I have known many people who are overflowing with compassion for others–but fail to have compassion for themselves. They can forgive other people, but cannot forgive themselves. They can overlook the mistakes of others, but when they make a mistake, they afford themselves no mercy or understanding. They are people who give everything they have, but suffer quietly. They suffer quietly in a secret world you will never see. Because they keep it hidden from the world. A world where they drown under the pressure of never feeling good enough.
This message is for you:
You are good enough. You haven’t failed. You have succeeded brilliantly at being exactly what God has made you: a beautifully human, fallible soul, who is doing it’s best in a deeply flawed world. Afford yourself even an ounce of the same compassion you show to others. And remember, he who shows mercy to the creation (yourself), will be shown mercy by the Creator.

My people, we have fallen in love with the packaging and surface of things. We’ve become addicted to being entertained. And here’s the result:

The focus of dawa has shifted towards entertaining a crowd, with emphasis on delivery over content. As a result, we sideline senior scholars if they have an accent or aren’t hip or entertaining enough.

But our message to the youth is what troubles me most. Rather than focusing on truth, we have put too much emphasis on the packaging of the message. I get it. Each Prophet spoke in the “language” of the people. But our approach with youth is becoming too bubblegum. It’s like we’re trying too hard to prove that Islam really is fun and hip and cool and Western.

My people, Truth speaks for itself. Yes, we should understand the culture and psychology of our audience. Every Prophet did. But we should never make the focus on the glitter of the packaging, over the undeniable power of raw Truth.

Remember sincerity will win over marketing, any day of the week.

So often we think it is the grand gestures that make or break relationships. We presume it is the fights that break it and the grand gifts or trips that make it. But experts find otherwise.

They find that it is actually the micro interactions that happen in between the grand stuff, that matter most. It is the small, everyday displays of appreciation, compassion, consideration, or respect that make a relationship. It isn’t the grand events. It’s the seemingly insignificant ones: the thank you, the compliment, the smile. The putting down ypur phone to give undivided attention, even to a seemingly ‘insignificant’ remark.

And it is the small, habitual inconsideration, lack of appreciation, neglect, and disrespect that breaks a relationship. Not even the grand arguments. It’s the perpetual eyerolls, mocking tones, wandering glances, inattention, or rudeness which eat at our bonds over time, like termites.

Ironically, it’s the consistent tiny gestures, which we deem insignificant, that build–or break–the things we value most.

No matter how many times I’ve seen this view, it always strikes me. It reminds me how much beauty there is in the world, despite the darkness. This world is vast and so much bigger than the single moment we’re in.
And God encompasses it all.
That is enough. That is enough.
Alhamdulilahi Rabb Al Alameen.

You must believe that every time you don’t get what you want, it is so He can give you something better. And every time you are given what you don’t want, it is to protect you from something worse.
Allah only wants good for you. Remember He has more mercy for you than a mother to her child. Have only a good opinion of Him.

At every given moment there are many reasons to be afraid, and perhaps many reasons to despair. But in those very same moments, there are more reasons to be inspired, to be at peace. To be grateful. And I promise you the power is in a choice God gave you: The power of focus.The focus of your mind and heart. We can choose to focus on problems, everything that’s gone wrong, everything we *don’t* have. We have the choice to focus on the darkness that most certainly does exist.

Or, we can use that God-given power of choice to focus on what we have, what is good. On the light and the beauty that surrounds us at every given moment. It’s always there. Always. We choose what to focus on. And then what we choose focuses on us.

This is the way of the universe and the Divine design. “I am as my slave thinks of Me,” God says. So think well of Allah. Think well of the people and the world. There is always good. And we are promised that the resilience of goodness will remain in this ummah until the Day of Judgement.

So do not despair. And despite the storm, stay focused. Even in the thickest fog, there is the lighthouse. A ship must look through the fog and focus on that light. That’s how we remain afloat.

That’s how we are saved.

Final goodbye to South Africa

Live from Cape Town, South Africa

It’s official. I’ve fallen in love with South Africa. Cape Town is breathtaking, and I’m so excited about this Saturday’s class. The evening session has SOLD OUT, but a few seats remain for the morning session!
Also, a limited number of my brand new book will be available until they sell out. However, in both Durban and Johannesburg, all books sold out during the morning session, so make sure to get your copy early!

Book by phone:

Book online: