Personal Growth: Start With A Success-Oriented Mindset!


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Make a “magical chamber” for yourself. Heal, nourish, and grow yourself there, with the powers you are made from.


We as human beings need space for personal growth; I call that “space” a “magical chamber”. Our chambers might be cracked; they can be rusted on the inside and glossy on the outside. The condition of your chamber will depend on the quality of life you are living. Cracks and rust can be from bad life experiences, abusive relationships, fighting, eating disorders, and so on.


Below are the four ways to build a pure, safe chamber which promotes growth, no matter what you are going through.


  1. Growth demands strong roots of trust: Iman


A healthy growth requires strong roots and bonding with the ultimate foundation; that means strong faith in Allah (swt).


If someone gives you a plant to take care of, how do you think you will do it?


You will try to find out about the basic elements that the plant consists of and the basic things those elements need to grow properly.


Similarly, a process of growth demands strong foundation in Iman (faith in Allah (swt)).

When a tree has firm roots and healthy trunk and branches, it automatically produces good fruits. When we establish the firm roots of Iman in our heart, and the trunk and branches of the tree healthy, our quality of life improves.


  1. Growth demands transparency


Transparency means:

  • Accepting yourself
  • Accepting your story


Practising transparency means being vulnerable, being honest, and accepting yourself: complete honesty in where you’re at, what you’re struggling with, and the courage to chase that string down to find out why.


The more you practice transparency, the richer your growth will be.


  1. Growth demands space – “A stance” to firmly start your journey


This means that you must have a defined boundary: “The Non-Negotiables”. Things you will not allow to enter your life. Non-negotiable are also things you are no longer willing to negotiate about yourself because they crack your chamber and hinder your growth.

Some examples of “Non-Negotiables” can be your:

  • Standards
  • Passions
  • Truth
  • Voice
  • Worth


  1. Consistent efforts to build a safe chamber


With a strong Iman, start practising transparency and create a space for yourself; build a brand new chamber to grow and prosper as a person. We must keep building and rebuilding it. It’s a continuous practice, and as we do it, we get stronger and more skilful.





Sunnah Steps to Perform Hajj

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The eighth of Dhul-Hijjah is the first day of Hajj, which starts after the Maghrib prayers of the seventh of Dhul-Hijjah.

Steps to perform Hajj as per Sunnah

Ihram and Niyah: Ihram literally means to make Haram (forbidden). When a Hajj pilgrim pronounces the Niyah (intention) of Hajj and Umrah and says Talbiyah (Labbaik Allahumma Labbaik…), certain Halal (permissible) things become Haram for him. This combined action of Niyah and Talbiyah is called Ihram. The two sheets that a pilgrim wears are symbolically known as Ihram, but the Ihram is actually the Niyah and Talbiyah.

Departure to Mina: Pilgrims proceed towards Mina after the sunrise. They utter the Talbiyah, as often as they can. Pilgrims have to offer Zuhr, Asr, Maghrib, Isha prayers and spend the night of eight Dhul-Hijjah (first day of Hajj) in Mina.

Departure to Arafat and performing Waquf: After offering Fajr prayer in Mina on the Ninth of Dhul-Hijjah (second day of Hajj), pilgrims leave for Arafat. Wuquf-e- Arafat starts at declining of sun and ends at the sunset. It is better (Afzal) to do Wuquf while standing, but it is allowed to sit as well. This whole time is spent reciting Talbiyah, repenting on sins, uttering supplications and asking Allah (swt) for His forgiveness. Zuhr and Asr prayers are offered combined at Zuhr time, if prayed in Masjid-e-Namrah, and offered separately, if away from Masjid-e-Namrah.

Departure to Muzdalifah: When the sun sets, pilgrims proceed to Muzdalifah, without offering Maghrib prayer, reciting supplications and Talbiyah. Maghrib and Isha prayers are offered together at Isha time. There is one Iqamah and one Adhan for both prayers. Night in Muzdalifah is a blessed night, which is spent in reciting supplications, Quran and Talbiyah. Pebbles of the size of chick peas are collected in order to perform Ramy (stoning the Shaytan) in Mina. Two Rakah Sunnah are offered at Fajr prayer before Fard and Waquf is performed. Pilgrims proceed to Mina when sun is about to rise.

Perform Ramy (stoning the Shaytan) in Mina: On the tenth of Dhul-Hijjah (third day of Hajj), pilgrims hit Jamrah-Aqabah with seven pebbles one after the other. Talbiyah is stopped, when pilgrims throw the first pebble. After Ramy, pilgrims leave Mina to perform the sacrifice (Qurbani).

Offer a sacrifice: Three days are designated for sacrificing an animal: the tenth, eleventh and twelfth of Dhul-Hijjah. It can be done anytime during day and night.

Get your hair cut (Qasr) or shaved (Halq): Halq or Qasr is done after the sacrifice (Qurbani). If the sacrifice is postponed, Halq or Qasr will be postponed too. It is also a Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (sa). After Halq or Qasr, prohibitions of Ihram are lifted, except private relations between husband and wife, which are permissible after Tawaf-e-Ziarah only.

Perform the Tawaf and Sai: It can be done any time, day or night, from tenth of Dhul-Hijjah to the sunset of twelfth Dhul-Hijjah.

Repeat Sai after Sundown on the Fourth and Fifth days: Pilgrims perform Sai after Tawaf-e–Ziarah. It is a Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (sa) to make sure that your Wudu is intact.

Return to Mina: Pilgrims return to Mina after performing Sai, where they spend the night.

Ramy of Jamarat: Pilgrims throw pebbles on each of the tree Jamarat on eleventh and twelfth of Dhul-Hijjah after Zawal (decline of the sun).

Tawaf-e-Widah: After Hajj, it is obligatory on pilgrims to perform Tawaf-e-Wida (Farewell Tawaf). This is performed when pilgrims are leaving Makkah for their homeland.

Eid-ul-Adha – The Tenth of Dhul-Hijjah: Muslims around the world celebrate Eid-ul-Adha. Muslims offer Eid prayers any time after the sun completely rises but before the  Zuhr time. The Sunnah of preparation for Eid-ul-Azha prayer includes- making Wudu, offering Fajr prayers and wearing best clothes available. It is a Sunnah of Allah’s (swt) messenger Ibrahim (as).

Allah (swt) mentions in The Quran, “It is neither their meat nor their blood that reaches Allah, but it is piety from you that reaches Him. Thus have We made them subject to you that you may magnify Allah for His Guidance to you. And give glad tidings (O Muhammad (sa)) to the Muhsinun (doers of good).” (Al-Hajj 22:37)

Slaughtering animal with one’s own hands and distributing the meat among family and Mustahikeen (deserving people) is a Sunnah of Allah’s (swt) Messenger (sa). (Bukhari)

Dhul-Hijjah is a month of great importance for all Muslims. Besides Hajj and Eid-ul-Adha, it is a great opportunity for Muslims to do as many good deeds as possible in the prescribed days of this sacred month.

Ibn Abbas (ra) has narrated that:the Prophet (sa) said: “No good deeds done on other days are superior to those on these (first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah).” Then some companions of the Prophet (sa) said, “Not even Jihad?” He replied: “Not even Jihad, except that of a man who does it by putting himself and his property in danger (for Allah’s (swt) sake) and does not return with any of those things.” (Bukhari)

May Allah (swt) make us the people of Taqwa and prevent us from falling into the footsteps of those, who failed before us. Ameen.

Umm Mihjan – A True Inspiration

Handy Hajj Tips for Ladies

The story of this woman has inspired me and given me hope on a very personal level. I aspire to meet her someday in Jannah. The following Hadeeth mentions her story:

A woman used to clean the Masjid. The Messenger of Allah (sa) missed her and asked about her. He was told that she had died. He (sa) asked: “Why didn’t you inform me?” (It seemed as if) they (Companions) had considered the matter to be insignificant. Then he (sa) said: “Show me her grave.” When it was shown to him, he offered (the funeral) prayer over it and said: “These graves cover those who are in them in darkness, and Allah illuminates them for the inmates as a result of my supplication for them.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

On the basis of some other narrations, the scholars have a general consensus that the person mentioned in this Hadeeth is a woman known as Umm Mihjan, who used to sweep the Masjid.

Many amazing lessons can be learnt from this Hadeeth. Firstly, it highlights the importance of keeping the Masjids clean and tidy. Moreover, one shouldn’t consider somebody else’s contribution to be insignificant no matter how small their deeds might seem.

The most inspiring element I learned from this short Hadeeth is how this woman was held in such high esteem by Allah’s Messenger (sa). Her story gives me faith for myself and others like me. If Allah (swt) can be pleased with such a small deed of a believer like sweeping the Masjid then it means that there is still some hope left for ordinary Muslims like me, who don’t have a huge list of worthy deeds to their credit.

We, the majority Muslims of today, did not have to struggle like the early reverts to Islam, who were brutally tortured at the hands of the disbelievers or forced to migrate to another land in order to protect their belief. Most of us have never had to make any noteworthy sacrifices like the great Sahabah (companions) of the Prophet (sa).

I am not the first woman martyr of Islam like Sumaya (rta) nor have I memorized thousands of Ahadeeth from the Prophet (sa) like Aisha (rta) or Abu Hurairah (rta).

I even don’t have a title of reverence that I could add as a suffix to my name like ‘the sword of Allah’ for Khalid ibn Waleed (rta) or ‘Tayyar’ (the soaring bird) for Jafar (rta), whom the Prophet (sa) saw as a bird, flying, in the gardens of paradise after he was martyred in a gruesome battle. I have not even contributed to the science of Tafseer as done by the ‘Faqeeh al-Ummat’, Abdullah ibn Masud (rta).

Seeing Abu Bakr ‘Siddiq’s’ utter devotion to the Prophet (sa) that he refused to cry out, though in extreme pain, after being bitten by a scorpion in cave of Thaur simply because he didn’t want to disturb the Prophet (sa) from his sleep, makes me cry. I cry especially when I look at my insignificant deeds which fall way short in comparison to such enormous contributions made by our true Muslim heroes. In fact, I feel like a dwarf, seeing their struggle and efforts just to recite the Kalima: la ilaha illa Allah, while most of us Muslims have taken Islam for granted and most of us have indeed forgotten this great legacy.

So where do I stand? How can I attain that same Jannah with such small not to mention worthless deeds? These thoughts often used to disturb my mind making me gloomy and miserable. However, the day I read about this beautiful lady Umm Mihjan, it changed my perspective completely.

This lady and her simple act of merely coming in quietly and sweeping the Masjid on a regular basis became my great source of inspiration. So utterly unnoticeable was she that even the companions didn’t realize it was necessary to inform the Prophet (sa) of her demise. Though I’ve never come across any other Ahadeeth mentioning her worthy acts, her status is so exalted before Allah (swt) and His Messenger (sa) that he went to offer her funeral prayer even after she had been buried, and made Dua for her.

Reading this narration lights up my face. I smile brightly as I have made a discovery as to how to attain the love of Allah (swt). No matter how trivial or utterly irrelevant a life I might lead in this world, all I need from Allah (swt) is acceptance of my small acts of righteous deeds done on a regular basis with good intentions. One should never look down upon small deeds as said by the Prophet (sa): “The deeds most loved by Allah (swt) are those done regularly, even if they are small.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

In order to inherit a supreme place in Jannah, we need to implement this Hadeeth in our lives. However, we must keep our intentions in check while doing any righteous deed. In the end, I just hope and pray that Allah (swt) illuminates my grave with Noor and makes me enter Jannah, where I meet the Prophet (sa) and all his devoted companions including this remarkable Umm Mihjan, an inspiration for all of us. Ameen!