Category Archives: Personal Development

Nadiyah Hussain – A Symbol of Courage

NadiyahNadiyah Hussain is 31 years old, house wife & mother of young kids. Never dreamt of taking part in any competition, she decides to take part in BBC TV’s famous Baking Show “Great British Bake Off” in 2015. She makes to Finals;  Around 15 million people watch the show and…. she won!

Now she is a celebrity & a well-known name in UK. Nadiyah writes books, is a columnist for the Times Magazine & appears in many TV shows. She was commissioned by Buckingham Palace to bake cake for Queen’s 90th Birthday!

Nadiyah said after winning:

Nadiyah says

 

Never say ‘No’.

If you think you can, you will. If think you can’t, you are right.

She is a symbol of Success & Hope for Young Muslim girls.

Wearing Hijab:

Wearing Hijab doesnt limit you, it gives you a sense of belonging, it gives you an idenity. Nadiyah talks passionately about her decision to first start wearing a Hijab at the age of fourteen.

Incredibly proud of how own upbringing and culture, she explained: “My religious beliefs also have an impact on what I wear. You have to make sure the sleeves are long, and then you have a scarf to go with it (dress). I have been wearing my Hijab since I was 14.

“It’s not specifically because I came from a religious family, I think I came from quite the opposite. It was something I found and the first part of me finding religion.

It was the first act I actually did – to cover my hair. I realised the importance and significance. It’s a sign of being a Muslim, a sign of practicing Islam, it’s a sign of modesty, it’s just one of those things you do. Everyone finds it at different stages in your life. It’s seen as something beautiful.

Mohsin Nawaz

Amin the Hand-Less is an inspiration for Life!

Nick Vujicic is even more inspiring!

But

Mohsin Nawaz leaves them behind by many miles. If Mohsin’s story doesn’t inspire you nothing will.

mohsin 1

Mohsin Nawaz was only 2 years old when his legs paralysed due to Polio leaving him in wheelchair for rest of his life. Unable to move about he would stay home, read books and listen to radio.

Mohsin loved reading & writing stories. He sent his stories to famous children’s monthly magazine ‘Phool’ for publishing. His stories were eventually published but by then he could not read; Mohsin lost his eyes at the age of 13. It was a real shock for him & his parents.

Unable to move, unable to see, Mohsin would lay in a corner of his house like an old out of use piece of furniture. One day an old lady visited his house. While talking to his mother she enquired; Baji aap iss kay liyae duaa kiyun nahien kartay? (Sister, why don’t you pray to Allah for him?

Only people from Pakistan would understand the real chilling meaning behind this statement. This statement is said about a terminally ill person who has no hope; it means “may Allah take his life away to alleviate his suffering”.

His mother replied what are you saying? The lady replied he has no legs no eyes; he is capable of nothing. And Mohsin was listening to this conversation. It shocked him. This very moment changed his life forever.

Your Life Begin to Change the moment you Accept the challenge thrown at you”.

Mohsin whispered quietly; O Lord, I don’t have legs, I don’t eyes. So what? I will show the world what I can do with the rest of your blessings I possess. I will perform the best with these. And indeed he did.

Husbonullah

He started studying. We are talking about some 30 years ago. There were very little facilities for disabled then. He could not attend any school. Mohsin would buy books & cassettes and ask his friends to record the books on those cassettes. He would then play these cassettes and listen to books. He has memorised 1500 books till now! This is his level of commitment to knowledge.

Mohsin accepted what Allah Ta’ala intended for him. If you are happy with what Allah has brought your way, He (SWT) will be with you! But he worked diligently on what was in his control!

Our Lord says:

Indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves. (Al Ra’ad 11)

Indeed it was Mohsin’s deep desire to change the state of his life and he did it.

Where there is a Will there is a Way.

He educated himself & completed Master’s Degree in Urdu. He is a committed person.

I accept challenges & change – if someone says; Mohsin you can’t do this, I will make sure I do it”.

Mohsin would listen to radio and learn through educational programs. He went to buy an Urdu type writer. The shop owner discouraged him; don’t waste money dear, you won’t be able to learn it. And the very evening he amazed his family when he showed them their typed names!

It is not the abilities, rather the burning desire to do something that keeps you awake at night would lead you to success.”

mohsin 2

Mohsin has melodious voice. He was selected as radio presenter for Mast FM 103 Radio to conduct a Live show. His show was a success; he is one the popular presenters (RJ Radio) in Pakistan today and conducts a show every Sunday 12 to 2 pm for the last 13 years!

Disability is Not in Our Body, rather in Our Thoughts

Maria, among 1000s of his followers on radio, was so impressed with his voice that she decided to marry him. She knew the marriage won’t be a straight forward one; Mohsin needs a lot of help in his daily life chores. But she was determined; now they are happily living together for many years and have kids who go to college now.

“Handicap is not the one who cannot walk or see, rather the one who has no desire to do anything.”

mohsin 3

Radio show brought further success; he was offered a Telemarketer job in a private firm. He performed really well and was eventually promoted to as Director Public Relations.

Mohsin delivers inspirational speeches to many and brings those back to life who have lost hope. He has motivated 1000s. Listen to Mohsin on Youtube. One such excellent video is here. Listen & be amazed by his knowledge (listen from 11th minute onward): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Fmit-CmGO0

Mohsin says:

When somebody told me that he has failed in his exams, my question is, *”Is it a law that you will pass every time?”* When somebody asked me why am I in depression, my question is, *”Is it compulsory to have confidence all the time?”* When someone cried to me about his huge business loss due to his wrong decision, my question is, *”Is it possible that you take all right decisions?”* The fact is our expectation that life has to be perfect/permanent is the biggest reason of our unhappiness.

One has to understand the law of impermanence of nature. After each sunny day, there has to be a dark night, after each birth there have to be certain deaths, for the full moon to come again it has to pass through no moon. In this imperfection of nature, there is perfection. So *stop taking your failures and bad part of your life soooo personally or intensely,* even God does not like to give you pain but its the cycle through which you have to pass. Prepare yourself for one more fight after each fall because even failures cannot be permanent…! Enjoy life…. *Your breath comes to go.* *Your thoughts come to go.* *Your words come to go.* *Your actions come to go.* *Your feelings come to go.* *Your illnesses come to go.* *Your phases come to go.* *Your seasons come to go.* *You have come to go.* Then why do you hold on to your guilt, anger, unforgiveness, hatred so so so tightly, when it too has come to go… Let it go …

Do What You Say

saydo

Surah al-Saff – Verse 2

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لِمَ تَقُولُونَ مَا لَا تَفْعَلُونَ

Rebuking those who do not stand on their own words, the blessed Verse is asking them:

2 – “O you who believe! Why do you say that which you do not act upon it?”

Although the blessed Verses were revealed concerning the jihad and desertion from the Battle of Uhud, but the Occasions of Revelation never restrict the broad contextual meanings of the blessed Verses. Consequently, any vain word deserves censure and rebuke, be it in terms of steadfastness in battlefield or any other positive and constructive act.

According to Imam Sadiq (as), the blessed Verse, among other issues, alludes to failure to keep one’s word, saying that a believer’s promise is like a vow, though expiation is not required for it.1

Surah al-Saff – Verse 3

كَبُرَ مَقْتًا عِندَ اللَّهِ أَن تَقُولُوا مَا لَا تَفْعَلُونَ

  1. Most detestable it is with Allah that you say what you do not act upon it.

The Arabic word maqt denotes abomination and odiousness. Faith is to be accompanied by action and sincerity, otherwise it will deserve censure and rebuke. Some people utter empty words in friendly get-togethers but they fail to act upon their words when it is necessary to take action.

One of the significant tokens of true believers is that their words and deeds are totally in harmony and the more one distances from such principle, the more he distances from faith.

It is in this vein that in his epistle to Malik Ashtar, Imam ‘Ali (as) said unto him:

“Refrain from making promises and failure to keep you word, since such failure will lead to severe wrath by God Almighty and the people as it is said in the Holy Qur’an (this ayah).

 

keep word

Don’t we see ourselves making statements such as:

  • Don’t worry, task will be done by tomorrow.
  • I will call you shortly
  • It is a done deal

Yet days pass and nothing happens….

Another common set of statements; YOU contact someone after long time and he/she says:

  • Long time no see
  • You didn’t call me for ages
  • Never visited us since long
  • Where have you been
  • Etc etc

Do What You Say…

Upon hearing such statements, one of my late uncle used to say “the road that leads to my house also goes to your house”. Meaning, you could have bothered to visit me if I didn’t.

So Brothers & Sisters “Your words are your pledge – Do What You Say…”

 

Surviving First Day/Week at Work

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  1. First day is Vital – Plan & Prepare for it.
  2. Treat first few days/weeks as part of interview – You are under the spotlight
  3. First Impression is Vital – Make it a Positive one.
  4. Be On time & smartly prepared, breakfast eaten, rested and looking alert.
  5. Write & Practice how you are going to introduce yourself.
  6. Know the team beforehand, as much as you can
  7. Try to know / mingle with co-workers. Show yourself as pleasant personality
  8. Impress your boss: Read about the area of work, company & its plans
  9. Listen carefully & ask smart questions – Be on same page
  10. Write important Info down / Make Notes
  11. Remember Names (write!) & Say these correctly
  12. Ask about your job responsibilities
  13. Learn company processes, rules and tools. Sooner you familiarise the better.
  14. Take the ID/passport, Bank Details, Tax details, important documents with you
  15. Take lunch with the team (usually offered in early days)
  16. Make it clear from day one if you don’t smoke, drink, vegetarian etc. etc.
  17. Don’t show eagerness to leave for home quickly
  18. Watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ks-_Mh1QhMc

Life Changes

He was 18 years old young boy from a wealthy, religious family and belonged to one of our relatives. He was hafiz-e-Quran, well-mannered and eldest child in the family. Although he had everything one can wish for in this world but he was not spoilt at all. He had already started shouldering his father’s burden gradually by taking part in their family business. One day I heard the news that he is in hospital sustaining head injury from a road accident. He was in coma and his condition wasn’t good. The next day brought a sad news; he passed away.

“Surely we belong to Allah and to Him shall we return”

Eye witnesses stated that he was driving his motorbike with only one hand while other hand was busy with mobile phone. His bike struck a small hole in ground at a low speed. He could not maintain balance and His head struck a small stone on the road giving him one single but fatal injury. Bike was fine. We can learn two lessons here:

1-      One must not use Phone while driving (this is true for car also), and

2-      Driver must wear helmet while driving a bike

Parents were devastated. Indeed it was a big loss for them. One day a lady came for condolences. She was a family friend and known to us a respectable and decent person. Realising we were heartbroken with the incident, she shared her own story for the first time. In her own words:

“I was living happily with my husband and children in Islamabad. My husband would take care of all outdoor chores and I will look after family. Hardly would I bother with outside word; I was a complete housewife. One day I was informed that my mum is not well and I should visit her urgently. Realising her serious condition, the whole family decided to visit her in Gujranwala. By the time we reached there she had departed to meet her Lord. We conducted my mother’s funeral with heavy heart.

“Surely we belong to Allah and to Him shall we return”

My husband had to return next day due to some commitments. So, he, his brother and my eldest son departed in our car. Just before driving off, my few years old daughter jumped into the car insisting she must go with papa. I left behind with our youngest son. Few hours passed; suddenly I was informed that our car had a fatal accident. My husband & his brother died on the spot. My son and daughter were severely injured. Son died later and daughter was paralysed, stuck in wheelchair for life. For me life stopped suddenly.

It would be understatement to say that I was devastated. Though alive, I was nearly dead mentally. I don’t know what was happening around me for few months.

But life is too stubborn to stop. I had to look after two young children and one of them was disabled. They had needs that required fulfilling. One day a lady came to visit me. She enquired how long would you stay like this? Control yourself; you are responsible for your family now. It made me think; no matter what situation I am in, life around me is moving on. I had to do something, for my children’s sake. So I started organising myself. I had never dealt with the outside world but there was no escape now. I learned driving and started looking for a job; soon I secured a lecturer’s position. From that day onward, I never looked back. My past was history now; I started living in present. My daughter & son have grownup now. Daughter is still in wheelchair and son is studying in university!”

Subhan Allah, it was very encouraging for us. We were thinking we had the worst in life but there is always someone who had been through more hardships.

We can learn a number of lessons from this story:

–          Enjoy the blessings of Allah while we have them; be it family, wealth or health

–          Be ready for whatever comes our way. If a hardship falls upon us, we must endure it gracefully (with sabr). Indeed there are great rewards for it.

–          We must struggle with best possible way to change our situation. This is the Sunnah of our beloved Prophet (SAW)

–          World changes around us constantly; we need to adapt to the changes.

–          Life never stops no matter what. Make the best use of it.