The last day…

For the past few days I have been thinking a lot on making new year resolutions… but as much as I want to set targets for the upcoming year, I am being pulled back by the realization of how much I have failed to do in the past… and so I have not been able to put anything on the paper so far… maybe because of fear of failure…

But last night I told myself that okay tomorrow is the last day of this year so what are you going to do about it? There are only two options… either you plan or you don’t… in the first case you have a hope of accomplishing something… even if it’s not 100% but still maybe you will end up doing 80 or 70 or 50%… but what if you don’t plan? What do you hope to gain by that? Surely this would be a bigger failure altogether… isn’t it?

Therefore here I am once again… back on the blog… back on track… ready to plan… ready to work hard… and ready to accept my weaknesses as a human being…

Some of the reasons which I identified as obstacles to my consistency are the following:

  • Having unrealistic expectations from myself.

  • Fear of failure.

  • Being too idealistic.

  • Often falling into the deception of desires which come in the disguise of needs.

  • Getting distracted by small things.

  • Wanting to get too much done in too many different directions.

  • Being too much conscious of my weaknesses.

This last point is the one which hit me the most… because just as we should avoid being arrogant about our abilities… similarly harmful is the tendency of blaming yourself for your deficiencies and weaknesses… this is not humbleness but a self-destructive thinking pattern which makes us unable to take up any project with energy and optimism… because this inner voice keeps pulling us down… oh no you cannot do this… oh you are too ignorant… you are too weak… etc… etc… etc…

The balanced way of self-analysis is to recognize your abilities and thank Allah for giving you these gifts with which you can benefit yourself and others… similarly you recognize your flaws and you ask Allah’s forgiveness and you take steps to overcome these barriers to your success… this is real humbleness… this is true repentance…

Otherwise we can keep saying to others or to ourselves that we wish we could do this and that… or we wish we didn’t waste our time and our lives… or we are so much bothered by our sins… But these repetitive statements have no value or benefit if they are not followed up by action…

Your actions are the true indicators of how much truth there is in your intentions… in your aspirations and in your vision.

If you and I believe that we are on a journey… and we wish to reach a good end… then why are not we moving ahead?

Let’s make this coming year a time of taking actions… let’s make our dreams into projects… let’s convert our wishes into true intentions… let’s do something…  

Think Carefully!!

Many year ago I read in a book by Maulana Wahid ud Din khan, a statement…

“Most of our problems get started in our minds and that’s where they can be ended.”

I was reminded of this quote, when a few days back a friend said to me, “Do you know that we can create anything just by thinking about it?” I said of course everything begins with a thought… but surely that’s just a first step and it has to be followed with a lot of hard work and sacrifice… But she insisted that we are not using our power of thought in the right way… and this made me ponder on this idea and I had to admit that she was right.

It is so true that Allah has given a most powerful device with which we can do anything and everything… and that is our choice to think… in fact I even heard a very educated person saying… “Whatever you want to become… whatever you wish to achieve… just start thinking about it.” And the opposite is also true… “Whatever you keep thinking and keep saying… about yourself or about others… it will become a reality.”

So I began to realize how we have used or misused this power of thought and expression… Have you ever wondered why a person is so popular and loved among some people… and quite the opposite to some others? What’s the difference? The reason is that we tend to behave according to other people’s expectation and opinions about us… and so when we are among people who think we are good… and they appreciate us… then it sends us vibes of positive energy… and makes us feel enthusiastic and excited… and so we are extra nice to them.

But if we think negatively about someone then then that person will receive that negative energy and will not be genuinely sincere to us, even though outwardly the behavior might be very nice on both sides… there will be no happiness in such a relationship. Only a burden of having to present a good exterior…

In my research on this topic I even found that if you constantly say that you are feeling sick… weak and tired… exhausted… then this is how you will become. If you keep on repeating that you are getting old and incapable of doing things, then that is what’s going to happen to you… even forgetful people can stop forgetting things if they start saying that they have very good memory and they can remember everything!! Or if a person with high cholesterol keeps repeating that his cholesterol is normal then he will become normal.

Now this seems like you are denying the reality… but your intention is not to pretend or deceive… but to heal yourself with the medicine of positive statements…

Just like we take even the most bitter medicine… or we go through painful treatments… our intention is not to collect even more pain or bitterness… rather we know that it is just a bridge to cross… from sickness to health.

Similarly we can use positive thoughts and positive statements to create energetic and healthy bodies… healthy and flourishing relationships… wonderful productive lives… anything and everything…

And now I understand why Allah gave us so much to think about and so much to say, in all our rituals of worship… we begin the day by duas of gratitude… then we use water to purify us… then prayer… reciting Allah’s words… doing zikr… everything so perfect, so positive… to give us the right perspective and to fill us with the energy of His most profound words… so that when we go about our various tasks and deal with people, this energy should radiate to others too… and should make our environment vibrate with positivity and hope… with gratitude and appreciation… with gentleness and forgiveness…

But this will happen only when we think and ponder and believe… because Allah gave us power of thought… and things will affect us the way we think about them.

That is why the Quran begins with the surah Al Fatihah… which doesn’t tell us to do anything… rather it builds our foundation of positive thoughts of gratitude, obedience and responsibility of being accountable to Allah… because we cannot even follow Allah’s commands if our thoughts are not in the right direction.

Therefore at the end of surah Al Baqarah, Allah warns us that whether we express our thoughts or keep them hidden… Allah will hold us accountable for what we kept nurturing in our hearts…

لِلَّهِ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الْأَرْضِ ۗ وَإِنْ تُبْدُوا مَا فِي أَنْفُسِكُمْ أَوْ تُخْفُوهُ يُحَاسِبْكُمْ بِهِ اللَّهُ ۖ فَيَغْفِرُ لِمَنْ يَشَاءُ وَيُعَذِّبُ مَنْ يَشَاءُ ۗ وَاللَّهُ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ {284}

Whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth is Allah’s; and whether you manifest what is in your minds or hide it, Allah will call you to account according to it; then He will forgive whom He pleases and chastise whom He pleases, and Allah has power over all things.