We live in a society where we’re constantly reminded to speak well, work hard, and strive to be the best possible version of ourselves. We are also taught to reflect on our lives and aim to make the best use of every single day. Yet, we all know that sometimes life throws obstacles in our way and reflecting on yourself isn’t as easy anymore. Self-exploration, self-reformation and self-assessment become phrases used as sentence fillers.

I started university this year and have really enjoyed my course so far. Apart from the horrid 9am starts, I’ve met amazing people who are so fun and beautiful to be around. My relationship with my friends has included lots of laughter, banter, the occasional heated political debates and more banter. As much as I love having these things in life (who doesn’t like to laugh?) Occasionally, I have moments where I feel like something is missing from the picture.

Lets expand. Usually, it’s rare for me to spend my day without thinking about the hereafter. As a Muslim, I believe that this world is temporary and that eternity lies with the creator, God. From a young age my mum has taught me to constantly remind myself of Allah and how important He is in our lives. As I grew older, I found out the importance of prayer and how crucial it was for Muslims to take out time, 5 times a day, in order to thank our creator and remember Him. By praying, at designated times, we instantly remind ourselves of his presence. If Allah has given us life, family and endless valuable things, then surely remembering Him 5 times a day is the least we could do. Praying has always been my tool to shut out everything else and just focus on my lord.

Back to expanding on the issue of that missing something. Yesterday, after I finished my maghrib prayer (4th prayer of the day) I remember waiting for another sister to finish her prayer before we’d leave together to go back to the library. As I sat beside her, waiting for her to finish, I watched the way she prayed, her passion, her focus and 100% concentration levels amazed me. Sometimes when we pray, it’s so easy to lose focus and concentration due to having other worldly matters on your mind. As humans, it’s so hard to stop our thoughts. In fact, statistically about 50,000-70,000 thoughts a day cross our mind. That’s about 35-48 per minute. It happens, it’s natural and a human instinct to have thoughts cross your mind whilst praying, like ‘I have to finish my essay’ or ‘I don’t have enough time to finish my assignment’ but there and then, seeing this fellow Muslim pray, it reminded me of how important it is to let go and let God when praying.

As she finished her prayers and we walked back, I recall her telling me that everyday she asks herself “If I died, right here and now, would I be happy to meet Allah like this?” And she plans her days according to this question. She reminded me that despite any obstacle we face in life, God has the answer. After all, is it not God who put this issue in our lives in the first place? Then surely he holds the answers. By living a life purely for the sake of God, I witnessed how this sister lived at peace and serenity. I never felt inspired by anyone like this. I felt her words, her love, her passion and her appreciation for God.

Those 20 minutes that I spent with her, reminded me that it is so easy to get caught up in everything and anything. When we are faced with issues, our first, subconscious reaction is to block everything else out and work on tackling them, however we should constantly remind ourselves that no matter what we face, it should never interfere with our relationship with God. One needs to spend more time reflecting and less time dwelling .Our society has become intoxicated with public appearance and how we should speak and who to impress but this humble sister taught me that as long as I was impressing my creator, everything else will fall into place naturally. As long as I have God in my heart, what’s the point of getting worked up over triviality?

I wrote this post as a reminder that sometimes, the most smallest things, can have the biggest impact on your life. They force you to think and reflect. I end with a few tips:
-Speak less and listen more
– Instead of dwelling on insignificant matters, spend your time exploring the more important things in life.
– take at least 20 minutes out of your day to pause and reflect on the more important things in life.
– spend your time wisely. Time is of the essence (cliche, I know, but worth thinking about)

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January 2015
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