Many years ago, my father owned a company that imported laminated flooring. Sometimes on busy days, I would try to earn extra pocket money and assist in the business whenever I could. I was a student at the age of 18. There was an older man about as old as my dad with children my age, who was one of our biggest clients. Often when the other salespeople were busy I used to assist him to choose colors for many of his projects as a contractor.
There was no name on the card attached to it. Assuming that it was from my parents, I rushed to see what was written inside, in excitement. Mortified and completely embarrassed, I stood rooted to the spot. My older brother snatched the card from my trembling fingers. We investigated and tried calling the florist to find out the details of the sender.
Are you intrigued yet? Read on to find out who it was and why my brother became livid with anger.
I believe that there is a tremendous amount of wisdom in the cliche, “learn to read between the lines!” Many people both male and female lack communication and understanding and this leads to so much of problems. Often kindness is misread for something different. Let’s face it, in this harsh world, kindness is rare. So when someone is being nice, it is often viewed as flirting. (Scroll down for self- development tips and tricks.)
Price of politeness
Recently a Twitter friend mentioned that chivalry comes with a price. I had the words ready on the tip of my tongue to retaliate but I held myself back. As women, this is what we face daily. The worst combination to possess as a woman or man who is attractive and decent is a positive, polite and friendly attitude. Why? Because this behavior is often misconstrued.
I wanted to tell the twitter friend, do you know what it feels like to be a woman? I wanted to tell him about the billions of times when my kindness and me being polite became a license to be hit on by men.
As a young girl, my mother taught me that one smile is all it takes for men to jump to the wrong conclusion. Being a friendly spirited young girl, I thought: “Geez mama, what are you talking about?” Emotional maturity came late to that tomboy. I really truly did not get what she meant. I did not know how boys and men think back then but now I do. As women, we are born with natural instincts that guide us. The key is to listen to your gut. When warning bells go off in your head about someone, go with it, trust your natural instincts. A woman automatically realizes who she is safe with and who is not safe to be around. This instinct needs to be honed in.
Drawing the line
Kindness and being polite has always been a part of my lifestyle. So the good question is where does one draw the line? How does one spot the difference between flirting and chivalry or kindness? Should you be selective about who you are friendly and kind to?
Be polite but don’t say anything that doesn’t sound good to your own ears.
Don’t make eye contact, look at the space just above the eyebrows when you speak to them.
Watch your body language by keeping within your space physically.
Practice not smiling and don’t show your teeth too much or laugh at anything they say especially if it makes you uncomfortable.
Do the bare minimum to show politeness but be careful about oversharing,
Curiosity killed the cat
To satisfy your curiosity, I will inform you who the flowers were from and why my brother got so upset. The flowers were from that contractor old enough to be my father. Along with a ” Happy Birthday!” was a crude message scribbled in the card attached to the flowers which literally made me cringe out of disgust. Don’t you worry though, my brother dealt with that lecherous old man in the best possible way? I am sure that there are many conservative people who can relate to these issues too.
I certainly hope that my tips will assist you to overcome the above-mentioned issues. Have you ever been in a similar situation? How do you communicate with the opposite sex to avoid this? As Muslim women and men, how do you deal with forward people? Please feel free to comment and add your views about this post.
Welcoming Ramadhan To The City of Cape Town – South Africa
(Ramadhan-Month Of Fasting And Abstinence From Desires)
Almost a month before the arrival of the holy month of Ramadhan, the atmosphere among Muslim communities indicates some subtle changes, signaling the onset of one of the holiest months in the Muslim Calendar.
In many countries, Ramadhan is just another day like all others. In Muslim countries only, we find people making a big hoohah out of the fasting month. Wrong! Some cities and countries do acknowledge Ramadhan. Those who exist within these cities that welcome Ramadhan are indeed blessed. Cape Town, South Africa is one of those cities. Most people in this city are already so used to Muslims and their month of fasting, that you cannot get away easily with doing something un-islamic during this month. Everyone knows that it’s Ramadhan. Everyone knows that Muslims must be well behaved. Haha. Knowing about other religions is part of self-development. Don’t you just love those who know about Islam and are sweet about it?
Some people in Cape Town seem to know that they should not tempt you and eat in front of you. When I used to work in a corporate company, some time back, I had non-Muslim friends who would actually fast with me. This is how awesome it is to live here, in Cape Town!
Besides, every neighbor knows, Muslim or non-Muslim, that they will definitely be getting a plate of goodies come sunset. Respecting and understanding Islam and other religions means that you know about tolerance. It also means that you are working on your personal development.
Did you know that Muslims follow an Islamic calendar and not the usual Gregorian Calendar? So you want to know the difference between a Gregorian calendar and an Islamic calendar?
lunar calendar is slightly behind the Gregorian calendar by a few days. (around
The Islamic calendar is basically a lunar
Our year consists of twelve months and 354 days. It is called a Hijri calendar due to migration of the Prophet Muhammad s.a from Makkah to Madinah, Saudi Arabia. This calendar was inaugurated in the year 622 during the migration.
We pray an hour before the sun rises, a prayer called tahajjud. (We believe that the Lord of the universe listens to our requests and grants our wishes especially during certain hours. Prayers are guaranteed to be accepted.) We pray fajar just before the sun rises. This is our morning prayer after suhoor/sehri.
We abstain from all forms of sins while we fast. We also abstain from sexual intimacy, food and drink – not even water. We do this from dawn till dusk. We do this for one month continuously. This month is called Ramadhan. This is how Muslims fast.
We break our fast when the sun sets. We then pray our evening prayers called Maghrib, Esha and Taraweeh. We recite the holy Quraan during our prayers. One Quraan is completed during the taraweeh prayer and the 30 days of fasting in Ramadhan.
Well..today after centuries and decades non-Muslims, are beginning to see the benefits and merits of fasting. Fasting was taught to us by our prophet Muhammad s.a hundreds of years ago. Also we recite bits of the quraan, one chapter a day thus, this how we complete the full and entire quraan within one month. So so so simple!
So yes, back to abstinence. It teaches us to control or desires. Abstinence differentiates us from animals. We all have desires, it is our natural instinct for human beings to have certain desires!
HOWEVER, as Muslims we tame and discipline our desires. Whether its food or intimacy, we are strong enough to refrain. Even our children of certain age and abilities, fast during this month, so why can’t any adult do it?
So You Want To Know What is The Purpose Of Ramadhan?
ever played the game called Mario Brothers? Do you know that feeling of
excitement that you get when you come across a mushroom which you bump only to
reveal endless points?
It is a month to reflect, a month to bathe in humility and to forgo one’s desires. Ramadhan is a month to do a spiritual cleanse. It is a month to take stock of your life in order to try to change bad habits. Ramadhan is a month for repentance. It is a month to gain the mercy of one’s creator. Ramadhan is a month to attain taqwa (piety)
What is taqwa exactly?
Taqwa means to
abstain from that which your Lord and my Lord has prohibited. Ramadhan is there
so that we can get close to our creator. Ultimately the month of Ramadhan is to
get close to one’s creator through good deeds and abstinence.
Fasting is also a month in which we are one and the same with the poor people. We understand hunger and difficulty; we understand the pain and hunger pangs of those who are less fortunate. Our senses are dulled, and our levels of spirituality are at its peak.
Making The Most Of This Month – 20 Tips
Are All The Devils Locked Up?
Seek forgiveness from the ones your hurt and go into Ramadhan with a clean heart
Forgive the ones who hurt you and let things go
Start giving up bad habits two months before Ramadhan begins
Stop focussing on food preparations. Focus on your inner demons and how to tame them.
Keep reminding yourself about the essence of Ramadhan.
Avoid visiting people and places that will hinder your spiritual motivation – stay at home if you have wondering eyes. Rather visit ill people. You will earn reward,
Newsflash: If you think the shayateen(devils) are all gone, you are wrong. While the big shayateen are put to sleep temporarily..like wild rabid dogs, LOL, the other shayateen are not all locked up. Also, what about the devils within us? Our own nafs/desires?
If it was that easy to gain reward during this holy month, with absolutely little or no effort, the rewards would not be that huge. You have to make some effort too! What I am trying to say is, sometimes you and I are our own biggest enemy. That’s right! You are your worst enemy. Why? you ask.
Do I need to spell this out? Are you not a human being with desires and needs? Well, in that case you will still have a huge battle with your nafs if you have certain addictions such as addiction to t.v, women, cigarettes etc among other vices.
Have you ever searched online for some info and then suddenly a half-naked women pops up gyrating her hips to some jamming music?
Did you not find yourself wanting to sing along? If you are anything like me, you would rush to cover the screen and click the back button to get out of there, all the while screaming NO! NO! Noooooo!
Can you resist the next episode of your favorite series in order to listen to a lecture indstead?
I thought so. This is why I have stated above,
that you should avoid all distractions and focus on your relationship with your
this is not just about Ramadhan and trying to attain bonus points for just one
month. You are doing a spiritual cleanse in order to revive your soul
do with sincerity during Ramadhan is usually what you keep with you throughout
Conclusion And Grand Finale
The best part about Ramadhan is that every single person, good or bad, takes something back with them. Everybody including sinners, strive to reform and to use Ramadhan as their turning point.
We Muslims don’t just fast because we have to. We do it because we want to do it. We fast because we make a choice daliy, to be practicing Muslims because we absolutely love our creator and Islam!
Please people, don’t just share this day with people you know. Invite single Muslims and new Muslims into your home to celebrate Eid with you. Eid is about sharing yourself and your home. So many people have nobody to celebrate Eid with. Remember to focus on the bigger picture!
There is huge and copious amounts of blessings in this. While others prefer to stay at home and doll themselves up for their partners etc and lay fancy tables.
I prefer going to the mosque for Eid salaah. My parting advice to all of you is to plan your day and prepare in advance so that you can attend Eid salaah in the morning. You really don’t know what you are missing out on if you do not attend mosque on Eid day.
So many people did not make it to this year. Life is short. Remember that. Ditch the grudges. Forgive and move on. Walk into Ramadhan with a clear soul and begin again! May Allah (God) accept all our fasts and prayers. Aameen.
How do you spend Ramadhan and Eid in your country? Please feel free to comment on your Ramadhan experiences.
Almost every single day, I have some male or the other trying to approach me. There are friends trying to set me up. There is family who feels that my life is a perfect waste because I have no man by my side. I have friends within my circle who are happy and feel like their lives are perfectly put together. Having a man in their lives will only bring about unnecessary complications.
I have been asked, what kind of a man would make my head turn in his direction, not that my opinion is thaaat important…eye roll…but this is what most women desire…
The perfect man does NOT exist but real men do. I know they exist and I have noticed how these honorable men treat their women and I have the utmost respect for them.
How Real Men Behave:
Mature men live their lives with confidence in themselves and their abilities. They take risks and are not afraid of criticism nor are they afraid of having their ego’s slightly bruised.
Follow their own rules
While they respect other people’s opinions, thoughts and ideas, they follow their own rules and do not live their lives trying to please or impress others.
They treat women with respect
They understand that women have their strengths and weaknesses, fears and desires and they do not see women as competition. Women are viewed as equals mentally. They treat women with respect regardless of who she may be and what she does.
They are resilient
They don’t harbor resentment or hold on to grudges. They simply move
Mature men do not allow people to bully them. They are assertive and remain cool and composed. They are positive and always look at the brighter side of life.
They are ambitious
They constantly seek ways to improve their own personal development and growth. You won’t hear them complaining about the sacrifices they had to make or the hard work involved in achieving their goals.
Mature men understand responsibility
They don’t see their jobs as boring. They understand that whether it is a job or a career, people depend on them.
Real men do not step back on their morals ethics, self-respect and integrity
If it means being hard on someone, they will do it. Their morals and ethics are never compromised. Ever.
Good communication skills
Mature men, know how to communicate. They are easily able to convey their needs and no conversation is too difficult to hold.
Stimulated by intellect more than superficial beauty
Boys are intimidated by women who are mentally smarter than they are. Real men are stimulated by intellectual conversation.
They are sincere
Real men will compliment women only to uplift her, and not to get her into bed.
Real men know how to provide support. They are not put off by women who have aspirations.
They have spiritual convictions and faith in a higher power
A real man has a strong set of beliefs that leads him in every decision he makes. Prayer and spirituality is something that comes easily to him.
They are-self sufficient and able to take care of their own basic needs
If there are no women to cook and clean, they won’t die from deprivation of a women’s touch in their lives.
This is just a condensed list of what women seek in men. Get this loud and clear! Women do not crave wealth, good looks and status. To put this to you very simply, some of us actually prefer men of substance and good character over those with flashy cars and the latest fade haircut. If you thought she wanted a part of your bank balance, you should know by now how very wrong you were.
If you broke up with your soul mate, it probably felt as if you survived Armageddon. Break-ups are not easy but you have overcome many challenges. Hey..take it easy on yourself. This too will be a challenge that you managed to conquer! Don’t stress yourself out over someone who is already laughing with other women, while you are living the life of a recluse and moping around. Is he worth your sanity? I don’t think so, my friend. Nothing is worth your peace of mind!
Tell me… how badly do you want that transformation? A little bit of creativity and a dose of sass is what you require for your personal development plan to work. I must warn you, though that positive thoughts alone will not set you free. You need to have an action plan. Before you get into that car and start moving, make sure that you not making any impulsive decisions based on a whim. It’s best that you carefully weigh your options first.
For some reason, breaks ups become a sort of renewal of our lives. Out with the old and in with the new is sometimes necessary for personal development. There are a billion lessons that you have probably learned from your break up by now. Those lessons are priceless. for your growth. You probably can’t even imagine being with someone else right now. One day though your pieces will be restored and glued together again. You will remember these days as the stepping stone to finding the one you supposed to be with forever. You will thank your creator for bringing you to the place that this will lead to.
Create a gratitude journal and fill it with the little things that made you happy for the day.
Save your money. Make wise investments. Soon you will have a lump sum to play with.
Reconnect with your family and loved ones. There are many people who just want to see you happy.
Breakups are a normal part of life, as painful as they may be. However, if you make a pact with yourself to move forward, you can’t possibly go wrong! In no time, you will get your bounce back. You will realize that you have not thought about your ex for a long time. Your soul will feel lighter and you will attract people into your life. These people will be on the same level as you. Remember that a contented and happy soul will attract like-minded people to the new you. Your new lifestyle will bring you immense success. Do not give up or give in to depression and apathy. You are the only one who can put all your pieces back together again!
Several Ways to Develop Your Empathy Levels Today!
Some time back, a very close friend of mine, fell suddenly insanely ill, overnight. She ended up in ICU from her illness. It was a traumatic incident for everyone. We had to offer support because she is all alone in the world with a small network of friends. One day, some time later, at a dinner party, with a few mutual friends, somehow the topic about her illness came up.
She literally cringed and denied the severity of her illness. We looked at each other in shock. We were the ones who took care of her. We knew the pain that she had endured. She sat in front of friends who loved her so much. She refused to admit her illness before our extended mutual friends.
The discussion around the table as we dug deep into the
sticky toffee pudding and ice cream, was about illness and how it can change
your life overnight. In that moment I was so engrossed in my sticky toffee and
the way the icy cold ice- cream blew my senses away that, I stopped dead in my
tracks, at the cold silence in the room. I thought, wait what? What did I just
hear? as I tried to undo the numbness in my brain from the ice cream, just to
catch the last part of the conversation. As the silence echoed in the dining
room, my mind was so engrossed in the sweetness of stuffing my face to hide the
emotions, I felt at that moment.
I realized then and there that illness, whether mental or physical, has a certain negative connotation to it and people don’t like to discuss certain things and share, even if it means helping someone else. They would rather shut up about it and hide away for some reason.
A lesson to everyone reading this. It is human to hit rock
bottom. To go nuts, to fall and fail is human. You are not weak. Those that
tell you that, are weak themselves because they stand on their high horses and
point fingers. If they were in your shoes, they would end up far worse than
Did you take your off your head pills?
If you are fighting a mental illness, an auto-immune illness such as fibromyalgia,cancer, bipolar, M.S etc and you fall. You hit rock bottom and you do something uncharacteristic once in a lifetime, or in the case of mental illness, you do it often, do not berate yourself. I can tell you this much, you are fighting the greatest battle. Many have little or no emotional support because illness is negative. Nobody wants to be around anyone who is negative. Negativity rubs off and that is the reality of this life. Many don’t have the stomach to give support and many run away like cowards.
Remember something. Real empathy cannot be faked. It will show in the little things you do and do not do. People who ill are normally fine tuned to the things that others don’t notice so either you grow your empathy for real or don’t attempt it at all. Stick to sympathy.
People with empathy will go all out for you whether they agree or disagree, whether they like you or dislike you. A person with sympathy will just do what is absolutely necessary as a human being.
Reading between the lines comes easy to those with empathy. They hear the things that people don’t say. They see the silent tears even when your lips form a smile.
One has to be mindful around people. One has to stop and really pay attention to notice things. A simple change in a person’s voice can detect exhaustion. While doctors are conditioned to search for telltale signs, not everyone is created equally empathetic.
Stop. Imagine yourself in that person’s shoes. Empathy requires the utmost honesty to one’s self. If you know yourself, you will be able to understand others. How would you feel in such a situation? How would you react?
According to David F. Swink on Psychology Today, cognitive empathy can be taught. He used the example of a hostage situation and how faking empathy eventually lead to real empathy. I agree that short term empathy can be faked. I must admit however, that for some of us, it is easy to see through the act. Faking empathy for years may just eventually teach you real empathy and change your neurons. It all depends on your intentions, I suppose.
A dear friend of mine, taught me that it is in the little things you do that proves your love for them. Doing little things with great love goes a long way. Even if you don’t love someone, you can take the time out to think of the little things that someone may appreciate. (Dedicated to Ayesha my friend, my sister. That biryani, stays in my mind for life, the sweetest way you packed it without me asking, those little gifts, the tears in your eyes, the way you hugged me and dropped everything when I needed you. Dedicated to the most thoughtful, sweetest, kindest, human being with loads of empathy!)
So the next time your friend informs you about the severe pain she is in, please don’t tell her to change her diet. Don’t ask her if she took her medication. Don’t look at your depressed friend with demeaning eyes and say in your mind: “There you go again you nutjob! You just spoiled my oh so positive happy day!” Stop and feel, not just with your heart but with your soul.
Feel their emotions
What would you want someone to tell you if you were in a similar situation? Another key issue to remember as David F. Swank has put it on psychology today website, is that this person is not you. This is a unique individual with a unique mind and body and the way they handle and view pain and trials is different from you. What you may easily endure, they may struggle to handle, whether trials or pain. When you are able to see things from the mind’s eye of another human being, that is when you will know that you have mastered the art of empathy.
Want To Know How To Keep him wrapped around your pinky finger for Life? Let Me Tell You What I Have Learned over the years!
(This is a two-part series that must be read to the end. I may just go on to the third part..or not…but hang around. It will be worth the read, trust me.)
I chose this topic because I am so tired of dishing out advice to clueless friends. I will now direct them to this blog and hope they don’t bug me any more. After all I am single, free and rather content with my lot in life. Don’t need any stress.
Newsflash: You can keep the affections and love of the person you marry/married for the rest of your life. It is a given that there are loads of pathological liars and serial cheaters out there who don’t need a reason to cheat. They see. They like. They take.
Then, there are those that get fed – up of trying to save a hopeless marriage for so long and just give up, eventually. All it takes is one kind word, or one provocative female, or a little bit of attention and then years of happiness is destroyed instantly. This is no justification for cheating. It is a vile act, but it happens more than the amount of times the sun rises. Homes break!
To keep a marriage free from the evil of outsiders, you must follow some basic rules, male or female. These tips and tricks are mostly for females, though. If you are male and reading this please tell us what would work to revive a stagnant marriage, in your opinion.
I must say that women need to wake up and play their roles as a wife. Stop complaining and start taking action, ladies. I know about marriage, I have been married. I know what men expect and want. I can easily tell you, with all honesty what you shouldn’t do. I can also easily tell you how you can lose a man in thirty days flat! Men cheat because their levels of imaan (faith) are non-existent.
Yes, I have been married, so I know these things. Now, this post is not about me at all. So, please stop that mind of yours from wondering about me and my life. This is about you. This post will show you how to get your groove back! This post may just help you to save your marriage.
However, I will add my disclaimer because me being me, and an ex- law student, I will put up my safety precautions…HAHA!
Someone might be at a dead end in their marriage, and use my tips right at the end and still fail. What I do not need is someone coming at me with a sledgehammer because the marriage skills I shared did not work for them.
So…I repeat, do not quote me when your husband asks you who taught you to do those things. Well, not unless he is happy with you, then you spread the word. I got it from Shamz and tell him to announce it too. There is a lady dishing out marriage advice online and guess what? It really works!
Do Yourself A Favour & Ditch the Sad Face
If you are a married women or man and you feel like your marriage is failing. Don’t drown in despair. There is still hope. I sat so many friends down, while they were crying and I was about to give them a piece of advice and you know what they said?
I have tried everything under the sun. Nothing works. You want to know what crossed my mind in that instant. Whoah!
Is this how you tried everything? With such a negative mindset, you going to get nowhere. Look, I do understand that for those who have been in a marriage, almost forever, it feels like there is not much left to do to save your relationship.
I must say though that an upbeat and positive attitude is my first expectation from you, if you wish to follow my advice. It is understandable and perfectly normal to feel downright depressed when things are falling apart. However, it is only you who can pull yourself out from the rut you are stuck in.
Change Your Intentions
The first thing you need to do to fix yourself is to fix your intentions. What do you want from your marriage? Are you in it because being married is better than loneliness? Are you in it because you have children that need you? Are you in it because of your creator, the Lord of the Universe?
Do you want to have a blessed marriage for the sake of Allah swt your Lord. Do you wish to grow spiritually? What does Islam say about your husband and how to treat him? What rights does your spouse have over you? What rights do you have over him? Do you want real fulfillment? Do you prefer a life and marriage for Instagram that is oh so perfect, but dead and stagnant in reality?
You will remain confident, because you will trust in your fate. You will trust in what was written in your destiny. Remember both good and bad, comes from Allah swt (GOD) A man who cheats has no real taqwa. A man who fears Allah swt will NEVER hurt a women and cheat and vice versa. Men with real taqwa, fear Allah and are good partners. The same applies to women. End of Story.
Love Bomb Yourself Honey, Before You Work On Him
Now that, we have cleared that aspect, let’s talk about you. If you are constantly feeling drained and listless, how are you going to put in any extra effort into saving your marriage? How are you going to be super-wife? You already know what I am going to say next, don’t you? Yeah, you guessed right! Self-care is super important! Enough sleep, exercise and healthy eating is your first step.
Without quiet time for yourself, you will get lost. So, find time to enjoy your life alone. Get to know yourself. Love yourself first. Your first love, should be Allah then yourself. Do something you used to love but gave up. Find a new hobby. Your primary concern should be your mental, physical and emotional well-being. If you have your mental and physical health, you will be able to soar and thrive within your marriage.
Happiness is contagious. Spread joy in your home through your own well being and peace of mind. You will be able to give back so much more because you are now so much more content. Sort that out and then we can talk…
Newly Weds Better
Than Old Couples?
So, you want to be as happy as your first day of marriage? Unfortunately, that can’t happen. Back then you were newly weds. What this means is that marriage was a novelty. In time, all those lovey dovey cooing and feelings got replaced by did you forget to take the trash out again? Also, for those who are happily married they will tell you that the marriage actually evolves and grows to the next stage.
You faced the worst and you are still together, are you not? Rest assured that even though you are not where you want to be, the great news is that you are still married. You have not yet started to divide those assets, so honey, there is still time to save things.
Revive Those Sparks
The problem is there are no sparks at this moment. If you re-invent yourself and make some changes, albeit small changes, you can cause huge ripples. First things first. My number one piece of advice to all women is. Never allow your husband to see you disheveled. You heard right. Lift your hands up if you are the type that looks wretched in the house but when you get into that car, you look like a super babe?
Before you were married to him, would you be caught dead looking the way you do now, when you are lounging at home? If it was not good enough back then, it is not good enough now.
After having had babies we all have stretch marks, ugly scars and what not. Even your husband is not exactly a re-incarnation of Ian Somerhaulder is he? He has aged too. Perhaps you have not noticed those grey specks on his hair or beard because you love him thaaaaat much. He is still your knight in shining armour regardless of the fact that he has aged a bit. So honey, trust me when I say this, the small efforts won’t go unnoticed…to be continued…
Many years back, I would drive around my small farm town, where I am from, with a red battered VW Beetle which to me felt like a red Lambo! Sometimes friends and family would see me stuck in the middle of the main road, bonnet up, and trying embarrassingly and desperately to re-install the fan belt.
As part of my self-improvement and development, I have started to open my eyes and get educated about cars, something that I always assumed was more a man’s forte. Since my divorce I have been forced to jump out of the fairy tale I was living in.
I know how many times my car needs to be fed with those delicious and golden liquids. However, that is about where it all ends. Oh yes, I do recall what is a fan belt from my teen memories. I want to say though, that it is not beneath a women to know about manly things like vehicles. In fact knowledge will give rise to your self-confidence levels and improve your self-esteem beyond words.
Time for Some Changes
So, if you are anything like me, and still sitting with the car your dad bought for you back in Uni, then it means that it’s time for some changes. Where does one start? What should you look out for when you decide to purchase a new car?
Should you opt for brand new or should you go for slightly used but with very little mileage? In my opinion, unless I am a billionaire, I will definitely not purchase a car out of the box. I honestly believe that cars are a huge waste of money because they depreciate in value. Unless you are deciding to purchase a collectors Aston Martin…I guess in that case it is a whole new story.
New or Pre-owned
Something you should know if you have not already done research is that the best place to look for a car is at an auction.
Choose a car that is not only aesthetically pleasing but practical. You can’t purchase a luxury car with white leather seats and two doors if you have toddlers. You should also consider fuel costs for commuting.
You won’t require the services of a mechanic to perform a leak test. Stop the car on a clear driveway and stall it for 30 minutes. Then look under for any fluid that leaks.
Check the body of the car for any paint jobs, you will easily notice this when you open the car door. It is usually the sides of the car which has telltale signs of a hidden paint job/repair.
Do a test drive on the highway. See how the car handles bends. Ensure that the breaks are in good condition and notice squeals and squeaks. For this you should ask the dealer to stop talking in order to pay attention to important sounds and sensations. How does it feel when you change the gears and is the clutch easy to push in and release?
Learn about the brand and make of the vehicle, ask people you know who have those cars. Also check out online reviews.
Feel like a Queen
These tips above are sure to get you your dream car. If you don’t feel like a total queen afterwards because you did it all on your own, then something is drastically wrong!
For some reason, I believed that people would look up Fibromyalgia instead of being so clueless about it. I mean it is not exactly an illness that is rare. Its rampant within the community. There are many who become overwhelmed by the mention of the name, Fibromyalgia. Fibra- ma-what? I am often asked. Some people can’t even pronounce the illness let alone bother to find out more about it. It is too complicated for certain minds to comprehend, thus my need to speak about it before I proceed to other blogs of substance which I have in mind.
I have been inundated with questions about this syndrome or Auto Immune Illness as I phrase it to many. Well let me tell you this much, it is no joke, living with Fibromyalgia. It has robbed me of a lot of things, particularly my desire to be a hot shot advocate or lawyer. So naturally, we have a very acrimonious relationship, me and Fibromyalgia.
Before I describe the symptoms to you, I will tell you how
it begins. While some of you are just curious to know more about it, I am
writing this article because I would not wish it upon my worst enemy. Seeing
that my blog is about self-development and lifestyle I will tell you about ways
in which you can manage this illness and ways to prevent it from happening to
If you want to lead a life that is fruitful and healthy then
you need to be careful about how you handle stress. If you don’t pull up your
socks right now and become mindful of your health, trust me, nobody is exempt
from developing dreaded diseases such as Fibromyalgia and Cancer. There is a
direct link between stress and illness and neglect of your body and mind.
While I love to be healthy, it is very often that my
personal life often stands in the way of me being my best healthy self.
However, the key to success is standing up and fighting and not to give up or
back down. I often battle with my desires to just do what I feel like and eat
how I want. I must admit though, that whenever I eat unhealthily it affects my
So here are the initial symptoms that slowly began wreaking
havoc in my life:
Pain in my shoulders and neck
Loss of memory
Constantly being tired
To be quite honest, these symptoms began during the last
year of my marriage, the year we had decided to try one last time. The cherry
on the top was the court case which I had, which came after my actual divorce.
This court case was not between me and my ex-husband. By this time already we
were well adjusted to the situation and had no issues with each other. To this
day, we remain good friends and support each other through our parenting
journey. He has been my constant support and strength.
Stress is your worst enemy
Going back to my point on stress, I will reiterate that it
is the biggest cause of every health concern you may have, trust me on this
If you are one of those people who is constantly stressed
out about the littlest of things then you need to take heed. Try to improve
your life, and become aware of and mindful of your stress levels as part of
2011/2012 my most
Going back to that year 2011, was possibly the worst year of
my life. At first, I pegged it down to temporary insomnia, due to many things I
needed to think about. I was so unhappy back then and leading the most
unauthentic life in the whole world. I was basically living for other people
and not for myself.
Needless to say, this is what pushed my body and my well being to the brink of a complete breakdown and reaching rock bottom. I am not saying that I did not love my ex-husband, crazily and passionately and he loved me just as much, but there were things beyond my control and eventually, I had to just let go, and he gave in as well.
That is when Fibromyalgia decided to attack me full force. I
recall many times falling off to sleep soundly in my car when I would go to
fetch my son from school. I at first thought perhaps I was pregnant again? It would
have been the biggest blessing if I was and if it wasn’t Fibromyalgia finding
its way into my body.
I only got diagnosed with Fibromyalgia three years after the illness was full blown and swimming through my veins. Fibromyalgia is difficult to diagnose. I used to visit the doctor so often complaining of my hands, my back, my feet, my ribs and often suffering from insomnia and being constantly exhausted. When my G.P mentioned Fibromyalgia, I assumed it was something like arthritis. I didn’t quite understand what he meant. I could not even pronounce the word Fibromyalgia and by the time I got home, even forgot what he called this syndrome or illness.
So, what exactly is Fibromyalgia you ask?
In a nutshell, fibromyalgia is an autoimmune syndrome which affects your muscles and joints and your cognitive abilities, your sleeping patterns as well as your bowel movements etc.
Constant burning and severe pain in your muscles
Irritable bowel syndrome
Heightened senses such as smell and sensitivity
to loud noises
Severe sensitivity to the emotions of others
Depression due to the struggle and pain from
Is there a cure for Fibromyalgia?
No, but if you are totally and completely stress-free for a long period of time, if you manage your symptoms through exercise and healthy eating habits, practice meditation and seek therapy for anxiety it can definitely be minimized to the point of feeling as if it has disappeared altogether. However, in theory, it is so easy to speak about the ways you can manage this illness. In practice, it is not always easy.
I am sure you are aware that, the life of a single mother is never stress-free, so avoiding stress is not possible. However, effectively managing the way you deal with stress is the way to tackle fibromyalgia. Money is another major issue as there are specific vitamins that are required and a must for this illness in addition to medication. Constant massages and cupping, as well as acupuncture, are all holistic ways to treat Fibromyalgia. As any single mother will tell you, the one thing, we don’t have enough of is money. Medical aid and medical insurance does not recognize Fibromyalgia as an illness and therefore does not pay for chronic pain medication.
Vitamins and Supplements
I read somewhere, in a very poorly researched article that vitamins are not required to lead a healthy life and that all one needs is to eat healthily and exercise. I was overwhelmed with anger at the stupidity of the writer. We live in a world where there are constant pollution and stress and even if we ate right and avoided unhealthy food and exercised it would not be enough for our bodies. Vitamins are not just for Fibromyalgia sufferers.
The fact remains that we don’t always eat organic and our food these days are very polluted by chemicals. Naturally, our body only produces a limit of specific vitamins etc. for our bodies to function well. Stress limits tend to use up whatever our body produces leaving us in a deficit when it comes to specific vitamins for our core to function. Thus, certain supplements and vitamins are vital and essential to assist us along the way, especially when we get older. With or without Fibromyalgia Vitamins and supplements are a must have in every home!
How to prevent Fibromyalgia?
Change your mindset and think positive, somehow.
Manage your stress through outlets such as exercise, therapy, time management, constant breaks, and meditation.
Watch what you consume.
Make sure you take supplements such as Vitamin B, Vitamin D, Omega 3,6,9, Magnesium, Glutathione and most importantly calcium.
Many people will tell you that Fibromyalgia is brought on by severe trauma and stress as there is a direct correlation between the chemicals of the brain, your central nervous system, and the spine and the way it affects your pain threshold. If you want to avoid Fibromyalgia you have to work on your self-development by developing skills to enhance your ability to cope in this harsh world, we live in. While you cannot avoid stress, stress is the number one culprit which creates needless diseases and illnesses in your body.
For further information on fibromyalgia, please visit these
If you have been affected by fibromyalgia please feel free to comment and engage with readers. You never know who you may be helping by speaking about your illness. Provide the health solutions that have worked for you.
I was once asked about my views on polygamy by a non-Muslim many years back. I hang my head in shame at the answer I gave to him. I was only twenty-one and thought I knew everything there was to know about Islam back then. How arrogantly, I answered. I am now ashamed to say that I thought in such a small-minded and narrow way back then, but I have grown and this is all part of my journey of growth and self-development.
Divine rights of a man
You are a Muslim woman, but you don’t believe or accept polygamy, how is that possible? The holy Quraan clearly gives a man the rights to have four wives. Who are you then to refuse his God-given, divine rights? I ask. Polygamy is a sunnah and and lawfully allowed in Islam provided that specific rules are followed. It has to be implemented in a transparent manner and not a hidden/temporary marriage. Also a man has to be fair and just to all four of his wives.
Many years ago, I used to have debates and arguments with my brothers and any man who even whispered the word polygamy near me. Stupid and naive that I was, I argued about things I had no knowledge of. About two years ago, my younger brother sat me down and took the time to explain polygamy to me in detail. I promised to listen to him with an open mind without interrupting him. At first, I sat with my arms crossed thinking what I would say to him and how I would argue my point. However, as he went on, something within me began to change. I really started to understand the hikmah (wisdom) behind polygamy.
Allah (GOD) swt is so great. A staunch feminist and a passionate activist against abuse of women, I used to be adamant that every man only saw polygamy as a tool and means to satisfy their desires and hurt and exploit innocent women. How wrong I was! There are many men who exploit their God-given rights to have 4 wives, by marrying women and then treating them badly. There are however many individuals who have successfully taken more than one wife and lead extraordinary lives. They are fair and just and provide love, care, and support to all four wives equally. Their family life is in order and these families really thrive upon this setting.
Strong Imaan and proper taqwa is the solution (Fear your Lord and have faith in His wisdom)
During the time of our prophet Muhammad s.a, polygamy was encouraged not for carnal desires. There were many reasons but mostly it was there to take care of women. When a woman lost her husband through death or divorce, the companions of the prophet s.a would marry them to save them from zina (adultery) and poverty and to protect their best interests and sometimes even offer support as role models to another mans children in cases where the fathers had passed on.
The way I look at it, polygamy is a blessing for women. The benefits are numerous. Many women today do not want to be a second wife, neither do they wish to share their husbands. This to me is shallow and immature behavior as Muslim women. A while back a newly married bride, I know personally, asked her husband to take a second wife. She said that she had chosen someone for him based on the women’s marital status. Here was another woman just like her, divorced and struggling to make ends meet. I was utterly shocked. The women who did this was young, stunningly beautiful and what surprised me was that she was newly married. I took her aside and I asked her if she was okay? Why would you even suggest that? I wondered at that time. She selflessly chose to open her heart to another women.
Can you imagine a polygamy hater hearing this? I was appalled and shocked beyond words. After careful scrutiny of her intentions and reasoning, I realized how beautiful polygamy is and more so, it was a wake-up call for me too.
No need for consent from the first wife
You as a Muslim woman need to understand that Jannah (heaven) lies under the feet of your husband. If you please him, you please Allah. If he decides that he wants another wife, you cannot stop him. I honestly believe that if you ask for a divorce, just because he took another wife, you are cruel and selfish beyond words.
If a man secretly marries that is not part of Islam. However, just remember that a man does not need a first wife’s permission for polygamy and that says it all. Deception is discouraged and frowned upon. However, if a man comes to his wife honestly and explains his intentions, allows the first wife to be a participant in the procedure of choosing another wife and is good and kind to his first wife, then what is the problem?
Stop Complaining and learn to appreciate what you have
Women often complain about their husbands. I am going to be brutally honest here. Some women say they have run out of excuses: “Honey, not tonight, I have a headache!” is now becoming a stale excuse. You can’t always satisfy his desires, if he has a high sex drive then what should he do? Commit adultery?
Men are from Mars and women are from Pluto
Women need to understand something, men were created very differently to us. Some men are weak, and women are the strong ones. We can control our desires. Some men can’t. The obvious solution is polygamy. If you as woman lack in the stamina to be the wife, he needs then don’t push him to sin.
Do you know how many women are single? Do you know that there future predicts that there will be more women on earth than men? In answer to your burning questions in all your minds right now. No, I am not desperate or stupid enough to jump into a polygamous marriage without being sure about who he is and what he stands for.
I know my place as a Muslim woman. Just as you don’t have a choice when it comes to proper hijab, you must cover because this is divine law! Right? It clearly states in the Quraan cover, cover cover! In the very same way, you must accept polygamy as divine law clearly stated in the holy Quraan.
Would I be a second wife? Yes! Would I allow my husband to have a second wife? Yes, definitely I would! In fact at one stage I begged my ex-husband to take another wife for different reasons that are personal. I once even suggested he marry a close friend of mine who was divorced and older than him. He thought I had gone insane.
Benefits of polygamy:
Plenty of me time when he is with her.
You know where he is when he is not with you.
Shared responsibility for example:
He owns a business. Each wife can manage certain department. Or you could take turns to cook and share meals etc
Thawaab and blessings for following the sunnah and upholding the divine decree of Allah swt
One big happy family – who needs outsiders when there are more than enough insiders?
Discounts for shopping in bulk…hahah
Most importantly mutually assisting others in matters of deen by encouraging one another to be their best.
Security and support. You have a team behind you, what more do you need?
So, ladies before you decide to hate polygamy, know that you
hating the divine rule and law of Allah swt, your creator. Are you disputing
the hikmah and wisdom of the Lord of the universe, you have the audacity to do
that?! Please feel free to leave your comments. Thank you for reading, I know this
was a really long read.
By no means is this an advertising platform. I am here to write and convey my journey of self-development to you. Part of self-development and being a good human being requires sharing your time, your heart and your being with others.
On this note, I have decided to assist entrepreneurs and small businesses at least once a month with marketing. This service which I offer is free of charge, and mostly to empower women to take charge of their lives. It does not actually matter who you are. Whether you are male or female, as long as your products are of a higher caliber, I will review them and choose whom I wish to feature on my blogs.
Without further ado, I would like to present some of my favorite items to you. I have collaborated with an array of small online boutiques to bring you items which you may purchase for yourself this February, in light of self-love and self-development.
The lady I feature today, is an upcoming designer of modest clothes, in particular, streetwear that is unique, chic, sassy, classy and elegant. Well…I thought so….
When I was fourteen my mother sent me for fashion designing classes and bought me two machines of my own to use to create my own outfits. I guess my mother got tired of buying me all those fancy designer dresses. The honest to God truth is I love clothing, designing and creating a garment from scratch. However, I met my match when it comes to designing, or should I say, I have met a lady who truly surpasses me in her designing skills. It is the whole truth.
Here are some of her stunning and trendy hijab style items which I think have earned a special place of must-haves on my list. I have chosen a few favorites. I contacted her and after a brief conversation she was very responsive and permitted me to feature her lovely items.