Twenty twenty vision

As we say goodbye to 2020, I find myself reflecting on the year that I lived through a pandemic, a pandemic where the end doesn’t seem in sight.

2020 is a year that came with a whole new set of challenges. It was a year that challenged each person mentally, physically and emotionally. It was a year that changed our view on life as every day came with a reminder that life is fleeting. Today you can be smiling and healthy and tomorrow you can be struggling to breathe simply because you left your home to buy bread and milk.

2020 is a year that has left me questioning my dreams as my dreams are from a world that no longer exists. A world where the possibilities were endless, where I was free to browse through stores for hours and hug my grandparents without questioning all that I know. A world that no longer exists.

2020 is year that has made me realise how blessed I am. How blessed I am for simply having a family and a home to feel safe in.

2020 is a year that has taught me to prioritise the people I want in my life. It has taught me the value of being surrounded by good people, people that leave you with your heart feeling full and a belief that things will get better. It’s all about the people you can sit and talk nonsense with for hours, laugh with until your stomach hurts and scream your favourite songs at the top of your lungs with. It’s all about the people who you can rant to about anything, the people who you can text at 2am and they provide solid advice and the people who are simply there whenever you need them.

2020 is a year that has taught me to let go of people. Not everyone is meant to be in your life forever and that’s okay. Life is too short to spend your time with people who drain your energy.

2020 wasn’t a lot of things but it was unforgettable. From dalgona coffee to houseparty to reading eid salaah to turning twenty one in lockdown. I’m thankful for it all and I make dua that twenty twenty one brings us better days filled with happiness and health with our loved ones and an end to this pandemic.

Thoughts on the Fabulous Lives of Bollywood Wives

I’m a huge Bollywood junkie so when I saw this series, I had to watch it. 

Episode 1 

  • Why are they only speaking English?
  • Shanaya casually called Ananya Pandey on FaceTime. The name dropping has started. 
  • Okay, we get it: The Kapoors are going to La Bal.

Episode 2

  • Shanaya looks really pretty at Le Bal. 
  • Sanjay really was a proud dad and he danced fairly well for someone who didn’t go for lessons. 
  • I actually like Neelam’s accent.
  • Maheep is full on psycho for spying on her neighbours In Juhu with a binoculars. 
  • ARJUN KAPOOR is still a favourite and he has a really cute smile, he’s also really witty and I loved how he mentioned the Bachchan wedding. 
  • How does Jahaan not know how to speak Hindi properly? 
  • Why would the friends go out to a place where one of them can’t eat at?
  • If Karan’s presence stresses you out so much, why meet up? 

Episode 3

  • Why does Maheep swear so much? 2 minutes in and she’s already dropped an F-bomb. 
  • Maheep saying it straight “if I don’t call you an a**hole Karan, what do I call you?” 
  • Karan’s really doing a mini Koffee with Karan right now. 
  • Awwwh, the reminiscing is sweet. 
  • “Friends don’t clean Bhavana” okay Seema, chill!
  • Neelam knows what’s up with that “oh dear”.
  • Bhavana is so chill even though Seema got super heated. 

Episode 4

  • Seema killed me with laughter when she said “that’s when I went bananas”
  • Straight from discussing a fight to discussing a flight. Love it. 
  • Spirituality for the skin. Imagine. 
  • The cousins making fun of Maheep was great. 
  • “No one deserves my company” we love to see it Janhvi. 
  • Can you not complain about turbulence? Like just appreciate that you’re on a flight Seema!
  • “You have parents you’re not an orphan” like broooo, behave. 
  • I enjoyed that “I’m joking” nod to Housefull. 

Episode 5

  • “that’s how they take out nazr” okay Bhavana. 
  • It was fun watching them clean the beach. 
  • Neelam’s always wearing yellow/mustard and I obviously love it. 
  • Seema and her “I’m going bananas” again. 
  • “You know how to google right” Maheep, behave. 
  • “Listen it’s not rocket science, just get your act together” saying it as it is Neelam  
  • I can’t with the matching denim jackets. 

Episode 6

  • I want to go to Doha right now, their hotel was stunning. 
  • “Oh my god, get over it” big mood tbh. 
  • Now, I really want to go to Doha so I can go on the flying rickshaw. 
  • “Of course we go shopping in a Rolls Royce how else do you travel?” Oh darling. 
  • Now, I want to go shopping in Doha. 
  • I can’t with Bhavana and her nazr again. 
  • It was really cute how Ananya asked Bhavana to choose pictures. 
  • Okay, the stalker was a bit much. 

Episode 7 

  • Neelam is in a great mood. She’s on a high and it’s a whole vibe. 
  • Seema’s lounge wear is pretty. 
  • Why does Maheep use the word “twat” so much? omg
  • You can actually see the nostalgia in Neelam’s eyes when she’s watching her old song. Love it. 
  • The census is out: Ranveer is hot. But , we knew that already. 
  • Stalker is back and it’s creepy. 
  • Stalker is not a stalker. It’s all okay. A company wants to work with Neelam. 
  • The Titanic pose is obviously a must on a yacht. 
  • The Helipad conversation location is wow!

Episode 8

  • The episode I’ve been waiting for. 
  • Shame, Chunky is such a sweet dad. He’s so proud of Ananya. 
  • They’re honestly arguing about Meghan and Harry. 
  • ‘Is she her chaachi?” Listen, Diana isn’t anyone’s chaachi but she’s everyone’s Khala. 
  • SID!!!! How is Sid so handsome?
  • Shanaya and Ananya are a really good vibe together. 
  • And the entry we’ve been waiting for: SRK
  • Awwwh, SRK used to babysit.
  • The friends seem to genuinely adore and love each other, it was heartwarming. 
  • The lockdown bit was apt. Loved it!

Final thoughts: I really enjoyed it, it was great thrash tv and I’d watch a season 2. I especially loved seeing other A-listers from B-town. It took me one night to binge watch and I had a good laugh while watching it so Kudos to the Bollywood wives with fabulous lives. 

Life skills, not gender roles.

In every single family, everyone has responsibilities. Your mum takes care of your home, your dad goes to work or maybe its vice versa. You and your siblings go to campus or school. All of us have responsibilities that we need to fulfil. SO WHY IS IT THAT, IN A LOT OF FAMILIES, THE BOYS DON’T HELP IN THE KITCHEN?

I have no issues with being in the kitchen. I’ll cook and I’ll bake with a smile. Most of us will. But what infuriates me is that after we’re done eating, you leave and expect someone else to clean up after you. We all know that there is a great reward in serving your family but there is also great reward in helping said family. 

This concept of women being the ones in kitchen is not one that comes from Islam. Aaisha (R.A) was asked, “What did the Prophet (ﷺ) use to do in his house?” She replied, “He used to keep himself busy serving his family and when it was the time for prayer he would go for it.” (Bukhari)

Why is it that the males just sit and watch us clear the table? What exactly is taking a toll on their ability to pick up a plate and put it in the basin?

If you’re a male and you’re reading this, let me tell you how I feel. Every single time one of you watch as I clean up the table, I feel inferior. I feel like the only reason I’m needed, is to clean up so you don’t have to.

If you’re a female reading this who doesn’t believe that your son needs to help clear the supper table, answer these questions: Why do you allow your daughter to feel this inferiority? Why do you succumb to our culture, a culture that has constantly given boys a leeway when it comes to basic life skills like cooking and cleaning?

All I’m saying is that the next time there’s a family supper, don’t make your sister, your cousin, your aunt or your mum feel like they’re only there to serve you. 

This is a reoccurring fight in our family. I constantly explain that even though I have the same (if not more) responsibilities than the males in my house, I am expected to do more than them. But this is a fight that I’m retiring. No longer will I try to change the double standards, I will simply try to do better with my children. 

I will not let my daughter feel the way I feel, I will make sure my son helps his sister and I will teach both of them that cooking and cleaning are not gender roles but life skills. 

Beautiful, just the way you are

I want you to answer this question: What do you love most about the people you love? 

What do you love most about your mom, your best friend or your little cousin? Does the thing you love most about them have anything to do with their physical appearance? Or does it have to do with the fact that they know exactly the right advice to give you? Does it have to do with the fact that they know the exact moment when to make you laugh or the exact moment that you need a hug?

The things we love most about the people we love never have anything to do with the way they look. It always has to do with the way that they make you feel. The way their eyes light up when they speak about something they’re passionate about. The fact that they always make sure that you’re in your home safely before they drive off. The fact that they know your coffee order or what flavour you like in Mochachos or your shoe size or whether you prefer winter to summer.

So, this blog post is not just for me. This blog post is for my sister, my friends, my little cousins and even my mom, grandmother and aunts. 

There are so many “beauty standards” that society has placed on us that we’re constantly worrying about the way we look. There’s pressure to lose weight and gain weight, there’s pressure to wear make up (because clearly no one should see any blemishes on your face), then there’s also pressure to not wear make up. When will people understand that when a woman wears make up, it’s for herself and no one else? There’s pressure to wear hijab but when you do wear one, you get asked “why?”

Listen to me girls. 

You are beautiful. You are amazing. Every single part of you has been perfectly curated by the Supreme Being to make you, you. You do not have to conform by any standard society has placed on you. Your hair is perfect. You look beautiful with a scarf on. The colour of your skin compliments the colour of your eyes. Your nose is not too big and neither is it too small, it fits perfectly into your face. Your height is perfect because sometimes dynamite comes in small packages and if you’re really tall, well, you don’t ever have to ask anyone to get you a jar from the top shelf.

I always tell myself “you’re only allowed to be insecure about things you can’t change.” Something that people make me feel insecure about, is my height. Nothing infuriates me more. I genuinely don’t have any issues with it and if I really want to feel taller, I have many heels that I can choose from. For you, it might be something else but I want you to embrace it. I know that it’s easier said than done but when you embrace all that you are, you don’t give people a chance to doubt you. 

I need you to remind yourself every single day that you’re enough. Because you are. I read this and it resonated within me.

There’s always going to be someone who doesn’t see your worth. Don’t let it be you.

Lessons from the Ummah Heartul Mu’mineen

For the last few months we have been attending Ummah Heart lessons online and it has honestly been the best thing that has come out of lockdown for many of us. Ummah Heart has been the greatest blessing and so, I’ve decided to share the lessons from the Ummah Heartul Mu’mineen with all of you.

1. Khadeejah bint Khuwailad R.A. 

  • You sometimes get people in life that are a means of rozi because they push you to be a better person. 
  • Islam began with a hug and a woman saying “I support you”. 

2. Sawdah bint Zam’ah R.A. 

  • Nabi ﷺ said “Strange are the matters of the heart.” You won’t understand the matters of the heart because Allah has already ordained things in Aalim-e-Arwah so you won’t understand why some people are attracted to each other. 
  • Sawdah R.A. was one of the reasons aayah 59 in Surah Ahzaab was revealed. This is the verse that ordained that women need to observe hijaab. May Allah make it easy for all of us to follow this instruction and keep us steadfast. 

3. Aaisha bint Abu Bakr R.A. 

  • Not a single photo of Aaisha R.A. exists yet she lives in the minds of billions. Change the world with your heart and mind, not your body. 
  • Nabi ﷺ made duaa for her by saying “Oh Allah! Forgive Aaisha’s past and future transgressions, both those which are hidden and those which are apparent.” She was very happy when Nabi ﷺ made this duaa for her and Nabi ﷺ told her that he makes this duaa for his ummah every day. 
  • Aaisha R.A. asked Nabi ﷺ “how is your love for me?” Nabi ﷺ replied: “Like the rope’s knot,” meaning that it was strong and secure. Time after time thereafter, she would ask him “How is the knot?” and Nabi ﷺ would reply: “Ala haalihaa.” (In the same condition). 
  • Nabi ﷺ used to drink and eat from the same place she ate and drank from. 
  • Allah Ta’alah cleared Aaisha R.A.’s name when accusations were made against her by revealing ten verses of Surah Noor. 
  • Aaisha R.A. opened the first university in Islam by teaching both men and women. She specialised in fiqh and aqeedah. 

4. Hafsah bint Umar al Khattab R.A.

  • When you want to get married to someone, make mashwarah like Nabi ﷺ consulted with Abu Bakr R.A. and Uthmaan R.A. when Nabi ﷺ wanted to marry Hafsah R.A. 
  • People will forget your 1000 good deeds for 1 fault. Allah will forget your 1000 bad deeds for 1 good deed. 
  • Allah has given the dunya for the disbelievers and the aakirah for the believers. 

Do not speak about your money in front of a poor person.

Do not speak about your health in front of a sick person.

Do not speak about your power in front of a weak person.

Do not speak about your happiness in front of a sad person.

Do not speak about your freedom in front of a prisoner.

Do not speak about your children in front of an infertile person.

Do not speak about your mother and father in front of an orphan.

Because their wounds cannot bear more.

Ali ibn abi Talib R.A.

5. Zainab bint Khuzaymah R.A. 

  • Nabi ﷺ said that “the worst person in the sight of Allah on the day of Qiyaamah will be the one who is avoided by people due to his uncouth and undignified behaviour.”
  • Your character is a sign of your relationship with Allah and your relationship with Allah will reflect in the relationships with the people around you. Fix your relationship with Allah and Allah will fix your relationship with everyone else.
  • Be merciful to those on earth and the One in the sky will be merciful to you as people only go to Jannah with the mercy of Allah. 
  • There is a bridge called Qantarah that is between the Siraat-ul-Mustaqeem and Jannah, the people you hurt will stand there and your path will change if the people do not forgive you. 
  • The heart of a believer is more valuable than the Ka’bah so be kind and do not hurt the heart of any person. 

6. Umm Salamah bint Hind bint Abi Umayya R.A. 

  • When Allah takes away something from you, Allah replaces it with something better that will make you forget about the pain of loosing it.
  • If someone reads إِنَّا للهِ وَإِنَّا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُوْنَ، اللَّهمَّ أْجُرْنِي فِي مُصِيْبَتِي، وَاخْلُفْ لِي خَيْرا ً مِنْهَا immediately when a calamity occurs, Allah will replace it with something better.
  • When verses were revealed, they were revealed using the masculine. She asked Nabi ﷺ why Allah only sent down verses in the masculine? So Allah sent down Verse 35 of Surah Ahzaab to soothe her heart.

7. Zainab bint Jahash R.A. 

  • Whoever conceals the faults of a person in this world, Allah will place a curtain covering Allah and the person on the day of Qiyaamah and you won’t be reckoned in public. 
  • Zainab R.A. and Nabi ﷺ were a match made in heaven because her nikaah was performed when Allah revealed Surah Ahzab, Allah was her wali and Jibraeel A.S. was her envoy. 
  • Even though Zainab and Aaisha R.A. were “rivals”, she stood up for Aaisha R.A. when accusations were made against her. She did not allow her emotions to interrupt the truth. 
  • Ya Allah, if I am to fall in love, let me touch the heart of someone who is attached to You. 

8. Juwairiyyah bint al-Harith R.A. 

  • Nabi ﷺ taught her the duaa that is heavier in weight than spending the whole day in prayer: سُبْحَانَ اللهِ وَ بِحَمْدِهِ عَدَدَ خَلقِهِ وَرِضَا نَفْسِهِ وَزِنَةَ عَرْشِهِ وَ مِدَادَ كَلِمَاتِهِ (Praise be to Allah according to the number of his creation, according to the pleasure of himself and the weight of his throne and according to the ink used in recording his praise). 
  • You cannot show someone what is in your heart except by your actions. 

9. Safiyyah bint Huyyay R.A. 

  • The best gift that a muslim man can have is a righteous woman.
  • Nabi ﷺ used to console his wife whenever she cried and the more she cried, the more closer Nabi ﷺ went to her.
  • Nabi ﷺ spoke to her about any issues and made sure that her heart was at ease.
  • When the other wives used to tease her for being overweight, Nabi ﷺ reprimanded them and said “your words are so bitter, it would turn the waters of the world sour.”
  • You should alwaays clarify doubt if the window opens.
  • When a conveyance was going too fast while she was on it, Nabi ﷺ told the sahabah, “women are like delicate glass (so go slowly)”.

10. Umm Habibah bint Abu Sufyaan R.A. 

  • Nabi ﷺ said “A person is on the religion of his friends, so be careful who you befriend.”
  • As muslims, our success stories are the day we die.
  • Nabi ﷺ said: “two days are absolutely useless, yesterday because it is over and tomorrow because you don’t have any guarantee about it.”

11. Maymoonah bint al-Harith al-Hilaliyah R.A. 

  • In Surah Ahzab, verse 33, Allah says “the prophet is closer to the Believers than their own selves and their wives are their mothers.”
  • Allah also says in aayah 3, “And put thy trust in Allah and enough is Allah as a disposer of affairs.”

Maariah al-Qibtiyyah R.A.

  • Instead of asking Allah to grant his baby shifaa, Nabi ﷺ saved his dua (the dua that every prophet has that Allah will definitely accept) for you, his ummati, to use on the day of Qiyaamah.

The Ummah Heartul Mu’mineen are named so because they are the mothers of the believers, they are the wives of Nabi ﷺ and their stories inspire us to aspire to be like them.