of steadfastness, and safeguard us in this world from matters that will bring shame on the Day of Judgment, and lighten for us the burden of our sins, and grant us lives of the righteous, and protect us from the evil of the evil ones.  Save our necks and the necks of our mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters from the fire of Hell by Your compassion, O Most Powerful One, Most Forgiving, Most Generous, Concealing of our faults; O You, Most Knowledgeable, Most Overwhelming, O God! O God! O God!  By Your Mercy, O Most Merciful of the merciful, O First before the firsts, Last after the lasts, O Possessor of Strength, Everlasting, Compassionate to the destitute, Most Compassionate of those who are compassionate.  There is no god but You, glory be to You, verily I am of the wrongdoers.

And may God bless our Prophet Muhammad and his Family and Companions.  All praise belongs to God, the Lord and Cherisher of all the worlds.

~ Imam Abu Hamid al-Ghazali (Dear Beloved Son, 24th Counsel)

The Jewel of Creation (saw)


In a world of confusion, misunderstanding, chaos, pain, and anguish… along with a network of decisions that are made on a daily basis; the human being is in a constant need of assistance.  What is the best course of action to take?  What is the right thing to say?  The human is endlessly searching and hoping that they speak and do the best.

This human yearn for guidance results in the adherence to various institutions or ideologies.  Part of God’s immense Mercy is that He sends this guidance in the form of human messengers and revelation.  Were God to have sent an angel or other-worldly form of guidance, mankind may not have felt that they could reach the ultimate perfection found within  an angelic guidance.  Yet indeed, humans should, and can!  The whole point of existence is to strive on the path of human perfection.  A life without struggle is indeed a boring and dull life.  Whether you call the final goal, nirvana, sage-hood, enlightenment, or vicegerency, the goal is the same:  to be liberated from mundane mirage and released into Divine Reality.

Islam holds the view that there have been approximately 124 000 perfected humans that have exemplified wise actions and beautiful character.  Amongst these humans (messengers of God, prophets) mentioned in the Quran are Noah, Abraham, Joseph, Moses, David, Solomon, Jesus, and finally Muhammad (May God grant them peace).  Other scholars have speculated that Buddha, Lao Tse, and Confucius have also been prophets.  It is interesting to note that Islamic scholarship accepts all prophets previous to Muhammad while no other religion accepts the Islamic Prophet.  Thus there is an obvious, inherent universality and tolerance in the Islamic faith:

To every people was sent a Messenger:  when their Messenger comes before them the matter will be judged between them with justice, and they will not be wronged. [ Quran 10:47 ]

Say:  We have faith in God, and in that which has been sent down on Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, and Jacob, and the Tribes, and that which was give to Moses and Jesus and the Prophets by their Lord.  We make no distinction among any of them, and to Him we have submitted.  [ Quran 2:136 ]

He has sent down upon you the Book with the truth, confirming what was before it, and He has sent down the Torah and the Gospel aforetime, as guidance to the people.  [ Quran 3:3 ]

Through his actions and speech, each prophet of God has embodied his respective divine revelation.  Therefore, prophetic example is the best source of guidance for social matters and is worthy of emulation.  For Muslims, this means following the example (Sunnah) of the last Messenger of God to mankind, Muhammad (May God grant him peace).

In present times people emphasize obligations toward God (prayer, fasting) over obligations toward God’s creations (good manners, kind treatment).  In part this has had the affect of driving people away from revelation and prophetic example.  In fact, obligations toward other creations have traditionally been emphasized in the past.  Al-Hidaya, the Muslim Hanafi school of law’s most famous book, devotes 75% of its contents towards the obligations due to people, and spends only 25% of its contents towards obligations due to God!  According to Shaykh Husain Abdul Sattar, this is due to the fact that on the Day of Judgment, God may forgive the sins we commit between us and Him, but God will not forgive our sins between us and others until the person(s) we have wronged against forgive us first.

For the Muslim, one of the fundamental questions is:  How did Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his companions exert the best possible character and carry out their obligations toward others in the most perfect manner?  One way of solving this mystery is to dive into the prophetic wisdom embellished within the sayings and written down actions of Muhammad:  the ahadeeth.

The ahadeeth that have emanated from Muhammad’s mouth (peace and blessings be upon him) is proof of his beyond this world wisdom and compassion.  To Muslims, the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was the best father, the best brother, the best husband, the best teacher, the best leader, the best humanitarian, the best friend, and the best human.  “I have not been sent except to perfect character”, the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) once said to his followers.  Even after his death when Muhammad’s followers were free to say anything about him (pbuh), not one of them uttered a negative remark.  His nickname, Al-Amin (the Trustworthy), which was given to him as a youth was never invalidated.  Even his wife, Aa’isha (may God preserve her), a companion who witnessed his character within the privacy of the home and in the publc realm, proclaimed that, “His character was the Quran.”  This historical fact is phenomenal; which modern-day wife can proclaim that her husband has the same beauteous character outside as the does within the home?  The Prophet Muhammad’s (pbuh) companion, ‘Amr bin al-‘As (may God preserve him), also affirmed Muhammad’s sincerity:  “We saw everything the Prophet (pbuh) taught us embodied in his own character.”

Although in the later years of his life the Prophet was respected far and wide, he continued to live humbly:  “The Prophet (pbuh) used to mend his own shoes, sew his own clothes and work in his own house just as one of you would work.  He acted like a common man – he patched his own clothes, milked his own goats and engaged himself in routine work.” [Tirmidhi]

This provides evidence that his desire to transmit revelation was not for material gain.  Muhammad’s (pbuh) humility also permeated his actions with others.  He never chastised those who desired to serve him.  A voluntary servant of the Prophet (pbuh) said, “I served the Prophet (pbuh) for ten years, and never said to me ‘Uf’ (a word signifying harshness or impatience) and never blamed me by saying, ‘Why did you do so or why didn’t you do so?'”

The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) also never publicly humiliated people for minor sins.  Once a man entered the Prophet’s Mosque and urinated.  A few of the companions became extremely upset and at least one was ready to physically reprimand him, yet Muhammad (pbuh) remained calm and told them to be patient.  The Prophet (pbuh) gently took him aside and explained to the man who urinated that mosques are sacred places and must be kept clean.  Due to Prophet’s (pbuh) noble manners, the man cried out, “Oh God forgive me and Muhammad and no one else!”  The Prophet (pbuh) just laughed and said, “You are limiting God’s vast mercy.”  This statement also demonstrates Muhammad’s (pbuh) sense of humour.  Indeed, he once said, “I joke, but always truthfully.”

Muhammad (pbuh) was the first man to verbally condemn racism based on skin colour when he explicitly said that there is no difference between a white and a black man except by piety and good action.  This is extremely progressive and astounding for his time period of seventh century Arabia, especially considering that America had massive racism only 50 years ago and that this world is still suffering from it.  Those who disbelieve in Islam should hold high regard and esteem for the speaker of this brilliant statement.

There are just a few endless reasons why thousands of people were willing to call him, without any doubt, the Messenger of God.  Indeed, a man of such high character caliber could not have been insane, or worse, invented falsehood:

You are not, by the grace of your Lord, mad or possessed.  Nay, verily for you is a Reward unfailing;  And you stand on an exalted standard of character.  Soon will you see, and they will see, which of you is afflicted with madness. [ Quran 68: 2 – 6 ]

May the Peace and Blessings of God be forever with the Prophet, for without him, this world would lack the most precious gems of wisdom.

~ Haseena Sahib


A Twilight of Thought

Your glances put me between dangerous cross-hairs,

Leaving me helpless to dodge your line of fire burning with uncertainty.


Be patient.  This, too, shall pass…


To notice and remain unnoticed is a stubborn wound that re-opens stitch by stitch:

My faith is meek when I’m weak and wrong when I’m strong.  I wonder,

Am I a hypocrite?

Is this instinct sincere or is this yearning mere satire?

Is my hypocrisy fueling my faith, or faith fueling the fire?

Where did I go wrong and what can I do to repair the damage done?

Jeopardy of confusion burdens me with answers to questions I don’t yet know.

This, too, shall pass…


Look through my eyes; see your Light that blinds me:

You hide behind what you perceive to be ‘flaws’,

Shortcomings as plentiful as the stars that stud the night sky.

Tell me, even if a handful of those stars were extinguished,

Would the night sky be any less Beautiful?

To witness such splendour, you must look beyond the clouds veiling the Beauty you seek.

Look again, give me a chance; won’t you take a little peak?


Beautiful things are not always good, but Good things are always Beautiful.


Note to self:

Don’t be hasty.

Don’t hesitate.

Take my time and hurry up.

Even the Good things, too, shall pass…