Do yourself a favour(DW#750 )

If you do good, you do good for your own souls, and if you do evil, it is for them [the souls]Sura Israa [Holy Quran 17:7]

In verse 7 of Chapter 17 [Sura Bani Israel/Isra], Allah lays out a foundational principle of the way He has created the universe. Whether we do good or evil, the effect of our actions impact us more than they impact anyone else. This is true on this plane of existence as well as the hereafter.

Firstly, this verse acknowledges freedom of choice for human beings. While we have been guided, internally and externally, the choice of action remains ours. We choose, every moment of our lives, whether to take the path towards our wellbeing and His pleasure, or against ourselves and away from His pleasure. (can you see how both are connected?)

So, even when we think we are doing others a favour by doing an act of kindness for them, or harming someone by criticizing them, being mean spirited, gossiping, betraying them, lying to them or any other act, this verse is...

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Find joy in it(DW#749 )

quran ramadan spirituality Apr 30, 2020
Earlier this week, we discussed verse 57 from Sura Yunus where Allah says that the Quran is an admonition, a cure, a guidance and a mercy for us.

Today’s verse is the one following that where it says: 
In that they should rejoice; it is better than that which they gather.[Sura Yunus, Chapter 10:58]
This verse reminds us that the Book is precious in providing us with healing and guidance and a potential source of joy.
Human beings are programmed to seek pleasure and happiness. However, we are not very good at recognizing what will bring us ultimate joy (lots of research on this – check out the DWs on Happiness). The things in which we pursue happiness tend to be shallow and fleeting at best. We adapt to our possessions and our experiences and they no longer provide us the pleasure that they once did.
What comes from Him though is lasting and meaningful, a source of hope, comfort, healing and good news. The advice in the Quran will...
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Heed the reminder(DW#748 )

In Sura Muzzammil, [Chapter 73, Versem19], Allah says: This is indeed a reminder
This verse refers to the Quran where Allah says that He has sent a reminder to the people in the form of the Quran.
A reminder by definition means that it is confirming or reminding human beings of something that they already know. Scholars explain that the verses of the Quran confirm the truth that Allah has already placed within ourselves in the form of fitrah or natural instinct.
Our fitrah or higher selves are guided by our conscience. This is the internal guidance which is confirmed and supported by the external guidance in the form of the Quran.
Since human beings are easily distracted and forgetful, we need to be reminded of our true nature, our best selves and the potential that we can rise up to. The verses also remind us to keep the big picture in mind, the meaning and purpose of creation, that we are on this earth for only a brief...
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Do not forsake the Book(DW#747 )

In verse 30 of Sura Furqan, there is a complaint from the Holy Prophet (saw): And the Messenger cried out: O my Lord! Surely my people have treated this Quran as a forsaken thing. [Holy Quran 25:30]
The Holy Prophet (saw) spent about 23 years of his life preaching the message of the Quran in order to transform his society, to banish ignorance and oppression and to establish social justice. This complaint is made by him to his Lord that despite his best efforts, his community (and those to follow) abandoned the true message of the Quran.
The potential of the Quran is to transform the individual and the society. However, in order to do that, the message needs to be read, reflected upon, acted upon and reflected in behaviour.
While the recitation of the Quran is alive and well within Muslim communities all over the world, its message of hope, mercy, compassion and justice remains an illusive ideal even today.
What do we need to do individually and as a...
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Connect to the Book(DW#746 )

quran ramadan wellbeing Apr 27, 2020
Wishing you and your loved ones the blessings of the Holy Month of Ramadan. As always, we will turn our attention to verses of the Quran during this month. We will inshallah focus on a verse a day and reflect on how we can live the timeless wisdom of the Book in our modern lives.
In verse 57 of Chapter 10 (Sura Yunus/Jonah), Allah says:
O mankind! There has come unto you an advice from your Lord, and a cure for that which lies within breasts, and a guidance and a mercy for the believers. [Holy Quran 10:57]
The verse addresses all of mankind and alerts them to the four functions of the Holy Quran:
1)    An advice – The word maw‘idhah is a reminder to do good, but it is a reminder which is gentle and full of loving care. An exhortation to do good which will benefit us. It is the kind of advice that touches hearts that are open and receptive. It is the kind of advice that can guide us towards excellence of...
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Reminding ourselves of the options(DW#745 )

Some of us need to reminded that even as parents and adults, we do not have to always be in the giving position. That it may be harder to ask for help than to offer it AND if we challenge ourselves to learn to ask for help, we will be doing ourselves and those in relationship to us, a big favour!

So here are some ways to remind ourselves of this:
I can share my needs with trusted people.
I can ask for help or advice.
I am not alone, even if it sometimes feels like I am.
I do not have to do it all by myself.
I don’t have to make my life harder than it is at the moment.
Contrary to what my thoughts lead me to believe sometimes, it is not reasonable to expect that people "should" know what I need.
I can ask to be listened to.
I can ask for a night off from chores. Or a whole day!
I can let others know that I need privacy or space.
I can let others know that I am hurt or upset.
I can share what is really going on for me.
It is okay for me to feel overwhelmed at...
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Asking for what you need(DW#744)

Yesterday we talked about how to support your family members if they are feeling down or having a bad day.
What about you, though? Are you brave enough to ask for support from them? Many of us may be used to being there for others and find it challenging to ask for support in return.
If so, consider this: when we ask others to support us, we are actually giving them a gift:
The gift of letting them into our internal world
The gift of feeling emotionally connected to another
The gift of being there for someone else (and we know that feels good, right?)
The gift of modelling what intimacy looks like
The gift of being able to language emotions (emotional literacy)
The gift of recognizing that it is okay to have emotions and we do not need to act on them. That they will come and go
The gift of recognizing that we have the ability and the power to be there for a loved one and to make them feel better or feel supported.
So are you brave enough to share your...
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Supporting your loved ones(DW#743)

Once we get into the habit of checking in with each other, we will begin to get a better idea of where different members of the family are on any given day.
When you notice that someone is really struggling that day, for whatever reason, and you are in a stronger place, offer them support.
What do you need right now?
How can I help?
Do you need me to listen or offer suggestions?
Would it help if you got a night off from chores?
I am here.
You are not alone.
Do you need some time/space to be by yourself?
Shall we go for a walk together?
You have my permission to do what you need to right now to take care of yourself.

And sometimes, the best support may be to say nothing, offer a hug or simply sit with them and allow them to have their feelings.

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Understanding does not equal agreement(DW#742 )

In any relationship, we will not always be "on the same page". We will see things differently and have different reactions to the same event. This is quite common and even healthy. To have a strong and healthy relationship, we do not need to have the same thoughts and opinions about everything.

One of the things that trips many of us when we are practicing validation is when the other person views things very differently from how we do.

For example, if our spouse gets upset at her co-worker because she is late to work every day, we may struggle to understand why this is such a big deal. It may not matter to us what time our co-workers get to work and we may even empathize with the co-worker because she is a single mother with small children.

It can be very challenging to listen to someone whose world view, thoughts and opinions are different from ours.

When this happens, we need to remind ourselves that listening and trying to understand where the other person does not...

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Check your understanding(DW#741)

Here is another thing about trying to understand someone’s inner world: You will get it wrong. Quite often in fact.

As we develop our validation skills, we may get the emotion, the experience or the meaning behind it wrong.

This makes sense, because after all, we are trying to get a glimpse of someone else’s experience from our world view. Our lens and their lens are not the same. Our experience is not the same as their experience. We are trying to visit a foreign land and we may struggle to understand the language and the customs.

So, when you are trying to validate and get it wrong, remind yourself that it this is common and that you are learning. Your continuing effort to do this is the most important thing for your relationship.

To clarify your understanding of your loved one’s internal world, try some open-ended questions such as:

Can I ask some questions to help me get this?
I need your help to understand this better.
Is this a good time to talk?
Tell me...
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